Updated: May 2020
Day 5 Hanauma Bay
One thing about waking up early in Hawaii is the sunrises. They are always beautiful no matter where you are on the island. The reason for waking up so early is to arrive at Hanauma Bay before 7am.
Waking up before 7am to arrive at this very popular touristy spot is almost a must if you want to avoid the crowds and the tour buses/groups. Arrive well before 9:30 am or right as the park opens at 6:30am. Also this place only allows a limited number of people a day, so the earlier you arrive you can get in to the place.
Tip: I rented my snorkeling gear from an off site place which ended up being cheaper than renting from the Hanauma Bay. Either option you go, nothing beats snorkeling at this place.
This place is a conservation site, so once we all paid admission at the entrance of the park, everyone in our group watched a video on the coral reef, what you can and cannot do while snorkeling, swimming or scuba diving in the reefs. Be aware, people are not going to follow the rules, and it will get frustrating at some point.
After a walk down the steep hill to the beach, we staked out a claim under a shady coconut tree to put our stuff. At this time there was not may people down on the beach, so I decided I need to get in the water and start snorkeling before it’s too late. I went out with both parents around a section of the coral reef. I am amazed at how you can just enter the water, lay on your belly, put your head in the water and see underwater! Now you can probably guess, this was my first time snorkeling. I saw huge fish swimming past me, huge coral, some creature stuck to the coral looking like a human brain, lots of species of coral, and yes you guessed it, sea turtles. Around 11:00am we decided it was time to go and have some lunch. At this point the beach and water had become very crowed. We all forked over money to ride the trolley back up the steep hill since no one in our group wanted to huff it up the steep hill.
We had lunch at the park’s picnic area that overlooked the beach and water. As soon as the food was unpacked, all the park’s feral chickens made a B-line toward us. As you see, no shame for a chicken.
Makapuu Point Lookout:
After a picnic lunch, we parked up and left to drive along winding coast highway back to Bellows Air Force Station. Along the way we stopped at the Makapuu Point Lookout. Oh my goodness this is a postcard perfect look out! The lookout towards the windward coast line, and the tropical blue water. This is a breath-taking view to see. There is a lighthouse by the same name on the side of the cliff. I would love to come back and hike up to see the place.
Buzze’s Steakhouse in Lanikia
This place is where Nana, and my cousin had gone to the last time Nana was there for vacation. The place has a beach theme to it, with seating inside and outside. The menu is very limited to steaks, seafood and salad. At first I could not find anything appealing except Teriyaki Chicken with rice. All meals come with the salad and fruit bar option. The favorite item at the salad bar was the mint cucumbers. My cousin raved about trying them and I have to say, they are pretty darn good! For desert my cousin and I split an Almond Joy cheese cake. OMGoodness! It tasted just like an Almond Joy bar! I would give the place an eight out of ten because even with the cool atmosphere, I think there needed to be a little more options on the menu for the steaks and seafood (I think this time the menu did not have any seafood on it).
Day 6: Beach, Golf & Lookouts
The next day we all just relaxed and stayed on the beach and surrounding areas of Bellows.
Playing Mini Golf:
One major event was mini golf or as I call it put-put-golf on the Bellows mini golf course. For an hour all of us played a fourteen hole mini golf. Now I would like to say the game became competitive and there was throwing golf clubs around, but my family is pretty tame when it comes to these kinds of things.
For we went around the course hitting brightly painted golf balls through, under and even over obstacles that represents each of the Hawaiian Islands. Oh dear, I’m bad at golf and not much better at mini golf either. There was no score being kept, but Nana had all of us beat.
Overall I had quit a good time laughing at myself trying to hit the ball into the hole. I know I will never be playing golf in the near future, and hope who ever I end up marrying will understand I should not be allowed on the “green” at all. I’m dangerous with a golf ball apparently.
Nu’uanu Pail Lookout:
After lunch Mom, Nana and I took a little trip up to Nu’uanu Pali Lookout in the Ko’olau Mountain range over tunnels of the Pali Highway. The lookout has a panoramic view of the Windward Coast, the Marine Base, Nu’uanu valley, and the spectacular view of the tropical blue water.
As you can see from the pictures, it is very windy up there with strong trade winds. At one point when taking a picture of where the old Pali highway use to be, there was a huge wind tunnel effect.
The rest of the day was spend relaxing on the beach getting a tan.