We are staying in a house about a mile from a beautiful, huge stretch of beach, some cute little shops, and best of all, not in a super touristy area (like Waikiki).
So far my Hawaiian experience has been great. We’ve gone to the beach a few days, gone to a farmers market, gone on a hike (more on that later), and even running has been incredible.
Lets start with the weather. The place I’m staying has no AC. That’s only been a problem a few nights when my sunburn (regrettable…more on that later too) was making me hotter than normal which made it hard to sleep. But with the way I burned, it would have been hard to sleep anyway. So, in short, the weather is fantastic. It gets down in the 70s at night and up in the 80s during the day. It gets a little hot and muggy after it rains, but other than that the weather is very pleasant. Perfect, almost.
Now, on to the hike.
So we were planning on doing the pillbox hike but the weather looked dicey so we chose to do a lighthouse hike (which is paved and in a different area).
Okay, so there are these things all over O’ahu called “pillboxes”. They’re these little concrete structures that were lookout stations during World War II, but they kind of look like little pill boxes. So that’s what they’re called now. And they are all over the island on the hills and mountains (which makes sense, they were meant to help look out for Japanese planes/ships/etc.).
A pillbox on the top of the mountain.
So we went to what was called the “lighthouse hike” because there is a lighthouse on the side of the mountain that you can see. The hike is actually called “Makapu’u Head” which is the eastern most point on the island.
There are actually three hikes. One is actually an abandoned road (called Ka’iwi) that goes almost to the top of the mountain. It’s about a mile and a quarter up to the top, but it’s paved and has a gentle rise. We took a five-year old and he was fine. And we saw plenty of people with strollers. That’s the first, most common, hike. The second is one that takes you all the way to the very top
of the mountain where there are more WW2 bunkers and another pillbox (there are several on the mountain). This was not for little kids, it’s more of a hike, unpaved, and requires climbing. Not major climbing, mind you, the stones almost make “stairs”, but it’s not just like going up the stairs in your house. The last part is Ka’iwi Shoreline. It’s a nice, flat walk that leads you to a nice little beach and some rocky areas. And all of it is absolutely gorgeous.
This was great because I got to do the trail at the top, and everyone in our party got to do the road and the trail to the beach. According to fitbit, I did 4.2 miles that day, which is about right, considering the road trail is 2.5 miles on it’s own, then we did the Ka’iwi shore and I climbed to the top of the mountain. This was all in a town called Waimanalo (pronounced like “why man aloe”), which is pretty close to Kailua (which, in Hawaii, everything is “pretty close” compared to life on the mainland…)
On to the burn.
I am descended from a long line of Irish folks. Pale, creamy white Irish folks. Equatorial sun and I do not mix well. And me, being the hippie that I am, I decided to use organic sunscreen. I bought this organic 30 SPF thinking that if I applied it more frequently it would be just as effective as the 50-70 SPF range that is not organic. I tried it out at a pool at home in southeastern VA. 2 hours and not a bit of sun. So I pack the sunscreen, thinking, if I re-apply every hour I can use this and not put weird chemicals on my body. (the clean eating is slowly expanded into trying to be clean and organic everything). I dutifully re-applied my sunscreen. I wore a hat.
I got completely burnt on my chest, back, and shoulders.
Thank goodness it was early in the vacation, which means I don’t have to ride in a plane with crazy sunburn AND I’m in a wedding with a strapless dress two days after we get back from Hawaii.
So now I have some really nice burn lines that need to do something about for the wedding I’m in. It’s only in…oh, a week.
That’s it for now. We leave tomorrow (SO SAD!) but I have lots more to tell later.