Getting to Know Oahu

Published in: Just For Fun


One of the eight major islands that make up the State of Hawaii, Oahu is home to about 900,000 people, or 75 percent of the resident population of the state. El Hub’s parents live in the smallish town of Kaneohe, which is located on the eastern side of the island.


When you’re talking about Hawaii, you’re not talking about a large area. Each of the islands is small by Mainland standards. For the locals, driving from one end of Oahu to the other represents a HUGE trip. For them it is, but in reality the farthest distance one could drive in a straight line without plowing into the sea is never more than 44 miles (71 km).

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Many visitors to Oahu arrive expecting a deserted, quiet tropical island with beaches as far as the eye can see, and some leave the island disappointed after their trip because Oahu bustles with activity (and shopping!). While it does have the snowy white beaches, mountain hikes, secluded waterfalls, beautiful flowers and warm climate that come with life in the tropics, it’s also home to almost a million people, ethnically diverse and busy with their own lives.

The people are what make Hawaii so special. It’s one of the most racially diverse yet ethnically integrated places in America and is the only state in the union in which people of Polynesian and Asian descent outnumber all other demographic groups.

    A few of my favorite Hawaiian beauty brands

  • Aloha Sun Botanicals – I *love* this line, especially the Maui Mists essential oil body sprays. I think they smell heavenly, and at $13 they’re a steal.
  • Island Essence – The cute labels on the packaging feature vintage-inspired images of Hawaiian hotties.
  • Maui Babe Browning Lotion – I’ve never used this to tan because I was brown when the stork delivered me, but I have heard from other girls that this stuff creates a lovely, rich tan.
  • Hawaiian Bath and Body – These handcrafted soaps and body product are made on the North Shore of Oahu (Hawaii’s surf capital). I love the North Shore for its natural beauty and because it’s also where El Hub and I got hitched.
  • Maleana Wedding Cosmetics – Dorys Foltin, a makeup artist on Oahu, created this line of fabulous makeup. Dorys did my wedding makeup two years ago and used her products on me to create a natural look with gold eyes, pink cheeks and pink lips. If you or anyone you know decides to get hitched on Oahu, book Dorys because she’s super nice and has major makeup game.

Some of the most heavily represented groups in Hawaii are Hawaiians, Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Puerto Ricans. El Hub’s great grandparents came to Hawaii from Portugal in the early 1900s to work in the sugar cane and pineapple fields alongside other people who’d emigrated from their home countries.


Over the years of people living in such close proximity to each other, cultures blended, families joined and the Hawaii of today emerged, a Hawaii in which people of mixed Hawaiian-Chinese-Filipino-Portuguese descent eat sushi for dinner, listen to country music and shop at Wal-Mart on weekends.

Over the next week you’ll see a lot of really strange and interesting pictures on this blog, pictures of Oahu, one of my favorite places in the world. I hope you like it, too.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 53 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. LaurenIvy says:

    Have fun on your trip! LMAO @ never having to tan b/c you (and me!) came out that way πŸ™‚

    LaurenIvys last blog post..Material Girl

  2. Krystle says:

    Yay for Kaneohe! I miss my home on the beautiful Windward side, but hey the Bay Area isn’t so bad either! Boo to showing Oahu bc its going to make me homesick! I remember how I HATED to drive for more than 15 miles because it was far, but now 15 miles is nothing here. LOL.
    In your last picture, is that a picture of Kaneohe Bay? If so, from what spot did you take it?

  3. Glosslizard says:

    Thank you so much for that mini-vacay! Just looking at those pics took me back to my honeymoon and my 24 hours on Oahu (en route to Australia). We had an amazing 24 though, ate, shopped, and I made a special point of taking off my shoes to walk barefoot along Waikiki Beach! πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful time, girlfriend! Aloha!

  4. Heidi says:

    I love your blog, it makes me smile every time. Plus I learn a lot about makeup from your mad skills. Kaneohe is where we vacation every year with my relatives who reside there. My absolute favorite beach is Kailua, far away from the crowds, just with the locals. 180 degrees of uninterrupted sand. Enjoy!

  5. Christine says:

    There’s a Wal-Mart in Oahu?!

    We are actually (by we, I actually mean my family and I) are going to Kauai in August!

    Have fun, Karen! Can’t wait to see photos. I want to buy a super duper DSLR camera just for taking photos of Hawaii.

  6. Karen B says:

    πŸ™‚ I hope you have fun. It’s raining like mad here now so I’m dreaming away to Hawaii… lol
    I could use a tan…

    Karen Bs last blog post..Happy Birthday Lisa! ♥

  7. TUPRNUT says:

    Enjoy your vacation! I will be thinking of you as I pull weeds, mop the kitchen and clean the bathroom. πŸ™‚

  8. Jax says:

    my ex is from HI he tells me the yougins hang by wal mart late at night. so you be careful out there w/those annpying teenagers. πŸ™‚ (jk jk jk)

    HAVE A WONDERFULLL TIMMME! ehich im sure you will w/o me telling you!!

    i cant wait till you start posting pix so i can visually see how beautiful it is over there.

    your jealous bay area girl XD

  9. Karen says:

    Hi LaurenIvy, Thanks! I’m on the plane right now putting on lipgloss. πŸ™‚ We should be leaving soon. Have a great Friday!

