Oahu 2014 / by William Bryan

Today was the first day of snow in Boston. I walked around the city browsing through stores looking for good Black Friday deals and got a little too cold on the walk home. Sitting here with a cup of tea looking out the window I caught myself thinking about my trip to Hawaii this summer.

My friend Kevin texted me: “Come visit me.” He lived in Hawaii and said it as a joke. He had told several of his friends from his freshman year in college to come visit him on his island in the middle of the Pacific. Most people responded with various reasons for why they couldn’t, but I said “OK.”

Later that day I asked my Dad if we could go to Hawaii later in the summer. We had been planning a Father-Son trip for August anyway, so after deciding to take the easy route (we were considering destinations like Mexico City, or Antigua, Guatemala), we booked flights to Oahu.

When I told Kevin that my Dad and I had just bought tickets to spend a week in Hawaii, he didn’t believe me. “Wait, really?” he asked. “Yes, really,” I assured him.

After landing in Waikiki at 11 p.m. I turned on my phone to a text from Kevin: Sunrise hike, I’m picking you up at 4:45.

Gulp, I wasn’t prepared for that. Even with the time difference helping me out I wasn’t excited to wake up that early to go for a hike. But hey, he was the local and knew what to do in Hawaii. That was half of the reason for coming to Hawaii anyway, I didn’t want to spend a week being a tourist going to the wrong beaches and eating shrimp at the wrong shrimp shack. I replied and we confirmed our plans.

The alarm rang at 4:00 and I slowly lumbered out of bed, trying to stay quiet so my Dad wouldn’t wake up in the other bed across the room. I mindlessly showered, pulled on some board shorts, and gnawed on a Cliff bar.

He picked me up outside of my hotel and we drove through the empty streets of Waikiki to his friends house. After picking her up we headed to McDonalds (the only place on the island that opens early enough) for some early morning grub. We ate our breakfast sandwiches as we drove to Makapu’u, watching the light in the sky grow brighter and brighter. I’m not sure about the other two, but I started to doubt our timing as the sky got brighter and brighter.

Needless to say, we made it in time:

The hike itself was relatively short, 20 minutes at most, so more of a sunrise walk, but I’m not complaining.

We made our way to the summit and then spotted a lighthouse below us that we wanted to explore as the sun rose.

The lighthouse.

We got to the lighthouse and discovered a fence separating us from our goal.

(We managed to get a little bit closer to the lighthouse).

My hiking companions.

After watching the sunrise, we hiked down a cliff and snorkeled in these tide pools.

This photo, and the next two below are from a hike up Diamond Head (not a sunrise hike, but still an early one) that I went on with my Dad later in the trip after I had recovered from the first Hawaiian hiking experience.

Thousands of houses are packed into the hills beyond the ridge of the inactive volcano.


Two trees compete for space, somewhere on the North Shore.

Obligatory underwater photo.