Saturday, May 14th, we started off the morning with malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery. Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts with a filling. Leonard’s Bakery had custard, chocolate, banana or coconut options. We loved them!
From there, we hiked Diamond Head, an inactive volcano cone.
The hike up was long and it was a really hot day, but the view from the top made it worth it.
Waikiki from the top of Diamond Head
After our morning hike, we stopped at Waiola Shave Ice for our third shave ice of the trip. From there, we toured Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on US soil.
It was a very fun and interesting palace. It had artifacts from the royal family of Hawaii before they became a state. They are still searching for and gathering items. The rooms were beautiful, especially the room where all the balls were held. We really enjoyed learning more about the royalty of Hawaii. After our tour of the palace, we went to Hilo Hattie to pick up some souvenirs.
Brett at Hilo Hattie
We got free lei’s and tried their delicious pog juice (papaya, orange and guava). From there, we shopped our way back to the hotel and ended our evening with a late dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. It was my first time going to a Hard Rock Cafe and I really enjoyed it.
Sunday, we got up early and got ready for church. We ate our papaya and sweet bread in the hotel before we left to find the church building.
We got there right at 9am, thinking we were running late. When we walked in, we were greeted by about 8 missionaries and other greeters at the door. We thought “wow, they have a lot of friendly people and missionaries in this ward!” We sat down and the choir was practicing. Then we looked at our program. Stake Conference. And it didn’t start until 10am! We decided before we went to church that day, that we would stay one hour and then head out to the beaches. So we enjoyed the choir music for a while and then left. The church building was really neat and had a mosaic of Christ in the front.
From church, we drove to Hanauma Bay to do some snorkeling.
Before we could walk down the hill to the Bay, we had to watch an instructional video that nearly scared me to death. The video talked about how you shouldn’t touch the coral reef because you were killing ecosystems every time you touched anything. The video also said to beware of crevices because that’s where the octopus and eel like to hide. After the video, the worker talked about how people drown every single day in Hanauma Bay, and how just the day before a young child died because his family wasn’t watching him for a few minutes. Then they sent you off to snorkel. Yeah.
25 weeks pregnant
Of course, it takes quite an effort to get all the snorkel gear on with the waves pushing you over all the time. Me being off-balance normally with my pregnant body found it especially challenging to get ready. Brett was so patient. Finally, we went out to snorkel. We saw some really cool fish, even though the water was pretty cloudy. Of course as soon as I saw a fish, all I could think about was “where is the eel? where is the octopus or shark that is going to eat my baby??” On top of that, the lifeguards kept shouting over the speakers every 10 minutes about how the tide was especially high and rough that day so only experienced swimmers should go further than they could reach. It made me quite nervous. Now, I’ve snorkeled before and really enjoyed it so I’m not sure why this time it was so difficult for me. I stayed out there for a while before I decided I was done. Brett swam out further to spy on other fish while I watched and prayed for him where I could reach. But overall, we both had a lot of fun seeing the brightly colored fish. Brett is an especially good swimmer and had a great time exploring the deeper reefs and seeing all the fish he could. Here is a picture of the coolest fish we saw:
try pronouncing its Hawaiian name!
After our snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, we drove further up to the North Shore, where all the big surfing is done. We saw Chinaman’s Hat along the way.
cute little island
We stopped at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck for lunch.
The drive up to the north shore was absolutely gorgeous. There were tall, lush green mountains on one side and the blue, blue ocean on the other. It was breathtaking. When we got to where the big waves were supposed to be, we were disappointed to see that they were more calm than the waves at Waikiki. I guess we should have expected that since the waves are much bigger there in the winter and it was already May when we went. We drove to Turtle Beach and spent the evening talking, resting and watching the sunset. It was such a lovely day.
One more Hawaii post to come: Polynesian Culture Center!