First of this report is really long. We intended it for us to remember things but thought you would enjoy.. Secondly thanks to all that consistently reply to threads for your insight and ideas. Planning this trip was easy. Third I thank my wife for writing this everyday.
Some background info. We are a couple in our thirties that like to stay busy and active. We don't relax much. Our hotel choice (ko olina) was dictated by my job with the Marriott and had its plusses and minuses. We had been to Oahu twice before, six nights and five nights. The time for five nights was for our wedding so we didn't do many things in the island. We were excited to spend almost two weeks in Oahu which we were already familiar with. Enjoy and apologies for the length. Feel free to contact me with questions as I didn't go into details on everything.
We arrived January 8 around 4pm, traffic was crazy and a long line at Thrifty, but we got a Jeep Patriot for no extra cost! There were scattered showers and rainbows on the drive to the resort. Dylan met with a guy about buying a surfboard while I went up to the room and unpacked. By then it was dark so we went to Walmart and got snorkeling gear and food. We ate dinner at the Longboards restaurant on site, Dylan had fish tacos, I had the veggie burger.
January 9th we woke up at 5:15 left by 6:15 to head to the North Shore. We got stuck in a little traffic before the H2 highway and it was raining. We stopped at The Surfers Coffee bar in Wahiawa for yummy coffee ($9 bucks for 2 coconut lattes, normal cost of a Starbucks). We traveled to many surf breaks this morning, all in the wrong order. We seemed to backtrack a lot. We went to Pipeline, Ke Iki, Teds Bakery, Waimea, Rocky Point, Gas Chambers and Haleiwa. Pipe was looking good, but Rocky Point was the best, we hadn't explored some of these surf spots before, so it was fun to see them. Everytime we go it's usually Waimea, Pipe and Sunset but there are a lot of spots in between all those places. We got some pastries and pie at Teds. Then we headed to Haleiwa and walked and shopped the streets. Dylan got rash guard, hat, towel, and map. I got a sarong from the same lady that I always purchase from when we visit and a towel. We also got iced coffees in Haleiwa.
We went to the Waialua Sugar Mill for the first time. We heard they had converted it into shops. It was a strange place, a large dirt parking lot with a few shops scattered about, including a Soap factory, surf factory and a place that makes chocolate and coffee. We got a natural Shave ice and got a tour of the mill and the coffee and chocolate making process. I also got soap from the North Shore Soap factory. We left there and found the famous shrimp trucks and got one order of the garlic shrimp from Giovanni's. It cost $13 and it was disgusting! The shrimp were so huge and tuff! Yuck! I ate one Dylan tried to eat the rest but they were pretty gross. It seemed like they were cooked an hour or two earlier and just kept warm. The numerous flies all over the place didn't help the experience.
We headed back to the resort before rush hour and went for a dip in the lagoon to try out snorkel gear, where we saw a Turtle! Then we went to the pool! We came in and showered and changed then headed to a local farmers market in Ewa Beach. This was an adventure. The Iphone navigation took us a route that ended at a checkpoint for the NAVY!! oops, we had to turn around because we couldn't go across the base. We found our way but still had to get our ID's checked at the gate to Ewa Beach, because it is a gated community. Finally we found the market that had a dozen vendors. We got some fruit and kebobs. We stopped at Zippys for dinner where I got a tofu burger and Dylan got a zip plate which consisted of rice, fried chicken, SPAM, Fried Mahi and Beef. After dinner we met up with a guy from Craigslist to buy a surf board for $105! Crazy deal because it would have cost $170 to rent a board for the whole trip. Dylan is thinking of shipping it home! We returned to the resort and headed to the bar and got a lava flow and mango flow! I had awful belly ache from all the junk food!!! Went to bed at 10:45
Woke up at 4:00 am to get to tickets to Pearl Harbor and got there by 5:15. It was pitch black and we were the only ones there. We realized that it doesn't take long to get places when there isnt traffic!! The sign said they do not open until 7:00. A nice guard told us where to go get coffee! We found a Starbucks and got coconut iced coffee, yum!! On our way back the Iphone navigation sent us to a restricted area again. We had to do a U-turn and find another way back. We arrived at Pearl Harbor with plenty of time to get the first boat to the Arizona. We spent some time at the museum then took the boat out. It was very somber. There was still oil leaking out from the Arizona below us. We purchased the pass to the Missouri and the Bowfin submarine the for $30 each. After the Arizona we took the bus to the Missouri and checked that out. It was cool to be on such a large ship and see where the Japanese surrendered in WWII. The Bowfin was neat, but very cramped below deck, we were very hungry and it was hot hot hot so it was a quick stop. We found another Down to Earth and got a big salad and coconut water for me and Zippys for Dylan. This time he got chicken katsu, rice and Macaroni salad. We decided we needed better snorkel gear, Dylan needed a mask and I needed a snorkel! Go figure my Walmart purchase was crap! Got them at a dive shop near Sand Island.
