On Thursday, Steph and I got to the airport pretty early, and were already in the boarding line by the time her parents got there. They were able to board immediately, so we didn’t actually see them until we were in Hawaii. We grabbed the rental car and went to the hotel. Steph and I were ready for a walk after the plane trip, so we headed down to Waikiki and walked along the beach.

A friend of mine, Brian, was staying only a few blocks away for a few months, and we reached out to him, he got back to us that he was finishing up his remote work around 3pm, so we could meet up for a walk and drinks. We had a great conversation with him and planned to see him again on Monday.

That evening we met up with a large group of the Lee family for dinner at a restaurant one of the relatives owned and several others worked at. It was a fantastic Japanese style dinner, with some great curry, amazing sushi, and poke nachos. I met some of the cousins I already knew and was able to meet their boyfriends, who were pretty cool.

The next day we went on a dive out of Island Divers Hawaii. They were a pretty well run operation compared to the previous extremely sketchy place I dove with before, with a large open dive boat. The first dive site we went to was Coco Craters, which seems to be the popular dive site where all the boats take tourists because it’s shallow and there aren’t any delicate coral formations for newbies to accidentally destroy. It looked like a moonscape with just white dead coral everywhere. I still saw a number of fish, but not many. The second dive site was a drift dive called Angler’s Reef, which had a lot more fish and gorgeous coral formations. We saw a school of puffer fish, about 20 of them, on that dive.

The next day we dropped Steph’s parents at the airport, as they were taking a day trip to Maui. Then we went to pick up some mochi in a little shop next to some construction companies. It was a hole in the wall, but delicious. We also stopped by Zippy’s to get a loco moco. It was everything I expected it to be.

We then met with Krista and Daniel and drop out to Sunset Beach. There we met with Travis, who is quite the spearfisher and freediver. We went out with him and did a little free diving, but I had only brought my mask for scuba diving, and so didn’t have a snorkle. I was able to participate, but didn’t get a great dive as I couldn’t really fully catch my breath. We found a small arch and each of us swam through it. It was about 15ft down and only 4 to 5 feet across with 2 foot clearance. While out diving with Travis, we had a massive military cargo plane fly over at maybe 100ft off the water.

Marissa and Sterling showed up with an absurd amount of food, especially considering Travis had also brought enough to feed all of us. Daniel stayed on the beach for the most part. When he did finally try to come down to the water he found the only rock on the beach and tripped over it, face planting into the sand. His dog, Belle was adorable, and a ton of fun to play with as she chased after a coconut, and then ripped it up when she got it.

Travis headed out to catch some fish, and managed to get 5 of them, including 2 big ones.

We headed back and spent the night in. With the next morning being pretty lazy. We decided Sunday was the day for malassadas at Leonard’s. Malassadas are a fried dough originally from the Portuguese islands. We grabbed the malassadas and headed to the Kuliouou Ridge trail. We got up to the halfway point and had a rest with some malassadas. We climbed the stairs up the rest of the way and had some great views and some more malassadas. Then we rushed down and had the last one at the bottom.

We got back to the hotel in time, but needed a restful afternoon before the big family dinner. We went to the dinner and I got to meet many of Steph’s cousins. I showed some of them the VR headset and they seemed to like it. Travis showed us his trophy fish prints, which were amazing. He had caught some massive fish, and the prints themselves were masterfully done.

The next day we tried to find a place that would do mochi waffles, and we found one in a hotel a little ways away. We got there and it was a fancy hotel, but the waffles weren’t nearly as good as the ones Tina makes. The view was great and we got to watch some wing foils doing tricks during breakfast. After that we hung out at the hotel and on the beach until it was time to meet up with Brian. We did a nice dinner at the Highway Inn for some real Hawaiian food, with his first time having poi. He thought much the same as I did, that it is bland and not good on its own. The rest of the food was amazing.

I tried to see the eclipse that evening, but it could only get a blurry glimpse through the clouds.

The next morning we were informed that Chu Chu got Covid, and the Lees tested before we got on the flight. I tested once we got back, all negatives. The flight wasn’t too bad, but the guy sitting next to Steph had some bad BO.

We got home and the kitties were so happy to see us. It was a good trip, and it was nice to see Steph’s family before moving.