Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 8 - Hanauma Bay and Shopping

Today was bittersweet. Even though we still have until Saturday evening, we had to check out of the timeshare today and move to a different hotel. We got up fairly early, ate breakfast, finished packing, checked out and headed into town. Our hotel for the night was the Holiday Inn Beachcomber. Since we were going on a snorkeling tour this afternoon, we wanted to stop by the hotel and at least drop our luggage off.

When we got to the hotel, I ran up to the lobby and luck was on our side. Our room was ready. I checked in and then we went to the valet area to park the car and unload the luggage. The whole process was quick and easy. They even gave the kids some drawstring backpacks. Very impressed so far. The room was nice, but nothing compared to the timeshare. Good thing it was only for one night.

After getting settled a little bit, we grabbed our beach gear and walked to the pick-up location for our Hanauma Bay snorkeling adventure. We were a little worried about whether we were in the right spot or not because there was no sign and we didn’t see anyone else who looked like they may be waiting for the same thing, but right on time the bus pulled up.

The bus ride out was about 30 minutes but along the way we got some history of the island and got shown Keanu Reeves’ house (at least that is what the bus driver said anyway). We stopped just outside the bay so that everyone could get snorkels and fins and then we headed in and were dropped off.

We got our tickets for entry and the time for our video. They are trying to preserve the area so everyone has to watch a 15 minute video before being allowed down to the beach and in the water. After the video we headed down the fairly steep path and then found a spot on the beach.

Dalton and I were the first two to get to snorkel. We headed into the water and once again, it was too cold for me. But, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance so I just dealt with it and got in. This was also the first time we would attempt to use our new underwater digital camera. Yes, it was supposed to be waterproof. I say that, because the first time I put it under water and tried to turn it on to take a picture, all I saw was a black screen. I came up out of the water and the same thing. I took it back and gave it to Joel and Dalton and I snorkeled for a little while. We saw a few fish but his mask kept leaking so I told him we needed to let Joel and Madison have their turn while we fixed his mask. We headed back to shore where I found out the waterproof camera wasn’t so waterproof. The bad part was that we had taken pictures on the catamaran and at the falls with it as well, so we are hoping the memory card is not ruined.

Joel and Madison got in the water for their turn. They weren’t gone very long before they headed back to shore as well. Somehow, Joel’s snorkel had come loose from his mask and was gone. Madison wasn’t done snorkeling so I got in the water and went back out with her. We didn’t really realize how far out we had gone until we saw the caution buoys, but we did see a lot more fish out there. We didn’t want to go too much further and the water got colder the further out you were, so we were both ready to come back in.

The rest of the afternoon was like this. Two of us would go out for a little bit and then come back and let two more go. The area was pretty, but every now and then a very strong wind would blow the sand and it felt like you were being sandblasted. It hurt. By 3:00 we were ready to head back to the top and catch our 3:15 shuttle bus back to the hotel.

Once back at the hotel we all showered and got dressed so that we could go eat. There was a Jimmy Buffet Restaurant in the bottom of the hotel and we had decided to eat there. Yes, pricey. No, not original. Yes, easy and fairly quick.

After dinner and our free desert (we had a coupon), we headed up and down the street to finish up some last minute shopping. We also headed into the International Market. When we saw the henna tattoos, we wished we had gone in there earlier. The kids and I all would have gotten them. Oh well.

After shopping it was back to the hotel to make sure everything was packed for the flight home. Then we all read until bedtime.

No comments: