We get there. We were excited. We got our car. He hooked us all the way up with a Nissan Pathfinder that normally rents for like $100+ day at no additional cost. We were more pumped because we would be able to snooze in the back comfortably (it’s roomy inside and glamorously expensive as faqk on the outside) if we can’t find parking or camping.
We get on the road. Honolulu looked like what I expected Maui to look like before I saw it. The roads were a little confusing. It had these seemingly random one ways, lanes, and on/off ramps, streets with no names or bizarre turns which meant we missed our turns a few times, and the lanes narrowed often. See, I felt very confused about where I was in general. Here was this beautiful place with its light air and vibe, incredible beaches, mountains, and blue skies, while in opposing contrast sat buildings that felt like a strong blend of Japanese architecture with a hint of New York and LA. I didn’t like it.
I still saw mostly white people. I saw less locals in comparison to Maui. I saw many Orientals, but they were not islanders, just Chinese and Japanese tourists. I did see twice as much dark skinned people here and they looked more like residents than tourists. I mention the concept of “race” again because – hint! – hopefully you’re asking yourself where are the native Hawaiians.
I was excited to drive away from Waikiki (where we spent half our time because of cheap parking and hotel) and whatever other city we were in. It was too modernized with its tall buildings, tourists, and expressive brand name stores. Ugh. Obviously I’m clearly not a fan of cities much and worse, coming to an island only to be surrounded by city energy.
We drove towards Shark’s Cove (where we spent the other half of our time) to find nature and beaches. On the way out of the city, it was sad to see so many houses seated on mountains, but eventually it became more visually ~islandish, though still the lack of natives stuck out.
We spent most of our time there at the beach snorkeling. For someone who doesn’t feel confident swimming (I don’t wanna say I don’t know how to swim because technically I can, but it’s very basic and I probably couldn’t save myself if I need to), snorkeling is EVERYTHING! I don’t know why no one has ever recommended snorkeling or at least snorkeling gear to get confident in the water, but it should be a thing. Not only is it a great way to practice, but you gain a safe oneness with the water and the ocean itself. If only I was brave enough to put my phone under the water to capture some of coral reef life. Once I get my stamina and breathing down, which will come with practice, yah girl will be ready by the end of this year to swim confidently, guaranteed. Snorkel snorkel SNORKEL!
Vegan food is also very available here. I was a savage and ate lots of cooked vegan food. I over ate to be honest. I also tried santol and dragon fruit for the first time! Unlike Maui, the fruit stands here were essentially non existent. The ones that sold fruits only had coconuts and pineapples. Incredibly disappointing.
Other things? Let’s see… Hotels are cheaper there. We rented by Waikiki. It rained several times on and off on one of our three days here, which was refreshing! Parking costs all the time, but their meter machines take card, which was different. Parking by Honolulu Zoo was efficient at $1/hourly. I heard public transportation was great here and the only thing I have to say about it is I saw buses and bus stops often. No chickens running the streets here. We also hiked Diamond Trail and it was incredible! We also drove around the northwest part of the island where nature was its rawest in beauty with its tall mountains and accompanying piercing greenery. It was the best, greenest part of our time there. We didn’t see what’s east of Honolulu. I enjoyed myself given the circumstance, but personally if I ever visit Hawaii again, I’d skip Honolulu without a second thought. I wouldn’t recommended coming here unless you want or need to, or if you don’t mind a very city feeling. Off to Kona, aka the Big Island! Also, we definitely didn’t plan this third island hop at all. It was supposed to be Maui and Honolulu, but YOLO!