Friday, March 18, 2016

Whale of a Time

Dan's parents came out for Gwen's blessing last month.  We had a great time taking them to some of our favorite spots and a few new ones too!

We went to see the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  The Memorial straddles the sunken hull of the battleship, inside of which over 1,102 sailors and marines are forever interred. The Arizona has rested on the bottom of the shallow Pearl Harbor ever since the Japanese attack December 7, 1941.  It is accessible only by ferry boat.  I would say that if you are visiting Oahu, it is definitely worth the trip to come and pay your respects to these brave men, and the many other brave men who lost their lives that day.  And to remember the men who lived on to fight in that war, and those who defend this country today.

You can see the sheen of the oil still leaking up from the ship.

Names of the fallen servicemen.  The names on the flower box in the lower right corner are those who served on the ship and survived the war, but chose to have their ashes put in the ship after their deaths.

Coral and creatures growing on the ship.

The weather was absolutely perfect while Dave and Carrie were here.  Now, this is Hawaii, so the weather is usually pretty nice, but it was the clearest it has been since we moved here.  This made the day we went whale watching near perfect.  We could see forever--we actually could see out to another island (I think Lanai??)  The water was also so very calm; it was so still and smooth, which made it much easier to spot whales. And spot them we did! The humpback whales come down from Alaska every year.  The best time to see them is between December and May, when they migrate here to have their babies in the warm waters.
We were lucky enough to see a couple whales having a splash competition.  Two whales decided to give us a finale at the end of our cruise and started breeching (jumping completely out of the water), multiple times.  The tour guide was just as excited as us.  I think she said something like, "THIS NEVER HAPPENS!!"  It was awesome.

That hill in the distance is where we live!



Whale tail center, and kayaker to the left.  They were so close it was making me nervous!



Diamondhead to the left, Koko Head in the distance towards the center.



Bird with Koko Head in the background.

Humpback of a humpback whale!

Splash from a breecher.

They were so far out, my camera was having trouble focusing.  This was the least blurry I could get. :(

Carrie on the lookout.


I instagrammed this already, but thanks to my father-in-law for the awesome shot!

Proof Gwen was with us for this trip!

Tuesday we drove up the windward coast.  That side of the island is lush and green--exactly what you picture when you think of a tropical island.  The highway also drives right along the coastline, making for some pretty spectacular views.  We hopped out at Chinaman's Hat for some pictures, and then stopped at the Laie LDS Temple, as well as one of our favorite restaurants, North Shore Tacos! We finished out our day (and evening) at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Chinaman's Hat

Palm trees and sunshine

Debate rages in our family about if this mountain is in Lost. ;)

Laie Temple

Pineapple Drink!

At the canoe show at Polynesian Cultural Center.
We tried to pack in as much as we could into their last day.  We headed up to Pali Lookout, then to Lanikai Beach (our very favorite!), and finished off with a hike to the Makapu'u Lighthouse.  I have blogged about the Pali Lookout before, but this time it was so perfectly clear, it was like a whole new view!  Lanikai never disappoints.  Dave and Carrie aren't really "beach people" and even they said they enjoyed it. (But maybe they were just being nice since we were raving about it. ;))  This was our first time hiking Makapu'u and it. was. awesome.  Ever since we moved here I feel like people have been talking about how you can see whales on this hike.  I figured we'd see a couple in the distance and that would be that.  NO. IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER!! We saw multiple pods of whales, some with babies (!), and the best was watching two whales have a conversation (that was our theory anyway) by splashing their fins at each other.  They were so close, you could hear the echoes of their smacks off the cliffs.  And to top it all off, we also saw a sea turtle.  Basically this was one of my favorite days since we moved here.  And that is saying something!

View from Pali.  That tiny island off the coast is Chinaman's Hat.

View of Kaneohe Bay.

Another possible Lost mountain...

My favorite peak at Pali. If you look closely you can see a couple hikers.

Dan recently hiked to that satellite dish.

My children don't believe in looking at the camera.

My and Jujubee's sand castle.

...I didn't get the greatest pictures of our beach day, but I have some really awesome ones of Lanikai coming in my next post. <3 p="">
This side of the island is drier.

You can see another of the islands in the distance.  It's either Lanai or Molokai; we could see both, just can't remember which this is.

A boat and some whales!

Koko Head.

Dave and Dan making me nervous as they peer over the edge.  (Gwen was strapped to Dan, elevating my anxiety levels. ;))

I will never get over the shades of blue.

Sea turtle!

Crashing waves and tide pools.

One of the tail smackers in action.  It looked like he was waving hello to us.

Can't remember if this is a different angle of the same whale, or if it's the other whale that was slapping around down there.

Oh yeah, there's a lighthouse on this trail. It's only named after it! You can hike down to the lighthouse too, but as you can see the trail is very narrow/on the edge of cliff, and therefore not very child friendly. :)

London checking out the lighthouse.

View from the top.

Thanks to Dave and Carrie for the wonderful memories.  Can't wait for you to come back!

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