Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Oahu, Hawaii...day two
I awoke surprisingly early (well, there is a three hour time difference so not too surprising) and decided to take advantage of the early time and the perfect blue skies. I headed down the elevator to a familiar place, but before I did I grabbed my camera to capture a few of our early morning visitors.
Don't jump, birdy!!
Our hotel looked out over the Honolulu Zoo so I'm not sure if these little guys were just regular birds or part of the zoo below (at which, btw, we could watch the flamingos from our balcony) but I'd never seen these kind of birds before.
One, and there were many, of the things I loved about Hawaii is that the second language was Japanese. Everything was in English and Japanese, even the suggestion for the dark cherry mocha at Starbucks (conveniently located on the first floor of our hotel).
After the tall one woke up and showered, we decided to head east towards Kailua on the H3. Dropping down over the Ko'olau Mountains was an amazing sight. The razor sharp cliffs and giant drop offs all covered in a lush green forest is something that everyone should see in their lifetime. I kept thinking that a T-Rex would just hop out on to the freeway. The dinosaur, not the musical artist...although one could make the argument...oh never mind.
We came upon the Valley of the Temples at the base of the Ko'olau Mountains and drove into through the cemetery to find the Byodo-in Temple. The TV series Hawaii Five-O and Magnum, P.I. featured several episodes where the temple is incorporated into the plot. The temple and its gardens also appeared in an episode of the series Lost, "House of the Rising Sun" in season one as the home of Sun's father. It was beautiful and peaceful.. Koi ponds circled the temple, peacocks and their offspring wandered the grounds and the faint sound of a large bell rung every so often.
A baby peacock caught me taking his picture.
After wandering the grounds we asked the guards where the best place to get some food was. Luckily the pointed us right across the street, unluckily the restaurants were closed until 11. The tall one asked if we could hang out inside Ninja Sushi and they obliged. The food, unfortunately, was not as kind. Afterward we headed off in search of a hat. A Chinaman's hat.
Mokolii, an island in Kāne'ohe Bay.as seen from Kualoa Park Beach, is also known as the Chinaman's Hat. It is said that Chinaman's Hat is the remains of a giant mo'o (lizard god). I've recently (today) learned that there is a hiking trail to the top of the hat that is reachable by foot at low tide or by boat/kayak/swimming.
A word about Romy's. Ok, lots of words. This shit is good. So good we ate it twice; and it's on the completely opposite side of the island. The first time we stopped we were lucky to run into almost the entire wedding party, who had brought some taro bread, and schooled me a bit on the island (as they were mostly Filipino). I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to seafood, or really any food where after it's cooked it still looks like the animal, but these little shrimp came out and I ripped their heads off, pulled apart the shell, complete with the tail, and I ate that fucker. And it was good.
The second time around we tried the prawns and after I saw a little bit of the "butter" coming out of the head, I was done. Prawns are NOT for me. Especially after witnessing the tall one suck the brains out. OOOOH hells no.
We left the newlyweds to wait for their shrimp and we headed towards North Shore with the idea of hiking Maunawili Falls, which we never found, but on the way to Waimea Valley we saw this burned out building.
Kind of HDR'rific, I know, but I didn't know how else to capture this cool site. Apparently it was an old theater for a convalescent home that burned a year ago, they just never torn it down.
Can you spot the tall one?
Like I said before, as we were unable to find Maunawili Falls we headed towards Waimea Valley to check out Waimea Falls (which again has significance to Lost fans as it's where apparently Kate finds the briefcase...whatever that means), but the admission to the park was expensive. I was so tired of spending money to see something pretty. So we parked and wandered around. I took the above picture and didn't edit it at all. It was so perfect; blue sky, white clouds, green forest, pink, red and blue flowers. Perfection.
We did see a couple peacocks. This one was wandering around the parking lot. A couple with their child was chasing it...and it wasn't happy. Poor thing.
After passing Sunset Beach and the Bonzai Pipeline we finally reached North Shore. I expected hammocks on the beach and surfers bringing me mai tai's, but alas no. Instead there were bus loads of tourists. We stopped at a little cafe and he ate Mahi Mahi fish and chips and I ate a macadamia nut crusted chicken sandwich. I think our waitress got most of the attention, though. She was a surfer chick, perpetually mellow, and completely comfortable in her own skin.
As we sat there, I mentioned to the tall one that I felt different. Like I finally realized that I was in Hawaii and I was extremely comfortable with myself. I didn't feel chubby in my little sundress like I thought I would, my hair was a mess and I didn't give a shit. I didn't know how to explain it and he said to me "this is how you were before work broke you". Those words made me tear up a bit. It was hard for me to realize that a job had completely broken me. That I wasn't the same girl that I was when he fell in love with me. But honestly, it was good to hear. It meant that I could be that person again. I could be me. I could be the person who came back from Los Angeles with all the confidence in the world because it didn't matter what I did or what I looked like, because I was awesome! It was a good feeling, and it's actually stayed with me since I've been home. I hope I can hold on to it. This is a silly little foot note, but it was pretty important to me.
Anyway, I had mentioned to the tall one a hike that I thought we could do while we were in Hawaii and since we were up that way we decided to check it out. On our way we passed Mokuleia Beach park where there were tons of these windsurfers, and it was across from an airfield that took people on glider rides and parachuters up to drop over the ocean.
The sun was starting to set as we arrived at Kaena Point state park, located at the western most tip of Oahu. The tall one searched through the tidepools and I sat watching the ocean flow in and out over the volcanic rocks. Also called "The Heat", Kaena Point was the "jumping off" place for souls leaving this life according to Hawaiian folklore.
As the sun started to fall into the water the tall one joined me for a nice little moment. He even posed for some pictures, but I won't share them. They are all mine!
to be continued...