On our final day we went hiking in Mariner’s Ridge. On the way we met up with Alex and had some Loco Moco – rice, gravy, beef steak, and fried eggs. Mariner’s Ridge itself was a cool hike that went up to a ridgeline and then traveled between the mountaintops. It had an amazing view! Then we tried to go swimming one last time. It was a bit tough. We kept trying to find a beach, but there were problems at each. On the third or fourth beach, we found the one for us and went swimming.
After showering at home and packing, we headed to the mall to do some last minute shopping before heading to the airport. It seemed like we had a lot of time at the beginning of the trip, but the end came quickly! I hope we get the chance to visit again.
Tuesday we went to Pearl Harbor. We had an awkward time slot, so we didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked. We went to the USS Arizona Memorial as well as the small, at-your-own-pace museum. It was really amazing and powerful. It’s weird to think how racist we were toward Japan, and now Japan’s responsible for my paycheck. I also found it odd how they talked about never forgetting, but at the same time, some Americans slip into the same racism now towards Muslims or the Middle East. If we’re to truly never forget, we wouldn’t take out our anger on an entire race or nation.
Regardless, it was amazing to learn about Pearl Harbor and actually see the artifacts from the attack. I’d love to come back someday and see more!
Monday was our fifth day here, and we started with a surfing lesson. We went with WB Surfing, and our instructors were great. They were a lot of fun and taught us well. I was surprised that we only practiced for five to ten minutes on land before going into the water. My form was far from perfect, but I actually did it! gem took a little longer, but she did it too! Unfortunately, there weren’t any pictures of her surfing that came out well.
We didn’t have cash to pay for our photos (because it was unexpected), so we followed them in the rain to the bank. We were all wet, but I guess that’s just a way of life here. We had lunch at Macky’s Shrimp Truck before going to the Dole Plantation. I got gem a pearl, and we got lost in the huge maze.
Then we headed to the Paradise Cove Luau! Everyone, staff and customers, was very friendly. We posed with some exotic birds, threw spears, and watched some hula. Dinner was tasty – fried chicken, salmon, pork, a variety of salads, and some tasty desserts. We ate a ton. Whoops. But it was a night.
We started today with snorkeling at Electric Beach. It was a ton of fun! We saw a lot of cool fish and some other odd things underwater. It was hard to get pictures of the fish, but we still managed to capture some cool shots with Alex and Darnell’s GoPro.
After snorkeling, we tried to find some geocaches but failed miserably. Luckily we did have a lot of fun exploring and hiking. One of them appeared to be missing, but the other was probably just hidden too well. We went to a lagoon in hopes of seeing sea turtles, but there weren’t any there. It was quite beautiful though.
We started the day by going to Chinatown and doing some fruit shopping. Then we headed to Waikiki to wander around. We ended up stopping on the beach to do some swimming for an hour or so. There might have been some playing in the sand too! Afterward we had Mai Tais while watching the sunset. Then we did some more wandering around the city before stopping for dinner in a little food court. And of course, we played with Tegan a bunch because she’s so adorable!
We started the day with an interesting twist; the Hurst fridge died, so we had to wait for it to be replaced. During that time, I shopped on the Toshiba site, taking advantage of a Black Friday sale to purchase TVs! That made me happy. After the fridge was installed, we decided to do some hiking.
We headed to Manana trail after picking up some new board shorts for me that actually fit this time. The trail was great – very scenic with some challenging parts. We eventually hiked to Waimano Falls, which was a great little waterhole for some refreshing swimming and a sweet rope to swing out over the water. We had to climb up some rocks with the help of a rope to reach a place from which we could jump. Surprisingly, I found that my week doing in-door rock climbing at Rockreation helped prepare me for climbing this rock! Anyways, jumping in was a lot of fun, and the swimming itself was invigorating.
While we were swimming, a full thunderstorm rolled into the area. It was really sweet honestly, and I guess we were technically hiking in a rainforest. There was a rock overhang, so we moved our stuff out of the rainfall, sat down on the rocks, and enjoyed our lunch. We had packed leftover Thanksgiving dinner sandwiches, which were quite delicious. The whole afternoon was pretty magical in my opinion!
After the storm subsided, we hiked for a bit more before heading to Aulani to see Darnell. I’m glad we got to see her at work! We walked around a bit, taking into the sights, and even swam in an infinity jacuzzi and saw a music and dance performance! Aulani had great architecture and design. The Disney magic can be found here as well. I enjoyed seeing the Menehune sculptures, the legendary people of Hawaii who are craftsman and build many things when no one is looking. We had some fruity drinks before heading to Just Tacos for Mexican food. It was a fun evening.
We began Thanksgiving by going to Ewa Beach! We brought Tegan, who had a ton of fun both in the sand and in the water.
We bought bagels with us, so between playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean, we ate some delicious carbs.
Back at the house, we played some Settlers of Catan. I had played once previously, Alex had played part of a mock game, and Darnell and gem had never played. It was a lot of fun. For some reason, Alex got pretty screwed. In the end, I won.
The highlight of the day was the delicious meal! We had turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, pineapple au gratin, fresh baked bread, crackers, pretzels, dip, and pumpkin extravaganza! It was amazingly good. We had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving.