Oahu, Hawaii

Just recently I got to adventure to Oahu, Hawaii!! and wow it was awesome! A little backstory of how my family and I got to go is because my dad is in an organization called YPO (Young Presidents Organization). Every year they have a family trip, and this year it was in Hawaii. You can imagine how excited everyone was to hear that. This is also going to be a long post but I want to tell y’all everything, so get ready!!

The organization brings in speakers in the morning that are some of the best people you will ever hear speak, all of their stories are amazing. The speakers are motivating and teach you skills to bring back home, that you can apply to everything. So in the morning you get inspired and are learning new things, but in the afternoon you get to do fun activities with your family, and then they have some fun dress up parties at night.

The flight over was a 2-hour flight, then an 8-hour flight, which is the longest flight I have ever been on but honestly it was not as bad as I thought. There is a 5 hour time difference there from Alabama, so that was an adjustment! I woke up around 5 every morning… so by the time I got home I was exhausted.

Anyways now time to talk about everything we got to do on the trip! First thing I want to talk about is the activities we did because they were so much fun!

On the first day we got there we got to the hotel, and went hiking that afternoon, because we had to do some activity since we had been on the plane all day. We did the Laniki Pillbox Trail and it was the exact hike I needed. It was about 30-40 minutes to the top and they have two military pillbox bunkers at the top, so go inside them and get the best view! It also is windy and way cooler up there and felt so good. The hike isn’t too long but it is steep so it’s a nice rewarding view at the top.

Another one of my favorite things we did was we went cage diving with the sharks!!! This was something I checked off my bucket list, but I would definitely go again. The water was rough since we had some bad weather when we were there, but it made it that much more exciting. We just used a snorkel so there was so completed equipment we had to use. The 3 mile boat ride out to the cage also had some great views. We got to be in the cage for about 20 minutes, but I could have stayed longer, it was so cool and I was a lot less nervous than I expected to be. Most of the sharks we saw were Galapagos Sharks, and there were so many of them!! I definitely was not disappointed. We went with North Shore Shark Adventures and I highly recommend them!! Everyone was so nice, helpful, and made something scary so much fun. Even if this does not seem like it would be something you would like, if you get the opportunity please go, I promise you will love it!

Our last adventurous thing we did was a helicopter tour! We did this the morning we were leaving, and it was the best way to end the trip. We did it with Paradise Helicopter Tours, and it was so fun! It was about an hour tour, but we got to see things all over the island. We saw Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, a waterfall, where movies were filmed, a pineapple farm, and more! The pilot was also very informative and was telling us what everything was the entire time. I felt super safe the whole time, and it was pretty relaxing! You won’t want to miss this.

Well those were the activities we did! We also went to the North Shore and walked around after cage diving, and we went to Waikiki one day and they were both fun! Waikiki was a lot more crowded and had a lot of high end shops so it was cool to see all that. In Waikiki we went to the restaurant Dukes and it was really good! It was right on the beach and a great casual outdoor setting. My family got tacos and I got a burger and we all loved our food.

We stayed at the 4 Seasons in Oahu because that’s where the meeting was, so that was a real treat. They had a restaurant that was more casual called Waterman’s Bar and Grill and it was soooo good! We ate lunch almost there everyday and my favorites were the buddha bowl and the mushroom and beet burger. It doesn’t sound good but omg. it was the best. They also had a nicer restaurant called Mina’s Fish House and all there seafood was amazing. Even if you don’t stay here I recommend coming to these restaurants.

Now this next place was my absolute favorite place I ate!! It was a breakfast/lunch place called Island Vintage Coffee, and it was so cute and so good. It had healthy options and I went there almost every morning after I worked out. The best thing I got was the veggie bagel, but I also loved the avocado toast, and açaí bowl. I also tried a matcha latte for the first time there and it wasn’t that bad actually. They also have multiple locations so if you ever go to Hawaii see if they have one in your area.

This is getting long, but the last thing I want to talk about is the speakers we heard. wow. Most of them were from Hawaii and they were so inspirational. My two favorites were Bethany Hamilton and The Hawaiian Punch. Im sure most everyone knows Bethany Hamilton, from her movie Soul Surfer, so hearing her story in person and how she dealt with everything was amazing. We also got to meet her and she was so nice and down to earth. My other favorite was a man named Brain Viloria, also known as the “The Hawaiian Punch”. He was an Olympian and WBC Champion. He was very real and talked about all the highs and lows in his career and how to recover and keep going even in the lows. My favorite thing he said was “sometimes you can be against the ropes but it can only take one punch to change everything”. I thought this was really motivational, and he gave a great message that you can turn anything around and your failures don’t define you.

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