Day 6-Taking a Gamble

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Can you see the person in the orange shirt?

 

What gamble did we take today? Did we hike up there, on that narrow trail in that picture?  No,  we aren’t that crazy kind of gamblers. So what did  we do? We hiked with  a person I meet on the internet this morning.

As were trying to decide what hike to do, I checked my hiking facebook groups, seeing where people were hiking or had hiked in Oahu.  In one of the groups, MD asked if anyone was hiking today. After seeing what I could on her facebook page, I responded we were hiking and where, she was more than welcome to join us.  We were going to hike to Likeke Falls.

I’ve never done that before, but took a gamble that she would be normal, our hiking styles would be compatible and it would not be awkward.  I knew if I was checking her out, she was checking us out.

We meet at the Pali Lookout. MD with her little guy on her back and us over prepared to hike.  White Mountain hiking has taught us to be very prepared on the trail, so we carry that over to hiking in Hawaii.  We made our way down the old abandoned road, chatting as we went along, learning about each other.

P1220530The views were amazing look off in to the distance.

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The road was slightly damp and at times slippery.  We had to be careful not to slide.

P1220535We had to go under the existing road and artwork adorned the highway.

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After we crossed the golf course parking lot, we entered a jungle like area, full of great plant life and huge ginger plants that assaulted the nose with the most beautiful fragrance.

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weaving in and out of the hau tangle

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We reached the falls quickly and it was flowing very nicely.

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Thank you MD for taking one of the photos that will make our Christmas card this year

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Opposite the falls was a little lookout.

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We had a quick turn around time and headed out.  This turned into a lollipop hike.  We looped out,  continuing in the forest.

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We then returned to the overpass, we had to squeeze under, to reach the ladder to climb back to the old road.

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Back to the road that made the stick of our lollipop hike.

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Again the views were wonderful on the way out.

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The hike went by so quickly. I couldn’t believe  we finished already.  We were happy to have MD with us, she helped us navigate the trail, as she has hiked her before and she was great company.

The hike was an hour 45 minutes, 3.5 miles with average speed of 2.0mph.  I think we got a good workout in.

likeke falls

We parted ways and we headed to the  North Shore, home.  We wanted to get to VJs Butcher Shop early in the day, as we wanted to get prime meat choices on the meat that had just arrived the day before.  We picked up some fresh Ahi, a roaster chicken and steak tri tips.  I also needed ice cream, every good hike deserves some ice cream.  VJs carries homemade ice cream sandwiches.  I purchased their last lilikoi one.  I gulped that baby down in seconds flat (Mike had one bite).

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Lilikoi ice cream with two sugar cookies. The best ice cream sandwich of my life

Next stop, we needed lunch. I know I had dessert first but I was still hungry.  We decided to give Nui Thai Food truck a shot, another gamble.  A local was placing her order in front of us and she raved about the food.  If the locals eat there, it has to be good authentic food.  We were not disappointed, Mike had the papaya salad and I had two spring rolls.  We had one last stop, Waialua Fresh for some fresh greens and a sauce for the fish.  At home we sat outside and ate our delicious lunch.

As we ate, the turtles were also eating. We had five turtles at the ocean food trough, to the right of us.

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if you enlarge the picture you can see one of the turtle shells.

I had to go nap after this morning.  I couldn’t believe how tired I was.  While I napped, Mike read hiking books.

We cooked up dinner of the fresh ahi and I made a bed of coleslaw to place it on.  Nothing better than fresh ahi.

P1220578We enjoyed an after dinner stroll, to keep the muscles from tightening up.  We are staying on a beautiful beach that goes for miles with very few people on it.

P1050063We watched the sunset, but the colors weren’t dazzling, so Mike was taking his unusual artsy photos tonight. He was able to capture the palm tress on my sunglasses.

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It was a really good day.  I am so happy I took a chance on answering MD’s query on that hiking group.  It definitely was a gamble that paid off big time.

 

 

 

Day 5 – Just Hangin’ in the Hood

P1050031Mike and I decided just to be local today and hang in the hood.  Good thing we made that decision, we had a local honu hang with us for most of the day.

The day started with Mike and I parting ways. Remember if you are on a long vacation together (or retirement), spend some time apart.  He went up to Moku’leia Access Road, for 1.5 miles up and the same down. He was scouting it as workout for us both. These are his views from his workout:

IMG_0591 IMG_0590 IMG_0589I walked the neighborhood and scouted out farmer’s stands.  These are my views:

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Our plan was to meet at Crozier Brow Parking (public access #64), which would lead us to the public beach.  Funny thing is, we are just down the road, five whole minutes from the house in walking minutes.

