Today was our 4 hour tour with Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks which involved a 2.5 mile/4km kayak each way to the Mokulua islands. We woke up in good time for our tour but there was some faffing around on my part which led to a last minute rush. We were to be picked up at 8.20am in the driveway of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hotel. I thought seeing as I had planned the entire trip, flights, accommodation, activities etc that I could give Chris the simple task of checking roughly where this hotel was so we could take a nice direct route there. I repeated the hotel name to him slowly at least 3 times, to which he replied he had it sorted out and it was only a few minutes away.
This was good news as we had around 10 minutes to spare due to my battling with the hairbrush to make my hair behave this morning. We zipped out of the hotel and I trusted that Chris would lead us to the right place. I do have some issues letting someone else take control but it became apparent I had every right to be worried! After a few minutes we rocked up to the Sheraton Waikiki (completely different hotel) and Chris proudly announces we’re here! At this point it’s approximately 2 minutes before we need to be on the bus!
I gave him ‘the look’ and yelled at him, ‘SHERATON PRINCESS KAIULANI!!!!’. He just shot me a totally blank look as if he had never heard those words before! I wasn’t too impressed and sped over to the coffee shop to ask for directions. The guy there had no idea either so I raced off to the valet desk who thankfully told us it wasn’t too far away. We ran like our feet were on fire and got there a good few minutes late. We eventually found the meeting point and luckily the guy was still waiting for us – disaster averted.
He walked us over to a shuttle and we were on our way to Kailua. Our shuttle driver was a local guy from Oahu who was hilarious. He pointed out various sights along the way including Obama’s high school and told us stories and jokes the whole way there. He told us he had thirteen children including two sets of twins, crazy! It seems in Hawaii most people have fairly big families – our guide on the photo tour in Kauai was also one of 11.
We arrived at the store and were introduced to our guide for the day, Keala. On our tour it was me and Chris along with two Taiwanese girls. We locked our stuff away, putting stuff we wanted to take with us into dry bags and then watched an information video on the basics of kayaking etc. My only previous experience of kayaking was when I had a go during a summer working at an American summer camp in Maine. All I accomplished there was twirling around in circles and capsizing so I was feeling a bit nervous and planning to rely heavily on Chris!
We had to wheel our kayaks down to Kailua beach which was the launch zone. This was a little tricky as due to a Hawaiian law they cannot start the tour from the beach, so you have to manoeuvre it down a bike path, into the river and down into the sea by yourself. It was fairly straight forward though and before long we were into our kayaks and ready to go.
On our way out to the island we were against the wind which made it quite hard work! I felt sorry for the two Taiwanese girls as they were really struggling to keep up. I know if I was with a friend instead of Chris I would have been right back there with them and out of breath! It wasn’t exactly painful to do but was tiring as you couldn’t stop for too long or the wind would push you backwards and you wouldn’t be getting anywhere!
It was so pretty on the way out with super turquoise water and nobody else really around except some turtles bobbing about in the ocean with us. It probably took us just under an hour to get out to the island with a few stops to wait for the girls to catch us up. We arrived and the trickiest part for me was getting out of the kayak at the right time before getting slapped by a wave. They were small waves but still powerful when knocking into the kayak which in turn then wipes you out! After some clumsiness on my part we were on the island and pulled our kayaks up onto the sand.
At this point I realised I had a big blonde moment before we left and forgot to put any sun lotion on my legs! We jumped straight into the sea with our lifejackets on and just lay there floating to relax and recover from all the paddling. We came out and dried off before Keala gave us a little tour of the island. It is a sea bird sanctuary and we saw from a distance some of the fuzzy babies and Mumma birds in their little holes. We did some exploring and climbed over some rocks to see the other side.
The waves were crashing down which was fun to watch. On the left hand side were some tide pools including a big one which was supposedly lucky so we all went for a dip in there. Chris managed to gash his toe on the way in and I narrowly missed a sea urchin on the way out, so water shoes may be beneficial here! We had a play around in there for a while, the water was insanely salty, even more so than the rest of the sea.
