50 States Challenge: Hawai`i

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

February 11 - 19, 2013

I quit my job.  Without having another job.  Or a plan.  Naturally, then, when my college roommate Nirala called two weeks into unemployment and asked if I would like to visit our other roommate, Alex, in Hawai`i I said yes. It was, more or less, that simple.

After confirming with Alex, we booked our stay for eight days in paradise.  Alex's sorority sister, Amanda, also booked the same week as us, along with her best friend Flor.

We traveled all over the island of O'ahu.  We visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, swam with some turtles on the North Shore, and visited Pearl Harbor and Queen Iolani's Palace.  It wasn't enough time, of course.  I would go back in a heartbeat and with those girls.  God only knows how Alex was able to stand all of us for so long cramped into her apartment, but we survived and she didn't murder any of in our sleep.

It's been three years and Alex, Nirala, another college roommate of ours, Veronica, and I are still trying to figure out a way we can align our schedules and explore some more together.  Until then, here are some shots of my week in paradise.

Yeah...you're totally not supposed to touch the turtles.  Amanda named this one Rodrigo in Haleiwa on the North Shore.

We braved the Lanikai Pillbox Hike to capture incredibly breathtaking views.

We also stopped and checked out the views in an off-roading, pull-over-now type of scenario.
 Yes, Alex walked out incredibly far on some shady looking rocks.

Queen Iolani's palace and her story are something we aren't taught correctly on the mainland.  We stole Hawai`i from it's people and not until you're standing in the center of it do you realize the magnitude of what we stole.

Pearl Harbor broke me, though.  I couldn't smile in any of the pictures.

The Polynesial Cultural Center included a luau and brief tours in Polynesian cultures.
Including this gorgeous man to the left.

And, we watched the sunset fall beyond the horizon...while I collected sea glass.

Hawai`i, you were a good one.  Hope to see you again.  Aloha.

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