Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hawaii Trip - Day 1

My wife and I went to Hawaii a few weeks ago. We got caught up in the mess when ATA Airlines declared bankruptcy, so had to quickly reschedule our flights. We ended up on an American Airlines flight that left early evening on Tuesday, April 15th, and arriving at the Honolulu at 11 pm Hawaiian time. To us, this was 2 AM, so we were beat. Nevertheless, we couldn't just tumble out of the airplane and sleep in the terminal, so we made our way to the car rental place and then eventually drove to the home where we were staying.

We didn't have any idea at the time that we were driving along one of the most scenic roads in Hawaii on the way (the H-3), as it was pitch black and we were so bleary-eyed that we couldn't have appreciated it anyway. We had to cross the Ko'olau Mountain Range on our way Kailua. It was there that we eventually came stumbling in at around 1 AM Hwaiian time -- 4 AM to us ...

The place we stayed at was a home in which the couple who lived there had created a separate apartment on the upper floor. It was a delightful place with windows on every side with decent views of the amazingly green and etched mountains to the west. The home itself was in a well-established neighborhood, and there were beautiful trees all around.

About 5:30 AM, after having slept for only a few hours, we were awakened by the amazingly loud noises created by the birds. They were so loud that there was no way we could sleep. We got out of bed, and my wife captured the following view of the sunrise.

(image 1507)

It was spectacular, and the first of many we would experience. The birds were our constant companion throughout our vacation. They were everywhere! This is a view of the back yard of the home we stayed in. You can see all the wonderful trees, which were well-filled with birds of many varieties:

(image 2011)

The birds made it possible for us to arise early to greet each day -- actually, they didn't really give us much choice. They were so loud and made such odd noises that at one point we thought we were hearing the chants of soldiers echoing in from the distant military base.

Some may think this early cacophony was a bad thing, but in just a few days we looked on it kindly in that we wanted to get up and get going each day. We had so much we wanted to do, that there was little time to spare. Everything we wanted to do and see was best enjoyed during daylight, so it wasn't disturbing to us that by 8 PM we were ready to crash. As a side-note, since we never really did adjust to the new time zone, returning home wasn't so very difficult.

This first day we went driving and saw a lot of different things. We also rented a kayak to go kayaking on the ocean. That was awesome -- I'll have another post on that soon. We also went driving down the coast towards the southeast corner of the island, venturing as far as Hanauma Bay, where we spent a lot of time on a different day snorkeling. I'll have another post on that, too, as well as one on the Halona blow hole.

It was a great, great day. It was the first of, well, all of them, on our trip.

(image 1530)

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