A group of seven CA students and one teacher are visiting the Hawaiian Islands as part of the Winterim experience. Each day they will have immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and lifestyle. You can follow their experience on Instagram: @CAHawaii2020
Day 1 was a travel day and the group safely arrived in Hawaii!
Day 2, Written By: CA Senior, Akanee Angel,
Aloha CA family! After a long day of travel, we are writing to you from the beautiful beaches of Oahu, Hawaii. Our first day on the island was filled to the brim with ocean water, pineapples, and cheeseburgers. We started off Winterim with a walk along Waikiki Beach, and right before we got on our tour bus, we met the most adorable dog named Breadfruit. (Seriously, go look at him. @alohabreadfruit) Our bus driver took us through the island of Oahu towards the district of Ko Olina. Here, we boarded the sailboat and started our journey of snorkeling. The constant breeze of the ocean paired with the enveloping warmth of the sun made the perfect relaxing environment.
The first part of the boat ride was focused on animal watching. We saw a mother and baby humpback whale and a pod of six dolphins! Once we reached our snorkeling destination, we dressed in our gear and jumped into the ocean. With most of our group being first-time snorkelers, there was a learning curve; we love to talk about how we “slurped up” the salt water multiple times. The one experienced diver on our trip––Dorothy––was even able to touch the sea floor. We saw almost every fish from Finding Nemo, and we were greeted by an adorable sea turtle. Following our snorkeling adventure, we ate Hawaiian barbecue on our way back. Akanee and Lily, overestimating their ability to control lettuce, lost much of it to the sea.
Driving back to our hotel, we decided we needed an outlet for all of our peers to see our adventures, so we made an Instagram, @cahawaii2020. Here you will see our rainbows and dinners of the day, along with the highlights of our trip.
At the end of the long day, we just wanted some comfort food, so we walked to a local restaurant called Rainbow’s Drive-in. This was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We talked for hours about snorkeling, airplanes, and crazy pet stories while enjoying our cheeseburgers and fries.
Our first day in paradise blew away our expectations, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of our Winterim holds.
Day 3: Written by CA Junior, Nicole Currie
Aloha, To start off our day, we went to Waikiki beach to watch the sun rise. Then, we drove through Ko’olau Mountain range, experiencing a beautiful view of the mountains. We arrived at Kualoa Ranch for a horseback riding tour. This is the ranch where many movies and tv shows like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, George of the Jungle, Jumanji, Hawaii Five-0, Lost, and many others were filmed. The land was owned by King Kamehameha III and it is considered to be one of the most sacred places on the island of Oahu. Over the hour, we saw lots of plants and trees, and the view over the ocean blew us away. Our horses had names like Napoleon, Monet, Blue, Cappuccino, and Waimea. After, we grabbed lunch at North Shore Tacos. Even though this was a little shack off the road, these fresh tacos were the best we’ve ever eaten. We went on after on a hike to Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens and Waterfall. The park holds educational presentations and workshops on Hawaiian Culture and history highlighting the surrounding lands, animals, and different species of tropical plant life. After our mile hike, we swam in a thirty foot deep waterfall. The waterfall was so beautiful and refreshing. We finished off the day by relaxing under the sun and watching the sunset at Haleiwa Beach on the North Shore.
Day 4 Written by Senior Lily Butler:
Greetings from Hawaii!
