The 7th day marked the day that my mom, Lark, and Jim would be leaving to go back home. We wanted to make sure that we made the most of what was left of their trip. So we decided on going to see the sunrise at Hanauma Bay. This would be the first sunrise for us to see on the whole trip actually. We left the hotel at a dark 5:30am, and drive straight out to Hanauma Bay. When we went to park the car, we noticed that the attendant that you pay $1 to for parking was not there… so we got free parking! Only $2, but it was a nice treat. The early bird really does get the worm! ;) So after parking, we walked up to the top of the hill (or maybe it was a small mountain?) and shortly after we got to the top, the sun started to crawl over the horizon
After enjoying the sunrise, it was off to go snorkeling! Normally the entrance fee for Hanauma Bay is $5, but we found out that if you enter before 7am, it is free! So Lark, Jim, Yukari, her mom, sister and dad and I all got in for free. So in all we saved $37! :D And after we got in, I was off to run down to the beach and start snorkeling. My goal was to be in the water as much as possible! Here is a picture of me and Lark as we rush off ahead of everyone.
Once I got in the water, I was so busy taking a look at all the fish. It was amazing at the number of fish that surrounded me and would just swim straight up to me! I found that right over the reef was the hardest part to snorkel, but provided the best views. Inside the reef, I could see all kinds of urchins, and the occasional moray eel. That was a bit scary… like a big worm with teeth slithering through the holes of the reef. And it had a bright red body with white stripes. But there were plenty of nice looking fish as well. I remember seeing a cornetfish, which was very thin and long. I had taken too many pictures by then, so I couldn’t get one of it. But here is a picture of the state fish of Hawaii, maybe Yukari took this one.
Unfortunately, we had to leave around 10am. I really could have stayed there the entire day! We went back to the hotel and everyone met by mom in the lobby to see her off. Her bus was leaving a little before noon, but it was nice that everyone could say bye to her. I guess she cried and stuff when her bus came, you know, her being a girl and all. :P
After that Lark, Jim, and I went to return one of our rental cars, and then take the other one to Chinatown for lunch. Jim didn’t feel like walking around and eating Chinese food, so he said he was going to stay in the car while we went out. So Lark was looking for a parking spot, and decided on a free one by a park. I noticed an unusual amount of homeless people, but Lark didn’t seem to mind parking there. As we were walking away I mentioned to here about the amount of homeless people and was joking if it was safe to park there. We then just walked around trying to find a place that had some good looking food and after making a circle around Chinatown, we decided on one place. The food was good, but I think the Chinatown in Yokohama is much better. After lunch, I was starting to get really tired, but we walked around looking at some stores. I didn’t buy anything, but I think Lark bought something. When we were walking back to the car I was joking to Lark about how I hope Jim was still in the car. Maybe he joined the homeless people in the park or something. It turned out that there were some shady people there, and at one point one of them sat on the hood of the car while Jim was there. So, I guess it was a bit more dangerous than I even thought it was. That would explain why Chinatown isn’t mentioned in any of the Japanese guide books about Honolulu.
Well, Jim did survive the car wait, and they were off to drive me back to the hotel. They dropped me off, and we said our goodbyes… then I went to my room and slept. I was so tired from running around all week, it felt good to just relax for a little bit. I wanted to go to Waikiki Beach and relax there, but was too tired to walk down there even. In the evening, I met up with Yukari and her family and we went to Ala Moana Shopping Center to get some final shopping done and grab some dinner. After we went back to the hotel room, we watched the wedding DVD that just arrived with her family. And then I was out.
This was our last full day on Oahu island, but in the morning we would be departing for Maui!