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Highlights of Hawaii

Our favourites stories and adventures of Hawaii

sunny 29 °C

We also have to share some of our favourite highlights from Hawaii:

Avoiding the Tsunami on March 11

We spent the evening of March 10 on a lovely sunset dinner cruise.

Jacq and Jesse on the dinner cruise

Jacq and Jesse on the dinner cruise

view of the sunset from the dinner

view of the sunset from the dinner

The sunset was beautiful and we had a great time aboard the boat as it cruised around Maui. After the cruise, we drove through the streets of Lahaina with the roof down on the convertible, rocking out to some tunes on the radio.

Suddenly the music was interrupted by a service announcement which told us that there had been a massive earthquake in Japan and there was a Tsunami warning for the Hawaiian Islands, expected to hit at 3 am! The mood of the evening quickly changed, as we got home and turned on the news and went online to find out what was happening. Soon after Jesse called his parents, to make sure they knew what was happening and to start making calls to his relatives back home in Japan, who are all living around the Tokyo area.

The house we were staying in backed right onto the ocean, so there was no question that we needed to evacuate.

Fortunately we had several hours before the tsunami was expected to arrive so we made sure to fill up with gas (the line ups were crazy) and everyone packed up a few important personal items. We took some water, fruit and granola bars and headed to Wailea, which is another town on the south-western coast of Maui, higher up from the ocean. Friends of the family, Kevin and Angela were with us at the time, and Kevin’s parents had a condo in Wailea, so we spent the night there. We eagerly watched the news until about 1 am and then woke up again around 3 am to find out what was happening.

Thankfully, the waves in Lahaina were only about 7 ft high so most of the damage was to the harbour. Damage was minimal to other areas of the islands as well. We headed home as soon as the roads re-opened that morning. We expected to find the kayak in our backyard gone and washed away at sea – but somehow it still managed to stay!

the kayaks are safe!

the kayaks are safe!

Water did hit the entire backyard, but did not make it to the house. Besides soaking the grass and the plants, no damage was done to our property. The only odd thing was that the ocean would either be really low (the lowest we’ve ever seen it) or really high (the highest we’ve ever seen it, with water hitting the stone wall and splashing up with great force) – and it would change from one state to the other in a matter of a few minutes. Good thing the guys got out of there quickly!

Really low tide after the tsunami

Really low tide after the tsunami

Really high tide after the tsunami

Really high tide after the tsunami

hight tide quickly coming in

hight tide quickly coming in

Survived the tsnumami t-shirt

Survived the tsnumami t-shirt

Thankfully we soon heard from all of Jesse’s relatives, who were safe, but did feel the massive earthquake and who still continue to feel aftershocks. There are 150 miles away from the nuclear reactors – which is a good distance away, but we still hope that they are able to rectify that situation as soon as possible.

Helicopter tour over Maui and Molokai

One afternoon, we decided to check out Maui from another angle – the air! We headed up in a 7 person helicopter with Aunty Laura and Jim (Jacq’s Dad).

The Helicopter Gang

The Helicopter Gang

The views were breathtaking!

We checked out the coastline of Maui

Maui beach

Maui beach

Maui north coastline

Maui north coastline

Blowhole

Blowhole

Then headed over the ocean to Molokai, another nearby island, which have the steepest sea cliffs in the world!

Molokai coastline

Molokai coastline

Steep sea cliffs on Molokai

Steep sea cliffs on Molokai

Along with flying through the clouds we also saw some waterfalls as well.

Flying through the clouds

Flying through the clouds

Waterfalls on Molokai

Waterfalls on Molokai

We also checked out the island of Lanai before heading back to Maui.

Inside the chopper

Inside the chopper

Flying over Maui

Flying over Maui

Trip to Honolulu, Oahu

We took a short flight aboard Hawaiian airlines – less than 30 minutes! Along the way there, we had a beautiful view flying over the islands while we drank our complimentary “POG.”

POG on the plane

POG on the plane

View from the plane

View from the plane

In Honolulu, we stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel, which is steps away from the Ala Moana Shopping Centre, the worlds’ largest open mall. As you’d expect – we did a bit of shopping there!

Taking a coffee break from shopping

Taking a coffee break from shopping

As well as checking out Waikiki Beach...

