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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Our last day in Hawaii ๐Ÿ˜‘

This morning we started out with a 3-mile run again.  Then we left to Hanauma Bay by 7am to beat the crowd. 

Hanauma Bay is a popular destination for snorkeling and attracts thousands of people every day.  Parking lot was almost full when we got there at 7:15am.

The line to get tickets was not bad. We had to watch a 10-minute orientation video before getting access to the beach. Basically the message was not to touch or disturb the sea life.


The Bay is really pretty. It used to be a volcanic crater.

We put on our fins and snorkel gear and jumped into water.


There were SO many fishes. 


Unfortunately the currents were strong and water was VERY murky today. There has been wind advisory in Hawaii islands this week. So the water was not as clear as we would’ve liked.

We looked for schools of fishes by the reefs.  


Found some and were able to take a few pics.

It’s hard to see anything under water when the sun was hiding behind the clouds.

We saw some big fishes about 2 feet long. No sea turtle sighting today. We only snorkeled for 45 minutes or so since the water was too cloudy.


I would come back some day! 

We were hungry after snorkeling and got some greasy brunch.  

The main reason why we are in Hawaii this week is to attend our friend’s wedding here!

So later on in the evening, we attended the wedding at Sea Life Park.  It’s our last wedding as an unmarried couple ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

Dress code was Hawaiian.

It sprinkled once before reception began. It was clear and breezy for the rest of the evening.


Wedding buffet was nice. Lots of good food.  

Lanterns were swinging.

A scrapbook page for their guestbook.

Drinks followed by lots of cake.  

Lovely wedding! We had a lot of fun!


NEXT DAY

Day 8 – Oahu

I didn’t get to finish the post yesterday since we were at the wedding.

Today we are just half day in Hawaii before heading back.

Hawaiian breakfast from Koa Pancake House

These are macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup!  I’ll start eating healthy next week.

Saw a white dragon fruit at Foodland. I’ve never seen it before!


Byeeeeee Hawaii ๐ŸŒด

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We started our morning with a 3-mile run in the neighborhood.  It was neither humid nor hot.


Nice route for running/walking.

Our itinerary today was to visit the North Shore of Oahu island.  It’s an hour drive away on a scenic route.

My favorite part of the drive was seeing rainbow for half hour of the drive. It was sunny and sprinkly so rainbows popped up all over. 

I had nothing better to do so I just took pictures ๐Ÿ˜† Rainbows are rare in the Bay Area so I had to take them all in.

Our first stop was Turtle Beach.  It’s a beautiful beach and famous for tourists to come and look for turtles.  

We saw small sea turtles swimming but none were on shore.

 
Our second stop was what we’ve been looking forward to for a long time!  


THIS shrimp truck. We love it so much better than Giovanni’s which is less than a mile from here. We tried both last year one after the other and Macky’s Garlic Butter shrimps won our hearts.

No sharing!!


It’s a meal I would be thinking about for a long time and try to replicate at home.


McD damage since we needed to use their “customers only” restroom.

Next stop: Dole Plantation. I’ve been wanting to try their Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve.) When we arrived, their huge parking lot was almost already full. So many tourists!

The line was pretty long to get a dole whip. Everyone wanted one! (Side note: it’s $6 for a cup so it’s a big profit maker for Dole with all these people buying.)


And they were pouring buckets of mystery liquid in there.


Very refreshing!  It’s just like pineapple flavored frozen yogurt.  

We walked around for a self guided tour but didn’t stay long. There isn’t much to see unless you wanna do a full tour on  Pineapple Express.


And we came back! It was pouring down so much as we drove back home to rest.

Later in the afternoon, we left to see some Lookout points near our place.

Makapu’u Lookout Point:


It was so windy. 

Halona Blow Hole Lookout:

We went to Costco after that just to browse.

(Posting this per his request)

We don’t have these back home:

Poke:

This sounds yum:

We took a break from Hawaiian food tonight and had Vietnamese!


