Day 28 – Final Full Day and Mother Nature Dictates the Day

our last sunset on oahu and last Ka'ala cupcake
our last sunset on oahu and last Ka’ala cupcake

This was my plan for our day:  Beach stroll at Haleiwa, turtle watching, out to lunch, reading on the lawn that overlooks the beach, some housekeeping, laundry and dinner at our friend’s house.  I think Mike’s was close to that, but add in get gas, extra food for the plane, and have a swim.

Well the day didn’t go that way, except for the laundry, housekeeping, gas and extra food.  What happened?  A rainy island day presented itself.  We said we would only go to the Bishop Museum if we had a rainy day and we thought by the second week of our trip, it wouldn’t happen.  Guess someone, Mother Nature or Pele, herself,  decided we needed to go to the museum.

So off we went to the museum.  I was a little shocked at the admission price and had hoped for an educator discount, no such luck ($20.00 for an adult).



While we were exploring in the main hall, we had a group of students clamor up to the third floor, our response to that was good, the noisy kids can look up there first.  Well wouldn’t you know, hey were a Hawaiian Flash Mob.  They sang a song in English and Hawaiian while dancing.  The acoustics were perfect.  It was so moving I started to cry.


They only sang one song, good thing, because I would have been a blubbering mess it was so beautiful.  After they finished we went  up to the third floor. There was Duke’s board.

P1240310This was a perfect rainy day jaunt and a great way to learn about the royal family.  While we were exploring the museum, our friends texted us that they would have to cancel dinner due to illness.  Sad to hear a friend was ill and we did miss out on a formal goodbye, but we know we will see them again on the east coast, in the near future (yipeeeee).

We decided to give Lucky Belly a try in the outskirts of Chinatown for lunch.

IMG_0724OMG, this was the best  restaurant we have eaten at on Oahu.  For me, it made number #2 on my top 10 list of best places to eat (number one being Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago).  If we had discovered this earlier in our stay, many a lunch would have been consumed here.

We were seated at the bar and I ordered a signature cocktail , a Chiharu “A thousand springtimes”.  The bartender who served it was also the creator of it.  She was very pleased I ordered and loved it.

IMG_3125We decided to split an appetizer, Pork Belly Bao.  Amazing…

IMG_3126Main course for Mike was the Belly Bowl, portions are insanely huge.

IMG_3127I devoured the special, pork with apple smoked bacon topped with an asian slaw and a soup of I don’t know what, but I want that soup again and again.

IMG_3128We loved the ambiance, the waitstaff was attentive and friendly and the food…was out of this world.

After that we tackled the necessary chores that are mandatory before leaving, some light cleaning, laundry, extra food…the boring stuff of travel.

For missing out on our dinner with friends, Mother Nature provided us with a beautiful last sunset and a rainbow.  Not a bad way to end our final day.

(Please note, Sunday’s final, final post won’t be written until Monday late afternoon eastern time – unless I have time Monday morning, during our layover).

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Day 27 – Falls, Food, Flying = Fabulous

P1240241We thought an easy waterfall hike was in order today.  We heard about Hamama Falls in the Kaneohe area.  Once again another hike that starts off in a residential section.  We parked on the road and hoofed our way up to the No trespassing gate.  All we had to do was walk around the gate.

Mike, are you going to join me?

This was another road walk, though this was loose gravel, not paved.  For all the reports I read, not one mentioned the views that surrounded the walk.

IMG_3079 P1240227 P1240225 IMG_3095The reports also didn’t mention how steep parts of the road are and in blazing sun.

IMG_3080 P1240222 P1240251The road stops and we followed a narrow path to the falls.


The path ends at the falls and what a sight to behold.  We had a good time playing in the falls, it was so refreshing after a hot hike.

P1240242 P1240241 P1240237 IMG_3090 P1240235 P1240232 P1240230 P1240228After we were refreshed, Mike spent time harvesting mountain apples and awapuhi (I love to wash my hair with the real thing).

enjoying first mountain apple on the trail
couldn’t reach those apples, so he shook the tree, down they rained
picking my awapuhi

We also were cooled off enough to stop and snap some photos of the flora.

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The hike was between 3 and 4 miles.  Our app, came in with 4 miles, while the books/blogs write that it is 3 miles.  It is a hot hike, with little air movement much of the way, wear a hat and make sure you get wet!!