The famous Waikiki Beach

The famous Waikiki Beach

Jacq at Waikiki

Jacq at Waikiki

Relaxing on the beach

Relaxing on the beach

We also took the scenic hike up to Diamond Head, which is a large crater that was used as a Military Base.

View of Diamond Head

View of Diamond Head

It’s a steep hike that takes about 2 hours round trip – and we found out that about 100 people a year don’t make it due to dehydration or exhaustion, in which case, they need to be rescued by helicopter.

Steep climb at Diamond Head

Steep climb at Diamond Head

But we made it up and saw the beautiful views of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu.

Jacq hiking up Diamond Head

Jacq hiking up Diamond Head

Jesse at the top

Jesse at the top

View of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu

View of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu

We also spent one day checking out Pearl Harbour, which was a humbling experience.

Jesse walking around Pearl Harbor

Jesse walking around Pearl Harbor

Crossroads at Pearl Harbor

Crossroads at Pearl Harbor

Missles at Pearl Harbor

Missles at Pearl Harbor

After touring the facilities, we caught a boat over to see the Arizona Memorial. Built over the sunken battleship, the USS Arizona, it pays respect to the 900 men who are entombed within the sunken ship.

The Memorial

The Memorial

Remanents from the ship

Remanents from the ship

Inside the memorial

Inside the memorial

To this day, over 60 years later, the boat continues to drip oil into the harbour, which Hawaiian’s believe to symbolize teardrops coming from the ship.

Oil drops from the ship

Oil drops from the ship

In Honolulu, we also checked out some delicious restaurants, including California Pizza Kitchen, and we couldn’t miss hitting up Zippy’s – one of Hawaii’s oldest restaurant chains, to grab a zip pac.

California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen

Dessert ... mmm

Dessert ... mmm

Zippy's

Zippy's

Jesse enjoying his Zippack

Jesse enjoying his Zippack

After our trip to Honolulu, we headed back to the island of Maui.

Deep sea fishing

In Maui, we had the opportunity to do some deep sea fishing. You may recall when we were back in Fiji, that WOMEN were not allowed to go fishing... well in Hawaii, women’s fishing rights made leaps and bounds!! Jacq was invited on the fishing trip along with 5 of the guys! Mark this day down in history!!

Fishing girl

Fishing girl

The fishing boys

The fishing boys

Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

The lures

The lures

Aboard the fishing boat, everyone was excited to start catching some large fish! Blue Marlin was the ultimate goal, but we’d be happy with Ono, Yellowfin Tuna or any other type of Marlin!

Heading up to the second deck

Heading up to the second deck

We soon learned that fishing was a lot about waiting, and for some of us.... NAPPING.

Starting the trend

Starting the trend

Following suit...

Following suit...

What does it take to “start” these guys up?!

After a few hours, when we began feeling like we should just about give up, we got a bite on the line! Jim gets ready in the chair and starts reeling in our big catch!

Jim in the action seat

Jim in the action seat

Jim reeling in a big one!

Jim reeling in a big one!

The captain and his skip aren’t sure what kind of fish it may be – is it behaving like an Ono? OH NO... it’s not behaving like a fish at all! Jim’s fighting it and finally reels it in to find.....

Big catch!

Big catch!

A BIG BLUE FISHING NET!

Catch of the day!

Catch of the day!


Not really the catch we were hoping for, but it sure was exciting!

Now ladies, if you’re curious about what goes on in a fishing trip, here’s what you’ll learn:
-most of the time you are either sleeping or snacking
- more “fishing” goes on in the cooler... that’s right “fishing” for beer

I’ve come to the conclusion that fishing is similar to Sunday night football – where the guys are just watching the game, drinking beer, snacking and taking the occasional nap!! Are we surprised?!!

Joking aside – thanks Pops for inviting me on the trip!

==Heading up to the dormant volcano Haleakala==

On the island of Maui, the highest elevation on the island belongs to the dormant volcano, Haleakala. It is 10,300 ft above sea level and it takes about an hour and a half to drive up to the summit. Many people come to check it out at sunrise, driving up the winding road very early in the morning in the dark. We decided that it would be fun to check it out at sunset as well as sunrise, and camp out overnight half way down.

The road up was an amazing drive! We drove away from the beach and hot and humid weather, to soon feel a cooler climate, with lush vegetation. As we climbed higher in altitude, we begin driving through thick fog and a beautiful eucalyptus forests which smelled delicious!

