Day 8 – Departure Day

With a heavy heart, we left on Saturday. Before leaving though we did a little stroll down to Waikiki Beach with our coffee. It was a pretty quiet morning in terms of the bustling activity we have seen here in December and August mornings.

We returned to finish packing and make our way to the airport. We decided to take a slight detour before going to the airport and did the drive up to Round Top to have another view of Diamond Head.

Our flight home was relatively short compared to our arrival flight. Our flight from Boston to Honolulu was a little under 12 hours, but the return flight was only nine and half hours. The only issue we had with Hawaiian Airlines was the coming home flight. We had to ask for them to dim the lights, like other airlines do on overnight flights. First class had their lights turned off, but not ours, just a dim, made it difficult to catch a snooze.

We arrived a little before a full sunrise and because the cabin was so bright, it was difficult to snap a good photo of the sunrise. I tried my best.

Our final thoughts on a quick week in Oahu. For a first timer, I would never suggest doing only a week, because let’s be real it was only 6 full days. A week worked for us but this was our 5th trip to Oahu and we already did all the must dos in previous trips that we wanted.

We didn’t like our rental and seriously thought about changing it on Sunday morning of our stay. It was a last minute decision to rent this place, but we had no yard use and the kids that lived above the apartment, were stompers. We stuck it out though because we do love the location.

April was a great time for a visit. We definitely saw a difference in tourist size, not as many and traffic on the tourist routes wasn’t bumper to bumper. We had exceptional weather and it was nice not to be in a constant state of sweat, as we usually are in the summer months.

Every trip to the islands gets harder to return, maybe because I can almost see retirement around the corner and am ready to live life like we do on retirement.

Till our next adventure…

Day 7 – Compromise

Waking up today we wanted to do different things. I wanted to hike, Mike wanted a beach. So over our morning coffee we made our plan.

We compromised, I got my mini hike in and Mike got his beach walk in. We went to Kawela Bay on the North Shore to hike the trails around Turtle Bay Resort then sit in the beach at the bay. This was a repeat visit for us, but one we enjoy. We know we could get away from the crowds and well those type of people that annoyed us yesterday. We did get in the water, but not for long, it was chilly water.

After this compromise of the morning, we didn’t need to do anymore compromising. We pretty much wanted the same thing for the afternoon, lunch and a nap. We made our farewell stop to Honolulu Beerworks for lunch and beer.

We did make one more stop, Off the Hook Poke for dinner to go. We needed to get our last poke fix in! After that is back to the rental for landry and a nap till sunset.

We went down the street to a little park we like for our last sunset of this trip. It was undramatic, but calming, somewhere there is a metaphor for life, but I can’t come up with one yet.

It will be bittersweet to say Aloha tomorrow morning as we depart. Our plans for our next return are undecided. Not sure which island we will land on in 2020…

Day 6 – Instagrammers

I have a love/hate relationship with instagram and its influencers. I adore instagram for keeping me connected to family and friends, for avoiding political b.s. and keeping me informed with businesses. I detest the influencers who damage a beautiful place, are rude, fake humans and who set false realities. So today was a love hate relationship kind of day.

Let me spin the tale of the day, it started with me mockingly exclaiming to Mike, I’m an influencer. Two summers ago I started a coffee with a view summer post and took a photo of my coffee every day over my summer break. I continue it during the summer and our vacations. The photos do NOT have me in them, the importance being the coffee and the view. It might help to explain why most of my blog posts start with a photo of my coffee.

Today I woke up to another friend tagging me in her coffee with a view photo while she was on vacation. I honestly was happy that she thought of me on vacation and I was happy for her that she is somewhere lovely. So therefore because I am not making it about me, I truly can’t be an influencer.

Our day started with my coffee with a view, bananas and coffee!

We packed up our supplies for another day out. Our first stop has not been discovered by influencers and luckily never will be. We went to Friendship Garden in Kaneohe. Mike accidently stumbled on this place while researching what to do today. It was almost a half mile loop and it was a hike, not an easy garden stroll. Parking was limited, as where the views, but the unexpectedness of this place made it wonderful.

