Thursday, October 4, 2007

Day Six- Snorkeling & Shopping

We awoke to more liquid sunshine and a double rainbow. We had our earliest morning start so far when we headed off to Hanauma Bay by 8:00 am. Formed by volcanoes, Hanauma Bay is a beautiful destination for snorkeling. Actually, all of Hawaii is formed by volcanoes, but it is much easier to see the old shape of the volcano in Hanauma Bay. We rented gear and snorkeled in the bay, all the while looking at tropical fish and coral reef. You can see in the picture above and to the right that there are some sandy bottom areas and then big pieces of reef to swim over and look down on. We didn't see any sea turtles, as we were told they skedaddled very early to avoid the crowds, but we saw quite a few varieties of fish. It was well worth the $5 admission fee and the rental of the equipment. We headed out by noon, just as it seemed the big crowds were coming in.

Michael had to run back out to his job site this afternoon, so that left ample time for a trip to Hilo Hattie's on the free trolley for me. Though we were out of the sun by noon, I still had too much for the day, so spending the afternoon in the sun was not an option. But Hilo Hattie's was waiting for me. I enjoyed the trolley ride out, as I got to look at the city and Waikiki beach more on the trolley ride. I was able to find myself a Hawaiian sundress and pick up all of the souvenirs that I needed at Hilo Hattie's. Plus, I found pineapple flavored dog bones for Austin and a light blue Hawaiian shirt for Elleigh May. (Blog to follow with Elleigh dressed up.)

We tried a completely new (to us) dinning experience tonight by going to Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese Charcoal BBQ. This is apparently a chain restaurant in Japan, but now a few cities in the United States have one- two of which are in Honolulu. Basically, we ordered our food raw and it was brought out for us cook ourselves over a built in grill in the middle of the table. Very fun! We ordered a complete dinner series so we wouldn't have to figure out the ordering ourselves. We had beef tongue, several kinds of steak, shrimp and scallops to grill over the charcoal. And for dessert, I had green tea ice cream and Michael had red bean ice cream, and Michael toasted little pancakes over the grill to warm it for the ice cream.

We checked out the International Market on the walk back to the hotel. It was a large, open air market, but basically all that was being sold was the same touristy stuff that is in the regular stores along the ocean boulevard. I did find a locally sewn Hawaiian print shoulder bag, a T-shirt/nightgown for myself, and a jade plumeria bracelet.

And we stopped off at Honolulu Cookie Company. They are shortbread specialists. We sampled the cookie flavors and decided that Lilikoi Mango was our favorite, and the store clerk had to explain to me that a lilikoi was a type of passion fruit.

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