Our very last day in Hawaii turned out to be one of my favorite of the trip. Pretty much the only thing we had on our agenda was Waimea. Waimea Valley and Waimea Bay. So once we were ready for the day we headed up north, making a brief stop a Kualoa Beach Park to take some photos of Chinaman's Hat.
Chinaman's Hat (Kualoa Beach)
From there it was on up to Waimea. There was a brief rainstorm that provided us with a beautiful rainbow for some great photos right as we got there. We found a parking spot at the beach parking, took a few photos and then hiked across the road to the entrance of Waimea Valley.
Rainbow at Waimea
Rainbow at Waimea
Waimea Valley wasn't quite open yet when we got there, but we were the first ones in that morning and we quickly made our way up to the Waimea Falls swimming pool, arriving there before any but the lifeguards. Which meant we got the whole place to ourselves for at least 10 or 15 minutes and only a few other people had showed up by the time we were ready to be done. Swimming in the pool there was definitely one of the neater things I've done in Hawaii. Just to be there in a tropical jungle, hanging out in a pool under a waterfall. Very cool.
The park around this beautiful tree was just so lush and green
Nearing the waterfall
Swimming over to the falls
Group picture :)
Sitting in the falls. It was so loud there that you had to shout to hear each other, and it was sometimes funny to listen to other people shouting at each other because you could usually hear them from all around the pool.
This one is my iPad login background
Eventually we decided we were done there and leisurely made our way back down through the valley checking out the interesting plants and other exhibits that have been put together there as part of the park.
We got back to the beach and ate our lunches we'd packed, and then found a spot to park our chairs and stuff for the day, over at the top of the hill where we could get some shade under some palm trees. We spent the rest of the day sunbathing, snorkeling, jumping off the rock, and just soaking in the gorgeous view that is Waimea Bay. Liz, Cara, and I snorkeled out pretty much to the end of the bay, and the water was nice and clear, and I was able to see lots of cool fish, include a few barracuda, though I kept my distance from the rocks near the cliff where I tend to get nervous about getting scraped up.
I just think Waimea might be the prettiest beach I've been to on Oahu.
Jumping off the rock was fun, though I was a little surprised by how shallow the water is where you jump. I didn't get hurt, but I did touch the bottom almost immediately after entering the water.
Brandon doing some relaxing
Eventually it was time to call it a day, and we headed back down to Kaneohe and grabbed some late lunch at Quiznos. Then we went back to George's and packed up our stuff and said our goodbyes and got our farewell waves from everyone at the front fence (I always love that part, even though it's sad to leave.)
We swung past Costco on our way to the airport to gas up our SUV. Amazingly, had we opted for the "bring it back empty" plan we would have almost hit it perfectly, but how can you plan for that. In any case, it was nice that we could spent a whole week there on one tank of gas. We got our car back to the rental agency, got through security and everything, boarded our flight and headed home.
And that would have been the end of the story, if not for my apparent need to not have uneventful flights home from Hawaii. This time instead of someone having a medical emergency or wanting to be up all night studying property tax notices, it was me who decided to make things exciting. After dozing for a bit, I woke up feeling nauseous, and after failing to find a vomit bag in the seatback pocket, decided I could probably make it to the restroom, though I was pretty disappointed/embarrassed to have to throw up on a plane, having never done that before. I remember unbuckling my seatbelt and that's pretty much the last thing I remember before waking up with several members of the Delta flight crew hovering over me wanting to make sure I was ok. Apparently I fainted a step or two into my journey to the bathroom, and somewhat miraculously managed to avoid suffering any major injury. Pretty amazing when you consider the width of those airplane aisles. In any case, they brought me some oxygen and let me lie there in the aisle for a while (much more comfortable than my seat, by the way), and eventually they figured it was safe for me to get back into my seat. They brought me some water, and then a few minutes later, some more water, in the process spilling the first cup of water they'd brought me down my leg. They were understandably concerned, though apparently its not uncommon for people to faint on that flight (dehydration, too much sun, alcohol?). I had one spot on the back of my head that was mildly tender, but even then only by feeling around was it noticeable. They offered to have medical staff evaluate me on our arrival in Salt Lake, but I decided to pass since I was feeling pretty good, and haven't suffered any apparent consequences since. But yeah, my flights home from Hawaii always seem to be eventful.