Monday, July 24, 2017

Hawaii Vacation - Day 2: Sunrise, Hanauma Bay, Waikiki

We began our first full day in Hawaii getting up early and going to the beach to see the sunrise. This was not a planned activity.

One of the consequences of traveling to Hawaii is that it takes a few days for your body to adjust to the 5-hour time difference. So even though we were all very tired, we were awake from around 3 or 4 am. Kai kept wanting to get out of bed but I didn't want him to get into the habit of waking up at 3 am to use the iPad, so I kept telling him to go back to bed. But just past 5 am, I thought that as long as we all were awake, we might as well take advantage by watching the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean.

So my wife made her cup of coffee (which was she said was very good - I don't drink coffee - and she is usually very particular about her coffee so this local Hawaii coffee must have been quite good), and we all made the short trek to the beach.

It was so peaceful and beautiful. The beach was not crowded, but there were a few folks out walking their dogs or out for a walk. My wife found a nice log to sit on and relax while we waited. Kai enjoyed splashing around.

Shortly after 6:00, the sun emerged from the horizon.

We were very glad that we got to experience this and my wife instantly declared that we will be moving to Hawaii one day.

We returned to our rental cottage and had breakfast in the huge screened in lanai.

After breakfast we drove to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Hanauma Bay was formed from a volcanic cone and is now home to 400 species of fish and other marine life.

It is the most popular spot for snorkeling in Oahu, and as such, you must get there before 9:00 if you are driving as the parking lot fills up. So, another benefit of our early start to the day was that we had plenty of time to get there.

There was a big line of people waiting to get in, and everyone must watch a 9-minute video that explains you are not to touch the reef or turtles.

Once in the water, it did not seem overly crowded. We were anxious to get started with snorkeling.

Though we did not see turtles or octopus or seahorses, we saw many different types of fish.

Some were quite colorful.

After a couple of hours, my wife and I were cold and tired. Kai wanted to keep swimming and snorkeling so I stayed in the water with him for another hour or so before we finally got him to come out.

We picked up some grilled chicken and had lunch back at our cottage, then took a short break.

After our break, we walked over to a popular spot for shaved ice. Shaved ice is a very popular in Hawaii and it should not be confused with snow cones that most of us grew up with on the mainland. In Hawaii, the ice is shaved very fine so that it is soft, not hard and crunchy. You can also get the most exotic, delicious flavors. My wife chose match tea, coffee, and pina colada. Kai choose coconut and wedding cake. And I picked very Hawaiian flavors of lilikoi (a tangy Hawaiian fruit), POG (blend of passionfruit, orange and guava), and pina colada.

We all tasted each other's and agreed that the lilikoi was the best. My wife and I had vanilla ice cream on the bottom while Kai wanted his plain. We will be having shaved ice often on the trip and next time we will try it with azuki beans.

Next we headed out to Waikiki, and stopped at Nuuanu Pali Lookout. When I was last in Hawaii when I was the age Kai is now, I remembered that this place was extremely windy. All these years and it still is. Besides the wind, the defining quality is the panoramic view of the windward coastline.

In the parking lot we saw many chickens walking around. We also saw chickens in a few other places earlier just hanging around. Apparently in Hawaii, chickens are kind of like pigeons. They're just there. Who knew?

When we got to Waikiki, we drove around in horrible traffic before parking the car and seeing the famed beach on foot.

It was beautiful, but crowded and the area was filled with a combination of souvenir shops and very high-end Rodeo Drive-like shops. I was happy to see it, but don't think we'll be coming back here too often on this trip. I was happy when we got a table at a beach-side restaurant to sit down for dinner.

We enjoyed the seafood. Kai had a seafood chowder, I had some type of grilled Hawaii fish, and my wife had spicy Ahi which was definitely the best.

So, it was a long Day 2, but a very good one.


  1. A very good day indeed! You started the day right. I am surprised at all of the activities you had packed into that first day. You have some great sights in store for you. Don't forget to catch a beautiful Hawaiian sunset also :)

    1. We were hoping to catch the sunset at Waikiki during dinner, but the sun set behind a hotel. No worries, we have plans to see one at another time.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...