Aloha from the North Shore
After three dazzling days and nights swanning about Waikiki, we threw our still-wet swimsuits into our suitcases and took a little journey up the Windward Coast. Windows down and heads lolling out the side, we spied Chinaman’s Hat on our way to Turtle Bay Resort nestled on the north side of the island.
O’ahu’s North Shore is famed for just that - seven miles of sandy beaches hand-crafted for surfing, collectively known as the North Shore. With its windswept, rocky terrain and constantly booming sea, it is picture-perfect; the essence of all your Hawai’ian fantasies. Lost, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Blue Crush have all taken advantage of this heavenly stretch of paradise. And while we were calling Turtle Bay Resort home, we got to be ‘extras’ in a new Zac Efron/Anna Kendrick/Andy Devine movie! And by extras, I mean trying to constantly ‘film bomb’ (if that’s a thing) the scenes. If being in Hawai’i wasn’t exciting enough...
From the number of clipboard holding, headset wearing, make-up brush toting black-clad people milling about the lobby, it was clear from the get-go something was going on as we pulled up. Sam’s fingers were crossed for a Victoria Secret’s catalogue shoot. On our honeymoon, no less. We raced up to ocean-view room, dropped our bags and scooted straight back down. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the filming of ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ unfold all around us, noshing on creamy guacamole and sipping on pineapple cider. Pictures were strictly verboten, so even though we were allowed to hang around the set, this is the best shot we got from.
Once we got over celebrity-spotting (sharing an elevator with Bumper was my highlight...and Zac Efron in a rowing suit), we became fascinated by all the behind-the-scenes magic. We learnt so much chatting to people, like that there were week-long auditions to become an extra. All the big names had understudies, so that the director could try out a scene in several ways and settle on something he liked before bringing in Anna Kendrick. There were sound stations propped up in the sand, make-up artists mopping brows in between takes and water-boys and girls carting round ice-cold tea. And the best part? We were allowed to walk along the back of one of the scenes while it was being filmed (see, we were extras!) I don’t care what rating the movie gets, we’ll be the first in line toting buttered popcorn when it comes out next year.
Surprisingly, we did manage to tear ourselves away from the filming. Stars in our eyes, we set off on foot one hot afternoon in search of turtles, whose residence has given the bay its name. We were warned that there were better times of the year to see turtles, and not to have our hopes pinned up too high. Someone was smiling down on us that day, and it took less than ten sandy minutes for us to spot this magnificent creature.
Our next few hours were spent like children, running over the hot sand to follow the turtle while it swam in the waves with its turtle buddies. We made sure to keep our distance - these magnificent sea dwellers are protected.
We had two full days at Turtle Bay, and did not stray from the area. Our favourite place for dinner was The Point, watching the sun go down and feasting on sizzling pulled pork cubanos. The snorkeling was colourful, in the sheltered bay which our room overlooked. As far as resort complexes go, we were really impressed with Turtle Bay.
Next time we visit we’ll pick up a car. We missed out on visiting the famed Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, and if we’d managed to chisel out another day in our itinerary it would have been spent spent kayaking around Moku Nui and Moko Iki islands.
Next stop: Kauai!
With Love, Kate