June 24, 2011

Shopping in Paradise

Considering the name of this blog, and my clear shopping addiction, I thought it only right to end my week of Hawaii-related posts by talking about one of my absolute favorite shopping spots in Oahu:  the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. The swap meet runs three days a week and stretches all the way around the football stadium in Oahu, where the University of Hawaii plays its games. This means hundreds and hundreds of little vendors, selling shell, wooden, silver, jade, and gold jewelry, handmade bags, hawaiian flowers and plants, handcarved wooden bowls and figurines, T-shirts, dresses, and anything else you can imagine. I always stop by the swap meet once every trip to load up on gifts for people back home and little trinkets and jewelry for myself.

It's honestly a haven for a shopper like me. This year, I made it all the way around the stadium, which had me feeling hot and tired. Thank goodness that the swap meet is also full of food and beverage vendors, selling everything from homemade jams and barbecue sauce, grilled shrimp and Kahlua pork sandwiches to fresh squeezed lemonade and fresh coconut water.  I picked up some gorgeous coral jewelry, great leather and beaded bracelets that I know I'll be rocking all summer here in California, some beautiful hand-carved wooden kitchen utensils, and a bunch of other little things. Thank goodness I packed an extra empty bag (a little travel trick of mine!) in my suitcase to cart home all my loot.

This woman was not messing around. She would grab a cleaver and break open the top of the chilled coconut before inserting a straw and handing it to a parched shopper.
Shopping is just one of the reasons why I absolutely love visiting Hawaii. Even shopping in normal brick and mortar shops in Waikiki really feels like an experience, with their Hawaiian-themed, colorful displays. The high-end boutiques, like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, are bright and breezy.  The local surf shops seem to capture the perfect laid-back "Aloha state of mind" with its decor. Even the Forever 21 in downtown Waikiki is unlike any other I've ever been in. In addition to a large surf wave display, made entirely out of jeans, the store had underwater fish displays and even a giant coconut with a straw in it that was big enough to sit in. Like I said, for a shopper (and beach nut) like me, Honolulu is really a haven.

Ceiling of a surf shop
Third-floor window display of F21
That concludes my week of Hawaii-related blog posts. I'll return to regular outfit posts next week. Thank you so much for letting me chronicle some of my vacation here. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I felt like I got to extend my trip for a whole week by reliving my fun on this blog, so thank you for that.

Have a great weekend, loves!

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet


Cookie said...

it looks really like paradise!

Lindsay With An "A" said...

You weren't joking - it IS shopping in paradise! I love these pics! They make me want to shop AND go to Hawaii!

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