I am fully aware that I have not been updating my blog since I have been in Hawaii. But I have been super busy and had soo many adventures. I decided I might as well give an overview of my last month. I arrived on December 8th, where Kylie and I stayed at our Aunties house. An adorable 90 year old Japanese women, she allowed us to stay with her at her home in Kahala. We rented an amazing Jeep and went on countless adventures. Many trips to the north shore were made to see the Pipemasters surf competition. We went on a few hikes as well. A Pillbox hike on the North Shore that was across from sunset beach. It was such an amazing view. We also did the Makapuu lighthouse trail (twice due to unfortunate circumstances, but hey it was an adventure! We also did Manoa Falls in the pouring rain. Like we ended hiking in trash bags…that’s how much it was raining. The waterfall was spectacular, it was soo beautiful. Last but certaintly not least was a hiking adventure knowns as Mount Olympus. Neither Kylie or I knew what we were getting ourselves into, besides the fact that it was a pretty ridge hike with spectacular views. Well… it was a 6 hour commitment, and definitely the most advanced hike I have ever done. We were literally climbing up a mountain, ropes and all, in the pouring rain. It was exhausting but the views made it all worth it. I cant say enough about the beauty we saw. After our hike, with shaking legs and muddy bodies, we treated ourselves to Uncle Clays, the best shave ice on the island. It was fantastic. Other highlights for Kylie and I were the shark diving adventure. Literally freedoce with 16 sandbar shark…one of my fondest memories of my life. WE also found a great groupon deal on scuba diving, so we did a two tank dive. We went to a shipwreck and a coral reef. Kylie and I are both advanced divers, but this was our first time scuba diving together, it was soo fun. On this trip we met the boat captain, who ended up being an awesome connection. He invited us on his ship a few days later, and we got to go on a nice little booze cruise (for free!) and even got to snorkel with the epic Hawaiian sea turtle (honu). It was great. Kylie and I did soo many awesome things, these were just a few that came to mind.
One December 19th, my best friend Summer flew in from Maine. Kylie and I took her in our jeep to the North Shore, where we went to Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and the Dole Plantation. Then, we headed into Waikiki and watched the sunset in Ala Moana, then it was time to head to Maui with my parents. Maui was sooooooo incredible. We stuffed a lot into that week, so again I will share the highlights. The first day we soaked up the sun at the pool, then summer and I rented surboards and shredded in front of the resort. After a tiring afternoon, we got some fruit from a roadside vendor, and I got some delicious fresh coconut! For dinner we headed to a cute little surf town called Lahaina, and my mom and I split a delicious salad and chili! We also did the road to Hana. A tiny winding road that lerads to a secluded little town. It was perfect, tons of waterfalls, breath taking views, and cute roadside fruit stands. We stopped at an awesome swimming pool and waterfall, known as Ching’s pool. It was sooo pretty, we took a refreshing dip and had a mini photoshooot. SO fun! Another stop was to a roadside stand that sold fresh banana bread, it was soo delicious. A few miles down we went to a gorgeous black sand beach (sand is black due to lava rocks) it was astonishly beautiful. At the beach was also a freshwater cave system that we swam with. I have never seen such clear water, it didn’t even look like there was water there because we could see the bottom perfectly. It was amazing! The last stop was the seven sacred pools. Summer and I and my dad went into the waterfall and swam around, it was awesome! After this tiring roadtrip, we stopped at a Flatbreads restaurant in Paia. It was delish! But it is safe to say I crashed that night. The next morning we woke up at like 3 am to see the sunrise from Haleakala. Im so glad I woke up for the spectacle. The view was above the clouds, and we could see some craters, the ocean, and it was just incredible…minus the fact I shattered my phone. Oh well, life goes on. That was a freezing but fun morning, and afterwords (if I remember correctly) we headed to the beach. We snorkeled for hours and it was soo much fun. There were tons of honu and fish, and some pretty (and alive!) coral. There was also a huge rock I jumped off, it was a blast. I felt like such a mermaid, Kylie and I stayed in for a very