  10. Kelly says:

    I hope your trip is wonderful. Thanks for taking me back home. I’m a Navy brat who grew up on a base near Wahiawa. I miss the North Shore like nothing else! Love your blog.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Krystle,It’s funny how driving
    15 minutes on the mainland takes to the nearest grocery store, but on Oahu 15 minutes that’ll take you halfway across the island.Yup, that pic is of Kaneohe Bay! When we land I’ll eat a leonard’s malasada for you!

  12. Karen says:

    Aloha, Glosslizard! The cutest thing happened before we left at the crack of dawn this morning. Tabs came to the door to say goodbye. It was so cute! He sat at the top of the stairs and watched us as we drove away! I almost got a lil teary (so CCL)!

  13. Dao says:

    Wow, nice! I hope there’ll be a research conference in Hawaii one day => free trip for me if I can make it πŸ™‚

    Enjoy the paradise (with Walmart!) and remember to wear sunscreen.

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Heidi, I love Kailua, too. If I lived on Oahu that’s where I’d like to live. When you’re in town to visit relatives do you ever eat at Zia’s? πŸ™‚

  15. Amanda says:

    hey Karen!
    I’ve only been to Hawaii once, for my honeymoon. We went to Oahu first then Maui. We only had 2 days on Oahu, but I feel in love with Sunset Beach–on the north shore. It was summer so it didn’t have the huge waves, but it had the best sand! Have a fantastic trip, I will look forward to having a virtual vacation with ya.

  16. Daya says:

    Hi Karen!

    I’m coming out of lurk mode finally! πŸ™‚ My husband and I married at Diamond Head six years ago. Dorys Foltin did my makeup too (and is partially responsible for my addiction to MAC! haha)

    Have a wonderful time in the islands!!

  17. Alexa says:

    i loved hawaii
    i went last august on a cruise around 4 of the islands.
    its gorgeous there!
    have fun

  18. Heidi says:

    Hi Karen –

    What is Zia’s? Now I have to Google it. We had a great meal at Lucy’s, also love Buzz’s for a treat. And this fun place for breakfast – Cinnamon’s. Love fresh fish, rice and eggs for breakfast! Fuel for the beach. Thanks for the tip on Zia’s. have a great holiday.

  19. Brittany says:

    I’m retiring in Hawaii. Can’t wait…I went to Oahu once and fell in love. Enjoy your trip!!

    Brittanys last blog post..Congratulations to my 1st Contest Winner!

  20. Glosslizard says:

    How sweet! You know he’s gonna miss you!

  21. PeeChee says:

    I’m so jealous!!! I was suppose to go in May but for unforseen circumstances…we had to postpone our trip. My family lives on the Waipahu side….great granddad is buried in Pearl Bowl. Enjoy your trip you lucky gal!!!! Although it won’t be the same since I’m here in the bay….I think I”m gonna make me a Mai Tai now…..:)

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Christine,

    Yup, there’s a Wal-Mart… but no Target, oy!

    You will love Kauai. It’s one of my favorite islands. Is your sweetie coming with you guys?

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    It’s raining a bit here where we are too – just a lil’ bit of drizzle. The part of the island where my family lives is the rainy side, but it’s still nice because it’s very warm and the rain is kinda refreshing.

    Hope you had a great Friday! What are your plans for the weekend?

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    You know I brought like, four bottles of various types of sunscreen to review, LOL! I hope you go out here for a research conference one day, too. I bet it wouldn’t even really feel like work!

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Sunset Beach is beautiful. I love it, too. Happy B-day to your hubby, BTW! Are you celebrating tonight?

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    It’s good to meet ya! I didn’t know that you could get married there. I bet it was beautiful. El Hub and I got married on the North Shore, at the Turtle Bay hotel.

    How did you find Dorys? I found her on The Knot! I was on that site every day when I was planning the wedding.

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Alexa,

    How fun! Which cruise line did you take? NCL?

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Heidi,

    It’s a cafe in Kailua. They have pasta and stuff there; my in-laws love it! My favorite place for breakfast is Boot’s & Kimo’s! The macadamia nut pancakes are to die for! (My stomach just rumbled, LOL).

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    I would love to retire here, too. When did you visit Hawaii?

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    It was very precious. I could’ve sworn he looked a little sad when we pulled away.

    How has your Friday been? Anything exciting going on for the weekend?

  31. Karen says:

    Hi PeeChee,

    YUM! Make me one too, please! πŸ™‚ I hope that you’ll be able to come out here, soon. When you do you better send me pictures!

  32. Marisol says:

    Have a fabulous time Karen! While Hawaii, check out Ola HawaiÒ€ℒi Coconut Lemongrass Cane Sugar Scrub. It is the shiznit!

