Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hawaii - Oahu

In the morning we flew to Honolulu and then drove to the north shore and the Turtle Bay Resort. We went swimming in the pool and walked the grounds- then a very nice dinner at Lei Lei's.

In the morning  we went to Three Tables Beach, known for its snorkeling which we took advantage of.

 We then spent some time at the resort pool. We got Hi BBQ  for dinner.
In the morning we went to the beach at the Banzai Pipeline- a very long and very wide beach. As it was summer, there was no surf and no surfers. There was a lava flow on one end that created  a reef. We had a nice snorkel trip there.

 We stopped at Ted's Bakery on the way back for treats and to check its menu.
At the resort we tried the beach there but again ended up in the pool  where Teresa did laps.
We went to Fami's Shrimp for dinner.
Next day was another travel day. We drove down the Windward (East) Coast of Oahu and stopped four times, including an extended stay at a nice beach where Teresa went swimming.

We arrived in Waikiki at about 3:00 and first did some scouting around. We then went to the beach and swam, the water was a nice temperature.
That evening we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I had chicken, Teresa had a salad. We shared a 30 year anniversary chocolate cheesecake for dessert (and didn't finish it). 
A walk/run early the next morning and then off to the beach. I decided to try surfing, not as easy as I had remembered. I did suffer an injury- after a ride I figured I had ridden far enough in that the water would be shallow, so I hopped off the board expecting a sandy bottom. It was a rocky bottom and my right foot took the impact.

Back to the room for lunch and then back to the beach.
For dinner, the restaurant we wanted to go to had a very long line so we went to a steak place.
In the morning we went to the beach at Kailua- a nice beach with thousands of natives setting up tents, tables and grills. We found a good spot and spent most of the day there. We met another family from Canada.

Back to the room. We went to an Asian Noodle restaurant which was very good.

 It was then a rather long walk to Honolulu's impressive fireworks.

 On the way back we stopped at a Hard Rock Cafe for a Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae.

The next morning we drove to Pearl Harbor. We were there in time for a boat ride around the harbor - a sailor narrated- we could go by- not in the Arizona Memorial as it was still under repair.
Overall, the film that we saw and the two small museums were very informative and well done. The experience was better than I thought it would be- well worth the trip.

We then drove to the center of Honolulu to see historic sites- including Iolani Palace, the Capitol, the Justice Building (Steve McGarett does not have an office there)

For dinner we picked up a very good pizza which we took back to our condo and ate with our leftover noodle soup.
The next morning we headed to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Snorkeling Beach- beautiful site, considered the best snorkeling beach on Oahu as there are acres of reefs in rather shallow waters right off the beach with plenty of colorful fish.
We were visited by Kekoa and Koloka, two monk seals who beached themselves and spent the day sunning on the beach. Teresa found the perfect spot to set up- a break in the flora with plenty of shade. It was much coveted and we did agree to share it a couple of times. We had been told to get there early as the rather large parking lot fills up which shuts off the entrance. We got there at 6:44 a.m. and the lot was 70% full. The bonus was that arriving before 7:00 meant the $7.50 per person and $1.00 per car fee was waived.

We left the Bay at about 2:30 and headed  to Diamond Head where we were lucky to find a parking spot right away. We climbed the crater, took some photos at the top and climbed down. It took about an hour.

We then returned to our room to do laundry and then repeated the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Back to pack.
Saturday was travelling day which was good because the light traffic made the short trip to the airport easy.

Hawaii - Maui

In Maui, we picked up our rental and drove to Wailea. We again had a condo, this time a beachfront resort.
We decided to walk along the sacred trail along the shore to check out the area.

As our condo had a gas grill we went to the store and bought steak, potatoes and other groceries.
In the morning we walked/ran, took some photos.

We then drove to a dive shop (I had given up on my snorkeling mask) We then went to a snorkeling beach where we encountered four turtles in the water. We then went back to our pool at the resort.

Late afternoon we drove to Lahaina, a tourist town up the coast. We visited the ancient famous Banyan  tree which encompasses a city block. Then up and down Front Street- crowded with tourists. We went into several art galleries, watched the sunset and then looked for a place to eat. We thought we were walking into a Thai place but it was actually an Italian restaurant. We shared a salad and spicy salami pizza. Gelato later.

Up at 5:15 the next morning to get to the beach to board the catamaran at 5:45- about 30 of us going out to snorkel.
They took us first to Molokini, an island/crater where we snorkeled for 40 minutes- was supposed to be 45.

Next they took us to "Turtle Town" where green sea turtles hang out. We saw four.
This again was supposed to be 45 minutes. After 40 we headed to where the boat was but noticed it was out a lot further than we remembered being dropped off. Teresa and I feverishly took off after it but it never seemed like we were getting closer. We finally realized it was moving away form us. We decided our best option was to head back to shore. At that point we were both pretty tired so we flipped onto our backs to make some progress. From that angle we saw a boat going by. We waved for help. They initially waved back. We became more demonstrative and they came over. They picked us up, and as it was a very fast boat it was able to catch the catamaran.
When we got back to our condo we immediately received a call from the company which refunded our $338 and offered another free trip. We declined the extra trip.
We then went to our beach and pool. Teresa swam; I was tired of swimming.

In the morning, after our walk/run, we headed to a beach two down from us. It had better shade from trees and a good snorkeling area which was frequented by scuba divers.
For lunch we left our car and beach chairs there and walked back to our condo where we had steak sandwiches  which polished off our steak.
Back to the beach where we stayed until 5:00. We walked down one end and saw a turtle next to a lava flow. We also spoke to a sand sculptor who created a turtle and a dolphin.

Next morning was a traveling day but the travel was the adventure. First north to the Hana Highway and then east along it. Several stops along the way.
First was a surfing spot where sea turtles came on the beach to rest. A lot of long boards. I talked to a guy whose board was 9'. He said the short boards came out in the winter.

From there it was a series of waterfalls, hikes to waterfalls, hikes through forests, with an occasional scenic outlook over the sea. At one waterfall it was okay to jump from the top. I did a can opener.

We reached Hana by 4:00 and checked into heavenly Hana Paradise - actually a very nice inn. We rode around a while then got Thai food.
In the morning we drove to Red Sand Beach which was like Red Beach on Santorini.

We then drove to Hanakalea State Park, first to the 80' waterfall, then a two mile hike up to the 400' waterfall.

On the drive back we stopped at Hamoa Beach which was quite nice.
Thai food for dinner again.
In the morning we went to Waianapanapa State park and its black beach and sea caves.

Next was a drive to Aunty Sandies to buy four loaves of the famous banana bread.

On to Paia where we walked through the town and bought groceries. We then checked into our B & B. It was then off to Haleakala Park from the west side. We went on three hikes at three different levels of the mountain before going to he summit to see the sunset. It was very cold and very windy.

In the morning we checked out our beach options and decided to head south near where we were in Wailea (it looked far on the map but was only 20 minutes). The day was nice; we found shade twice and spent most of our time speaking with a nice couple form Canada, Shelly and Wendy.

We then went back to the room before heading to Iao Valley to explore the site of one of the major battles of Hawaiian unification.

For dinner we drove to Paia, and at Paia Fish House- not fancy- I had the best seafood pasta I have ever had. Teresa had fish tacos. We then crossed the street for gelato- the best I have had outside of Europe. I had peanut butter and dark chocolate; Teresa had dark chocolate and macadamia java chip.