Day 14 – Ohana

Our last full day here and whelp it was a grand day.  You see the island treated us with aloha and made us feel like ohana.

After coffee and breakfast a plan was devised to drive around the island to places we’ve visited before and places we missed this trip.

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We went to the windward side via Waimanalo, Kaneohe, Laie, Haleiwa, Wahiawa ending in Honolulu.

Our first full stop was near Makapu’u Beach Park at Ku Heiua to pay our respects.

After this stop our next spot was Kualoa Beach Park.

The drive along was simply beautiful.

Our next stop was Hukilau Beach and really the one reason we stopped was because of the name.  Good thing we did stop here. We found a phone in the sand. Mike was able to find the name of the owner and we walked the beach looking for the owner.  We asked a few people, but all said no not theirs. We decided that we would bring it to the Laie Police Station and as we were headed to the car, we spotted a frantic girl looking for something, you all know that “oh no where is my phone” look, she had it.  We found the phone’s owner and she bestowed blessings upon us.

Our next destination was Foodland in Sunset Beach for some light lunch items to eat at Haleiwa Beach Park.

Continuing our tour our next stop was Wahiawa Botanical Gardens in Wahiawa.  This is a lovely little botanical garden smack dab in the city.  We visited this special garden five years ago, however back then the lower half of the garden was blocked off, today it wasn’t.  This isn’t a huge botanical garden, but just enough to stretch the legs and enjoy the beauty and oh, the sweet smell of the Mahogany tree.

Magic happened at the end of this visit.  Workers and volunteers were gathered around a clump of something growing.  Lots and lots of group photos were being taken.  Of course, me being noisy had to go find out.  They welcomed us over and informed us an orchid was blooming, that maybes blooms once a year or so.  They were all very proud and allowed us to walk right up to it to snap photos.  They made us feel a part of a very special moment for them.

At this point it was late afternoon and we needed a proper meal, so can you guess where we ended up? Yup Honolulu Beerworks.  And this is where the true aloha and making us feel like ohana comes in.  We were warmly welcomed back, the manager,Meghan who gave us free one pint chips, came up to us again and asked Mike about his race. She chatted with us about a few other things and gifted us more free pint chips.  The bartender we’ve had all week, chatted with us.  And then our bill arrived.  We cashed in two chips, but we also received the friends and family discount, people that bill includes a long sleeve tee shirt.  Meghan came back out and thanked her a great deal.  She just said to keep returning, move here and in the meantime, tell our Connecticut friends to come drink beer at Honolulu Beerworks.

But the experience doesn’t end there, we ended up chatting with retiree couple, from Idaho.  We chatted about why Oahu to retire to, they said health care. They loved Cabo San Lucas, but as you age, health care is to be considered.  They love their life and it was another message from the island.

By the time we arrived home, I had enough time to shower, while Mike started the packing process before sunset viewing.  Sunset was a stunner and we just missed a monk seal.  Of course one of my dream retirement volunteer activities is to monk seal babysit and guess what, I chatted with one of the volunteers.  She thought I was local and told me I didn’t have to wait till retirement to start volunteer. I explained we were leaving tomorrow, me back to teaching. Guess what she is a retired teacher and retired to Oahu, ok I get it island, I see where you are pointing us.

Today was full of aloha and people that made us feel like ohana.  It was a special day and it seemed like the island was telling us to return soon, do not wait years.

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