Hawaii – Oahu & Big Island

I’m till trying to catch up on all of my blog posts. I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Hawaii. This was my second time visiting Hawaii, last time being my friend Marc’s wedding in 2016. This time I set out to explore Oahu and the Big Island.

Originally it was a solo trip for the first half, but on my flight was a beautiful woman named Myriam. Turns out she worked for the same airline (Air Canada) I was flying on and was also flying Solo because her friend had cancelled going on the trip with her. We got chatting and turns out we wanted to do similar things. She didn’t have a rental car or a ride from the airport so I offered to drive her to her hotel. We exchanged numbers and ended up meeting up the next day and ended up spending the majority of the rest of the trip together.

We travelled around Oahu for 5 days exploring the entire island, going snorkeling many times, drinking great drinks, eating great food, and visiting the very memorable Pearl Harbor site.

When it was time for me to go to the Big Island I asked Myriam what she was going to do and she said she’d come along with me to the Big Island. We travelled together on Hawaiian Airlines over to Hilo, picked up the rental car, got some groceries and proceeded to the rental house that I had booked. The house was absolutely beautiful, despite a slightly nosey host that lived above. Myriam stayed with me for a few days before we picked up my friend Krystylyn, who was going to stay for a week.

We explored around the Big Island together before it was time for Myriam to go. I dropped her off at the airport, and then spent the remaining 5 days with my friend Krystylyn. We did a ton of snorkeling, ate some wonderful food, and saw some amazing sights.

Below are some pictures from this memorable trip.

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April 10th 2016 – Home from Kauai

On April 10th I sadly had to leave Kauai, back to my regular scheduled life back in Calgary. The last day was pretty fun. I ended up spending the entire day with Marc, Jen, and the rest of the gang at their resort. Hanalei Bay Resort is a fabulous place with a huge pool, a great restaurant, and beautiful scenery. I had a huge hamburger and wedge cut fries for lunch, and then spent the afternoon lounging by the pool.

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Marc was also being absolutely ridiculous and stole Logan’s fedora and was trying to wear it. Jen didn’t think it was particularly suiting of his style…

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Sadly the fun had to come to an end and I had to go home. When I got to the airport I noticed something I didn’t notice when I landed. Kauai Airport is quite poorly setup for the amount of travel that it does receive. The ticket counters are all at street level outside and then you have to join an hour long lineup to go through security. After passing security you then go wait in your gate waiting room, which isn’t air conditioned, and to our grand surprise had a fair amount of cockroaches. The airport is definitely in need of some upgrades. I choose to upgrade again to Plus for a mere $120, which I feel is a good deal.

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When I got back to Calgary I was exhausted and spent the day sleeping. I spent the fair majority of the week recovering from jet lag.

Yesterday (April 15th), Kirsty and I went out for a date night and saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It was hilarious! I hadn’t even seen the first one and still understood the story. Kirsty has the first one on DVD, so I’ll have to watch it sometime.

Today we went and saw a movie called Demolition. It was weird, but I thought it was pretty good. Basically this guy’s wife dies in a car accident, and he doesn’t really feel anything and ends up just losing his mind for a while. I won’t spoil the story…

Tomorrow I’m pretty excited because I get to visit with a good friend of mine in the morning, who is visiting from Toronto. I have not seen her in nearly a year since she moved away from Calgary. After that I’m visiting Super Train, which is an annual train show held in Calgary. I’ve been going to it since I was a child. I’m going to be going with my friend Arthur. Look for tomorrow’s post about the train show!

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April 9th 2016 – Sunset at Hanalei Bay

I decided to head to Hanalei Bay Pier for some sunset photos this evening. I’m glad I went, because it was absolutely stunning! There was a young german man taking photo’s of his girlfriend modelling in the sand. He saw me with my camera and asked for some tips, so I helped him out, and even took a few photos of them together. I even saw an old dog playing in the water.

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April 8th 2016 –Hanakapi’ai Trail

Today I woke up at 8:30am, partially because I was tired, and partially because I had too much to drink the night before. I made myself some coffee, and had breakfast and drove towards the trailhead, which was about a half hour away.

The trailhead taunts you with what is going to be a pretty difficult hike, but well worth it in the end. The hike is brutal in some parts, but easy in others. Here’s an elevation profile so you can see what I’m talking about.

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The views are spectacular all along the way. You basically run alongside the ocean for the first 2.0 miles (3.2 km).

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After the 2.0 miles you reach a beach called Hanakapi`ai beach. The beach doesn’t have much sand at all, but it has a lot of amazing rock formations that people have placed.

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After the beach you continue inland another 2.0 miles (3.2 km) to Hanakapi’ai Falls. You cross over the river multiple times to get there, and I’ll be honest I fell in once and it wasn’t pretty. At least I got a good laugh, as well as others. I could hear the falls getting louder and louder as I approached. Even the photo from a far was quite beautiful.

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When I arrived at the falls there was a ton of people there, some even swimming in the little lake at the bottom. I quickly noticed that someone was sitting on the rocks enjoying herself, and thought it would be a neat photo to take a picture of.

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I then gazed my eyes up and down the falls and was quite overwhelmed by how beautiful they were.

