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!

Day 13 – Oops, Busted

Disclaimer:  Falls is located on private property, government property and can be considered trespassing.  Hike at your own risk or do it the legal way and get a permit from the water department.

So the day started out typical for us, breakfast, coffee with a view, make a plan.


The plan go for a waterfall hike (little advice don’t hike on a social media day called Waterfall Wednesday). We decided on Lulumahu Falls off of the Pali Highway. We packed our gear.


25 minutes later we were at the trailhead along with a group of military moms hiking with their littles and a few other people.  The conga line started and we followed.

gGL06H4DTwqJXV5MdhKu4wqevUMQMSQo2F16%ou2PECgCB0224j+Rlqq4j7xHUubIAqZiv%HaHTK+ZdZHkAnbstgvy+Cuy9GTT6UNf5XCCEcpwAt the first muddy part, Mike remembered the blog post we read that mentioned a work around the muddy part, but it might involve going on some other government land. Sure no problem, we’ve done some hikes here that are somewhat kapu and this is just a work around.  We get to the path below a reservoir when we see a worker in a bobcat, we crouched down pretending to tie shoes, to late, spotted and with a stern hand gesture was told to go back.  Oops, we had to go back and continue on the path that led through the mud. Oh well what’s a little mud? Really this allowed the mom’s hiking group to get well ahead of us.

The trail was bamboo forest, water crossings, rock scrambles and mud sliding fun.

We were well rewarded once we reached the falls, they were magnificent. We had a good group around us, minus the one guy hogging the waterfall for the mom’s pictures. Once he left,we were left with a respectful group, taking pictures of each other, just enjoying the time there.


After we had our fill and as obnoxious groups started showing up, it was time to head back, following the mom conga line. We spent a total of an hour and half on the trail and it was 2.7 miles.

Once at the car it was time to clean off the massive amounts of mud caked on us and figure out lunch.  Well you can guess where we ended up, why do I even bother to mention it, Honolulu Beerworks, our brewery away from home, really we go for the awesome food.

After lunch we stopped at Safeway to get some yogurt and some fried chicken.  Advice if you go to the Safeway on Kapahulu Ave, park at the parking garage. The views of Diamond Head are amazing!

Once we picked up our items, we returned to the house to rest, do a little research on next summer’s trip (don’t ask where yet, still trying to figure it out), have dinner and clean up.

Then it was off to sunset watching and Mother Nature put on a very nice display for us. So maybe we got a little stink eye today, but it was worth it.  Only one full day left for us…




Day 11 – Recovery, Limbo and Cashing in Our Chips

Wait a minute, are we in Las Vegas or Oahu? Sounds like we had a wild night last night and continued the party today? But no, it was all about the hike.

Today Mike needed a recovery hike after his race yesterday. The plan called for a short hike, with views and fairly easy.  Well we found just the hike, Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Trail in Kaneohe, right across from Valley of the Temples.

Of course, first things first, breakfast of french toast sticks.  When we travel, we prefer to eat breakfast at our rental, of course at times it comes with some obstacles we need to overcome, such as having the right kind of pans and bowls.  We figure it out and make do with what we have, laughing along the way.

After that we packed up our gear, loaded the car with our supplies and our donor’s thank you boxes.  First stop was the post office to mail out the packages (Monica Jo and Mark, if you are reading this, yours aren’t sent yet).


Then off to park in a shopping mall complex to walk to the trailhead.  Stunning views of the Ko’olau range as we walked to the trailhead. This trail had some steep sections, with little windows out to see the views.  If it wasn’t dry this trail would be a mud fest in wet weather.  We lucked out today with a dry trail.

At times Mike had to do the limbo to get under branches on our way to the trail’s end.  Lucky for me performing the limbo was limited, this is the time it helps to be short.

We reached the end of the trail and took in the views up top of the pillboxes, WWII bunkers built all around the island.  It was a bit hazy out, but still the views were stunning.

The hike was almost 3 miles with a little over 500 feet elevation gain, it took us about an hour and half, including stops to ohhhh and ahhhh.


After the hike we headed down to He’eia Kea Pier to look up to where we hiked and were hoping to eat lunch at He’eia Kea Pier General Store, where we ate at 5 years ago, a few times.  Sadly it was closed today, so we had to devise a new plan. Hmmmmm we had chips to use at Honolulu Beerworks for free beer, well that sounds good.

