Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome to #ThrowbackTravels, Hawaii edition!

Recently, I was looking for family pictures via my dad's SmugMug account for a Spanish presentation. My dad has (apparently) been accumulating pictures of all of our family trips since 2008, and I stumbled across a lot of hilarious, zany, fun, nostalgia-inducing photos from way back when that I thought would be fun to share.

Because the majority of these photos came from our travels, I asked people on Instagram if they'd be interested in seeing a #ThrowbackTravels series. (They said yes!)

If you guys enjoy this kind of post, please let me know in the comments section if you'd like to see more pictures from other places!

Anyway, these pictures are taken from our trip to Hawaii last year!


Hawaii is an INCREDIBLE place. My family went to the island of Oahu (probably one of the more touristy islands; if we go again, we're definitely going to Maui). While I was there, I don't think I realized how great it was, but now that I'm at home, all I can really remember are the good memories. 

I remember that our first hotel was maybe a three-minute walk from Waikiki Beach, and that there were a bunch of shops and ABC stores (kind of like convenience stores) where you could buy Spam musubi and toothpaste and expensive phone cases. One night we walked to a famous hole-in-the-wall Spam musubi place (Spam musubi is kind of like sushi, but with Spam instead of raw fish), and then to a shave ice place on the block. The fact that everything was walking distance was seriously cool, and it made me feel like I was having nightly adventures with my family. Super chill, super relaxing, lots of good food. Because, you know, that's what vacations should be.

Our vacations are usually jam-packed with activities (my dad believes in making the most of every opportunity), and so while we were there, we took a surfing lesson, went to a luau, went to the beaches every. single. day (snorkeling was probably my favorite part), swam near dolphins, and visited Pearl Harbor and the Dole Pineapple Plantation (where we tried the legendary Dole whip!).

It smelled like the tropics there. It was sunny almost the entire time, and the air was practically stained with salt spray. Now that I think back to it, that was the epitome of summer. The summer before the hardest year of high school, the summer I became an upperclassman, the summer I hung out at the beach and swam in the water and went snorkeling and swam with dolphins. That was summer.

California has a ton of beaches, but the ones we visited in Hawaii didn't have drifting seaweed and were a lot cleaner and clearer. The water was also more temperate (California water is cold, man), and it was gorgeous--waaaay more tropical than California could ever be.

I also loved the historical aspect of Hawaii. Even though I was really tired when we visited Pearl Harbor, being near such a piece of history was both insane and saddening. It was awful thinking about how much life was lost on December 7, 1941 (after a whole year of AP US History, you'd remember the date too!), but also incredible because of the outcome--we joined + helped win World War II, and eventually became the world superpower. (Just the history geek in me freaking out, haha.)

My dad bought a cheaper GoPro, which we used to take a lot of the pictures, and I'm glad he made the investment. (Love the fishbowl effect! !! !)

This picture was from the Dole Pineapple Plantation, which was probably the most tourist trappy of the tourist traps that we visited (you'll notice that I don't look very happy, which I wasn't, because I was so dang tired, haha). We had to buy tickets to take a ride on a train that went on a tour of the plantation itself (TACKY TOURIST TRAP ALERT), and my favorite part was that the air smelled sweet and heavy and tropical, like pineapple. It smelled amazing. And the Dole Whip wasn't half bad either.

We also visited a shave ice place called Matsumoto Shave Ice, and it was by far the best shave ice I have ever had in my entire life. (Thinking about it still makes my mouth water.) They had at least thirty different shave ice flavors, and even though I don't remember which flavors I got, I just remember that they were all good. The syrups tasted like the actual fruits themselves, not just the cheap cough-syrup grape and cherry flavors that you can buy at Walmart, and waiting in an hourlong line was so worth it. Plus, there were small boutiques and shops right near the place, so while my parents waited in line (sorry, Mom and Dad), I went window-shopping.

Hawaii was incredible. If I ever get a chance to go again, I'd definitely go to one of the lesser-visited islands, just so I can enjoy the benefits without the crowds and the tourist traps. And if I could live there for a month or two, that would be amazing.

What's your dream vacation? (Mine's a backpacking trip across Europe with my friends or a cross-country road trip, also with my friends.) What's the coolest thing you've ever done/coolest place you've ever been to? SHOULD I DO MORE POSTS LIKE THESE? Spill below!!

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