Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Spring break in Hawaii

I'm going to let you in on a secret. Are you ready? As soon as I found out that I'd been accepted to WWU and I'd be spending 6 months in the US, I knew that I had to go to Hawaii while I was there. And I did!
After hours and hours of study and stress we finally made it through finals which means it's spring break! The two greatest words in the English language for an American college student. About two weeks into my exchange in Bellingham, Valentina, Jessica and I booked tickets to head to Hawaii during spring break. We put the offer out there to some of the other exchange students but the guys decided they would rather go to Cancun. We weren't really that surprised. Anyway, the day after our last final saw Valentina, Jessica and I hopping on a plane and heading for Hawaii. We were spending a week on Oahu. It would've been nice to visit the other Islands but we decided we wanted to get a good look at where we were and relax a bit while we did it. We arrived at Honolulu airport at about 11pm but as we walked off the plane we were all commenting on how warm it was! As wonderful as Bellingham and the Pacific NorthWest is (and it is wonderful), it's not exactly warm so we were all glad to have the chance to lie around in the sun wearing nothing but shorts, singlets and bikinis (as a side note - even if you are going somewhere cold and wintery, take a pair of bathers and at least one pair of shorts or a summer dress. You never know when you might find yourself somewhere tropical). After we'd grabbed our bag (yes, just one. Baggage was extra so we'd made the tough decision to just take one suitcase between the three of us) and caught a taxi to our hotel - Waikiki Gateway Hotel - which was a couple of blocks from Waikiki beach. If you're ever heading to Hawaii I'd definitely recommend it. It was a nice hotel, the staff were friendly and helpful and there was an info desk available to help you book tours and recommend places to visit. In addition it was fairly close to the beach and the main shopping area of Waikiki.

Anyway, over the course of the week we spent our mornings waking up late, eating yoghurt for breakfast and lounging on the beach. During the afternoons we spent some time exploring. We visited Hanauma bay and went snorkelling which was beautiful! Unfortunately this was one of the few days it rained so we didn't stay for long but it was nice none the less. You can hire all the gear out from there and spend as long as you like in the water. We also hiked through a rain forest to a water fall and got covered in mud which was a lot a fun, did a tour around the island and saw some of the sights (where I think we were the youngest there by about 15 years), indulged in some shopping (almost a little too much when it came to going home - maybe one bag wasn't such a good idea??), hung out with some locals who invited us to join them on a night out in downtown (Senor Frogs anyone?), ate at a wonderful Japanese restaurant, visited Pearl Harbour, hired a car and spent a day driving to the other side of the island and back and spent a lot of time soaking up some much needed vitamin D from all the places mentioned above!

Hanauma bay where we went snorkelling

On our tour around the Island

Playing in the surf

Outside The Cheesecake Factory where we had dinner one night

Hiring a car and driving around the Island meant we got to stop for coconuts!

After the last 10 weeks, in particular dead week and then exam week it was nice to be able to kick back and relax. Hawaii was definitely a good place to do that and it pretty easy to navigate by foot or car. Oahu (particularly Waikiki was packed with Australians. I'd love to go back someday, especially to see some of the other Islands. For now though, it's back to class!

Love Danielle xx

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