The Gathering of Woman wellness retreat will be held in the town of Kailua, on the windward side of Oahu. Nancy Nixon, LCSW, your retreat leader, lived in this idyllic area for many years and knows it well.
Kailua and nearby Lanikai Beach are known to be off the beaten path on Oahu. Due to their quiet beautiful beaches and low-key atmosphere, both Kailua and Lanikai have become home to many stars in the entertainment industry including Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone.
The Mokolua Islands lie just offshore of Lanikai. These tiny islands are bird sanctuaries. One afternoon we will head out to the islands in two-women kayaks. Our guides will give instructions on kayaking and lead us out to the islands.
The ocean is an incredible color of turquoise. Due to the offshore reef, there is little surf and this makes for splendid swimming and snorkeling. On our kayaking trip we can watch the sea turtles play in the crystal clear waters.
Within feet of the shoreline you can see tropical fish and a sea turtle or two swimming by. Being able to view the abundant underworld sea life while snorkeling, is due to the stillness and clarity of the waters. Because the ocean is warm, it is easy to float for long periods of time in this heavenly sea.
These beaches host some of the best windsurfing in the islands. Whether you lie on the beach and watch the kite boarders and windsurfers fly by or try your skill at this sport, this is a great spot for it.
Behind Lanikai is a low-lying ridge that is perfect for an easy early morning or late afternoon hike. There are bunkers at the top of the ridge (left over from World War II).
Atop these bunkers you have a panoramic view of the windward side of the island. Late one afternoon we will hike up the ridge. This hike is manageable for the novice hiker. Check out the video on utube taken from the ridge:
If you are a jogger, Kailua is a great area for running or biking. There are bike lanes throughout the area that cater to these sports.
On another afternoon we will travel down the coast to Sea Life Park. There we will learn about dolphins and have an opportunity to swim in a pool with them.
Also, we will visit The Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe. Within the Valley of the Temples is a slightly smaller replica of the Byodo-In temple in Japan.
This is a very sacred and tranquil spot. The gardens around the temple are lush and tropical. Wild birds will come and eat out of your hands and the streams are filled with of Koi.
In the quaint, picturesque Kailua Town, we can find wonderful shops, restaurants, and coffee houses.
One of Nancy’s favorite restaurants is Buzz’s Steak and Fish House. One night our group will have dinner there. On the porch of Buzz’s is a table dedicated to former President Clinton, who ate there on one of his trips to the islands. The fish and steak at Buzz’s is always great and the salad bar is one of the best on Oahu.