Last Days in Hawaii and North Shore Oahu Favorites

Every move has its twists and turns. For the end of our stint in Hawaii, we had the following timeline:

  • Finishing work in early June
  • Vacating our apartment in early June
  • Leaving the state in mid-June

We would have loved to stay in our apartment a little longer, but our landlords wanted to have the apartment rented before they left the island for the summer. Totally understandable. It did mean that we were:

  • Selling items that were not coming with us (which means the apartment was messy a lot)
  • In and out of the apartment as it was being shown (which meant we had to keep it extra clean)
  • Finishing the school year
  • Getting docs read to apply for visas to our new post.
  • Getting the timing right to sell our car.

Needless to say, it was a very busy time. Shoutout to Cam for holding the fort together when I couldn’t.

We made a point of spending as much time outside as we could while the weather was nice and still not terribly hot. Which gave us views like these (from the Tantalus lookout in Honolulu):

Our apartment didn’t take long to rent out – two showings, and someone agreed to move in the day after we moved out. Oof.

Which left us with about a week in Hawaii.

We decided to spend our last week at a rental in the North Shore – our first time staying there was over spring break, and let me tell you: there is something magical about falling asleep to the sound of real ocean waves.

Pat’s at Punalu’u has a variety of condos and cottages, some of which are for rent. Make sure you check the rental minimums, as some places are different depending on the permits they have. In the first half of 2021, we stayed at three different places in the same building: over spring break, Memorial Day weekend, and our last week on the island. Cannot recommend them enough and the hosts are a dream to communicate with – especially LaRona, who manages several properties on the building. If the one you’re looking at isn’t available on the dates you want, ask her about others.

Here is the place we stayed in during Memorial Day weekend (an apartment with a balcony).

And the cottage we stayed in for our last week in Hawaii.

Now, if you do go to the Hau’ula, La’ie, Punalu’u area on the north coast of Oahu, here are some of our favorites:

  1. Aloha Shrimp Food Truck

We started referring to this one as simply “shrimp shop”. Within walking distance of the Pat’s condos, this food truck – with seating area – serves multiple variations of the famous garlic shrimp that you can find all over the North Shore. Our favorite was the spicy garlic lemon shrimp, which comes with rice and salad. The sauce is so good, that honestly we would order just the rice with sauce and no shrimp. If you love garlicky spicy acidic foods, this is your dish. They do have two non-shrimp options on the menu, both cutlets: chicken and pork. We both tried the pork in separate occasions, and both agreed it was missing a sauce: something like a hoisin or maybe some oyster sauce thinned down with lime and soy sauce. You can see some pictures and other details in this review.

Plates average between $11 and $15. Cash only!

2. Penny’s Malasadas

Schedule is very limited on this one, but they do carry many different flavors of the island favorite malasadas – essentially, a fried donut without a hole with a very airy inside. You can get filled ones, but our favorites are the cinnamon sugar ones. It’s parked at the Longs Drugs parking lot in La’ie.

3. Tamura’s Market Hau’ula

Now why would we include a supermarket in this list of favorites?

Because it sells adult beverages.

We’re just throwing this one out there because not every grocery store in the vicinity does.

So if cocktails or cold ones are part of your chillin-by-the-beach plans, you should know that not all grocery stores in the La’ie area sell booze.

But Tamura’s does. Selection and prices definitely get the job done. And it’s a Hawaii based business (these all are, obviously) which is great to support.

We’ll be honest. We didn’t really swim on the beach that much. It was cold and stormy a fair bit. We did snorkel once and that was enjoyable.

This is one of the last sunsets we saw in Hawaii. I took these pictures through a window (I was making dinner):

We’re both working hard at taking more – and better – pictures. If you follow us on Instagram (@nomadicgregors, @analinmcgregor, and @nomadicgregorsphotos) you may have seen some of them. But here are some more.

And with that, Hawaii is now where we used to live.

Published by Team McGregor

Living and teaching in the Middle East - previously in China, South Korea, Hawaii, and now Saudi Arabia. This site is dedicated to teaching others about International Teaching (and how to become an international educator) and our travelsa as we live and teach abroad.

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