All posts by Sammy Armstrong

First day on the road 2016

Nothing real exciting happened today, but we did eat at a Chicken Express and drove through some pretty thick fog on dark and twisty roads in rural Arkansas. I was just excited to finally get on the road, although we ended up staying in a hotel rather than camping. I was happy that I got to finish my Star Wars marathon in the car. However, yesterday, our whole family, minus the Wilverine, completed a Navy Seal Challenge at #CrossfitMotivity. It was the one-mile walking lunge challenge. It was awful, but also kind of awesome. Hence, today, we spent about 9.5 hours in the car and at least a half hour more climbing in or out. Every time someone had to move too far, the chorus of dramatic groaning began. We are so sore; we can’t wait to hit some trails tomorrow to stretch it out.

Hope to keep the blogging trend going and get some more posts up as the summer moves along. Peace out. #angryburrito #ArmstrongAdventures2016

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The Polynesian Cultural Center Luau in Oahu

We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the Alii Luau and had a great time at some of the island stations.

Do note that if you book a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center and plan to go the islands before the luau that you need to arrive at noon if you intend to visit every island and see each island show.  Samoa and Tonga are great, but take nearly an hour each if you want to see all of the fun shows at each island.

The first island we visited was Samoa. We got to attempt to make fire with two sticks and watch a show where they made all sorts of stuff with coconuts, climbed a palm tree, and twirled a fire staff.  Samoa was super fun and the best island in our opinion.  The Samoan dudes were great and very entertaining.

Samoa fire making
Samoa fire-making
Samoa fire dancers
Samoan fire dancers
Samoa tree climbers
Samoan tree climbers

The other station that we went to was Tonga where my dad entertained everyone by wearing a grass skirt while dancing and playing the drums.

Tonga show
Tonga show
My dad getting his hula on
My dad getting his hula on

After the shows we went to the luau and saw another fire twirler. We also had a feast of pig, steak, chicken, fish, sweet potatoes, and purple poi bread.  The buffet was well worth the money.  The Kalua pig was the best we tasted at any time while on the island.

Luaua fire dancer
Luau fire dancer

Lastly, we saw the Hau – Breath of Life.  It was incredible!  For sure, you have to see it if you are at the Polynesian Cultural Center for a luau.

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Makapu’u lighthouse hike in Oahu

This hike was a paved hike that was short, fast, and somewhat flat. We did it with our friends and had a lot of fun hiking along the coast and seeing the amazing views of Hawaii like this view of the koko head crater.


The trail has a low cement border to keep you from falling off.
It is well marked and very clean.  Some folks were riding bikes on the trail when we were there.


From the first viewpoint, you get a nice view of the koko head crater.
We will put a whooping on koko head before we head out.

koko head crater

The trail goes on for about 2 miles.



From the last few viewpoints, you get great views of the pacific ocean.


The top lookout has a great view of a small island.



We didn’t get to go to the lighthouse because it was government property but we got a pretty good view of the lighthouse from the trail.  There is a trail that leads to the lighthouse, but that trail is private property.


The hike is very easy and only takes about 1 and 1/2 hours if you move briskly and do not stop a ton.  If you have little kids and stop quite a bit, the hike will take more around 2 hours.  It is well worth the time.