Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Actively Relaxing

How much activity can you squeeze into three days? If you know Clay and me, you know we can squeeze in a lot, and if you know me well, you are asking yourself "She is in Hawaii; why can't she just sit still and relax?" The marvelous thing about our first days in Hawaii is that I have been able to actively relax, just by having a good deal of relaxing activity.

Just the beginning
Just the beginning
We have been staying at Santa's By the Sea in Haliewa on the north shore of Oahu. That is about 35 minutes drive from Honolulu but feels a world away. There is one magnificent beach after another, and our comfortable and spacious room at Santa's sits right on the beach you see above. We have snorkeled at Turtle Beach and Shark's Cove (don't worry - no sharks!), Clay has paddle-boarded at Haliewa Bay, and we took in views of many others.

At LEAST 4 feet long!

The snorkeling at Shark's Cove was nothing short of fantastic. Getting into the water from the rocky shore was less of a challenge than I thought it would be, and there sure was a big pay-off! The multi-colored fish were plentiful, and some were very large. Clay is a terrific snorkeling partner who led us through all manner of nooks and crannies to see some gorgeous tropical fish.

In addition to enjoying beaches and water sports, we have seen some of Clay's friends from years ago. We took in a ukelele festival and an arts festival, and Clay took me on a tour of Punahou School, famous for being the school that President Obama attended but even more important for being the school where Clay began his teaching career. The drive along the coast from Haliewa to Honolulu was spectacular, and was a highlight of my time in Oahu. Lush gardens on one side of the road faced by magnificent seacoast and palm trees on the other side.

Our favorite moments, though, have been relaxing at our guest house, reading the Sunday paper or enjoying dinner on our gazebo. The sunsets have been magnificent, the sleep has been deep and, yes, I am decompressing from my busy life in the Big Apple. Tuesday morning we fly to Maui, and we begin with the drive on the famous Hana Highway. Having heard about this for so many years, I am more than ready for this exciting trip.

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