In August D and I took a trip to Hawaii. We rented a condo in Waikiki and used that as our base of operations to travel all over the island of Oahu. This trip was to celebrate ten wonderful years of marriage to each other, and served as a base from which to launch the rest of, well, eternity!
I got frustrated trying to get these pics into any semblance of order, so just enjoy in chaos!And I'm just going to finally post this or it will sit in the draft folder forever!
This first picture is of one of the tour guys at the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) in Laie. This is run by The LDS church, and staffed specifically by students at BYU Hawaii. It has many different villages that teach about the culture and give experiences from many islands of Polynesia, including but not limited to Samoa, Tahiti, Aoatoroa (New Zealand), Fiji, Hawaii, and Tonga. This guy was from Samoa. He was HILARIOUS. He taught us how to open a coconut, get at the flesh, make coconut milk, and start a fire with the coconut hair. It was pretty amazing (plus funny). He also taught the word for fire in about ten languages.
I can't remember which village this experience was part of...but we got to weave a toy fish . This lady was amazing. While she sat there waiting for people to teach she would weave all kinds of different things and her fingers would FLY.
This picture was taken from somewhere along the North Shore.
We found "Turtle Beach" pretty much by accident, even though it was one of the places we wanted to see. We had been snorkeling all day at different places along the North Shore. When we finished up for the day we ran into another couple who asked about some good places to snorkel. We told them where we had been, and then they asked if we wanted to see some sea turtles, and where they were. So we changed and found this beach (which we had passed earlier in the day during a downpour). There were two large male turtles on the beach and some smaller ones in the surf.I think this first one was named Tripod (he was missing a hind flipper, taken by a shark, they thought.)
This was our favorite place to snorkel on the island: Shark's Cove. It was amazing the amount and variety of sea life we saw here. We even saw a little sea turtle swimming around (it was tiny compared to the ones we saw that evening.)
This is D as we got ready to snorkel at either Shark's Cove or Three Tables...I can't remember which it was. It was somewhere near here that we stopped at the best place to eat (so we were told by friends, other tourists, and locals alike)...Ted's Bakery
. It had the most divine pastries I have tasted in well, ever. And this is where my love of Chocolate Haupia Pie began. I'll add my recipe at the end of this post. There is something about the taste of chocolate and coconut together that is just heavenly.
This is Three Tables, another snorkel spot on the North Shore.
Here are the falls that we hiked to just outside of Honolulu, Waimaia (I'm not certain of the spelling on the one.)
Here we are at the falls...it was a fun hike...but very muddy (It is in a rain forest.)
This is on the hike before it started climbing...actually just past the area that was staged for a scene for Hawaii 5-0...a crashed helicopter in the rain forest. I thought it was hilarious that they actually brought in a lot of vegetation for the shot. I guess the area wasn't as lush as they thought it should be?!
This next pic is actually from our first day in Hawaii. After we got into our condo we decided to go explore the area. As we got down near the beach a guy literally put this parrot in my hands! And then he started posing us with the birds. It was pretty fun.
Both of us sporting the feathered accessories.
This is also at the PCC. I think this was right after the luau, just before we went into the night performance of Ha: the Breath of Life.
This is the flag as seen from the Memorial for the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.
Here I am walking along a beach I think on the east side of the island. We stopped on our drive up to Laie, and I gathered some shells and coral that had washed ashore. This was actually the only place that we saw sea debris...I think the surf is too hard and just crushes things to smithereens on the other sides of Oahu. It was so calm and just like most other places, the water was so clear!
Some of the other things that we enjoyed while in Hawaii: Waikiki beach, Hanauma Bay, China town, Pearl Harbor, and the Bishop Museum.
D really enjoyed the body boarding, and did so right near the pier at Waikiki Beach. We practiced snorkeling in the sheltered area (where there was absolutely nothing to see) before going into the more exciting waters at Hanauma bay, and on the North Shore. And I did some reading on the beach. Relaxing!
I took this pic as we walked back up the road after we spent the day at Hanauma Bay. It was so beautiful. I loved being able to go to the park kiosks and find out the names of the different fish and sea life that we saw.
I know this next picture is really weird, but that's why we have it. As we were trying to find China Town, we saw these mannequin heads in a window. We were so startled and freaked out we had to take a picture of the "art".
We tried to go up Diamond Head, but that didn't work. We got waved off to the side and told the parking lot was full. As we turned around, they let the cars behind us into the lot. I guess we smelled that day or something.*shrug* Actually I wasn't too sad...I was still feeling a bit exhausted from my concussion the month before and wasn't sure I could handle the hike. Also it was so ugly in the crater...definitely not like all the pics they have in the brochures. I guess the pics were taken in the winter.
The swap meet was OK but the international market was pretty dumb. I guess I should have realized that some "tourist destinations" were really shopping malls. And since neither D nor I are huge shopping fans, it is no surprise that we didn't find those too fascinating.
This was an awesome view as we drove around the tip( I think it was the southeast corner) of the island. I just loved the evidence of erosion and the contrast of shadow and light.
This is another view of Hanauma Bay from above.
This is the view at sunset from the roof of our condo building.