Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Aloha Hawaii: Of Sightseeing, Foodtripping, and Swimming


A vacation well-spent would not be complete without touring the whole island, foodtripping and checking out Hawaii's famous beaches. So that's what we did for the next couple of days:

First stop: Diamond Head Crater. Given the chance, I would love to go on hiking at the Diamond Head crater on my next visit to Hawaii. Well, that would be in a couple of years again.
This has been extinct for more than 150,000 years.

A trip to Hawaii would not be complete without taking a swim in one of their famous beaches. We head on to Hanauma Bay for a few hours of swimming under the morning sun, till my skin turn tan, which I personally describe as "my Hawaiian tropical sun-kissed skin."

Hanauma Bay
Just a side story: That morning, I was excited to go swimming, packed my swimwear among other things. When we got to Hanauma Bay and went to change, it was only then I realized I forgot to bring the other half of my swimwear! And there wasn't a swimwear shop anywhere in sight! Not passing up the chance to go swimming, I opted to just use my boardshorts with my bikini top. Good thing I packed enough underwear. :)

After a few hours of swimming, we resumed our long trip around the island. We passed by Koko Head and headed to Sandy Beach Park--this is famous for their waves, and I heard Pres. Obama frequented this place when he was growing up in Hawaii. 
Sandy Beach Park
(Talk about coincidence, I've made a watercolor painting a few years ago similar to this scene.
I'll have a separate post on that.)

Look! There's a blowhole!
We then went to Veterans Memorial and got a nice full view of Kualoa Ranch. If you think this place looks familiar, it's because Kualoa Ranch has been a site of several Hollywood films like Jurassic Park.

Kualoa Ranch
All those sightseeing and long driving made us hungry... When driving around the island, you shouldn't miss the chance to have lunch at one of the many shrimp trucks parked along Kahuku. We stopped at Romy's Shrimps and Prawns Place in Kahuku for their famous (and super yummy!) sauteed butter and garlic platter.
Romy's Shrimp and Prawns Place
Romy is from the Philippines, and their family cooks the best sauteed butter and garlic shrimps (I think this is their specialty since most of the people in line ordered for them). They actually have their own aquaculture farm beside this red hut, when they grow their shrimps and prawns.

My lunch spelled y-u-m-m-y!
I wasn't kidding when I said they have the best and yummy shrimps in town. I finished everything on my plate!

No leftovers...sorry :)
After our super late lunch, we got back on the road. Next stop: Dole Plantation. Unfortunately, we arrived a few minutes late. They closed at 5:00pm. We didn't get the chance to see the pineapple plantation or even have some of their delicious pineapple ice cream.

Outside the Dole Plantation
We stayed at Wyndham Hotel with our relatives for most of our trip, just a few blocks from the famous Waikiki Beach.
Next day (our last day in Hawaii, sadly), we took an early stroll at Waikiki Beach. Man, the place was already jam-packed! Good thing, we opted not to go swimming that day.

Surfing lessons, anyone?
Just a few hours more and it was time to leave paradise. Four days in Hawaii is never enough, we should have stayed longer. We had so much fun in Hawaii, we will definitely visit again soon.

Aloha and mahalo cousins! Till we meet again! :)

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