Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Oahu, Hawaii November 2016 Part 7

On our last day in Oahu Kari and I once again beat the sun to get in our final hike of the trip. This one was a doozy! Koko Crater Stairs. I was secretly hoping that we wouldn't do this hike because the more I researched it, the more intimidated I got. The incline is seriously terrifying, especially when you arrive and can barely make out the 'stairs' at the top of the crater. Now that its been done, I'm really glad I did it and it was a serious test of endurance and strength!

Koko Crater Stairs are hardly stairs at all, in fact they are old railway ties that would take supplies up to the military lookouts at the top! Some of ties were missing and replaced with boards, some were replaced with rock, and there was a section of probably 30 ties that they called a bridge because if you didn't get your footing right, there was about a 10 foot drop to the ground before you rolled 1,000 feet to the base of the crater.

When we got back to the house the Vikings game had just kicked off. Unfortunately we couldn't get it to come in on the tv, but we were able to listen to it thanks to KFAN and bluetooth speakers.

Since we were poor planners, we lucked into getting in on a four wheeling adventure at Kualoa Ranch. Go-pro video coming on that one. There were three or four groups of six and I was the first in line in our group. Our leader was awesome and took us a little faster then we were probably supposed to go, but who wants to putter around at 10 mph?

Since Kualoa Ranch is where a lot of films and tv shows are filmed, we toured around and stopped at the location where Godzilla's footprints were (sadly had to be filled in because the ranch cows kept falling in and getting stuck 😂!!), we drove through a structure that will be in the new Jumanji movie, swung by the scene from Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates where they were four wheeling (I was way too excited about that one) and then the biggest surprise of all came when we went to the spot where Jurassic Park was filmed and we almost got attacked by a Dinosaur!

We survived!

To wrap up the tour we stopped at a WWII bunker in the side of the mountain that had been used as a lookout when one of the military bases was near by. Now it's used for shows such as Hawaii 5-0, Lost, Jurassic World, etc.

Between the hike up Koko Crater and a dusty ride on the four wheelers, I'm still cleaning dirt out of the clothes I wore that day. No lie. I it were...

To wrap up this vacation recap, let me leave you with some airplane shots.
Goodbye Hawaii 
Hello Mt. Rainier
Hello Home (and you wonder why it's the land of 10,000 lakes!)

 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg

Oahu, Hawaii 2016 Part 6

To check off another sunrise hike, mom, Kari and I were up before the sun to make it to the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail. This trail is on the southern tip of Oahu and a very easy hike since it is a gradual climb on a newly paved path.

Kari and I went at our own pace and met mom at the top. Before meeting mom back at the bottom of the trail, we climbed a little higher to check out some pill boxes and the view on the other side.

When we all reached the bottom, we took another path that was flat and took you to a hidden beach where some kids were camping.

Taking it all in

After our hike, he headed back to the house before loading up the car and driving to the North Shore.

We went to Giovanni's Food Truck in Hale'iwa for some shrimp.

Then we went to the Dole Plantation for Pineapple floats and a ride on the Pineapple Express (you can skip the train ride).

Did you have ANY IDEA this is how pineapples grow??
Trying to kill some time before meeting family for dinner, we went to Banzai Pipeline beach to watch some surfing. I am a pretty darn good swimmer, but even these waves intimidated me!

After we got some sun and I finished day dreaming about moving here forever, we quickly changed and met some family at Turtle Bay. We were a little early for our dinner reservation so we grabbed a drink and watched the sun set.

Rainbow on one side of the resort

Sunset on the other
As we watched the sun set there was a man playing the ukulele and singing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'. I don't think Nicholas Sparks could have scripted this any better.

We had dinner at a restaurant at the resort which my family agreed was our least exciting meal and pretty standard hotel restaurant food. Pretty disappointing considering it is Turtle Bay. All in all though, it was a lot of fun for me to be able to explore the North Shore of Oahu!

 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg

Oahu, Hawaii November 2016 Part 5

Aside from surfing, the other event I was really excited for was the luau! We went to Chief's Luau and sprang for the Royal Experience where you had priority seating, a welcome drink, 3 drink tickets and your lei of choice.

We were one of the first to be sat so we had primo seats, front and center. I highly enjoyed the show and would recommend it to anyone looking for an interactive, funny yet informative luau.

As soon as the show started it began to pour down on us. Out of no where staff came running out with hundreds of yellow ponchos for everyone, literally have no clue where these people came from. It rained off and on throughout the night, but the show continued on!

They rotated between the men and women dancers and would do dances from the different Polynesian Islands before the ended the show with some very cool fire dancing!
 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg

Oahu, Hawaii November 2016 Part 4

Our whole reason to go to Hawaii was for my cousin's oldest daughters wedding.

We spent the first half of the day playing in the ocean and soaking up as much sun as we could until we had to get ready for the wedding.

Jane and Drew got married at Kualoa Ranch which was right across the street from the house that we rented. Since the house was on a main highway, we just had to drive down the road about a quarter of a mile to the entrance of the ranch, nice and close.

Of course the wedding was beautiful, how could it not be?

And as always, it was great to see family that has spread out across the country and world!

 photo sig_zpsmelevzix.jpg