Then we headed to the hotel to spy on the secret lagoon and search for more turtles! We climbed our way over the rocks past the secret Lagoon, almost to Paradise cove. Dylan said it was loaded with fish! I only stayed in a little while because I got cold. The gopro camera leaked water which caused it to fog up which made Dylan quite upset. On our way back we noticed a bunch of people in the water at the secret lagoon, they reported lots of cool fish so Dylan headed out! While there someone spotted another turtle! This one was a little bigger Dylan said! A bunch of kids and adults were chasing it around and touching it! Dylan asked them to stop and informed them that it was an endangered species but they didn't seem to care. We then we headed to the pool and happy hour drinks @ 8.00 each! I got the key lime drink and it was delicious! Dylan picked tropical itch this time which he enjoyed. We wore our masks around in the pool and then lounged in the hot tub for a bit. Headed back to the room to shower and call around for gopro gear. No luck on the gear, yet. It seemed everyone on the island was waiting on a Gopro shipment and none had the dive housing in stock. We walked down to Just Taco for dinner and had a big margarita, I got strawberry, Dylan had the traditional kind. I filled up on the chips and salsa so when my giant taco salad arrived I was full . Dylan got the taco plate with 3 different types. We walked back to the room to get ready for day 3 and get some much needed rest! Dylan went to be around 8:45 I wrote this, sent e-mails and went to bed around 9:15.
We planned on hiking Mariners ridge in Hawaii Kai, the other side of the island. In order to miss traffic we needed to leave early. The alarm went off at 4:06am but we continued to sleep and didn't get on the road until 5:20! Traffic starts really early on the island. We tried to be sneaky and take the HOV lane but it took us directly into Honolulu without any opportunity for an exit. It was also on the wrong side of the road!! Finally we navigated out of Honolulu and to Hawaii Kai.
We stopped off at a adorable coffee shop called Island Brew coffeehouse, it was over looking the water and in the shadow of Koko crater. We each got a coconut ice coffee and everything bagel with cream cheese and waited there until the sunrise. We drove up a suburban neighborhood to access the trailhead. At 7:00am we started our way up the hike. Not too hard but steep in places! We rose above Hawaii Kai and made our way to the top. It had gorgeous views all the way down the Windward coast. It was little work for a huge reward. We took tons of photos then left there by 9 because I was itching to do another hike and see some more sights. We made our way along the coast and saw where Hanauma bay was and saw Sandys beach.
We continued up the coast and stopped at the Makapu'u Point Trail. It was a paved path to a lookout at the point and a lighthouse. It was super super hot and there was no shade!! The trail wound around the point and was steep at times! The lighthouse was not the highlight of the hike! We hiked a bit higher on an unmarked trail to some bunkers for the ultimate look out! We could again see down the Windward coast and Waimanalo beach stretched out in front of us. The water was very blue. We met a character while hiking the unmarked trail who scared me a bit but just wanted to talk our ears off. His tattoos told his life story which he was more than willing to share. We went back down to the car and took another trail to the beach. The trail was flat but completly exposed to the hot hot sun. The beach and view were ok but we didn't go in the water. Dylan really wanted to go back to Sandy's to shoot photos of the shore break but we continued on to check out the side of the island that we had never seen.
We drove through Waimanalo and got lunch at Kalapawai Market. I also got a matted photo there for $20. We had eaten here before and enjoyed it. We took our sandwiches down to Kailua beach and had a picnic. Afterwards we made our way south and Dylan hopped in the water at Sandys to get some photos of the shorebreak. Before he got in the water we witnessed a rescue right off shore by a helicopter. They took three people out of the water and brought them to a waiting ambulance right beside us. By now it was getting later and the beach was filling up with locals which made me feel a bit uncomfortable being alone. Dylan had fun in the small part of the shorebreak, away from the really heavy waves.
I was getting hot and the water was too dangerous for me so we decided to find a beach on our way to the resort. The beaches in Hawaii Kai didnt get good reviews so we found ourselves in Waikiki near Diamond head. I dipped in and Dylan paddled out to a surf break that was way too small to surf. He enjoyed the view from offshore though. We went on exploring Waikiki trying to find a PukaDog. We found a farmers market where Dylan got poke and I got some fresh fruit. We were going to buy more but they stopped selling things for 20 minutes while a Hawaiian Flag ceremonony took place. We continued on our quest for a PukaDog and found ourselves in the International Marketplace. Dylan recognized it from Tripadvisor and said I should buy swap meet stuff here. I got two necklaces for $4 each, a pink and a purple. I got 7 T-shirts for co workers for $20 and also 4 magnets at $1 each, bargains!!! Dylan stopped in a surf shop and found the Gopro dive housing he needed!
It was getting later so we decided to make our way home. There was more of Waikiki to explore but we enjoyed the shops, vendors and silly statue men. It seemed clean and a fun and bustling place. Nothing like what we had heard. The outskirts near Kapiolani park where our car was where a little shady with homeless people including a little old woman who had curled up under a tree on an old junky suitcase to sleep. It was sad. We got back to the hotel around 9 and ate our leftovers from the Taco place the night before. I packed and did laundry and went to bed around 10:30pm.
