We visited the sunflowers on the North Shore this past weekend. It turned into quite an adventure as it happened to be raining and was incredibly muddy. The flowers were beautiful, even in the rain and it was a pretty fun day! We spent some time in Haleiwa and ended the day hanging out in the rain in the hot tub soaking off all of the mud!
This past week Paige came to visit! She was our first visitor since we moved back and we had a great time doing a ton of fun things on the island.
We spent her first whole day on the North Shore. Started with sky diving, enjoyed some shrimp and corn from the food trucks, saw some turtles, and had shave ice. After all of that, we were even able to muster enough energy to head into Waikiki for dinner.
Sunday, we went on one of our favorite hikes — Kuli’ou’ou Ridge. We’ve hiked this multiple times and this was the first time we ended up covered in mud.
After our hike, we went to spitting caves to see what the waves were doing. They didn’t disappoint!
During the week, Paige entertained herself with Pearl Harbor, visiting Kauai and some yoga. The next weekend we went on an ATV tour at Kualoa Ranch, which was a BLAST. This was our first time doing this and we can’t wait to do it again! The weather was beautiful and we had a great tour guide.
On Saturday, we hiked Tripler Ridge to Haiku Stairs. This is a hike that Josh and I both wanted to do, but hadn’t done yet (we’ve both hiked the stairway at night/early a.m. but not hiked to it then down it during the day). Since Bailey and Kyle were here, we thought it would be a great time to go so they could join in on the fun. Josh’s friend Tony also volunteered to come and be our tour guide since he had just completed the hike a few weeks before. It turned out to be one of the BEST hikes on the island yet. It took us about six hours to complete from start to finish. We hiked from Tripler hospital up the mountain on the ridges and back down the Haiku stairs on the other side of the island to Josh’s car (which Tony and Josh had staged the night before). It was EXTREMELY muddy and we were covered by the time we were finished (Bailey and I maybe slipped and fell a few times…). The views were unbeatable from the top and the pictures can’t even begin to do them justice. With the views, came a few scary portions along the ridge. We definitely put Kyle’s fear of heights to the test, but he made it the whole way without any issues! It was such an awesome way to spend a Saturday and we could not have asked for better weather!
Josh and I landed on Kauai Friday evening for our third trip to the island for a quick weekend away from Oahu. We were only an hour late (which is pretty awesome on an inter-island Island Air flight), but since everything on Kauai shuts down at 9:00 p.m., we had few choices for dinner. We grabbed food at Duke’s in Lihue and then checked into our hotel (Kauai Beach Resort).
The entire purpose of this trip was to take a helicopter tour of the island. In February of 2012, Josh and I hiked the Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali coast of Kauai. It was an ridiculous trip (for many reasons) and during those 22 miles there and back, we kept hearing all of the helicopters above us. We decided that we were coming back to Kauai and viewing our amazing hike from up above. We went back to Kauai in September of 2012 to do just that, but got rained out for our tour (shocking). However, I am happy to report that this trip was a COMPLETE success! We had the most amazing helicopter tour with Jack Harter Helicopters. We flew in a helicopter with doors off for a whole hour around the island. We had great weather and the views were incredible! It was by far the highlight of our trip :).
After our helicopter tour, we headed to Wailua River to go kayaking. We kayaked two miles upriver to Secret Falls (120 ft water fall). We hiked (much further than we thought) in extremely muddy conditions to the waterfall. I had flip flops on (horrible idea) and we were covered in mud by the time we left.
After kayaking, we went to view ‘Opaeka’a Falls. It was late in the day, so we didn’t get that great of a shot. But it was huge!
After quickly stopping there, we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner at Hukilau Lanai. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed some amazing food after a terrific day!
Today for work we went to the Hawaii Nature Center to explore the trails there. We spent over two hours fishing in the stream, observing the plants in the area and searching for “decomposers” (bugs such as millipedes, beetles, roaches and worms that decompose the leaves and make soil). It was really cool to learn all about the different types of wildlife in the stream. We caught tons of freshwater shrimp…they are incredibly small..and see-through!
On Monday after I got off work, we went and hiked Manoa Falls so my mom could see a waterfall. I have done this hike a few times and it is usually muddy..but NOTHING compared to what it was this time. People were going barefoot because it was easier. The mud was pulling my shoes off my feet and it was very easy to fall! However, the hiking through the mud was definitely worth it…the waterfall at the end was amazing. It’s normally just a light trickle of water…but it was flowing beautifully when we got there! After that, we headed home to take a shower and went to have drinks and dinner. We ate pizza at JJ Dolan’s, drank well-earned drinks and had dessert at Du Vin.
