Well kids, here we are…possibly my last decent trip. Why? You know why. There’s a bun in the oven. Mitch Jr. is on the way, and even though she’s female, she’s still Mitch Jr. So this Hawaii post is written with a heavy heart and (probably) heavier eyelids very soon. Alas, adulthood sucks.So since Caitlin was puking up her guts for the last trip where I so cruelly visited Peru without her, she was devastated. Ok maybe that’s too strong a word, but sad isn’t strong enough. She was somewhere between sad and devastated, which Google tells me is called MORRISSEY. (I made that up, but I’m going to start using Morrissey as an emotion. I’m so Morrissey right now.)
Caitlin had what the experts like to call “travel brain,” another thing I made up, right when I got back from Peru. Essentially, she said we were going on a trip before the baby comes and she WAS going on a said trip whether puking or not. I was skeptical and thus purchased trip insurance once she had decided the destination: Oahu. Now, not to brag, but I did once live on a floor in Hawaii for 2 months. I almost got eaten by one of these things (see below), saw giant rats fighting and they were too fat to climb the curtain so they both rolled down like globs of lard and we caught one in a motorcycle helmet and let it go on the beach. We accidentally caught a tiny gecko on a sticky trap and I can’t see a Geico commercial without crying. But yeah, I really like Hawaii. A lot. A lot. So I was happy to do this trip with my sweet precious wonderful excellent beautiful perfect wife. As always, our Amex Gold had hooked us up with ridiculous Sky Miles so the trip cost us $11 each plus miles. Good times.
The flight, as we are wont to do now as certified travel divas, was direct from SLC to Honolulu. It was tedious and boring but uneventful, just the way I like my flights. There was a family on the plane going to visit family and it was their kid's first time on a plane and that was pretty funny. The kids were like 5 and younger and EVERYTHING was amazing to them, it was fun to hear them freaking out over every big and small thing about the flight.
DAY 1: THE CAR RENTAL…A GOOD EXPERIENCE (!)(???!)
I had rented our car using Chase Rewards, but it was so bloody weird. For the week, it was like $200 or something (whatever the points equivalent is), but when I tried to add the last day, it added $180 for one day. Yes. Yes, $180 for one day. Yes. To which I said no. No. No.
So yeah, we showed up still needing a day of car rental. I figured if I had to, I would return the car and use Turo or something for the last day, because I was absolutely not paying $180 for one day.
But alas, once again I’m ahead of myself. I learned in Iceland that renting a car from a place located inside the airport terminal is heavenly. No waiting for the shuttle, no crowded shuttle, and when, like us, you don’t check bags, you’re usually first to the rental place so no line. For some reason, I thought I had done this in Hawaii…and I thought wrong. It ended up being through Thrifty, so we had to wait like mere peasants for the shuttle. Then, of course, the shuttle was packed. Hint: SIT NEAR THE FRONT OF THE BLOODY SHUTTLE! I guess I was feeling my elementary school days rebelliousness when I got on because I went to the very back…only for it to get crazy packed and we were last off, and thus at the end of the line at Thrifty. Duh.
Anyway, it was a long and boring wait, but I have to give a shoutout. Chris at Thrifty helped us and was extremely friendly, quick, and really helpful with cool suggestions and such. It was probably the best rental car experience we’ve had, maybe except in Germany.
So yeah, we got a Chrysler 300, which was surprisingly powerful (or maybe I’m just too used to having 2 Hyundais J) and we were off into the Oahu sun.
HOTEL 1: WAIKIKI MARINA RESORT AT THE ILIKAI
We were tired and hungry and headed straight for the hotel. The Ilikai is a timeshare hotel, and I bought a few nights from a friend of ours. It was actually a really nice room with a couple of nice pools and an awesome ice cream shop. What’s not awesome? $28 per day for valet parking. I had read there were other options, but it was so crazy on Waikiki that I just paid it and said whatever. Not cool man, but par for the course on Waikiki.
Speaking of…Waikiki is cool but doesn’t feel like Hawaii to me. Don’t get me wrong, this hotel was a fun location and we walked all over Waikiki and drove all over Honolulu. But it’s more like Vegas to me on Kalakaua Avenue at Waikiki, just craziness 24/7. I love it, and it was actually nice because we then spent a few days on the North Shore which feels more like “real” Hawaii to me. It was fun to have a mix of both and I really liked our room here. It had a full kitchen and fridge so we ate fairly cheap which is always a plus. Anyways, if you’re in Waikiki or Honolulu, it’s fun to check out Kalakaua at least once.
PHO MINH THU VIETNAMESE FOOD
Kinda like Peru, where I didn’t expect to find amazing Chinese or Indian food, I really don’t think of Vietnamese food in Hawaii…but I was wrong. We just looked up highly rated restaurants near us since we were bloody hungry, and trusty Google suggested Pho Minh Thu…which did not disappoint.
Caitlin and I ended up splitting the barbeque chicken vermicelli, which wasn’t at all what I expected, but after putting whatever house sauce they had on the table all over it, it ruled. It basically was like what would go on the inside of a banh mi sandwich or something, plus noodles. It was served cold, which wasn’t my favorite, but the flavor was bloody amazing. Just really fresh and the noodles and sauce and chicken were great. We wanted to go back but ended up wanting to eat at so many other places that we didn’t. Still, if you need a relatively healthy meal, I totally recommend it.
Hawaii is expensive, we all know this. But if you’re in Honolulu, go to Walmart while you can, as the options get slimmer on the North Shore. Stock up on food that’s actually quite similar to mainland prices, because once you hit Foodland you’re paying at least 40% more for most items. If you’re feeding more than a couple, Costco is a godsend for budget-friendly meals. It’s kinda like Iceland, groceries are expensive but nothing compared to eating out all the time.
DAVE’S ICE CREAM
After walking around Kalakaua and taking in all the madness and walking along the beach, we ended the day how every good day should end: Ice cream.
The main level of the Ikilai has a shop called Dave’s, and it’s awesome. There was a line both times we went, but it was so worth it. I got a coconut macadamia nut ice cream which I’m still fantasizing about. Caitlin got Ube, which is a purple sweet potato from Japan, and it was very different but very good. Hard to explain, it was kind of a mildly sweet flavor but we both loved it. Go! Now!