Our next spot was a repeat visit for us. We first visited Hoomaluhia Gardens in 2013 before influencers were a thing. Today they populated the Gardens, so much so that signs like this, had to be posted:

A few instagrammers clearly ignored the signs and one caused us to have slight traffic snafu. They were filming, stopped in the road and told us to go around them, but the road is narrow and they did this right in front of a no passing sign. As semi rule followers, this zapped us of aloha and perhaps a few things were said to them. Here are some influencers doing their “thang”.

And well Mike had to have his try at looking like an influencer, however he is missing the correct flowing clothes, the cute hat and long flowing hair, that moves just perfectly in the breeze.

And here is what they really missed, some amazing photos that focus on nature.

After this we needed real people to be around so three stops were necessary Costco, Honolulu Cookie Company and Honolulu Beerworks. I love the Cobb Salad at HB so today I went for the food and of course I sat next to one those influencers (sorry no picture, couldn’t do it discreetly).

And this why I love instagram because of finding out about the art of Ka’Kaako Pow Wow and this great little chocolate shop , Lonohana Hawaiian Estate Chocolate, so yum and we each had a free truffle!

And because of instagram I discovered Off the Hook Poke and Choco Le’a Chocolate in Manoa. We picked up dinner at Off the Hook and some chocolates to ship home. This was another great chocolate find.

We returned home to pack our Aloha boxes and see what kind of room we had left to stuff stuff in, only to discover I forgot to get a card for each box. This meant a quick walk into Waikiki for an ABC Store emergency card purchase. Good thing we had a lovely view walking back to the rental.

After our walk back, we rested, had dinner and made our sunset viewing decision. We decided to return to San Souci and hang with the locals.

So take the beautiful photos, post them but be real about it, be respectful about taking the photos and try not to be a copycat, because really we saw a lot of people be wannabees and not thinking for themselves.

Day 5 – Old and New

Today we did our standard drive to the North Shore to revisit old spots and find new spots to enjoy.

After breakfast of croissants, yogurt and egg veggie scramble we ambled out the door before 8 a.m. to head to the north shore, via the east coast route. As we drove along I snapped a few drive by photos.

Our first repeat visit was Heeia Pier. In 2013 there was a great little food place at the pier, but sadly it has closed. Still a lovely pier to walk down and view the bay and mountains.

Our next stop was just down a bit, Heeia State Park. We’ve driven by a few times, but have never stopped, today we changed that.

We decided to stop at another new to us beach park close by, Laenani Neighborhood Park. What a sweet little gem of a park, no real beach, but the views were great!

It was getting close to mid morning snack break, so off we headed to one of our favorite beach parks to have a snack at Kualoa Regional Park. It was rather windy there today, so we had to hold the snacks down for dear life.

From here we drove along, well Mike drove and I did the touristy thing of stick the camera out the window and snap pictures.

We did a repeat stop at Hukilau Beach, but didn’t walk it, still recovering from yesterday’s five hot miles.

We continued on, stopping at a macadamia nut farm in Haleiwa, picking up a few bags and then returned to Haleiwa Alii Beach Park for a few more photos and to make a lunch time decision.

We decided to return to our favorite store, The North Shore Soap Factory (we only use their soap, btw, it has been nine years) and the try Poke for the People in Waialua for lunch. A fb friend’s cousin’s poke shop, new to us!

After that we had once last stop to make on the North Shore, Mokuleia Beach to see if any kite surfers were out. Yes they were, just entering the water around 1:30 p.m. We love to sit here and watch them.

We returned to Waikiki with a stop at Waikiki Brewery in KaKaako, we prefer this spot over their place in Waikiki, more locals, less touristy. Though to be truthful, today’s beertender wasn’t the friendliest. However I was able to enjoy their Pink Boots Beer and that is what mattered.

After the long day of visiting with old and new places, we returned to the rental to rest and make a plan for sunset viewing. We decided on doing Ala Moana Beach Park, another old favorite of ours to view the majestic Diamond Head and the sunset.

It was a lovely day of mixing the old with the new.

Aloha!

Day 4 Word of the Day – Awesome

I think we exclaimed awesome about a million times today, from eating fresh papaya for breakfast to a stunning sunset. What an incredible, but exhausting day, we experienced.

