Hope everyone who was in the path of #Blizzard2016 stayed safe and warm! We got a ton of snow in New Jersey but luckily we didn’t lose power and had a fun time at home (although the shoveling and snow blowing were not so fun). Thinking of warmer times by continuing this trip report to Oahu!
This is Day 6 Part 1 of our November 2015 Oahu vacation.
Today was Monday and we thought it was a good time to go on our North Shore adventure! We figured we’d avoid some of the weekend traffic by heading north on a weekday. We usually travel to the North Shore of Oahu at least once on each trip. We enjoy it a lot and we always have a meal at a shrimp truck and end with a Matsumoto’s Shave ice (and maybe a pie from Ted’s Bakery, oh and Dole whip too).
Before our journey north, we had breakfast at Cream Pot, it’s a cute little place in the Hawaiian Monarch hotel. It had quite a shabby chic vibe…think antique lace and vintage dinnerware. The restaurant was nice and bright in the morning light!
I ordered one of their specialties…soufflé pancakes with strawberries, and Steve got a special of that day, scrambled eggs with brie and smoked salmon. The food was very tasty. The soufflé pancakes were very light and airy and the eggs were scrambled very well. I would say the portion size is on the small side though (or maybe the pancakes were too fluffy to provide any sustenance). I would return though here as I think the place is cute and there were some other things I’d try on the menu.
Before our trip I had booked us a little farm tour of Kahuku Farms. It was called the Smoothie Tour and it is a tractor ride through their farm followed by a serving of one of their fresh fruit smoothies. The whole tour only takes 30 minutes so I thought it would be a nice stop that didn’t require a huge time commitment (there are longer farm tours as well). I scheduled our smoothie tour at 1pm so we had plenty of time to explore on the drive up!
We drove up north stopping at a place I’ve want to go to for a long time, the Byodo-In Temple. I had never been here before but I’ve always recognized it from movies and TV shows such as LOST and Hawaii 5-0. The drive from Waikiki to the temple was about 35 minutes. There is a long driveway into the temple grounds though some burial/memorial sites. The drive was peaceful and serene. After you park you walk up to the bridge and there you pay a small fee to enter. The temple itself is quite small but it’s beautiful and majestic, especially in the early daylight with the mist and mountains in the background. There are some black and white swans roaming the property as well, and a huge koi pond. You can visit the inside of the temple but you have to take off your shoes to see the Buddha. There is a small gift shop on the grounds as well.
Continuing up north on the Kamehameha Highway, we stopped at Kualoa National Park for a view of Chinaman’s Hat…the little island called Mokoli’I Island. It was still windy today…in fact I think most of November was windy on the islands. We couldn’t escape the wind!
Continuing up north, we visited one of our favorite chocolate stores, Fine Ass Chocolate. (They have since moved their storefront back to Honolulu’s Chinatown.) If you check in on yelp and like them on Facebook they give you a discount! It’s a little spot to get their famed chocolate covered macadamia nut balls which are made with premium chocolate (and they have funny names like Fire Balls, Salty Balls, Flaky Balls, etc.). They make great gifts and are delicious!
Further up we stopped at North Shore Tacos because Steve wanted a quick snack. The fish tacos were not bad…but I would not go out of my way for this.
Then we came upon Hukilau Beach and decided to spend some time there. Yes it was windy but it was beautiful! Such a pretty beach and barely a handful of people were there. There are no facilities on this beach though but I’d definitely come back again.
It was now time for our smoothie tour at Kahuku Farms! It’s a family-owned farm, and they actually have many acres of commercially-grown produce, but the farm itself that is available for public viewing in Kahuku is their organic and sustainable farm. The produce is mainly used in their on-site café (including those smoothies!). Our tractor tour was done by the owner himself (his wife mans the café and his mom creates all the café recipes). The tour was fun but short (thankfully since the sun was blazing down and the trailer provided minimal shade). It was cool since Steve has been growing vegetables and fruit in our own organic garden in New Jersey so he’s been really interested in anything that sparks his green thumb.
After the ride, we went to the Farm Cafe and each received our smoothies which was perfect timing since it was probably the hottest point in the day. The included smoothie is the papaya power smoothie, and it was really good, possibly one of the best smoothies I’ve had! It was thick yet refreshing with the flavors of papaya and coconut.
I was contemplating ordering another one but something else caught my eye. I saw other people order the grilled veggie pesto pizza and it looked really good so we had to get one to share. I don’t normally go for grilled veggies and pesto but let me tell, you their version is awesome! The fresh veggies and pesto made from farm-grown basil with cheese on a thick yet crisp crust…delicious. It’s served with a side salad with homemade dressing. They also have other salads and sandwiches on their menu, all produce sourced from the farm, of course. They even have a pretty neat hydroponic section where they grow lettuces. In addition they sell homemade skincare products made from honey. I definitely think Kahuku Farms is worth a stop, especially for a bite to eat in their café!
Coming up…more North Shore beach going, shrimp trucks, sea turtles, and we end the day with a famous shave ice!
Read more about our November Oahu 2015 trip report!