North Shore, Oahu
On my last day in Honolulu, I woke up feeling absolutely horrible. I’m not sure what that newest virus is called but I woke up in cold sweats, mild headache, achy, sore body and a thick, painful cough. IT WAS NOT PRETTY!
I called Bob, hoping he’d give me some fiancé pity, but instead he told me to get out of bed, rent a car and drive to North Shore, Oahu. “You’re going to regret laying in bed all day”, he kept saying- over and over again. “Open your windows, look outside, you’re in paradise.” He is not very good at the whole sick pity thing (something we will definitely have to work on before we get married). As I pulled my weak body out of bed and opened the black out curtains, I noticed that it was especially sunny outside- almost perfect weather. Ugh, I knew what I had to do. I called down to concierge to see what a car rental for the day would be- $79 dollars. Damn, I told myself I would do it if it was under $100. I reserved the car and got dressed for a solo road trip.
Where exactly is North Shore?
Sitting in the drivers seat, I put North Shore into my GPS and followed the directions through several highways and then to a busy street off the freeway. Without knowing how much further I had to go, I saw a Taco Bell and pulled in. Don’t judge me, but I was hungry and sick! Two volcano tacos and a diet coke later and I felt much better. Back on the road, I looked back at my GPS and noticed that it pinpointed two different spots for North Shore- Waimea Bay and Haleiwa. Confused, I picked Waimea Bay for the pure fact that I had heard of it before.
I drove passed several beaches, frequently asking myself if that beach was North Shore, but constantly seeing signs with names other than that. As I rounded a swift curve, I saw the sign for Waimea Beach and Waimea Falls. The beach was on my left and with a full stream of oncoming traffic and a need for a bathroom break, I decided to turn right and hike to Waimea Falls.
I know what you’re thinking- ‘wait, I thought you were sick?’ Don’t let my blind passion for travel and hiking confuse you- I was still feeling sick. Bob’s words of regret kept ringing through my ears and under those cold sweats I knew he was right. I’d be devastated if I returned home and I didn’t see the North Shore.
After paying a steep entrance fee ($15 dollars), I hiked the paved path to Waimea Falls. There were several families and couples walking around the park as well, but really I was pretty isolated. When I arrived at the falls, there were four other people swimming around and playing in the water. Since I didn’t swim in the waterfalls when we were in Maui, I felt like I owed it to myself to get in the falls in Oahu. I pulled my tank top off, placed my clothes on top of backpack and slowly walked on the slippery rocks down to the water. Even though I might have looked calm on the outside, I was cheering for myself on the inside. Screw you flu, I hiked to the freaking waterfall!
Since it’s not fun to swim by yourself and the water was actually freezing, my glory moment in the falls lasted about three minutes. Back in the car, I drove around for twenty minutes to find parking near Waimea Bay. Finally, just as Bob called me to see how it was going, a car drove out of a parrall spot and I snapped it up. Screaming in Bob’s ear that I got a spot, he laughed saying I sounded happy that I got out of bed.
Taking a few moments to take in Waimea Bay, I kept thinking, wait, where is North Shore. Back in the car I went, driving along to find North Shore.
Is this North Shore?
Driving back towards the main road, I detoured down a two lane road that lead to another big beach area with shops and a few restaurants. Haleiwa looked exactly like you’d picture an old Hawaiian beach town- laid back, flip-flops and sundresses and seafood. That’s when I saw a sign- “The historical beach town of the North Shore”. I was on the North Shore!
For some reason whenever people mentioned North Shore, they mentioned it as one single place to visit- not an entire area like the Windward side. Imagine how stupid I felt that I spent an entire day in the car in search of this magical and mysterious North Shore when I was in the area all along! Here’s a detailed map of North Shore- just in case you fell victim to this same stupidity!
Long story (this might be the longest post ever) short, despite the sickness, the achy body and my own stupidity, I had the most amazing time on this adventure. While this easily could have been solved by good ole Google, this was actually a more fun experience and definitely taught me a few lessons.