Are We There Yet? – Hawaii!

A Hawaiian dream vacay.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

Some people have bucket lists and I have a "travel wishlist" that includes crazy, exotic, awe-inspiring destinations  that I have to see at least once in my life. It includes things like an African safari, swimming with great white sharks on the Great Barrier Reef, and seeing Hawaii (which seems a tad more realistic than my aforementioned suggestions). As the chilly dampness of fall settles in, I often find myself dreaming about the idyllic stretches of beach and picturesque surrounding rain forests of Hawaii. And wouldn't you know it – I get a press release about the North Shore of O‘ahu, which sounds like paradise on earth.

The GMAC Experience at Turtle Bay Resort, located in Oahu, is partnering with Garrett McNamara, a legendary-watermen, to offer resort guests an exclusive once in a lifetime North Shore experience and step into the shoes of a big wave champion. Garrett McNamara, (“GMAC” to friends and fans), has created the exclusive “GMAC Experience” which includes the following:

– Dinner with GMAC at Leonardo’s Italian Restaurant;

– VIP behind-the-scenes tour of some of the world’s most famous surfing breaks, including Sunset Beach, Pipeline, and Waimea;

– Ride on the back of a jet ski in monster surf as GMAC gets towed into the waves;

– Private surf and stand-up paddle board lessons with the master himself;

– Sunset paddle up the Hale‘iwa River.

The Resort is also the official partner and headquarters to world premier ocean events like The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, including the Billabong Pipe Masters, the annual SURFER Magazine Peer Poll Awards, the Stand Up Paddle World Tour, and the North Shore Paddle Challenge.

There are kayak tours, moped rentals, Segway tours, helicopter tours, surf lessons and rentals, horseback rides and pony experiences for keiki, as well as tennis lessons and equipment rentals. You can also rent and buy cooler packs for hiking, underwater video cameras/ SD cards, binoculars for bird/whale watching and surf contests, and nature guide books for local flora and fauna.

Turtle Bay Resort’s super concoction, the Green Flash, continues to be a crowd favourite at the Hang Ten Bar & Grill. The beverage, titled after the optical phenomenon of a green spark that occurs for a mere fraction of a second shortly after sunset, is available for only 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after sundown. Bartenders hoist and lower “Green Flash” flags bar-side to signify the official start and finish of this daily, yet ephemeral, cocktail experience.

Um, where do I sign up?!


Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at