Wednesday, May 24, 2017


So I realize I didn't touch on Hawaii...from January.  Yes, I can be so great at recapping my trips.

We had planned to go to Florida for a long weekend in December to use up our vacation time since we were pretty burnt out from work and the house.  However, an unexpected work trip for John came across his plate that we were able to molded it into a vacation on top of it.  We immediately cancelled Florida and booked the longer trip to Hawaii.  I can't complain, it was a wonderful time, but I think it would have been a little different had he not worked Monday through Thursday (and a smidge on Friday).  We just ended up cramming a lot into a shorter time there.  

My flight was originally supposed to get in late Saturday, but unfortunately with my excellent flying skills, I completely missed my flight and had to stay in LA.  Instead I arrived Sunday afternoon.  We immediately ran back to the hotel (we stayed at the north? or west? end of Waikiki Beach at the Ilikai) and I changed into my hiking clothes and we hiked Diamond Head.  A steep hike, with lots of stairs, but really quick.  Definitely would recommend it for the gorgeous views, but very touristy.  I would try and go early or even late for a gorgeous sunset.  Afterward we cooled off with (one of many) cocktails on the beach.  

Monday waMLK Day and although John didn't have to work, he was going in for special sub tours and I was left on my own.  I was able to fit in a run and grabbed a yummy green juice (and hit it up frequently).  I of course did a little bit of some window shopping after getting ready for our second hike.  We headed up around the east coast to Lanikai.  This was by far my favorite location I think at either Island.  If were to come back to Oahu (which I'd love to try the other islands), I would choose to rent a house or an apartment and stay near this beach.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We hiked Pillbox, which was actually a bit scary, but awesome at the same time.  BRING HIKING SHOES - we did not.  It also had gorgeous views and overlooked the Mokus (I believe that's how you spell it).  However, we didn't get there early enough to hike and then kayak out to the Mokus.  That was the only down side. They were gorgeous from afar, yet looked even more desirable to hang out on.  Oh and make sure you hit up the Rainbow Drive-In - great, easy food!

Tuesday through Thursday John worked pretty much 7 or 8 till 6 or 7.  I'd usually wake up with the sunrise in the morning and hang on the balcony then reading, then when it was too hot head down to the beach.  I will say I was kind of unimpressed with Waikiki Beach.  It was busy, but the beach was small and not a lot of space.  I wouldn't have chosen this location if it wasn't for his work.  I dedicated my beach time with some dips and sunning while reading and exploring of Waikiki Beach area.  The people watching was on point so that was a plus.  I think I saw just about 5 million weddings come through with wedding photos.  If I wasn't on the beach I was exploring the strip, shopping around and when it was cool enough, watching the sunset and having cocktails on the hotel balcony.  I even caught a whale or two! :)

Friday after his quick couple of hours at work, we hiked to the Manoa Falls - great - easy but busy hike.  Then headed back up to Lanikai to see if we could catch some kayaks out to the Mokus, however the weather and the late arrival did not help so we tried to enjoy the beach while we could.  We hit up Leonard's Bakery upon return - yummy light Portuguese donuts.

Saturday we headed up to the North Shore.  It definitely lived up to it's name, but we didn't encounter the surfing competition.  I believe the competition ranged for several months, so I'm not sure how they grab all the surfers at the last minute in order to hang ten! ;) There's also the Dole Plantation up that way, and TONS of food trucks.  We had breakfast and lunch there.  Breakfast we tried Portuguese (yes again!) sausage and a slice of bread.  You'll also have to try one of the many shrimp trucks - TOO good.

Sunday we stopped for a whole day at Hanauma Bay for snorkeling and laying in the sun.  It was a bit cool with the wind, which also left it difficult to sit on the beach as it would whip through the sand felt like razors.  Snorkeling was fun, but a little overcrowded.  John saw a sea turtle swimming and I saw a lot of colorful fish.  It was also tough to snorkel a bit because the ocean was rough and the tide seemed low - plus the equipment wasn't the greatest (definitely invest in some snorkel gear).  I was a little too anxious because of how many people there were, the visibility and just not wanting to step on the reefs.  Oh and we saw a ton of people hiking along the ridge all the way until the end.  It was pretty cool - we just wish we could have fit that in too!  We caught a late lunch at Kona Brewing Company - a typical brewery spot.  

We had reservations in the afternoon at the U.S.S. Arizona, but like the North Shore it was too choppy to make it out to the memorial.  I'll add this clip here, as this was the only thing we did after our island hopping to Kauai and then back to Oahu before flying back to the mainland.  It was a somber tour that ended our trip, but it was eye opening as I do love learning about history of our country.  One item that really surprised me was the oil from the ship still leaks into the ocean.  They monitor it for environmental purposes, but just the fact that there is still oil down there coming out of the ship.  It was also interesting that those servicemen that survived are now placed down with their fellow men when they do pass.  I guess perhaps it's a bit of survivor's guilt/they want to be with their brothers.  

Side note:  We were there on the "off" season...although it was still really busy in my book.  So leave yourself extra time to get to places!  The sunset was earlier and we usually waited until after people got to work in order to explore.  It wasn't ideal, as he was at work (and I couldn't drive the car), but for the days that we were there exploring together - I just wanted to add some tips.

I also did not shoot anything.  The hours were tough with John's work and we were just plain busy trying to explore!  We didn't want to waste any time.  

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