Alarm went off at 4:15, time to wake up and see what Diamond Head is all about ! We left early to beat the heat. We also wanted to get down early to go to the Farmers market. We arrived and so did hundreds of other tourists. Mostly Japanese tour buses. The hike to the top was a slow pace similar to waiting in line for popcorn at the movies. It was very frustrating and stupid. We often had to stop, sometimes in a tunnel and wait for people to move forward. The trail was paved and we used our headlamps as the sun wasnt' up yet. We got to the top and it was also crowded. There wasn't any view because the sun wasn't up. When it rose it wasn't that great anyhow. We headed down, very dissapointed. Afterwards we went to the KCC farmers market which was right nearby. It was about half produce stands and half places to get something to eat. We ate:
-Pancakes with haupia sauce, berry compote and apple bananas
-Pizza with local tomatos and fresh pesto
-Pineapple ginger cooler and Lilikoi ginger cooler from Pacifikool Island Ginger Ale
-Kimchee Sausage from Kukui sausage company
-A cocnut pineapple smoothie from fresh pineapples
-Cheesecakes, Lilikoi, Kahlua, Mocha
-Ono pops, A chocolate coffee with ingredients from Waialua Sugar Mill and a blueberry one.
-We purchased a coconut butter from Honomu Jams and Jellies
Dylan waited in line for an abalone. He had no clue how to eat it and didnt even like it. Everyone else was enjoying it though.
We drove up the coast and Dylan went to Sandys again but there were some clouds so his shots weren't that great. We decided to head back to the resort. We stopped in Kapolei and got lunch. I got a veggie sub from Quiznos and Dylan got a vietnamese sandwich from PHO 808. Our usual stop at Starbucks for two coconut iced coffees and we were back at the resort. We ate lunch on our lanai and it started pouring rain. We went down to the pool bar and watched a little football, played in the pool and had a lava flow and key lime kolada. We went in the hot tub then showered and headed out for dinner. We decided to take the shuttle to the ABC store which took a long time. I got a greek salad and Dylan got Hawaiian BBQ from a place next door. We ate in our room and went to bed at 10pm.
Woke up at 6! Wow sleeping in! We went on a boat charter with Wild Side Specialty Tours from Waianae so our day started driving up the coast a tiny bit. We noticed a huge differnce in the lack of homeless tent cities along the coast from last time we were up here. We pulled into the sketchy boat harbor and I was immediatly turned off and scared for our belongings because of the characters around. Dylan assured me that our things would be fine, it was a weekend and the harbor was busy. We had a hard time finding where the boat was and arrived too early as well. We got on board with two other couples. We signed some waivers, got our gear ready and headed off, north along the Leeward coast. We came upon a humpback whale and her calf and got some photos. The sun hadn't burned off the cloud cover yet, so it was chilly on the water and not as beautiful as it could be. I told our guide about my apprehension to swimming with dolphins and she said she wouldn't pressure me if I wasn't comfortable. We left the whale and headed to Makua beach where we found dolphins offshore. The captain guided the boat near them and told us to get ready. Dylan went to the back of the boat with his gopro on the pole and sat on the edge of the boat with his feet in the water. He said he could barely hang on and almost went in too early a couple times. The captain gave the go ahead and off he went in search of dolphins. He had to swim quite aways until he got to the pod. He spent over an hour in the water taking photos and filming. There were other people in the water too that had swam from shore but we were the only tour boat. I stayed on the boat and took photos. When they came back on board I mentioned that I would probably regret not going in. The captain told the mate to get me in the water. We jumped in and Dylan too. She gave me a float to hang onto and we swam together to see the dolphins before they left the area. Dylan really enjoyed the dolphins and got very close to them a couple times. He had his Gopro set to take a photo every second, so he got over 3000 pictures in just that swim. On our way to the next spot the dolphins played in our wake and we came upon the same whale as before. The sun was out now and we ate lunch and saw the whale up close. The captain had to back the boat away because the mom was being very protective of her calf and getting too close. We stopped at the turtle cleaning station and snorkeled in very clear water. The water was about 30 feet deep and had beautiful reef. Dylan gave me his float and he dove down to take pictures of the fish. There weren't a lot of fish but it was very beautiful. We got back on the boat and were dissapointed and surprised that we were headed back.
We stopped at starbucks and got coconut iced coffees and headed back to the resort. We stopped at electric beach to see how bad the swim would be if we snorkeled there.
We were back to the resort by 1:30 and Dylan caught a little of the Patriots game while we sipped Pina coladas and mango flows. We also explored the JW lagoon and the secret lagoon again. There was another turtle in the secret lagoon and Dylan got underwater photos of the sharks at the JW. We saw the sunset from the hottub then went to the room and showered. We went into Kapolei for dinner where Dylan got another Zippac and I got some hot food from Down to Earth. We reviewed the photos from the day and went to bed around 10pm.