Today after work, we ventured out around downtown and wandered through some of the stores. We also stopped at a crêpe place for lunch. For dinner, we had Cuban food (probably my favorite restaurant here) and tried a few new things that Josh and I hadn’t had yet. Everything was wonderful!
This past Saturday, Josh and I hiked the old Pali road to the Likeke waterfall. We started at the Pali Lookout and headed down the old Pali road (the Pali is now a major highway that takes you from Honolulu to Kaneohe). The hike was a little over three miles roundtrip…it was incredibly windy at the Pali lookout, so we jogged the first part down the road. We then came to a point in the trail where you can continue on to the Maunawili Trail or go left and climb under the current Pali Highway. To get to the waterfall we climbed down and under the highway and continued on through the woods. It was a super fun trail and a great workout as the entire way back up is uphill. The waterfall, while one of the smaller ones I have seen, was beautiful. There were also some great views along the way and at the falls. Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
Monday morning we woke up early to head to Isaac Hale Beach Park to catch our boat for the lava tour. Well not surprisingly this also got rained out due to the weather and roughness of the ocean. So instead we headed to Kalapana Cafe for breakfast and to regroup and figure out what we wanted to do on our last day.
After breakfast we headed to check out the Kapoho Tide-pools and Wai`opae Ponds. Rumor has it that they are wonderful for snorkeling, but with the current state of the weather we only visited them from above ground.
After our brief stop at the tide-pools, we headed north for a few miles to check out a natural lava swimming pool. The drive there was along one of the prettiest roads I have ever been on. It was also ridiculous how instantly our surroundings changed to a jungle. The surf here was outrageous. So much so, that we took a video because pictures just couldn’t capture the magnificent waves.
After hiking back through the mud to our car, we headed back to the paved road to Highway 137 to visit Ahalanui. Ahalanui is a spring- and ocean-fed pool containing a man-made wall that separates it from the ocean. The pool is heated to about 90 degrees…but we opted not to get in as it looked pretty disgusting. Even though fresh water replenishes the pool daily, I’m still not sure it was the cleanest thing to swim in. However, it was still pretty neat to look at. It also amazes me that there are pools that are heated by the earth to such high temperatures.
Our next stop down Highway 137 was back to Isaac Hale Beach Park. This time to visit Poihiki pool, which is also a warm water pool, but completely natural. We walked along a short path to the pool…and while it looked much cleaner, there were already a lot of people in it. However, we did sit for a bit and watch all of the surfing action at the park.
Once we got sick of watching the surfers, we made one last stop at Mackenzie State Recreation Area. We weren’t sure what to expect, but the owner of our B&B told us to make a stop here because the scenery was beautiful. We definitely were blown away. We thought the waves were ridiculous at the lava pool, but they were nothing compared to the waves here. They were so large and powerful that there were little crabs on the top of the cliffs that had been tossed up by the water. They would start to then make their way back down the rocks. Rough life for the little crabs. We also took a video at this location because the pictures could not begin to do what we saw in person justice.
After that amazing experience, it was time for us to head back to Hilo to the airport. Lucky for us, this time we were on Hawaiian Airlines which meant we had a big plane that would have no problems taking off in the rain…unlike our Molokai experience from a couple months ago :). Adios Big Island..til we meet again!
Today I hiked the Aiea Loop Trail which is located in the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area. The park is located about 10 miles from where I live and took me about a half hour to get there (I didn’t even get lost!). The trail is about 4.8 miles long and took me about an hour and 50 minutes to complete at a pretty fast pace (including stopping for pictures and a few offshoot trails to see some pretty cool views). It runs along the ridge of the west side of the Halawa Valley (not to be confused with the Halawa Valley on Molokai) and I was able to see Pearl Harbor in a few places at a distance. There were so many different types of trees ranging from Norfolk Island pine trees to native koa and ohi‘a trees. It was also an incredibly muddy hike in places and I ended up with mud on my legs past my knees…I also drove home in socks because my shoes were completely covered in mud. I passed a few different people along the trail, but for the most part it was pretty desolate…except for a wild boar (my first time seeing one). I was walking along and all of a sudden it grunted loudly to my right and went running through the woods…scared me to death! However, I tried to get a picture through the trees :).