We recently spent four days on Oahu, Hawaii and I got my camera back out after taking a break to focus on work and family.
We stayed on the coast about 30 minutes drive west of Honolulu. The hotel was in a complex of hotels in a somewhat isolated area. We did take a shuttle bus out a couple of times to an area with some restaurants and we went to a luau, but we mostly stayed in the hotel grounds and beach.
As you can see from the photos, the beach was amazing — a perfect swimming lagoon with nice soft sand underfoot. This pano shot didn’t stitch together perfectly, but you get the idea.
There was a pleasant walking path that paralleled the beach. Beyond the four lagoons the the beach turned into lava-rock. It wasn’t that interesting, but as in some of my other photos I used a neutral density filter and 30-second exposure to soften out the waves.
Taking photos of Louie is a challenge now. He’s like a hummingbird — he hardly keeps still. He also isn’t that thrilled to have a lens in his face much of the time. So, my photos are mostly grab shots, with little time for planning or setup. Still, I managed to get a few cute ones.
I was also ‘banned’ from bringing my camera out at times because it can get in the way of a family experience, but I had it with me about half the time.
The hotel grounds were nicely landscaped with ponds, bridges, and flowers. Louie was very excited about feeding the huge koi carp. When they came over he pointed and yelled, “Atta!” which means, “I see it!” in Japanese.
Hawaii has an interesting flora. I especially like the trees with clean trunks and broad fluffy canopies called both rain trees or monkeypod trees. Of course, there were lots of plumeria flowers on the grounds like these white ones.
There were some small pineapples growing at the side of the road to the hotel lobby.
As well sugar cane with sugar oozing out.
Sugar cane isn’t native to Hawaii. It was introduced in the 1840s, and is one of the main cultivated crops. There were also some small bamboo forests.
And coconut palms of course. Louie liked putting rocks into divets in their trunks.
The grounds of the hotel had dozens of other smaller colourful plants.
I tried hard to get a good photo of Louie in the bamboo forest because the light was nice there, but he just wouldn’t cooperate. This was as good as it got.
It might seem strange to Europeans to be on a beach in December, but it was definitely Christmas. We watched the hotel staff put the finishing touches to the tree in the lobby. But Louie just wanted his opai (special mama milk). He wants that a lot.
We’ve worked out that Louie goes to Mama when he wants comfort and Dada when he wants to feel safe.
Dada loves Louie’s hugs and kisses at anytime.
Louie won’t always want to give them so I’ll take them whenever I can. I think he might have been practicing a kiss in this picture.
“What! Are you kidding me? No, I wasn’t!”
Even though the water was calm, Louie was a little nervous about the ocean. He didn’t like the feel of the waves moving the sand around under his feet.
I did take him out into the lagoon, but the water was cool and salty and he wasn’t comfortable there. He wanted to be back on land with Mama and was more at home in the hotel paddling area.
Mama had fun playing too.
Kaori was once again the best looking woman at the hotel pool despite, compared to some, the extra 20 years and a baby.
The aeroplanes made a big impression on Louie. Of course, we went for a ride in a couple of them and he always pointed them out when they flew overhead and yelled, “Airplane”.
As much as Louie loves aeroplanes, he loves his Mama most of all. And she loves him back.