About This Blog

This blog is to share with you some of the highlights of my visits to Hawaii and miscellaneous Hawaiiana. Hawai'i has had a great impact on my life. To see more on why I keep this blog, see: The Impact of Hawai'i in My Life.

Also, check out the Hawaiian Trivia Quiz.


September 2014 Trip to O'ahu, Maui and Kaua'i

Wed 17th - This was my eighth trip to the islands. Crazy. I really did not expect to be going to Hawaii this year. Were it only for my own financial abilities, this would not have happened. Fate dished up this opportunity, through the passing of DeNeise's dad in July, followed by her mom's desire to spread some of his ashes on the islands at various locations they two had enjoyed together. At first only DeNeise was going to accompany her, and then Mom decided she wanted all her kids and their spouses together with her, visiting O'ahu, Maui and Kaua'i.


After meeting with my brother-in-law Richard and his family at their home in the Manoa Valley of Honolulu, we had a picnic at the Kapiolani Park near Waikiki, and then watched the sunset at the beach.

Thur 18th - In the early morning, I went with my other brother-in-law Dave on a walk through the Lyons Arboretum not far from Richard's house. It's a pretty mountainside park next to the Manoa Falls trail. It started raining on us towards the end, which added a nice touch to the tropical feel.

Later, Mom, DeNeise, Dave, my niece Chante and I all took a drive to the Pali Lookout which has a nice view of the Kaneohe and Kailua areas. From there we met Richard and drove to the Kailua area to get some picnic lunch and ate it at Kailua Beach. We spent some nice time in the water, and got scaredy-cat Mom in as well. It took DeNeise a bit to get used to, but she and we all ended up enjoying the water. Perfect water temperature.

Lanikai Beach was where we ended the day, with Richard releasing some of Dad's ashes in the sea water.

Fri 19th - We got up early and headed to the Airport to go to Maui. Everyone came initially, except for Richard's wife Natasha who joined us later that evening. Our first stop was the Iao Valley Park where we walked around and enjoyed the beauty. We really began feeling the heat here.

Afterwards, we drove to the Lahaina area where we ate lunch at Bubba Gumps over the water. On the way, we stopped at a fruit and juice stand, operated by the family of one of my neice Jessica's friend's family, and visited the remains of an old historic church on their property.

Since parking was scarce in Lahaina, we didn't stay long, but drove up to the Napili Point condos where Mom and Dad had stayed. It was an emotional visit for Mom, and ashes were spread in the water at the point as well as in some bushes. The day was very hot.

From there, we drove down to the Kihei area and checked into the condos at the Maui Banyan.

Sat 20th - I went out to the Kama'ole beaches in the morning while others got ready, and realized this was the same beach I had been to when I was here in 1985 on the old ladies tour, staying at the Kama'ole Sands resort just down the street.

From there, we all drove on the Road to Hana, stopping several times including on the Keanae Peninsula. I sorely missed returning to one of my favorite spots, Puohokamoa Falls, which they have now closed and gated. It was one of the prettiest, easily accessible falls on the road, with a great ledge to jump from into the pool. Some really great memories there. Because of
 a late start, we ran out of daylight before we got to Hana, driving some of the last bit of the winding road in the dark. 

We finally checked in to the Hana Kai condos for what would be one of the hottest nights of my life. Unusual heat mixed with no air conditioning made sleeping miserable. At 4:40 am, I gave up trying sleep inside and walked down to the lawn area near the rocky beach and star-gazed / snoozed a bit until dawn. There I was ready to take some great sunrise shots.

Sun 21st - Spending some time down by the water was nice, which was followed by more time on the condo Lanai with great views. 

After spreading some ashes down at the rocky shore, we got some food and ate a lunch at the Hana Bay Beach Park. Time was spent at the lovely Hamoa Beach, and then we got on the road to head back. Our first stop was at the Waianapanapa State Park and black sand beach. More ashes were spread here. Getting late, we finally got on the road again, and made a stop at the Waikani (3 Bears) Falls. The day ended back in Kihei at the Maui Banyan condo.

Mon 22nd - Catching a 9 am flight to Kaua'i, with a stop on Oahu, we made our first Garden Island stop at the Wailua Falls. Lunch at Brick Oven Pizza followed, and then we took a river boat tour to the Fern Grotto. The boat ride and trail walk was nice, but the actual grotto site was disappointing. They have built a big wooden deck before and in front of the grotto where you stop and look. Because of some rock falls, one can no longer walk up into the grotto. The look and feel of the area is just not as pretty or nice as it used to be. Shame.

We met and talked a bit with one of the dancers named Kela, who was very nice.


We drove then to the Princeville area on the north shore where the home we stayed at was located. Right on the golf course and adjacent to the Hanalei Bay Resort made this beautiful 4 bedroom house a great place to be for two nights.

Tues 23rd - I took advantage of some early morning time and took a walk through the resort and down to the beach. It was a pretty, quiet morning. I walked along the bay for a while where the koa trees hung over the water, and relaxed at the Princeville resort's beach chaise lounge area. On the way back, I found a great bay view area near the condos. Such a beautiful area. This area is where I would love to live, if only that were possible.

I later spent some time at the Hanalei Bay Resort swimming pool and laying in the sun. Quite a nicely landscaped area. I waited for the others to call and say they were ready while I enjoyed the water and some rays.