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Oh yeah and there was a random kitten just hanging out by the waterfalls… Nobody knew why it was there or how it got there. Poor kitty, but it looks like many people were feeding it.

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It took 2.5 hours to hike to the falls, and 1.5 hours to hike back to the car. 22000 steps later, and I’m exhausted. I drove back to the condo, showered, and then got some beer, chicken, and mashed potatoes from the grocery store. I talked with Kirsty for a bit, downloaded my photos, went for a swim in the pool, and now I’m just going to relax for the rest of the day.

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April 6th 2016 – Exploring Southern Kauai

Today was my second consecutive day of no roosters or birds disturbing my slumber. I woke up at around 7:30am. I had to walk to get my car from the previous night, which I had left about 1/2 mile away where we caught the shuttles for the wedding. I picked up the car and drove down to the St. Regis hotel, where we had a buffet breakfast with everyone before Marc and Jen took off on their honeymoon.

Breakfast wrapped up at around 11am. I wasn’t sure at first if I actually wanted to drive all the way down to the South today, since the day was starting so late, but I decided to go ahead anyways. My first stop was the eucalyptus tree tunnel on the way to Koloa.

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Koloa is a very beautiful small town. There was an older, beautiful church, and a nice little stretch of beach.

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After visiting Koloa I drove to Port Allen for some lunch. It looks like Port Allen is a fairly industrious town, in fact it seems the South is way more industrious than the North.

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I then headed to Waimea, where I saw a bunch of racing canoes.

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The real fun then began! I headed to Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. The roads are out of this world! I only had a Nissan Versa for a car, but it was still fun twisting through the roads at a decent pace. Today is the day I wish I had upgraded to the V8 Mustang! I’ve never driven on such twisty roads in my life! The views were out of this world spectacular. Along the road there were about half a dozen official lookouts, but I stopped everywhere I could do so safely. The round trip into the national park took about 2 hours, which included stopping to take photos.

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It was starting to get dark so I head back to the condo, where I just relaxed for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow is a beach day, unless it rains!

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April 5th 2016 – Marc and Jen’s Big Day!

Today I managed to sleep in and the roosters or birds didn’t wake me up. I managed to figure out how to block out some of the sound by closing the horizontal slats in my room at night to keep the sound out, but then open them when I wake up to get cool air flow throughout the day.

Today was the big day for Marc and Jen! I didn’t have my SLR with me today because I was part of the big day, so pardon the iPhone pictures. The day started out with the groom and groomsmen going for breakfast at this cute little bakery Called Lei Petite Cafe and Bakery. Marc’s father ended up catching the tab for everyone which was very nice of him.
After breakfast we went to play football at a beach called Puu Paa beach. Nobody except me could find it and it was quite the hike in, and very beautiful. I got separated from
The rest of the group but eventually caught up with them again.
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We ended up just going down to their hotel beach and playing there. It was pouring rain the entire time but it kept it nice and cool for playing football.
We finished playing around 1030 and headed back to Marc’s fathers condo to get ready. Marc made a speech and began crying after 8 seconds the first time, then four seconds the second time. We told him he wasn’t going to even make it 2 seconds during the ceremony if he keeps this up. Marc thanked us all for coming and presented us all with customized cards and beautiful wooden sunglasses made by Woodsy.
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After getting ready for the Ceremony we piled into shuttles to head down to the Na’ Aina’ Kai botanical gardens where they are getting married. The botanical gardens spans over 240 acres! I’ll be visiting here on Friday so I’ll post pictures on my Friday blog. We waited around in the lobby for a bit until we were ready to head down to where the ceremony is setup by the beach.
Originally the ceremony was supposed to take place on the beach but it was too windy so they moved in inland a bit into a sheltered area. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and I ended up shedding a fair amount of tears. After all Marc is one of my best friends and Jen couldn’t be better suited for him. They are perfect for one another. After the ceremony we had a formal dinner and speeches. The dinner was absolutely amazing; a perfect rare steak with mushrooms and tomatoes, asparagus, and a garden salad. I never thought of putting tomatoes on my steak before but it was delicious.
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Dancing commenced after the dinner, and then we took shuttles to a beach bonfire. Sadly I didn’t feel like staying because I was exhausted and wasn’t feeling too well (because I was exhausted) so I took a taxi home shortly after I arrived.

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April 4th 2016 – Beach Day and Wedding Rehearsal

Today I was woken up again at 6am by the pesky rooster! I made breakfast and had some coffee, and had a bit of spare time before I was meeting up with the Bride and Groom for a beach day. I decided to go for a walk around the resort and took some photos.

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I then went to meet up with Marc and Jen to soak up some sun on the beach before the wedding rehearsal. We went to the Hanalei Bay Pier, which was absolutely beautiful.

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After the beach I went back to my condo to get ready for the wedding rehearsal. The wedding is taking place at Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. It’s absolutely breathtaking, and I only saw a bit of a glimpse of what the entire botanical gardens looks like.

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After the rehearsal we went for dinner at this restaurant called The Bistro. I had a burger, white wine, and some yummy appetizers. It was all delicious. After dinner we went back and had some drinks at a bar on our resort.

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