    Marisols last blog post..Yay! June 9 is almost here

  33. Karen B says:

    Once again my plans are studying… lol Pretty boring eh.
    But I have my last really study-exam on Monday so after that I’ll be able to tell you sth more interesting πŸ˜‰
    Like seducing a certain Spaniard… lol Just kidding.

    Karen Bs last blog post..Happy Birthday Lisa! ♥

  34. Lehea says:

    Hope you’re having a blast over there, which I’m sure you are. I have that Maui Babe Browning Lotion. It smells awesome! I should try using that again because my legs are the hardest part of my body to tan. Can’t wait to see more pics from your trip! πŸ™‚

  35. Rylee says:

    Hi Karen!
    LOVE YOUR BLOG! Long time reader, first time comment-er. ;]
    Very cool to see that you’re flying out here! Have fun and can’t wait to read upcoming entries! =]
    *Be sure to make it to the BE-YOOO-TIFUL Lanikai Beach!

  36. Daya says:


    OOPS, sorry. I guess I should clarify! LOL We got married in the park overlooking Diamond Head. The wedding coordinator I used doesn’t allow weddings in the park anymore. She also found Dorys for me…Dorys was really very sweet. Going to check out her new line. How long has her line been out??

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    I’ll look for it! Do you usually buy it from a certain store?

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Ahhh, such is the life of a student. Enjoy it while you can, seriously! It goes by too fast.

    Have fun studying this weekend, and kick some booty on your test on Monday! What’s it on?

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Lehea,

    It’s been fun! It’s really early in the morning right now and we’re off to Wakiki to watch a parade. Hope you’re having a good weekend so far!

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Rylee,

    Thanks, homie! Are you on Oahu?!?!

    Yes, for sure Lanikai is on the list of things to do. The sand is so pretty and fine, but dang if it doesn’t get into all the cracks in your swimsuit!

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    Oh nice! I bet there were amazing views! I got married a few years ago… in 2006. So her line has been out for at least two years?!

    Why did you guys decide to get married overlooking Diamond head?

  42. Marisol says:


    Check out the spas in the area for that product. From what I know, that is where they sell it besides online.

    Hope you are having a blast!

    Marisols last blog post..Happy Birthday to me!

  43. Karen B says:

    English grammar, vocabulary and cultural studies.
    I’m pretty nervous about it, I suck at grammar and scentence analysis and stuff like that…

    Karen Bs last blog post..Happy Birthday Lisa! ♥

  44. Daya says:

    Karen B,

    Are you good at Algebra? I’ll take English over Math any day! πŸ™‚


    My husband and I were long-distance for the first three months together. He knew of my love for lighthouses, so he sent me a model of Diamond Head. Since we didn’t know where we wanted to tie the knot, I suggested Hawaii. Needless to say, he was game! πŸ™‚

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Will do! The only spas I’ve been to on the island are the one at the Marriott and at Turtle Bay. Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak in a massage during this trip…

  46. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Good luck! Study hard! If all else fails you can bribe yourself with makeup. Always works for me!

  47. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    That’s really sweet and romantic! I really do think that this is one of the best places to get married. Today, while we were waiting for the parade to start, I saw like, five brides! It was wonderful.

    How did you two meeet? El Hub and I met at a bookstore. πŸ™‚

  48. Daya says:

    How cool! I wonder if a parade is a secret sign of luck…we were having breakfast when one was going by on our wedding day! It was the only parade we’d ever seen where the fire truck had a surfboard on it. LOL Hubby and I met through a former neighbor of his. The former neighbor happened to be my roommate.

    Are your in-laws in Turtle Bay?? We wanted to get down that way (and Ko Olina) but never made it.

  49. Glosslizard says:

    Aawww, I bet he’ll be waiting for you on the doorstep when you get back! You’d better be prepared with the tuna! πŸ˜‰

  50. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    Oh yeah! The one we saw had a fire truck with a surfboard on it, too. All the Hawaii ones have ’em, I believe. I wrote a story about a year ago where I had to interview this guy who was a Hawaii fireman who also owned and operated a surf school. All the instructors were firemen, lifeguards, and EMTs! I vaguely recall him telling me most (or all?) firemen also have to be lifeguard certified…

    That’s cool that you met your sweetie through a friend. I’ve read that is usually the best way to meet someone.

    My in-laws are on the Windward (east) side, which is about 20-30 minutes south of Turtle Bay. Ko Olina is very pretty (my parents have a timeshare there — it’s on the west side), too. Next time you visit the island (maybe to celebrate an anniversary?) you should definitely visit both places. The North Shore is just so beautiful and I one of the best places to go on Oahu.

  51. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I hope so! I worry about him when we aren’t there to baby him. I know, it’s totally insane because chances are he belongs to someone else, but in my heart he’s mine.

    BTW, I got rid of the TJ’s food and got him a box of Friskies, which he seems to like. When he’s done with that I’ll test out the Cat Chow!

  52. Glosslizard says:

    You’re the best kitty-mom!

  53. Megan says:

    I hope you’re having fun! πŸ™‚

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