One of the most memorable things we did in Hawaii was making swings and tying them up in random places. The inspiration was from the original swing on Mt. Tantalus, which was taken down shortly after we visited it, and a plain board put up months later.My friends decided to put up our own swings in some of our favorite places on the island. This one we tied up on the Wiliwilinui Ridge hike in Hawaii Kai. It’s not a hard hike, but you do have to put some effort into it, and the reward at the top is completely worth it. There’s a really good descriptive blog post about the hike here:
But this is the story behind the swing.
And if you do look under the swing, there would be a map with X marking the spots of the other swings around the island that we put up. Unfortunately, according to the most recent Yelp posts, it seems like this swing is no longer there. We do know that the first swing at Diamond Head beach was taken shortly after we put it up, but there is one more on the North Shore, which I’m hoping is still there. At the very least, I hope our swing is decorating someone’s living room mantle at the moment, even though we had meant to share this little piece of ourselves with all those who ventured down the same path.
There’s a cove that’s kind of hidden down to the side of the Halona Blowhole, if you’re driving along the coast to get to Sandy’s. It’s one my favorite mini-beaches. There aren’t that many people there, even on weekends, and the water makes a nice wave pool if the currents aren’t too strong. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a honu or two (sea turtles) or even monk seals.The cove has a couple of names: Eternity Beach (because it was in the movie, From Here to Eternity) or Cockroach Cove (because down in that wall under the road, there’s a lava tube that goes through to the other side, that is home to lots of those you-know-whats).
It’s also a beach with a spectator gallery. Up there is the parking lot/the area to see the blowhole. You can actually climb the rocks around to the left to get to the blowhole, but you also risk getting sucked into the ocean by the big waves that hammer up against that wall.
It’s a nice, secluded area but the sun is gone by 4 or 5pm once it drops behind that wall.
And you can even do jumps off the wall on the right, especially if you’re not brave enough to do the big ones yet.
Picture taken by Adair Hill
One of my favorite snorkeling places on the island of Oahu is Shark’s cove. (But trust me, there aren’t any sharks there. Maybe those little reef ones that sleep during the day and only eat fish and stuff. But I’ve never seen one in all my trips out there.)
The cove is inside this little bay area, and the water is pretty deep in the middle, about 15 feet. It’s deep enough for people to scuba, and there are these large rocks that create tunnels that you can swim through if you’re brave enough with snorkeling gear.
And the fish! Just schools and schools of different kinds of fish feeding on the coral and rocks, and on most days, the water is so calm since there aren’t any waves breaking and it’s totally relaxing. I like it a bit better than Hanauma, because there’s a lot more water between you and the rocks/coral, so it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic.
We also put a swing up there. If you ever go, please let me know if it’s still up!
After being on a fish diet for awhile, I’m going through some major tuna withdrawals. One of my favorite sushi places in Honolulu is Kona Kai. It’s this small hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but it has the freshest high-quality fish and interesting rolls.
I suggest going there and doing an omakase, which means you’ll leave it up to the chef. He’ll just provide plate after plate of melt-in-your-mouth goodness and exciting new flavors until you hold your hand up in surrender.
You have to get the baby calamari roll stuffed with crab, the grilled lobster tail, and just a big plate of sashimi and a few rolls. This is making me drool.
An awesome place in Hawaii is Hanauma Bay. It’s an amazing preserved place where you can snorkel your heart out. You have to pay for parking and admissions, but if you don’t feel comfortable about snorkeling in the wild, this is definitely the place for you.
It’s a great place for beginners, although I kind of freaked out a bit when I went there the first time. The welcome video that everyone is required to watch before they enter the premises strictly states that you’re not allowed to touch the reef. The surface of the water is pretty close to the reef, and the reef is so expansive, so I got scared about skimming the reefs while swimming around and having my tummy exposed to the holes in the reefs because there might be eels or reef sharks or something, you know.
But the sights are amazing, and there are tons of fish and maybe even a turtle or two if you’re lucky.