Friday, July 10, 2009

Island paradise...

Jeff and I got to spend a few days on Oahu recently...always one of our favorite places to unwind and relax. Our room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village was perched high, facing Diamond Head and the Waikiki Beach. Notice the evil pigeons that invaded our room each morning! The Hilton is at one end of Waikiki, so it has this wonderful view back over the entire arch of the beach.

One of our favorite spots to stop and snorkel along the North Shore is Sharks Cove...known for its volcanic rocks and warm clear pools. At low tide, the pools are quite shallow, but as the tides come back in, the pools get this cool fluctuation of water levels going. Jeff spotted a humuhumunukunuku─üpua╩╗a fish amongst the rocks :)

Some of the nearly North Shore beaches are a bit more active and rougher. This one might be looking back out towards the famous Pipeline beach...famous for its primo surfing. For us, this spot was a great place to get hammered by huge waves.

We stopped at Pali Point, and took a stroll along the old Pali Road. This is the old, twisting route down the pass. Today, its a fun path with great vistas...and some cool post-apocalyptic road images.

Along the Eastern side of the island, we stopped at Lanikai Beach...crystal blue water to bob in as the afternoon sun draws longer shadows. Surprisingly, this stretch of white sand was not crowded. No waves here, I guess. For us, this side of the island has become one of our favorites areas to end the day.

We stopped at another popular overlook to people watch. (This is on the southeast corner of Oahu, near the "blowhole" overlook...although I didn't take a picture of the blowhole rock this time.) We did get to spot a whale passing by...not the best lens for whale photography, but at least you can see the whale clear its blowhole :)

Hmmmm, let's is our calm pool at the Hilton to float before dinner. Once we trekked back to the room to clean up for the evening, it was hard to resist one last float in water.

We found some wonderful dinner spots on this of our favortie was dinner outdoors at the Halekulai hotel in Waikiki. This is the House Without A Key lounge/restaurant with amazing an mai tai :) On Thursdays, they serve an out-of-this-world surf and turn burger...and EVERYDAY they serve a truly decadent coconut cake. YUMMM!

On one afternoon, we decided to take a hose ride at the historic Kualoa Ranch on the eastern side of the island. Unfortunately, we had to make reservations a day in advance...non-refundable reservations...and it just so happened that a soaking rain blew through that afternoon. Let me tell you, no begging will get that reservation refunded :) Ah well. It makes for a good story anyway :) We did the full 2-hour trip back into a lush valley. Kinda peaceful after you learn to ignore the raindrops :) Oh, by the way...the cooperative brown horse FACING the camera below is Jeff's horse. Mine was the white one who didn't want his pic I photographed its butt. TAKE THAT!

Back along the North Shore, we stopped at one of the popular beaches...Waimea State Beach. This one is a magnet for the adventurous...of the insane...because it comes complete with a jumping rock...and lots of warnings to NOT jump. We didn't jump.

And I'll wrap up this post with a variety of miscelaneous images. FYI, Storto's is Jeff's absolute favorite sandwich shop in the world...made extra yummy by their soft, sweet Hawaiian bread. It is worth a stop.