This morning we woke up to what locals call liquid sunshine. The sun was shining bright with heavy rain showers, bringing a new rainbow to the sky. We started the day off with a trip down the street to Leonardo’s Bakery where we bought fresh malasadas, which are Portuguese donut, for our car ride to Pearl Harbor. We all enjoyed the warm, sugary, fried dough and ordered different types, including cinnamon and custard-filled. I think we came to a consensus that they were not even comparable to our local Shipley’s! When we arrived at Pearl Harbor, the wind was strong as we waited for our tour to begin. Leah tried to trick the birds into thinking she had food when she threw leaves to them, and they actually fell for it for a little while! Our tour began with a moving film on the historical context and details of the tragic Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. We took a ferry ride to go by the remains and monument of the USS Arizona, but we did not actually enter the monument, as the wind was too strong for the sailors to pull up close to the building. Instead, one of the Navy sailors narrated our boat ride and we learned about the architecture of the memorial. It’s shape (a rectangle with a dip in the middle) represents our country’s pride and ultimate victory, as the way it dips in the middle symbolizes the Great Depression and the upward slope signifies our return to prosperity. After this inspirational look at our nation’s history, we headed to the Dole Plantation. We boarded the Pineapple Express and learned about Hawaiian agriculture and Dole’s history. Specifically, we were fascinated by the origin of pineapples. They are believed to come from Paraguay before spreading into Mexico. Historians hold a likely theory that pineapples reached Hawaii due to a Spanish shipwreck off the Hawaiian coast that brought the tools and items necessary for pineapples to be grown in Hawaii. Today, pineapple is popular worldwide and is commonly known as a symbol of hospitality. We tried Dole Whip after our train ride, and it was basically summer in a cone! About 88% of us were immediate fans of the pineapple treat, but we still decided to stop for lunch at Uncle Bo’s as we approached the North Shore. After lunch, we browsed the surrounding shops and saw lots of cool stuff! So far we’ve noticed that Hawaiians are quite fond of SPAM, as there are SPAM recipe books in nearly every store. We rode back to the hotel and let down the windows to feel the soft breeze. Everyone planned to go to the pool, but the wind made it a bit chilly so we watched television together for a while. Later on, we made a light night trip downstairs for the hotel’s Taco Tuesday before turning in for the night. This day only made us more excited about the adventures to come on our Winterim!
Day 5: Written by Senior, Skylar Baggett
Aloha! Today was our 5th day on the beautiful island of Oahu. We started our day by going to our favorite donut (malasada) shop, Leonard’s Bakery. Check out Leonards story on their website, https://www.leonardshawaii.com/about/
. After that, we went to Hawaii’s largest open air flea market at the University of Hawaii football Aloha Stadium where there were rows of at least 300 local merchants with art, hand made items, Hawaiian local snacks and lots of souvenirs. There was sporadic rainfall throughout our time here, but fortunately we could stand under the vendors’ tents. While we were shopping, most of us decided to get Henna tattoos. Before our next stop, we decided to go eat at Popeyes. After we sparked a debate about the chicken sandwiches at Popeyes VS Chick Fil A, we went to the #1 rated beach in the US, Kailua Beach. We learned that ocean water is salty because acid in rainfall breaks down rocks on land, causing the particles to be carried away into the ocean. We spent the rest of our day body surfing, diving into waves and basking in the sun.
Day 6 Written by Junior, Leah Hayes
Aloha everyone ! Today we visited the Polynesian Culture Center in Lā’ie, Hawaii. When we arrived, our tour guide walked us through the different islands that make up the Polynesian triangle. The Polynesian Triangle includes: Tahiti, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Marquesas, Easter Island, and Hawaii. It is located in the Pacific Ocean and is approximately 16 million square miles.
New Zealand- This is a Western culture that is influenced by unique environments. We learned that one of their native hand shakes involve shaking hands and putting their foreheads together.
Samoa- There are three main parts in the Samoan culture, that is faith, family, and music. Our guide told us that the people of Samoa are very strict on what roles men and women have in life. Men are the ones who were in the kitchen. They produced fire and the food while it was considered disrespectful for women to be in the kitchen.
Tonga- Tongans are closely related to the Samoans and are located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. We learned that agriculture is the mainstay of the Tongan economy. Coconuts and bananas are the main cash crops.
Fiji- The Fijian culture is a rich and colorful culture. We learned that the kings temple had four entrances. Two of the entrances were for regular Fijian people, one was for the kings servants and guards, and the last one was only for the king. If anyone was caught coming in or leaving through the kings door, they would most likely be put to death.
Marquesas- The Marquesas Islands are home to a modest population of people. They are said to be the finest craftsmen throughout French Polynesia. We learned that they create large and excellent carvings along with tattoos and jewelry.
After we toured the different cultures, we went to a luau. A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast accompanied by entertainment. We tried Kalua pig which was cooked in the ground for many hours, lomi salmon, poi, ahi poke, and delicious desserts. While we ate, we learned about Queen Liliuokalani the last monarchy of Hawaii. The Polynesian dancers performed the hula to many of the songs that were written by the queen while she was imprisoned. After we ate we headed to the Pacific Theater where they performed “Hā: Breath of Life” which tells a story of soul, the spirit of aloha, and ohana which means family.
