Not that our first half of our vacation wasn’t fun, it really was.
But for the second half of our vacation this was our view off of the balcony at the house we rented…
And the North Shore has a completely different, totally laid-back vibe. We had an entire house, with a balcony and a beach. It was really heavenly.
Before we went up to the North Shore on Monday we did go on a whale watching trip. Although we could see whales from our balcony occasionally, I’m glad we went on a boat trip because they came right up next to the boat.
It was truly amazing. They are such majestic creatures and to see the Mama whale and her calf was really special.
But then we were off to our little haven, where the waves were huge the entire week.
That was the only downfall. We got some good photos, and the waves are mesmerizing and entertaining, but the water was closed to actual swimming. The surfers and boarders were out in full force, but we could only watch from the beach. So we took a few trips down to the calmer side of the island so we could snorkel and swim.
This is Hanauma Bay, a marine wildlife refuge where you can walk out in the water, put your face in the water and look at the reef. The entire beach is really beautiful.
Jam, Jeff and I also ventured back down to the south shore one day to dive. We ended up doing two boat dives. The first was a Corsair, a World War II plane. The pilot ditched the plane after running out of gas on training maneuvers. I think the divemaster told us it is the only “natural” wreck dive on Oahu. It was really cool. I obviously don’t have any photos of that one, but if you want to see what it looked like 100 feet down under the ocean, you can watch this… (just go to about 2 mins. in…)
Unfortunately, we did NOT see any sharks, nor did we have a soundtrack like that one while we were diving. We did have a wicked, strong current – so it was a pretty tiring dive.
Our second dive was a much easier one, we cruised around some craters and saw a huge sea turtle, lots of other fish including Emma’s favorite fish, the Hawaiian state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Yes, she can say it. I’ll upload a video of it someday.
Other favorite activities while we were on the North Shore:
Eating shave ice from Matsumoto’s in Haliewa. Their claim is it is the “best shave ice in the world.”
Essentially they are just sno-cones with flavorings that they make there. They are good – but the girls only ate about 5 bites each, and that was about it. Daddy really liked it. He even tried the one with beans, like real “beans” in it. I was not that adventurous and passed on the beans. I’m not really sure how they decided that they should put beans into shave ice, but I wasn’t having any of it.
Now, the Dole Pineapple plantation, that was something I could get into. We also had icy treats there after the Pineapple Express Train ride. And Addie built a “castle” with her ice cream. A horrible waste of spoons, I know, but it kept her busy and happy for quite some time.
Emma was very enamored of the cut-outs they had there. I have at least 20 photos of different arrangements of our family in the cut-out field.
At the end of each day we were treated to fantastic sunsets like this one…
..and just had a lot of good, quality family time. It was perfect.