Wes always says that living in Southern California was like living in a Concrete Jungle. I hear from a lot of people that California has everything, and, in fact, one of Wes’ coworkers would often spend a weekend morning skiing and be running on the beach that same evening. Southern California may be home to many people, but it wasn’t home to us. We tried to do as much as we could while we were there, but all it felt like was Amusement Parks and bad restaurants.
One month out of hotel living and we’ve already done more than we did for our entire stay in Orange County. I think I will enjoy living in Hawaii. On Saturday we tackled Diamond Head and the Kapi’olani Farmers’ Market near Diamond Head.
We started early to beat the crowds, and the heat. It turned out to be a good idea because there was a line of people waiting to get to the top. It looks like a tour bus may have dropped people off to see the sunrise. I’m sure it would be beautiful to see, but I’m not sure if it would be worth all of the crowds.
I’m still trying to figure out my new DSLR camera, which leads to some experimentation in iPhoto. I think I need to spend some more time alone with my camera, just figuring out what all the Belgian whistles do.
The view from the top, though, was amazing. We started our hike around 7am and the sun was just coming up. This was my favorite picture of the day.
It was pretty crowded at the top, but the views were amazing. As an Observation Deck for Defense, I suppose they should be good. From the top you can see from Waikiki to Koki Head.
After Diamond Head we stopped by the Farmers’ Market just down the street. And while I am thrilled that it’s such a thriving market, it was a pain pushing through all those people and trying to find what we were looking for.
I’m used to Farmers’ Markets that only have fresh fruit, vegetables and hand-made wares, with maybe a few stands to buy food ready to eat. This Farmers’ Market was full of vendors selling ready to eat food. And yes, I wanted to eat everything I saw. Pesto, tomato and mozzarella cheese pizza, grilled abalone, pulled pork and rice. It all looked so delicious. If I was a better photographer I would have gotten some pictures, but it’s awkward to fight one’s way in, not purchase anything and then take a bunch of pictures.
On Sunday we headed back to the east side of the island to experience snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. We’ve been trying to get out there for three weeks now. The first weekend it was closed because Jellyfish come out ten days after the full moon to mate. The second weekend was cloudy and rainy over the Bay so we opted for sunny and clear at the beach near our house. This weekend we were determined to get there.
It was a bit crowded, but not as bad as we thought it was going to be. We saw some beautiful fish, including the Hawaiian state fish: the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, though we didn’t get a picture of it. Blame Wes, he was in charge of the camera for most of the trip. We also saw a Sea Turtle, which we missed while we were in Belize, and which Wes has been lamenting ever since. Wes was diving to take a picture of me next to a school of fish and as I turned around I saw the turtle and tried to get Wes’ attention. It didn’t work while we were under water, but eventually he had to come up for breath and once he saw the turtle, he followed him and got some great pictures.
Near the end of the last trip out I managed to find a flat fish (I’m sure that’s the scientific name) that was hiding under the sand. It took a little gesturing to let Wes know what I was looking at, but eventually he saw it too and was able to photograph it.
And then, just before we came, I saw another creature. We looked up the name as we were leaving, but I forgot to write it down.
We ended up a little burned and learned something about the Hawaiian sun: it’s intense. Looks like we need rash guards while we’re in the water and more than one application of sunscreen (and maybe 30spf instead of 15). We’ll know for next time. We’ve definitely put these weekend trips on our list of things to do when we have visitors.
*Diamond Head and Farmers’ Market photos taken with Nikon D4ox, 18-35m lens. Hanauma Bay taken with Canon Powershot SD500 and a fancy underwater case.