I’m back from Hawaii, but still wishing I was there. I hope that my new tan doesn’t fade off too quickly, although fall is right around the corner and the weather in Denver is already cooling down. While we were on the island of Oahu the weather was nice and hot, maybe a little too hot at times, but the ocean was usually nearby providing a quick relief. Here’s a list of some things we did and don’t worry pictures are coming soon. I have nearly 700 on my new camera that I need to sort through and cut way down to post online.
So, we got in super early on Friday morning, as I mentioned earlier. After picking up our rental car, a Jeep Wrangler, we headed off to first climb to the top of Diamond Head. Despite the early start, the weather was already hot and baking us throughout the hike. But the view from the top was well worth it. From there we made a couple of stops at various sights such as Halona Blowhole, Pali Lookout, and Kapena Falls. We stayed busy throughout much of the morning and afternoon, stopping at many of the places on my list.
Saturday we met up with our friend Maria, who was also traveling for the same work function as Kim, and hiked to the Manoa Falls. The 160 foot waterfall and surrounding forest were amazing. Later that evening we all attended the conferment ceremony for the girls’ insurance designation. The highlight of this event was the keynote speaker, Erik Weihenmayer, who is a blind mountain climber. His speech was incredibly inspiring and delivered in both a funny and touching way. What he has accomplished without being able to see is truly incredible.
The highlight for Sunday was exploring the north shore of the island. We found the location of the Banzai Pipeline, and though the waves are highest in the winter months, the surf was still strong enough to keep me out of the water completely. This didn’t stop others from heading out and surfing, which provided some basic surfing lessons to us. We also saw some sea turtles in the water at Turtle Beach, and did our own snorkeling adventure near Hidden Beach and Secluded Cove, which required 4WD to get to. The only bad thing was a flat tire we got along the way, but it was easily replaced. On a more positive note, we stumbled upon a seal who was laying out in the sun near Secluded Cove.
Monday was another shorter day. After stopping at Pearl Harbor and finding out the wait for the USS Arizona Memorial was over two hours we decided to drive up the Waianae coast. This was once rarely seen by visitors of the island as it is a poor area and has a reputation for being a rough place. However, most of this is not true anymore, although the area still appears to be poor. The highlight of this drive was seeing dolphins out near Kahe Point. This was the first time we saw them on our trip, although we would later see a group of them while on a boat ride on our way to a snorkel spot.
Speaking of snorkeling, we decided to take a trip early on Tuesday morning on a sail boat which would include a stop to snorkel. The dolphins we saw shortly after leaving the shoreline were Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, and there were close to ten of them in the group. It was amazing to see them up close, and I’m still bitter that I didn’t bring my new camera on this trip. After watching the dolphins, the boat headed out to the snorkel spot which we were told was populated with sea turtles. I was a little hesitant at first, but once in the water all my fears were gone. There were turtles everywhere and if you didn’t make sudden movements you could get to within a few feet of them. There were also tons of fish there. The guys on the boat said that there were nearly 30 species on the reef, and although I don’t think I saw that many, there were at least a dozen or more when we were there. It was an amazing experience, and by far one of my favorite things from the trip.
Since Tuesday was our last day on the island we quickly tried to fit as much in as possible. So after the boat trip, we rented a surf board and tried to surf after watching others do it for days. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I thought, and standing up on the board was pretty simple. The hardest part is actually padding enough to get on the wave and continue to travel with it as it breaks. So we took turns helping each other get started and then watched as the other actually rode the wave for much longer than I was expecting.
From there we headed back to Pearl Harbor, and to my surprise, we immediately got in a tour group. I was really surprised since I figured that 9/11 would be a busy day, and maybe it was earlier in the day. We got there late in the afternoon, following a tip from Oahu Revealed, and walked right into the movie theater. After touring the memorial we headed back toward Waikiki to take another cruise on a sailboat, this time on a “booze cruise” which was a little different than the trip earlier in the day, but was nearly just as fun. This event wrapped up our time on the island, and it was nice to see the sunset from out on the water before leaving. I think we made the most of our time there and stayed really busy throughout the entire trip. I will be sorting through my pictures in the next few days and will be slowly adding them to the site. There should be some good ones.