It has been a whirlwind few weeks! And smack dab in the middle was the Hapalua Half Marathon!
After we returned from the Mainland (cats are still doing well at the cat hotel — we check in on them daily via webcam — I know, we are cat nerds…), we rented a car for the week. The hubby does not want to waste the rent of the car by letting it sit parked for more than overnight, so we did a *lot* of sightseeing… and then, after a couple days rest, we rented a car again!
Manoa Falls, just up the street from our place and a hidden gem. The hike is steep and somewhat slippery, but it’s rainforest lush and the reward at the top is a beautiful waterfall.
We took a ride on the Atlantis Submarine and splurged for the premier sub with the giant windows. It was a delightful ride past 3 manmade reefs, two sunken ships and a sunken airplane (all deliberately put there to create artificial reefs for the Atlantis company — no-one was hurt in the sinking)
We saw schools of fish, a couple manta rays, a group of puffer fish and this graceful honu who hung around one of the sunken ships to our delight. Since we were more than 100ft down, it was difficult to see colors other than blue — which makes picture-taking challenging. Our only complaint about the submarine ride was that it was too short! Only 45 minutes at depth. I could have easily spent 2 or more hours watching all the variety of life at the bottom of the bay!
We went back to Hanauma Bay twice! And each time we saw tons of tangs, parrotfish, sea urchins, spotted puffer fish, triggerfish of 3 varieties (including the state fish, humuhumunukunukupua’a) and a sea turtle! Hubby saw an octopus, but I missed it. I saw a moray eel and he missed that.
There is nothing better after a full morning of snorkelling than shave ice, a Hawaiian specialty. We found Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha Shave Ice through TripAdvisor, and were not disappointed. The ice is truly snow-like (not granular like a snocone); they make all their syrups in-house, and the toppings are super-fresh. Picture here is a Mango-Passionfruit Shave Ice with pineapple topping. We met Uncle Clay himself after our second visit — and he is full of joy, pride in shave ice and pure aloha!
And there was a day devoted to taxes in there somewhere…
Then, on Sunday, April 19th, at 5:00am, Hubby drove me down to Waikiki and I walked to Duke Kahanamoku’s statue for the start of the 3rd Annual Hapalua Half Marathon.
Then we were off!
After the first thousand runners or so went by, us walkers started out. I quickly fell into pace with a couple from Hilo who did lots of half marathons, including one in Las Vegas and one in Portland last year. However, when I needed a pitstop at mile 4, they decided to pick up their pace and I found a slower walking buddy. And for the next 9 miles, I got to know Carol from Arizona as we plodded down Ala Moana Blvd, back to Kalakaua Ave, down Monserratt and up Diamondhead Drive and back to Kapiolani Park for the finish. As some of the slower walkers, we witnessed the take-down of the bands just before we arrived (so we never heard any of the music along the course) and also missed water stations because they were taken down early, too. But the first aid station at Mile 11 was still open and had ample water and well-stocked porta-pots. And then the last 2 miles were some of the most scenic I’ve ever walked — Diamondhead on the right and the ocean on the left. Stunning! The last mile was just a matter of willpower. But we made it! 4:42:43. Less than 5 hours and way less than my goal of finishing in under 6 hours!
Fortunately, although the bands were all finished, the malasada booth was not! And we chowed down on fresh malasadas made on-site! And then the rains started pouring so we went home.
And after a quick lunch with lots of fluid replacement, some ice on the feet and a well-deserved shower, it was time for my ukelele recital at the Manoa School of Music and Art. Most of the other students were in grade school, but there were 2 other adult students in the performance. Despite the informal crowd, I was nervous, but managed to remember both my song (Hanalei Moon) and the chords. Everything fell into place and the music just floated.
In the week since Super Sunday, we have been to Chinatown…
Foster Botanical Garden:
and snorkeling in the lagoons at Ko’Olina.
The beaches at Ko’Olina are all public and free. There is limited free parking, but with the holiday and the LPGA golf tournament at the Marriott, we ended up parking at the Disney Aulani parking garage. We spent the afternoon snorkeling in a manmade lagoon with perfect, calm water, then rinsed off and decided to splurge for dinner at the Aulani. There was no pressure to buy anything (except $30 worth of food or gifts in order to get free parking) and in fact, other than the Stitch statue, and the giant volcano waterslide, it was hard to tell it was a Disney resort…. it definitely doesn’t look like Disneyland! After our dinner, we strolled down to the beach to watch the sun set, our first in Hawaii! (A clear view of the western horizon is blocked by mountains in Manoa).
And tomorrow! I get to climb trees at the Wahine Tree Climbing workshop which was postponed due to gale force winds last month.
I may not be losing weight (in fact, the scale back home told me that I’d gained 10lbs in February and March), but we are active and I feel stronger. And I finished a half marathon! 13.1 miles! My feet were sore for a day, but other than that, I had no aches or pains due to walking that distance! Now that’s fitness in my book!