Celebrating my Birthday Hawaiian-style!

Birthdays celebrations, for me, typically include travel, but not solo expeditions. Cody was unable to join me in my most recent crusades, so I went to Oahu, Hawaii sans my 'partner in crime'. The experience was liberating! I can't say that I want to spend future birthdays without being able to share them with Cody, but doing this trip on my own changed from something I wanted to do into something I needed to do.

And I definitely don't feel the same as a result of doing so. My bloggie friend Gillian, who has been to Hawaii said, "That Hawaii NEVER leaves you." I hope that's true! For days I've been stuck daydreaming about that place. Not like it's a bad thing. I hope she's right, I hope it NEVER leaves me :D

Oceanside Palms

Where do you start when you have so many different things you want to share? I was thinking, why not begin with one of the most memorable moments of my most recent trip to O'ahu, Hawaii! Not that everything about this trip wasn't memorable, but some things definitely stand out more than others.

Birthday Girl (Me)

While on the island, I did the majority of my sightseeing during the day. At night, I took refuge in a friend's home far beyond the busy cities of Honolulu & Waikiki. As a matter of fact, I didn't really spend too much time in either of those places anyway. She was a gracious hostess by the way. Thank you again for such a wonderful gift :) Amongst other things, she also helped to make my birthday a pretty magical one by accompanying me to the most bodacious party I've ever been to!

Luau Seating & Stage

I celebrated my 29th at an authentic Hawaiian-style luau this year! Germaine's Luau had the most beautiful backdrop, as well as the best show on the island from what I've heard. The picturesque setting was exactly how I envisioned a Hawaiian-style luau to be, a less than calm breeze blowing through the palm trees, a site situated right next to the ocean which happened to dawn the most breathtaking sunset, and SAND...lots of sand! I ditched my flip flops almost immediately because it was much more fun to walk around barefooted!

Sunset Gawkers

After drooling over the sunset, and debating about a table in which to sit, my friend and I made our way over to watch the traditional Imu Ceremony take place with the rest of the spectators. This long-established custom involves the removal of a pig that has been marinating in a roasting pit for the last 12 hours. You can't begin to imagine how amazing it smelled! The finished product is known as Kalua pig, and it is the tastiest boar I've ever eaten! Actually, it's probably the only boar I've ever eaten :D

Removing the pig @ the Imu Ceremony
photo by Tawny

After the opening introductions and initial performances, tables were called one by one to help themselves to a truly remarkable luau feast! When dining buffet style, I have a tendency to over do it. This time was worse than normal! I had NO room on my plate because I had to try a little bit of everything. Do you see any white space there? Okay, maybe around the edges, but that's it! I even used the silverware sidebar for desserts! Excuse that rough photo, I was standing under a light pole trying to balance this weighty plate :D

Luau Food Plate

Once our bellies were full is when the real fun began! To name a few highlights, they kept us very entertained with the hip shaking hula dancers, funny but slightly humiliating audience participation sequences, and best of all, the "Samoan Fireknife Dance!" Talk about mesmerizing! Holy mama was that a thrilling performance! I had a tough time taking photos of it, so here's a video instead.

The 4 hour long feast for the senses most definitely had all the makings for a delightfully enchanting evening! I would say that anyone going to Hawaii MUST do an old-fashioned luau. Must! The only way my birthday could have been any better was if my main man could have been there to enjoy it with me.

Talented Performers

And just so you know that I am not beneath making a fool of myself. Here is a short short clip of me shaking my bon-bon on the main stage!! I have no rhythm, seriously.


  1. *thumbs up*

    Sounds fricken awesome! :D I hope there are more pics and more posts. :)

  2. Jess what an amazing way to celebrate your birthday. I think I need to do something similar for my 40th! (2 years time)

  3. Jess, that's indeed VERY special!!! You are such a lucky girl. And oh yes.... happy birthday!

  4. oh wow - so wonderful!!!! I'm so glad you had the most wonderful of birthdays.


  5. This post was well worth the wait! Now you have me dreeeaming of visiting Hawaii... did you see any 5-0's?


    What a party! And the beaches! whooooooo! You sound so happy in your post, that's the best bit :)

  6. I'd love a party like that too, what fun. Oh, happy birthday.

    I’m making children’s books today. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

  7. Glad you enjoyed yourself but what about poor Cody at home with only peanut butter and last weeks coffee.Love to both.

  8. What a fabulous birthday!! It'll be hard to top that next year, I suspect.

  9. Found you through a comment you left at Chookooloonks.

    Looks like a great birthday party!
    Thanks for all the pictures.

  10. HI there
    Popped over from Julia's Hooked on party. Fabulous photos you have here. Makes me yearn to travel again. I have done most of my travelling alone.. luckily meeting up with friends here and there but it does make for very different experiences. Have a great weekend. Julie

  11. Oh wow! Sounds fantastic! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I'm hosting a giveaway at my blog of genuine Cross Bottles valued at $175. It ends Monday, so hurry over. I think you'll love them! They'll make a great birthday present! ;)

  12. Looks like a wonderful birthday! Such a beautiful place!

  13. Happy happy birthday!
    Your bon bon??? so cute.

  14. Oh man...I'm in heaven, the video and pics...I was serious when I said it never leaves you.
    What other place on Earth blankets you in inky black night...starlit nights...fragrant blooms...chirping colourful birds....funky colourful fish....delicious food?????
    Hawaii is paradise.
    I will post a photo on my blog for you of the luau I went to...where the dancer pulled me on stage and did his dance with me, hilarious!!!
    Oh, lomi salmon...poi....oh the food. Who would ever want to leave? It's the best drug! Hawaii!!! lol
    So glad you had your birthday there, and now you HAVE to take Cody...so he can experience it too. (Get engaged there, we did!)
    And you are a B with an ITCH cause you are ten years younger than me!!! God you look great for your old age. LOL
    I'm 39 in January. Yes, feel sorry for me!!!
    Love Gillian!!!! xoxoxo
    p.s. did you see the Journey to Jordan link on my site? well??????

  15. That's one memorable birthday celebration you'll remember the rest of your wondrous life! Wish you'll have many more birthdays to come.

  16. happy birthday!! good for you taking a solo. good the soulo.