Girl trip..... or girlfriend visit anyways!!! Two of my lifelong friends, since middle school, came to visit me in Hawaii. One of the girls, Kristen is my best friend and I was so excited to have her see my new home for the time being.
I did not have a car while living on the island but the bus system is actually really good in Hawaii. I took the bus everywhere I went until my friends on the island took me around with them. One of my friends took the bus all the way from the airport to my place in Waikiki which took a little bit of time due to all the stops along the way. She had some good stories from the bus, which would often happen. When my friends finally got to me and the three of us were reunited, we ended up going to the beach to watch the sunset.
One of drawbacks to being a traveler with my job is that we do not have paid time off. Some companies I have heard do offer it, but the ones I have used never have offered any type of vacation time. Since Hawaii is on the other side of the world (or so it seemed) and my friends and family are on the east coast, any trip a friend took really needed to be about a week to make it worthy of the travel time. It was a little insane at the time but I worked six shifts in a row but the plus side of that was the 8 days off. Being in the healthcare system we usually work 12 hour days and it is possible to work your days out to have several off in a row to maximize any time off. Being on nightshift makes switching back to a normal schedule a little tricky but all my friends traveled all day from the east coast and were tired so we went to bed not long after they got to Hawaii and then we were up bright and early to explore.
When Kristen, Kyra and I woke up we had breakfast and then took the bus up to Manoa Falls.
The feeling of being in Jurassic Park was back and we made our way down the trail to the waterfall.
One of the many warning signs I mentioned on the islands were here at Manoa Falls. Most of the tourists skipped this warning, safe or not.
We got as close as we could without getting in the actual water. A lot of people from work had warned me about getting into the water in Hawaii if it wasn't the ocean. I learned quickly that there is a disease animals can carry that gets into the water and if you swallow the infected water or it gets into an open cut, it can result in a lot of health issues and in some cases death. They did not mean to scare me because it is not that common that this happens but they wanted to educate us so that we did not end up victim to this disease called Leptospirosis. It was nothing to fear but just something to keep in mind when in fresh water on the islands. I am not sure if we did not get into the water because of this but we were fine not getting in this chilly water.
Kristen and Kyra have been best friends forever also and they have this fun cheerleader pose they do together, so as the trip kept going we made our own fun cheerleader poses together. We ate dinner that night after catching the bus back and then we went back to the beach to hang out. We ended up staying till sunset and being a little goofy on the beach, which is normal for us.
The next day when we got up we ended up renting a car so we could head up to the north shore. It was not horrible to take the bus up there (I suppose but never had to do this) but it was direct and so much faster to have a car to explore.
Before we headed all the way to the north shore, we stopped at the Dole plantation to have pineapple! There was also one of the coolest trees that I have ever seen called the rainbow eucalyptus tree. It was by far the prettiest tree I had ever seen.
We ended up going to Waimea Bay and watching the surfers from the road where cars were lined up to watch all those surfers. The north shore has very strong currents in the winter time. There are lots of warnings posted letting people know to be careful and that the water can pull them in. Visitors and tourists often think the water is safe, especially because the children that are from Hawaii are very comfortable with the water.
We stayed out of the ocean up here but of course when we were at the north shore we had to make our cheerleader pose for that beach.
After the north shore we took a detour at the Pali Lookout which was very windy but had a very nice view, however the only photo we took was on the crazy mountain side of rock.
Then we went back to Waikiki to grab some food and hang out. Between my place and our dinner happened to be the Hilton Hawaiian, so we recreated the poses (quite accurately I say).
The next day we decided to head to Hanauma Bay. This is a huge snorkeling destination for tourists and it was worth the visit. The bay was beautiful and snorkeling was fun but for me stressful! They warn about touching the reef because it is living and touching it will harm it. While I was snorkeling I had to concentrate on staying afloat and it worried me a bit It was amazing to say the least.
Pretty much across the street from Hanauma Bay is Koko Crater. It has a hike that is literally stair after stair. It was a rundown railroad I believe. We walked across the street towards this "hill" where the hike existed.
Kyra is super in shape. She actually has her own business as a coach for people to get in shape and have a healthy living. I am not as in shape as her and had to stop several times before we reached the top but we still made it to the top!
The view from the top was spectacular and it was hard to recreate in a photo I feel like but we tried anyways. That day we ended up going to an infity pool right on the ocean and relaxing and then we had to get ready to go to Kristen and Kyras first luau.
I had been to one in Waikiki at the Hale Koa but this one was at Germaines Luau and it was farther west on the island. We hopped a bus and we were off. The food was a little different but we loved the dancing. It got chilly at night with the ocean breeze so we had to buy shirts to keep warm but we loved the luau and it inspired us to make up a dance that several people enjoyed us doing later.
I'm not entirely sure what we were doing. I was fishing, Kyra was a bear I think and I'm not sure why. We act a little weird, the title of this post offered that warning! That night we went back to Waikiki and hung out and met lots of fun people on the island.
There may have been karokee involved at some point in the night, which you can see from the photo above.
The last day together we were sad! We spent it at the beach and by the lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian. It was too much fun we didn't want it to end but it was the perfect week with girlfriends and confirmation that we are weird. We had to do one final pose for the road but it was a trip (or visit) we would never forget!
Sad faces for the road..... until the next time....