Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pillbox Hike, Chocolate Tour, Kailua. Day 5, O'ahu

03/21/16 We started our day by walking 1.4 miles to the trailhead of the Kiawa Ridge Pillbox Hike (and back). Then it was up, up, up along a ridge to beautiful views. After lunch at our rental, we went to Kailua for a chocolate tour at the Manoa Chocolate Factory, which is surprisingly located in a two-story shopping center. We visited Lanikai Juice for some well earned rehydration and Lanikai Bath and Body for soaps made in Kailua. All of these are locally owned businesses. For dinner we went to Cactus Bistro in Kailua which was very good, but I was so tired by then, I didn't get any photos. No wonder I was tired...we won the Skyscraper Badge on FitBit for climbing the equivalent of 100 floors! Total on Fitbit was 116 floors.








Thursday, June 09, 2016

Poke, Malasadas, Beer. Day 4, O'ahu

On 03/20/16, we flew from Kauai to O'ahu and from the airport, went straight to Nico's Pier 38 for lunch al fresco.




Then we went to two of our favorite places. Leonard's to pick up malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts...ours were macadamia nut creme filled and haupia [coconut] filled) and Ono Seafood to get the best poke on the island.










































Then we headed across the island and over the pali to to our rental in Lanikai. This was the view from the shared porch.


After meeting the owners and dropping off our luggage, we drove to Kailua to try a craft brewery: Lanikai Brewing. From there, we walked to Bella's Bistro nearby for dinner on their patio.







































Finished off this travel day with a beautiful sunset view from our rental.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waimea Canyon, Kokee State Park, Day 3 Kauai

Saturday, March 19, third day on Kauai.

We started by meeting my online friend, Kumi and her husband for breakfast in real life! Then we drove up to Waimea Canyon, the Kalalau Overlook and several other overlooks. We had lunch at Kokee Lodge, checked out Kokee Museum, and did a nature hike. We only did part of a longer hike on Canyon Trail due to sunset. After a scenic drive down the mountain with ocean views, we tooled along the coast, ending at a craft brewery. It was cool enough at Kokee Lodge that they had the fireplace going.
Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon, dubbed "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by Mark Twain. Who never saw it.


Unsafe to drink. Or wash your hands in.

At the end of the road is Kalalau Valley overlook. We could hear wild goats bleating on the slopes.

Four waterfalls on the far side of Kalalau Valley.

Even memorial altars with flowers and stuffed pandas didn't keep tourists from walking right up the edge of the cliff.

This was more than close enough for me.

Had to hoof it back up the trail along the cliff.

We had lunch at Kokee Lodge, finishing with Lilikoi Chiffon Pie.
Kokee Museum. Best for kids and rainy days. We did a short nature hike behind the building.

We hiked part of this trail, but didn't finish since the sun started to go down.
Beautiful drive down the mountain and coast past Pacific Missile Range to the Polihale State Park Rd (4WD only).

Ended our day in Port Allen at Kauai Island Brewing Co.

Beer flights and dinner (not pictured).
Ubiquitous, obligatory Kauai rooster of the day.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lihue, Kauai, Day 2

Day 2 on Kauai. Waterfalls, sacred heiau, a museum, a rum tour, a train ride and a luau.

Started out our day visiting 'Opeaka'a Falls near our cottage. It's right on the road with a parking lot, no hiking. On the other side of the the road from the falls, we saw the Wailua River which runs right next to the cottage we rented.



Near the falls is Poliahu Heiau, an ancient Hawaiian temple. All that remains today are the ruins of the stone wall in a rectangle shape. From the heiau, we could see the river and the ocean. And chickens. Lots of chickens.






We drove to Lihue to see the Kauai Museum. Advertising for the museum made it sound like they had recreated room(s) of a recovered sunken ship there, but that wasn't the case. They had some artifacts that were brought up from the ship, like buttons and metal bits, all in wooden display cases. I was disappointed. I did like seeing an old hourglass, though. Mostly the museum felt like looking through someone's attic. One of the rooms triggered uncontrollable coughing in me and I had to leave. I love museums, but I wouldn't recommend this one unless it was pouring down rain and you needed something to do. The ladies staffing it were very nice.

After a nice lunch in Lihue at KP Lihue Italian Grill and Bar (where the server handed me a cocktail list and when I ordered one, told me they usually don't serve cocktails at lunch), we headed to Wailua Falls, the falls from the TV show Fantasy Island. These falls are also right on the road with a (very small) parking lot.






































We had some time to kill before our luau, so we drove down a road lined with eucalyptus trees to Poipu.

Poipu Beach was a mass of tourists (no surprise). So we drove back to Lihue to do the rum tasting at Koloa Rum Company (same place as the luau). It was so forgettable, I don't even have a photo of it. The rums were flavored and young. Good for people who like Captain Morgan's. At least it was free.

Before the luau, we did the optional train ride to see the plantation, the plants and the animals. It was a pleasant ride.



This was our first (and probably only) luau. I picked Luau Kalamaku because it's more theatrical. It tells the story of how the Tahitians sailed to Hawaii. And the buffet has options for vegetarians, a must. We were both impressed by how the performers all made the material seem fresh...they didn't look bored or like they were doing it by rote. I could practically feel the winds and the ocean swells when they were "rowing" their ship. It was a fun time and I recommend it.