Hawaii was phenomenal. We had the best time! A stellar trip was had by all, just an absolutely amazing week. We left early, early Monday morning and arrived in O'ahu that afternoon. Flying over the ocean was incredible - I could not wrap my head around how enormous the pacific is. Finally the island came into view!
After we got settled in our rooms, we headed downtown and ate some of the best sushi I have ever had. Those Emperor Rolls...delish. After dinner we strolled the main street and walked down to the beach and walked in the sand for a spell. We were pretty wiped out from the long day of traveling, so we called it a night.
The next morning we headed out to Shark's Cove to do some snorkeling. It was so cool and the water was super clear! I have no pictures of this day...weird. We rented fins from this little surf shack that made the best shaved ice on the planet. Half banana and half coconut? I could live off those. After we snorkeled and laid in the sun we visited a Fire Station that sits right on the beach. Must be nice! We ate a little restaurant on the water and watched the sunset. Great day.
Wednesday we drove out to the Dole Plantation and sampled their yummy Dole Whips. Kevin was praising the Dole Whip all week.
They had this little stand where you could choose an oyster and they would open it and present you with the pearl inside.
For lunch we stopped at one of the many Shrimp Shacks for some steak and garlic shrimp. Ohmygoodness, so tasty. So smelly, but so tasty.
We went back to the surf shack for surf boards....and shaved ice. Here are our brave men Chase, Jake, Cody and Kevin on their way to conquer the waves.
The girls and I hung back to catch some sun and play in the waves. We were surrounded by sea turtles...4 or 5 at a time!
We wanted to check out Sunset Beach and it did not disappoint! This spot was so insanely beautiful...we came back almost every night to watch the sunset.
The waves were huge and the water was the prettiest color, really warm. Body surfing was so fun and so very sandy...
Thursday we decided to circle the island and explore. We stopped at this cute overlook...can't remember the name of it to save my life, but the views were gorgeous.
We lunched at Kualoa Ranch and then took a Jungle Tour with our trusty guide, Robin. 'Jurassic Park' and parts of '50 First Dates' was filmed here and currently in production on the Ranch grounds? 'Lost'.
Robin was a great tour guide and stopped to pick us fresh quava's and jungle apples (a sweet apple that has the texture of a raddish). We took a hike and saw some amazing views.
The Temple! Gorgeous! It was closed due to renovations (bummer), but the grounds were breathtaking. We walked around for a bit and went in the Visitors Center. It will be re-dedicated next July...Anniversary trip, maybe?
We of course ended the day at Sunset Beach once again...and Cody is cute in the tropics.
Natalie, Cecily, Mindi and me.
Friday morning we did the unthinkable - we swam with sharks. Sharks. Jaws. Gnashing of teeth. We left the dock early in the morning and it was a very quiet boat ride out to the designated spot. I don't think I stopped staring at the cage...
First lets talk about the water - it was so blue, so clear, so warm...perfect conditions for swimming with a terrifying predator. Once in the cage I was surprised by how beautiful the sharks were. It's so tempting to reach out of the cage and pet them as they swim by, but luckily we came out with all our appendages. It was amazing! We filmed the whole event, I'll have to show it to you sometime. We had 5 or 6 sharks swimming around us the whole time...just amazing.
To celebrate survival we had breakfast at Kono's which is world famous...apparently.
Chase, Cecily, Jake, Kevin, Mindi, me and Cody.
That night we went to the Paradise Cove Luau. Touristy, yes - but still fun. Cody and I got inked. Temporarily.
Mindi and I making headbands. Those flowers smelled so divine!
We watched fire dancers and hula dancers and even danced to the Hawaiian Wedding Song. Fun night.
Saturday was more snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. The boys took off for an hour or so, so the girls and I did some brave exploring on our own. It's crazy to swim through schools of fish, snorkeling may be one of my favorite things!
We visited Pearl Harbor on Sunday. Quite the place, I became misty more than once.
This room was the most emotional for me - the only headstone these men have.
We grabbed some lunch and ended the day watching the Sunset on our favorite beach. Monday we packed up our bags and spent the day walking around Waikiki doing some shopping. The flight back was long and we were sleepy and sad to leave Hawaii, but it's so nice to be home. This trip could not have been any better! We also couldn't have spent it with a better group of people - I love them all so much. Not sure how we're going to top this trip, but I know we're going to try. Mahalo!