Hawaiian Vacation: October 2013

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Friday, October 11 - Day 1 on Oahu

On this day we headed out of Oahu for the North Shore. Our first stop was Kuilima Cove near the Turtle Bay Resort. We got in the water and saw a handful of fish and it was cloudy and raining, so we didn't stay long.

View photos from the morning (5 images) View photos from Kuilima Cove (6 images) View underwater photos from Kuilima Cove (11 images)

We then hit Sunset Beach. We didn't get in the water here but we did play fetch with a local dog named Harley.

View photos from Sunset Beach (9 images)

Next stop was Sharks Cove. It's rather treacherous to get down to the beach as you must haul yourself and your gear over more than a few rocks. But the reward is worth the work. The snorkeling here was fantastic! We stayed here for quite awhile, taking tons of pictures and a few videos.

View photos from Shark's Cove (16 images) View underwater photos from Shark's Cove (22 images)

Then we stopped at Waimea Valley and Beach. There was no parking to be had here and the beach looked quite crowded, so we decided to skip it and just go in into the valley across the way instead. After paying to park and paying for admission we headed up the gently sloping paved trail thought the botanic gardens. This is really a beautiful park, even if we did see evidence of sprinkler systems, and at the end of the trail is Waimea Falls.

View photos from Waimea Valley (53 images)

We had read that Turtle Beach had a great many -- you guessed it, turtles -- so we put it on our itinerary. After parking and walking up and down the beach for a few minutes, not a turtle in sight. So it was on to the next stop.

Back in the city, we headed over to the Hale Koa military hotel for dinner. Civilians cannot stay at this hotel, but they are welcome on the grounds, including the restaurants. We grabbed a burger and fries at Happy's Snack Bar and sat outside in the garden. We were famished, so even though it was a cafeteria style burger, it was still good, and cheap!

On the way back to our hotel we heard talks of fireworks to be shown near the Hilton. We backtracked to find where to go and there were already a great many people gathered on the beach all facing the same direction, so we figured that was where to be. Indeed, the fireworks started shortly and it was a good show. The most remarkable part, however, was hearing the reverb off about 5 hotels after each large bang.

We had seen a place to get Gelato on our walk from the hotel earlier in the evening: the Aloha Harmony Tea House. So we made sure to stop there for dessert at before heading back to our hotel. Neil decided to go out on his own to the Food Pantry for some more groceries: some triscuits and cheese, and a couple bananas and apples to cover lunches for the next couple days.

View photos from the evening (15 images)