I just finished my first day in Hawaii

Yesterday was my first day in Hawaii. It’s a magical place. We are on the island of Oahu, because Sam is attending a conference for work. I get to hang around and soak up the sun and capitalism. Jet lag had me up at 4:30 AM, so we had more than a full day to to enjoy ourselves.

We are staying at the Hilton on Waikiki. Our hotel room has a balcony that looks out onto the ocean. The view is incredibly spectacular. The hotel itself is a cliché tourist destination designed so that one would never need to leave the area. After a very brief walk on the beach we got in the car and left. The first stop was the Island Brew Coffeehouse. It was in a strip mall on a bay about 20 minutes outside of Waikiki. The bagel was great, the açaí bowl was good (though I think Sam enjoyed eating gelato for breakfast more than I did), but the coffee was spectacular.

I wanted to find a hike to the Koko Crater Arch I had read about on the website Unreal Hawaii. We could not find it, but we did stop and see the Lanai Lookout and the Halona Blowhole. The views were obviously breathtaking. However there was a couple who crossed the barrier and climbed down to the Halona Blowhole. They were standing in front of it making out the entire time I was there. The less than subtle and ridiculous scene of her pressing into him while ocean water sprayed like a geyser out a hole in the ground was annoying. I wanted Kanaloa to take them as a sacrifice every minute I looked at their dumb selves.

We headed to Sandy Beach Park where there are lots of surfers. The waves are dangerously huge, and really entertaining. The beach isn’t made for swimming, but it is really fun to get knocked around by the waves. We stayed at the beach for a little bit and then ordered Kahuku Shrimp from a food truck while we dried off.

We decided that we could not find the trail Koko Crater Arch trail so we would do the Koko Crater trail. It’s a different one, but we thought it’d still be a great hike. Here is where I had my first vacation freak out. At the foot of the beautiful scenery is the Koko Head Shooting Complex. A shooting range for the local gun nut. We started on the trail and it was terrifying. The noise of non-stop gun firing filled the air. There was no break in it, just shot after shot after shot. We weren’t in harms way or anything like that, it was just terrifying sound. I decided I could not hike with that violent racket and we retreated to the car.

In an effort to make sure we could still go on a hike, I proposed that we find the Waimano Falls and Pools. We drive into the island to Waimano Ridge Trail. Little did I know, the Waimano Ridge Trail does not take you to the Waimano Falls and Pools (the Mañana trail takes you there). They are completely separate trails! We hiked about 3 miles into the trail (very beautiful and serene) and we ran across a Boy Scout troop. I did my obligatory “I’m an eagle scout intro,” and we started to talk about the trail. That is when we are told that the wonderful is not anywhere near us.

Defeated we turned back for the car. We had started the trail we had taken the upper path. The scouts had told us that the lower path ran along a river, so when we found the split we decided to check it out. We learned two things that day. Dirt near rivers is not dirt. It is mud. Mud + a descent = slippery dirty chaos.

To be honest, it was very beautiful. It is a lovely hike, but I really wanted to see that waterfall so I left a little disappointed.

We finished the night going to dinner with Sam’s boss. We had sushi and great conversation. We had a full and adventurous day. There were missteps, but all learning moments.

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