• Bil

Beautiful Beaches - Part 2

The time has come to say Aloha and Mahalo to our wonderful friends Kelly, John & Jacob. We have enjoyed a wonderful visit on the Big Island and are moving on westward to Oahu. It is a nice reminder of simpler times flying through Kona Airport, where the passengers & crew walk out onto the tarmac to board the plane with a glorified ladder. Our 737 is far from full so we have an empty seat between us for the 20 minute flight to Honolulu.

Leaving the airport in our rental car the traffic lets us know we're back in the city - but not like San Francisco! Heading north we leave the city & military bases behind and motor through farm land and industrial areas until we reach the coast.


The North Shore of Oahu arguably has the most famous surfing beaches in the world. Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline are the subjects of countless stories, movies and songs. The shoreline road has dozens of surf shacks, shave ice stands and shrimp food trucks, and there are people everywhere walking along with their boards & snorkel gear.


Susie and I came here for our honeymoon 25 years ago in December, and spent a memorable day at the Pipeline. The winter surf was so huge they were only letting qualified professionals enter the water, and watching these folks maneuver down a 25' curl was awe-inspiring and crazy! Summer conditions are much calmer so no one was surfing, but many were snorkeling in a nice coral cove called Shark Bay.


Continuing around the island you have views of many parks and beaches on the left with amazing views of the steep, green mountains off to the right. As we approached Kailua on the east side the traffic began to pick up again. Maneuvering through town we found the little Airbnb Susie had rented, dropped our packs and walked down to the beach. The onshore wind was howling and there were many kite surfers catching big air out past the surf line.


Woke up early Thursday and drove down to Diamond Head, intending to hike to the top & look around. When we drove into the visitor's center we were turned back as the lot was already full! Finding a spot near the college we walked back up to the VIC & paid our $2 entry fee. Getting into the line to "hike" to the top was like getting on a ride at Disney, or trying to hike up Mt. Everest! We made it about 2/3 and decided to turn around, frustrated with the crowds (and a lack of bathrooms!). The views were amazing nonetheless.

Woke up early Thursday and drove down to Diamond Head, intending to hike to the top & look around. When we drove into the visitor's center we were turned back as the lot was already full! Finding a spot near the college we walked back up to the VIC & paid our $2 entry fee. Getting into the line to "hike" to the top was like getting on a ride at Disney, or trying to hike up Mt. Everest! We made it about 2/3 and decided to turn around, frustrated with the crowds (and a lack of bathrooms!). The views were amazing nonetheless.


Back to Kailua where Susie caught up with an old school friend she had not seen in 40 years, and then off to a delicious dinner at Uahi Island Grill in Kailua. Sus had the smoked fish sandwich and I had the duck siracha. Highly recommended!


Up very early tomorrow for our first really long flight - Bali here we come! Aloha!





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We are two people that are the perfect match for each other - almost all the time! Our kids have flown the coop so it must be time for us to do the same.

 

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