For lunch, we into town at Hanalei and ate some local food and got a yummy shave ice. Then driving along the coast towards Ke'e we stopped at Haena Beach. I would love to have had some serious beach time here, but the ladies in the group are not much into being at beaches. Our last stop was at Ke'e Beach at the end of the road (Mom had a hard time believing it was really the end of the road), which was literally the end of the road for the memorial to Dad and spreading his ashes in Hawaii. It was a nice memorial in the waters of Ke'e at sunset, and I believe we were all glad that it was finally the end.

Wed 24th - Dave and I went to see Queen's Bath and Pali Ke Kua Beach, leaving early, around 7 am. Queen's Bath was fun, but too overcast to get good pix until we left. Swimming in the pool was interesting with fish nipping on our backs. After that, I was excited to finally go to Pali Ke Kua beach, also known as Hideaways, which requires a steep, rope assisted hike down the cliff side to a nice little beach with clear ocean water in a beautiful setting. I had a good time doing things with Dave. 

Since Mom decided that she wanted to see the Hanalei Bay Beach and the time was getting late, we had an altered schedule that necessarily cut out the Kalalau Lookout, one of my favorite spots, and allowed us to have just a little time in the Poipu area. We ate a picnic lunch at Poipu Beach and then took a quick walk-through at the Grand Hyatt resort.

We flew back to Honolulu that evening, and stayed again with Richard for the next 5 nights.

Thur 25th - This day was dedicated to experiencing the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). Dave and I took a short trip to check out the Punchbowl World War II memorial, before we left to go to the PCC. Having arrived at the PCC about an hour and a half later than it opened, I was still determined to meet with Ed and Norm, two good college buddies that now live here and work at BYU. Partly, I wanted to just catch up with good, old friends, and partly I wanted to explore what possibilities existed for me to somehow join them. In the end, it was just a good social visit over lunch.

So, I didn't make it to the PCC until around 2:45, but joined up with the family then. The rest of the day was very nice being there, and I was pleasantly surprised with improvements in the Aotearoa (New Zealand) village show, the luau dinner and the evening show.

Fri 26th - Dave and I decided to start the day with a hike to the top of Diamond Head. We talked about going to Pearl Harbor, but determined an earlier start tomorrow morning would be better. It was a fun hike, in rather hot sun and up steep stairs following a good trail hike, but the reward was the views of Honolulu and surrounding areas. The was a first time activity for me.

The plan for this day was to drive up to the North Shore, with a flexible plan to make stops along the way on the east coast. We drove through the beautiful Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens, and after lunch, made a nice stop at the Macadamia Nut Farm. We made a brief stop to see the Laie Temple, and then continued on to the Turtle Bay resort.


This is where the day took a turn for the bad.

At first, it was nice to walk around the resort, and even visit a room with a nice bay view. Since the day's schedule was late and slow again, the sun was setting as we were getting ready to leave. Although there were a lot of clouds, the sky was still very colorful.

And then it happened. As I went to go get the car to pick everyone up, I realized that I had lost the key to the rental car. This time, instead of an electronic door opener attached to a big plastic tag, Alamo had only given us a single regular key. Somehow, it must have flipped out of my pocket as I was reaching in for my phone, or something. I really don't know when or where this occurred. But because it was now getting dark, backtracking my steps and looking everywhere I could think of was fruitless. The next 5 nightmarish hours were all about trying to find the key, calling for help to open the car, calling and arranging help that went back and forth in a comedy of errors and frustration with the Alamo company, that finally got Mom, DeNeise and I back to the Alamo in Honolulu before 1:00 am. Since Jessica was with us and had school early in the morning, Richard drove up to get her and Dave and brought them back home earlier than us. Needless to say, emotions were running high. Oh, what fun.

Sat 27th - Since we got in so late the night before, we didn't try to wake up early and therefore cancelled going to Pearl Harbor. In the afternoon, we went to the Byodo-In Buddhist temple, which although very pretty, was on this visit very disappointing. Now they have an admission fee, a gift shop, more people, and luckily for us on this day, a jazz music concert that happens only once a month, but which entirely changes the feel of quiet and peaceful contemplation that has been there before. It really took away from the experience.

After a lunch in Kailua, we drove back to meet up with Richard's family in Waikiki. A bit of shopping was followed up by a nice time at the Royal Hawaiian's outdoor bar on the beach.

Sun 28th - As DeNeise and I had made plans to go to church in Kailua with Justin and Dave Bergon at 9:00 this morning, I was unable to join Richard's family and Dave on an activity that would have otherwise been lots of fun, going to Hanauma Bay and other coastal fun places. But, it was not to be. Mom came with us to church, and we enjoyed seeing the Bergons there. Although so much more could have been done / enjoyed afterwards, the activities for the remainder of the day included only eating out for lunch, a stop at Waikiki and then dinner. I missed going on a hike to Manoa Falls, which I would have had time for, but me and the girls didn't get home in time. That was something I have long wanted to do and put off doing with Dave earlier because I knew Richard wanted to take us. Oh well, something for a future visit.

Mon 29th - Homeward bound. Though it's always hard to leave the islands, several things about this trip made returning home a good thing.

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