Aloha nui loa - Time in Oahu
This will be part excerpts from my hand-written journal and itinerary (at the end of the post) in regards to my week in Oahu. Enthusiastically followed by digital and film indelible moments. It should be known that I've visited Hawaii before, 8 years ago and mostly the Big Island, but it's clear Oahu was just as special for me.
Let's set the mood (the song I wrote about Hawaii in 2008)
All the locals say "Happy New Year" as you pass and it's quite refreshing. Traffic is so bad in downtown Waikiki that it takes 20 minutes to go less than 5 miles. The best part of the day was seeing fresh cut flowers on every single grave at the cemetery and respectfully watching locals give offerings (candy, tea, incense, prayer) to their ancestors. I hope that film photo turns our how I envisioned (UPDATE: it did).
Prices are expensive here so I opted for a delicious passion fruit Hawaiian cheesecake for lunch instead of a $14 turkey sandwich. It was worth it. I ended the day catching the tail-end of a wedding at the top of Mount Tantalus. The sky was clear as Diamond Head, Waikiki, and the majestic sea stood proudly in the background. The mud that piled on my feet reminded me of the Maunawili Falls Hike I did so long ago. Let the rain come down. The night would end not with Hawaiian food, but Italian.
IN THE DEPTHS
THE ANALOG (35m Nikon FE2 400bw if you're curious)
Excerpt two - Hawaii Wrap Up
I was planning to write every day, but days ran away. I guess you could say I was on "Hawaii Time." I thought I needed this trip to escape home for a while, but really it was to accept the past. I felt this energy meandering the cemeteries and hiking along the spiritual coast of Ka'ena Point --- a spirit pushing me along, because a view was waiting, and I have a vision.
For the first time in a while I left my comfort zone, swimming into the deep. I'm talking 45 feet deep, where the eagle rays tickle the sand and sea turtles say "Righteous!" Oh, I know the ocean is a force, but for the first time, I gave in. NO, I dived in with exceptional curiosity and uncertainty. Though I found myself being pushed and pulled, shaken and stirred, I always managed to find my way back to shore. Every time, I was excited for the next time I could dip my toes and sink my body into the unknown yet so acquainted that is the deepest ocean blue.
I find my last sunset to be in Waikiki on the sand, just before the little jetty at the end of the boardwalk. Before I take out my camera, I look to the horizon and take a few deep breaths. The sun must've known I was coming because she looked exceptional. And then, I hear laughter to my left as two young boys chase each other, tossing sand in the air. I'm now racing against innocence and salad days as I fumble with my bag to get my camera. And there it was, the photo that would sum up everything about my time in Oahu. The aloha spirit couldn't have felt stronger, and neither could I.
8 Day Itinerary - Oahu, Hawaii
Sunset on Waikiki
Snorkel Waikiki in Mamala Bay (White Tip Reef Sharks + Sea Turtle surprise!)
Check out local murals in downtown
Mount Tantalus Drive
Makua Beach snorkeling
Kaʻena Point Trail (Whales, Monk Seals, Albatross)
New Year's Eve Salsa Dancing extravaganza
Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail
Kona Brewing Co.
The Cathedral of St. Andrew
Lunch at Hanauma Bay (so crowded!)
Electric Beach Snorkeling (Eagle Ray, Sea Turtles)
Koko Head Crater Hike
Hanauma snorkeling (Pufferfish!)
Sh'Aloha for lunch!