I woke up before my alarm! Dylan slept till 6:15 and we ate our natural bagels and headed out the door by 7:15. We really had no idea what's on tap for today so we brought stuff to snorkel, hike, surf or just sight see. Weather calls for rain so we'll see. Dylan was itching to go surfing so we drove to the north shore so he could surf at Haleiwa, I sat in the car since it was pouring out. I wanted to do some more shopping but it was raining really hard at times. Dylan had fun surfing in the rain and with turtles. He didn't catch many waves because there were a lot of people and it was a little too big for his comfort zone. He got back to the car around 10 and we went to Teds and got some pie and a huge cinnamon roll. We got a whole pie this time to take back to the resort and eat all week. We decided the rain wasn't going to stop so we went on a mission to find the Hilo Hatties flagship store. It rained very hard a couple of times and it was scary. We stopped at Lanikea to see the turtles before we left the North Shore.
We found the Hilo Hatties and I got two bags, lotion and a candle. We were close to a place Dylan wanted to buy poke called Tamashiro market. We made our way there and got three types of poke, one was octopus!! He said they were really good. We saw all sorts of crazy fish and gooeyducks in the fish market.
We decided to continue exploring Waikiki since we were close. The rain had let up a bit, now just some sprinkles here and there. We parked at Fort DeRussey and walked along the beach, stopping at a few shops and getting lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express. Dylan had a chicken sandwich and I had a pizza.
The weather was starting to clear up so we decided to head back to the resort. We stopped at Starbucks for coconut coffees and left Waikiki around 3:30. We still got stuck in a bit of traffic but nothing bad as we were back at the resort just past 4:00. We got changed and headed to the pool. We played with our pink donut by jumping off the side and seeing who could land in the donut. The bar was closed because of all the rain. We cooked the sausage Dylan got at the farmers market and I had some leftover greek salad from ABC stores. After dinner we walked to the ABC store to buy things to make Pina Coladas in our room and save some money. We stopped at Two Scoops for ice cream. I got the Hawaii Mud Pie and Dylan got Coconut Macadamia. On our walk back Dylans foot was bothering him so he walked barefoot, until he stepped on a lizard! yuck! Made a drink to share watched the news at 10 then went to sleep. Excited for tomorrow's adventures.
Woke up to the alarm at 4:15 , Dylan was sleepy and slept in till 5:00 It is Sad to think we only have a week left ! We left the house at 5:15, I hope we didn't dawdle too much and run into traffic. We planned to explore the Windward side today and hike the pillboxes above Lanikai beach.
We stopped at local coffee shop in Kailua and decided to check out the beach while waiting for the sun to rise. It didn't take long without traffic to get over here so we were ahead of schedule. It was raining so we pulled over by the side of the beach and Dylan took a power nap while I caught up on work emails in the car waiting for the sun to rise around 7:00. Around 7:15 we made our way to the beach it was pretty and many shades of pink in the sky. We made our way to the pill box trail head and saw many people coming out, they were very muddy! They had gone up for the sunrise.
We started the hike and right off the bat it was UP! It was slick as ever because or all the rain yesterday! Luckily there were ropes strung up and we were able to use them! Right after the slick section Dylan realized he didn't have the gopro camera!!!! He went back to get it and I waited on the trial with lots of Mosquitoes! We made our way up the trail snapping about 100 photos along the way! The trail was in great condition and we zipped right up. The worst part was at the beginning. At the top the view was gorgeous ! The sun was out and the water below was the perfect shade of turquoise! We took our time and headed down.
The plan was to move along the side of the island that we had never seen and stopping off where ever we wanted ! We got some fresh java at the Starbucks in town and even scored the coconut syrup to bring back home for 9.95! We were very excited about that because our Maine Starbucks only has the coconut in the summer! We were on our way to the Kualoa ranch when I spotted a sign that said Botanical Gardens in Kaneohe so we flipped the car around to check it out! It was gorgeous and HUGE garden that took us right up near the Ko'olau mountains to snap a bunch of amazing photos of the velvet mountains! So pretty after all that rain yesterday!! We spent a good amount of time there then stopped at foodland for lunch, for me a garden salad which was just okay. We also got some really neat re-useable bags that showed how to make poke! And we got snacks too! Dylan stopped at Mikes Chicken which was a food truck on the side of the road. Dylan got 1/2 a chicken! We ate under the shade on picnic tables.
We made our way along the coast line stopping to snap pictures. We spotted an art gallery displaying only local artists and had to stop in!! All sorts of gorgeous art!!! I left with just 2 prints but I wanted so much more! The lady swiped my debit card and then told me the machine was down and wanted cash! We used all our cash to get the prints $32.00.
We moved on to the Kualoa ranch to get the movie tour into the valley. We didn't care about the movies but wanted to see the beautiful valley. It was just ok. I think we were both pretty disappointed. We boarded a bus and drove just a short way into the valley. It was gorgeous don't get me wrong but we wanted to get photos of the valley with the ocean etc. Seeing the locations for so many Hollywood movies was neat but not really a big deal to us. The tour cost us $28 each. We wish the tour had gone further back into the valley.
