Thursday, September 9, 2010

La nostra casa

We're home!! And very happy. There's so much to digest! We've been away for 2 months. Wow.

Big highlight this morning, besides waking up between our own 1000 thread count sheets, was rediscovering all the clothes we DIDN'T take with us. I'm quite stoked to be wearing a fresh pair of purple jocks, which haven't been shrunk in hostel washing machines...

The girls were a little unsure when we first walked in, but they were pretty happy to be sleeping with their mum on the bed this morning. I walked in to see Maxi snuggled into Hannah's nook, purring furiously. Mini has sniffed all of our bags, then remembered that my lap is awesome.

Vegemite on toast this morning. It was heavenly.

Wow. I don't even know where to start. I think I'll update in a day or so, when I've had a chance to stop. Spent 13 hours stuck in Auckland International yesterday, so pretty blitzed.

But so happy to be home.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies!!
A friend in our backyard!

Today we said goodbye to Jo and James dropped her at the airport to wing her way back home. Our awesome foursome is down to three. We miss you, Jo!

We had a jam packed day! We got off to a slow start after early airport trips and morning naps but then didn't get home until after 9pm.

We went snorkelling at Shark's Cove which was well worth it. Today I used a different pair of broken flippers that served me much better! This is what we saw:

Just floating around
Even quite shallow, the fish were plentiful. Some were so brazen they almost collided with you.
There were people scuba diving as well as snorkelling but there was still plenty of room to explore.
After snorkelling adventures, we had lunch at Ted's Bakery again before setting out to Maunawili Trail and Waterfall.
It was really muddy and we had to watch each step on the trail. 
The journey also involved river crossings! 
We topped the day off by heading over to Rhonda and Aaron's place for a BBQ and spa. We got to meet their lovely friends, Jesse and Sean, who live on the North Shore and own the rental accommodation Rhonda and Aaron were staying in. They had a cute cat called Tuesday :* I needed to pat her a lot.

Along with steak, chicken, vegetable kebabs and salad, we had ahi poki, a raw, marinated tuna and then... pineapple and chocolate haupia cream pie for dessert!

Oahu Wahoo!!

We haven't wasted any time packing the last few days with adventure! We made sure we still had time to kick back and relax, though!
A quick trip into Haliewa for some cheap rashies, wetsuits and MORE shave ice! 
We found a Japanese place for dinner. They had big wave surfing playing on the wall.
More surfing!
Heaven on a plate! This is more garlic than we've seen since we left home! A 
dozen garlic prawns for $13 from a Shrimp Shack on the side of the road. North Shore style!
Waimea Bay in the Summertime.
The mountains here are so jagged and steep. We drove over to Lanakai for dinner with Rhonda and Heidi and Tim, people that Jo met in Fiji who live there. Lanakai is quite an old suburb with amazing houses right on the beach (not unlike the North shore!) They have a 'toy shed' filled with surfboards, SUPs, kayaks... all the goodies you could need :)

After a trip into Honolulu and across to Waikiki, we decided against surfing in the ridiculous crowds. There were at least 100 people out at Canoes! Instead we did a quick bit of shopping. James felt the best way to entertain himself was by drinking an entire pineapple... 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Likelike, Pupus and Poki

This place is making me feel strangely timeless. We are having trouble remembering what day it is and I can't seem to write in a linear fashion here.
Today we met Rhonda, Aaron and a local guy, Ash at a north shore spot that was breaking, Malekahena. no crowd. It was very nice. Did I mention the water? It is so warm here. Especially after 15 degrees in California! It would easily be in the mid twenties.
One minute it looked like this, then the next, like this...
The break was in a nice bay straight out from this cute camp site with Hawaiian style bungalows. It was breaking a long way out over reasonably shallow reef, but the waves were very rolling, without much oompf. We even had a little rain shower while we surfed, before the sun came out again.

Now, back to Monday. We went for a snorkel in the afternoon. They have tradewinds here, so in Summer the wind is essentially continuously easterly. Snorkelling in this proved a little interesting as the current was going one way and the wind the other!! Visibility wasn't great, but we do plan to do another snorkel, while Kristy does a dive in a famous place, Shark's Bay. Its meant to be great for snorkelling.
So, after deciding it was a bit windy, Kristy and I still wanted to snorkel. I with one good flipper and one with a broken strap, snorkel shoved up the side of my mask strap. But follow my intrepid leader I did!! We went out around some rocks, from our beach and two bays up to Turtle Beach.I couldn't see a bloody thing, above or below water and had to keep pulling my flipper on.
Meanwhile Jo and James were walking over hot volcanic rock to get to the same place, burning their tootsies! James pushed on, feet gored, and had a relaxing snorkel. Jo literally took the road less travelled, ended up shimmying up a fence and down a palm tree to get back on the highway and walk home. We had some high adventures to tell.
And it was all worth it because this is what we found:
Kristy spotted this one as we were entering the bay!
These guys are huge! Recharging in the sun :] There were about 4 on the beach.
They're called basking turtles as they're one of the few that just come to chill out on the sand.
Enjoying the Pacific

Island Time

We've been a bit slack with the updates because we've been having such a blast.
We explored Haliewa, the small town near our house, been to all the surf shops, had shave ice, found longboards for a nice cheap $70/week rental, Had dinner at Haliewa Joes, twice. We've also had a home cooked meal and pancakes for breakfast! My, we have been busy. Sorry, mum, no food photos. We were too busy gobbling! But I did have great ribs and an amazing sirloin :)
Shaka, man.
Famous Shave Ice (Love that Japanese influence here) from Matsumoto's!
James got 'rainbow' flavour....
Kristy with grape, raspberry & green apple.
In this photo you should note the fabulousness that is our reflection. We're very cool.

Yesterday we did some sightseeing. It was a big day. We basically drove around half the Island. Saw all the surf spots that aren't breaking, cos it's Summer; Waimea, Pipeline, Sunset, Rocky Point.
Four rented mals on the roof of the hire-car. We been tying those bad boys doooown!
Kristy & I standing up very straight at the Chinaman's Hat.
On the Kam Hwy
We drove all the way around to Kailua on the east (windward) side, near Lanakai. No waves here either!

In search of waves, we checked out Diamond Head, which was blown out, and finally ended up at Waikiki. Well, we had to do it at least once. There were a lot of people in the water and the waves were lovely, but few and far between.
Waikiki is just like you'd expect it to be. Whilst the North Shore is quiet, a little run down and unassuming, Waikiki is high-rises, Japanese tourists and ukelele music. We actually surfed 'Queens' which is pretty exciting as I've seen videos of this place. The waves were great shaped, but the stress of the crowd got to all of us.

After a whack of surfing and the trip back to the North Shore, we caught up with Jo's friend Rhonda and her boyfriend Aaron for dinner and cocktails.