Monday, August 10, 2009

Farewell Tour

As my weeks left in Hawaii dwindled I tried to check off as many things on my to do list as possible. I saw and did a lot of cool new things and made sure to hit up some of my favorites one last time.  This is going to be kinda long...
We hiked to Ka'ena Point which is the western most point of Oahu. The views are pretty and we even saw a seal in the shallow tide pools and albatross sea birds in the fields. We thought the seal was dying, but apparently that is how they always act. On our way back we stopped at Yokohama Bay and a few other west side beaches. They are gorgeous and quiet, which is a nice change from Honolulu's touristy beaches. It is however the dry, HOT side of the island for sure!

Monk Seal

Ka'ena Point

Ke'ana Point
Ke'ana Point

I also did the Lanikai Pill Box hike which goes along a ridge that overlooks Kailua & Lanikai and the Choke islands are right off shore. There are couple WWII bunkers (pill boxes) along the way if you need some shade to cool off. It isn't too strenuous and  the views are spectacular!

Lanikai pill box hike

Inside one of the bunkers

Corina, Jijo, and I

Next on the list was Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe. It is a scale replica of the Byodo-In Buddhist temple in Japan. It is amazingly intricate and was made entirely without the use of nails. Very cool! After that we headed up to North Shore and got some famous shrimp from the shrimp trucks- YUM-O! I can see why they are famous :) We layed out and played at Waiamea Bay which is my favorite North Shore beach and topped it all off with one last Acai bowl from Kava Roots cafe. Oh how I am craving one of those right now!

Byodo-In Temple

Giant Buddah

I also went to the Dole plantation for a dose of pineapple in the form of a pineapple chili dog and pineapple ice ceam. The latter of the 2 was much better haha, but hey you never know til you try it right? I also did the maze earlier in the year just to say that I had been in the world's largest maze...even though we did have to cheat a little to finish ;)

When all was said and done I felt like I was able to do almost everything that I wanted do while in Hawaii and am just so very grateful for the opportunity that I had to live in such an astoundingly beautiful place for 11 months. It really was the best time of my life thus far. 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Maui spring break

So I am way behind, but better late than never right? 

I went to Maui, Molokai, and Lanai with Christine over spring break the first week of April. We stayed at the Historic Lahaina Inn in downtown Lahaina and it was very quaint. Funny story though- one night the room next to us had the alarm clock going off at like midnight, so I knocked on the door but no answer. We went down to the lobby and saw that it was a late/early check-in so the key was on the counter, we took the key, broke into the room and turned off the alarm haha problem solved!  
In town we found the best shave ice place ever! Ululani shave ice makes all their own flavors and we made good friends with the owner David and his wife, they were so sweet.  
We also woke up at 3am one morning so that we could make the 2 1/2 hour drive to the Haleakala volcano for sunrise. It was freezing and a little damp, but seriously worth it! I have never had such an awe inspiring experience in my life. Afterward we had breakfast at a little place called Grandma's Coffee House and it was wonderful! Fresh, homemade, and hit the spot! 

We took a day tour of Lanai which was awesome! We saw a whole pod a dolphins that came and played right in front of the boat, a baby whale breached right next to us, we made great friends with captain Brian, and the sunset was  amazing. The island is tiny with only one town and lots of left over pineapple fields since Dole left about 10 years ago. 

We also took the ferry over to Molokai and drove from end to end. We went to the Kalaupapa outlook to see the peninsula where a leper colony was located in the 1800-1900's . There is also the largest phallic rock in the pacific. Tradition says if you touch it is will bring you fertility...can't go against tradition now can we. Molokai also has some of the world's highest sea cliffs which are so majestic. The island is small and we had the beaches all to our self. I loved it there and wish we could have spent more time there. 

Overall it was a great trip and we had tons of cool experiences, I even got searched at the airport...I am very suspicious :)