From there we drove along and stopped at the macadamia nut factory, nothing there but a bus load of tourist and a bunch of the same old trinkets and I used all my cash anyhow for the prints. We stopped off at a few more scenic outlooks along the Windward coast and Dylan had his eye on a shore break called Pounders! We stopped and checked out about 4 beaches for surf spots which were all pretty large and a long paddle out so we drove back to the shore break and Dylan went in for about an hour while I watched from the shore. Today hasn't been very warm so I am not too eager to get in the water.
Next we spotted an ATM by Foodland in Laie and stopped in, just in time to stop at the little market on the side of the road which had more of the same junky trinkets and a few food trucks and vendors. We got a pineapple, coconut in a baggie for $9 and grilled corn on the cob for $3. Then we stopped at another fruit stand another mile down the road and got more coconut for $3. We made our way to Teds Bakery, this time I got blueberry pie slice and Dylan got a whole pie. We took our pie to the beach to watch the sunset, we chose Waimea. We watched the sunset and people playing in the shorebreak. It was too big for Dylan so he just took photos from shore.
We went to Haleiwa for dinner outside at Breakers where we both got fish and chips which is their specialty $15.95 each plus tax and tip $40.00. Dylan wants to get rest and says he is exhausted from driving all day I just want to fill every second with adventure before we are back home and back to our routine lives. We drive to the resort and arrive around 8:15. We load up all the photos, plan and pack for tomorrow . Dylan went to bed around 9 and I stayed up and did laundry, sent a few emails to my grandmother, work, Dylan's mom and finish writing our trip log. I called it a night around 10:15.
We woke up to the alarm at 6:15 and ate our natural bagels and headed out the door at 7:40. Wow what a mistake, the sun was right in our eyes! We planned on kayaking to the Mokes today now that the swell was down on the east side. The kayak shop opens at 8:30 so we figured we could sleep in a little so Dylan could catch up with some rest. We stopped off at the Starbucks in Kapolei for two iced coconut coffees, our favorites, and got more coconut syrup to take home! We needed gas AGAIN ! At this point we have put over 600 miles on the car ! Yikes ! Gas here is $4.05 per gallon a fill up seems to be around $40-$45.
Arrived at Kailua Sailboard & Kayaks, which was the same place we rented a kayak from the last time we visited Hawaii! We saved 15% by booking the kayak online the night before. We watched the quick video and packed our kayak and made our way to the beach. We stopped off at Kalapawai market to grab a sandwich to eat on our venture. We got a Greek salad, Kailua club, a ginger ale, a juice soda for Dylan and skittles for $22.79. We put the kayak in after a slog to the beach and made our way to paddle to the islands. It was the perfect morning not a cloud in the sky you could see for miles and miles! Dylan pointed out Molokai and Maui in the distance. We were happy to land our kayak safely on the island as it can be challenging with waves coming from both directions. It took us around an hour to get there we think. We had our lunch on the island and explored a little bit. We started to make our way around the island when I got scared and we turned around and started the other direction. We came to Diane's bath, a little ocean pool on the island. Dylan of course jumped in a few times.
We made our way back to the kayaks and the wind had picked up so kayaking was hard against the wind. We of course had to stop off at one of the worlds most gorgeous beaches, Lanikai. The sand was so amazing against the turquoise water and the two islands rising up in the distance was really picture perfect! We could see the hike we had done the day before. Dylan plopped in the water to snorkel around and he came back for me right away! It was chilly and the wind was really picking up so I was very hesitant to go in, but I did and the coral was so pretty here and the water was quite clear! It was gorgeous! I was so chilly I could only stay in for a little bit I went to the shore to warm up. Dylan spotted an eel out there and was all excited ! He said it was like 3 feet long and a thick as a soda can! Eww! We then pushed off in the kayaks and headed back to drop them off and enjoy shave ice at Island Snow. On our way out of the water I ended up with the kayak between me and a wave. The wave rammed the kayak into me pushing me over and to the ground. It hurt a lot and it scared me so I limped off crying! Embarrassing since the beach was loaded with beach goers! We dropped off the kayaks and changed from our wet bathing suits and enjoyed some Island Snow! I got bubble gum, coconut and cotton candy! Dylan got the two scoops of ice cream and the snow cap with mango, lilikoi and lychee.
After enjoying those we made a our way back to the hotel, stopping for coconut iced coffees along our way. Arrived back at the resort by 4, changed, made a piña colada and headed down to the pool and hot tub to take in the sunset. The wind was wild so we felt chilly! Stayed just till the sunset and headed up to the room to shower, change and walk down to the Monkey Pod restaurant. While we waited for our table we stopped into the ABC store to get snacks for our longer hike tomorrow. The Monkey Pod atmosphere was lovely! Live music, open air and tiki torches a glow the wind had calmed so it was just the right temp to enjoy an outdoor dinner. I got the butternut squash pizza which was delicious! Dylan got the best fish tacos on this trip! We both ordered tropical drinks. I Got the Mai pod and Dylan got a traditional Mai tai. His was awful!!! Mine was yummy! Dinner was $62. We made our way back to the room as Dylan wasn't feeling well. He got back and went straight to the bathroom, it must have been all that funky food he's been trying this past week and a half! I did more laundry and packed up for tomorrow. We got in bed to look at all our days photos! Dylan went to sleep by 10:15 I stayed up to about 11:00 writing emails and sending photos .
