The hotel I stayed at in Honolulu had penguins. Penguins. They swam in the water with turtles and koi, and people could pet them if they came close enough. Penguins. In Hawaii.
The inner part of Honolulu is very different from the coast. It is cloudier and more tropical. The plant life is very unique. Granted, we were at a botanical garden. But look at this tree! I’d never seen anything like it. It reminds me of a crayon…peel back the paper and find a new color. Not that we peeled the tree. That would have been frowned upon.
And there are flowers like this one. So bright and beautiful. So much like a sea urchin or anemone, perched on a coral branch, swaying in the sea current.
Driving along the eastern coast of the island is absolutely stunning. On one side of the road are Jurassic Park-like mountains, jagged and green. On the other side are sheer cliffs, dropping off into the bluest water.
Along the way, we passed secluded coves with calm water inside rocky enclosures. Some people had braved the treacherous paths to lounge on the private beach. Paradise.
And in the distance were mountain islands just begging for picnic-ers.
Up on the North Shore, we didn’t find any big surfing waves during the calmer time of year, but we did find the perfect beach for lounging and swimming. The water was warm and deepened immediately after the shoreline. Swim in place, bob up and down in a peaceful tub of ocean. But 3 feet closer to shore, try to make it back to your beach towel, and be dragged repeatedly back into the sea. Paradise is not easy to escape.