DAY 2: HANAUMA BAY
I understand that Wikipedia and Google are things, so I won’t go super in depth on Hanauma Bay except to say it’s awesome and aside from Pearl Harbor, I think it’s probably my #1 can’t miss on Oahu. There’s just one slight small tiny massive problem: It’s never possible to get in on your first attempt. Or, rather, I should say, if you don’t want to get up at 5am, it’s never possible to get in on your first attempt.
See, my loyal reader (hi mom) knows I am all about sleep, particularly on vacations. (Yes, my whole life is a vacation, but leave me alone about it). I don’t like getting up early ever, particularly whilst on vacations. So the “best” Hanauma Bay advice is to go early so you can get in, because once the parking lot fills up, they close it and only open it again when the parking lot clears somewhat. So I half-heartedly told Caitlin we “might” go early, knowing we would definitely not. And wouldn’t you know when we got there…CLOSED
We arrived around 8:20am and the parking lot was full, barricaded off, and had 2 security people yelling at cars that tried to stop and ask questions. We drove past Hanauma Bay and there’s a cool lookout point really close which was still somewhat empty, so we pulled in to create a new plan. The lookout point is really cool, cross the wall and you can go to the edge of a cliff and see a bunch of cool rock pools and stuff out ahead.
We had read you can actually park at a different lookout point and walk to Hanauma Bay, but the one we were at didn’t have any parking signs or rules that we could see, so I wanted to just leave the car there and walk into Hanauma. Caitlin wanted to go to the Koko Crater parking lot and walk from there, so off we went. Until…salvation! We drove past Hanauma and they were taking down the closed signs. I pulled over just in time to get yelled at by the guard since we couldn’t enter from that side, but we were able to turn around at another viewpoint and get in.
As a side note, there was a guy handing out flyers for a snorkel shop down the street from Hanauma that said they had a free shuttle from the shopping center. Or rather, if you rented their snorkel stuff it was free, otherwise it was $8 or something. We would have used it if we had to, but it was nice to be able to park right at the bay. Parking is $1, cash only.
And since we didn’t actually go to Maunawili Falls this trip but I have these cool old videos, enjoy Babwe jumping off:
FISH ARE COOL AT HANAUMA BAY
Once you actually park, you have to go get tickets to the safety video which is mandatory before you can go in. Sadly, the epic and wonderful “don’t step on me,” song from the old video is gone, as it’s now a weird animated version all about safety and protecting the reef, etc.
The video is 15 minutes or so and then you can walk down the steep path to the bay or pay for their shuttle. For the first time in my life, I actually had an excuse to use the shuttle (pregnant wife, duh), but we only used it on the way up so we didn’t have to trudge. It’s like $2 each or something for all day, but $1.50 for one way or something…totally worth it on the way up since you’re usually hungry, sunburned, and exhausted.
Anyways, as crowded as Hanauma Bay seems to be since the parking is packed, it turns out every time I go that the actual beach isn’t so bad. Yes, there’s lots of people there, but it’s a big bay and a big beach and I was surprised at how few snorkelers I actually saw out in the water.
My only regret, and it’s a small one, is that because we pack so bloody light, we didn’t have chairs or, more importantly, a beach umbrella. Our hotel had towels and they might have had umbrellas or chairs, I just forgot to ask. If I could redo it, I would just buy a cheap umbrella on the first day and then sell it on Facebook Marketplace (or give it away) on the last day.
Also, bring food and drinks. They have a snack bar but it’s at the top of the hill, and by the time you realize you’re hungry you don’t want to walk all the way back up. We had a bunch of our groceries with us and it was perfect. Snorkel, eat, snorkel, drink, snorkel, eat and drink, lounge, read a book, snorkel, eat, repeat.
Anyways, just go. Hanauma Bay is one of the few things I will ALWAYS do on Oahu, and this time was no different, it rocked. We probably stayed 4 or 5 hours, and though we didn’t see any turtles (or my personal dream, an octopus or squid), there’s a crazy amount of fish and it’s cool to see.
EAT AT FATBOY’S OR FOREVER REGRET IT
After finishing our Hanauma adventure, we went down the hill to the shopping plaza for infinite pleasure and joy. We were ready for lunch and without doing any homework or research just went into Fatboy’s…what a blessed, blessed choice.
See, in Hawaii, you have lots of Hawaiian food options (go figure). Caitlin’s favorite ever will be Da Poke Shack, but alas, that’s on the Big Island. L&L is always decent, if not incredible, but honestly I feel like Mo’ Bettas here in Lehi Utah is as good as anything we’ve had out there…until Fatboy’s.
Because we’d brought a bunch of food to Hanauma Bay, we didn’t need a ton, so Caitlin and I shared a sampler plate called the Ali and it changed my life. The garlic chicken? Oh the garlic chicken. We loved it so much and meant to go back but it was hard because there’s so many great food options. The fish wasn’t my thing, but it usually isn’t. Caitlin loved it. The teriyaki beef was good and the mac salad was incredible. Just go, get garlic chicken, and thank me later.
EAT AT LEONARD’S OR FOREVER REGRET IT
Seriously though, no trip to Oahu is complete without Leonard’s. Like, you didn’t go to Hawaii if you didn’t go to Leonard’s. I’m not even kidding, it’s my favorite thing about Hawaii. What is Leonard’s? Heaven. What does Leonard’s serve? Paradise. What do you do at Leonard’s? You truly live, man! Leonard’s serves malasadas, which apparently are Portuguese donuts but to me they are Hawaiian and always have been and always will be. They’re literally, in my humble and perfect opinion, the pinnacle of man’s culinary achievements. It’s a bun, dusted with cinnamon and sugar and filled with coconut cream, custard, chocolate (chocolate sucks) or other stuff or just unfilled. It will change your life. We went from Fatboy’s out to the parking lot where Leonard’s truck is and my only regret is that we only bought 4. Well, that and buying chocolate, that wasn’t great. Coconut, or haupia as we call it in the islands, is by far the best, followed by custard. Just go man, just go.
SHINNYO LANTERN FLOATING HAWAII 2019
But alas, I’m getting ahead of myself yet again. We were waiting for our car to come from the ridiculously priced valet and I asked the kid if he had any recommendations for food or anything else, and he was like, “Oh, you’re going to the lantern festival I’m guessing?” Uh…yes, of course we were…now could he just give us some details please? It happened to be that night, so we meandered on down to Ala Moana Beach Park and took part in it.