We woke up to the alarm at 5:15, ate our natural bagels and headed out the door at 6:45. We drove right into bumper to bumper traffic ! Awful! We knew we would run into traffic leaving this late but we decided we needed to catch a little more sleep, or at least Dylan wanted to. Today we are headed off to do a hike just beyond Waikiki, the trail is called Wa'ahila Ridge Trail or Mt. Olympus. It should take about 4 hours and seems to be pretty sketchy at points. While writing this in the car on our way in traffic I see the sunrise and note we are really behind schedule here. We are about 45 minutes away from Waikiki and were supposed to be on the trail for sunrise! Ugh! I don't like hiking in the heat of the day.
We got to the trail head after climbing through another suburban neighborhood. The views of Honolulu were great before we even started the hike. There were no other cars in the parking lot as we set off. We stopped many times to take photos on the way up, even though we knew they would get better the further we hiked. The trail went up and down, following a ridge leading to a peak of the Ko'olau range. Dylan was eating strawberry guavas from the trees which were everywhere! We reached the halfway point of a trail intersection. Dylan said the trail starts to get hard from here on in. There were a few spots that we used the ropes but towards the end it really got crazy. It was slick mud and very steep drop offs on either side of the ridge leading to the mountain. All you had to hold onto was a sketchy rope that someone had put there. I was scared a few times but I didnt want to come all this way for nothing. I pushed on and made it to the Ko'olau summit trail intersection. There was one more part along the ridge that I didnt dare do. Dylan went ahead and made it the the actual summit. The views were amazing and well worth all the scary parts. We could see the entire island. It was crazy to think that we were on top of the beautiful mountains that we are always taking photos of! It was the most difficult hike I had ever done but the most rewarding. It was neat to see all the way to the Waianae range and the Mokes that we had just kayaked too. If we looked hard we could see Chinamans Hat and Rabbit Island. I skyped Dylan's Mom from the top so she could enjoy the view from the top too! We made our way down slowly and safely and it took us almost 6 hours to complete. There was a lot of stopping for photos though. My ankle was very swollen and hurting from being hit by the kayak. Dylan said is probably wasn't broken but a bad contusion. I didn't want it to stop us from having fun!
We took off on search of the nearest Starbucks for our coconut ice coffees! Today we got the large ones as we felt very deserving of them! The Starbucks was in a Safeway so we grabbed some lunch I got some hot ala cart stuff that was pretty gross, Dylan got sushi he said it was pretty good. From there we stopped at Leonard's, home of the famous malasadas! We got 5 they cost $1 each! The cool thing was they make them to order and come out hot hot hot! They were yummy! We ate them while sitting in traffic on the way back to the resort. We left the trail at 3 and its now 4:30 and we are still in bumper to bumper traffic! Crazy that I don't recall all this traffics at all from our last two trips!? It seems to start early for the evening commute too.
Got back to the hotel and plopped into the pool to rinse off all the mud then the hot tub. After we went up and showered, changed and drove down to the ABC store for dinner. I got a veggie pizza and Dylan got the Hawaiian BBQ which we ate in the lobby by the pond. We headed back to the room and washed dishes, did laundry, iced and elevated my ankle and checked out the days photos. We went to bed around 10.
The alarm went off at 4:30 and I didn't want to wake up at all! But we only have 3 days left!!! So out of bed and on the road we went. I had a bagel for breakfast, Dylan had granola and milk that we got at the ABC store yesterday. We were headed to Hanauma bay, home of Oahu's best snorkeling. We had to leave so early to avoid traffic, so we stopped off at the coffee shop in Hawaii Kai to pass the time, we can't exactly snorkel in the dark! Also stopped at the Safeway for a few snacks and cash for the park and personal cash for me to use at the swap meet tomorrow !
We arrived at Hanauma bay early, just before 7, early enough to not have to pay the $14 park fee or $1 parking yay! The air was chilly and the sand was very very chilly! The thought of going in the water didn't appeal to either of us! Yuck! BUT we did get up early for this and the tourists were rolling in like a stampede so Dylan went in! He couldn't just sit around any longer. Brrr! 8:00 am in the ocean!! He was excited with all the fish but he was also freezing and shivering! He zipped around the bay and came in to warm up a little! By 9:00 I decided I should go and check it out! I tried to take in the boogie board but the water was so shallow! I also was reluctant to use my flippers because ankle was now hurting more than the day of the injury! I headed back to the beach to put the boogie machine away and went in with my flippers. The water was so so cold I quickly looked around and got out. Dylan was disappointed that I didn't stay in but I was freezing! I warmed up on the shore while Dylan stayed in and checked everything out. I went in again around 10 this time for a bit longer and saw a bunch of fish, bigger fish and they were not scared at all! It was pretty crazy! I came back in and Dylan stayed out till about 11. He saw another turtle and got lots of photos with his Gopro. The fish were easy to take photos of since they weren't scared of people. The beach was getting crowded now and people were stirring up the sand in the water, making it murky. We packed up and hiked out, getting hot along the way.
