Today seemed to be about honor.  We honored a lifelong friendship, nature, Gods and marriage.

A few days ago, my childhood friend, Eric asked us to do a small favor for him.  His older brother lives on Oahu and they have a running joke about leaving ugly ties for each other.  My memory of Mike, the brother, is riding home from CCD, in a red volvo, with Mike driving, squirting the back windshield wiper fluid on walkers.  Not a very Christian thing to do, but we did it anyways, taking delight in people’s shock.  Eric needed us to drop off a tie at his brother’s house, which we finally did.  We had some left over beer, so his brother was also gifted with good beer to offset the ugly tie.

After that little excursion we set out for Lyon Arboretum, a repeat visit for us. Last time we were here, was in the summer and the flowering was much different and the falls were a little bigger this time.  This is  a beautiful peaceful place, even in rain showers and mud.

Keeping with the tradition of honor, we next honored the hop gods and made a return visit to Honolulu Beerworks.  Chatted with one of the brewers and she told us it cost $800 to overnight a shipment of fresh hops from Washington State. Yikes, but they were so excited to have fresh hops and brew with it.  The extra amount we paid for that beer was well worth it.

Our next stop was a repeat visit to My-Ryang-Sa Temple. The is a Korean Buddhist temple.  The solitude, peaceful sanctuary and sheer beauty is a relief from the craziness of our busy world.  This is a quiet area full of honor, respect and contemplation.

Our next stop was Monsarrat Shave Ice.  They use real fruit and not sugar syrup to flavor the ice.  We thought Flat Stanley would enjoy his visit here. Best shave ice we have had on the islands.

After shave ice we walked over to Queen Kapiolani Garden.  What a lovely spot full of beautiful hibiscus.

Can’t believe we missed this garden in the summer time. Piece of advice don’t trust all the travel sites about tourism.  I know I read somewhere this wasn’t worth it, but it really is.

After a nap at home, we drove the 15 minute drive, which turned into a 45 minute drive due to no left turns allowed at certain hours, to Ala Moana Beach Park, for sunset..  We realized on our last night we should have been going here earlier in the week, the people watching is amazing.  Lots of wedding and family photo shoots happening.  We found it fascinating to watch the professional photographers, compared to the amatuer pro ones.The amateurs were placing their subjects in front of lamp poles, while the pros strategically placed Diamond Head or the setting sun behind the subjects.

So today we honored a friend’s request, honored the beauty of nature, honored a different religion, honored the beauty of marriage just starting out.  We captured and honored small bits of life today, that make the world a beautiful place to be.

Miles Walked, Surfers Watched, and a Sunset Missed

According to my pedometer, we walked 11.5 miles today (no not a fitbit). But what a day of beauty.

Our journey began by going to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail or rather a paved walk that really was quite lovely.  We arrived at 7:30 a.m. and the lot was already full, we parked almost close to the entrance way.


Up we went as the sunrise watchers were headed down.


The paved path made the going very easy, even for being up hill.  The views along the way were beautiful. At the top we meet two local couples, we offered to take their photo, which opened the door to a lot of aloha spirit happening between us.  Sometimes being a haole on the islands is hard, but we’ve learned if we smile and offer a small gesture of kindness, we are greeted with kindness and good spirit in return.

We were bummed we couldn’t wind our way over to the Lighthouse. Looks like trail work continues there, so maybe in the future, that will open it up.


Mike spent some time trying to capture Koko Head, Koko Crater and Diamond Head all in one photo.  I think he did well, considering the lighting he was up against.


After our descent we meander on the Kaiwi Trail, over to Pele’s chair and the shoreline.  Mike did a walk up to the chair, while I headed over to the beach area to watch the waves crash.

After this adventure, we headed over to Koko Crater Botanical Garden.  After doing some research, we knew this wouldn’t be spectacular this time of year, but we were in the neighborhood, so we decided why not.  We will come back here on our next summer visit just to see the plumeria tree groves in bloom.

We enjoyed the 2 mile walk around this garden.  This was the last botanical garden to visit on our list, so now we have visited all the Botanical Gardens in Oahu.

After our walks, we headed out to find lunch. Our first stop was Honolulu Beerworks, but it is closed on Sundays. On to the next lunch spot, something closer to home, Bogarts Cafe. We parked at home and walked a short distance to this great little eatery. We both had ahi in a sandwich and wrap.  Gotta eat all the ahi here while we can.


After lunch the pressing question was nap or go watch surfers.  I told Mike I’m either napping or feed me fresh pineapple and I could go on.  He quickly served me up a bowl of fresh pineapple.  The sweetness of the pineapple, gave me the energy to walk the next segment of our day. We gathered our beach goodies and walked the 1.3 miles to Diamond Head Beach to watch the surfers.

And then the iconic scene of Hawaii walked right in front of me, surfers carrying boards, sun shining, and windsurfers on the water.  At that moment, I felt pure joy of being in the moment.


Walking back to the hale, we stopped to take a few pictures of the Diamond Head Lighthouse. Once again, another lighthouse that we couldn’t get close to.

After this walk my leegs were so tired, we entered the house, showered and I crashed for a good long nap.  By the time I woke up, it was dinner time. Another round of poke please.

While munching on dinner Mike had the idea of going up Round Top Drive to the outlook to watch sunset.  We figured no one ever mentions going there for sunset, it can’t be popular, so off we went. Well, we were wrong, every tour bus was there, as well as locals.  we drove down, pulled over, but the angle of the road made it impossible to see the sun set. Great view of Diamond Head and the valley below.


I suggested we had to Ala Moana Beach Park to catch the last rays of sunset.  Oops I forget there is lots of traffic in the Honolulu area, even on a Sunday night.  We finally made it to the beach park, but the sunset was long over.  The upside, the view of Honolulu was beautiful at this time of night.

We drove up through Waikiki and the amount of people all over the streets was insane.  We are definitely in the most touristy area we have ever visited.

It has been a long grand day, full of miles, good spirit and beautiful sights.  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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