I guess if you go early in the morning, you can get a lantern, but…nah. So we went down and it was SO SO SO crowded. Like, could barely move. Luckily we walked, because the traffic was nuts too. A Buddhist lady gave a speech, and it was translated from Japanese (I think) onto a bunch of jumbo screens, but we still couldn’t see them. Then they had a bunch of Hawaiian dancing and such then everyone went to the water and released their lanterns. People wrote the names of loved ones and it was a cool memorial/remembrance for them. It was pretty dope to see a ton of floating lanterns in the water, and they said later people would gather them all so as to not pollute the ocean. It was a totally unexpected thing but we enjoyed it and it was a nice end to a great day.
DAY 3: HIKING DIAMOND HEAD WHILE PREGNANT
One thing I was very disappointed in myself about is that I had never hiked Diamond Head. I told Caitlin I was doing it with or without her, and I know that sounds cruel but it was actually nice, I was trying to give her an out, on account of her being 5 months pregnant and all. But no, she wouldn’t listen and insisted on going, so off we went.
Now, parking sucks there, much like it does everywhere else in Hawaii. It’s only like $5, but we didn’t get an early start (as usual) and so when we arrived at 9am it was full. We ended up circling around a bunch, and me, being the great charmer I am, made sure to talk to the guy at the booth every time, and on our third pass he was like, “Oh…you again…here, pull over, I’ll get you into the line.” Lucky me, eh?
Anyways, the Diamond Head hike isn’t terrible, unless you’re pregnant of course. Actually, Caitlin killed it. It’s pretty steep in a couple places, but it’s paved and has staircases and it’s not too bad, even in the humid heat. The top is so rad, the views are just incredible. Like, amazing. I know you can park elsewhere; we saw a ton of people walking in, but I guess we just got lucky. Absolutely do Diamond Head if you’re in Waikiki. It took us about 1.5 hours to go from the car and up and back to the car. Oh, and we saw my first ever mongoose in the park afterwards, or, what a lady called a “cute rat.” Good stuff.
LUNCH AT DIAMOND HEAD MARKET: HARD PASS
As we were heading down from Diamond Head, we looked for places to eat and for some unknown reason, Diamond Head Market was rated very highly. That’s incorrect and don’t waste your time and money.
Ok wait, one of the best things came from this place. There’s a tiny actual market attached to the restaurant/lunch counter part and I am so so so glad I went in. They had a bunch of amazing looking desserts packaged up, and I got a haupia (coconut, kids, remember this) Okinawa sweet potato piece of pie that had macadamia nut crust. Suffice it to say I cried. It was so bloody amazing, one of the best desserts I’ve had in ages.
The lunch itself was beyond mediocre. After our great experience at Fatboy’s, I ordered garlic chicken hoping it would even be close. It wasn’t. The mac salad was meh, everything I got was pretty average or below. So yeah, skip this place.
ALSO HIKING MANOA FALLS WHILE PREGNANT
From Diamond Head, we headed for another hike I’d never done called Manoa Falls. Again, I gave Caitlin an out and again she told me to get stuffed and that she was coming. Again, the parking lot was packed full and we had to circle over and over and over and over but we eventually got in. Luckily, it being Hawaii, everything was chill and we weren’t in any sort of hurry, but it was nice to eventually get to park and start down the trail.
Manoa Falls is the ultimate “the journey is the destination” place. The trail and area is absolutely gorgeous, it’s like walking through a rainforest. Actually it is walking through a rainforest and it’s incredible. Much of the hike is shaded and very cool and enjoyable. It was slippery in many places and was pretty much all mud, but so pretty that we didn’t care. It was not super strenuous (unless you’re pregnant) but not the easiest hike since it’s rocky, muddy, slippery, and very much unpaved. Still, it was awesome…until the falls.
I actually bet the falls can be really cool, but when we got there, it was beyond anticlimactic. It was barely a trickle. We laughed, and pretty much everyone that we saw come around the bend to see it ended up saying the same thing…” That’s it?” Still, the hike itself is totally worth it and who knows, you might actually see some real falls.
LILIHA BAKERY IS AWESOME
Some of our friends had gone to Hawaii a few months before we did, so they gave us lots of advice (like hitting Diamond Head) and they said Liliha Bakery was worth stopping. Apparently it’s on Hawaii 5-0, but they said it was delicious which is all I needed to hear. And, uh, yes. Yes. YES!
Their famous thing is the coco puff and oh man it’s amazing. It’s a cream puff filled with chocolate filling but honestly, the frosting on top is what makes it. It’s a macadamia frosting and it’s incredible. We also got some other stuff like an almond custard crusty and a cinnamon almond Danish, which were both OK, if a little dry. But my only regret was not getting more coco puffs. I am surprised I’d never heard about this place before because it’s fantastic. It was crowded inside so we just ate on the curb outside which was great. I am excited to go back and probably come home with a previously unknown type of diabetes.
WAIKAHALULU BOTANICAL GARDEN AND “FALLS”
As per usual, we had no plans after the bakery, so Caitlin looked at what was nearby and it said there was this little garden with a waterfall. Well, to call it a waterfall is a major stretch, and it made Manoa Falls look like friggin Niagara. But still…
The plan was to take our bakery food to this little park since it was nearby. That plan went out the window quickly when I realized how good those coco puffs are, so we decided to go to the park sans food.
It’s a weird location, it’s a big lawn behind these apartments, and if it was not full of garbage it would be super pretty. There’s a very short path down to the water, and the “falls,” if you dare call it as such, are pretty tiny. But it’s actually a beautiful place (minus the shopping carts in the stream) and since we were right next to it, we didn’t regret going. It was a nice stroll but not something I would consider essential.
DUKE KAHANAMOKU LAGOON
After our long day, I went back and slept (not apologizing for this neither) and Caitlin headed to the beach. But I wanted to mention the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, which was really close to our hotel. I ended up walking to find Caitlin on the beach after my nap, and we passed the lagoon which is actually cool. It’s super shallow and thus kid friendly and you can rent boats and stuff. We saw a bunch of kids in heaven playing in the sand and water, so when we go back with our bun-out-of-the-oven someday, we’ll take here there to chill.