We moved on to Sandys which is Dylan's favorite spot for a shore break. He played there for a bit while I hung out close to shore. The waves are so powerful! Dylan was having fun, shooting photos and getting thrown around.
Dylan said that the surf was up on the North shore so we decided to go check it out! On our way there we stopped for the famous dole whip at the Dole Plantation which I thought was delicious Dylan didn't like it at all. It was like soft serve pure pineapple YUMMY! From there we went to Waimea and paid $5 to park pretty close! Every spot on the North Shore was washed out but Waimea was going off, even with the onshore winds. There were a bunch of people's watching from everyplace, the surf was HUGE but so far offshore it was hard to see. We walked around all over to get different views, it was pretty amazing and I know Dylan was high on the hog being there so that made it great for me too. He said that if the wind wasn't onshore that the Eddie contest would've run, which is very rare. The waves were 20-30 feet big, not the 4 feet that he is used to surfing.
After that we decided to check out some other beaches to see the wild surf and of course grab another one of Ted's pies for back at the resort. We stopped off at Ke Iki and Pipeline. Pipe was breaking on the third reef and washing through, only two guys out there. Ke Iki was really big and pounding on the shore. After that we headed to Matsumoto's for shave ice and we both decided we liked Island Snow far better! The ice was chunky at Matsumoto. From there we went back to the resort to soak up some pool time with our piña colada drinks. The wind was wild so we didn't last long and ended up in the hot tub for the sunset. We were both completely exhausted and decided to eat dinner from the Marriott market. I got a tuna salad, Dylan didn't see anything so he went to Longboards and got his fish tacos. We enjoyed dinner and pie in the open air lobby. We checked out photos and Dylan went to bed at 9 while I did laundry, sent emails and went to bed at 10.
We slept in a little, alarm went off at 6:15 and I popped right up, excited for the swap meet and art show! We ate our tropical granola and milk and headed out the door. We zipped right to the swap meet, having no traffic was heavenly! Paid $1 per person to enter. Most vendors were not even set up yet! We quickly made our way around, I got 3 pairs of earrings at one cart for $10, at another cart I got two necklaces for $5, at another cart I got 4 necklaces for $10 and a pack of 12 shell necklaces for everyone for $4. The next cart I got three pairs of earrings for $3, next I got a bracelet with turtles pink and teal and two hibiscus flower change purses all for $4, then we found the sticker cart where Dylan got an Eddie one, a tiki man, two hibiscus flowers one pink and one silver, a surfer and hawaii island all for $15. Then we stopped at a lotion cart and they had my favorite lotion the pikake!! I got two for $10. We stopped at the swap meet post office, they charge $5 above the flat rate charge to ship but at this point we were out of options! The box weighed 14lbs and cost $21, yikes! Had to ship to my PO box because we are moving. They only took cash which was annoying.
We left the swap meet a little later than planned and drove to Waikiki to check out the art and craft show at the park. It took a while to find parking and then we had to find an ATM. While looking for an ATM Dylan saw that there was some decent surf and decided to paddle out while I checked out the art. Before that we walked down the art on the wall by the Zoo and I immediately spotted a painting on wood that I had to have. It cost $30. The artist was so sweet she wanted to take a picture with us! I was one happy camper! We parted ways and decided to meet back up at 1:15 giving each other two hours to do our own things. The surf break was pretty far offshore and Dylan said it might take a bit to paddle out. I enjoyed the art show, I spent about an hour there got a pendant for $15, a hand painted mermaid bracelet for $15 and later on, a ribbon Lei for $30. Dylan had a fun time surfing and looking back at the city and the amazing turquoise water with Diamond Head in the background. He said the vibe out there was a lot better than Haleiwa and he got a lot more waves. He had to walk down the beach a bit to find the spot to paddle out and it took him 15 minutes just to get out to the lineup! We met back at 1:00 (we were both early) and walked around to find lunch. We ended up at Tikis Tacos on the roof and we both got souvenir glasses, I got the fish and chips, Dylan got his usual fish tacos both were ok. I just enjoyed the atmosphere. It was a great view from the covered deck. From there we decided to go back and surf for Dylan and I took out my boogie machine to play on. We parted ways again and met back in an hour (4:00) from there we went to Safeway and got stuff for burgers (veggie) for me. Spend $45 at Safeway for two meals, a good deal. Back at the resort we got in the hot tub for a bit and had dinner in the open air lobby after Dylan grilled the burgers. I did another load of laundry, ran the dishwasher, looked at photos and went to bed Dylan at 9:00 me at 10:00
We woke up at 6:15, ate granola and milk then left to go on the Olomana hike. I convinced Dylan that I could do a hike with my ankle. I wanted to do another one before we left for home. We got there and just two other groups were leaving for the trail. We walked up the road about 1/3 mile past the guard shack with a golf course to the right. Starting up the trail it was easy but became steep and all the rock scrambling reminded us of the white mountains. The view of windward side and the Ko'olau mountains was amazing as we were headed up. We came on a few really steep rock walls that had ropes you needed to use to get up. I have a hard time trusting the ropes so it takes me a bit longer. Dylan is like monkey man and gets right up without the ropes. We bump into a straight up rock section that we knew was coming. It was a little bigger than we thought. I start and then realize it is far out of my comfort and skill level so I decide to face time Brady and wait for Dylan. He goes on and returns in about 15 minutes he tells me it was best I didn't go as it was super scary past that and the wind had picked up. He said that there weren't any trees and very exposed with only a three foot wide place to walk and drop offs on both sides. We slugged our way down the trail which was now jam packed with mostly locals who don't over indulge in polite conversations such as " hello". Many times we would say good morning and receive no response at all. We took photos on the way down as there were amazing views once again. I was a little disappointed I didn't go to the top but Dylan said I made the right choice.
