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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We hiked the Diamond Head Crater trail a couple days ago. It was a really fun hike. It only takes about 2 hours total and the hike is barely 2 miles. The total elevation change going up and back down is 1520 feet. 760 feet up and 760 down. Lots of people were on the trail of all ages so make sure you do not miss out if you’re in Oahu.
We posed for a group pic before filling up water bottles and heading to the trail.
The trail starts off paved and then turns to rocks and some boulders. It is a clear trail that is well marked with rails. It is very safe even for little people.
There is one section where you go through a cave, up a couple hundred stairs, and around a spiral staircase. We liked this so much we did it twice and ran up the stairs. Macho!
The views from the top were spectacular. You get a stamp if you make it to the top. You must bring a receipt or a map along with you. You can also buy a certificate at the top for five dollars.
What an awesome hike. We ran down to get in an extra workout.
Off to the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail for more hiking.
JP was our coach and he did an outstanding job. He told me to go straight, then turn left, then turn right, then move up 3 feet, go back 4 feet, jump 3 times, all while looking super cool. I did it all with style.
Ben is hanging ten or attempting to hang ten. Ben has style, but not as much as me.
We both had a blast riding the waves all the way to the beach. Don’t we look macho!
Here we go.
I had a ton of fun learning to wipeout!!!!!
The Wilverine is not pictured, as he had a melt down and did not get to surf. He is going to try another day.
We have been here in Oahu for 6 days and have checked out a ton of beaches.
So far, we feel the Kailua Beach / Lanikai is the best beach.
It has very clear water, lots of soft sand, and lots of shade trees in case you need them.
The mountains are right behind you and you feel like you are on the beach in Jurassic park without the dinosaurs, of course.
The water is pretty calm and super clear. Snorkeling was great here. Not a ton of sea life, but very clear water.
Enjoying the soft sand and clear water.
The water really is that blue / green.
From the water, you can see a forest right on the beach with beautiful mountains right behind the trees.
You have lots of shade if you get tired of the sun.Lots of restrooms on site with showers to wash off.
We felt it was a beach just for kids. The three of us were surrounded by lots of other kids.
Football and bbqs were going on all over the beach. We will definitely visit this one again before we have to leave Oahu.
We got up and my parents went for a run and brought us back some Portugese style donuts called malasadas from a bakery called Leonard’s
Then, to work off all those donuts’ we went on one of the scariest hikes we have ever done, just to get to a waterfall.
We hiked down to Waimano Falls which is a spur trail off of the Manana Trail.
You get to the Manana Trail from Pearl City by taking Kaahele Street from H1.
From Kaahele street, you take Komo Mai Drive straight to the trail head.
There is little parking so be aware of that. You will have to park on the street.
Map of the Manana trail in Pearl City – link
Many websites list the hike as super easy, but that is not the case.
It is well worth the time and effort, but it is a tough hike for sure.
But it was worth it and we went rope swinging and cliff-jumping into a deep pool.
The hike out was very tough and steep but was not quite as scary as the hike in.
once we finished the hike’ we needed to wash off the mud so we went to the beach to relax and build a pyramid
After the beach, everyone was hungry so we stopped at a place called the rainbow drive-in
#1 food stop so far on our trip – Rainbow Drive-In!
You must go here if you are in Oahu!
Then after we went to the rainbow drive-in we stopped at a souvenir shop to get Hawaiian shirts and a hat for me.
We will post a group pic of us with our shirts and Wilverine in his matching shorty shorts that he loves.
We are out the door for more fun in the sun.
Peace out yo.
We woke up in our condo to the sound of jackhammers and left immediately to go to the beach, find some shoes for me, and go try out a place called Mike’s Huli chicken. While we were in target we noticed it started raining and decided we would go to the beach later. So we went to mikes Huli chicken for the best chicken i have ever eaten.
After a bite to eat at the Huli chicken truck we went to a deserted beach on the north shore so the Wilverine could wear his shorts granpa or pawpaw style.
On our way home we decided we were in a mood for shaved ice and stopped at a food truck gathering to try it Hawaiian style. It was a blend of ice cream and shaved ice. Not bad at all.
Huli huli means turn turn. Huli chicken is really good rotisserie chicken cooked over an open fire on sticks that are turned over and over again = huli huli. Local Hawaiian wood is used for cooking the chicken. It is usually lightly salted with sea salt and flavored by the smoke from the wood.
We ate at Krispy Kreme,(again),then headed out to Joshua Tree NP to look for Junior ranger programs and Joshua Trees. Wile and I almost finished the program but the Ranger Station closed before we got there. While driving through the park wile and i worked on our junior ranger booklets and went rock climbing to test out our new GoPro and to let off some energy before the long drive to los angeles.
After we left the park everyone was starving so we stopped at a northern chain restaurant called the in-and-out burger for a delicious burger and shake dinner.
Then we went to LA and set up at our hotel realizing that I had left my Moms $150 sleeping bag and my $200 camera at our last hotel, luckily the hotel shipped them back to our house instead of keeping them. So we thanked them and packed for our trip toHawaii.
We left El Paso after eating at Whataburger and retrieving lost swim trunks that we left at our Double Tree hotel.
We seem to be leaving lots of stuff this year. Not sure what is going on.
Once we got on the road every one had to use the bathroom every 25 minutes.
We literally stopped at every bathroom for 100 miles after we left El Paso.
Mom and Dad were so proud of us. Our hydration technique is clearly working.
Then,we stopped for a picnic at Catalina SP in Arizona.
Here is a little traveling tip, check the weather / temp before stopping for a picnic in Arizona.
IT WAS REALLY HOT,but…there were some really cool Saguaro Cacti that we got some pictures of.
After our scorching picnic, we took a 2 hour detour to check out an Oasis.
We found the Oasis and then found the road back was out so we had to drive another 2 hours.
Fun family time in the car. You cannot beat good quality time with your family.
12 hours in the car in one day is great team building.
Afterward, we ate at the San Tan Brewery in Chandler, Arizona.
The food and beverage selection was awesome.
Dad needs some cold liquid after the 12 hour car ride.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Chandler, Arizona.
Thanks to the great staff at the Hampton Inn for finding my camera and my moms sleeping bag.
I was is so much trouble for leaving those items behind.
Thanks for saving me from impending doom.
Mom was going to hurt me.
On the road again and telling about it as we go . . .