Ah, Day 5 in paradise!
We got up this morning, and relaxed & read books for a while in our room or our on our lanai (deck). I did a load of laundry since I didn't want to bring over 10 changes of clothing (extra since I tend to spill on myself) for the trip and not have to check a 2nd bag. They are trimming the Banyan trees right now on the resort, and after cutting off a limb w/a chainsaw, they chop off the smaller branches w/a machete. I've helped cut up & haul away a bunch of trees over my lifetime in MN, and we've NEVER used a machete before!
Then off to the beach for the first time! Mike got some info about surfing lessons, and then we got some chairs/towels and staked out a spot on the grass. Then off to the ocean. We have a wide, sandy beach by the hotel - just like what you see in TV. The ocean bottom is quite rocky here, so it's good to have something your feet. Mike did some swimming in the surf and I tried a bit of snorkelikng. I saw some REALLY cool looking fish, including a little black puffer-fish with white dots.
We didn't stay too long because then it was off for a scheduled helicopter flight. It was great - I didn't feel sick, and we got to see the whole island. There's a lot of it that is inhabitable, and inaccessible to anyone, so you can only see it by air. We flew into an old crater, saw the Na Pali coast (including the beach where they filmed the next Pirates of the Carribean movie), saw the falls from Jurassic Park, Waimea canyon (where we'd hiked the day before) & many other places. It was also cool to fly over the Tree Tunnel that we'd driven through on the way there - first we'd seen the underside- now the top-side. Thank you Blue Hawaiian helicopters for a great trip. Since we booked with Expedia on our resort, we also got a free DVD about Hawaii, and a free t-shirt.
Afterwards, we checked our book for an early supper. We hadn't really had lunch so by 4:30 , we were ready to eat! The Thai place we found wasn't open yet, so we headed a bit north just for a drive & found a little fishing/variety store so I could buy a strap around my neck to deep my sunglasses from "joining the fishes" when go on a catamaran later this week. I found some in the fishing section that were MUCH sturdier looking than the ones crammed in with the tourist stuff, so hopefully they'll do the trick. I'd like to get a new pair of Rx sunglasses in the future, but preferably, not while in Hawaii!
THen back to Mema's Thai & Chinese - although we got to experience Hawaiin grid-lock - sitting in a car, not going anywhere. Ah, just like home. ;) The guidebook gave the restaurant a decent review - (not great but the best Thai on the East Coast). We thought the food WAS good, though. We got chicken Sa-Teh (satay is ALWAYS a treat) for an appetizer, and then had two entrees/white rice. I picked the beef with Oystger Sauce w/fresh Ginger on a bed of shredded cabbage. Mike picked the Shrimp & Pineapple in a red chili & coconut Curry Sauce with thin noodles. Both were really good, and we had to get a take-home box for the rest, because as hungry as we had been, we were now full to the brim!
A quck stop @ Costco (yup - two Costcos in one week in Hawaii - I think they should give us a special award for most trips to different stores in one month) for some provisions & then back "home". It must be a bit deal on Hawaii - the store on O'ahu was packed (and supposedly is as all times) and this one was busy too. Our Expedia rep even mentioned it in his presentation, calling it something like "the store of the island". So hey - we're just shopping like the locals. :) Unfortunately, they did NOT have the Wasabi Doritos here, but we did get some Maui Onion Kettle Chips, and those are plenty tasty!
The drive back gave us a neat view of heavy rain clouds moving in over the mountains, and almost swallowing up the orange hazy sunset. Then it was back to our room for a bit of R&R before hitting the hay for the night.
Here are some pics of the day - starting with the beach, then the heli ride, and ending with a pic of Costco & it's requisite chicken in the parking lot.