Published: March 11th 2012March 11th 2012
Oahu had a huge variety of cool plants. We heard that a lot of them were imported though.
February flew by, and my 10-day trip to Hawaii is partially to blame. I used my winter school vacation to meet my best friend from home there. I had been researching the trip for months, since JT and I first planned to meet there. A few weeks before the trip, my parents surprised me and told me they were coming too! A couple of weeks before the trip I began dreaming of American food and shopping.So, it’s a big understatement to say I was excited.
Originally we wanted to go to Maui, but as the trip got closer and airline ticket prices rose, we had to go with Oahu instead. I got into Honolulu alone on a Saturday and went straight to my hostel, where I slept for approximately 16 of the next 24 hours. I had had food poisoning the night before flying out and hadn’t slept at all. I was recovered enough Sunday to meet JT at the airport. We stayed in Honolulu until Tuesday. On Monday we went to the famous Waikiki Beach, then walked a lot to see some other parts of Waikiki and Honolulu. On Tuesday morning we woke up before sunrise to hike up
to Diamond Head. Then we checked out of our hostel, and lugged our stuff to the beach to wait for my parents.
An advantage of my parents coming was that they decided to rent a car, so they came to pick us up. We stopped at Wally World for some essentials, then headed to the eastern part of the island, where we had a room booked at a small resort (Paradise Bay—highly recommended). The drive there was awesome—it was raining and there was fog all over the mountains. The mountains were unbelievably steep and lush. Our resort was also in an awesome location. It wasn’t right beside a beach, but on a bay, and there were kayaks that my parents made use of. We stayed there for 3 nights.
The first day we went to Lanikai Beach—beautiful. That evening the resort put on a Luau Night. There was no roasting pig or hula dancers, so I’m not really sure how much of a luau it was. We ended up having a good time anyway. There were free Mai Tais, delicious dinner, and a man singing Hawaiian songs. Towards the end of the evening when he broke into high
notes, the four of us worked really hard not to crack up. For some reason no one else was misbehaving.
Another day we went to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. I was kind of hesitant about it, but it was amazing. Even without equipment, you could walk out in the sand and see colorful fish swimming right by. The fish aren’t frightened by people being around them. In fact sometimes I got a little worried that I was going to swim into a fish because you’re really just floating and the current can push you a little when you’re not expecting it. You can’t kick a lot because you don’t want to kick coral. We were all pretty excited to get right in with our gear on, so excited that we forgot to remind my dad to take his wallet out of his swim trunks pocket. Later we realized it had floated free, so we looked around for it, and asked staff. We didn’t find it, so then we had to call and cancel all of his cards. About 20 minutes after we left, we got a call that someone had found it and turned it in, so we went
back and got it. Just a vacation story now.
After Hanauma Bay, we hiked up to Makapuu Lighthouse. Winter is the time blue whales come down to Hawaii, so we thought we might be able to see them from up there. But, the water was really choppy and we couldn’t pick any out.
On Friday we drove to our last place on the North Shore, a condo rented from a pro-surfer. The North Shore is where the big waves come in in the winter. One day we went to the Banzai Pipeline, where there happened to be a competition going on. Actually, it wasn’t a surfing competition—it was a boogie-boarding competition. First we watched the women, who actually did tricks like spins while riding the waves, then we watched the men do drop-knee boogie boarding. They were half-standing up on the boards, kind of like surfing. The waves weren’t huge, but seeing what everyone could do was pretty neat.
Saturday, we all got a bit of a late start. Eventually JT and I walked around the area (Turtle Bay Resort), which is where the movie, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was filmed. (I didn’t know that until we got
back). Anyways, we took a long walk to a beach that was supposed to be good for snorkeling. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very hot out and as soon as we got situated and put our sunscreen on, the wind really picked up and spit sand at us.
On Sunday, we had to send JT back across the ocean : (, so we went to Pearl Harbor in the morning. We had about 2 hours from when we got there to when we were supposed to get on a boat to see the Arizona Memorial, so we looked around at the different exhibits. When we lined up to watch the movie before the boat trip, the guide told us that actually the boat had broken down and they were cancelling the ferries for the day. We watched the movie anyway, and it was pretty informative. We stopped to get lunch, then dropped JT off at the airport. I have to look forward to seeing her for her wedding in August now.
Since we were down in Honolulu, I convinced my dad to take me to Target for my shopping trip of the year. I didn’t buy everything I originally dreamed
about, but it was enough. My mom had made me lasagna earlier in the week, which was my number one food craving (cheese and cottage cheese are expensive/hard to find here). I had just one more, which was key lime pie. After a wonderful effort, and with incredibly patient parents, we found the grocery store where I’d seen it earlier in the week in 2-slice packs. But they were sold out, and I had to buy a whole pie (with about 36 hours left before flying out).
Monday, my dad wanted to see some waterfalls. The ones that were the closest were Waimea Falls. The botanical gardens inside were really nice. The falls were alright, but not muddy, and not very high. I’d say it’s not really worth the $15, maybe $10. After that, we went to Sharks Cove, nearby. We had a snorkel set from our condo, but when we went to put the snorkel on, we realized the mask was broken. We still waded through the water and could see some fish.
After that, we drove out to Kaena Point, the westernmost tip of Oahu. This was our last chance to see whales, but it we
didn’t see any. The beaches out there reminded me of the Outer Banks, probably because of the strong wind. On our way back, we stopped to watch kite surfers, which was really cool. We also saw a double-rainbow. That evening we drove to Kaneohe to meet a friend of mine who also lives in South Korea. He’s from Hawaii and was home for vacation, so we, he, and his mom met for a delish dinner. Then I ate a lot more key lime pie so it wouldn’t go to waste.
Tuesday, we had planned to leave extra-early to stop for breakfast before my flight. Of course, once we left, we had to return to pick up my mom’s cell phone, and ended up only making it the airport right on time. It was sad to say bye to my parents again. I couldn’t believe I’d just seen them for a week straight—it just flew! I get to talk to them pretty often through Skype, though, so it’s alright. Now I’m back and left with the Hawaii links on my browser, which is pretty depressing.
The next blog will be about ending my first year and beginning my second
here in Daegu, South Korea.
There are more photos below