Kerry was only on the island for six weeks before he deployed. We went to a few beaches and museums before he left, but most of our explorations and discoveries have taken place since then. With his joyful return to the island we set out to show him the beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and rich cultural heritage of Hawaii.
So, of course, our first stop was the water park.
Hawaiian Waters was recently bought out by Wet 'N Wild. It's a small water park but has some truly fabulous rides. I hear they are planning to expand into the surrounding eight acres but haven't officially confirmed it, so don't quote me.
One of the first things we tried was the FlowRider. It shoots out jets of water that you can surf or boogie board on. There are many, many people who clearly spend a large portion of their lives on this ride. We watched in awe as young men surfed back and forth across the waves, tilting their boards so that they zoomed from one side to the other, spraying all the bystanders with a wave of water every so often. You have to pay extra for this, it is not included in your admission price. It's only $3 to ride it once or $5 for a wristband which allows you to go on it as many times as you want.
Katie and Emily were the only ones who wanted to try it. (Okay, I wanted to, but didn't want to embarrass myself. I'll try it one day when there are less people around.)
Katie had a hilariously good time. Even with a few spectacular wipeouts she thought it was a blast.
Emily tried it, hated it with a passion, and tried to rip her wristband off the minute she was done.
The most fun ride (in my opinion) was the Tornado. It's a short, quick ride, but very fun and they snap your picture while you are on it. Emily flatly refused to ride this one.
I twisted around to try to see what he was looking at just as we took a two story drop into the funnel.
That was exhilarating.
Emily eventually decided she would ride this one, hated it with a passion, and didn't get on it again.
The most terrifying (and most popular) ride is The Shaka. If you hold up your fist and then point your pinky and thumb at the ceiling, this is the shape of The Shaka.
They shove you off the top and you take a five and a half story nearly vertical drop down one side and up the other. You are not seatbelted in. The raft is not attached to anything which would control its speed, spin, or ability to flip.
Five and a half stories.
Kerry and Katie rode this several times.
Ben rode it once. Emily said no.
I looked at it and thought, "Well, clearly no one had died or it wouldn't still be operational. I'll do it."
Kerry and I hiked to the top (he carried the heavy yellow float). We got up to the top and I looked down from up there and said, "Nope."
On the way back down Kerry was patting me on the back saying, "It's okay, honey. There's no shame in not being able to do it. A lot of people probably can't."
I looked at him and said, "You think I'm embarrassed??? Trust me, I'd be a lot more bothered by going down that thing."
Five and a half stories!