Since we still hadn’t seen all of the South Shore area, we headed back that way for a fun day in Kailua. We took the Pali Highway there, where we stopped at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. A spectacular panoramic view awaits you as you gaze out upon the breath-taking scenery that shows off Oahu’s natural beauty. You can see for miles as the lush green mountainside is accented by the stunning blue water and several small islands, including our favorite, Chinaman’s Hat.
After pulling ourselves away from here, we continued our westward trek with our next stop at Lanikai. We pulled over at a small rest stop to take in the gorgeous views of the beaches here, and then arrived at our final destination – Kailua Beach. I had heard this is one of the prettiest beaches on the island, and it did not disappoint. As we were immensely enjoying the view, we saw quite a few kayaks out in the water, and thought about getting one. Then we noticed a few people standing on surfboards and paddling around. Intrigued, we decided to try this instead. Since C-Lo had her mind set on more snorkeling, I rented a paddleboard, and set off on my new water sport. Not quite sure what to do at first, I had no problems standing up and keeping my balance on the board, but the paddling part didn’t seem quite right. C-Lo also wanted to try it, but she wasn’t as successful in her attempts to balance herself. But it made for some fun comic relief to many of the beachgoers. She decided to stick to the snorkeling, while I finally figured out how to paddle properly. I paddled my way out to a small island about 500 yards or so offshore, where I attempted to walk around on it, but the sharp rocks made barefoot-walking near impossible and my foot was still hurting from my snorkeling faux pas.
While off on my little adventure, C-Lo made friends with a young Hawaiian couple, so when I returned to the beach, I had a few eager students to test out my paddle-surfing teaching skills. Apparently, the first lesson was balance. I’ve gone windsurfing enough to feel very comfortable standing on a surfboard, but the others weren’t so experienced. As I tried my darnedest to help them stay on, I couldn’t help but laugh at all their silly attempts to stand up. They eventually figured it out, and were able to stand up for a short while. I gave everyone a fun little ‘gondolier’ ride, where I stood up and paddled them around the water while they each took turns sitting on the front of the board. After a couple hours of non-stop fun and sun, it was time to part ways with our new friends and get some food. We had some excellent pizza at Bob’s Pizzeria, another local favorite. Since we’re in Hawaii, I just had to try their Hawaiian pizza. It was primo!
We then went to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, which is so big, you can drive from parking lot to parking lot while checking out all the various plant life. And with the rain starting to come down, we stayed in the car the whole time as we drove through the massive garden. With the sun brightening up the sky again and an unsatisfactory viewing of Chinaman’s Hat from Monday, we next drove about half an hour north back to Kualoa Park for some sunny pictures of the charming little island. It seemed closer this time than last time, but we also didn’t have to worry about getting totally drenched. As we snapped picture after picture, we wished we had a kayak to cruise out over the calm waters and get even closer photos. Still, it was a great way to end an extremely fun day. As we drove back to Waikiki, we stopped for dinner at a tasty Korean BBQ joint.