We arrive back at the car hot and ready for Lanikai beach! On our way there Dylan makes up his mind that he wants to take home the surf board. We stop off at a shop and Dylan gets a bag for $60, he is happy! We spotted a market and grabbed lunch to eat on the beach I got a veggie sandwich and Dylan got his usual Kailua club. We arrive at the beach and it is quite chilly because of the wind but we really wanted to check out the snorkeling here so we go on. Brrr ! I swam around for about 10 minutes and come back to warm up. Dylan lasts a little longer. Lots of beautiful fish, but they are hard to get photos of because they are scared. The large coral heads look really cool though. Now that we are wet we are chilly and decide to move on. We pack up and head into Kailua to check out a few shops I had spotted earlier in our trip. They had some really neat art shops, Hula Girl, Sand People and a few others. If there was a Marriott in Kailua we would definetly stay over here. I decide to splurge on a dress/ beach coverup at the Eel for $80. It was turquoise like the water and white, very pretty.
From there we stopped off at Laniki juice bar which was a total zoo! We were in there for about 30-40 minutes. I got a berry smoothie and Dylan got acai bowl, expensive but good and huge portions. Dylan was disappointed as he was following the Patriots game on his phone and they were losing. Good thing we weren't wasting our vacation watching it!
We then drove back to the resort where we did our usual pool, drinks, hot tub combo ! Made dinner of a veggie burger for me and a hamburger for Dylan on the grill then upstairs to pack up. Such a sad time . Luckily we have one full day left!
Ohh no! Our last day! So sad! I set my alarm for 6:15 so we could get out and enjoy every moment. We ate our granola and milk then headed out the door to a surf spot near by called Tracks. Dylan surfed for about an hour while I checked in on work emails etc. He had fun even though it was a very local spot. He said it was a little scary surfing with the reef only two feet below you. From there we went onto Kapolei to stop at Home Depot to get stuff to pack Dylan's board for the flight home. He got bubble wrap and noodles while I ran over to Starbucks and got us our coconut iced coffees.
We were back at the resort to pack up the surf board and get our stuff out by the 10:00 check out. We had a very hard time with jamming the surf board in the bag! We had to spend a great deal of time wrapping it with the bubble wrap and noodles only to have it not fit! Ended up using little to no bubble wrap because the board hardly fit anyhow! We loaded our stuff in the rental car and our pie to the bell stand. Headed over to the marina lagoon to check it out. It was packed with locals since it was a holiday. Afterwords we checked out the boats and made our way back. We decided to have lunch so we walk the other direction to the ABC store where I get egg salad. Dylan gets Hawaiian BBQ nearby and we bring it to the JW Marriott lagoon to sit and eat and hope to spot some of the football players for the pro bowl. The JW is all decorated with Probowl stuff that we take a couple photos of.
On our way back to the resort we spotted stand up paddle boards to rent!!! We couldn't resist so we rented one for an hour. Dylan ran back to get the go pro camera from the resort while I messed around and got used to the board. We had lots of fun, I was surprised at how easy it was to use! When our hour was up we headed back to the resort to snorkel in our lagoon one last time. We get back and notice we no longer have masks! We think we left them the night before! We go check the front desk and pool cart with no luck. We have no option but to start pool time early. We create all sorts of silly games to play and then pop over to the hot tub. Then to the locker rooms for showers to wash off the Hawaii salt for our flight tonight at midnight. We ate our pie and watched the Hawaii sun set for the last time. We hopped in the rental car a stopped at Kapolei for dinner at Down to Earth for me and Zippy's saimen for Dylan. He doesn't like it, I don't blame him because it smells awful! We drop off our rental car - drove 1138 miles!!! Car for 15 days was $400. We catch the shuttle to the airport to start our journey home. Most of the shops in the airport were closing so there was no more loot to buy. I find a place to buy Grammy a plant to grow and Dylan gets another dinner at the food court. Soon we are boarding our plane back to Maine. Yuck! I can't wait to come back!!!