Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hanauma Bay

It is surprisingly hard for teachers to go on vacation, at least cheap vacations. Because we are off when all the kids are off, it is hard to get away, especially if you are looking for a deal. However, thanks to websites like Living Social, Overstock, and Groupon, it is easier and easier to find vacation package deals, and websites like Bing Travel and Kayak.com are helpful when looking for flights and car rentals. As I wrote earlier, I found a deal to Hawaii a couple of months ago, and last Thursday one of my best friends and I met in Honolulu for 5 days of sun and relaxation.

We both had been traveling for a while, and I had been at the airport for 5 hours waiting for her (want information about the Honolulu airport??? I got it!!) and so after we picked up the car we just headed northwest along the windward coast to Waianae and then went up the Makaha Valley to the Makaha Resort. During daylight savings time, Hawaii is 3 hours behind Seattle, and 5 hours behind Lubbock (where she's from) and it actually worked in our favor in this case, since we were able to get up early Friday morning (5 am) and drive down to the southwest tip of Oahu to go to Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling. Hanauma Bay is one of the coolest places I've been. It is a nature preserve and full of fish and turtles. This is a picture from when we first got there. All those dark spots in the water are rocks and coral.
We saw a LOT of fish, from ones that were only about 1" long to one that was about two feet long. There were so many different kinds and I had only seen some of them before. It took me a little while to get back into the snorkeling habit and it took me a while to figure out how to float rather than swim. I highly recommend going here if you ever get to Oahu, but be aware that because it is a nature reserve, they close the gates when the parking lot is full, which usually happens by 9 am (this is why we left at 6 am...gates open at 7 am). On the other hand, it also means that it isn't as packed as the more popular beaches at Waikiki and so on. The day we were there the surf was really high and it was pretty windy, so the water close to shore was pretty murky...which is why when I saw a sea turtle about 18 inches in front of me not too far off shore that I choked on a giant mouthful of seawater. I do not recommend this, it was icky. I don't have any pictures of the fish, because I didn't buy an underwater camera, but it was very incredibly cool, definitely one of my favorite things we did while we were there.

However, the sun in Hawaii is pretty strong, and while I did put sunblock on twice, I didn't get it quite high enough on my legs, and forgot to reapply after the third time we got out of the water, so both K and I got really sunburned. This made the rest of the day (and all of Saturday) fairly painful.
It was nice to get back to the resort and chill out. This is the view from the restaurant at the resort. The resort itself was old, but clean and very quiet. It was really a great place to stay and I couldn't be happier with the deal we got. It was very relaxing and exactly what I needed. More to come....

1 comment:

James Boutin said...

Jealous. Hope you had a great time.