The second day
Hotel room Oct 28/2007 9:30 am:
We woke up really early at 8 am. After eating breakfast, we're going back to the airport to install a gps. What happened was, I brought my own gps from bay area thinking that it will work just fine in here ( it was working fine at reno and tahoe). And it turned out that the gps couldn't get a fix on sattelite at all, so it's useless, and driving around hawaii is quite frustrating without a gps. Sure there's a map and I could look up driving directions from the internet, and that's what I was doing the first day, and I can tell you that it's just adding frustrations because after having a dinner on the first night, we wanted to go somewhere because the night is still young, but we couldn't go very far. So needless to say, I'm just a gps junkie, I need my gps even though Avis rental is charging me $10 a day.
what amazes me about oahu is how crowded it is. Even the highway is either full or slow. you'll see the distance in the map is actually pretty close but the slow traffic can really slow you down a lot. So anyway, after picking up the gps we went straight to Hanauma Bay for snorkelling. this is the first time Henny and I are snorkelling so we are filled with excitement. It's only 15 minutes away from waikiki beach which could explain why it's so crowded and popular. Driving to the place is quite an experience too, the view along the way is awesome. There are mountains on your left and the oceans on your right. we snapped a few photos of the view so don't forget to check it out later this week.
And we arrived at the place (Oh, you should try to get there as early as possible, although the place is open at 7 and closed at 7 pm, they will send you back if there are no more parking spaces). We can see that there are only a few parking spaces left (it's about 10 am). The parking costs $1 and the entrance ticket per person is $5. Not bad huh, yeah except we forgot to bring an underwater disposable camera (duuhhh) and towels. So $18 for camera and $10 for towel :) If this is your first time visiting this facility, you need to attend the 15 minutes orientation video (which is quite boring and just tell you to be careful and not to feed or touch the fish). at the end of the session, you can sign your name and you don't need to attend the video session again if you visit the next time (valid for 1 year).
Okay, now we're ready for some action.....nope...not yet, you need to walk down the spiralling paths to the beach area for about 10 minutes, or you can pay 50 cents to take a tram, which seems a no brainer for me ....tram please!
Okay, we're now ready for some action.....nope...you need to rent the gear first...of which we have no clues which one to choose. So for first timers, you need to get the dry snorkelling gears, which costs about $9 each person, oh and $5 for locker
without any further delay, I ran to the water and trying to put on the gear. Oh man,,,the water is so cold, I have to step back a few times hahaha, and worst of all, I was so excited about getting into the water, I forgot to put on the $6.99 sun block...which will prove costly in 5 hours time. You don't need any lesson for snorkellng, you only need to know how to swim. Putting on the gear is easy too (for me, not for Henny :)) it's kind of weird for the first few minutes when you plunged your head into the water, your nose is completely stuffed so you cannot breath in or out through your nose, but you need to do it with your mouth. as soon as you get used to that feeling, you're off to a great start. I noticed that fishes likes to hang around corral area. I took a lot of photos, of which there are many colorful fishes. The sun is shooting directly at my back as we're snorkelling through the areas. I love snorkelling overall. it's a great experience, maybe next time I can have a better luck at catching the sneaky fish :)
From there, we went straight to Ono's hawaiian food. It's a family owned business for many years and serving great local food. This place is recommended by many magazines or online resources. It's located at Kapahulu Avenue, 5 minutes away from waikiki. When we walked into the place, we were greeted by two elderly ladies (and it'll turn out that most of the people working there are over 60's). we were given the menu and for the first time, I'm at loss because I don't know which one to choose, all the wordings are so foreign to me. Luckily the waiter is very friendly and know that we're not familiar with the food at all so she recommended us the combination plate. So we ordered both Kalua Pig plate and Laulau pig plate. when the food came out, we were quite thrown back because not only the utensils and plates are quite...primitive, the food itself is quite....strange..... a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll try to explain it in the picture later. stay tuned.
(the middle one is Laulau Pig, which is some pork wrapped in some leafs, to the right is Kalua Pig (which is a shredded pork), the bottom is a beef jerky, to the top right is some kind of tomato salsa, the right bottom is a coconut pudding, and the right top is Poi , which is a mashed taro root.) Poi is by far the most terrible, because it tastes like glue :D
Long story short, we didn't finish our food, we don't like it...and we're probably not going to try another hawaiian place again :)
on this night, we went to the biggest shopping mall in oahu, it's called Ana Moana mall. the parking lot is very very spacy, and the mall itself is quite big. It has a lot of luxury shops (mostly for japanese tourists) and a food court downstairs that has a lot of okay foods. when I say okay foods, it means that it's better than most food court food. I don't like food court in general, they are mass produced foods, much alike dorm food or cafeteria food.
at the top level, there's a bar called Mai Tai, which seems like the most popular bar in town (from the magazines i read), the whole mall is an open air mall, which is quite nice this time around, but I'm not sure how'd it feel in the summer. So the bar itself is also open air, and semi open space. Of all the stores, I'm only interested in one...you guess it...the apple store. hahaha, I checked out the Leopard which came out last night, and I like what I see. If they keep on putting out cool stuff, there's no guarantee I'm going to be a mac convert.
aniway, that sums it up for the second day, I'm so tired and I need a good night sleep...
remember when I said I forgot to put on the sun block and it's going to cost me....it is now...my back hurts sooo much....it's all red and burning....and so itchy....arggghhh.....kids...don't forget to apply sun block when you're out on the beach.