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 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

Oahu Day 1

Hawaiian Airlines 2nd flight from Boston to Honolulu

Our day started with the standard bad hotel coffee with a variety of breakfast snacks in the hotel room. We made our way over to the international terminal of Logan Airport because this flight doesn’t have a true home yet at Logan, luckily JetBlue is sharing some of their space with them.

Once boarding started it went rather quickly and we took off close to time.

Take off over Boston

For a little over eleven and half hours non stop, the flight went by fast. There was a medical emergency on board with a passenger, but the crew handled it with privacy and professionalism. The food service was decent first starting with a little light breakfast served in a cute bag.

We flew over Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The Kona winds brought us in over Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, a first for us.

Upon landing, we headed off to get our car rental. Unfortunately the class of car we booked was out and would require at least a 45 minute wait, so we went with what they gave us, a jeep wrangler. Guess what? We are old and getting in and out of that thing is a pain, so on Sunday we are going in for an exchange.

Our next stop was, tough to guess this one, Honolulu Beerworks for a beer and some food. Always one of favorite places to stop for nourishment.

Not the best photo, but I was in a fog of travel brain!

We finished up and had one last stop, grocery store. As usual our brains were overtired and we didn’t get much.

We located our rental, which of course wasn’t our original rental because the owner of original rental flaked on us and left us scrambling two weeks ago to find a new place. We unpacked, changed and headed off to the sunset. Saturday night and the beach was hopping. My “ghost ship” blocked the view of the setting sun last night, which was very inconsiderate. If it does it on Sunday night, I see a pattern and we are going to have to find a new spot to view the sunset.

The first day has ended, writing this on Sunday, still in a fog which I hope will clear by tomorrow. All in all a direct flight from Boston was better than we expected and will fly the route again!


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.


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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