EATING AT THE EXTREMELY HAWAIIAN RESTAURANT CALLED CHEESECAKE FACTORY
I love the Cheesecake Factory. So sue me. I’m not quite finished reading the menu, but I’m getting there. (Same with Infinite Jest). And when I used to live in and visit Hawaii, I always wanted to eat there on Waikiki but I never did, and this trip was the time to right this wrong. Caitlin and I walked along the beach (I know this sounds like a romance novel, but it’s true) at sunset and it was gorgeous. The night or two before, we had walked by and overheard the wait time was over an hour, so we weren’t sure if we’d actually do it, but whatever, we had nothing else to do.
The wait for 2 was only like 30 minutes, but bar seating is just first come first serve, and for the first time in my life I got lucky. People were standing up to leave right as we walked in and we were golden. Wait time: Approximately 38 seconds.
Even though I’m too fat to leave anything on my plate, we could have taken leftovers since our hotel had a full kitchen. But alas, so it goes. And yes, I loved it. But it was super cool because they had a couple dudes come play Hawaiian style pop tunes which was actually really fun. They sounded great and didn’t hustle everyone in the place like they do in Peru. They just played cool versions of awful songs by Jason Mraz and such and made them bearable. Plus, it’s just fun to sit amid the madness and din of Waikiki.
And just like that, another day was done. We walked home slowly just window shopping and enjoying life, another day and night in paradise.
DAY 4: PEARL HARBOR IS FASCINATING AND SAD…AND GET A RESERVATION
As usual, we failed to really plan anything, so when we finally stumbled out of the hotel at 10am, we figured we’d go to Pearl Harbor while we were still on this side of the island. I had actually (slightly) planned ahead and booked tickets online, and even though they’re free, you pay $2 to reserve them online. I have gone to Pearl Harbor many times and always gotten into the film and the boat even when they say it’s too crowded, but it being Memorial Day week we thought it might be risky to go without reservations
Since it’s only $2 and super easy, I think it’s worth it to get a reservation/ticket just for peace of mind…but that’s just me.
The earliest time they had was like 2pm online, so we figured we’d just drive over and see if we could go earlier so as to not wait around all day. The plan was to ask someone to switch our tickets, but Caitlin found tickets out for an earlier time so we took them and bailed for some eats. Ironically enough, I told Caitlin on the drive that “Pearl Harbor is the one place in Hawaii that I’ve never had an issue parking.” Naturally, we couldn’t park.
LUNCH AT A BOWLING ALLEY IN AIEA
We had a couple hours before our time at Pearl Harbor to eat and chill so we drove over to Aiea to see what we could see. Caitlin looked up some highly-rated food and ended up at…a bowling alley. No, seriously. Caitlin found this place called “The Alley” and once we found it in this labyrinth of a shopping complex, we realized it was attached to a bowling alley. Whatever, she said the garlic shrimp was great so who am I to judge?
Me, naturally, with my more refined palate, headed for L&L for their typically mediocrely-good katsu chicken and mac. It was way too much food but it was a good lunch and I was fat and happy on our way back to Pearl Harbor.
PEARL HARBOR MUSEUMS AND BOAT TOUR EVEN THOUGH THE MEMORIAL WAS CLOSED
Once again, I know that you know that I know that you know that Wikipedia is a thing, so I ain’t gonna go into WWII history or nothin’ but suffice it to say, Pearl Harbor is amazing.
I love history which is one reason I tell myself I’m justified wandering around Europe 12 times a year, so I remember my first time at Pearl Harbor just changed my life it was so powerful and amazing. And even now, I’ve probably been at least 8 times (not to brag) and it’s perfect every time.
There are 2 museums and a film, and Caitlin and I took about an hour total to go through the two museums, although I think you could do it faster if necessary and could certainly take more time there. There’s a gift shop and a bunch of cool plaques to read all around the facility, so you won’t get bored. The film is my favorite part of the whole thing though. It’s 25 minutes and gives a very brief lead up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Something you should know about me, or already do if you’re my loyal reader (hi mom), everything reminds me of something. And yes, that’s my new album title. But really, my brain associates everything with something else. So, naturally, it did the same with Pearl Harbor since this was the first time I’d been since we had visited Normandy.
Besides both of these places being WWII, Pearl Harbor reminded me of Normandy because at present time, they’re both absolutely stunningly beautiful places where old fat people (like me) go to vacation. Just like it was at Normandy, it’s so hard at Pearl Harbor to imagine the horror and carnage because it’s just so perfect now. But the film at Pearl Harbor makes it all very real and when you get on the boat to go see the USS Arizona, you feel a profound respect and reverence.
Anyways, as of 2019, the memorial above the Arizona was closed for remodeling or something, so you don’t actually get to go see the marble wall of remembrance and such. That’s a bummer but luckily, Caitlin and I have both been there a couple times (not to brag), so we weren’t crushed. The Navy dudes steering the ship said they would take us out to get amazing photos but we really didn’t see much. Alas, so it goes, we were fine with that and ended up finishing the tour and leaving Pearl Harbor once again grateful for our crazy country and the cool people who defend it.
REAL COOL HAWAII, THANKS FOR CLOSING THE PALI LOOKOUT…BUT VIVA NORTH SHORE!
Before we left, as I was going over our itinerary with my friend Jimbabwe, who has forgotten more about Hawaii than I’ll ever know, I told him Caitlin and I were going to hit the Pali Lookout. I went to Hawaii with Babwe and Loinz a couple years earlier and Babwe took us there on our way to the North Shore and I’d never been there. It’s just a cool view of a lot of Oahu and I figured Caitlin and I might as well stop by since it’s one of the ways to get out north.
Anyways, Jimmy told me the Pali had been closed and told me to check if it was open since there had been a landslide. Well maybe my Google skills are diminishing, but I could find absolutely nothing online. I saw articles from months ago that said this or that about select hours being open or closed, but I figured since it was several months since I found anything we could head over and see it. WRONG. It was closed, which meant we wasted like 30+ minutes going to a place we couldn’t get to. Thanks a lot, Hawaii.
We ended up getting stuck in traffic (big surprise) on our way to the North Shore and it took over an hour but whatever, Hawaii is chill so we didn’t care. We hit up Foodland for some expensive groceries and a really authentic place called Dominos (you wouldn’t have heard of it, it’s super elite) for some eats and checked into our next place.
WHERE WE STAYED ON THE NORTH SHORE: TURTLE BAY CONDO
If you’re reading this blog (hi mom), you probably know that Caitlin and I travel fairly affordably. I mean, we ain’t staying in no ghetto, but ain’t the Ritz neither. And particularly in a place like Hawaii, where you want to be out of the apartment as much as possible, I just searched for anything at Turtle Bay since it’s a perfect location, then booked the cheapest I found.