long time! On Maui, we also visited Kihei so I could check out the town I will be living in this summer. I am beyond stoked. There are gorgeous beaches, the people I am working for are super kind, and overall I am just soo excited for this next adventure in my life. After my NOAA site visit, we headed to the beach, where we watched some massive shorebreak. It was fun! We had a delish lunch at a cute café. One day in rained, but we stayed occupied by going to the awquarium- free tickets from NOAA for four! Yippee! On one of the last days (Christmas eve?) we went on an incredible raft tour to a small crater island off Kiehei known as Molokini. It was incredible to say the least. The visibility was basically unlimited, I felt like I was in an aquarium. We snorkeled at like 4 different sites, but my favorites were around the crater. The fish were beautiful, and we could hear Humpback whale songs underwater, how cool is that! The raft also gave us a tour of Maui’s lava coast, so we saw caves and learned some history. It was a blast. My highlight was around the end of the tour. We were eating lunch with the boat stationary, and three whales literally came up to our raft. One breached feet away from the boat, it gave me goosebumps. It was such a spiritual moment to get to be so close to these majestic creatures. I stuck my Gopro underwater and got some amazing footage of the huge whales, it was epic!!!! On Christmas day it was time to leave Maui…and Summer. It was an unforgettable vacation, with so many memories. I am the luckiest human on the planet.
The next week was spent with the whole fam in Waikiki. We had tons of family time, and got to see the cousins Kenzie and Kallie, they are incredible kids. We went cemetery hopping (not as grim as it sounds) and got to spend some time on Waikiki beach. We headed to Ko Olina, for my parents to renew their wedding vows. It was a perfect evening. The sunset was spectacular, it was so beautiful that all of us were in tears! We ended the night at a yummy restaurant know as Monkey Pods, where our friend from Maine works. It was such a delicious meal, and I even found out that I like strawberries!! How embarrassing is it that I am 20 and that was my first time trying a strawberry. Another days we headed to the West Side, with the family friend I mentioned earlier, Tom. We had a ton of fun! Explored the coast, and even went snorkeling. We also met up with a long time family friend, so I had a ton of fun catching up with jaymee. It was a good day. One evening we got to watch the fireworks from a boat. Another free adventure thanks to the captain we met! It was epic. One last highlight was New Years. Kylie and I went on the boat once again, for a night of booze and fireworks. We didn’t get home until like 5am, but it was worth the losing sleep. Kylie and I also got to do a surf lesson together, it was soo much fun. Jenn Lee, who I have known for quite some time, took us out to Tongs. It was awesome, after we went to from Here to Eternity beach, where I napped and went freediving for some gorgeous shells. I had lots of fun. After a few more beach days, it was time for my parents and Kylie to head home.
That leaves me alone in Oahu…oh boy. It has been a blast though, I spent two nights in a hotel, and then I am in the next days in a hostel! It is such an adventure. I got to meet up with a great friend from Dickinson, Natalia. She and her dad picked me up from my hotel, and we did an incredible hike to the back of the Stairway to Heaven. It was a long day, and took about 7 hours and was like 12 miles long, but it was well worth it. The views at the top of the mountain were breathtaking. We saw the highway H-3, and the ocean. I can’t even find the words to describe the beauty. It was amazing. I took a nice long bath and then fell right asleep. This morning I checked out of the hotel and into the hostel across the street. I am in a room with 7 other girls, and everyone is so welcoming and kind. I walked ot Diamond head crater and did that hike. It was a ton of fun! It was an all day adventure, but afterword I went to a cute café called the Diamond Head Crater Health Bar, where I had the best meal of my entire life. An incredible Acai bowl, topped with honey, granola, strawberries, and bananas. SOO GOOD. Nothing I eat will ever compare, I am planning on going back like every day to enjoy it. It is big enough to fill me up for a long time! I am currently in starbucks having a coffee and using their wifi. Tomorrow I am surfing with Jenn Lee at 2! I am so excited. I have so many adventures ahead of me! With that, I am off to bed, Aloha!