So several months ago (probably September or October of 2010), Rick and I decided that we needed a vacation. After several emails back and forth, we eventually decided on a trip to Hawaii. Initially, a third body was to join us, but sadly they weren’t able to make it. Undeterred, Rick and I set to making our adventure in Hawaii a success. And by this, I mean we booked flights, secured a house rental on the Big Island (via Craigslist no less), and reserved our hotel in Waikiki. The plan was to spend 2 weeks tanning, hiking, mountain climbing, cave exploring, snorkeling, etc. Basically, we wanted to pack as much adventure as possible into our trip.
Since Rick was leaving from Calgary and I from Toronto, our first successful mission was to time our flights accordingly. We met in San Francisco on the 14th of January, and then proceeded to be ‘those guys’ on the plane on our way to Hawaii. While everyone else slept, we chatted. And chatted. And laughed. And basically were obnoxious I’m sure, to all those who were attempting to sleep. To our fellow passengers – we are sorry. Sort of. Not really. We were just too damned excited to sleep.
After arriving, we stayed one night in Oahu before intending to make it to the Big Island on Saturday the 15th. Somehow this is where things took a slight turn from the minimal plans we had made. NOTE: Never plan a vacation, just let it happen. Seriously. In this case, our plan was to board a plane to the Big Island so we could pick up our car rental and make our way to the house we had rented. But we read our itinerary incorrectly. We checked in when the flight was taking off. Because we are clearly so full of awesome, time means nothing to us. Thankfully, both Rick and I live by the ‘whatever’ rule. We simply chatted with the agent who offered us seats on a later flight for a small $20 fee. AWESOME. So we used our time to explore a bit of Oahu – specifically the flea market at Oahu stadium (mostly touristy bric-a-brac, but they also had some delicious coffee and coconut milk).
On arrival to the Big Island, Rick and I made our way to the car rental agency. A very nice girl behind the counter chatted to us about the car we had rented, asked if we wanted an upgrade (no – too pricey), and then, because we were hilarious, stupid, awesome, or perhaps too cute for her to handle (I’m sure *this* is the case), she upgraded us from the Chevy Aveo we had reserved, to a Ford convertible Mustang. A black Mustang; which is for those unaware, the fastest of the cars (as is my understanding of cars).
Leaving the airport in our fancy pants new car, we giggled – literally – about the ridiculous-ness of all the things that had occurred, and wondered about what adventure awaited us. In short time, we found our rental home; about 40 minutes from the airport along some scenic highway and such (which we didn’t really get to enjoy until the following morning when the sun returned). The house was, without exaggeration, freaking amazing. For those thinking of a Hawaiian getaway – seriously consider this place (http://www.hawaiioceanhome.com/). You shan’t be disappointed.
Being the nerds that we are, we decided a list of things to do would be appropriate for our trip. Actually, we should probably refer to the list of things to do as Dan & Rick’s List-o-Awesomeness, because it is our list and it is AWESOME. Of course, the List-o-Awesomeness was created not as a set of ‘must do’ items but as a guide. Being open to anything and all things, we wouldn’t want our trip to be ruled by a list. And it hasn’t been. While I won’t go into detail about each and every one of our list items, here they are in no particular order.
As of January 24th, we had completed 24 of the 40 items. Not bad!
UPDATE: As of January 27th, we had completed 29 of the 40 items.
UPDATE: As of January 29th, we had completed 32 of the 40 items. And 80% isn’t too bad for one vacation.
Our List-o-Awesomeness follows:
Hike the lava fields Helicopter tour of the Big Island
- Go ocean kayaking
Snorkel or Scuba Complete Lorna’s picture challenge (a naked shot with a pineapple) Complete Beth’s picture challenge (disobey signage) Complete Manon’s picture challenge (naked jump shot into the ocean)*UPDATE* We had to slightly alter this one due to the presence of minors in the general vicinity of the photo shoot. Hike the lava tubes Hike Mauna Kea to the observatories Visit Lava Tree National Park Visit a black sand beach Visit Aloha stadium Miss our flight to Hilo (clearly added to the list after the fact) Watch the sun rise over the ocean Watch the sun set over the ocean Try Poi Hike the Kilauea Caldera crater
- Go whale watching
- Go sea turtle watching
Explore the Kaumana caves
- Visit Mackenzie Park (Big Island)
Visit the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Do a coffee or macadamia tour
- Go to a pineapple plantation
Attend a luau (Oahu)*UPDATE* We’ve decided that since I’ve already been to a luau on my last visit to Hawaii AND since the food at Ono Hawaiian Foods was far better than the food I had at the luau, that this could be crossed off based on our feast. Visit Waipi’o valley (Big Island)
- Visit Pearl Harbour (Oahu)
Hike Diamond Head Go to the North Shore (Oahu) Get as many corpse poses as possible Get as many jump shots as possible Eat as much pineapple as possible
- Try pineapple wine
Hike koko crater Visit Coconut Island (Big Island) Tour any falls on the Big Island
- Cage dive with Sharks
Visit Honoka’a & Hamakua Coast (Big Island) Drink wine on the beach Skydive
Future trip updates may describe some of these adventures. Or they may describe other awesomeness that we encounter. Which we tend to encounter a lot. You’ve been duly warned.