Today was our first full day at Turtle Bay! I got up early to get a nice 4 mile run in along the trails before the conference started for the day. The best part about Turtle Bay in my opinion is the grounds. There are not other mega-resorts all around you up here, and there are 850 acres, with 12 miles of trails and 5 miles of shoreline at Turtle Bay for you to explore. There are trails going in each direction from the hotel complex that are pretty well marked, as well as some biking trails and horseback riding trails. There are also long stretches of sandy beach in each direction, so it’s pretty easy to find some places that aren’t too crowded, though all of the beaches in Hawaii are public beaches so they are open to other visitors.
After my (hot and sweaty) run, I had to hit the conference for a few hours, but Chris and Aly got to do a guided hike with the resort dog, Pono. He is a sweet and spunky 1.5 year old lab puppy that everyone seems to love. Aly even got to hold his leash and walk with him for a bit! The walk went along the aforementioned trail to an area called Keiki Cove. This is a cool little protected pool of the ocean along the beach that is really calm and shallow, especially during low tide, so a great place for the kids to splash around. Aly and the others took a brief swim with Pono before they headed back. Then Aly and Chris hit the pool (there is a small slide, though not nearly as cool as the ones at Aulani) and Aly made some new friends at the pool, as usual.
Quick lunch in the room, after we were able to get in (story to follow). So we set off to find a Farmer’s Market we had seen advertised down the road at Waimea Vally. The parking lot was incredibly busy at Waimea Valley, so we figured it must be a cool place to hang out. We ended up going over to explore the park first, thinking we would hit up the market after. Waimea Valley ended up being an amazing botanical garden with a waterfall at the end of the paved walkway that seemed to be the main attraction for many of the visitors. We took our time exploring all of the little side paths, checking out tropical plants that we certainly don’t see back home, and identifying birds from the guide they gave us with Aly. We even stumbled upon some torch ginger in bloom which was really cool!
We made it to the waterfall, ready to swim in the pool at the bottom, and were told it was closing in 5 minutes! So Chris and Aly did a quick climb down to the water with just enough time for a picture and a few splashes, and then got right back out! I have noticed that up here at least, the employees don’t seem to share much more information that is required, unless I ask for it. It would have been nice if they had told us up front that the waterfall “closed” at a certain time, or that none of the demonstrations happened after 3pm (we got there around 3:30), especially since we paid the same entrance fees. Oh well, it was still an enjoyable afternoon.
Back at the Farmer’s Market, we found it to be similar to ours at home in that there were more crafts and other food than actually produce, but we did have a super yummy honey pina colada slush while walking around. They were showing a free movie on the lawn at the park that night, but Aly didn’t want to stick around for The Incredibles 2, so we went driving around to find dinner.
We decided to eat at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Haleiwa tonight after seeing it recommended. Their burgers were pretty tasty, and I had the Hawaiian with teriyaki sauce and pineapple, because, well, when in Rome. . . .It was also a “cheap” dinner compared to other meals we have had on the island, so that was nice. Back to the hotel after dinner, as it seems most places shut down around 8 pm when the sun has gone down.
*Funny story, though we weren’t laughing at the time, but we had the worst time with out rooms at Turtle Bay. The lock on our door of our first room wasn’t working at all today. Three separate times, we tried to get in, nothing lit up, and we had to go down to the front desk to have them let us in. After waiting for maintenace each time, they would announce the lock was “fixed” only we would find out about 30 minutes later that it wasn’t. After doing this 3 times, I finally had to ask to switch rooms. Pack up all of our stuff, including the air mattress that Aly was on, get to new room. . . .which has an air mattress set up. I see two roaches running across the console, scream, and go back to the desk. The manager agrees to let us switch rooms again. No bugs, but no air mattress in the 3rd room, so Chris goes back to the first room to retrieve the mattress again and we finally get Aly to bed. Only a few hours spent on the room debacle today. Grrrr.