In graduate school, my MFA thesis dealt with three characters on three islands. I researched several areas of the Pacific, and spent a lot of time thinking about island life. Like, all my time. But this is the first time I've actually been to an island in the Pacific. Honestly, it was even better than I imagined.
Friends of ours who live in Honolulu announced that they were having a 10th anniversary party a year before the event, to make sure everyone had enough time to make plans. And as soon as they made the announcement, we knew we were in. We spent one night in Honolulu before heading to the North Shore. Our first morning in Hawaii, we woke around 4am because of the time change, and were anxious to get going. I found a high school track and ran a fast mile just because we were at sea level. We did a swim at Ala Moana park and met up with friends for breakfast at Koko Head Cafe. Then we were off to the Ke Ike Beach Bungalows for 5 days of swimming, biking, SUPing, hiking, and relaxing.
In general, O'ahu is not bike friendly. Or, not after living in northern Colorado for 2 years. I rented a road bike, but really just stuck to back roads. I had hoped to explore more on bike, but was happy to at least find a loop with a lot of climb away from the traffic. I learned the hard way that Hawaii roads are almost always rain-slick; I took a speed-bump wrong and avoided a trip to the hospital only because I was wearing a helmet. Bruised but still determined, I barely let it slow me down, climbing over 12,600 feet on the bike in 94 miles on the week.
One of the highlights of the entire trip was the North Shore Swim Series 2.3 mile swim from Ehukai Beach Park to Waimea Bay. It's awesome to have friends who do cool things.
We ended the trip with an intense hike up Kealia Trail (including "Oh Shit Hill"): 1,600 feet of gain in 2 miles! We may have been at sea level, but we did a lot of climbing throughout the week! I definitely want to visit other islands, but O'ahu was absolute paradise.