Once we were done splashing around and exploring we ate lunch on the beach – turkey subs with crisps and fruit. I noticed at this point my legs were really frying to I tried to overload with sun lotion for the return trip. As we were such a small group Keala offered to take us to Lanikai beach to snorkel and we could get the later bus back to Waikiki. This sounded good to us and was a beach I really wanted to see.
We kayaked over there which was about halfway between the island and Kailua beach. The winds were on our side this time so it was a lot easier and more turtles were around. This beach really reminded me of Coral Island in Thailand with its super fine white sand and bright blue water. We snorkelled for a while and there seemed to be much more coral than on Kauai. I was a little nervous doing it without flippers as I didn’t want to accidentally touch the coral. The masks they supplied kept fogging up but the visibility in the water itself was so clear. We hung around on the beach for a bit watching some dogs frolic in the water before hopping back into the kayaks to head back to Kailua.
It was relatively plain sailing from here and we headed back via the river and bike path again. The trickiest part was getting our kayaks back on their wheelie things to pull them along. The Taiwanese girls were struggling too so Chris sorted theirs and we were on our way. We had a rinse off and got changed before nipping next door for some shave ice. The place was called Island Snow and the cheapest one we had seen so far, but they didn’t have mac nut ice cream! The ice was fairly good but the lemon lime was a bit too overpowering for me. I decided to try it with a snow cap too which was different – I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not!
The guy picking us up was running late so we browsed the store for a bit and bought an Otter Box. With the discount for being on their tour plus the American prices it was substantially cheaper than the one I had been contemplating on Amazon at home. Finally our lift arrived and we were on our way back. It seemed to take forever so we must have hit the end of rush hour. This wasn’t a problem though as we all had a nice chat on the bus about travel and the various places we had all been.
Eventually we got dropped off at around 6.30 and got ready for dinner. My hair had dried into surprisingly OK beachy waves so we just headed straight out as we had a feeling it would be busy again. Originally we thought we would head to the Cheesecake Factory (I am a big fan) but the wait was 1.5 hours – what is with all the super long waits for dinner just about everywhere in Waikiki?! We were too hungry to justify that wait and still hadn’t properly got our bearings so decided to check out California Pizza Kitchen as we had never been to one before.
Their wait was a bit more reasonable (15-20mins) which was fine as the buzzer was still in range while we browsed the shops on the floor below. My legs were now looking very lobster like and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Before long our buzzer was going off and we were shown to our table. We had the chicken and avocado egg rolls appetiser to share which was a lot bigger than I expected and very good. For mains I had a hoisin duck pizza and Chris had a jerk chicken pizza.
My pizza came with chillies on the side which I generously sprinkled all over it. I generally have quite a high spice tolerance but these chillies were something else. I was happily munching away on my pizza and then all of a sudden it hit me like a blow torch was blasting on my lips! For some reason the inside of my mouth was less sensitive but my lips felt like they were on fire and were burning up! I mentioned it to Chris, removed the rest of the chillies and tried to shake it off and carry on.
We finished our food, got the check and I nipped to the bathroom. I saw my reflection in the mirror and couldn’t believe it – I looked like a botox queen, and a low end one at that! My lips had swollen and gone bright red. I had to laugh at myself because they felt like they were buzzing! When I came back I told Chris, he found it hilarious and we continued on our way to do a spot of shopping. He caught sight of my lips a few moments later and had a giggle as he could see how red and swollen they were. I was definitely more aware of those Hawaiian chillies from then on!
I dragged Chris into Victoria’s Secret (I love the uncomfortable look on his face every time) and stocked up on a few bags full of underwear before heading back to the hotel via Roxy and Macy’s. Macy’s had a 20% off promotion for foreign visitors so we both bought a few bits and then retired back to the room, munching some chocolate from home before we fell asleep.