Let me start by saying that two weeks prior to this trip, Hawaii was the last thing we were thinking about. We had an awesome opportunity to visit the island on the cheap and we took advantage of it at the last minute. Our first day there, sitting on Waikiki Beach was amazing. It was the day of the Super Bowl but since our team wasn’t in it, we had better things to do! We did some exploring but spent most of the time enjoying the sand between our toes. I scorched my back and my legs that day and paid for it the whole rest of the trip!

This was our beach…

Monday morning Steven and I took the rental car to Hanauma Bay for some snorkeling. It was overcast and drizzling but like many tropical rains, it quickly disappeared! The bay was gorgeous, the water was chilly and we were terrified to dunk the camera for the first time with its underwater housing… but eventually we set out into the coral coves. We found a SEA TURTLE!! The further out we swam the better the sea life was. There’s a natural wall where the coral almost sticks up out of the water. Most people don’t swim past this but since we’re allergic to tourists, we ventured beyond it.

Hanauma Bay

Day 3 in Hawaii we decided to see what Diamond Head was all about. We had a great view of the mountain from the beach in front of our hotel so we decided to drive over to it and hike up. There were a few lookouts at the top. On one side of the peninsula was Honolulu and Waikiki beach. On the other was a lighthouse and some nice houses. It was a high view and nice to be able to see where you’re staying on the beach, but if you have a car, there are better places to hike with awesome views.

Next stop, Eternity Beach known for the famous love scene in the movie “From Here to Eternity”.

Right down the street, Sandy Beach! This is a big spot for body boarders. The waves were huge and crashing right on shore. This is the only beach on the island where emergency rescue crews are parked all day because of the injuries.

Later, we ventured over to Makapu’u Point…The wind at this lookout was out of control. You could barely stand still and keep from blowing around. We sat at different points along this trail for what seemed like hours, watching whales!

Thursday started at 5:30am. Lanikai Beach is known for its sunrises and less crowded/residential beaches. The drive was about 45 minutes and surprisingly, we were not alone on the beach. A number of people were there, on towels or preparing their Hawaiian Outrigger Canoes for a morning row.

We decided to head back to Waikiki to do a little shopping but upon leaving, Steven wanted to drive through the million dollar hillside neighborhood. We hit a dead end and while we were turning around we saw a small sign, half spray painted over that said “hiking trail”. The trail was difficult, steep and full of tree roots. Most of the time you had to hold onto a limb or tree trunk to keep your balance. Turns out we stumbled upon an incredible view, a favorite trail among the locals. We sat up there for a long time with an almost 360 degree view of Lanikai.

 Lanikai Beach

This picture was taken through the passenger window because Steven thought I’d drop the camera if the window was down… sheeeeesh!

 Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore!

The North Shore is known for it’s big winter waves and we saw plenty of action while we were there. A sunset over the water was a perfect way to end our trip in paradise.

Mahalo, Hawaii… hope to see you again one day.