On my first trip to Hawaii, my very favorite stop was Hanauma Bay. I remember vividly how amazing I thought it was to look down from the cliff side and see the coral that covered the ocean floor. I wanted to make sure that my family got to see that same view.
We spent a big portion of the afternoon here and enjoyed our time so much. My boys got to do their first round of snorkeling and I even got to spend some time doing it too!
With Emma being too small to understand snorkeling, we spent a lot of time playing in the sand and wading in the water. Check out my girl's imagination at work as she channels her inner mermaid.
Once we were all finished in the Waikiki area, we headed to our next stop at the North Shore, getting to see sunset as we drove. We took a few stops along the way to awe at all that God made. I am truly left speechless so often by the beauty He creates.
The weather the next day wasn't quite as sunny and magical as our first couple of days. Something we were not prepared for was the difference in Waikiki and the North Shore, specifically the massive waves and rocks that lined many of the beaches there (something to be expected for the time of year we were visiting). The waves were easily 20 feet or higher most days and with signs posted all over, swimming wasn't an option. So my husband made sure to at least take our girl for walks on the beach and I made sure to catch it.
Not being natives to the area, we didn't know about various things to watch out for. At the sunset stop on the way in, we returned to our car with shoes covered in biting ants. After the first morning on the beach, we learned that sea urchins had been spotted on the beach (and Googled to find out what they looked like). And if you look closely, you'll see where I unknowingly caught our girl right after we believe she got stung by a Portuguese man o' war (more on that to come in the next post).
With a cloudy and rainy day in store for our first day in the North Shore, we made sure to take it easy, catch up on homework and laundry (yep, boring stuff still has to be done in paradise), and do a little exploring. My crew made a stop at Shark's Cove (that last shot above), and my pictures stopped there for the day when our girl took a misstep and sliced open her ankle on some lava rocks. Definitely not her day, but we made sure to get her checked out and bandaged up and it didn't stop us from still having tons of fun as the trip unfolded.
I'm excited to share more of our adventures soon! I sometimes turn on ocean waves sounds, close my eyes and can imagine I am still there; my hope is that you might too.
Until next time,