I really won’t say much about the place except that it was just what we needed. It had parking and was at Turtle Bay, which has several restaurants and good beaches, and it’s just in a nice central location on the North Shore. It also had stuff like fins, snorkel masks, pool floaties, etc. Oh, and literally right out the back door is the community pool, which we didn’t use but I did dip my foot in and it felt warm. Good stuff. Oh, and as always, if you use THIS CODE ON AIRBNB, you and I will both get some travel credit when you book your first Airbnb.
By the way, I’ll scream more about this later, but at Foodland we got some Ted’s (bomb bakery) pumpkin haupia pie and it changed my life. I can’t believe I haven’t had it before but I was near tears with joy.
LAIE TEMPLE = JAWSOME
To end the night, we headed over to the Laie temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No matter your religion, the Laie temple is absolutely gorgeous. It’s just a great layout and the landscape is so pretty. We walked around the temple, got some glamour photos (of me, mostly, of course) and went into the visitors center. In there, people can learn about our church, but Caitlin and I just wanted to see the cool Christus statue. We also watched a quick film about the history of Laie, which I’d never seen before. It was a perfect night, bright moon, great temple stroll, and all was once again right with the world.
DAY 5: NO SHARKS AT SHARKS COVE BUT THE SNORKELING RULES
I think the first actual decent snorkeling I’d ever done in my life was back in like ’08 or ’09 at Sharks Cove in Hawaii, so it’s got a great place in my stony heart. I think I may have accidentally sent a sea cucumber to its grave that day, but alas, different story for a different time.
If you’re on the North Shore and like snorkeling, or even don’t hate snorkeling, Sharks Cove is a must. You just can’t miss it. And don’t let the name fool you, it’s really more of a peninsula. Just kidding, but really, only 6 people have died from sharks at Sharks Cove this year.
I jest, I jest, there aren’t sharks (I hope) but lots and lots and lots of cool fish. So many cool fish, in fact, that one of them bit Caitlin when some tourists were feeding them bread (don’t do that) and the school swarmed around Caitlin and bit her finger. Pure comedy I tells ya!
Sharks Cove is nice because the waves break outside the cove so it’s pretty chill and there’s lots of really shallow areas good for kids. Parking was surprisingly easy, and there’s a Foodland across the street so you can eat and chill and snorkel and repeat. Caitlin actually found an eel this time, which I’d never seen whilst snorkeling. It looked angry and I was secretly hoping it would bite her, but I settled for the fish biting her instead.
It rained really hard for about 20 minutes while we were at Sharks, so we ended up going back to the car since we didn’t have an umbrella or anything, but even still, we spent a good 3 hours there. Take a good book and a snorkel mask and you’ve got your day made.
TURTLES AT LANIAKEA BEACH
Just like I told Caitlin I was sure we’d have no problem parking at Pearl Harbor and then we had problems parking, I told Caitlin I’d never been to Laniakea Beach and not seen turtles out on the sand…so, naturally…
I remember my first time in Hawaii back in ’08 (or ’09, whatever, but we’ll call it ’08), some friends took me around the island a bit and asked if I wanted to see big sea turtles on the beach. Duh, yes. They told me about Laniakea and said there WOULD be turtles there. They were so sure, and I was so skeptical, like how can you be certain turtles are always there? Is it a zoo? No, they’re wild, but they’ll be there, trust us. And they were right and I was shocked and in love. So every time for the rest of my days that I passed Laniakea, I’d drop by and see these crazy beasts. So cool to be so near them, and I looked forward to driving past and always seeing them. Until…
Yeah, you get the point. Luckily, Caitlin and I had already seen the turtles at Laniakea in years past (not to brag), but I was shocked we didn’t see any. Not to say they weren’t there, because there was the usual volunteer there making sure oaftards don’t touch the turtles, meaning the turtles were around, but we stopped 3 different times over 2 days and never saw one on the beach. We saw a bunch in the water, which was cool and fun, but not as cool as seeing them up close. Still, if you want to see wild sea turtles, I think Laniakea is by far your best bet. We went 3 times and didn’t see them on the beach, but some were close in the water, and I’d probably been there 8 times in the past and always saw some…so give it a shot.
LUNCH AT TEDDY’S BIGGER BURGERS IN HALEIWA….EAT THERE NOW
Laniakea is on your way from Sharks Cove to Haleiwa, so we stopped just because we could. And if you’re on the North Shore, another must is Haleiwa because it’s awesome.
It’s just your typical little Hawaiian beach town. It’s definitely a bit touristy but it’s just a cool town and one of my favorite places on earth. We love spending at least a few hours in Haleiwa every time we’re near, and on this trip we spent almost a full day (spread over 2 days). Parking is, as usual, a bit tedious, but there’s a couple lots behind some shops that you can usually snag a spot from. We parked and just started wandering, which is my favorite thing to do in life, and since my friend Babwe had recommended Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, when we came across it I was sold.
Seriously, just eat there. Considering Hawaii prices, and in particularly North Shore prices, Teddy’s is reasonably priced. But oh my goodness. Just order the Nom Nom and thank me later. It’s garlic, bacon, swiss, and grilled onions. Seriously amazing. Caitlin got one with pineapple and it was also awesome but the nom is where it’s at…don’t think twice, it’s alright. Plus, the dude there (I never got his name) was super cool and helpful. Win win win.
AND NOW THE MOST OVERRATED PLACE ON OAHU/EARTH: MATSUMOTOS SHAVE ICE
Look man, I ain’t no hater. Ok maybe I am. Shave ice is overrated. I mean, it’s just ice with not nearly enough crappy syrup over it, so after like 3 bites you’re just eating chipped ice. Not great, not great. But after trying Ululani’s in Maui I realized I don’t hate shave ice as much as I thought, but only if it’s done right. And ever since I was a kid people raved about Matsumotos, so the first couple times I went and was let down, I figured it was me, not them. I must have chosen wrong. I must have defective taste buds. Whatever. It’s overrated.
I think Matsumotos is like the Kardashians: Famous for being famous rather than for something actually important or good. There is ALWAYS a long as line there, and I always wonder why. Caitlin got sucked into the mob mentality this time and insisted we go, so I shut my mouth and prayed that maybe this time it would be better than the last 8,000…and it wasn’t.
