This is the day we rented a car and went to Lanikai Beach and Sunset Beach. Waikiki Beach is great, but we heard Lanikai was a more remote place with a beautiful background. Sunset Beach, as the name implies, is known to be a wonderful place to watch the sun set.
We had a chance to drive around the the island by visiting Lanikai Beach and Sunset Beach.
We had already booked a car in advance with Budget. Cinnamon said that we absolutely must drive around the island in a convertible for just one day, and I also thought it was a great idea. So we dug deeper into our wallets and rented a convertible, and got the best insurance there was.
This was our first time renting a car, so there were some hiccups. We went to the basement garage to pick the car up, but then were told that we should have picked up the paperwork from the office first. So we went up to the office, and were told that we had not rented a convertible, but just a more expensive vehicle without an open-top. So we paid more money, and got the paperwork and went back down to the basement garage for pick-up. There were red and black convertibles. We asked for red, for that Sex and the City feel (I have never watched the show, but I felt like such a Samantha that day, whatever that means). Then we were told that the reds were taken, and so we got a black one.
The moment her butt touched the seat, Cinnamon got very nervous. She was the designated driver. Of course she’d get nervous; anyone would, when driving an expensive and unfamiliar car in foreign land. She managed to throw in smiles and laughs despite her nerves, although I thought I saw the corners of her mouth twitch involuntarily a few times.
I don’t necessarily put the “gay” in “navigation”, so I don’t know how much my directions that I read aloud from Google Maps helped her. At her request, I took pictures of what we saw from behind the windshield.
This photo doesn’t capture the “Whoah” factor that we experienced in the car, but you get the idea.
We were on the freeway for 90% of the ride to Lanikai, so we had the top closed, for safety reasons. We tried to lower the top after we got out of the freeway, but learned that it is locked while the car is in motion.
Finding parking at Lanikai was difficult. On that day, a nearby elementary school was having a fundraising event where you could park in the school parking lot for $5. We had hoped to find parking nearer to the beach for the sake of instagrammable pictures, but we settled for easy parking. We were the first car in the parking lot. A few cars came, then left after seeing the parking lot. We felt alone and I felt scared because I am a worrier. Of course, nothing bad happened.
At the elementary school parking lot lol
It was the first time with a convertible for the both of us, so there was a lot we struggled with. When we went to a gas station to top off the tank later at night, we didn’t know which gasoline to use, so a passing customer helped us. Before this, I hadn’t even known that you needed to use a certain type of gasoline for a convertible. I wished that at a time like this, a tall, handsome manly-man who was knowledgeable about cars could have spent the day with us two ladies. Actually, an average dude with some knowledge about cars would do as well…
Lanikai Beach. As we had heard, there were less people and beautiful islands in the background. However, there was nowhere to eat or rent beach chairs and parasols, like in Waikiki.
I played in the water and Cinnamon enjoyed music while lying on her back in the sand. When 4o minutes had passed, it started to rain. It seemed like a light drizzle at first, then the rain drops got bigger and bigger. We were getting hungry anyway, so we packed up and said our goodbyes to Lanikai Beach.
We asked a local resident where we could go to eat. We drove 5 minutes in the direction that she pointed at, and arrived at a plaza. We got fish and shrimp tacos, and got some snacks at a grocery store and headed to Sunset Beach.
We loosened up and got more used to the rented car as we drove on to Sunset Beach. Also, the road view was prettier, and the idea of seeing a sunset at Sunset Beach pumped us with adrenaline.
Mountain, sky, trees and clouds…Ah….
Felt like we were in the driveway of some unknown palace.
Saw this when I turned my head while riding over a bridge.
Since we had a not-so-great-time finding parking at Lanikai Beach, we were eager to park whenever we saw an empty spot. We neared an unknown beach on our way to Sunset Beach, and saw that a parking spot was available. We assumed that it’d be hard to find parking at the popular Sunset Beach, so we parked there, and thought it’d be a good idea to walk to our destination. We walked for 20 minutes with all our stuff, heavy on our shoulders.
As we walked, we noticed that this was a residential area that had developed around several nearby beaches, Sunset Beach being one of them. The pedestrian road we were walking on was very close to the front yards and garage doors of many homes. It was quiet, and we got to see how the people in the north of Honolulu spent their Sunday afternoons.
There were several memorable things I saw on our walk to Sunset Beach.
First off, I saw wild chickens…Healthy wild chickens were clucking around on the pedestrian road and the surrounding grass. I kept seeing groups of them as we walked, so I am assuming that they don’t belong to an owner… I heard in Japan, there were lots of stray cats, but I guess they have stray chickens here instead. I would have loved to take some pictures of this uncommon sight, but we were holding too much stuff.
Also, I saw a young boy selling lemonade across the busy road. It was in the front yard of his house (albeit I don’t know if I should call it a front yard, because it was huge and his house was situated very far back). I thought him brave for standing there alone, trying to sell lemonade to the cars that were zooming by on the open road.
As we walked, we saw several tall, sun-kissed guys walking around in nothing but swimming shorts. In November! Most of them were holding surf boards. We could tell that their muscles were not made in the gym (not that there is anything wrong with gym muscles). These were muscles developed from years of swimming and surfing. They weren’t washboard abs, but they were toned and just as delightful to glimpse at (blush).
We also passed by a house with its garage doors open. Two older teenage boys were fixing a car with the hood popped open, listening to music from a stereo. I have seen these kind of things in Hollywood movies and sitcoms, but to see it in real life was something else. It felt so nostalgic, for some reason.
We passed by more beaches than we could count on one hand, it seemed. There are no signs anywhere to indicate the name of the beach, so I asked passing residents, “Is this Sunset Beach?”. They’d answer, “No. It’s at the far end”.
Finally, we got to Sunset Beach. Lo and behold, there were tons of parking spaces at Sunset Beach. We complained that we should have just driven here instead of carrying our stuff, but now that I think about it, I’m really glad we walked.
Here are some pictures of Sunset Beach.The wind was very strong that day.
The sun sets on this side.
The wind was so angry, so there was a sign warning people to not enter the water. But we saw a bunch of surfers, cowabunga-ing at the far back, riding huge waves. It looked very dangerous, and I was in awe of the size of their metaphorical balls.
Cinnamon receiving the energy of the furious waves.
Sitting on a towel, snacks laid out infront of me…So relaxing.
I need to go back.
Here are pictures of the sunset.
I had never seen a sunset before. It was very ephemeral.
It was getting chillier and the wind kept blowing. We set off to return to the hotel.
We had a hard time finding the basement garage to return the car, and this drained the remainder of our energy. With the car dropped off, we went to get dinner for our last night in Hawaii.
We walked around and ended up going back to Marukame Udon, a place we said we would love to try a second time. I got the cold, plain Zaru udon, with chikuwa tempura and tuna mayo rice ball.
Feeling full but very tired, we walked back to the hotel instead of going out to a bar like we had originally planned. The weather outside was wonderful as usual, and we said we would really miss the nightly walks in Hawaii.
Mini Grey Goose Orange and Melon.
We spent our final night in the island rolling around in bed and looking at the pictures we had amassed.