Next stop was He’eia Pier for lunch.  This was a third trip to lunch at the Pier in Kaneohe.  I think we enjoy their food just a little bit, ok the view is fabulous too.

fried akule – before
fried akule after
Guava glazed pork chops, 2 of them.  I brought one home for dinner
Guava glazed pork chops, 2 of them. I brought one home for dinner

We had a late start to our day, so we headed home.  One of the items on my must do list was to go watch the kite surfers at Mokuleia Beach Park.  We can see them from our beach most days and most days there are 5-10 of them out there.  We drove out at 4 and there were a disappointing two and one was going in.  We drove home.

As we sat outside reading for half an hour, I looked out, where they surf from and counted five, back in the car to watch the kite surfers fly.

P1240282 P1240279 P1240276 P1240275 P1240274 P1240270 P1240267It is amazing to watch these acrobats fly and glide. I highly recommend spending some time watching them.  At 5 p.m. they started to head in, so we returned home.

We ate a simple dinner of leftovers and waited for the cupcake lady(aka Ka’Ala Cupcakes) to arrive with two banana chantilly and two lilikoi cupcakes.


Eating cupcakes at sunset is heavenly.


We did a short hike to splendid falls, ate some delicious food and watched flying acrobats on boards, yeah I think that equals out to a fabulous day.



Day 18- A different kind of hike

P1230303Today was a different kind of hike for us, no mountains or forest, just dirt roads and sandy trails.  We decided to walk Ka’ena Point from our side, Mokuleia.  We hit the trail around 8 a.m. and in hindsight, for us 6 or 7 a.m. would have been a little bit better, because the hike back is HOT.


We took the upper, main road and if we wanted would veer off to the access roads to check out the coast line.

P1050688We did find Hidden Beach, really it is not that hidden, but a beautiful little spot.

P1050689The views across from the ocean, were beautiful also.

hmmm what is back there?


We noticed these tall plants (aloe) and joked that they were giant asparagus, radioactive asparagus.  We were making reference to Gilligan’s Island when they grow their radioactive vegetables (season 3, episode 3 “Pass the Vegetables Please”).


Giant stalks of asparagus?
Giant stalks of asparagus?

We finally hit the end of the dirt road and entered the albatross sanctuary.


Wipe off your shoes before you enter the gate.


The signage was information along the trail.


The path here was a bit easier to walk on compared to the rutted road.  Though at times the deeper sand hindered a faster speed.


We approached Leina A Ka ‘Uhane, a large rock, which is known as “the soul’s leaping place.”  About a mile before this I heard distinct eerie laughter resounding from the hills and I swear it was the ghosts of some souls mocking us.  In reality it was probably a bird crying out and his sound was echoing off the walls of the hills.

This is a place that a soul would jump off into the spirit world.  I thanked Pele for allowing us to see this (I may not be religious, but I am spiritual).

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We walked around the Western tip of Oahu, where the North meets the West.

beautiful graffiti on the overturned light house
looking at the West Side of the island

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 I waved over to Kauai, sending good cheer to our hiking friend, Eric, that lives there (shameless plug for his hiking business – really hire him if you are on Kauai).

Hello over there….


The wave action was fun to watch, along with the soaring birds.  Of course, the birds didn’t want to be photographed today.

P1050729 P1050734 P1230371On the westside there were many more shearwater bird nests.  We found one hatched egg and one mother sitting with her young in her nest.

trust me there is a bird in the nest. Yes the nest is in the ground.


The views around us were stunning.P1050760 P1230376

We followed the trail around the west side until we emerged at another gate.  We left the gate and followed the fence line until we reached the road again. Once on the road we noticed some people off the trail.  I called over to one and asked why type of research was taking place.  We had a feeling they were scientists.  The young woman told us they were searching for ants.  Ants are not native to Hawaii and are one of the insects that damage the landscape.  Who knew?  Glad I asked.

one of the scientists looking for ants

We noticed a side trail that led to one of the pillboxes.

There is a pillbox up there, or rather a bunker

We headed up a little way to gain a better view of the landscape.

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After that is was a trudge back to the car.  It seemed much longer returning, maybe because we had a head wind and the sun was up just a wee bit higher.  We did go on some of the side “roads” for different views of the coastline.

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This view though, when you are blazing sun, is a little daunting and you wonder if you will ever make it back.

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You know you are in desert like conditions when you see a cactus like this:

P1050800After the hike of 6 miles and 3 hours, we headed straight back to the house.

kaena point

The advantage of hiking in Hawaii, you can just go right into the ocean to cool off.  We unpacked the car when we got home and walked straight into the ocean.  AHHHHH refreshing.