Day 7: Written by CA Senior, Dorothy Deeds
We started off our day with a beautiful hike at Diamond Head. Diamond Head was a volcano than went dormant and turned into a crator. The view from the top of the mountain was breathtaking. It is estimated the cone is anywhere from 400,000 to 500,000 years old. We were able to see the entirety of the crator as well as the mountains and ocean surrounding O’ahu. After the hike we enjoyed some delicious food. Most of the group had pizza made in a hawaiian fashion and the others enjoyed fresh sushi. The next thing on our to do list was to snorkel at Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay was also a volcano at one point but over hundreds and thousands of years was worn down by the ocean to create a bay that inhabits many different species. It is a pristine marine ecosystem that is protected by the city of Honolulu. Every visitor must watch a nine minute video so they can learn about the marine life, preservation and safety rules for the park. After we laid out on the beach for a while, we headed back to our hotel in Waikiki. We decided to shower up and walk down the street from our hotel and and find some dinner. We ended up eating at OMG, Oahu Mexican Grill and had some delicious nachos, tacos, burritos, salads, and quesadillas. Now it is time to hit the hay and get some rest for our busy day tomorrow!
Day 8 Written by Senior Nadiya Stowe:
Before we start our journey to the museum , we go to Starbucks, the ABC Store, and the laundry mat. The laundry mat was either self service or drop off service. It was something new and fun for most of us. We went to the Iolani Palace. The Palace had many different rooms such as: the blue room, gold room, imprisonment room – which was the emotional room, a library, guest rooms, informal dining room, and more. This was the last of Hawaii’s kingdom because Americans annexed them to a U.S. territory in 1893 with Queen Liliokalani being the queen. In 1959 Hawai’i became the 50th state. After the museum, we went out to eat and headed to Makaha beach. The beach had huge blue waves that swept us off our feet. There were surfers and people on boogie boards. It was quite a fun and funny experience. We stayed at the beach until sunset and went to our hotel to shower. We got dinner and we were in for the night!
Day 9 Written by Senior Akanee Angel:
Aloha! Today, we boarded a forty minute flight, and Kona and the Big Island welcomed us with some sprinkling rain and the outdoor airport. The Big Island of Hawai’i is about 4,050 square miles about the size of Connecticut but continues to grow every day from the very active volcano, Kīlauea. We boarded our second rental car, which we named the Yacht. On our way to the hotel, we drove down a road lined with black lava fields, goats, and mongoose. The lava fields were made when the lava cools quickly it forms a extrusive igneous rock. Our resort, the Hilton Waikoloa, is incredible—there are three different wings with a lagoon and connected with a tram service. Once we checked in, we explored the shopping center near the resort. Then we got in the Yacht and drove around the island. The craziest view was on the main highway: it was once again lined with lava fields, but on the left was the ocean and beach, and the right housed a mountain, Mauna Kea with snow on top. Yes, snow in Hawaii! Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on Hawaii at 13,803 feet above sea level. After the tiring day, we retired early and enjoyed a good night sleep before an early morning. The Big Island is very different from Oahu. It is much less touristy, and there is so much open land. It makes it easier to admire the nature, and the calmness is a lot more apparent here. I love both islands for their own reasons, but I do feel a lot more at peace in Kona. Something that I can’t help but notice throughout our entire trip is the aloha spirit. In places like the Polynesian Cultural Center and even at the rental car center, people call us “ohana,” which means family. Everyone we have crossed paths with has simply been kind. And that has transferred to us as well. I have never been with a more loving and giving group of girls, and I hope to take this aloha spirit back home with me.
