Hawaii – Days 1-7: Oahu – Beaches, Hiking, and All the AcroYoga

Brittany Swanson   July 5, 2016   Comments Off on Hawaii – Days 1-7: Oahu – Beaches, Hiking, and All the AcroYoga

When I graduated high school I went to Oahu with my mom and grandma. My grandma really wanted to go to the USS Arizona Memorial, but we waited until the last day we were there and then they ran out of tickets before we got to see it. I still feel really bad about that, so I wanted to make sure visiting the USS Arizona was the first thing I did in Oahu. Thus, my first day in Oahu I went to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor.

As it happens, they started doing construction on the bridge to the USS Arizona Memorial two days before I got there and wouldn’t be done for three weeks. What are the chances?! If I had known that earlier I would’ve gotten a flight back to Oahu a day earlier at the end of the summer so I could go then. Hindsight, I guess. I suppose I’ll just have to come back to Oahu again and see the USS Arizona Memorial a different time.

That afternoon my host let me borrow his car and his roommate suggested I go check out Ko Olina. Ko Olina is where there are a bunch of resorts and public lagoons. It was close enough for me to hang out for a while and then get back by the time my host needed his car again. Sa-weet.

Nai'a Lagoon 3, Ko Olina, Oahu, HI.

Nai’a Lagoon 3, Ko Olina, Oahu, HI.

I LOVED Ko Olina! I went to Nai’a Lagoon 3 and it was perfect! The rocks forming the lagoon kept the waves from being too crazy, so I had a nice chill afternoon at the beach. I hadn’t brought a beach towel and didn’t really want to get my bath towel all sandy, so I laid out in the grass above the beach and it was absolutely perfect. Though, despite reapplying sunscreen every hour and a half, I still got a little sunburned. Oh well, it was totally worth it.

That night my host invited me to go to the gym with him where he does AcroYoga. That sounded interesting, so I agreed. I really had no idea what to expect, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this:

Hardcore AcroYogis at the gym...are these real people?! Yep. Oahu, HI.

Hardcore AcroYogis at the gym…are these real people?! Yep. Oahu, HI.

The next day my host and I went on a driving tour of Oahu’s North Shore It was weird, because we as we were driving I was like, wait, I’ve definitely been here before… I had no idea what part of the island we were on when I was younger, but apparently, it was the North Shore. We stopped by Kualoa Regional Park and saw Chinaman’s Hat (aka Mokoli’i) island and a kitesurfer, which was super cool.

Mokoli'i island, aka Chinaman's Hat and a photobombing kitesurfer, Kualoa Regional Park, Oahu, HI.

Mokoli’i island, aka Chinaman’s Hat and a photobombing kitesurfer, Kualoa Regional Park, Oahu, HI.

That night there was an AcroYoga Jam at the beach. An AcroYoga Jam is where a bunch of people get together and do AcroYoga for fun. My host introduced me to some people and one of them offered to fly me (which is where I’m the top person in AcroYoga). It was exhilarating! I couldn’t wait to do it again!

My second time flying in AcroYoga, Oahu, HI.

My second time flying in AcroYoga, Oahu, HI.

My third day was mostly just a work day, I posted my Alaska pictures, did laundry, and packed up my stuff to go to my next host’s house. My second host on Oahu lived on a sailboat. He was fun and as we sat at the table chatting I felt like the waves were rocking me to sleep.

Unfortunately, my actual sleeping quarters felt like a coffin and I’m much more claustrophobic than I originally thought. I was utterly terrified as I tried to go to sleep that night. Eventually, I somehow managed to nod off, but it was after spending a long time calming myself down. In the morning the rocking of the boat didn’t make me sleepy, it made me nauseous. I had dramamine, but I was supposed to stay with this host for four more nights! Oh, and the ‘shower,’ if you can call it that, was just a hand held sprayer in the bathroom. My hair’s so long now there was no way I was going to be able to adequately clean myself and not ruin everything else in the bathroom while trying to manipulate the sprayer.

Despite my aversion to confrontation, I managed to tell my sailboat host that I couldn’t stay there for the rest of the week and that I’d already made other arrangements. I has asked my first host if I could stay there for the remainder of my time in Oahu and he said sure. My sailboat host was super understanding and though I felt bad about bailing on him, I knew I’d be happier with my decision in the end.

After my night on the sailboat and morning of seasickness, I needed to get off the boat and go adventuring. So I went to Diamond Head State Monument. Diamond Head is a crater caused by a single volcanic eruption some 300,000 years ago. The hike up took about an hour and a half, I had to stop and put on sunscreen twice on the way up because I could feel myself burning, but once I made it to the top I felt accomplished and the view wasn’t bad either.

View from the top of Diamond Head, Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu, HI.

View from the top of Diamond Head, Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu, HI.

The best part was once I got back down there was a food truck in the parking lot and they had fresh fruit smoothies! I don’t know if it was because I was so hungry after that hike, or how hot it was, or what, but that guava smoothie from Magoo’s Burgers was the best smoothie I’ve ever had! It hit the spot perfectly and left me feeling refreshed and happy. I walked for about a half hour or so to the Diamond Head Beach and went swimming for a bit. Then I had to head back to the sailboat so my other host could pick me up.

My original host was on his way to a party for an AcroYoga girl, so I tagged along. Free food, and some cool videos about what she did on her research ship in the ocean?! Yes, please. Totally fascinating! Also, the house where the party was, was insanely awesome. There was a whole wall of windows with views out to the ocean and a projection screen that came down in front of that instead of a tv. Also, the bedroom was lofted and it had a super nice kitchen and little hangout nook. It was such a neat place. Too bad I didn’t get any good pictures, sorry.

I spent the next morning working and then my host took me on his motorcycle to another AcroYoga Jam at a different beach. I hadn’t been on a motorcycle since I was like ten and then it was a friend of my mom’s who took me on a ride around the neighborhood going like fifteen miles per hour. Going over eighty on the freeway with a backpack weighing me down was unbelievably terrifying. To be fair, I’m sure driving a motorcycle isn’t nearly as bad, but riding on one is absolutely awful.

Thankfully the AcroYoga Jam made up for the horrendous bike ride. I had new partners and they both had me try new things and I even got to try being a base (the one on the bottom)!

I think this one was called chair pose? AcroYoga day two, Waikiki, Oahu, HI.

I think this one was called chair pose? AcroYoga day two, Waikiki, Oahu, HI.

The following day I didn’t do a whole lot, but it was very exhausting all the same. My last day on Oahu I ran some errands and then hung out at the beach in Waikiki I even got brave a rented a surfboard and decided to try surfing (without a lesson). My first time up I stood for like 13 seconds! It was awesome! Subsequent times I only made it up for like five seconds, but it was still really fun. I was sore for days afterward though. It was a pretty busy last day in Oahu, but I loved it. Next stop: Maui!