Being Touristy with Emel – Day 3

Today, Emel and I headed to the East side of the island in the morning to hike the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. It was a gorgeous day and a great day to see some whales! We saw tons just hanging out swimming along. Incredible. After we finished there, we headed to Spitting Caves and it was the calmest I have ever seen it. We again saw more whales, one which jumped completely out of the water so very close to the rocks! I’m so glad the whales have decided to show off for Emel while she has been here! After that, we headed back so I could go to work and she ventured to Leonard’s Bakery and brought back some of the most delicious things I have ever had in my life (see pictures below). Malasadas..aka Portuguese donuts (unfortunately for Josh and I) have now been introduced to our lives. To end the day, we went to Chinatown to the Little Village Noodle House for some delicious Chinese food. I love having visitors!

Being Touristy with Emel – Day 1

For our first day of Emel‘s vacation we planned an incredibly full day of fun! We started with the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail hike. It was raining for a bit but turned out to be a pretty day, so the view at the top was definitely worth the hike up there. After that, we headed around the east side of the island where we saw TONS of whales. We captured a few pictures of the baby whales jumping out of the water (so incredibly cute as they didn’t make it very far out). There were also two swimming SO close to the shore…I was super happy she got to see them! We stopped and had the best fish tacos on the island and some veggie nachos at Surg’s and then headed to Bellows for some beach time. It was a beautiful day to hang out and relax after our hike! After that, we wandered around Kailua and got some frozen yogurt and toured the beautiful Lanikai houses and stopped at the famous beach, then headed back to Honolulu to get ready for a fun night out. We decided to head into Waikiki (so she could see all of the tourists) and had dinner with a few friends. Then we ventured to Duke’s for some of their famous Mai Tais. It was a jam-packed day and I’m SO excited she came to visit!!

Whale Watching – Oahu’s North Shore

Today we went whale watching on Oahu’s North Shore for Josh’s birthday. It was absolutely amazing. We went out on a catamaran with North Shore Catamaran Charters for about two and a half hours this afternoon. The water was pretty rough in the beginning and there were huge ocean swells, which put Josh in charge of taking pictures and me in charge of not getting seasick. The entire time we were out there, we were surrounded by whales on all sides. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime!

The humpback whales migrate down to Hawaii from Alaska to breed for the winter. A baby  humpback whale weighs between one and two tons when it is born and gains about 100 pounds a day for the first six months of it’s life. It goes through an amazing growth spurt during this time so it can gain strength and body size before the journey back to Alaska. An adult can weigh up to 40 tons and be 45 feet long, with the females being larger than the males. Another interesting fact is that their tails are like their fingerprints. Each one is unique to that whale. Some of the best shots from the day are below. Enjoy!

Kaena Point

Yesterday Josh and I hiked to the westernmost tip on Oahu, Kaena Point, which has one of the last intact dune ecosystems on the Hawaiian Islands. You can reach the point via two ways, the North route or the South route. We hiked on the Mokule‘ia side, the North route to the point, which is about 2.7 miles one-way. The hike was pretty flat and the majority of our hike was along the beach (I ended up with a lot sand in my running shoes). It was a gorgeous day with tons of sun and very few clouds. The absolute best part was seeing whales all along the way, as well as when we got to the point. Kaena Point has been designated as a Nature Reserve to protect nesting Albatrosses, Hawaiian monk seals and natural vegetation. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any monk seals, but saw plenty of Albatrosses flying around (they are HUGE). There were tons of tide pools along the way, and at the point, that contained fish, snails, crabs, etc. At the point, people were swimming in the tide pools (not something I would do with the fish), but Josh was definitely sad he didn’t bring a swimsuit.