Friday, May 30, 2014

Hawaii- Part 2 {Excursions}

Part 1    Part 3
We booked a few excursions for our trip to Hawaii in advance so that we could make sure we got in everything we wanted to do.

Ann-Marie, Chris, Evan and Richard all wanted to learn how to surf. They were able to book a group of four with one instructor for a two hour surf lesson. Which ended up being a perfect amount of time. They first were given a quick lesson inside the surf shop and then they were brought to the beach and practiced what they learned before getting in the water.

Claire and I tagged along to watch and take pictures since we did not want to surf. We walked out onto a pier and got a great view of both the surfing and the beach. We also saw some cute little crabs that we were afraid were going to attack us.
From there we were able to get some pictures of everyone surfing. They are kinda far away but it is the best I could do.
They all had a blast learning to surf and were sore for days. Apparently it takes a lot of arm muscle to paddle to be able to stand up. We all took a two hour nap that afternoon since we were so tired.

The next excursion we did was a hike, kayak and snorkeling tour. We were picked up from our condo and then drove to the north east side of the island. Our tour guide was amazing and he knew so much stuff about the history of Hawaii. It was great to get so much information from him.
Once we got to our location, we started out with a short hike in the mountain. It was a pretty steep incline and it was just enough of a hike to be able to get a great view.
You that little island in the middle? That is where we kayaked to. After we hiked back down the trail, we got in our kayaks and headed toward the island. Our guide said it was about 3/4 of a mile to the island. We were in a double kayak so we had to coordinate a little to make sure we went in a straight line. Although, Richard did most of the work because lets face it I am useless in the large muscle department. Once we got to the island, we had lunch and explored the small island a bit.
We were able to snorkel right off the island between the island we were on and the beach from the main island. It was really shallow which made snorkeling hard and we had to be careful since the coral was really sharp. At first we did not see much, but then Evan found a little area that had quite a few fish so it made it more fun. Although the snorkeling at the north shore was far better. We then made our kayak ride back to the island to head home. I was daring enough to pull my camera out to take some pictures.
The last excursion we did was going to a Luau. We got picked up by a large bus and headed over to the east side of the island for the luau. And of course got more gorgeous views. The luau was amazing. We made headbands out of corn husks and ate some unique food. Also, the chief at the luau was hilarious. We all really enjoyed watching this show and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a luau.
All our different excursion were so much fun and I am glad that they ended up working out so well. It is hard to pick things to do while you are there, but I think we got a pretty good mix. I still have at least one more post coming next week!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hawaii- Part 1 {Beach Days}

We're back! Hawaii was amazing and we are sad that we had to leave and return to reality. I took far too many pictures of this trip so sorry-not-sorry for all the pictures. I am going to break this trip up into a few different posts so hopefully it will not be too overwhelming.

We found out way back when Richard started graduate school that one of their annual conferences was going to be held in Hawaii in 2014. Ever since, we have been dreaming of those sandy beaches. Richard headed to Hawaii with a few of his friends in his program early to attend the conference. At the conference, people present research and hold other types of informational seminars and what not. I know nothing of what they really do, all I know is that my husband was able to meet a bunch of really cool people and present some of his own research as well. I came later in the week so that I would miss less work since I knew Richard was going to be busy at the conference.
I was able to attend the closing ceremony where they have a get together of whoever wants to come and this year they had a luau. I did not really watch the luau much since I was busy talking with a bunch of people Richard was introducing me to. I was able to see a few faces that I have met before, but have not seen in a while and meet some of the people Richard work with at his internship. After the luau, we went out for dinner and drinks with Richard's coworkers from his internship. It was really fun meeting them and hanging out.
Once the conference was over, it was time to enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer! We stayed in a condo in Honolulu with some of  friends so there was a total of seven of us together in a two bedroom condo. It ended up working out perfectly for us.
We did a few excursions, but I will save that for a different post. We mostly we just got to see this view for 10 days which was awesome.

The drinks in Hawaii were amazing and fun. This drink was called the Tropical Itch and we were all surprised to see it came with a back scratcher.
One of the days we rented a mini-van for the seven of us to drive to the north shore of the island. Everyone kept recommending that we go up there since it was so gorgeous and they were not wrong. One of our tour guides even mentioned that we could go snorkeling up there at this time of year and he said it was only three month out of the year you could do that because the rest of the year that waves are too large.
Richard, Evan, Claire and I bought snorkeling gear to go snorkeling around those rocks out there. It was amazing. We were able to see a bunch of different fish. There were some bright neon colored ones, some huge funky looking fish and at one point we even saw a huge school of fish that had hundreds of fish. Evan and Claire were even able to see three turtles swimming while Richard and I were snorkeling somewhere else. And the sand was the best sand we have ever seen. It was larger pieces which made it really easy to get off your legs and towels. We kept joking that it was like sesame seeds on a bun. It is way nicer than the other super fine sand that gets everywhere.
Richad and Evan Snorkeling
We decided to switch beaches halfway through the day just to see what else the North Shore had to offer. We found Sunset Beach which is where they usually have surf contest since the waves can get huge through there. But since we were in the off season we did not see any huge waves. However, the waves were still big and they created a strong current. I got knocked over quite a few time and we had a blast just sitting in the shallow water letting the waves push us around. Although the snorkeling on this beach was not as nice, Claire had the brilliant idea to put on her snorkeling gear and just float in the waves. Evan and Richard decided to join and they were out there for over an hour just floating and letting the waves pull them in and out. Since we spent the entire day in the water we got sun burnt pretty bad which for me luckily turned into a nice tan. However, it made the rest of the trip in the sun more difficult since my skin was super sensitive after that day. 
After the beach we explored the nearby town a little bit and we stopped at a shrimp truck so those who eat seafood could try it out.
On the other days of the trip, we did some shopping since they had a better variety of stores than in Louisiana, we ate at so many different restaurants, hung out at the hot tub and just enjoyed hanging out and doing nothing. The food there was amazing and there were few places that any of us even disliked. Even me, the pickiest eater on the face of the earth. 

I think this post is full enough now, but there are more Hawaii updates to come!

update:  Part 2   Part 3

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