Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ho'omaluhia Gardens, Morning of Day 7, O'ahu.

On this day, we visited Ho'omaluhia Gardens, a free garden on the windward side in Kaneohe. It's free and it's fantastic. The 400 acre garden and 32 acre lake was created as a flood protection measure for Kaneohe (steep Ko'olaus mountains funnel lots of rain). Ho'omaluhia means "to make a place of peace and tranquility".

At the Visitor's Center

Starting our hike at the lak
Cacao beans in the garden

Common Waxbill
Red-crested Cardinal
Mitch finally got to see a mongoose in the wild.
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Ohia lehua flower










My Birthday, Bishop Museum, Craft Beer, Chinatown. Day 6, O'ahu.

03/22/16 On my birthday, we visited the Bishop Musuem where we experienced a very nice docent tour. The Bishop Museum is a great natural history museum and I recommend it to anyone visiting Honolulu. Then we enjoyed beer flights and lunch at Honolulu Beerworks. In the late afternoon, we sadly arrived too late to Chinatown to get groceries, they close early. We headed to a grocery store on the way back to our rental and still had a nice home cooked meal. Thanks for the tasty stir fry, Mitch! No birthday cake for my 50th, they sadly had run out of the guava chiffon I was waiting for...but I did have some very nice locally made coconut ice cream. I must have had fun, because I hardly got any photos this day!

The Bishop Museum

A flower in the Bishop Museum's native plants garden

Honolulu Beerworks takes work to get to, but is worth it.

Honolulu Beerworks flight, very good.


Arrived too late to buy in Chinatown

Birthday sunset from our rental in Lanikai

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.