Read all about the first half of our trip to Hawaii including recommendations and resources for the island of Oahu and the untamed beauty of Molokai!
This year I presented at the International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, so the first several days there I was at the conference, and then Zach joined me for a week long vacation afterward!
The Hawaiian Islands are comprised primarily of 8 islands, but the 6 most popular travel destinations from West to East include Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Big Island. Check out Go Hawaii for a great resource to plan your own trip to Hawaii!
Our Hawaii Trip
This is what we left behind!
Hawaii here we come!
Their pool and poolside cafe was my favorite part. It also overlooked the harbor.
What amazed me about Hawaii was the fact that one could see mountain ranges and the ocean while standing in one spot. Simply gorgeous.
This trip to Hawaii included the best food I have ever had. Truly, every island we were on the food was so fresh and delicious. I ordered this chopped salad to my room at the Modern Honolulu 2 or 3 times over the course of my stay because it was so good!
The next day it was off to the conference!
Glass walls and lots of palm trees.
This was the view from the escalator inside.
This view was from the top of the building.
In between conference sessions I grabbed food and coffee at Honolulu Coffee. It was possibly the best coffee I had in Hawaii. This location is actually their experience center where you can tour how their coffee is made and learn about the production of Kona coffee. Apparently only 2 states in the U.S. grow coffee commercially – Hawaii and California. There are over 900 coffee farms across the Hawaiian Islands. We learned that when buying “Kona Coffee” you want to make sure it says 100% Kona to get the best!
Iced Kona Coffee and a fresh acai bowl for breakfast?? Yes, please.
Oh and look I found an old friend! Cesar introduced me to the fish tacos! I cannot for the life of me remember which restaurant this was, but it was close to the convention center. Food was ok. The fish tacos we had in Kauai were better.
Here I am ready to present!
The last morning on Oahu I went for a run along Waikiki Beach.
Again this gorgeous juxtaposition of the mountains and the sea.
I enjoyed one last meal poolside at the Modern Honolulu before joining Zach who had just flown in to hop a plane to Molokai! Unfortunately our schedule did not give us a chance to tour Pearl Harbor before we left Honolulu, but I hear it is well worth your time. Click here for tour resources.
Our Hawaii Trip
Off we go to Molokai!
Hello to the untamed beauty of Molokai.
This was our introduction to the non-commercialized island of Molokai. We were picked up at the airport in a truck, and I was loving the DIY method of keeping your seat up.
Zach’s seat was not supported with this contraption, so my knees had to do the job. I was laughing because every time our guide accelerated and Zach’s seat would fly backward.
There are only two hotels on Molokai. Welcome to Hotel Molokai!
Most of the rooms just had a double bed, bathroom, and a mini-fridge. Some of them were full apartments. The first night there we went to the Paddler’s Inn for dinner.
Live music and the most delicious food we had on any of the islands.
Grilled chicken wedge salad. Oh my word. So yummy.
We loved the food so much we came here for lunch and dinner 3 or 4 times.
Our first morning on Molokai!
For breakfast each morning we biked to Kanemitsu’s Bakery. If you want an authentic Hawaiian experience, then Molokai is the island for you. My detailed eye couldn’t help but notice all the necessary repairs needed of the buildings on this island, but as soon as you looked past the leaking roofs and dilapidated decor the laid back, no worries approach to life was a deep breath of fresh air.
It is no stretch to say this little cafe had the best baked goods I have ever tasted. The bakery was stocked with freshly baked items every morning, and this place was hopping!
This purple glazed donut was made with the taro plant native to Hawaii. It had a sweet hint of coconut flavor, but the taro plant is almost more like a sweet potato.
Zach and I would sample their baked goods each morning while waiting for our breakfast to come. #vacationmode
This is the culture on Molokai. This couple knew they would wait a long time for their food, so they brought cards. #retirementgoals
We got fresh papaya with each breakfast. SO.GOOD. One morning the waitress told us they didn’t have any that day because they weren’t ripe yet. They literally picked them off the tree and served them. Talk about farm to table fresh!
Zach’s breakfast of choice – Loco Moco!
We spent each day lounging poolside . . .
playing games . . .
and exploring the island.
Hmm, maybe this is where we should build Our French Country Home?
Zach’s massive burger from the Molokai Pizza Cafe.
Several days we played tennis, but this day we did a workout seaside! My go to vacation workout?? A deck workout!
Take a deck of cards, assign each suit an exercise, then flip through the deck and rep accordingly (ace = 1 rep to king = 13 reps) Takes about 30 minutes. Mine this morning was hearts = jumping jacks, clubs = lunges, diamonds = plank with leg lifts, spades = push-ups.
Meet Uncle Yama. He is one of 15 children and has been married for 58 years with 7 children of his own. His mother, who delivered everyone of her children by herself, was featured in a PBS documentary called, “Happy birthday, Tutu Ruth.”
Tried the famous Poke Bowl from A Taste Of Molokai food truck. I may or may not have given Uncle Yama the raw fish. Ok I definitely gave him the raw fish.
Off to the beach!
Behind me you can see three islands – Molokai, Lanai, and Maui!
Mmm, look at that view. Oh the mountains are pretty too.
Our last night on Molokai also happened to be Valentine’s Day, so we ate at Hiro’s Ohana Grill which was the restaurant associated with our hotel.
The food was amazing here as well. See that souffle dish? Those are creamy, souffle potatoes. SO.GOOD.
My hot date for the last 9 years!
Molokai was relaxing and lovely. We biked everywhere, played tennis, lounged seaside, ate the best food of the 3 islands we visited, and felt that we truly got a feel for authentic Hawaiian culture. If you want a luxurious resort with poolside service, then this is not your island. But if you want to escape the fast pace of commercialized life then Molokai is a breath of delightfully fresh air.
Stay tuned for Part 2 and the adventures of beautiful Kauai!!
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