Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hawaii Part 1 - Ohau

Our honeymoon was a blast! I can't wait to go back already. We spent 3 weeks in paradise and hit all four major islands: Ohau, Hawaii, Kauai, Maui. Since there is so much to write about I'll split it up into four different blogs. I should also note that for each island we had the Revealed books by Andrew Doughty. You can find them on Amazon, and if you decide to take a trip to Hawaii I definitely recommend getting them. Now, all about Ohau.

From Houston we got a direct flight into Honolulu, Hawaii. My mom and Jeremy arranged for someone to be waiting at the airport for us with beautiful fresh flower leis. They were made of pink bom orchids and were gorgeous (and huge!). I tried to dry them and bring them home with us, but about half way into our time on Kauai they really started to smell bad. On Ohau we rented a Ford Mustang convertible and stayed at the Outrigger Reef Hotel on Waikiki. It was a nice hotel and I would recommended staying here for anyone traveling to Ohau. Because our room wasn't ready when we arrived, we dropped our luggage with the bellman and headed to the bar for some Mai Tai's. Happy hour special, $3.50 each. How can you go wrong. It was the perfect way to start our honeymoon; mai tai's on the beach. After we checked into the room we walked around Waikiki. We checked out the Duke Hahanamoku statue and watched sunset on the beach. We then headed back to the hotel and had dinner at their fancy restaurant, The Ocean House. The fish was amazing and the entries were heavy, but well crafted.

The next day we got up early, which wasn't hard to do because of the time change, and went to Pearl Harbor. If you decide to visit Pearl Harbor, I recommend getting there by 8am to get reasonable tickets out to the USS Arizona Memorial. We got there around 7:45am and our tickets were for 8:30am. While at Pearl Harbor we toured the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri (where the second World War officially ended with the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945), and the USS Bowfin submarine. I learned I would not do well on a submarine, those things are tiny! We also spent an hour or so walking around the grounds and looking at the other memorials. I would leave yourself a good 4 hours to do Pearl Harbor, and more if you wanted to visit the museums.

After Pearl Harbor we headed back to the hotel for some lunch at their third restaurant, the Kani Ka Pila Grill. This is the one that is right out front by the pool, and we liked it the best. The portions are large and the Mai Tai's delicious. The coconut shrimp is very tasty. After staying here for 3 nights we started to understand why people opt to stay in resorts so often. The convenience is just so nice. That evening we took a drive around the island and along Tantalus and Round Top Road (see directions in Ohau Revealed). The 10 mile curvy road is lined with beautiful lush trees and plants and gives you some great vantage points of Honolulu. On our way up the 1600 foot climb we saw some long boarders flying down the road. Along the way you'll come to Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside Park. We watched sunset over Honolulu from here. It was beautiful.

Wednesday was our last full day in Ohau. We woke up early and had breakfast at Bogart's Cafe. Then we headed to Hanauma Bay for some snorkeling. The parking lot fills up quick, so get there early. We arrived around 8am and were down to the beach by 8:45. When you first get there, you have to watch a 10 minute presentation about the marine life and not harming the bay. I think this is a really good idea, though I'm not sure how effective it is. I guess it must be somewhat because the bay still looks beautiful and pristine. I just love looking at the beautiful blue waters off Hawaii, I never once got tired of it. The water was pretty cold, but we spent about 2 hours in the bay and a little more time just relaxing. We forgot how much further south we were than Texas, because in Texas you don't burn at 10am, but in Hawaii, you do. We spent the next two days with a bottle of Aloe close by.

That afternoon we took a drive around the north shore. Stopping every once in a while to check out the scenery, we decided to eat lunch at a small BBQ joint called Uncle BoBo's. They had plate lunches, which was perfect for Jeremy because he couldn't wait to get one. What is a plate lunch you ask? Well it's a traditional Hawaiian meal consisting of a meat, a side of macaroni salad, and a side of rice. Meat and starch, my favorite. This place is terrific and if you are in the area you should stop by. I highly recommend the pulled pork, and the people working here are super friendly. After lunch we continued our treck around the island until we came up to Turtle Bay. It had been 3 days and I still had not seen a turtle, so we had to stop. As we walked toward the beach, there were a bunch of people crowded around the water. Much to my delight... a turtle! I was so excited and enamored with this turtle swimming in the water that I failed to see the other huge one beached just 30 feet from me. Jeremy looked at me and pointed over to the left saying "hey, what's that rock over there?" Oh man, I thought my head was going to explode. 300 pictures later, Jeremy finally pulled me away and back to the car.

Our last stop in Ohau was the Dole Pineapple Plantation. We didn't take a tour or anything, but it was pretty neat to see the pineapples growing out of the ground and the different stages of the growth. Do you know each plant lasts for two harvesting cycles before being replaced. While there we had to get some pineapple dole whip with fresh pineapples... of course! Okay, maybe it was a little too much pineapple, or so my stomach was trying to convince me. I should note one important thing, if you leave the Dole plantation at 5pm when they close, you will hit rush hour traffic on the way back to Waikiki. With my stomach full of pineapple and Jeremy driving, there was nothing left for me to do but sleep the whole way home.

The next morning we jetted off to Hawaii, aka The Big Island.

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