The flight was not nearly as bad as I anticipated. We left from the New Orleans airport at 5am and flew for 11 hours total including 2 lay overs. To occupy myself on the flight I watched a non stop marathon of PLL and took frequent naps! My eye mask and ear phones were a life saver! I think the sleep I got on the plane helped substantially with any jet lag I had anticipated to have once we reached Oahu! Overall the flight was really not bad. I am somewhat of a bad flyer. I hate taking off and landing...and being in the air...basically I'm not a fan of flying. The 11 hour journey was well worth the dry skin and limited leg room as soon as we made our approach to Oahu! As the clouds broke and we got our first glimpse of the glistening turquoise waters below! Exhaustion quickly turned to anticipation and overwhelming excitement! We had made it! The Oahu experience we dreamed of and planned for was ours for the taking!
Going into the trip I knew I wanted to soak in everything Oahu had to offer! I told myself to be open to fully embracing everything authentic and genuine in Oahu. I knew this would involve adventure and a willingness to try new things. I am a "play it safe" person by nature. I usually always have my guard up and try to examine each situation for "safety" and risk factors. Oahu is basically a giant playground! Adventure is around every corner, yours for the taking if you are brave enough and aware enough to grab it!
The first few days in Hawaii were full speed ahead! My husband rented a topless jeep to help get us around the island. This proved to be genius on his part because it gave us independence and mobility to explore the island daily on our own agenda! We are not huge fans of touristy type attractions, so it was nice to jump in the jeep and get out of Waikiki for daytime adventure. Before we leave Waikiki, let's talk about its pits and perks! Waikiki is beautiful and uniquely Hawaiian in its own way. We stayed at a resort on Waikiki with 2 of our best friends from church! The resort was beautiful and the staff was awesome! We enjoyed its centralized location to down town Waikiki. After a long day of adventure in other parts of Oahu we would go for late night walks downtown on the main strip in Waikiki! Here you will find high end retail shops and restaurants that are pretty standard to all "big cities". You will also find droves of tourist crowded walk paths and traffic like you would not believe. Waikiki needs to be experienced but was certainly not our favorite part of Oahu. The traffic proved to be a daily thorn in our side each time we left the resort to travel to other parts of the island.
Each day we would leave the hustle of Waikiki and drive to the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen! Along the drive we would jump out of the jeep and hike down to smaller beaches and cliffs that offered scenic views of lighthouses and giant waves crashing against volcanic rock! I can not put into words how it feels to be surrounded by such beauty. I would literally stand silent trying to take in every inch of scenery and then store it away in my memory like a photograph. I had never truly understood the expression " it took my breath away" until we drove to Kailua! Desperate to get in the water we chose an insanely gorgeous beach in Kailua to jump in. I have never seen the color blue used in its fullness until seeing the water at this beach! It glistened like a turquoise gem under the sun! In the distance there were the Twin Mokes and behind us were the sweetest residential homes. I found myself envious of the people who lived I those houses!
As previously stated I am a "play it safe" person by nature. Beyond my initial objection to danger I also have a pretty overwhelming fear of heights. That being said Waimea Bay has a 30ft volcanic rock that thrill seekers can clime to the top of and jump off into the blue aqua abyss below. I was determined to jump off this rock. So determined in fact that I refused to leave Oahu without doing it. On our 3rd day I came face to face with my fear as I climbed to the top of this giant rock. Weaving in and out of sharp rock and trying to hold on to the breath in my anxious lungs I finally reached the top. It offered a spectacular view of the beach below that I hardly noticed due to the overwhelming fear I was experiencing. My sweet husband guided me to the "jump off spot" and literally coached me through what we were about to do. When you have an objection to heights as strongly as I do you only process a few things ( this crazy guy is going to count to 3 and we are going to jump 30ft). 1-2-3-JUMP!! My trembling feet left the cliff of "safety" and fell through the air for what seemed like an hour before finally plummeting to the ocean floor! The victory I felt as I shot back up to the surface was overwhelming! I had accomplished something that I feared to my core! I did it and I have the pictures to prove it! Ha! As I walked safely back to my beach towel hand in hand with my husband I felt the satisfaction of defeating fear's grip! Waimea bay will always have a special place in my heart!
When we weren't risking our lives jumping off of cliffs in Waimea we also hiked to a beautiful waterfall in the Waimea Valley! A gorgeous 2 mile hike through the most beautiful lush foliage I have ever seen lead to a insanely gorgeous and cold waterfall! The reason I know it was cold...is because we got in it! We swam across the freezing water and felt the splash of the waterfall on our heads. We were told the area we were swimming in was between 30-40ft deep! I am so glad we did this as it has always been a bucket list goal of mine to swim in a waterfall!
Next week on Blonde Ambition Southern Tradition- North Shore, food trucks, snorkeling, helicopters, luaus, queens bath, and kayaking!