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Aloha, Oahu!

Taking a break from being consumed with my move to Italy...

I went to Maui a few years ago with Max and until recently hadn't been back. Last month, I had the opportunity to go to Oahu with one of my best friends. Heather had worked for 9 months in Honolulu, so I knew she would be an awesome tour guide.

We were lucky enough to stay with one of Heather's friends, Jenna, who was working and had a room at the Hilton Hawaii Village on Waikiki Beach.

Let's Start with a Sunset

I arrived before everyone else, so I decided to take a walk down to Waikiki Beach. One thing that COVID has got me spoiled on is how dead places are that are usually crowded. The beach was empty.

I enjoyed a gorgeous sunset and got a kick out of a few young girls taking sexy photos for Instagram!

Tropical Paradise

Heather and I spent a lot of time over the next few days driving all over the island. I always marvel at how foreign Hawaii feels, yet it's American.

Coming from San Diego, land of the brown, all the green was dazzling in Oahu.

My one request was to hike to a waterfall. I can check that off the list. We hiked to Manoa Falls. The hike is only about an hour, but there are a lot of stairs so it's easier if you're in shape.

There were signs that forbade swimming in the water. Rumor has it that there is some horrible bacteria in the water. Maybe that's just to keep the tourists out. Still, there was a dude in the water so I hope he didn't suffer from flesh eating bacteria!

The Highlight

For me, the highlight of the trip was snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. A large coral reef sits inside a volcanic cone and houses an assortment of tropical fish.

We got there at 7:00 a.m. because you have to reserve a spot and that can be hard to do. Once you're in and watch a little educational video, you can stay as long as you want.

I'm relatively new to snorkeling and simply adore it. I was sad that the reef was so dead but that's due to the selfishness of humans like me who want to experience an underwater world and end up killing it.

As I was swimming through the reefs, I spotted a strange brownish lump. I realized it was an octopus and got excited and called Heather over. We gazed at what turned out to be a day octopus for about 10 minutes. He didn't move from his rock and we just stared at one another. He even had a little blue fish friend swimming about him! It felt really special to have seen him because octopuses (octopii?) usually hide.

Swimming with Sharks... Literally

The highlight for Heather was snorkeling with sharks. When she asked me if I wanted to do it, I felt a pit in my stomach when I looked at the photos on the tour website.

Always up for something that can make me a better person, I said yes to the invitation despite feeling sick.

The boat took our group about 3 miles offshore. After a brief tutorial (too brief, if you ask me!), we got into the water and held on to a safety rope on either side of the boat.

The guides called the sharks with a device that made a sound in the water and I would have broken out into sweat as I saw one barreling toward us if one can sweat in the water!

In total, about 20 sand sharks came up to check us out. Thank goodness they didn't get too close! At the end a hammerhead showed up but it was hard to see his signature head shape.

All in all, I didn't fall in love with the sharks but I am very proud that I did something that scared me! I also got to free dive, which is something new that I got to try!

It was a pretty active vacation for being a beachy one. I told Heather I like "Water Su" and really enjoy snorkeling and being on the beach.

And though I do more solo travel than anything, the experience was all the better for having two amazing women to share it with!

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