I am sorry for not being around that much lately and the only updates are the Hawaiian Vacation 2007 (pictures are in order through the vacation) photo album. the trip kicked so much ass it was almost unimaginable and hanging with My Aunt Kris, Jim, Travis and Kendra was the best vacation I’ve had in many years. Being the only one to Oahu before I got to be the tour guide for 7 days.
The week started off excellent with us getting settled into our condo at the Hawaiian Princess in Makaha on the westside of Oahu. The accomodations where cozy being a one bed room and one bath but being on vacation who needs a place to sleep. The beach was private and at most there were roughly 25 people in the water and on the beach, prime relaxation. After getting settled in I found internet access, who me?, and started planning our first day.
The family decided that staying out of the tourist traps is a must so we went for more scenic adventures and hit the Monao Falls Trails. Being .8 of a mile, it was easily traversed but good hiking/walking shoes are definitely required. The trail was something right out of Jurassic Park with the towering vegetation and lush underbrush. Once we got there we seen a sign that said you shouldn’t go under the falls due to slides. I didn’t head the warning and ventured in then got my picture taken and bounced.
Being slightly hungry we wondered to Waikiki and grubbed down at Cheese Burgers in Paradise right on the main strip. The food was as awesome as I remembered and the fam gave me 2 points on the day for the hike and the food. After eating we walked around and we seen some sights and made our way back to the condo to map the next part of the adventure.
Early morning plan, hit Pearl Harbor (wait till the afternoon and catch the later shows/tours and avoid the early morning crowds) and got the head sets for the audio tour. My first trip to Oahu, my buddies and I didn’t get the audio and it so much amazing after having it on the second trip. It made me feel for everyone that served, I’m a Army son born in Nurnburg, and brought emotion (Yes, I cried during the tour) and for some reason made it "more real".
With all that taken in our course was set for the North Shore for some big wave sight seeing. Evidently it wasn’t the right time of year but with no avail we found some excellent sites just driving easterly on Highway 83. After driving for a bit we got hungry and got some snacks at a local vendor’s stand. Iced coconut was the best well the fresh Dole pineapple was pretty good too but the coconut was awesome!! During our journey around the island we stopped for a cool off spot at the Waimea Bay Beach Park for some rock diving fun. Being a local spot you won’t find any, I mean any, tourism around the area but that is perfect if you are looking for an escape from shopping and crap.
The next day was filled with Travis signing us up for a scuba diving trip with Island Divers Hawaii for a two dive trip that was guided by Jo (a Swedish native). Travis was conducting his first open water dive and working through some skills and being so long out of the water I took the time to brush up on my under water skills, read IDH’s review. The dive went smoothly and I got familiar fast but it wasn’t until we seen the sea turtles that things got interesting. The group swam out to the end and a sea turtle there chilled. But on the way back the sea turtle decided to give chase (in a sense).
I followed the pack and let everyone swim ahead but looking back, must be a fear of mine, I saw the same sea turtle swimming in my wake. He followed us all the way till the tag line. That is when I broke off and started hover and the sea turtle made his way towards Travis. Nothing crazy yet but when the turtle made a lunge and snapping move inches from Travis’ face we knew somehow it was funny, no blood no fowl
But that wasn’t all, Travis and I hit another dive the next day. Travis dove very well and as a result received his Open Water Certification after conducting all his underwater skills, read IDH’s review. This day was very exciting, not only for Travis getting his Open Water cert, but for the numerous sea turtles we seen. We got to see many turtles lying on the ocean floor but one in particular stands out. The turtle has these large humps on the his neck and fins which turned out to be tumors that left him blind and lethargic. It is definitely sad to see especially such a graceful and peaceful creature.
Upon exiting the water, Travis and I made our way back to Waikiki to meet up with Kendra, Aunt Kris and Jim for a luau at the Royal Hawaiian. It was so much fun watching all the different dancers which performed many styles of dancing from all around Polynesia. The last dance was with fire and boy-o-boy it was cool. The dancer had two battons, with both ends lit, twirling, throwing and resting the fire on his skin. Crazy cool in my opinion and definitely worth watching.
But the night wasn’t ever yet. We met up with my college friend Cindy, her boyfriend and some of their friends for an evening of dancing. Cindy and I used to go dancing a lot together while we were in college as well as all the college party functions. We went to the Moose McGillycuddys and started right away and instantly our grove was on. It has been ages since I last danced and let me tell you it was bad to look at. Though it felt great at the time it had to painful to watch. After sweating and dancing all night we finally jammed to the condo and laid down in bed around 3:30am.
Back up at 9, not much sleep for us, we were all tired but decided to go on another hike, this time to Maunawili Falls Trail. It was only 1.25 miles but mostly uphill but thankfully there were stairs cut into the embankment. The hike ended at a waterfall and a pool (it went farther up in the mountains but we didn’t check it out) with a 50 foot cliff jump. Naturally, Travis and I had to get down on it and strut out man hood. Getting up to the top of the cliff wasn’t to bad except for the wet clay but there were bamboo trees to hang on otherwise it would have been really difficult to traverse.
Travis and I hit the top to find a girl who wanted but didn’t want to jump, oh great, now we have to wait. Anyone who likes to jump off stuff knows that waiting will make you unsure about your irrational decision to jump off a tall object. So we waited, and waited and waited some more until Travis took charge and she moved out the way. Travis was getting worried so I encouraged him by saying "just do it". He did and launched into the deep, it was sweet. Now my turn. I got out there and noticed the take off was all clay, and wet, so footing sucked but after razzing Travis I couldn’t just bail. So I jumped and it was one of the most awkward jumps I’ve ever taken. I jumped but got cattywampus in the air and landed slightly in my seat and shooting pain went up my spine, OUCH. I didn’t say it though, got to retain that man hood, but the walk to the car was painful.
The rest of the day concluded us driving back to the condo, the long way, and while doing some sight seeing from the car I drove it into a big ass curb popping the front passenger tire. DAMN IT. It was a total bone head maneuver but after changing to the spare we were off again and this time to Costco for a new tire. While we waited Travis and I had our scuba diving pictures developed, see photo album, and got some grub at The Shack just around the corner, also near the Island Divers Hawaii shop. By the time dinner was done it was time to get the car and go to bed. It was another late night so the next day, Saturday (our last full day on the island) we opted for something low key.
So it was off to the swap meet held at the Aloha Stadium in the early afternoon for all our nick knacks. There prices were good for cloths, board shorts $8 a piece and shirts 8 for $20 but I opted for some more non traditional items like a Spanish Galleon wooden ship and a tiki mask for my wall.
Then it was back to the condo for sun tanning, snorkeling and just hanging out in the summer Oahu sun. Ah it was a great trip and I was sad to see the week fly by so quickly. I guess when you are busy and all get out then time will just fly by, maybe I’ll go back soon.