We went back via the LikeLike Highway, the Ko’olau Range is majestic.


First we had to make another cookie stop at Honolulu Cookie Company on Sand Island.  We needed more cookies to ship home!


Then we went to cash in our chips at the brewery.  We really did have to go to the brewery because on Saturday they released a Pilsner, one of Mike’s favorite types of beers.  As we entered the brewery, one of the bar staff remembered Mike had his race yesterday and came over to chat with him about it. Yup we are starting to be recognized, just in time to leave.  I was wearing our local brewery, Hanging Hills’ Pilsner tee shirt, so it seemed only fitting I have my picture taken with the Pali Pils beer! After a great lunch, we decided we would need one more return trip to the brewery, so we didn’t cash in our chips, yet.

By this time we were exhausted and needed to do laundry, so back to the house we went.

We put together a quick dinner of Costco quinoa salad and chicken, cleaned up and headed out for the sunset. Once again a huge cloud blocked the actual sinking of the sun, but we did get some nice photos and enjoyed our viewing spot.


So we took a gamble today, that our legs would be up to good uphill hike and the path would be dry. It was worth the gamble and along the way we had a fun day!

Day 8 -Just Another Day

As I neglected to write yesterday’s Day 7 on its actual day, I was up early to write it, writing on day 8 about day 7 was the start to the day.  Mike made a nice cup of coffee to get my brain cells moving and then fueled me with a sugary malasadas.  Eventually eggs and veggies were cooked to sustain the writing.


Once I hit the publish button it was time to decide on today’s activities. I googled “easy hikes in Oahu”. Mike is still training for Sunday’s race and we both are walking the 5k Heart Walk on Saturday, so an easy hike seemed a good bet.  We settled on hiking the Makiki Valley Loop Trail at the Hawaii Nature Center.  Most things we read stated dry trail, go left when starting the hike, only 2.5 miles and oh remember that word easy.

First off, we went to the right because a gaggle of kids with a “teacher” was on the trail and they went left, the kids were all over the place and loud.  We did the very steep side first, I think I ignored the word “steep” when I read the description.

Halfway up the steep section was the view out.  We ended up tripping over another group of kids clogging the path. We got past them and kept going up.

Once up at the top, another group greeted us, they were running all over, screaming and ignoring the teacher. I was ready to take over the control of the kids, but Mike quickly grabbed me and pointed to the new trail to follow and told me to move.


Down we went into a mud filled trail, it stayed this way the entire time. I only went down once, perhaps a record for me on a muddy trail.

Remember the descriptions said “easy”.  Yesterday’s hike in the valley was easy, this wasn’t difficult or technical, but it was a step above easy, but below difficult.  It was fun and jungly and really that is what matters We had to stop at the clean off station to wash the mud and seeds off of our shoes and legs. Boy did I have a lot of mud caked on me. And this trail wasn’t 2.5 miles, both of our phones pedometers had it at 4 miles.


Hunger set in and we had to pick up Mike’s race number at Boca Bike Shop which happens to be next to…can you guess it? Honolulu Beerworks.  So of course we stopped for brews and lunch.  We ended up sitting next to a Navy guy who is hoping his next transfer will be to Groton, CT. He is ready to leave Hawaii and head closer to home, he is from Pennsylvania.  Our conversations included the bartenders and the next thing you know we are given chips for a free pint.

We finished our lunch, Mike picked up his bib number and off we went to our next destination, coffee, chocolate and a boutique store.


We picked up another coffee for the house at Downtown Coffee in Honolulu, a small roasters. Next stop was Madre Chocolate for me and the gift boxes. Madre Chocolate was next to a little shop selling Hawaiian goods, Owen & Co. I’ve been wanting to go here for a while, so it was nice to finally visit.

We had one last stop to make, Costco.  We went to the crazy, hard to park, wedged in Costco, which is always an adventure.  We picked up our needed items and headed home.

Once home around 4 p.m. rest time for an hour was demanded by my body.  We cleaned up, had a small dinner and headed off to sunset viewing.  It was a busy sunset viewing on the beach time tonight.  Mike splashed around and I tried to navigate taking photos around people, not easy.  Sunset was very lovely, but alas the sun sank and we meandered home for dessert and the writing of the blog.

No catchy title, because today was just a day that happened and we took in every moment of it.




