Friday, February 5, 2010


Our 8-night Hawaiian vacation was amazing.  We spent 3 nights in Oahu and 5 nights in Kauai and we took hundreds of photos.  Here are the highlights.

Our Honolulu hotel room was 2 blocks from the beach and definitely felt like it was in the heart of the city.  The area had lots of traffic, noise, overpriced shops, and tons of people.  Welcome to Honolulu.  

Views from the hotel 

An awesome 10-mile loop drive above the city led us to some sweet lookouts.  The point you can see out past the city is the rim of an old volcano named Diamond Head.  We hiked to the summit of it a couple days later.

Waikiki Beach
One of the most famous beaches in the world.  

Cassy samples a Hawaiian treat: shave ice.  It's basically a really huge snow cone served over ice cream.

This is Waikiki in the low season at the end of the day.  I can't imagine what it must be like on the busy days.

Sunsets on Waikiki bring most people out of their hotels and onto the beach.

Pearl Harbor

The USS Arizona memorial is built over the sunken ship, which lies just inches below the water.  Hundreds of soldiers are entombed in the ship and 30 or so survivors have chosen to have their cremated remains interred with their fellow sailors.  The ship still leaks 1-2 quarts of oil per day, which coats the water under the monument with a rainbow film.

Looking out the top of the USS Arizona Memorial

A monument to those who died on the USS Oklahoma.

Cassy explores the depths of the USS Bowfin submarine.

The USS Missouri, where the Japanese signed the document agreeing to surrender to the U.S.

Diamond Head
We got to the Diamond Head trail at sunrise, only to find an entire tour bus of hikers had already reached the summit.  We passed them as they trekked down the 1-mile trail in knee-high boots with heels, flip flops, and dress shoes.
Honolulu and Waikiki Beach from the summit of Diamond Head

Cassy descends the long staircase that makes up part of the hike.

Hanauma Bay offers some incredible snorkeling for you and hundreds of your closest friends.

Self portrait at the world famous surf spot, Waimea Bay.

We met a shy local at Turtle Beach.

Cassy struts her stuff on the wild north shore.

Waimea Bay

A peaceful sunset on Oahu requires driving to the northernmost point of the island and hiking a couple miles along the coast.  Gorgeous!


Anonymous said...

My parents were both stationed in Hawaii back before statehood (Mom was Navy, Dad was USMC) and they tell stories about Oahu before the highrises moved in. Dad was a sharpshooter, and the Marines used to have a range up high near Diamond Head. Targets were to the southeast, so that if a shot went wild it wouldn't go into town, but they said that it "went Molokai..." To this day, if something is missing but they have a pretty good idea of the general area, my parents will say that it "went Molokai."

Luc and Cassy Gruenther said...

I had to look up "went Molokai" to realize that the term refers to the island of Molokai, to the southeast of Oahu.

We wished some of the tourists would have gone Molokai while we were there, but I guess we were tourists too.