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I arrived five minutes ahead of Mike and found this car that had driven up on the beach.

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I also had a mug of coffee from our new local favorite coffee place, Green World Farms.  The mug was full of North Shore Blend, a mild roast that was yummy.  Yup, I stood in the ocean and drank my coffee. Don’t fret I saved some for Mike.

P1050012Mike joined me and he brought with him fresh fruit that he cut up earlier.  Of course we stood in the ocean with a Tupperware container and ate fresh fruit.  Sorry no picture of that. Mike went for a quick dip and we headed home, we needed money to hit the local farm stands.

Back in the car, with money, we made three stops.  I know we can walk to them, but we just worked out.  Some of the produce I walked by at 7:30 a.m. was all out by 8 a.m. Damn locals, they know what time to get out and get the goods.

P1040998 IMG_2526After we made an awesome score of limes, tangerines, avocados (missed out on papayas, sold out in 30 minutes) we went back to the house and relaxed.  We sat on the beach, tanned (ok I’m Irish, I pink), and read.  I went for a float and as I emerged from the water, I noticed a  honu had beached himself.  Time to play paparazzi. We were respectful of this gift and kept our distance.  The images you see close up are zoomed in.

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We ate lunch of last night’s yummy leftovers and I napped. After nap time, it was the hour to shower and head to the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market.  First though, we had to drive through the hood to see if any of the farm stands added any new goodness. SCORE, fresh eggs, five bucks for a dozen and the farmers even wrote thank you on the carton.  Who knew our hood farm stand would be better than the Haleiwa Market?

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When we arrived in Oahu, three years ago,  the market was in Haleiwa on government property. It was an amazing market then, run on a Sunday with food vendors galore and a few artist.  Over time, it shut down because of some political thing or another and this year moved to Waimea Valley.  We were excited that it lived on.  As we were planning this trip, very few items were put on our  icalendar, this was the one thing that appeared every Thursday on the calendar.  I thought this would be the one weekly commitment and we could grab dinner out every Thursday here.  We pulled in to a very busy place a little after four. We made our way in, weaving around tourists, dodging strollers in a tight spot, only to find a few food vendors and more artists. It catered to the tourist not the local neighbor.  We picked up a handful of ice cream bananas and promptly left, feeling very let down.  We can get better local items at Waialua Fresh.

We needed dinner and a pick me up, of course that meant stopping in at VJs North Shore Burger and Dogs.

IMG_2546We ventured home, to plan tomorrow and watch the sunset.  I decided to see if our local friend was still hanging out and he was.  He must be enjoying a good sleep, because he was drooling.  Sorry no picture of the drool, I wouldn’t get that close.

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What a great day in the hood. We exercised, purchased fresh produce, and hung with a local all in our little hood.  We love the country.

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Day 2 – The Run Around

my blogging view
my blogging view

After being lulled to sleep by the waves last night, oh wait, I was so tired, I just fell sleep, no being lulled at all, we got up around 5:15 a.m.  We knew today is traditionally our “run around and do all the shopping” day.

First things first,  start writing the blog about Sunday’s travels.  I must say I have a pretty nice view to look at while blogging.  Mike kindly made coffee and my favorite breakfast of yogurt, lilikoi and granola.

After I posted the blog, it was time for the mandatory morning stroll on the beach. We didn’t travel far, need to develop the sand walking legs.

P1040846 P1040848After the leisurely stroll, we returned to the house and consumed more coffee.  Here we made the plan for the day and the grocery list.

IMG_2487First stop was Costco, nothing to inspiring to write about there.  Next stop Walmart, again nothing grand.  We headed home, dropped off the load and went to our favorite little shopping place in Waialua, Waialua Sugar Mill.

We needed local coffee, so we picked up a bag of beans at Old Sugar Mill Brand Coffee and Chocolate.

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Next stop, the only place we have purchased bath soaps for the past three years, North Shore Soap Factory.  We also had to thank Holly, who packages our purchases and always includes a handwritten Mahalo and sometimes a drawing on the invoice.  We adore their customer service.

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Entrance to North Shore Soap
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Follow the duckies to the entrance

After that was it lunch time.  We first stopped at the coffee place in Haleiwa, but the two dishes we wanted, were both out, we opted just to have their hibiscus tea and find another spot to eat.  As we wandered the town, we spied Souvaly Thai Mobile.  Looked like good eats, so why not stop here for lunch?  Boy, were we pleased with our lunches.

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Naughty Princess (hot curry)
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Beef Saute

We still had more shopping to do, so down we headed to Waimea to the Foodland there.  Next stop, VJs Butcher Block.  It was great to finally go in there. Everyday they post the most outrageous food pictures and I couldn’t wait to go there and support the local guy. We picked up ono fish, locally caught and a chicken roaster, locally raised.

