So we’re finally back from Hawaii. It’s been a whirlwind since we’ve been back, at least for me. We returned Thursday night a little later than we had planned because our planes from Honolulu and Houston were both delayed. When we arrived at home, Tyler’s parents were already here. They had graciously kept Lola for us while we were gone, so they dropped her off at our house so we wouldn’t have to make the trip to their house to get her. We were so happy to see familiar faces and be in a familiar place. Don’t get me wrong, Hawaii was great, but there’s just something about home. And then of course, yesterday I had two of my wisdom teeth removed. My face has swollen to the size of a basketball, but luckily I have little pain. Tyler and his mom have been saints in keeping me comfortable. I couldn’t be doing this well without them.
But on to what you really care about, the Hawaii trip. We left very, very early Wednesday morning to catch out 8:10 a.m. flight in St. Louis to Houston and then from Houston to Honolulu. None of us slept very well on the way over. I slept maybe 20 minutes at the most, but seeing the island from the sky was a breath of fresh (okay, more like recycled) air.
In Honolulu, we waited for what seemed like an hour for the shuttle to take us to our rental-car company. We took the Impala to the house we were staying at in Eva Beach, which took us more than an hour with the loooovely Honolulu traffic. We quickly put all of our things in the house and set out to find some food. All of the places we wanted to try near the house ended up being total dives, so we settled on IHOP. Yeah, Tyler and I celebrated our anniversary with a dinner at IHOP. We were so tired that we didn’t even want to take a picture to celebrate the momentous occasion. I’ve never slept so well in my entire life as I did that night.
On Thursday, we were scheduled for a helicopter trip around the entire island of Oahu. We were a little worried that it was going to rain and we wouldn’t be able to make our trip, but we learned that it was not rain clouds in the sky, but vog from the volcano in the Big Island, which had recently erupted. So all of the pictures from the helicopter tour are a bit hazy, but we saw some really cool things, nonetheless. It was one of our favorite things of the entire trip.
This is the actual island where Gilligan’s Island was taped:
This is the Magnum PI house:
We also saw the Dole Plantation and USS Arizona from the air, which we saw later on our trip. We had such a blast!
Afterward, we went to Waikiki to get some beach time. It was hazy with vog there, too, so the pictures aren’t as pretty as they could be.
We also took in some shops while in Waikiki. There were Coach, Louis V, Gucci, and Tiffany’s stores, but this one caught our eye. It had some of the funniest t-shirts in it:
On Friday, we went beaching. The first beach we went to was at the Ko’Olina Resort. It was a little man-made cove with lava rocks all around. It was definitely a gorgeous place. Unfortunately, I cut my foot on a rock while snorkeling with BJ, so I was hobbeling around for the next couple of days. If you look really close in this first picture, you can see BJ and Rachel with their snorkel gear on.
We also went to Hanauma Bay. This was one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii. It’s a sanctuary for fish and turtles; they even close the park one day to give the fish and other sea life a break from the people.
Just down the road from Hanauma Bay was a scenic lookout. The sunlight was peeking through the clouds, and I just loved how it was highlighting the city below:
On Saturday, we decided to visit the North Shore. On our way there, we stopped at the house where my mom and her family lived while my grandpa was stationed in Hawaii for the Air Force. It was on Koi Koi street in Wahiewa, and just seeing it gave me such an indescribable feeling. It was an honor to be able to capture the image of the house and bring home a piece of my family’s history to them.
The first beach we went to on the North Shore was Sunset Beach. The waves were so loud and very powerful, but we loved every minute of it. I took this picture of BJ and Rachel, and just love how it turned out:
After Sunset Beach, we ate lunch and then headed to another nearby beach. It was here that BJ, Rachel and I got to touch a sea turtle. They say that touching a sea turtle in Hawaii is good luck. It was such a cool feeling to have this beautiful creature swimming around us and not being afraid of our presence. After that, we stopped at a Hawaiian shaved ice stand on our way to the Dole Plantation. It was delicious!
The Dole Plantation was a really interesting place. We took a train ride through the plantation and learned about the history of the plantation and how pineapple is farmed. Afterward, we each got a snack: Tyler got chocolate-covered pineapple and the rest of us got pineapple ice cream, which was veeeery tart.
On Sunday, we went to the USS Arizona Memorial. It was great to be able to honor all of the men who lost their lives that tragic Dec. 7 in 1941.
That night, we left for Maui. On Monday, we were supposed to go on a 5.5-hour horseback ride into Haleakala crater, but realized if we did, we’d miss our flight back home. Luckily, we were able to get a 1-hour trip around the ranch of Pony Express Tours. It was very educational, but poor Tyler’s horse kept trying to buck him off as we went down hills. Luckily, we made it back without anyone being thrown off a horse.
We also went to the summit of Haleakala, which was 10,023 feet high.
On Tuesday, we went on a snorkeling and kayaking trip. Since I took my waterproof film camera, I don’t have any pictures of this yet. This was right up there with the helicopter tour, though. It was a beautiful day for it. Along the trip, our guide pointed out the homes of Shaquille O’Neal, Adam Sandler, Paul Mitchell, and Shirley Temple. And once we got back, our tour guide found a seahorse in the canal. It was really cool to hold it, especially since these beautiful creatures are becoming extinct.
On our last day, Wednesday, we went back to Ko’Olina Resort because we had so much fun there the last time. It was another beautiful day, so Tyler and I bought some drinks and took a walk out near the marina. Of course, Tyler got a “frosty Monster” and wanted me to take a picture of it. I think he’s obsessed, but it’s cute:
The flight back was not nearly as bad since it was at night and we were able to sleep some on the way home. Hawaii was great, but it’s so true that there’s no place like home.