April/May 1996: Hawaii, USA

Hawaii was so incredible! We visited two islands on our honeymoon, Oahu (The Gathering Place) and Hawaii (Big Island). We heard the Macarena almost every day!! (171K wav file)

Oahu is the island that is most similar to some of the States on the Mainland. Honolulu is the big city and lots of business is done there. Business men and women dress very casual. I don't think we saw anybody wearing a suit! In fact, men usually wear khakis and Hawaiian shirts to work every day.

Big Island isn't anything like Oahu. Half of the island is rain forest and half is covered by volcanic rock. It's really cool because you can see rain forest, mountains and desert all on a 15 minute drive.


Russell and I were on Oahu when he took me snorkeling for the first time. It is one of the strangest activities I have ever participated in. We went to a place called Hanauma Bay. I think it is the most beautiful place on the Island. (We have some pictures of Hanauma Bay in our photo album. They certainly don't do it justice.) It was early in the morning so the water was shallow when we waded in. I put on my flippers and tugged on my mask. Russ had me practice breathing through the snorkel for a minute and then I put my face mask to the water. I think I just about had a heart attack! There were fish everywhere! Swimming by feet, around my legs, really really close! I had no idea. I whipped my head back up and gasped. Russell calmly informed me that there were always fish at the beach. I had just never looked for them before. After I got over my shock, we started to swim around and I experienced my first of many snorkeling adventures in Hawaii.

I was so scared. Poor Russell almost drowned I was holding onto him so tight. Much to my dismay, we had to separate a couple of times because the maze of coral was not wide enough for both of us to swim through at the same time. As soon as we got through those tight spots, though, I was right back to grabbing onto his waist.

After half an hour or so, I started to gain some confidence. The coral was so beautiful and the fish so intriguing. You could hear them biting on the coral. They would swim so close to you and not even bother to look your way. They pretended you weren't even there. At least that was my perception, until.... I saw the Puffer Fish. Probably the ugliest thing at the beach. Take a look of this picture. See what I mean? I had gotten used to watching the fish but this fish watched me!!!! He wasn't playing the game by the rules. It gave me the creeps. Not only was this particular Puffer watching me but he tended to follow me whenever we crossed paths. I thought that if was only this one particular fish but I later learned after many snorkeling adventures that Puffer Fish in general have a special liking for me. It's funny, they didn't seem to have any interest in Russell!

It ends up that I really do enjoy snorkeling (despite the uncooperating Puffer Fish). We snorkeled quite a bit on Big Island. At a gray sand beach, Russell saw a turtle and we both saw one at Keahuou Beach. We saw sea urchins, fish shaped like poles and lots of other types of things I could never begin to describe. If you ever get the chance to snorkel, I highly recommend it.