We got passionfruit coconut banana with mochi and sweetened condensed milk. If that sounds crazy, it’s because it is. I was throwing a hail Mary hoping for a flavor that didn’t suck. As usual, the first couple bites were good, then it was just pure ice. Hard pass. The mochi was OK but as usual, I left wondering how people worship such a mediocre place. So sue me.
WAIMEA VALLEY FARMERS MARKET
We had seen a sign for the farmers market at Waimea Valley (which has a beautiful botanical garden and waterfall that we had done a few years ago) so we headed over after lunch. I was just hoping to find some good passionfruit (I guess it was out of season because we found zero) but also we just wanted to chill. The farmers market had a bunch of pseudo hippie rubbish (healing herbs, oils, blah blah blah) and a few decent looking food items, but mostly just seemed like a tourist trap selling overpriced junk. Whatever. We ended up driving past Laniakea once again and checking for turtles, this time we saw one that looked like it was heading to the beach but never came all the way out. So it goes.
After a brief stop at the condo so I could watch my Toronto Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors in game 1 of the NBA Finals (been a raps fan for like 6 hours now), we headed to do a bit of snorkeling at Kuilima Cove, which is part of a little beach behind Turtle Bay. It was a fun place and the water was nice and calm, but we didn’t see a ton of stuff and it was getting a bit chilly with the sun heading down so we decided to go find Caitlin’s white whale: a baby seal.
See, when we went to Oahu a few years ago with J-Heff Deni$on, we found out there was a baby Hawaiian monk seal out by Turtle Bay’s golf course and Caitlin and I went and saw it like 3 or 4 times, even though it was barricaded off and we couldn’t see it great, it was still cool, just this little blob laying by its big blob mom.
And Caitlin had checked Oahu news and seen that another baby seal had been born just a few weeks earlier but it seemed like they were being all stealthy about the location. I called Turtle Bay to ask if they knew if the baby seal was on their property and they mocked me to scorn. We wanted to walk back to where we’d seen it several years ago, but it was a long walk and the sun was setting…so we did it anyways.
We saw some dude coming down the trail and asked if he’d seen anything cool to which he promptly told us there was a baby seal. Score! Crazy enough, it was in the exact same spot as last time, and we have no idea but we’re assuming it’s the same mom from 3 or 4 years ago.
And honestly? It was pretty great. We’ve been told there are only 1200 Hawaiian monk seals alive and we’ve now seen 3 of them, maybe 4 if it was a different mama. And this time, they were both way closer to our vantage point so we could actually see them really well. Caitlin squealed like a dying piglet but the seals didn’t seem to mind. It’s actually pretty adorable to see the tiny mini me lying right next to the mom. Caitlin ended up going back and getting some good film of the seals talking and swimming and basically just doing seal stuff…they’re cool.
DAY 6: ME… SURFING?
Not to make myself a martyr or hero (although if you want to call me either, I won’t stop you), but I was fighting through a stomach ulcer when we left for Hawaii. Eating was insanely painful (and somehow I still got fatter), so I was surprisingly not as gung ho to do the crazy stuff I had planned on, like surfing, when we actually got to Hawaii.
Still, we had no plans for day 6, and I had seen a place called Uncle Bryan’s Surf School so I called just to find out pricing and when I could do it, etc, and Bryan himself answered. I told him I wanted a private lesson, mostly to protect my fragile ego from the mocking of 6 year olds who would surely out surf me, but he said there wasn’t anyone there right now and if I came quick and nobody showed, he’d give me a good deal on a lesson but not charge the full private price. Sold!
So out to Haleiwa we drove, and I was actually a bit nervous. Not so much because I suck at all balance sports (skateboarding, longboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding, etc) but I was wondering if I was just wasting money on something I surely would fail at. Whatever, I’m always down to try so I pretended to be cool and went surfing.
So yeah, Uncle Bryan’s ruled. Bryan was a super cool nice guy and set me up with Mike, who is actually named Michael Jackson, which is cool and good. Mike was the perfect instructor for me. I told him right off the bat I would probably suck but he was cool about it. We did the usual practicing on the beach of paddling, foot placement, standing up, etc, but I still felt totally clueless so we did it again. And again. And again. Mike is very patient.
We got out to the water and it was crazy how quickly we got waves. It was fairly crowded out there, since several surf schools all use this same area, but it was just me and Mike as far as my class. And almost immediately the wave came and I totally biffed it hard. No worries, Mike was patient and told me what I had done wrong. Wave 2: same result. After about 3 times of me being awful, Mike got strict, which I loved. He was like, “I’m not trying to be super strict or anything but you need to change this,” and I was happy I told him to be as strict as he wanted, I just wanted to surf.
And guess what? Pasty fat oaftard me got up on a surfboard multiple times! Once a kid ran into me because we’re all clueless on what and how to do it, and yes, I might have vomited from a mouthful of ocean water, but I freakin surfed. Mike said I was able to try to catch about 15-20 waves and I got up on at least 10…which I think was an overestimation, I probably got up on about 6-8. But still…me! Surfing! It was so bloody fun. It was expensive for sure ($150 for a 2 hour lesson, plus a $20 cash tip), but it was yet another bucket list item for me to check off. It hurt my knees because I’m old and decrepit but it was awesome to see entire families out there learning together. One more reason I need to live in Hawaii.
HALEIWA FOOD TRUCKS (PARK AT HALEIWA COMMUNITY CENTER)
From there, I was bloody exhausted. Surfing is a tiring sport, and considering Mike basically towed me around the water, I imagine I should have probably been at least four times as tired.
We headed over to the food trucks in Haleiwa and it was so insanely packed, as usual. There was absolutely no parking, so I dropped her off to get in line and pulled into the Haleiwa Community Center, which is right next door. The lady there was super cool, it’s free to park there, you can use their bathroom (a rarity on the North Shore), and you should definitely park there if possible.
The line for Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck was unbearably long, so Caitlin headed to some random one without a name (we asked and it was called Zane’s Simply Shrimp). I hate shrimp but Caitlin said it was meh. Actually, she said it was good, and seeing how it was pineapple coconut shrimp, it must have been at least decent. But she said it was so sweet it was like eating candy, but not in a good way. I tried the coconut rice and it was phenomenal but yeah, it was super super crazy sweet. Good though.
