We woke up early. We were still on L.A. time and we had gone to bed unusually early the night before. Also, the rooster next door was kind enough to provide a wake up call. I looked out the window to find that the sun had not yet risen. The sky still had that dark grey tint that it gets right before the sun peaks over the horizon. I popped out of bed and threw on some shorts, grabbed a Red Bull out of the fridge and hustled down to the break wall to watch the sun come up.
I grew up on the west coast so breathtaking sunsets are nothing new to me. But I've never actually gotten the chance to watch a real sunrise. Not only am I not all that fond of being up before the sun, I've never been to a place were watching the sun come up over the horizon was worth the trouble, or even possible.
It was peaceful. Sitting on a stone break wall, the waves hitting the rocks 5 feet from me. A light mist on my bare legs and feet. The sky gradually changing from grey to pink to yellow to blue as the sun peaks up over Diamond Head and Honolulu in the distance. I sat quietly sipping my Red Bull and pondering the week ahead of me. Incredibly thankful for the chance to escape the stress of work and music and everyday monotony. Michelle eventually joined me and we gawked at the view for a few minutes before we went back inside to get ready for the day.
We were to hike to The Makapu'u Lighthouse that day with the family. I was particularly excited for this venture. I have a weird obsession with lighthouses. I blame my father.
When we arrived at the trail head I don't remember paying particularly close attention to what was going on. I just remember Matt, Lauren, Michelle and I splitting off from the rest of the family and walking to a part of the park that didn't have many people around. We hopped a short railing and started heading up a trail that didn't seem to be very popular. From the bottom it looked pretty simple. Straight up with a few twists and turns here and there. I was sadly mistaken.
Matt and Lauren explained that this way was not exactly the "right" way to go but it was much more fun of a hike with a much better view. The way the rest of the family went was the right way, but it was a paved road with a view of the ocean and that's about it.
We stopped periodically on the way up to take pictures and so that I could catch my breath. A straight trail may be simple, but it's not necessarily easy. Especially for a smoker that spends very little time engaging in physical activity.
There were a handful of poorly graffitied abandoned pill boxes along the way. We stopped at the first one so that we could poke around and rest for a bit. These old pill boxes and bunkers have always fascinated me. As early as 50 years ago, our military inhabited these old death traps. Now they are just old claustrophobic concrete holes in the ground covered in terrible tagging.
Once the lighthouse was in sight I made Michelle stop and wait for me while I moved to the edge of the cliff to get a better shot. When I got to the edge I looked down to find a beautifully terrifying sight. A jaggedly textured cliff leading 400 or so feet down to the crystal clear water with rocks that blanked the ocean floor. I'm not normally afraid of heights, but something about sitting on the edge of a cliff with the wind ripping and nothing but a wing and a prayer between me and a horrible death is a bit unsettling.
We climbed a bit more to another pill box on the very top of the mountain. We enjoyed the view all the way around us for a few minutes and passed around a water bottle before walking down a few hundred yards to meet with the rest of the family at the lookout right above the lighthouse.
The view was unbelievable. Michelle is well aware of my obsession with lighthouses so she let me run around like a kid at Disneyland for a bit and take photos of this magnificent scene.
After we had all gotten our fill we headed back down the mountain the easy way. I took the opportunity to enjoy the company of my better half and her family with a view that will be hard to forget.
We went to a small ramen spot in Hanalulu for lunch. Not my thing. But it was nice to experience a little Hawaiian culture and eats. After that we walked to an apparently famous Hawaiian Shave Ice spot down the street. I thought I had a experienced the best shave ice in existence at Snow-On-The-Go by Michelle's house in South County. WRONG. Real Hawaiian Shave Ice is unbelievable. I didn't even know ice could be shaved that fine. It was a beautiful thing. I took pictures but apparently I lost that roll of film.