I hope everyone had a fantastic Fourth of July! I say ‘had’ even though as I type this many of my friends are probably sitting on blankets, lawn chairs, and pool side loungers, waiting for the last few moments of daylight to disappear so that they can look up in the night sky, watch some fireworks and be grateful to live in a country that not only honors and allows freedom but celebrates it. We are 5 hours behind Dallas so it is only 3:30 here in Honolulu and I just got up from a glorious nap. It was glorious because it was guilt free. I will sneak in a nap every once in a blue moon at home on a weekend but I always feel a bit guilty about it, knowing there is something else that I could be doing. But today, after this morning, I didn’t feel guilty, only tired. Because of the time change and our early morning activities the last few days, we have been up before 5:30 every morning. It has been nice to get the day going… although I had to remind myself why I saw so many people eating at the restaurants along the beach at 9:30 am today while out on our walk. It just felt so late to me already to still be eating breakfast.
After a leisurely morning in the condo, Mike and I headed out on a walk along the beach to check out all the action of the holiday — we had already been counting the number of tents that were set up before dawn — ensuring their prime viewing spots for the fireworks tonight. Little did we know we would round a bend and come upon a gorgeous site of a beach crowded with people, tents, oars, and outrigger canoes. Their annual Fourth of July Outrigger Canoe Race was already underway right under our nose and we had had no idea! (Outriggers are a type of very long canoe with one or more lateral supports and are an important part of the Polynesian culture, raced in Hawaii, Tahiti, and Samoa.)
I started snapping pics left and right with my iPhone camera and Mike was immediately jealous and angry that he had not brought a single piece of his photography equipment. He couldn’t take it. He turned right around and went back for his camera, bringing back two stragglers this time who wanted to check out the beach and see the races. It was super fun to watch these teams of all ages stretch, get ready, listen to pep talks from their coaches, put their huge canoes in the water (with lots of help) and race anywhere from 1/4 mile to 1.5 miles in pretty rough conditions. A spectator told Mike that normally they don’t have grown men anchoring the boats for the younger kids but it was so rough today that race officials required it. We watched about 5 or so more races while the kids played in the ocean before we were just too sunned out for the day. But it was great to catch a glimpse of this event. It was like their version of a local swim meet, but with a gorgeous back drop.
I’m off for now but will report back tomorrow with my overall thoughts of Honolulu as we depart this island for our next stop, Kauai. We will be staying on the North side for the first 5 days and looking forward to a place that is just a bit quieter and quainter.