Pacifica - The Final Days

It's hard to believe that just two days ago, I was about 4,000 miles from home, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, wearing shorts and letting the crystal clear sea water wash over my feet.

It was a pretty fun trip. We had almost a full day in Waikiki Beach before we had to fly out on Tuesday night (1/2/18). We mostly spent that day on the beach and by the pool, absorbing as much tropical weather as we could to bring back to icy cold Wisconsin with us. Unfortunately, most of it was confiscated by TSA at the Honolulu Airport, and we only had enough left for our own personal use when we got back. Sory Wisco!

My sister took my niece and nephew for a surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach in the afternoon on Tuesday. Deborah and I had just finished a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory franchise near our hotel and we decided to take the bus down the street to where the kids would be getting their lesson at 3 PM. They were naturals on the "bunny waves," and I captured some video documentation.

On Monday, New Year's Day 2018, we took an all day driving tour of Oahu's North Shore with a tour guide. We snorkeled at Sharks Cove, one of my vacation bucket list items, for about an hour before having lunch at the infamous North Shore shrimp trucks and viewing the famous surfing beaches. Upon returning to Honolulu, we hit the infamous Leonard's Bakery for some "original" malasadas, which are sort of like donuts without the hole, frosted with sugar.

On New Year's Eve, we all went out to Pearl Harbor and did the usual touristy things people do there. After Deborah and I came back on the shuttle bus, we went to an early dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen franchise near our hotel, beating the rush of revelers. That was a wise choice...it was a busy night in Waikiki. My sister, niece, and nephew had stayed at Pearl Harbor longer than us so my nephew could go to the Aviation Museum there and do the military flight simulators. A little before midnight, we all headed down to Waikiki Beach for the NYE fireworks, fired from a barge out in the ocean. They were OK, but a little bit far away.

On Saturday morning, 12/30/17, I tagged along with my sister, niece, and nephew for their early morning hike up the Diamond Head volcano to watch the sun rise. On the way there, our cabby pointed out a farmer's market, which we hit after coming down off the volcano. It was nice to get some exercise.

Friday, 12/29/17, was a low key day. In the afternoon, we took a cab out to the Hanauma Bay snorkeling area and spent a couple hours there. It was a larger snorkeling area than Sharks Bay, but completely overrun with undesirable people (aka, people), which made it less fun and more expensive. Everything at Hanauma Bay was for sale, and it cost us a pretty penny to snorkel there. At Sharks Cove, I only spent about $20 for a snorkel and mask, whereas the gear needed at Hanauma Bay cost us upwards of $40/person. I would definitely recommend Sharks Cove over Hanauma Bay, if asked. It's a bit of a drive to get to Sharks Cove, but worth it. We came back from Hanauma Bay on the 22 bus, seeing some good scenery along the way. The rain held off until after we were done snorkeling.

Prior days of the trip are documented on this blog in other posts. Thanks for reading.

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