Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hawaii: Part 1

"Dreams come true in blue Hawaii," sang Elvis Presley long ago, but only now can I relate! I took kind of a spontaneous trip to Honolulu, Hawaii on Oahu with my mom this past week and by spontaneous, I mean like 2 weeks notice beforehand compared to our normal like 5 months notice before a vacation. I've been to Hawaii one other time before, however I was 6-years-old and so, I remember nothing besides my parents buying me a ukulele and some rainbow-colored embroidered shirts. Fourteen years later, I am back again and I am finally able to relate to movies filmed in Hawaii and to how people love Hawaii so much!

I stayed in Hawaii for a week, so I'm going to split this Hawaii trip in 2 posts because I took a ton of pictures. This trip was a perfect time to play with my camera some more even though most of the pictures shown (especially the ones near or in water) are from my phone, because I was not risking my camera to any water damage. My phone is valuable too, but I bought one of those waterproof cases, so it was all good!

One of the first things I wanted to do in Waikiki was to visit the aquarium! I love marine animals incase you didn't know (I mean why would you so random haha). Like all young girls, I even wanted to be a marine mammal vet so that I could continuously play with these adorable creatures. How could you blame us though?!


This cute little fishy up here is the Hawaiian state fish. He is a Reef Triggerfish, but his Hawaiian name is Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. I didn't even know this when I saw him, but I thought he was the cutest fish ever! He's a small and quick fellow. I got a shirt with these fishes on it because I love them so much!

Waikiki beach... I hate it. First off, it's way too crowded. Think of Santa Monica beach on a hot July summer day and multiply it by 5, literally. Secondly, since so many people are in the water, it's even more uncomfortable because you have to watch where you're swimming or floating because you will hit someone eventually. This beach is not fun at all! Plus, the sand here is not even real Hawaiian sand - it's imported. I believe my tour guide said that it's from Manhattan Beach right here in California (please correct me if that's wrong), but come on... people fly from all over the world to come here for an overly crowded beach and disillusioned Hawaiian sand?! 

If you're planning to go to Waikiki, I recommend that you actually get out of Waikiki and it's beaches because there are way prettier and more empty beaches plentifully available around the island. However, no matter where you go, Hawaiian sunsets are beautiful from every angle, even at an overly crowded beach.

Hehe, I know I don't usually post pictures of food, but I ate this udon 3 times on my trip. It was right across the street from my hotel, so it was just so easy to get.  But also, the price was on point! This udon place is called Marukame Udon and a regular size bowl of udon here ranges from about $3 - 6... I mean what a steal! Oh, but the best thing about this place? The udon is made freshly right in front of your eyes. You see the person behind the counter rolling the dough, putting it through the udon slicer, throwing it in hot water and then right to your bowl. I wish I could have bought the udon alone and taken it home because seriously, my favorite noodle.

Remember when I told you above to get out of Waikiki? Well, this was me getting out of Waikiki personally! Waikiki is so touristy that there is really nothing super exciting to do besides surf, shop, drink and eat. To get a real feel of how beautiful Oahu is (like how you see in movies!), you need to get out a little more!

So, my whole motivation when I went on this tour out of Waikiki was to get to Waimea Falls. I had to hike this incredibly gorgeous trail to get there and I do not complain one bit about either the humidity or the distance (I mean, how could I with a view like this, right?), but I do complain about the 10 mosquito bites I got on the way! I somehow attract mosquitos everywhere I go - it's a curse really. It was only a 20 minute walk too, which means on average I got a new mosquito bite every 2 minutes or if I count it round trip, I got a mosquito bite every 4 minutes?! How...

Any who, Waimea Falls is a waterfall located in Waimea Falls Park. It was a $16 entry fee, or $12 with a student ID, and it was completely worth it! Look at the plants and trees! This park is home to many famous movies such as George of the Jungle, and Waimea Beach across the street? Home to famous films such as Catching Fire. My whole purpose of this tour for some strange reason was to see this waterfall at the end of the trail like I was dying to reach it.

10 mosquito bites and 5 buckets full of sweat later, I made it! It's a requirement to wear a life vest in the waterfall, which wasn't very comfortable, but actually made it much more tranquil and reassuring because the pressure of the waterfall was quite strong and can be felt throughout this little pool, even with a life vest on.

Here are some street views of Waikiki! Told you: super touristy and full of shopping. But no matter what, everywhere was still very pretty and still felt uniquely Hawaiian. I mean, how could one forget they were in Hawaii with this humidity? The weather is incredibly bipolar right now, by the way! Rains for 3 minutes and then sun and humidity returns for 10 minutes, repeat. 

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