Continuing the touristy recap of my in-laws visiting… We did the Atlantis Submarine tour. I have to give my husband credit, he found this one. I was worried that it would be kinda lame since we do quite a bit … Continue reading
Catch up time!
Even though we LIVE in paradise, it’s still fun to VACATION in paradise! We had wanted to do some island hopping when Omar came home and had leave but with his mom and sister coming to visit we were a little tight on time. Thankfully Waikiki is just down the road!
We ended up staying at the Outrigger which has an awesome kama’aina (local) rate. It’s also close to the action of all the restaurants and beaches.
We ate tons of food… Yardhouse is right around the corner, I love it, the rest of my family isn’t impressed. Cheeseburger in Waikiki is good for burgers.
It’s also just fun to walk around… Well until the teeming masses of tourists drive you absolutely crazy.
The best thing was just being able to hang out and play together as a family. We are terrible when it comes to that at home. We all have our electronics to entertain us. So it was good to put that all away for a few days.
Plenty of beach time….
And for something EXTRA entertaining rent a kayak. This was a hilarious disaster. I don’t know what they were thinking letting all four of us into one kayak. We are NOT responsible enough for that!
While it looks like he is hanging on for dear life he was having fun… Being dragged by a kayak is a blast.
We also spotted a couple of sea turtles. Which necessitated me jumping OUT of the kayak to try and get some pictures of. And I lost the turtle as soon as I jumped in. Second turtle I got a pic but it was murky so I had to use this crazy filter to show him clearly. It really is kind of crazy that these guys are everywhere.
Saturday some friends and I ran the Jamba Juice Banana Man Chase 5K. This is a super fun race held in Ala Moana park in downtown Honolulu.
I was super excited. This was my FIRST 5K and something I have been wanting to do for years. It was also pretty cool that they were doing a keiki run (kid’s run) as well so the kids could participate. Running has NEVER been something I’ve liked to do, but I would love for my kids to grow up thinking that running in races is a common event.
I was very happy that I had some friends to do it with so I wasn’t all alone. I could see myself bailing out because I was nervous!
First up, the grown folk!
We got a good spot at the head of the pack where I prepared myself to get passed by a million people. My two girlfriends I ran with are WAY faster than me but are such good motivation!
The race went really well, I’ve only run a 5K on a treadmill before and running outside is so different. My only real goal was to run it without stopping which I accomplished. I wasn’t a huge fan of this course, while it was beautiful along the water I hardly paid attention and there were quite a few places where we had to run on a sidewalk all squished together.
I ended up running in 36 something which was right about where I thought I would be… My speedy friends were done in about 30!
Omar ran a couple of heats later, and ended up running the whole thing as well! I was so proud of him!
Best thing? We all got smoothies when we were done and the kids got medals!
The night before doing this hike I had talked to my mom who reminisced about doing it 30 years ago! I’m sure not too much has changed since then so hopefully this pictures bring back memories for you mom!
First off, there was zippy parking in the crater (there are only 50 spots or so inside) so we had to park down at the community college and walk in.
The walk up to the crater isn’t too bad at all, although walking through the tunnel is a little unnerving… Especially when buses decide to honk all the way through. Also, I love that my kids were coordinated in yellow and black! Thanks guys!
Diamond head was formed long after the initial volcanic activity that formed the island. Both this and Koko head were formed by secondary eruptions, basically a magma burp. Crazy!
It was hot and dry during our hike, there wasn’t much breeze. Thankfully there are lots of spots to sit and take a water break. I was amazed by the number of people doing this in flip flops… I know its not a REAL hike but it was NOT sandal friendly!
Also? There are stairs. No fun at ALL! I jogged up half of them and then felt like I was going to die. That’s enough of that! The stairs are part of the original fortifications. There are pillboxes all along the coast and I’m pretty sure most of them had guns, but I don’t know that any of them were actually used.
Oh yes. More stairs.
Finally! The very top! The breeze was fantastic and the view was amazing. You can see from Koko head to Waikiki. It was SO crowded up there, everyone was squishing and squeezing, trying to get a photo. It was a little insane.
A nice cold treat after that hot hike. This was a pretty easy one, Mckenna kept track and from the start of the trail in the crater and back it took us exactly an hour.
Of course, we then needed to go cool off…
So yesterday we decided to be the most awesome. parents. ever! and pick our kiddos up from school and go directly to Dave and Buster’s. D&B’s is like a big kid’s Chuck E. Cheese. They have a restaurant and then a huge video game area. We had been before on one of our day date’s we have been indulging in since the kids have been in school, but this time we decided to be nice and take the kid’s too.
So for lunch I decided to get a salad and picked one called The Lawnmower. The picture looked like a cobb type salad with a little bit of everything. My kind of salad. So imagine my surprise when this arrived at our table:
That platter is TWO FEET LONG! You know how when you order fajitas and all the plates and bowls and sizzling platters feel like you are taking up half the table? Well this thing took up half the table!! I think our entire family could have eaten comfortably off of this salad. (Also please ignore Mckenna’s super natural looking surprised face)
Anyways, the salad was good (what I could eat of it) also the stolen sips of Omar’s abandoned chocolate milkshake.
Oh, Also!!! Dave and Buster’s offers a 20% military discount! That is a seriously good discount because they have decent meal prices to start, like mainland prices, not Hawaii prices.
So after eating we hit up the games, which was perfect because Wednesday is half price games, who knew? The kids had a great time, we won a bazillion tickets and ended up not getting home until almost 6pm (love that traffic!)
So I got to skip out on making dinner because we still weren’t really hungry so we did leftovers/scrounge in the fridge night. Perfect!
So, yeah. Don’t order The ginormous salad unless you are starving or prepared to share some of your three heads of romaine lettuce!
Okay hawaii. So far I am digging it here but you have GOT to step it up when it comes to the only aquarium on Oahu! I knew before coming that it was small, but it’s not small it’s tiny! Do NOT come with visions of Monterey Bay Aquarium, Baltimore Aquarium or Shedd Aquarium in your mind (three of the best I’ve been to!)
One thing you can’t fault is the location, right on the water at the east end of Waikiki. Parking is a little crazy, we parked in our favorite cheapo military lot and meandered through Waikiki. It’s about a mile and a half walk and not too bad if you stop for lunch. Which we didn’t do because none of us could agree so we ended up at the aquarium hot and crabby. Fun times!
On with it!
What is wrong with this boy? Seriously, he can not take a normal picture anymore.
And since the posts have been so snorkel heavy I’ll just try to throw some of my favorite fish into a collage so you don’t have to scroll past them. Sorry, I love me some fish!
See that wasn’t so bad. So yeah the aquarium is small but they have some of the most beautiful display tanks I’ve ever seen, huge clams, a carpet anemone that was 2 feet wide, a mangrove tank, a tank outside, really beautiful.
The kiddos held some hermit crabs and pet some urchins, touch tanks are always a big hit.
The clam propagation tank outside. Some seriously stunning clams in there. They also have their coral growing tank outside as well. Really cool and makes me want to volunteer so I can play, too!
Walking right out of the aquarium you are right at the seawall along the water, tried again and again to get a good splash but I kept missing it…
So out we walked onto the breakwater where Omar (jr.) ended up getting soaked by a wave. Whoops!
So aquarium, nice but probably an hour tops for most people. There is a discount if you are a local and the tour includes a talking speaker tour dealy to give you details about all of the exhibits. Make it part of your day in Waikiki and walk around (it’s also right near the zoo so you can make it a twofer).