Scenic drive to Haleakala

Scenic drive to Haleakala

Driving through a foggy patch

Driving through a foggy patch

Foggy forest

Foggy forest

Once inside the park, we headed towards Homner Grove, our campsite for the evening.

The campground

The campground

We set up camp, in our $40 K-Mart tent, which worked like a charm! Setting up camp

Setting up camp

Setting our beds upon lounge cushions, we were soon ready to head up to the summit in order to check out sunset.

Along the way, we saw some Nene birds, Hawaii’s state bird, including a mother and her baby chicks crossing the road!

Nene Crossing

Nene Crossing

Nene chicks crossing the road

Nene chicks crossing the road

Part way up, there were some scenic viewpoints to check out. This also was a good time for us to put some more clothes on! The temperature would drop about 5 degrees F for each 100 ft you would drive up!

Putting extra clothes on

Putting extra clothes on

Driving up the summit

Driving up the summit

After driving up a few more hundred feet, we were soon at the summit, taking in the beautiful view of the crater and peak of Mt. Haleakala.

Jesse at the summit

Jesse at the summit

The Crater

The Crater

It felt as if you were in an airplane, as you were high above the clouds.

Jesse before sunset

Jesse before sunset

There was also interesting plants up there – some which grow nowhere else in the world.

Plants at the summit

Plants at the summit

Silver flower plant

Silver flower plant

The car thermometer said it was about 50 degrees F (10 degrees C), but the wind made it even colder! We huddled up in our beach chairs to watch the sunset!

Jesse in the beach chairs waiting for sunset

Jesse in the beach chairs waiting for sunset

Jacq and Jesse trying to keep warm!

Jacq and Jesse trying to keep warm!

Sun starting to set

Sun starting to set

Sunset on the clouds

Sunset on the clouds

After sunset, we headed down to our campsite. For dinner, we had a fancy dinner consisting of hot dogs and instant noodle soup! Of course, we had to make s’mores before calling it a night! Since the temperature was still chilly here, we wore three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, and sweatshirts – as well as heating some waterbottles to put in our blankets! It worked and we were nice and toasty warm the entire night!

The alarm woke us up at 5 am and soon we were up and in the car – travelling the same winding road the day before, except this time in the dark!

When we arrived to the top, the scene was very different than the day before. It was PACKED with people!

Crowds waiting for the sunrise

Crowds waiting for the sunrise

We found a spot to stand and along with about an hundred others, waited for the sun to rise.

Waiting for the sun to come up

Waiting for the sun to come up

Sunrise over Haleakala

Sunrise over Haleakala

It was beautiful! At one point, a cloud was pouring into the crater, making it look like a waterfall.

Clouds entering the crater like a waterfall

Clouds entering the crater like a waterfall

The sky became brighter as time went on – at some points there were pink clouds in the sky.

Pink clouds sunrise

Pink clouds sunrise

When the sun finally rose, looking behind us, you could see the shadow of the peak. It was unbelievable!

Shadow of Mt Haleakala

Shadow of Mt Haleakala

==Taking the ferry over to Lanai’i==

One morning we decided to take the Ferry over to Lanai, to check out another one of Hawaii’s island.

On the Lanai Ferry

On the Lanai Ferry

We were told by some locals that it has one of the nicest naturally made beaches there, with great snorkelling – so decided to spend the day at the beach!

It was a scenic 45 minute ride over to Lanai.

Heading to Lanai

Heading to Lanai

View of Lanai from the ferry

View of Lanai from the ferry

Once we arrived we headed to the beach, which was amazing!

The Beach at Lanai

The Beach at Lanai

Before we know it, there are spinner dolphins swimming in the bay near the beach.

Spinner dolphins

Spinner dolphins

Dolphins near the beach

Dolphins near the beach

We took a few pictures before heading into the water. Unfortunately we were too slow and the dolphins were gone before we could swim out to them!

We had an amazing time in Hawaii – and will be back again for sure, hopefully sooner than later! It was a perfect place to have as our last stop in our travel adventures.

Corona commercial!

Corona commercial!

Thanks to our readers for taking the time to read about our travels over the past several months. Our advice to anyone who is thinking about travelling.... DO IT! It was an amazing experience – one that we’ll never forget.

Posted by jacqjesse 12:36 Archived in USA

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