Breakfast was papaya boats, one of our favorite breakfast items to make when we are in Hawaii. Very delicious!

Our first item on today’s agenda was a hike to Kaena Point from the West side. In July of 2013 we hiked it out from the North Shore. I’m so ecstatic that we did this hike from the West side. The trail followed the path of an old railway. Throughout the hike we repeatedly said awesome for the stunning views, receiving news our nephew was pitching for the Tigers, watching a giant centipede cross our path, seeing nesting albatross and juveniles hanging out and finally an awesome for discovering two monk seals taking their mid morning nap.

After our 5 mile hike over 2.5 hours we desperately needed lunch. A true hidden gem on the West side is Kahumana Organic Farm and Cafe. This was our second visit here, the first time was last August. We love this place and the food is fresh, delicious and awesome!

Of course I had to check to see if Honolulu Beerworks had another special on for today only and of course it did. We decided before getting there, we had to make two stops first, Costco to fill up on macadamia nuts and then on to Honolulu Cookie Company.

Honolulu Cookie Company had a special one time flavor, lemon. The cashier said by the end of the week they will be all sold out, so of course we had to have a few boxes of this awesome cookie. Best part, we earned 10 free cookies because I remembered to bring our cookie card that was almost full from last summer’s visit.

Next stop was Honolulu Beerworks for their special and that’s when we learned all week, teasers of beers are being released each day, how awesome is that? Of course that does alter our daily plans somewhat.

Down the street from HB is KaKa’ako Waterfront Park. Mike had read a news story about it and he wanted to see this. At one time this park area had the largest concentration of homeless people in it. The state has cleaned it up, but it was still a bit sketchy and I wouldn’t go see the sunset there at night. The views are awesome towards Diamond Head and it really is a lovely park.

By now it was after 4 p.m. we stopped at the KCC farmers market for bananas and returned to the rental. We rested and then had the poke we picked up last night, which was awesome!

We dragged our tired and weary bodies off to the sunset viewing. As usual the sunset didn’t disappoint and it was awesome!

Yup, the word of the day was Awesome and it really was!

Oahu Day 3 – Art

Art comes in many forms from man made to nature made, today we experienced it all.

Our day started with an early morning breakfast of eggs with greens, banana and croissant. The greens were all local, purchased yesterday at the farmers market. Great way to start the day.

We gathered our gear after breakfast and drove the east coast of Oahu to Makapuu Lighthouse. This was our second time doing this walk. Our first time was December 2015 and the top of the lookout was under repair, so it was great to have a view from the tippy top of the trail. 7:15 a.m. was a perfect time to arrive at the trail. The gate had just opened, so parking was available and the sunrise hikers had already come down. We had an easy stroll up, not having to dodge people either going up or coming down. Mother Nature has truly created a work of art on this coastline.

After completing our jaunt, we drove over to Kailua Beach for a stroll and to get our feet in the sand and surf. Once again another piece of stunningly beautiful art created by Mother Nature.

After our beach stroll we sat around people watching. After a time we were famished and headed in to Kailua for lunch at Nalu. The food here was delicious and I would eat here again in a heartbeat.

While in Kailua we had to drive one street over to Lanikai Brewery. We each enjoyed a beer and conversation with the beertender. Today we had a good experience Kailua, we decided this town is for us when it isn’t high tourist season.

We left here and started making our way to a new poke market that opened recently in Manoa, Off the Hook Poke. We were about 2 miles from this market when I read a Facebook post about Honolulu Beerworks tapping a sour for today only, well until this Saturday when they celebrate their 5 year anniversary. You know what we did, diverted our car to Honolulu Beerworks. Here true craftsmanship created a work of art, in a delicious tasting sour.

After enjoying this work of art, we walked around KaKaako to enjoy the PowWow art, created by some very talented mural artists. We only say a small fraction of the many that are painted throughout this neighborhood.

We then returned to our regularly scheduled destination, Off the Hook Poke Market in Manoa. We were picking up dinner at this tiny place.

We finally headed home late afternoon and were so tired, we crashed until sunset, skipping dinner. Mother Nature came through again with a stunning piece of art.

Our art today was both man-made and created by Mother Nature. It truly was a beautiful day. Aloha

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