Hawaii Day 3

I started the day with a short walk to the Hawaiian Hiking café. It’s a cute little coffee shop in Waikiki that doubles as hiking guide agency. They have a good coffee and the breakfast burrito was excellent, so if you are in Waikiki waiting on someone then I would totally suggest you go there.

When Samer was done with the conference for the day we decided that we were going to eat poke. We end up at a place that is called Fresh Catch. We ordered ahi limu poke, firecracker poke, a salmon poke, and a bowl of seaweed salad. It was all really tasty. While we were sitting at the picnic table I see on the wall that Guy Fieri had been here before. Gross. I hate that beast. However, the son of bitch does know where to eat.

After lunch we headed for the Manoa Falls. It’s an easy little hike that ends at a beautfil waterfall. Sam was underwhelmed, but I thought it was very pretty. Even though the hike was easy, we could still feel the ache in our legs from yesterday.

We had planned on looking for the Kaniakapupu ruins, but decided that we wanted to spend some more time on the beach. We cut through the center of the island rather than the coast for the Lanikai beach. At the last minute I see the Kaneohe bay sandbar has five stars on yelp and decide to reroute us. Big mistake. We make it to Kaneohe, but all we really see is a sleepy fishing village. We stopped by a community park where kids were practicing archery to get our bearings, and then we headed south for Lanikai beach. It added about an hour to our trip.

The beach iss beautiful and sandy. The sun was already behind the mountain, but it was still light out. We could see the moon and it was utterly breathtaking to swim in the Pacific while looking at the moon in daylight. We put our towels on the beach and started to walk into the water.

Then I stepped on a bee. A bee! Bees hate water, and this fucker is hanging out on the beach like it is on vacation. Sam stops to make sure the stinger is not still in my foot, but my foot really started to ache. I pressed on and we hung out in the water for a while. The waves were really nice and it was a beautiful area to be in.

When we got back to the car we realized we had overstayed our welcome. The beach closed at 6 and it was 6:10. We jumped in the car, and went looking for some dinner. Sam finds a place called Uahi Island Grill.

On the drive to the restaurant, my foot starts to ache even more, and Sam starts to read me headlines about the massacre of the democrats on the mainland. One pain did not make me forget the other.

We got to the restaurant and ordered beers from the Maui Brewing company. Much better than the Kona stuff I drank earlier in the week. Then I looked up and saw a Guy Fieri had been here marking. What the fucking hell? I stopped feeling the pain in my foot for a minute while I seethed about that asshole.

We ordered kalua pig French fries, garlic chicken, and Thai spiced shrimp. It was delicious. I mean it was really good. The French fries were basically Hawaiian poutine. All of the meals here have been so high in protein. I really need to find some vegetables soon. My body is not used to eating like this.

After dinner we looked at my foot, confirmed it was swollen, and made our may back to Waikiki.

Day 2 in Hawaii

Sam started his conference on our second day so I had the morning to myself. I dropped a blanket on the beach at the hotel and dug into Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell. I am enjoying it a lot.

We decided to go to Ono Hawaiian Foods. It’s Hawaiin food and it is totally off the beaten path. We heard about in on Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Hawaii. We split the sampler platter and ate: kalua pig, pork lau lau, pipikaula, lomi salmon, haupia, and of course poi. My favorite was the kalua pig, it was really tasty.  Poi is not as bad as people say, it just boring.   Pork dipped in hot sauce, dipped in poi is pretty good.

After lunch we headed for the Koko Crater Railway Trail. This is where we went the day before, only to turn around because of the gun range next to it. When we arrived we were expecting not to hear any guns. I had checked the website and the shooting range was supposed to be closed. When we arrived we heard gunfire. It wasn’t like the day before; it was a single shooter, but still nerve racking. We pressed on.

It took us over an hour to walk up the 1050 steps to the top of crater. When we arrived, it was well worth it. It was a really beautiful view and I am so glad that I did it. I was really exhausted on the walk up there. I was a little ashamed with how out of shape I am, but I did it, so whatever. The walk down was easier, but still pretty damn terrifying. There is a bridge with bees all over it that seems like something out of a movie.