LOTS OF TURTLES AT HALEIWA BEACH PARK
I was still sick from my great surfing adventure (yeah, so I swallowed sea water and puked, get over it) so I didn’t feel like eating. What I do always feel like doing, though, is seeing lots and lots of sea turtles. That never gets old for me.
While I shredded waves with Mike, Caitlin watched from the beach and saw a ton of turtles on the beach and in the water. So after eating, we headed right back to Haleiwa Beach Park where I had surfed and, as usual, Caitlin wasn’t wrong. There were a ton of turtles pretty much from the second we showed up, and we overheard a local guy saying how this was his “secret spot” to always see turtles. Sorry for ruining your secret bro!
Actually, as I was walking to the beach, I almost stepped on a giant turtle. Yeah, I know, but it’s true. I was looking more at the ones in the water and thought I was coming upon a log or rock on the beach, not really paying attention, until the local dude yelled at me and told me to get away. Oops. But I didn’t touch it so it’s all good.
The section we were at had a bunch of tree limbs stretching from the tree into the water, and I’m not sure why, but it was pretty murky. So even though we saw a ton of turtles out there, it was murky enough that we couldn’t really swim with them or do much besides catch a silhouette. We ended up seeing 5 in the water plus the big one on the beach, and the section we were on was also great to just chill. Go! Now!
Some of my fondest memories of days past in Hawaii involve jumping off Waimea Rock. Don’t listen to anything Jimbabwe might tell you about it, it’s not true. Google tells me it’s a 30 foot jump, but maybe the section I did this past time was shorter, because it certainly doesn’t seem like 30. Either way, it’s bloody amazing.
I told Caitlin if the waves were calm enough I was going to do it, and as we drove past, I saw a bunch of people up on the rock so I figured it must be safe, right? Actually, yes, it was.
Parking at Waimea is brutal (sound familiar?), so we parked on the curb up above the beach and took a super steep trail down the mountainside to the beach. I pretty much ran straight to the rock because I was excited to do it again, but when I got up I was shocked how many people there were. I jumped off a slightly lower part so as to not get swept away since some big waves were coming, but before I did, I waited…and waited…and waited. Nobody was moving. So I was like, “Uh, is there any rhyme or reason…like a line? Or are you guys just chilling here?” Someone told me nobody had any idea so I just stepped to the front and jumped. So bloody fun. I did get rocked by a huge wave on my swim back to shore (not a long swim) and had no idea how to deal with the wave so I just let it take me and it filled my swimsuit with sand but whatever, I had survived. If you go to Oahu and the waves permit, you MUST jump off Waimea!
DINNER AT LEI LEI’S… MEH
Uncle Bryan had given me a coupon for a free cookie sundae if we were to eat at Lei Lei’s, which he highly recommended. Plus, it’s at Turtle Bay, so we could walk there. Win! After such a long day, all Caitlin and I wanted to do was eat and sleep, so Lei Lei’s sounded perfect. Also, someone else had recommended it (can’t remember who), so maybe our expectations were too high.
Alas, at least know this: The chicken vegetable pasta is not great. It wasn’t bad, it just seemed so bland. Absolutely nothing about it that set it apart, it was very flavorless. Caitlin got the crab dip as her entrée and she liked it, but didn’t love it. I am trying to think of what I can say about Lei Lei’s…it was…not terrible? I was shocked how crowded it was and the online reviews were pretty high, so maybe we just ordered wrong. Whatever. I guess $60 don’t get you much on Oahu. The cookie sundae, however, was incredible. So I guess it was worth it in the end. If you go, tell them Uncle Bryan gave you a coupon for a free cookie sundae and they’ll honor it…it’s worth it.
DAY 7: OCEAN FEST AT TURTLE BAY
If you can’t tell by now, Caitlin and I are great at stumbling into random events and festivals, like Art Basel in Miami and many others. As we walked home from Lei Lei’s, I saw a sign advertising Ocean Fest would be happening the next day. The next day, I was too lazy to move, so Caitlin headed to Ocean Fest and said it was…ocean fest. Basically it was just a bunch of booths and stuff to learn about the ocean and how to take care of it and such. She said everyone there had little kids and it seemed like a fun thing to do with a family. As for a 29 year old pregnant woman? She left after about 30 minutes.
BLESS YOU FOREVER TED’S BAKERY
If you’re on the North Shore, you’re going to Ted’s. You just have to. You don’t have a choice. But what you DO have a choice on is what pie to eat there, and I’m here to preach. Remember kids, haupia is coconut.
DO: Eat anything haupia. You cannot go wrong and it’s phenomenal. The pumpkin haupia is life changing. I don’t think Ted’s had it before, or at least I’d never tried it, but I cried. It’s the best thing ever.
DO NOT: Order anything else. JK…kinda. I got some kind of 3 layer chocolate cake and it wasn’t bad, but it was nothing compared to the pumpkin. Caitlin got pineapple (yuck) but the macadamia nut crust ruled. Just trust me on the pumpkin haupia, ok?
ALSO BLESS YOU FOREVER KAHUKU LAND FARMS
If you can’t tell by now, we like to eat. Thailand was the best food ever and so cheap that I still salivate when someone says Phuket. And Hawaii, although not cheap, is awesome food. Caitlin was pregnant so she had an excuse for eating like a depraved maniac. Me? I’m just fat. There’s a little fruit stand on your way out to Turtle Bay called Kahuku Land Farms, and you best be stopping… seriously.
First off, how does one describe Li Hing? It’s a powder they put on stuff that makes it amazing, like sour patch kids. It’s kinda a sweet/sour type flavor, and I know the ingredients say licorice and plum, which makes it sound gross but it’s incredible. We usually bring home like 5 pounds of li hing sour patch watermelons and apples, not kidding.
So yeah, Kahuku Farms has li hing mango. And yeah, it’s amazing. Caitlin and I bought a bag and later another. But that’s not even the best part, although it was great. The best part?
Banana lumpia. Oh my goodness. The banana lumpia. I don’t even like bananas really, but when you deep fry them in delicious batter and it’s a sweet/tangy combination? Uhhhhh…yes please. The Kahuku Farms ones are so bloody good, and for $1 each, I may have bought like 7 of them over 2 separate trips. Seriously, that is a must go for the next time we’re on Oahu. Just trust me on this, again.
