Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 4 - Diamondhead, North Shore, Dole Plantation and the Beach

Since we didn’t climb Diamondhead yesterday we decided to get up early this morning and be there at 6am when the park opened. We arrived right on schedule. The only bad part was that a tour bus arrived just before we did and that created a little back-up at the beginning.

Joel and I both wore our vibrams for the hike and that turned out to be a good decision. Most of the path is fairly smooth and the vibrams gave good traction.

I had wanted to see how fast we could climb up, but with the tour bus folks in front of us it was impossible to go real fast. We passed them when we could but at times that wasn’t possible, especially going up the 3 sets of stairs at the top.

You climb to the top in 0.8 miles so there are some sections that are fairly steep. I was actually amazed at how easy the hike felt to me when so many around us were really winded. We did see a few runners who come there for their hill workout. Let me tell you, that is a great workout if you are running.

When we got to the top we took our share of pictures and then started the decent.

Madison had complained that I was going too fast on the way up, yet she was the one going real fast on the descent. Going down in the vibrams was a little tougher for me because you had to pay a lot more attention to where you put your feet. Because of this Madison and Dalton got a little ways ahead of us. However, when I reached the smooth trail at the bottom I started running. When I was close to catching them they realized I was behind them and they took off running!

Overall I’d say we hiked for about 40 minutes. It was a great way to start the morning.

The next thing on the agenda was to find the Go Oahu Card office and swipe our cards for the Luau tonight. That didn’t take long and then we were on our way to the Dole Plantation.

We arrived at the Dole plantation about an hour before they opened so we decided to drive north and see if we could make it to the north shore or not. We came to the town of Haleiwa and decided to stop at the beach there and take a few pictures. It was really pretty and I can’t wait to explore more of the north shore later in the week.

We drove back to the Dole Plantation and arrived just as things were opening up. We walked around a little bit and then got our tickets to the maze. We planned on finding all 8 of the secret stations, but after finding 3 of them fairly easy and then taking forever and still not finding the fourth, we decided we had had enough of the maze and were ready to go. We stopped inside the store and split a macadamia nut cookie and a pineapple whip before heading back to the resort.

Once back at the resort it was time to eat lunch and get ready to hit the beach for the rest of the afternoon. We just stayed at the beach at the resort. Madison and Dalton found some little kids to play with and helped them build sandcastles. It was a very relaxing afternoon.

We all came inside and got ready for the Luau. It only took us about 15 minutes to get there. When we got there the entertainers were walking about in the crowd. One of Madison’s friends had told her to get a picture with a cute Hawaiian guy while she was here. Madison was planning on doing that while on Waikiki Beach, but when she saw one of the entertainers she decided THIS was THE PLACE for that picture. Dalton even found him a little hula girl.

The show began by the uncovering of the pig from being cooked in the pit in the ground. The ceremony for that was short thank goodness. Then it was time to eat. Since we had kids we got to be one of the first to go through the line. Madison and Dalton tried almost everything. There wasn’t much I could eat on the menu but I got what I could, including some delicious Hawaiian rolls.

Once everyone had been through the line the show began. It was pretty neat because they showcased some of the dances from the various influences – Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand and Samoa. They even had a guy perform a fireknife dance. Dalton was impressed with that. It was a pretty neat show.

After the Luau we headed back to the resort and to bed.

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