Day 7 – Island Treasures

It was such a wonderful day on Thursday, I couldn’t begin to put it in words yesterday (hence writing Thursdays post on Friday). We found some island treasures and ended the day learning about a musical treasure sitting in front of us.

The day started with Mike having his run and meeting me at the beach, as I sipped my coffee, listened to music, and watched the morning unfold. After his float, we returned to the house.

Breakfast was made of french toast sticks smothered in fresh bananas and lilikoi with a side of fresh mango.

We plotted out the rest of the day. Over the years we’ve done the must see sights and aren’t ready to repeat them yet, so off we went to find more off the beaten path treasures on the island.

We started the unintentional treasure hunt at Moanalua Gardens.  We walked around the small garden and summer home (not allowed in) of King  Kamehameha V.  This garden is known for its Monkeypod trees and one of them is the symbol for the Hitachi Group.

Our next stop was for a hike, The Moanalua Valley Trail.  Due to Mike’s training schedule, we haven’t hiked here or at home in a while.  We picked an easy trail, one we could turn around at any time we wanted.  We did part of the Valley Trail, so no steep sections.  This trail actually leads up to a ridge trail to the backside of the top of the Haiku Stairs.  We hit a turn around point at the 1.5 mile mark, due to rushing water.  A couple was crossing it, but with a walk and a race scheduled for this week why chance it?  This was a great little easy hike and the hidden treasure was a rock with petroglyphs and the ruins of an old settlement. It rained, it misted, we got soaked but loved all of it.  One of the plaques described how this is a dry summer streambed in summer months, well not this summer.

Returning from the hike, we had to go home to change into dry clothes before heading out to lunch.  We decided to visit Salt at Kaka’ako block to find food.  This is the up and coming area for Honolulu.  We ate at the Moku Kitchen.  This was a hipster joint, with slightly overpriced food and hugely overpriced beers.  The food was good, I had fish tacos and Mike had a chicken with salad, we started with a ginger poke salad.  Would I return, no.  It was good, but it wasn’t us.

In this complex was a beer tasting room, so before we totally dismissed this block as not a place for us, we gave The Village Tasting Room a try.  Phew, we fit in and had a few half pour beers from around the world.  Small crowd, knowledgeable people and a place we fit in.


I also spied a chocolate shop, Lonohana Estate Chocolate.  Small samples of their amazing chocolate was available to taste. It was a tasting treasure, but I did control myself.  Picked up a few things for the Oahu heart gift boxes.


One last stop before we made it home, Pipeline Bakeshop for malasadas.  OMG these are the best malasadas ever and we’ve had Leonards and the lady in front of Kmart Kauai, two of Oahu and Kauai’s best malasadas makers.  Pipeline, Pipeline, Pipeline is the place., such a treasure treat to eat.

We made it home a little after 4, to rest and I needed to put my shirt together for the Oahu Heart Walk.  Donations are being accepted till 7 p.m. Pacific time, August 10th.


Then it was time for the big concert at the Waikiki Aquarium at 7 p.m. The Ke Kani O Ke Kai.

It started with Hula Olana coming on to perform.  This first performance moved me to tears. It was hauntingly beautiful.


The first group up was a trio, Keauhou. They performed traditional Hawaiian music.


The next performer,Natalie Ai Kamau’u, was soulfully moving and for me the highlight of the night.  She broke down crying because her Auntie Nina was there, she was nervous to sing in front of her and had to change her entire set list when she found out Auntie Nina was there.  You see Auntie Nina is a Hawaiian treasure.  We quickly googled her and found out she is Nina Kealiiwahamana, very influential for Hawaiian female singers.  Next thing we know, Natalie’s daughter is on stage, dancing the hula and the set ended with Natalie’s mother dancing the hula (she opened one of the famous Hula schools) and her father playing the ukulele, singing with Natalie. It was a beautiful moment to witness. The respect, honor and love in the air could be felt, tasted and absorbed.


Grammy winner,Kalani Pe‘a, finished off the night.  I have been following his career for the past year, so it was fun to see him in concert.  He performed two songs in Hawaiian, but has a love for old school bluesy/jazzy music, including singing some from the Carpenters.  He is a funny guy, who puts on a good show.

We walked home, in awe of the day overall, but especially the concert.  Today we were given the gifts of small treasures in the forms of nature, food and people, what a blessing.




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