Chun’s Reef: Tide Pooling Fun on Oahu’s North Shore

What’s one of the best, most useful travel tips out there and one you hear most often?  For me it’s one simple piece of advice that seems to come up over and over again.

Ask a local.

Following this tip almost always yields good results, and hey, if not, at least you struck up a conversation with someone new.  You never know where that connection might lead you.

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Baby Naming in Paradise: Big Decisions while Exploring Oahu’s Ka’ena Point State Park

How did you go about choosing names for your children? Or if you don’t have kids, do you know how your name was chosen? Was there a process involved? Maybe you just knew all along…or possibly the name was already picked out for you because of family history or obligations.  Whatever the case may be, I think the ways people decide on names is fascinating.  .

Amazing, really.  I mean, the possibilities are endless, and for me at least, the pressure to choose “correctly” can be overwhelming.

Names got tossed around all throughout both of our pregnancies.  One of us would might make a suggestion, and if it was acceptable to both of us, we might write it down on our list.   Then, after months of brainstorming, the narrowing down, nitty-gritty decision making happened in the same way: On vacation.

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Feeding the Pineapple Obsession: Oahu’s Dole Plantation with Kids

With a serious pineapple loving little boy on our hands, it would have been cruel of us not to visit the Dole Plantation during our recent visit to Oahu.  Bergen (3-years old) cannot get enough of the stuff.  In fact the other day when I ordered a pineapple-flavored soda at the Mexican restaurant we were dining at, he cried when the drink arrived as (we soon found out) he was expecting a plate of actual pineapple!

We planned for a morning visit, and thanks the resident alarm clocks surrounding our vacation rental, it wasn’t at all difficult to get ourselves there right as they opened their doors to at least try to avoid some of the inevitable crowds.  The plantation is located in the town of Wahiawa, which in Oahu’s central valley, about a 40 minute drive from Honolulu, but only 10 minutes or so from our base in Haleiwa on the North Shore.

Truly trying to make the experience all about Bergen, we wasted no time dawdling around, and purchased our tickets for the pineapple train right away.  Pineapples and trains: What more could a little boy ask for?

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Flying While Pregnant: Ideas on Staying Comfortable in Flight

Baby #2 is coming! Believe it or not (that’s me talking to myself) in just a few short weeks, we will be welcoming our second little adventurer into the world.  He or she has already been coming along on quite a few journeys, and has probably logged more miles than Bergen (now 3 years old) when I was pregnant with him.  We believe in the importance of traveling as a family, and more than ever we felt it was essential to build that bond as a family of 3 before adding another member.

I flew several times during the pregnancy, but it was on our last trip, a week in Oahu at about 28 weeks, that I really took notice and reflected on some best practices for air travel while pregnant.  Considering that I’ve had more discomfort during this pregnancy, I was somewhat anxious for how this last set of flights would go.  Not worried enough, of course to be alarmed or call anything off, but cautious.

In the end, I didn’t have much to worry about as the flights to and from Oahu went smoothly.  With a few implementations and considerations, I was comfortable, and the experience wasn’t too far from flying without a mini “passenger”:

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Visiting Pearl Harbor with Young Children: 5 Helpful Tips

Historical sites with Kids.  Important, right? How about young children though? Should visiting still be a priority?

In planning our recent trip to Oahu, a visit to Pearl Harbor was a must.  With so much to see in the world, we’re not always sure about return trips to far away places.  I didn’t want to miss my opportunity to take in such a significant piece of American history just because my child may be on the younger side of benefiting from and understanding the experience.

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Family Accommodations on Oahu’s North Shore: Haleiwa Getaway

“Where’s our town, Mom?

Where’s our vacation rental?”

Once Bergen (3-years old) started asking us this each time we journeyed “away from home” after just a day or so on Oahu, we knew we’d found the right spot for our recent Hawaiian travels.  Even though we took him on some pretty awesome adventures, from beaches to pineapple trains to historic landmarks and delicious meals, by the end of the afternoon or evening, he was always ready to return to our rental house.

Similar to our Kauai vacation rental set-up, we chose a home that was walking distance to the beach, but also close to town.  At the same time, we also wanted the surrounding area to be quiet enough to be able to relax and recharge.  Finally, let’s not forget that we’re flying all the way to Hawaii and staying for a week.  The price has to be reasonable. Were we happy with our choice of rental? Absolutely.

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Sun Safe on Oahu’s Beaches +Block Island Sunscreen Giveaway

Doesn’t feel so seasonal to be writing about sun protection as fall (in the northern hemisphere) has started, the clouds are beginning to roll in, and the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter.  Especially here in the Pacific Northwest, I have to admit, I start to get a little less anxious (okay, A LOT less anxious) about the possibility of the sun burning my family in the fall and winter months.

Still…

I apply a sunscreen each morning via my daily moisturizer.   No matter the season or weather forecast.  Admittedly, my skin is the fairest of fair, freckled, and just asking to be burned.  I get sunburned just thinking about the sun.  Not really, but I have been burned indoors.  You just never know.  It’s important to take a few sun safety steps no matter the season.

The other reason to be thinking about sun safety and protection this time of year? Travel.

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