Sometimes you just have to play hooky and head to the North Shore!

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Balancing a wanderlust spirit and motherhood with a child in school can be challenging. It is always that darn school schedule that gets in the way of planning extended trips. I am slowly warming up to the idea of world schooling, to be able to fit in my travelling lifestyle, along with my daughter’s schooling needs. I firmly believe travel is some of the best education you can have. I tend to like to stay an extended period of time in one place, to get to learn the culture and the people, so this may work for us down the line. But for now, we call Hawaii our home (and a lovely one it is.) I was feeling a bit restless and  wanting to take a little island road trip or “Holo Holo” as they say here, but my daughter is in school on my days off , so what’s a mom to do? Some times you just have to play hooky and take your kid out of school to spend some good quality time with them. So we headed to Oahu’s famous North Shore and proceeded to have one of the best days we have had together in a long time. (Please excuse the photos, they were all taken with my cell phone.)

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We drove up the back way past Schofield Barracks down the old snake road to Waialua town and stopped for delicious treats, coffee and the world famous “snow puffy” at Paalaa Kai Bakery. http://www.pkbsweets.com/pkbsweets-tour/

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Next we explored the new shops that have recently opened in the building next store, picking up some vintage treasures at the Green Gypsy Thrift Shop. https://www.facebook.com/greengypsythrift

There is a new coffee shop, a great little ice cream shop, various art shops and the Bali Moon warehouse has recently relocated there as well, with their showroom of furniture and treasures from Indonesia, and other places around the world.

We then proceeded to the historical Waialua Sugar Mill which back in the day was owned by Dole and was one of the top producers of sugar in the world. It shut down in the md 90’s and now has been revitalized and converted into an industrial park and a great little tourist stop.

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It is now home to the North Shore Soap factory, which is a great place to stop and see the process of making soap. They have a viewing area for their soap making operation and a great showroom. It has really grown from a small mom and pop operation to a worldwide producing soap factory, providing much needed jobs to this area. But the North Shore is growing, and I was surprised to see the expansion that is taking place all over the area.

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The Sugar Mill also is home to the new Vanessa Pack V Boutique, located right next door, which sells her handcrafted jewelry designs, local artists photography, paintings, clothing, accessories and more. http://www.vboutiquehawaii.com/

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There is a vintage Surf Shop called 3rd Stone and another large coffee roasting facility called Island X. The Old Mill site is also  the site of the Waialua Coffee & Chocolate Mill, which is the source of the Old Sugar Mill Brand Waialua Coffee and Chocolate. With the mill being literally just out the back door, they personally give visitors a quick coffee mill tour, where you can see coffee trees and learn about the milling process.

They offer visitors samples of freshly roasted Waialua Coffee and offer other locally made products such as Hawaii’s Best Papaya Seed Salad Dressing (which is my all time favorite dressing by the way) Waialua Soda Works soda and Old Sugar Mill Natural Shave Ice.

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We then proceeded into Haleiwa Town and meandered thorough to check out all of the recently opened Haleiwa Store Lots in the new shopping center which sits on the old site of the Historic Iwa Gallery and the old rickety Aoki’s Shave Ice building, which has now been torn down to make way for the new development, expanding the shopping 10 fold.IMG_20150202_132156_734

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After exploring Haleiwa and having a rainbow shave ice with a scoop of ice cream (a must have when visiting Haleiwa) we headed to the famous North Shore beaches. The surf was up, and not a soul out, so we practically had the beach to ourselves. Rocky Point below is one of my favorite beaches on the North Shore and great in the summer for sand water pools that form.

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It was a little too rough to swim due to the current, so we went the protected cove at The Turtle Bay Resort (which is open to the public. Just park in the beach access spots.) We spent the afternoon swimming and watching the beautiful sunset by the pool, ending the amazing day with dinner at SURFER The Bar. http://www.surferthebar.com/

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And that was the end of a beautiful day playing hooky from school! Some times you just have to stop and enjoy the moment. Even if you can’t escape to far away lands, you can probably take a mini vacation right in your back yard.

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