Day 2 & 3 | Hanauma Bay & Waikiki

Can we all agree that Hawaii has the best names for every city, place, town, bay, restaurant, okay, everything?

Wednesday morning we headed to Hanauma Bay, the main hub in O'ahu for snorkeling. Although each place we went was around a 30 minute drive, I didn't even mind it. I love passing through different towns in Hawaii and see the ocean from the road. Guys, I'm telling you, this place is gorgeous.

When we arrived at the entrance to Hanauma Bay, the parking lot was full, and security gaurds directed us to residential areas for parking. We found a nearby neighbor to park in, but ended up walking about a mile or so (up and downhill, with Jocelyn and all of our beach stuff in the wagon) to eventually get to the bay. I know you're wondering, so yes, Hudson made the whole walk on hot asphalt barefoot. It costs $7.50 to get in, you watch an informational video and can rent snorkeling gear. Luckily, Meredith saved us big money and had gear for us. At first it may seem that Hanauma Bay is over crowded, but that is just on the sand, not in the water. I hardly saw anyone near us as we swam. Meredith told us the only way to see fish was going near the sides of the water near the rocks or the middle but much farther in the water. We wore H20 masks which in my opinion is SO much better than the typical snorkeling mouthpiece. You put it on and just breathe completely normal. Sigh of relief. I don't think I could have handled the pressure of figuring out the mouthpiece and trying not to freak out that there are fish RIGHT NEXT to me. In the end I had so much fun, and since we would go out in like 30 minute increments, each time got better.

That day we got scorched. Literally. I didn't think to put sunscreen on my legs -- and as a result, got water blisters on my left leg, read that as, I got a second degree burn. I paid for it in pain the next day. And then everyday after that I bathed and bathed myself in sunscreen.

After about 3-4 hours at Hanauma Bay, we packed up, walked the mile mostly uphill and went to Sophies for some delicious pizza. Sophie's was literally a two minute drive from Hanauma Bay and I totally recommend it. They make guava infused crust, so its got a slight pink hue to it, and use cashew cream sauce. And if you're thinking that sounds weird and gross, well, then you haven't tried it yet, because you would think differently once you have. Meredith is the best host/tour guide ever!

Meredith then dropped us off in Waikiki where we stayed at a hotel for one night. Meredith told us Waikiki was the Las Vegas of Hawaii. She was right. I think everyone needs to see Waikiki and spend some time there, but I would NEVER recommend staying your whole time there,You will leave with sunburns and an empty wallet.

I really should have done some better research before I purchase hotels -- because $80 will buy you a hotel with an alley way view (no joke, we stared at a cement wall), a mattress comparable to a thin pad on the floor, a swamp cooler that is louder than a tractor, and baby cockroaches that will make a cameo appearance in your bathroom while you brush your teeth. Classy. But did I mention the 40 inch screen tv. I was going to say, they invest in their TV's so you are in good hands -- but you're in Hawaii so why would you be turning on the TV anyways?

That night, we walked all around Waikiki -- its kinda of a maze, with alot of rich asians, who don't even care about the beach, but care about getting the very best selfie with them and the ocean. Think of all the brand stores you would never walk in because you can't afford even the damaged items. Well, Waikiki has all of them. We did get to walk around at the perfect time -- that glowing sunset and perfect temperature. After walking over a mile we sat down and I was craving some shaved ice. I looked on my phone and found a place that was closing in 20 minutes (typical Hawaii, everything shuts down at 7pm). And it was half a mile away in the more residential area. So we booked it, and arrived minutes before it closed. Second thing you have to know about Hawaii is they don't take debit or credit card hardly ANYWHERE. Come on, we are in 2017 people. Get with it. They had a cash only sign and we only had $5, so we were forced to get the smallest item. We sat down at the wobbliest table without knowing it, and the entire shaved ice dome we had just purchase with our last bill of cash, toppled all over the table. I furiously began scooping it up with my hands, I almost went as far as to eat it up directly off the table, but for everyone's sake refrained. Let me share a YouTube clip from The Office that depicts PERFECTLY what we experienced.

We spent the next hour walking around trying to find a real place to eat -- specifically a restaurant where 1 plate was under $17, but we were unsuccessful, and instead settled on a footlong from Subway. Because you know, when in Waikiki...try Subway! We got back to our hotel, with our Subway in silence and I sat on the floor and ate. We had such a fun day, I was asleep by 9pm. I'm like the most fun travel buddy ever. Pay me to come on your next travel excursion and I'll make sure to go to bed at an unreasonably early hour!

The next morning, with high hopes for our last hours in Waikiki, we walked around, and found a McDonalds. You know why... because we were in WAIKIKI! duh! While walking around we found an Army Museum, with a line of people waiting outside. We wondered why, and then a few minutes later, this old man in a Hawaiian shirt comes rolling in on his Jazzy to unlock the door. We walked through it -- 30 minutes is all you need. We walked on the pier of the beach right behind it. Took in our last deep breaths of Waikiki and went back to our hotel where checked out and took a Lyft ride (kinda like a taxi that you prepay for) back to Meredith's house. Obviously, we (or maybe just I) were a bit too anxious to see the kids again. That afternoon we cleaned the William's car and made dinner and hung around. Bryan made us his German chocolate cake too.

Some Take Aways:
- Go EARLY to Hanauma Bay to get a parking spot
- Pretend you have albino skin and lather on the sunscreen, every half hour just to be safe
- Consider paying more than $80 for a hotel. :)
- If I did Waikiki all over again, i'd go to a grocery store first and buy some food so we wouldn't have to eat at the restaurants.
- If you've got time, there is a really cool hike near Hanauma Bay called Kuilouou Ridge Trail (we did it on a different day), or Koko head (we didn't have time to do this one, but when President Obama visited Hawaii, he did this one).


  1. Love reading about your adventures!

  2. Isn't it cool to see those fish at Hanauma Bay?
    I agree, Waikiki is to see, not to stay. A lot of tourists never even get outside of it! They have no idea that there is so much more to see on the island!


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