Day 10: Written by Seniors, Skylar Baggett & Lily Butler
Aloha again! Today we woke up early to go on a snorkeling and sailing adventure. We rode out into the ocean for a while so the captain could take us to the best spot for snorkeling. We spent most of our time in Kealakekua Bay, which is an open cove backed by a magnificent cliff face of stone. The name of the cove directly translates to “passage of the gods.” In tribal days, chiefs and nobility lived in the west side of the bay while the commoners resides on the eastern section. During those times, the cliff was used as a mausoleum for chiefs. Early Hawaiian people believed that one could steal the talents of the dead through remains, so the bones of chiefs were hidden in the holes of the cliff. Young boys from eleven to sixteen would compete for the chance to be the person lowered along the cliff side to hide the bones, but once the bones were stowed away the rope holding them up would be cut, dropping them onto the sharp rocks below. However, this bay is not simply well known because of its significance to tribal Hawaii. It’s actually a popular spot because of its relevance to the story of Captain Cook, an English explorer. In 1796, the captain set off to find a northwest passage, but when he only saw icy waters he knew that no such path existed. Not wanting to return home in defeat, he decided to map out the Pacific and this led him to Hawaii. He discovered Hawaii and its indigenous people during their celebration of peace, and they welcomed him as a messenger from their god of the sea. Cook took advantage of their adoration of him and only gave the people some fishing hooks in exchange for all their hospitality. When one of his men contracted malaria and died, he was put in the pools that were used as a water source. As more people contracted malaria the Hawaiian people began to resent Cook, and sensing the tension he left. However, not long into his voyage his mast broke and he returned to the island for help. Unfortunately, the Hawaiians were in the midst of celebrating their god of war, and realizing he was no messenger of the gods, they refused to help him and asked him to leave. Angry, Cook made the error of stepping towards the chief, which was a crime punishable by death in tribal society. He was immediately killed, and his bones were put in the cliff so nobody could take his skills of cartography. Today, a small piece of land at the cove contains a memorial for him and the tiny area actually belongs to Britain. We remembered the rich history of the bay as we snorkeled and swam alongside beautiful fish and coral. When we were back on land, we went to a black sand beach. We enjoyed climbing on the rocks bordering the ocean and relaxing under the shade of the palm trees. As the sun started to go down we left to eat a nice dinner at the Hilo Bay Cafe. It was a nice dining experience and we returned to the hotel ready to rest up for another day in paradise!
Day 11, Written by CA Senior Lily Butler:
Our time in Hawaii has flown by and it’s so hard to believe it’s our final day! We started off the morning with a breakfast buffet at our resort and hurried to reach the bus for our volcano tour. There we met Warren, our own tour guide. We then headed towards the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and on the way we listened to Warren while taking in the natural beauty around us. We learned that Hawaii is on a tectonic plate that moves four inches a year, so in a couple thousand years the islands will most likely be right next to Japan. Warren also explained that there are 5 major volcanoes on the big island and one of them, Mauna Kea, is actually taller than Mount Everest when measured from its summit to its base below the sea. These volcanoes often cause damaging earthquakes. Our tour guide remembers his Grandma telling the story of how their family moved from the big island to O’ahu to avoid the many tremors caused by the nearby volcanoes. As we continued on our drive, we saw the surface of a lava tube cave system, the big island’s first church, and even some peaceful protesters. There is currently an endeavor to build a 30 meter telescope, which is 14 stories high, on one of the slopes, but many locals oppose this. They don’t mind the telescope itself, but think it should be in a more secluded location. They are reverent to the beautiful mountains, and hope to preserve the scenery of Hawaii. Even now, Hawaii looks far different than it must have before America’s annexation of the land and the arrival of early tribes. Before Hawaii was occupied, the people of other Polynesian civilizations noticed that birds migrated to their islands each year. Knowing the must derive from some other land formation, they would sail and follow the birds as far as they could. The Polynesians maintained this practice for many generations until they discovered all of the Hawaiian Islands and created new civilizations. After learning all of this fascinating information and more, we stopped to sample a wide variety of locally produced coffees and teas at the Royal Kona museum and coffee mill. While there, Skylar claimed she consumed the most coffee she’d ever had in her life. When we got back in the bus, Leah wanted to tell a story from our visit to the flea market on Oahu, and Warren let her speak into his microphone headset! Later on, we went to and ate Hawaiian style plate meals and sweet malasadas at the Punalu’u Bake Shop. Full and energized we drove along the Hawaiian countryside where there were once sugar cane farms. We reached the volcano park and when we were up to 4,000 feet in elevation we looked out over the Kīlauea Iki Crater. Being this high up, it was a bit chilly so we moved on after a few minutes. We went and saw craters from different viewpoints and walked on cooled lava rocks with hues of black, red, and orange. Just by the rocks we could see how the lava had once flowed through the land and some areas even had ash remaining on them. We went to the park’s visitor center and learned about how the Kilauea Volcano has changed from the events in 2018 where it drained lava into the island’s lava tubes. After leaving the volcano park, we went to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation and got to try samples of all the fun flavors they have— everything was so good! The shop is surrounded by orchards that contain 250,00 macadamia trees, which makes for a pretty drive. When we returned to the hotel a little while later, some of us went swimming in the resort’s gigantic pool before getting ready for dinner. For our final dinner together, we went to Macaroni Grill and reminisced on our favorite activities from our time in Hawaii— this trip has been such a fun, informative experience. Mahalo for keeping up with our Winterim!