What I liked about it also was that you could go quite far in and still only be up to your chest in the water, and the bottom was completely covered in sand - a perfect area of the ocean that is probably not commonly replicated anywhere else.
I had been here on this exact beach 28 years ago, also swimming in the ocean, and so it was kind of strange and neat to have the sparse memories of a 4 year old finally filled in by the matured perspective of today's experience.
It was great to feel the calm, warm, blue water around me and very relaxing. Lots of good people watching as well and there were lots of surfers further out that were surfing in the waves. The break water was much past where all of the people were wading in the ocean, and so by the time the waves got to us, they were calm and barely noticeable - just a mild swell of water here and there, but nothing treacherous and no danger of being pummelled at all! I stayed in the water for about an hour. Ben came in as well for a bit and then spent the rest of the time on the beach, while I enjoyed the water and tried to soak in as much of it as I could at that point, being that it may be my last chance in these waters for a very long time! (but hopefully not another 28 years!). It also felt warmer to stay in the water than to be out on the sand as well, as it was a bit windy outside and it started to lightly mist again as we were leaving.
After the beach we walked down the beachfront road towards the police station, where Ben made his obligatory visit and chatted with the police officer there at the reception desk for awhile. He said he would definitely take a job with the Honolulu Police Dept. if he came here to live, and they said they are short on officers as well and could use him!
After that we continued to walk along and hit the International Market Place, which is a "market" area of outdoor stalls selling merchandise similar to that of the swap meet that we had been to yesterday. Lots of things to see though and Ben looked at what seemed like many watches, while I bought a small souvenir for my sister. By this time Ben was hungry, and I was as well, which was perfect because there was a food court there that actually had several places with food that I could actually eat! I was so hungry by that point and it was hard to choose what to have. They had a veggie burger and fries, a Mexican place with vegetarian burritos, Chinese chow mein and fried rice, and a place with a few yummy-sounding items including a tofu curry, which I almost got.
But then I saw they had spaghetti too which I suddenly craved and so got a tofu and vegetable stir fried on top of the spaghetti and garlic sauce. What a great choice, because it was delicious and definitely the best meal that I've had since I've been here! (probably the only real "meal" as well, since it's just mostly been 'snacking' so far) I also got a filling orange/wheat germ/ginseng protein smoothie. Ben got a strawberry-banana smoothie as well as his signature quesadilla.
After that it was getting late, and surprisingly a bit cold, and we started to make our way back to the hotel. Ben found one of the motorcycle rental places that he was looking for, and although it was closed, we were able to see what motorcycles they have and he saw 3 right away that he would like to drive. I have promised him a ½ day motorcycle rental while we are here, although I am somewhat nervous about riding on it with him, but I know that he really wants this and I want him to live out his dreams! He told me today though that in addition to the basic motorcycle riding course that his dad made him take when he was a kid and getting his motorcycle license, he also took the advanced course and then the instructors' course after that - so I'm figuring that he's got to be pretty good at riding motorcycles and it should all be okay.
We went back to the hotel and tried out the hot tub for a bit, which was nice and very hot, and then turned in for the evening. I want to make sure that we are well-rested for tomorrow morning as I want to get up early so that we will make it to kayaking in the morning.
Today we were supposed to go kayaking, but Ben wasn't feeling well so we stayed in the hotel all morning while he rested, and then in the early afternoon he felt better and we decided to go down to the beach here in Waikiki and then go window shopping. The weather was the same as the previous few days and we made sure to thoroughly coat ourselves with the 45 SPF sunscreen before leaving. It was sunny with clouds dotting the sky above and around the forecasted 28 degrees. We walked the 2 blocks or so from our hotel down to Waikiki beach, the sight of which was breathtaking (our first time there in the day where we could actually see the beach and water well). Waikiki Beach spans far in length, but in width is only really about 5 metres wide at some points, so as you can imagine it was quite crowded with people, both on the sand and in the water. The sand was so yellow and fine and the water was so blue and actually warm, so I can see why it is such a popular and busy beach!