VJs, our favorite place to buy meat/fish.
VJs, our favorite place to buy meat/fish.

After that, back to Waialua Fresh to pick up a few items to pair with the fish for dinner tonight.  Finally one last stop, we needed dessert. We had to go to Paalaa Kai Bakery for Snowy Puffs.

We arrived home, after six hours of running around.  We enjoyed a brief rain shower, showered ourselves, and prepped dinner.

Dinner was ono, served over sautéed zucchini and onions.  All local ingredients.

Ono fish served over zuke and onions
Ono fish served over zuke and onions

Next was dessert, a shared snowy puff.  Let me tell you pure heaven!!

snowy puff
snowy puff

After dinner, it was the ritual of watching the sunset.  It seemed a bit uninspired tonight.

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We waited until the official time of sunset, hoping it would dazzle us, but alas, it didn’t. Inside we went and I started to write this post.  Then I heard the neighbor oohhing and ahhing, I looked out and there was that inspired sunset sky color we love.  Thank you Mother Nature.

Wow
Wow

The colors were stunning and a relaxing way to end a crazy day of running around.  We are settled now, have our little comforts to make island living a bit easier.

 

 

 

 

Day 1 – We have arrived

Bags are packed
Bags are packed

Our flight departed early Sunday morning, so we headed up to the airport the night before and stayed over at the airport hotel.  We were hoping to make this trip with only three bags, but alas, our hiking gear took up to much room, so we had to go with four.  Just for the record, my clothes are fitting in the smaller bag behind the Marmot bag.  I learned after our first trip to Kauai, you don’t need much and what I find I am missing, I just go buy it.

We board the 6:15 a.m. flight to Atlanta on time, thank you Delta and we were off.  In the spirit of returning to Oahu, I had my lovely nail artist, Leo try to replicate the OluKai symbol

OluKai
OluKai

Once we arrived in Atlanta, we grabbed a quick breakfast, charged up our electronics and boarded the next flight.  Only a mere nine hour and some odd minute flight to Oahu.  I was hoping to sleep, but I was binge watching Melissa McCarthy movies.  So sleep eluded me and come to find out Mike too.

We were sitting on the right side of the plane and had great views on our approach.

IMG_2476 IMG_2478 IMG_2480We landed we went to the luggage area, only to discover our friends, Paul and Colleen, who live here, were waiting for us and gave us leis.  One of my life goals has been to be greeted at the airport with someone waiting to lay a lei around my neck.  Check,  that is done.  Truly our friends are the best and believe in sharing the aloha spirit.  They helped us with the luggage and drove us over the car rental place.  We can’t wait to see them next weekend and we started making hiking plans for a few hikes during our time here.

Picked up the car with ease this time.  Mike received an insane deal on the car for a month, wait for it….$368 included taxes and insurance.  That is usually the per week rate, even the workers at Alamo said they don’t get that kind of employee rate.  Score one for Mike for being vigilant about checking prices weekly, throughout the year.

We are renting a home in Mokuleia for the month, so off we zoomed to the North Shore.  The homeowner wasn’t finished cleaning the house, the previous renters, with six children had left the house in disarray.  We arrived, dropped our bags, and headed out to find food for tomorrow’s breakfast and dinner.

First stop, a little market that is newly opened, Waialua Fresh.  They support the local farmers and craft people.  This will be our main grocery store while on Oahu.  At this point our brain was starting to not function.  We picked up lilikoi, a mango and homemade yogurt for breakfast.  Next stop was a mainstream market, for coffee (until we get real Oahu beans), wine and beer.  Finally we needed dinner  food.  That was a no brainer, VJ’s North Shore Dogs and Burgers.  They use local ingredients, which includes meat and fish.  How ono.  I had a classic BLT, on taro bun with avocado and Mike had a burger, cooked to perfection (sorry no food pictures, told you brain is dying).

OMG so Ono, this place will be habit forming
OMG so Ono, this place will be habit forming

We returned to the house, as the cleaners were finishing.  Stephanie, the owner went over the legal matters, showed us around and wished us aloha.  At this point it was a little past seven, the sun was sinking and so were we.  I grabbed a beer, we went to the steps that lead down to the beach and watched the sinking sun.

P1040829 P1040832 P1040834After the ritual watching of the sun sinking, we headed in, did a brief unpacking and fell asleep.  We had been up for 21 hours, I needed sleep. I didn’t reach my goal of making it to 8 p.m. but that is ok, the main goal was achieved, arrival on Oahu.

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