Working my way through these posts. Sorry to jump around! HERE is part one.
After going to bed the first night, and waking up at all hours and figuring out the time difference, we met up with our new friends Steff and Heather to head to Sharks Cove. First we had a quick stop to see Chinaman's Hat. (you will see more bathing suit pictures of me than I have pictured my whole life, BUT it is Hawaii and you just are out and swimming everywhere!)
Chinaman's Hat in the baground
Aren't the mountains gorgeous? These are the mountains from "Lost"!
I LOVE the rainbow in this one! At this point we were on the island less than 24 hours and this was our 2nd or 3rd rainbow we saw!
Renee's fiance Sean is part owner of Reef Pirates Diving and generously brought all his equipment out for all of us from the mainland to use. Those with their diving certificates went out, and the rest of us used his snorkel gear. To be honest, I wasn't sure about going out. My first experience a few years back in Mexico was ok, and I didn't really enjoy it.
Steff & Nancy talked Jess and I into and I am SOOOO glad we did it!!! It was BEAUTIFUL! I can't explain how awesome, calm, and enjoyable it was. We went ALL OVER. We saw tons of fish, the "Nemo pointing fish" as Jessica called them, an octopus, two sea turtles, sea urchins. It was SOOO COOL!
Shark's Cove. The reefs make awesome places for the sea life to swim around in and live. We get to benefit from that and see them underwater! No, there are not any sharks, it is too shallow for them.
The divers gearing up.
After that on our way to Macky's Shrimp Truck (Renee's favorite), we stopped at a place to see sea turtles. It was GREAT! There were a ton out by the water and they were so cute. Then on to Macky's for everyone to have the best shrimp (... and for Jess and I to walk next door to 7-11 for a hotdog).
Heather getting a great close up of one of the turtles.
On our drive back, we stopped at the Dole Plantation for Dole Whips. Pineapple ice cream with fresh pineapple in a cone - YUM!!! I thought it was so interesting that depending on where you were at on the island, the vegetation and climate could be so different. The trees on that side of the island were really different and pretty.
See the little pineapple in there?
The entrance, filled with pineapples and the prettiest trees in the background
I thought these trees were so cool looking. I don't think you can see how neat they are unless you see them in person.
We also went on a 9 mile hike with Heather, Stefanie and Nancy. (hike #1 of the trip) It was BEAUTIFUL! Let me tell you, I would probably have chickened out if I knew about the plank over the rock edge I would have to walk across.... It was SOOO scary, I was going to cry. But then Heather talked me into it since she has gone before. She also wasn't frustrated at all, but SUPER patient and talked me through it.
Starting the hike. Ocean on one side and mountains on the other!
Isn't it breathtaking? We started out by the one beach on the left.
Jessica and I
The ONLY way to get trucks out there is if they are off road vehicles. It was funny seeing these out there.
Heather & Stefanie - see the pretty mountains in the back?
Crossing back across the plank. See it in the background? It might not look too bad, but it's a major drop off to the one side and SCARY for me since I am afraid of heights!
We all made it across - BOTH times!
After the hike we went to a beach and it was AMAZING. You walk down to the beach and have the mountains in the background. It is so pretty! Boogie Boarding was fun and very tiring.
I wrote this in the sand, I sure missed Dan while I was gone!
Isn't this picture of Jessica AMAZING? Look at how the beach goes right up into the beautiful mountains!
Jessica just chilling on the beach watching Heather....
Then THIS happened - hahahaha!
Caught them getting some air
Jessica, Heather and Stefanie just finished a ride
A different day Jessica and I did our own hike at Waimea Falls. (hike #2) We swam in the freezing cold waters that Kate & Sawyer did in Lost. Jessica wasn't too sure about the water, but we HAD to do it. That is what we hiked to see. It was amazing.
That is us swimming over with the noodles provided. It's over 30 ft deep by the waterfall. They have lifeguards on duty. They generously offered to take our pictures under the falls. I got right in, and it took Jess a little longer (not too long). As you can see, she is catching up to me :)
WE MADE IT! Swimming in a waterfall in HAWAII!
(click on the picture and you can see our heads bobbing in the water to the right of the falls)
We went to a Luau - which is a must when you go to Hawaii. I suggest doing it at the beginning of your trip. Jess and I both felt this way. By the time we got to ours, the "magic" was a little gone. Only because we had already experienced so much of the real Oahu through friends, that the commercial part just didn't have the same feeling. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to see! Maybe next time we just need to pay to sit closer up front.
Jessica getting her "tattoo"
I think I might have changed her mind about getting a tattoo!
My sea turtle
With our seashell leis
My third hike was with Renee, Steff, Heather and Nancy to see another waterfall. It was very tiring, MUDDY, and beautiful! I didn't have my camera there, I will have to try and get some pictures from Stefanie and Renee's cameras. It was the morning before we left the island :(
We did so much on our trip, I don't think I ever rested. I don't think I can remember all the details. Renee's girls night out was fun, shopping the International Market, matching "Aloha"Jagua tattoos, parasailing, walks, beaches, our blue Chrysler 300, Pearl Harbor....
Cheryl and I at Renee's party
On our last day (our last HOUR) in Waikiki, I made Jessica walk down to the beach with me to get a picture of one of the Banyan Trees. They were SOOO pretty, I loved seeing them everywhere!
They have roots that grow from the branches DOWN to the ground, then root themselves.
For you "Lost" fans, think when they hid from the smoke monster. That was these trees! :)
The famous Waikiki beach
Surf lessons are on my list for the next time I visit :)
Almost home - hehe!
Our car - it was a great ride! Check out the license plates. They all have rainbows on them. They are proud of all the rainbows you see on the island. I can attest, they are beautiful!
Did I forget anything, Jessica?!?! Thanks for being my travel partner, I love you. Thanks to Renee for having the most beautiful wedding, and thanks to Stefanie, Heather and Nancy for showing us around, letting us tag along, and being great new friends! (and thanks to my miles for flying me there).
It's a trip I will always cherish the memories.