Bonus Day in Paradise

Originally published 11 May 2016.

Happy Monday! That’s how Steve and I felt last Monday in O’ahu! I think we were starting to get over the jet lag a little more than anticipated (or wanted, truth be told!), but we still rose just before the sun and got ourselves going. We ran together for a mile, and then I let Steve run like the wind for his final 4 miles, while I took my time heading back to the hotel. Soon enough, we were ready and rarin’ to go! We only had the rental car until 5:00pm that day, so we knew we needed to get a move on if we wanted to see everything on our list!

First stop: valet. It took a while for the valet to get our car (where do they take your car at these places?), so I moseyed over to the concierge and got a beach bag and recommendation for breakfast on our way to the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. They had maps all printed out and ready for us!

First stop, Moena Cafe. Wow! It was fantastic. Definitely more my thing than Steve’s from an ambience standpoint, but I think we both enjoyed our meals. Steve got the fruity waffle and I got the cinnamon roll pancakes. Oh my stars!

No, I couldn’t finish it. Steve even ate some, and we STILL took some with us! You can see the pineapple sausage in the middle of the table (amazing) and Steve’s fruity waffle back behind. I wish we could go back again!

Now that we’re fueled up for the day, off we go to hike it off! We overshot the entrance to the trail, but there was a lookout point maybe a quarter mile beyond, so we stopped there, looked out, and headed back down the hill to the trail head. It’s about a mile up, and they’re doing some construction (I hope they’re putting in a bathroom!), but it was a lovely trail, and the workmen were very courteous to the hikers. The view from the top was stunning! And the breeze up there was refreshing!

We continued driving to various lookouts and beach parks. One beach park where we stopped and laid out on the sand for a while was the Kailua Beach Park, one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii! The sand was soft, there weren’t so many other beach goers that it felt crowded, and the water was very clear! The only thing I wish we’d done was rent a kayak and paddle to the island not far from shore. But just lying there and relaxing was just fine, too! Some of you may remember from one of my Australia posts in 2013 that I discovered I’m afraid of the ocean, and more specifically, sea life. So, each time I’m at a beach and I wade into the ocean, it’s a BIG deal for me, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment! I also have a fear of drowning. I stay close to shore. =)

After a couple of hours of that, it was time to see a couple more sites and head back. We stopped at “The Blowhole,” a natural phenomenon where a wave comes in, and the air inside a cliffside cave pushes it out with force, like water out of a whale’s blowhole!

So we returned the car and walked back to the hotel. When we got there (with sushi takeout for supper, of course!), we headed straight for the pool for one last poolside sunset! And Steve said he wanted a feet picture:

You can hardly even see my scars unless you look for them! I love natural light. =)

And now for Tuesday: Our Bonus Day in Paradise!

Why do we call this our Bonus Day? Because we took the red eye out that night, of course! Our flight didn’t leave until 7:45pm, and we got a complementary late checkout from the hotel, so we were able to take our time and really relax on our last day! Steve and I both hit the gym, and Steve went for a run while I showered and made a different kind of run: a breakfast run! There was a place closely called Island Vintage Coffee, and I had been wanting us to try it out since our first day, so with no other options, I decided this was the day! I stopped to pick up a few souvenirs on the way there, and by the time I arrived at quarter to 9:00, the place was packed! I’m glad I just needed a to-go order! I got an amazing frozen coffee called the Banana Kona Coffee–yum! I got a papaya and peanut butter sandwich for me, and the Island Breakfast for Steve. I don’t remember all of it, but I think it involved eggs, asparagus, salad, and Peruvian sausage. He liked it! We ate up in the sky view lounge. It’s just so pretty up there!

Next stop: The Duke! Not a royal duke. Not John Wayne. Duke Kahanamoku!

Isn’t my Love so handsome? The guy with the leis and the surfboard behind him is the Duke. He was from Honolulu and became very famous for his surfing, but also for being a five-time Olympic medalist between 1912-1924. He taught people how to surf right on Waikiki beach!

And now… beach time for us! One last morning on the beach was just what we needed. We picked a spot on the beach near a rock-enclosed shoreline. I felt a bit safer and spent some time out there. I even saw a huge school of tiny little fish on the way in! The saltiness of the sea water always surprises me. I just can’t imagine how it gets and stays so salty!

After a couple of glorious, sunny, breezy, relaxing hours on the beach, we made our way over to Duke’s for a late lunch–the restaurant this time, no the statue. My Uncle Greg recommended it. What views! Steve had been there once before, but I had only heard about it from others. The food was good. We both chose dishes that involved the fish of the day, swordfish! And though we didn’t necessarily need dessert (we still had leftover cake in the room!), but when the waiter described the Hula Pie, we caved!

Macadamia ice cream, Oreo crust, a layer of cooled note fudge, whipped cream, warm hot fudge, macadamia nut pieces, with a cherry on top. No, we didn’t finish, but we got close!

And then it was time to shower and pack! The hotel called a taxi for us, and away we went to the airport. One thing we learned from both riding and driving on the island: there are very few ways to get anywhere quickly! They do what they can to help traffic on the island, but it was slow going just to get to the highway to the airport! But we left with plenty of time, and we made it there with lots of time to spare. Something we noticed about the airport, however, was how open it is! I realize we’re in Hawaii, and everyone has their windows open, or like the church, entire walls are essentially open, but for an airport? Wow! That’s island life, I guess!

And so ends our Hawaiian adventure–for now! Who knows when we’ll be back or where we’ll go next! Thank you for coming along with us! Until next time, my friends!

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