I didn't take as many pictures today as I usually do. I sometimes get distracted when we're in a new area. I was busy taking in all the scenery and thinking about this same road we drove almost 22 years ago. I was also very focused on where to park. Somethings change and somethings stay the same. The beauty of the area is the same, but the parking has changed! When we were here last, we had no problem parking. As a matter of fact, I looked at pictures before we left and there wasn't anyone on the beach at Tunnels except us! This was in September of 1991, one year prior to Hurricane Iniki.
I'm sure the coral reef has changed as well, but I can't speak to this because back then we didn't know about the snorkeling on the North Shore.
After trekking down the beach for about 1/2 mile, we found the perfect shaded spot under some trees. Mike & I immediately took off to go snorkel. No sooner had we put our faces in the water, we see an eel. Watched him for a moment then continued on up the coast. Since we hadn't snorkeled here before, I wasn't sure what to expect. The reef was different in appearance than what we were use to on Maui. we heed the advice of a couple of TripAdvisor contributors, Travelbugged and Slabeaume, to basically relax, float and take it slow and the fish will appear! Sure enough, we began to see more and more fish. Several large schools of fish swam by us, but what got frustrating were the groups of snorkelers that would just about swim over the top of us trying to chase down these fish! Sheesh, slow down people.
When we returned to the boys so they could have their turn snorkeling, they informed us that a monk seal had come up on the beach. Oh, how this made my day! Grabbed my camera and we set off to get some photos. There were signs up around the seal, but no rope. However, we respected the invisible rope and kept at a reasonable distance so we would not disturb him/her. We had fun taking pictures of the sleepy seal and walked by him/her a couple different time to see him change positions. Also, my camera has a great zoom lens so know that the close up shots are using the zoom.
Here are some pictures of fabulous day at Tunnels...
|"Hey, who are you?"|
|While we were snorkeling, Nathan was bored so he started tying a pine needle in knots. Without realizing it, the knots turned into this star. He was so amazed.|
|Seeing the seal made me think of my baby back home!|
We returned to the condo, cleaned up, ate an early dinner and walked about to find a new sunset location.
The sunset on this night was different than the others. (Aren't they all?) There was heavy cloud cover so we never saw the sun go down, but it did light up the sky with some vibrant red, yellow, pink and orange colors. Reflection on the ocean was beautiful.
Day 14 ~ Napali Coast Tour and Mini Golf
We were up and out the door by 7:40 a.m. to check in with Holo Holo Charters at 8:00 a.m. We have gone on the Trilogy a couple of times on Maui and wanted a different sort of boat ride this trip. We chose the Napali Snorkel Adventure which takes you out on one of their rigid- hull inflatable rafts. I knew the snorkeling wouldn't be great, and it wasn't, but the rest of the boat ride was so much fun. Great company, great crew! The boys really loved the fast ride back to Hanalei! Actually, we all did!
My only complaint was the amount of time it took to shuttle people to and from the office to the dingy and then from the dingy to the boat. This took quite a bit of time, at least 45 minutes. I knew this was the case when we booked, but really didn't think it would take as long as it did. Our trip ended with us being the last four people getting shuttled from the river to the office. This just made for a lot of waiting around.
The second half of the day consisted of more fun and food. We journeyed over to the mini-golf in Kilauea. This is an expensive outing for families, but I knew the boys would like it. It was a nice break from the beach, hiking, condo, etc. Our family can be a bit competitive at times. Usually, when we play games, it's to beat mom at any cost! We had such a good time on this course. Michael played to win, Mike played to stay within par, I played to take pictures (and to hopefully beat someone!), and Nathan played.....well, we just hoped that his ball would stay on the course. lol
For our family, this was a load of fun. We shared a lot of laughs! Nathan even got a hole-in-one on the 18th hole! Good stuff.......
|Great hair conditioner|
|18th hole, Nathan gets a hole- in-one! Still not enough to get him out of last place!|
We decided to go to the Kilauea Fish Market for dinner. I had the fish wrap w/ a side salad. I could only finish about half of it. The others got fish tacos. Delicious!
|The grounds near the Kilauea Fish Market|
|Two fish tacos here.... very tasty|
|Fish wrap. I could only finish half. It was very good, but wished it had a little more heat or salsa you could add.|
|I can tell she misses me.|
Day 15 - Lazy rainy day
We woke up to an overcast day. Mike and I took a walk through the Princeville neighborhoods and admired the gorgeous homes with their beautiful landscaping. The trade winds were almost nonexistent making our morning walk VERY hot. After walking for a while and starting to get fairly sweaty, we decided to head back home. About this time, we realize that we are directly across from our condo. The only problem is, the golf course is in the way!
Hmmm....what to do. We can either go alllllllll the way around the golf course or...... make a run for it! Well, to my amazement, Mike says, "let's go for it!" You have no idea how shocked I was to hear this. Mike is a rule follower, no bending, no fudging. Rules and laws are to be followed. Now, he may complain about most of them, but they are to be followed! So, forgive us golfers and private golf course property owners! We ran across your course and it was fun! (Remember when I mentioned a while back that we were easily entertained?)
By the time we got back to the condo, we were ready to take off for the beach to cool down. We opted for Anini Beach. We really were looking forward to hanging out and doing a lot of swimming. Well, shortly after we got there, the weather turned from bad to worse and after a brief swim, we packed it up and headed for home. : (
I decide this is a perfect time to do some shopping. We left the boys behind, and Mike & I set off to browse some shops. We first drove to a store in Hanalei so I could buy a cute Hawaiian apron made by a lady on Molokai. Next, we drove over to Kilauea to visit a few other shops and have dinner at The Bistro. Unfortunately, our timing was off, and we were ready to eat around 4:30, but dinner didn't begin until 5:30. We decided to stay anyway and order from the happy hour menu.
The sunset tonight was spectacular. The best yet!