KAHUKU GRILL IS NOW SEVEN BROTHERS BUT IT STILL RULES
We did some snorkeling after Kahuku Farms but it doesn’t matter because now I’m thinking about food. The snorkeling was actually a bit murky and nothing much to speak of, and after a day of meh snorkeling, there’s only one place to go: Kahuku Grill…aka Seven Brothers.
Again, if you’re in the Laie area, Seven Brothers is just something you must do. Last time we were there, it was called Kahuku Grill but not no more. In fact, we have a Seven Brothers really close to us here in Utah, and I had no idea it was Hawaiian until we showed up and the name had changed.
A couple years ago, Caitlin had the coconut macadamia shrimp and it was like candy. Seriously, I tried some and I don’t even like shrimp, but it was like candy. This time she got 3 garlic shrimp after a nice session with the porcelain throne (she was puking, ok) and absolutely loved them. To that I say, eh, get on with the good stuff: The burger.
Oh, the burger! The burger! I got the Shem burger, which has guacamole that will change your life forever, plus bacon and cheese. Oh man it was incredible. I’m out of adjectives to describe it but it’s far and away the best burger I’ve had on Oahu (Ok, Teddy’s burger was actually pretty similar and equally as good) and certainly up there with the best burgers I’ve had. Just go!
DAY 8: KAILUA BEACH AND BACK TO WAIKIKI
Alas, all good things must end…or so I’ve heard. Our time on the North Shore was up and I was super bummed because it had been perfect. After another trip to Kahuku Land Farms (this time Caitlin got a $3 BBQ pork stick that she said was decent, but really, just stick to the lumpia), we were off towards town.
Now, I’m a dude who mostly thinks a beach is a beach is a beach. I get that some are prettier or have less rocks or white sand (or, in the case of Iceland, black sand), but honestly for me, if the water is warm enough and it’s got sand, it’s a good beach. So I don’t care too much when people say this beach or that beach is better or the best or their favorite or whatever, but I do admit: Kailua beach is great.
Caitlin had never been to Kailua, and it has a bunch of nice suburbs and I was still secretly holding out hope I could convince Caitlin to move there, so off we went. You would have a hard time believing this, but parking at Kailua beach was nearly impossible. In fact, when we finally found a spot, some dude sent his child to run in front of us and stand in the spot…what can ya do, right? We finally saw people that looked like they were leaving, asked them if they were, and waited for like 15 minutes while they packed the car, poured sand out of every article of clothing they owned, and finally left. Whatever, we were in!
And yeah, Kailua beach is amazing. It’s just beautiful and the weather was nice and we just lounged around reading and stretching and basically looking like beached whales. Remember, Caitlin is pregnant…I’m…not. We found some shade under a tree and watched all the people swimming and kite surfing and just living the dream basically.
KALAPAWAI MARKET BREAKFAST IS REALLY BLOODY GOOD
I had seen a marketplace driving into the beach park and there was no bloody way we were giving up our spot but I was ravenously hungry. What to do? Roam around until I found the market I saw of course. It turned out to be called Kalapawai Market and it was really close to the beach park, which gives them a monopoly on food on Kailua beach. So when I got inside and saw there was a restaurant and a mini mart, I wasn’t expecting much. Until…
I ordered the egg and cheese bagel…and it ruled. I had no expectations except that it would be edible because the whole place kinda looks and feels like a gas station. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I realized it was actually delicious! Of course it’s expensive but beggars can’t be foodies amiright?! So yeah, we ate and chilled and rested in paradise until we decided we could finally handle the trauma of giving up our hard earned parking spot and off we went.
HOLIDAY SURF HOTEL: DECENT (NOT GREAT) ROOM, AMAZING SERVICE AND LOCATION
Well freak man, that trip went way too fast…is what I was thinking as we headed to our final hotel. Somehow, despite their ludicrous $26 per night parking fee (no valet), we still felt like the Holiday Surf Hotel was a good call.
First off, Eva at the front desk is beyond cool. She was probably the nicest person we’ve ever dealt with at a hotel, and that means a lot. Seriously, Eva, since I KNOW you’re reading this…thanks for being awesome.
Secondly, the location is absolutely bomb. Like, best.location.ever. Yeah, like that. It’s right in the middle of everything Waikiki. We walked like 5 minutes and were everywhere we wanted to be. The International Marketplace, which is a massive open air mall and strip of shops, is right down the street and it was fun to be amid the chaos of Waikiki again after the chill of Laie. We walked to a bunch of shops and I muttered under and over my breath about how terrible it was that the trip was over. Luckily, we still had one meal left.
PAIA FISH MARKET AND FLOUR AND BARLEY PIZZA
I’m sure by now you realize that Caitlin really really loves seafood. So when my sister, who also really really loves seafood, told us about Paia Fish Market, Caitlin decided she’d go. The problem was, my sister had only eaten there on Kauai, we didn’t even know if one existed on Oahu. Imagine my wife’s surprise and joy when we turned the corner at the International Marketplace and BOOM…Paia.
Caitlin got fish tacos there and absolutely loved them. Like, love love loved them. She didn’t love the sides, so she suggested just doing the tacos a la carte. So I suppose that means you should go. I like some fish tacos, provided the fish is deep battered and fried so it tastes nothing like fish, but Paia was too fresh for that so I took off in search of food that wasn’t gross. To my extreme happiness I stumbled upon Flour and Barley.
Actually, Flour and Barley is not life-changing or anything, but it’s good pizza. I got the Quattro, a 4 cheese pizza, and it was pretty darn good. Overpriced, of course, but on Oahu, everything is. It was surprisingly crowded and our waiter ditched us after taking the order, but whatever, the pizza was good. And…that’s it. Just like that, we slowly shuffled back to our hotel dreading the long flight home and dreading even more the whole “going back to the adult world” thing.
THE FLIGHT HOME
Literally nothing of import happened after we left Flour and Barley. We had a ton of candy for the flight, which was great. We had a short layover at LAX, which was not great, but it beat taking a direct home overnight where neither of us would sleep and we’d get into Utah at 6am. Sadly, at LAX, there was a Priority Pass lounge right by our terminal, and Caitlin was very queasy, so we tore up the stairs so she could at least vomit in peace. Guess what? Priority Pass people can only enter between like 6am and 11am or something, so they told us to get stuffed. We were sad and frustrated (Ok not really, just a bit annoyed), but whatever, them’s the rules. And that was it, we caught our flight to SLC and came home to the mundane lives we live today.