I don't want to let the car thieves win, so here are more photos of the fun things we did over the last few days -
Thursday afternoon, we took the Jeep to Hanauma Bay, an underwater state park, and rented snorkels, masks, and fins. It was only 8:00 a.m., so the water was still pretty bracing - we splashed around for a while, got used to breathing through our tubes, and headed out into the bay. Within eight seconds, we spotted a fish - ohmygodawhitefish! We were very excited and took at least three pictures each of that first white fish - and by the time we left at 11:00, we were so experienced (or jaded) that we were shoving boring white fish out of our way.
It's difficult to get a sense of depth snorkeling - there were lots of times I thought the water was pretty deep, until some dark shape I thought was a rock turned out to be a fat guy in black trunks standing waist-deep.
After Hanauma, we drove to North Shore and the Dole Pineapple Plantation, which I already posted pictures of. You can't have any more, you vultures. I will, however, give you one picture of the luau at the hotel that we hurried back for. Not a good picture, though - it was too dark, and we bought tickets too late to get close seats.
We planned to spend the morning snorkeling at Yokohama/Pray for Sex beach and then hiking to Kaena Point, the westernmost tip of Oahu. Rain and rough surf made snorkeling unattractive, if not dangerous, so we just hiked to the point. It was right along the coast, with lots of sections of very scary drop-offs to the hardened magma below. There were spots, however, that we could make our way onto the rocks relatively safely. It was spectacular - amazing views of the ocean and shoreline, and awesome caves under the shore that the blue water disappeared into and shot back out of. There was one section with an ocean geyser - a small hole that the water underneath shoots out of with a puff of mist and a loud whistling. It was also mud-tastic.
Then came the robbery, the police officer who told us to get back to our room as fast as possible if they had stolen a hotel key (my laptop! my ipod!), the frantic calls to cancel credit cards on the way, the frustrating call to the Hawaii PD, and the more satisfying trip to the police station in Kane'ohe.
Later Friday night, Matt and Gretchen took us to Lani'kai beach, one of the top three beaches in the world according to a Travel Channel special. It was getting dark and the tide was very, very high, but the beach was gorgeous, the view of the bay (including a massive island protected as a bird sanctuary) was amazing, and the houses along the beach were right out of some beach movie where teenagers solve crimes in between lacrosse practice and a tangled web of in-group dating. Since it's set in Hawaii, it's probably called "Aloha High" or "Aloha Sun" or "Aloha Beach Patrol: Mahalo Squad" or something.
Matt and I played a round of the traditional Hawaiian game "Mano'ehe", which means "throw the 10-lb soaking wet coconut back and forth".
Yesterday was a little more low-key, a little less adventurous - we met Missy's friend Kristen for lunch and pina coladas at the Barefoot Bar next to the beach. Kristen was a Scrapbook Superstore employee until October, when she decided to move to Honolulu in search of fame and riches.
Remember all the rain? Yeah, you do. It's been raining like that for a month and a half, and our visit marked the high point of rain-related grossness - a sewer line under Ali Koa Blvd couldn't handle the excess runoff and exploded on Thursday morning. I think I read that 30 million gallons of Honolulu's sewer waste was diverted into Ali Koa Channel, which dumps directly into the ocean, two hotels down from ours. The beaches are all closed due to fear of bacteria in the water, and the headlines yesterday said that Waikiki Beach could stay closed for as long as two months. It didn't seem to stop people from enjoying yesterday's sun, but I'm afraid the long-term damage to this area's tourism industry make hurt.
Matt and Gretchen (but mostly Matt) still wanted to go snorkeling, so we went back to Hanauma Bay with them. Gretchen had been once when she first moved to Hawaii and Matt said he had "kind of snorkeled," which we found out meant that he had put on goggles and dipped his head in the water behind a moving boat. Unfortunately, the waves were much bigger than our trip to Hanauma on Thursday and they stirred up a lot of silt. I felt like I had to hold Missy's hand to stay together, when on Thursday, we could see each other easily from 15-20' away.
Last night was also our big move from room 201 waaaaay upstairs and toward the ocean to room 1335. When we checked into the new room, two separate front desk people at two separate times said, "Oh woowwwww - you're going to be realllly happy with the upgrade!" Apparently people who come to the Hale Koa multiple times will request 1335 specifically. The first woman was one of the employees who helped us straighten out payment for our stay on Friday, so we think maybe she gave us the best room out of the block of oceanside rooms out of pity. We'll take it.