If you do this hike here are my suggestions:

1.  Start early.

2.  Have plenty of water, we each drank two liters and had a coconut water at the tip of Oahu.

3. Wear a hat and sunscreen.  Bring more sunscreen to slather on.

4.  I should have had a long sleeve lightweight shirt to wear on the way back.

5.  It is hot walking back.  I thought I just had opened an oven door set at 450, when we hit the road back, it was that hot.

For us this was a different kind of hike, no shade and seeing the ocean in all its glory, from calm to wild.

We spent the afternoon having lunch, picking up a few goodies to mail an aloha box to a friend back in New England, and reading.  The hike really took a lot out of us, so it was nice just to spend a quiet restful afternoon and evening just reading and floating in the ocean.

We capped off the night with the last two cupcakes and a sunset.


Day 17 – Post Storm?

IMG_2738I woke up at midnight and listened to the wind blow, not howl, just blow a bit stronger than usual.  I waited for the rain, but never heard it.  I realized Storm Flossie had frizzled so I fell right back asleep.  There really wasn’t much of a storm overnight, we had maybe three extra twigs in our yard.

We decided to head out to Laie Point and see the window in the rock.  We tried to go on Sunday, but the amount of people and lack of parking, had us quickly turning around.  On our way, we noticed there was parking at Waimea Bay. There is never parking here, it is always jammed packed.  Mike quickly turned the car into the parking area and we jumped out in a state of shock.  We never thought we would walk this beach.

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We didn’t stay long and we continued on to Laie Point. We observed rain showers starting to move in on us.  As we were looking at the views, the remnants of Flossie made an appearance.

P1230251 P1050610 P1230250We took shelter in the car and tried to figure out which way the rain was moving.  We didn’t have good luck with that.  We decided to head back the way we came.  We had torrential downpours on the way back with parts of the road flooding.  I can’t imagine if Flossie hit as a tropical storm, how flooded everything would be.

As we neared Sunset Beach, the rain stopped and we choose to stop at Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau.  A heiau is a very sacred place to the Hawaiians, it is a temple.  This one is the largest in Oahu and should be visited.


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There were side paths that led off to views of Waimea Bay.

P1230257 P1230265 P1230261However, don’t wear flip-flops, some of the path is on red soil and sticks like crazy to the bottom of your flip-flops.

Mike scrapping off the red dirt.
what the trail looks like to the overlooks
the bottom of my shoe, about a quarter inch of mud

We were very hungry by then and lunch was needed.  We decided to try Waialua Bakery and Juice Bar in Haleiwa.  Fresh baked bread (we had seven choices of rolls) and the freshest ingredients.  If you like lemonade, stop in here and they will even add items to it.  I had fresh ginger in mine and Mike had fresh mint, wowzers.

IMG_2744 IMG_2748 IMG_2745After lunch, we needed exercise.  Time for a snorkel.  We went down to what we affectionately call Horse Beach.  It is the public beach that the path is lined with horses.  This morning the waters were so calm, we hoped it continued for the afternoon.  No such luck at this beach.  Mike went in and I sat on the beach.  He said visibility was poor and then more rain moved in.  We packed up and headed home.

The heavens opened up as soon as we arrived at the house, instant flooding of the road.  If Flossie had dumped rain on us overnight, Mike and I might be swimming in our house, not outside in the ocean.  You could visibly see the sun rain line this afternoon.


Looking at the mountains, you would think steam was coming off of them.

P1050648After the rain cleared, we noticed our beach had nice calm waters, the water was still a little murky.  Time to snorkel here.

P1050677 P1050673 P1050672 P1050669 P1050667 P1050664After a fun little excursion, I hopped on facebook and noticed my dream cupcake maker in Waialua had some for sale.  I’ve been watching her fb for months, hoping we would be able to taste one of creations.  Ka’ala Cupcakes is usually pre-order only. Today a local farmer gave her lilikoi and strawberry guavas. She made cupcakes and offered them to people via facebook.  All you had to do was text her your order and she would deliver them.  OMG, I was so giddy, I couldn’t type in our address in the text, Mike had to take over.

The flavor is/was amazing.

Dinner tonight, no it wasn’t just cupcakes, but the filet mignon we picked up yesterday at VJs Butcher Shop in Haleiwa.  We paired it with salad, all local ingredients and bread from the bakery.  Love eating with local ingredients.

P1230280Sunset was amusing tonight, different cloud formations and types.  The colors kept changing.  Flossie may have fizzled overnight, but the end of her really let the rain fall on us today, but I think it inspired the sunset.

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