Hawaii – Day 3-5: Summits, Surfing, and Skirts

(Another s-alliteration title?? Somebody stop me!!)

After an exciting, but tiring, first day at my new job today (my first real full-time position), I’m trying to start a routine that involves doing some photo-related tasks and getting some exercise in each night. I’m hoping that, if I can push through the first couple weeks, the repetition will form a habit and it’ll be easy to come back and get stuff done. But until then, enjoy a slightly weary recollection of our next 3 days in Hawaii!

 

Day 3: Diamond Head Hike

The main event of our third day was to hike Diamond Head, a volcanic cone near Waikiki. The trail was 1.5-2 miles round trip, which isn’t long, but the combination of altitude gained and warm weather made it fairly strenuous. It was also packed, which didn’t necessarily help. But, the view from the top made was definitely worth it! The peak is less than 800 feet high, but provides an awesome view of Waikiki and the surrounding landscape. The pictures really don’t do it justice. The hike didn’t take too long, so the rest of the day was spent walking around the town of Waikiki and making a short excursion to the beach, where it was decided that we were assuredly not a sit-on-the-beach type of family. The night was spent in our hotel, reading on the porch and checking out the incredible view from there.

Day 4: Surf’s Up Dude!

The next day we all tried surfing! Yes, I said all, even Mom…and she was the best. It was much easier than I expected and, at the end of our 1 hour lesson, we were all totally hangin’ loose and shreddin’ the gnar (terms only surfers, of course, will understand). It was a ton of fun and I would definnitely like to go again! That night we, along with pretty much everyone else in Waikiki, caught the sunset from the beach.

 

Day 5: Hono-luau Nights

The night of our last day on Oahu was spent at a luau in Ko Olina. We arrived early, having heard there were “Games of Skill and Daring” before the festivities began eager to prove our skill and/or daring. Well, it turned out to be a bust, except for one event – spear throwing. So we stood in line, watching those lacking in either skill/daring as tried and failed to stick the spear in the target. Finally, it was our turn and we stepped up to the line – both my brother and I having decided to throw as hard as we could (obviously). By some miracle, he stuck the spear and I got a bulls-eye, and after receiving our shell leis and an under-her-breath “Holy S***!” from the from the stand worker, we felt like we had proved ourselves in the games. With the luau ticket came a complimentary Mai Tai and two drink coupons (which I used on the classic luau drink of gin and tonic) and an incredible buffet. The food was great and the show, complete with hula and fire dancers, was extremely exciting!

 

And so our time on Oahu was about to come to an end. Be sure to check out the pictures below and let me know what you think! Up next is the Big Island!

 

The trail up to Diamond Head's summit was rocky and narrow in some places...and always crowded. I took this when there was less people around than usual.

The trail up to Diamond Head’s summit was rocky and narrow in some places…and always crowded. I took this when there was less people around than usual.

A cool staircase we had to climb along the hike.

A cool staircase we had to climb along the hike.

View from the top of Diamond Head.

View from the top of Diamond Head.

Fisheye view from the top. Waikiki can be seen in the distance.

Fisheye view from the top. Waikiki can be seen in the distance.

Me (left) hanging out with my brother at the summit.

Me (left) hanging out with my brother at the summit.

One of my favorite shots of the trip! Sunset from Waikiki beach.

One of my favorite shots of the trip! Sunset from Waikiki beach.

Everyone getting ready to watch the hula dancers. The stage is set up in the distance. This auditorium was only used before the food and main show for some smaller-scale events.

Everyone getting ready to watch the hula dancers. The stage is set up in the distance. This auditorium was only used before the food and main show for some smaller-scale events.

Sunset from Ko'Olina during the luau.

Sunset from Ko’Olina during the luau.

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