First off can I just say that baby H loves not wearing pants… she is the queen of the pants off party! When I say pants I really mean any clothing. Unfortunately we had been given so many outfits for this trip that she was forced to wear adorable dresses that were changed way more often than necessary. Anyway back to the North Shore. Upon arriving, we grabbed out rental car and headed straight North!
A couple quick notes if you are heading to the North Shore of Oahu:
- I loved staying up on the North Shore… far more relaxed than Honolulu and Waikiki
- Traffic can be busy as there is only one route in many places! People also just randomly pull over onto the side of the road to park and then pull back into traffic, so be aware!
- Shrimp trucks… do it! Perfectly poaches shrimp in delicious sauces with some rice and salad… yum!
- Skip Waimea Valley (more details if you keep reading)
- Hang out on any of the beaches along the Banzai Pipeline and you will see some impressive surfing!
- Macadamia nut ice cream… enough said! Not 100% what the big deal is with the shaved ice (I am an ice cream girl though!)
- Dole plantation… I dream of the Dole Whip… yum! We didn’t do the train as they had just harvested and the maze was closed, sad face… but If you want to purchase anything with a pineapple this is the place to do so! It is a totally typical tourist trap… but it is cool to drive up to it and see all the pineapples in the fields!
What we learned:
- The joys of a rental house: Arriving at our rental house we knew this was going to be good! We had originally thought we might make one of the bathrooms baby H’s room (dark, quiet, her own space), but due to how they were laid out and how massive our room was, having her in the bedroom worked out ok for us! First thing we did was set up a changing station, second thing was to show baby H the ocean! Back home she absolutely hates any wind… in Hawaii she thought it was great! The thing that I will now be considering more closely as she starts to be more mobile is floor cleanliness… strange carpets in tropical locations are not going to work for a crawling, face-planting babe… just something to think about.
- When travelling with others we found it essential to have a rental car that was ours… my brother and girlfriend joined us on a couple of adventures to town, to the outlet mall, the beach and on a little hike… but always with the understanding that at any moment we may have to abandon everything and make a break for it! The rental car was one of the few places baby H would actually nap so we got some excellent driving in!
- You really can do all sorts of things with a baby if you really want to! Example Waimea Valley… which turned out to be kinda lame. The great thing about Oahu was the warmth! Glorious, glorious warmth. It would spit here and there, but it was so warm you didn’t even worry about it! We decided to head up to the Waimea Valley because apparently there was a lovely hike to a waterfall that was supposed to be very easy (sounded right up our alley!). Upon arriving at the valley it was dripping a bit… no biggie… yah, turned into a lot more than a dripping so we managed to purchase a cheap poncho and N threw it over himself and baby H. We made sure that baby H had her head poking out of the poncho and off we went. Off we went up to completely paved path to the mudfilled watering hole and a waterfall… We did it, but I think that our time would have been better spent doing something else.
- Beach with a baby can be fun! We went to a couple beaches, but my favourite would have to be the ones along the Banzai Pipeline. A friend lent us a little baby tent that was great on the beach. I loved it because it was small, protected her from the sun and wind! We never managed to stay super long at the beach but we got there and had a good time while there!
- Not all sinks are created equally. We wanted to give baby H at least one bath while away and figured we would just use the kitchen sink… she was still small! Unfortunately this did not work at all… the plug would have poked her little bum! The bathtub didn’t have a plug that worked and all bathroom sinks were teeny tiny… sooo dad hopped in the shower and held onto her very tightly and I gave her a little shampoo and scrub!
Gear we brought that we actually used:
- Baby carrier! On the North Shore sidewalks were not always a given so we never used our stroller! We also had a large muslin blanket that we would throw over her if we were in the sun! Poor baby has Mom’s complexion. We also had a little hat that was probably from the 80s if not older as it was an old-school bonnet style, but she loved it because it covered her ears and still had a nice sun brim on it!
- Baby tent (pea pod?), not a 100% necessity but it was nice to have for beach time to protect from sun, sand, wind and bugs!
- 100 outfits, baby sunglasses, baby sandals… ok were any of these things necessary? … absolutely not as baby H would have loved to just hang out in her diaper…. But I loved and used them all!
- Pack ‘n Play portable crib for sleeping
- Noise machine, stuffed bunny and elmo… again bringing things from home that she was used to sleeping with.
- Tummy time mat and a few toys (we brought many toys… a few would have been adequate). We brought a blanket that is somewhat thicker (so grass couldn’t poke through) and has a bit of water-resistance to it (it’s for tummy time). This was great to lay down as it could be put anywhere and she could play on it in! If she had spit up, the material could just be wiped off!
- We did not bring a baby monitor but I had my iPhone and iPad which were equipped with iSitter which uses wifi to monitor baby… it worked great!
- Car seat, car seat cover (again for that sun!) so that when she was sleeping we could cover her up and take her outside (usually to eat tacos or shrimp).
*It should be noted that baby H was 5 months, was just starting to be introduced to solids and had just learned to roll over on this trip.