Jun 09

May 2014: Hawaii Trip – Day 5 and 6 – Hanauma Bay, Luau


Day 5:

One of the most popular places in Oahu to go snorkeling is Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Wanting to beat the crowds, we headed out around 8 AM. There is a $1 per vehicle parking fee and a $7.50 per person entry fee.

Ticket line @ Hanauma Bay

We didn’t wait long to get our tickets but were then ushered into a small waiting area (interesting reading) before going in to see a 15 minute video. The video explains the history and rules of Haunama Bay. Once that is done you are headed down the hill to the beach.

Hanauma Bay

There is a rental stand where you can get snorkeling gear (fins and mask) for $12. They also have other items for rent at an extra cost. If you remember, bring a water camera (sorry I forgot, so no pics of the awesome fish).

Bay looks beautiful on a sunny day

The beach is quite large with multiple lifeguards on duty (they also keep an eye out for people walking on the coral, a big no-no).

Fairly large number of crowd that day

The water is really shallow on the inside parts of the corral and no waves. It was very rocky though, so definately bring your swim shoes. If you go down the beach a bit, you can find a portion where you can go through to the outer ocean. Here you will find a little choppy water, but amazing amounts of fish (someone even said they saw a sea turtle on the outer side, unfortunately we did not see any).

Standing in front of the blue-turqoise waters of Hanauma Bay

Being a bit of a wimp, we only snorkled for about 2 hours before I started to feel sea-sick. So we headed back to the beach. Once you are ready to go, the walk back up to the parking area can be a bit tough. I just stopped and took lots of pictures along the way. There is a tram option for $1.25, but then you miss all the great pics.

We were exhausted with all the activities and headed back to Holiday Inn and after checking out we checked into the Sheraton Waikiki.

We really wanted to do a Luau, so after speaking to the Expedia rep at the Holliday Inn, the day before, about the various ones offered on the island, we chose the Chief’s Luau. Though not actually on a beach, it is up on a hill overlooking the ocean, inside the Sea Life Park, not very far from Waikiki.

At the Luau in front of the pit

After entering, you are given a Lei and then given the opportunity to walk around. One of the area’s allowed us to weave our own headband from a palm leaf.

What a way to photobomb !! Moron 🙂

To get everyone into the spirit, they had all the ladies gather to learn a Hula dance.

Alas learning how to do the hula dance is no joke !!

We then picked up our one complimentary Mai Tai and headed back to our seat to wait for the show to get started.

Danny was having a great time at the Luau

Something missing from the picture. yes my drink !!

I love me some Mai Tai !!

The show started with the Chief announcing that they would be pulling the roasted pig out of the ground and for everyone to gather around the pit. He talked about how in their culture the men do all the cooking and explained how the cooking process works (all the while making very funny jokes).

Cooking the pig with banana leaves, river rocks and coal

That sure is heavy !!

After pulling the pig from the ground, the Chief announced it was time to go to the buffet to get our food.

The Luau Buffett

Everything tasted good except for the chicken and that purple custard looking stuff (I didn’t try the pork… sorry, not my thing), but don’t expect anything spectacular from this meal.

Counter-Clockwise from left: Sweet potato, Mahi-Mahi, Salmon ceviche (sort of), Salad, Teriyaki Chicken, Bread & fruits, ?custard

After everyone got back to their seats the show started out with some live music, jokes from the chief, and then the dancers came out.

Pretty dancers in pretty costumes

The finale is a spectacular show of fire dancing. They are quite talented!

What is a luau without some fire 🙂


Day 6:

Being the last day of our trip, we decided to just hang out at the hotel for most of the day.

Hanging out at the pool at the Sheraton Waikiki

The infinity pool at the Sheraton Waikiki is really nice

For lunch, we walked a little down the beach to the Shore Bird which is known for its $3 Happy Hour Mai Tais.

Lunch Menu @ Shorebird

Lunch Menu @ Shorebird

Hamburger @ Shorebird

Enjoying a Mai Tai at Shorebird

Before we knew, it was time to head for the airport :(. All in all, it was a very memorable trip for both of us sisters. I can’t wait to come back to Hawaii in the future and explore some of the other islands.


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