I figured I would come back to blogging with a bang! I recently went to Honolulu (island of O’ahu) for a short course, and I had plenty of extra time to explore, soak up some sun and eat the local cuisine. Here’s my travel summary:
The first day of my trip I went surfing. This was one of the biggest items on my bucket list, and it was everything I expected and more!
I actually managed to ride a few waves!
I only lasted an hour in the water, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t move my arms for a few days after. It was a serious workout.
I spent the next day basking in the sun for 6 straight hours. Apparently, I forgot what sun burn was, and boy was I reminded. Oh well, it was worth it. For dinner that night, charred and exhausted, my lab mates and I managed to find an amazing Korean restaurant close to our hotel. It’s called 678 Hawaii. The food was delicious. They cook all the meat at your table, and provide an endless supply of side dishes.
Monday- Wednesday I participated in a water modeling short course at the University of Hawaii. It was torture to sit inside, blue skies and sunshine taunting me, while I sat in an over air conditioned room on the computer. Putting the “I’m in Hawaii and wish I was outside” factor aside, the course was awesome, and I can’t wait to use more modeling in my future research.
Luckily, we finished early on Wednesday, and my lab mates and I were determined to hit the trails. We planned a hike to the Ka’au crater, one of the three craters on the island. Not only did this trail lead to an extinct volcanic crater (amazing), but it also passed three majestic waterfalls.
A good portion of the trail was equipped with ropes, to aid in near vertical climbing up rock faces. I’m scared of heights, and I’m not going to lie, there were sections of this hike that really freaked me out. One bad step, and you were done for. It was one of the most physically challenging hikes I’ve ever done, but it was also the best hike I’ve ever done. Two and a half hours later we reached the summit and feasted our eyes on the crater!
At the summit we were also treated with a breathtaking view of the ocean and Honolulu.
One and half hours later we made it back to the main road, feeling rather bad ass and exhausted! We had worked up quite the appetite hiking. My lab mate Tyson and I went to Roy’s in Waikiki for dinner. We drank martinis and Mai Tais, and ate our weight in butter fish and edamame.
I spent my last full day in Hawaii stand up paddle surfing at Kailua and Lanikai Beach. It was definitely different than regular surfing, but still a great workout. I was in paradise paddling, snorkeling and laying in the sun. I kept telling myself, “This can’t be real life,” but for Oprah and Shaq (both have houses on this beach), I guess it is!
By the end of Thursday, I was wiped out! After two days of heavy activity, I thought I deserved a treat, so I indulged in a good old American hamburger at the local Kaliua pub.
On Friday, I headed back to the mainland, and yesterday I drove back to Pennsylvania. Driving down I-80 east at sunset, I took this picture (I made sure no cars were around me, lol). It was a friendly reminder, that no matter where you are in the world, on a tropical island or an interstate, nature never ceases to take your breath away!