The holidays almost for everyone can be hectic. Sometimes you need some peace and quiet for yourself to escape the stresses that follows Christmas and New Years. My escape after the holiday was North Shore, what I like to call, The Land of Peace! Working in hospitality over the holiday is the busiest time of year for Hawai’i. People from all over the world flock to the islands to escape their cold winters, while the servers and bartenders here hustle their butts off over the long holiday. For the past two weeks, I myself, have been hustling away at bartending, along with making a lot of money! So happy on the financial side, but I was suffering from the holiday blues. I am not much of a holiday person, like Christmas and New Years, I think because the last days of my Dad’s life was over the holiday. He passed away on 1/2/2005, ironically the day of my mother’s birthday.
I always try to make the most of the festive holiday, but I always feel like a gray cloud over me, thinking a lot about my dad. So working so much, I was feeling pretty lonely being away from family and friends, tired, and didn’t have much time to write, meditate or do yoga, anything for myself really. I was working so much that every day over the two weeks I was exhausted and burnt out. Once the holiday was over, I spent the New Year Day in North Shore relaxing, thanks to my friend who left me his car while he was on holiday in Ireland! So, I was able to get some rest, enjoy the remainder of my holiday by getting out of busy town, and thought I would share some fun things to do in North Shore. Here are some of the fun things that I did out in the country, and in the most peaceful place on island. All things that helped rejuvenate me!
1. Ehukai Beach
Located in Pupukea, and one of the most popular beaches in North Shore, and home to Banzai Pipeline! This is a must do beach to visit on O’ahu, where you can watch some serious surfers shred the big waves of Pipeline, one of the most famous places in the world for surfing. I can literally watch these surfers ride all day long! Male and female adults, as well as young kids, who are extremely experienced, provide all the beach goers a great show filled with the best surfing you will probably ever see! Located right off of Kamehameha Highway, there is a beach parking lot, or you will see cars parked on the side of the highway. You can get ticketed and/or towed, so park with caution. Some people will park at Sunset Elementary on weekends right across the street. During the winter, the waves are enormous, so only recommend for experienced surfers. Still a great place to watch surfing! And this was the first stop I made in North Shore.
2. Leftovers Beach
This is one of the lesser known beaches in North Shore, but one of the best kept secrets. I stumbled onto this beach with a friend on a road trip prior. And loved how peaceful and quiet it was. It is very likely being here that you will see pro surfers running along the rocky beach quickly, going out to the huge waves far in the distant. Being on this rocky beach, you are surrounded by tall green trees all around you as if you were in the mountains. Beautiful beach houses right on shore, and this place is the perfect place to kick back, have some beers, maybe a picnic, while watching the surf, and of course, a beautiful sunset! Because of how rocky this beach is along with big waves, I would recommend only for experienced surfers. But still a great spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you are lucky, you might get to see a honu. Hawaiian term for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. My friend and I were lucky enough to see a huge one! Some travelers from London were nice enough to grab our attention to let us know that there was a huge honu that literally just came up to shore. I was hoping that this big honu was a symbolism of good luck for me for the New Year 2017 BAM!
3. North Shore Pillbox Hike
Right across the street from Ehukai Beach is the North Shore Pillbox hike. Located right at Sunset Elementary, and the entrance is to the left of the sign. You will see an opening with green shrubbery leading the way up to the top of the hill. At the very top, you will get a rewarding view of Ehukai Beach. It is only about a 30 minute hike, and I would say it is probably an intermediate level hike. It is muddy, so I only recommend to go when it is dry, not raining or the day after it rains. I think this hike is easy enough for kids, but it is a good workout going up! There is a dirt path that is easy to follow, and while you are going up just keep left. You will see markings and ropes that will help you along the trail. When you are going back down just keep to the right. The first view you will see is a cool graffiti covered lunch table where you can have a quick stop. Then keep going up and you will see the first pillbox!
On top of the pillbox is a cool cemented spot with a peace sign on it, hop right on it, and you will get this incredible view of Ehukai Beach. My favorite part of this pillbox is what is underneath, hop on down and to the right of the pillbox, you will see an entrance filled with dope graffiti covered walls. I definitely had a blast taking photos in here, such a cool background for awesome shots. There is another pillbox, but I only had time to make the first one. You will see people exploring around past the first pillbox, just make sure you are aware of where you are going, and of course never hike alone. Going to the first pillbox is easy to find very quickly.
4. Shark’s Cove
The last stop on my post holiday recovery was at Shark’s Cove. This is a very popular spot for snorkeling along with great food trucks across the way. What this beach is also popular for is their unique sunsets, and in the wintertime, you get all sorts of pinks and purples that light up the orange sky. And the time never changes in Hawai’i, so our sunsets during winter set at about 6pm. I always try to get to a good sunset spot about 30 minutes before the sun sets, and to watch the colors change for the last 30 minutes is my favorite way of letting go of the day. Enjoying the beauty that the end of the day gives you, which is total peace and serenity that follows you until bedtime. Refreshed and ready to go for the next day! This was the best way to end my holiday stay in North Shore, a colorful sunset to celebrate my Mother’s day of birth, and to celebrate my Dad’s life, in the land of peace.
Hope everyone had a nice holiday and Happy New Year xoxo