It was such a wonderful day on Thursday, I couldn’t begin to put it in words yesterday (hence writing Thursdays post on Friday). We found some island treasures and ended the day learning about a musical treasure sitting in front of us.
The day started with Mike having his run and meeting me at the beach, as I sipped my coffee, listened to music, and watched the morning unfold. After his float, we returned to the house.
Breakfast was made of french toast sticks smothered in fresh bananas and lilikoi with a side of fresh mango.
We plotted out the rest of the day. Over the years we’ve done the must see sights and aren’t ready to repeat them yet, so off we went to find more off the beaten path treasures on the island.
We started the unintentional treasure hunt at Moanalua Gardens. We walked around the small garden and summer home (not allowed in) of King Kamehameha V. This garden is known for its Monkeypod trees and one of them is the symbol for the Hitachi Group.
Our next stop was for a hike, The Moanalua Valley Trail. Due to Mike’s training schedule, we haven’t hiked here or at home in a while. We picked an easy trail, one we could turn around at any time we wanted. We did part of the Valley Trail, so no steep sections. This trail actually leads up to a ridge trail to the backside of the top of the Haiku Stairs. We hit a turn around point at the 1.5 mile mark, due to rushing water. A couple was crossing it, but with a walk and a race scheduled for this week why chance it? This was a great little easy hike and the hidden treasure was a rock with petroglyphs and the ruins of an old settlement. It rained, it misted, we got soaked but loved all of it. One of the plaques described how this is a dry summer streambed in summer months, well not this summer.
Returning from the hike, we had to go home to change into dry clothes before heading out to lunch. We decided to visit Salt at Kaka’ako block to find food. This is the up and coming area for Honolulu. We ate at the Moku Kitchen. This was a hipster joint, with slightly overpriced food and hugely overpriced beers. The food was good, I had fish tacos and Mike had a chicken with salad, we started with a ginger poke salad. Would I return, no. It was good, but it wasn’t us.
In this complex was a beer tasting room, so before we totally dismissed this block as not a place for us, we gave The Village Tasting Room a try. Phew, we fit in and had a few half pour beers from around the world. Small crowd, knowledgeable people and a place we fit in.
I also spied a chocolate shop, Lonohana Estate Chocolate. Small samples of their amazing chocolate was available to taste. It was a tasting treasure, but I did control myself. Picked up a few things for the Oahu heart gift boxes.
One last stop before we made it home, Pipeline Bakeshop for malasadas. OMG these are the best malasadas ever and we’ve had Leonards and the lady in front of Kmart Kauai, two of Oahu and Kauai’s best malasadas makers. Pipeline, Pipeline, Pipeline is the place., such a treasure treat to eat.
We made it home a little after 4, to rest and I needed to put my shirt together for the Oahu Heart Walk. Donations are being accepted till 7 p.m. Pacific time, August 10th.
Then it was time for the big concert at the Waikiki Aquarium at 7 p.m. The Ke Kani O Ke Kai.
It started with Hula Olana coming on to perform. This first performance moved me to tears. It was hauntingly beautiful.
The first group up was a trio, Keauhou. They performed traditional Hawaiian music.
The next performer,Natalie Ai Kamau’u, was soulfully moving and for me the highlight of the night. She broke down crying because her Auntie Nina was there, she was nervous to sing in front of her and had to change her entire set list when she found out Auntie Nina was there. You see Auntie Nina is a Hawaiian treasure. We quickly googled her and found out she is Nina Kealiiwahamana, very influential for Hawaiian female singers. Next thing we know, Natalie’s daughter is on stage, dancing the hula and the set ended with Natalie’s mother dancing the hula (she opened one of the famous Hula schools) and her father playing the ukulele, singing with Natalie. It was a beautiful moment to witness. The respect, honor and love in the air could be felt, tasted and absorbed.
Grammy winner,Kalani Pe‘a, finished off the night. I have been following his career for the past year, so it was fun to see him in concert. He performed two songs in Hawaiian, but has a love for old school bluesy/jazzy music, including singing some from the Carpenters. He is a funny guy, who puts on a good show.
We walked home, in awe of the day overall, but especially the concert. Today we were given the gifts of small treasures in the forms of nature, food and people, what a blessing.