i am currently sitting at an overpriced sushi restaurant inside the honolulu airport and thought i would reflect on the last few days. i flew to hawaii for a wedding and explored the island and city of waikiki a bit on my own.
thursday: i flew through LAX to get to hawaii. i arrived at the honolulu airport thursday morning. i uber-ed to the hotel in waikiki (about $40) and then wandered around waikiki for five hours. i picked up my rental car (smart car) for the following morning and went to bed early.
friday: i woke up very early (3:30 am), and at around 4:30 am decided to get out of bed for the sunrise. i packed my bag for the day and headed out to the makapu’u lighthouse. when i got there i realized i wouldn’t make it to the light house before sunrise so i wandered around and made my way to the ocean. then i drove up around the east side of the island while listening to npr.
i went to kono’s on the north shore and ate a “bomber” – basically a breakfast burrito. i had the “chun’s bomber” which was pork and bacon, and it was delicious paired with their homemade pineapple/jalapeno salsa and avocado/cilantro dressing.
i had booked a “swim with sharks” experience through oneocean diving (on tuesday, it was very last minute) and i met up with the group (three staff members and six passengers). the group leader advised us not to go out because the water was very “choppy” but none of us could rebook so we took some dramamine and went out onto the water. we were given a shark education presentation and then a very detailed safety presentation. when we first got in the water, i had major anxiety. my goggles fogged up so i could just see shapes of sharks below me. the boat was rocking like crazy which meant the rope i was holding on to was whipping back and forth. i was colliding with the other group members, and water was getting in my snorkel. plus we were told to maintain eye contact with the sharks and not let our back face them, so i was constantly swiveling around. i was frantic. i realized how fogged my goggles were so i got out of the water onto the super rocky boat and got sick off the side. two members of our group were already done for the day by that point. i got back in the water with clear goggles and determination to see more sharks, and it was amazing. apparently from people being sick, fish started coming to the top of the water which meant the sharks were also getting closer to the top. there were 30+ sharks below me, with the closest a couple feet away. it was incredible. the best way i can describe it was being in the underbelly of the omega 13. less than a minute later, the crew told us to get out of the water because it was getting too “frenzied”. still completely worth it.
i stopped at the dole (pineapple) plantation on my drive back and got a “pineapple dole whip float” (pineapple juice with dole whip). i drove back and returned my rental car, and at night was the rehearsal/welcome dinner in downtown waikiki.
i woke up early (again) saturday and decided to run to diamond head. i ran the three miles there, went up and down, and then ran back for a total of eight miles. i was drenched in sweat before finishing the first mile – i’m not used to this level of humidity. it was definitely worth the $1 to see the views at the top.
- bring cash. there’s not a single wells fargo on the island of oahu.
- diamond head costs $1 per person if you walk in, cash only.
- the time change makes a big difference. i woke up very early the first day (3:30 am), so if possible plan a drive to the east side of the island the first morning for the sunrise.