When we made it back to the car, we decided to treat ourselves to ice cream in the nearby shopping plaza. I was standing outside drinking my milkshake when I realized I was standing in front of Dog the Bounty Hunter’s office! Ha. Small world. Fuck that racist guy.

It was already 5 o’clock by the time we went looking for a beach. We considered the beach at Hanauma Bay, but decided to turn back toward Waikiki. We were looking for Queens Beach, but found ourselves at the Sans Souci State Recreational Park. It was getting to be dusk so there was no one in the water. I went to change into my swimming suit and guess what? Yours truly forget them in the hotel. I stripped to my underwear and jumped in. The water was beautiful. It was translucent and blue, but it was rocky.

We headed back to the hotel to shower up. We decided to walk through Waikiki to find a drink. It’s a fairly obnoxious consumer mecca, so neither of us found it interesting. We had a drink at the Royal Hawaiian hotel (It seems lovely), and headed back to the room for an early night.  After a beer on the balcony, it was time for bed.

I just finished my first day in Hawaii

Yesterday was my first day in Hawaii. It’s a magical place. We are on the island of Oahu, because Sam is attending a conference for work. I get to hang around and soak up the sun and capitalism. Jet lag had me up at 4:30 AM, so we had more than a full day to to enjoy ourselves.

We are staying at the Hilton on Waikiki. Our hotel room has a balcony that looks out onto the ocean. The view is incredibly spectacular. The hotel itself is a cliché tourist destination designed so that one would never need to leave the area. After a very brief walk on the beach we got in the car and left. The first stop was the Island Brew Coffeehouse. It was in a strip mall on a bay about 20 minutes outside of Waikiki. The bagel was great, the açaí bowl was good (though I think Sam enjoyed eating gelato for breakfast more than I did), but the coffee was spectacular.

I wanted to find a hike to the Koko Crater Arch I had read about on the website Unreal Hawaii. We could not find it, but we did stop and see the Lanai Lookout and the Halona Blowhole. The views were obviously breathtaking. However there was a couple who crossed the barrier and climbed down to the Halona Blowhole. They were standing in front of it making out the entire time I was there. The less than subtle and ridiculous scene of her pressing into him while ocean water sprayed like a geyser out a hole in the ground was annoying. I wanted Kanaloa to take them as a sacrifice every minute I looked at their dumb selves.

We headed to Sandy Beach Park where there are lots of surfers. The waves are dangerously huge, and really entertaining. The beach isn’t made for swimming, but it is really fun to get knocked around by the waves. We stayed at the beach for a little bit and then ordered Kahuku Shrimp from a food truck while we dried off.

We decided that we could not find the trail Koko Crater Arch trail so we would do the Koko Crater trail. It’s a different one, but we thought it’d still be a great hike. Here is where I had my first vacation freak out. At the foot of the beautiful scenery is the Koko Head Shooting Complex. A shooting range for the local gun nut. We started on the trail and it was terrifying. The noise of non-stop gun firing filled the air. There was no break in it, just shot after shot after shot. We weren’t in harms way or anything like that, it was just terrifying sound. I decided I could not hike with that violent racket and we retreated to the car.

In an effort to make sure we could still go on a hike, I proposed that we find the Waimano Falls and Pools. We drive into the island to Waimano Ridge Trail. Little did I know, the Waimano Ridge Trail does not take you to the Waimano Falls and Pools (the Mañana trail takes you there). They are completely separate trails! We hiked about 3 miles into the trail (very beautiful and serene) and we ran across a Boy Scout troop. I did my obligatory “I’m an eagle scout intro,” and we started to talk about the trail. That is when we are told that the wonderful is not anywhere near us.

Defeated we turned back for the car. We had started the trail we had taken the upper path. The scouts had told us that the lower path ran along a river, so when we found the split we decided to check it out. We learned two things that day. Dirt near rivers is not dirt. It is mud. Mud + a descent = slippery dirty chaos.

To be honest, it was very beautiful. It is a lovely hike, but I really wanted to see that waterfall so I left a little disappointed.

We finished the night going to dinner with Sam’s boss. We had sushi and great conversation. We had a full and adventurous day. There were missteps, but all learning moments.