Diamond Head Crater

Our first full day in Hawaii dawned clear and bright. Because of the time difference, Conservative Hubby and I were awake well before the sunrise.

We took advantage of this fact to enjoy views on the balcony and to participate in a terrific yoga class on the lawn overlooking the ocean. (Yes, I did say "we." After nearly eight years of trying, I finally convinced the hubs that yoga isn't so "sissy" after all.)

Then, because we were rarin' to get out and explore, we decided to follow up our morning yoga class with a hike to Diamond Head Crater, which you saw in the background of the photo above.

The concierge told us it was only about 2 miles to the crater, so we decided to hoof it there. Only it didn't seem like 2 miles. We were certain it was much farther than that--although perhaps that was only because it was uphill the entire way and we got caught in a sudden, five-minute rainstorm halfway up the hill.

Either way, once we got to the crater and walked through the tunnel,

we were greeted with this view (but in reverse, as I took this photo from the other side of the crater) ... and the realization we still had to walk to the other side of the crater to even begin the actual hike.

Despite the large number of other travelers winding their way up the steep, curving, narrow trail to the top of the crater (and my frequent stops to take snapshots or ask others to take a photo of the two of us) ...

Conservative Hubby and I made pretty darn good time up the trail.

Then things got even slower, as we made our way through a tiny, dark tunnel

and up a set of rather steep stairs

and then up some treacherous, winding iron stairs in the heart of the mountain. (Leftover from when the crater was a military installation and the troops created bunkers in the crater.)

And then we were at the top and were greeted to the most fantastic views of this

and this

and this, which shows a long-distance view of the hotels along the beach in Waikiki.

And then we set off at once back down the trail, racing as fast as we safely could without taking out elderly folks and pregnant women ambling down slowly.

The reason we raced so fast is very important. We thought we had taken so long that we were missing the Superbowl.

So once we got down to the entrance to the park in the middle of the crater, we hitched a cab ride back to the hotel--only to discover in the cab that we still had plenty of time to get back to the room and shower before the game started.

I guess that walk to the crater didn't take us as long as we thought it did, which was good, because then we had time to dine on fish tacos and fish sandwiches at Duke's, with one eye on the ocean and the other on the TV.

And then we headed back to our hotel to watch the rest of the Superbowl outside under the giant banyan tree in the courtyard.

(Or, as Conservative Hubby called it, the magical Avatar tree ...)

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