I was so happy to find Hu Thieu Kho (dry-style rice noodle with sweet sauce) on the menu.  V had pho dac biet.

He must’ve been craving Vietnamese food real bad. He got a banh mi to snack on.

Then we drove to another shopping plaza nearby for Kokonuts Shave Ice, known for Obama taking his family there for shave ice.

Finely shaved ice with good flavors! 


That was it for our evening.

One more full day left in paradise before going back ๐Ÿ˜‘ 


Relaxing day today!

I went to the hotel’s gym early to run 4 miles.  V ran outside since the gym was as warm as outside. I didn’t want to run outside in humidity.


It’s a coconut plantation outside our hotel.

I got half pound poke with deli salad from Foodland  for my breakfast. Totally weird craving for breakfast but I was satisfied after this!

Our flight to Oahu was in the early afternoon. We flew Island Air — small plane and quite a bit run-down.

And our seats were vibrating so much at take-off. The plane was just so small and old!


Zzz…


Bye, Kauai!


Hello, Oahu! Is that Disney resort’s beaches down there?


Our first stop in Honolulu was Marukame Udon in downtown. It’s not at all crowded like their Waikiki location, love that!


Their udons were as good as I remembered them to be! We had it last year at their Waikiki location.  (Side story:  Last year I ordered a curry udon and V ordered a sweet beef broth udon. I had a major food envy and asked him to trade midway.  He let me trade but did not look happy about that, so I felt bad and we traded back.)

This time I made sure to order the sweet beef udon for myself.  It really hit the spot!  It tastes more complex than it looks.

The food was so good, we ordered more food to-go to eat later.

Then we went to Foodland (for about 5th time on this trip so far) and picked up more food.

It was about 3pm already by then.  We checked into our air bnb and just chillaxed there all evening.

Our air bnb is in a residential neighborhood near  Hanauma Bay.  The houses are huge around our neighborhood. Our air bnb is a cute little studio attached to a big house.


It’s chic and minimalistic. I love it!


Dinner spread: Tako poke, bukake cold udon with dipping sauce, chicken teriyaki rice bowl, spicy ahi tuna, haupia cake, and pineapple cheesecake pie.

Not much else happened today. We ate our takeaways for dinner, took a walk in the neighborhood, and drove around a bit to see what’s in the area.  After 3 active days in Kauai, a relaxing day with some down time today was very much welcome.  

North Shore tomorrow!


Today I was not as sore anymore. Phew.

We woke up early and drove to Waimea Canyon an hour drive away from us. It’s the Canyon that makes Kauai unique from other islands.

We got there at 7am and no one else was in the parking lot at the trail head ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 


Just our white Jeep and a rooster.

There’s a view point of the Canyon at the parking lot. Sun just rose half hour ago.

And we started our hike. We chose a 4 mile hike on Canyon Trail and hoped for the best that it’s not a repeat of our Monday hike. Hehe


It’s a much dryer terrain so it was not bad at all.


The trail has a lot of steep inclines and declines but it’s just 4 miles so it went by pretty quickly. 4 miles can feel pretty long in slick, difficult conditions but not today.


It’s an out and back route to this view of the Canyon. It was so pretty! I have a fear of heights so I was afraid of being near the cliff. But I survived.

We could’ve gone on a much longer trail like this I think. We don’t mind the climbs or the distance as long as the terrain isn’t slick and dangerous like our previous hike!

We did not see anyone on the trail until the last half hour. We must’ve been super early.

After the hike, we went to Kauai Coffee Plantation on our way back to our Air bnb.  


They have a few sampling stations of their coffee.

We also had some snacks from their cafe to refuel.

Then we did a self-guided tour of their plantation.



It’s a field of their coffee plants.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen coffee fruits before. I picked and bit on a fruit to see what’s inside. The skin was sweet and the seed (coffee bean) inside was still pretty much raw and hard.


I picked up some fresh flowers too for the road home.

We got back around 11am… we got a lot done already in the day but we were still full of energy.  We went back to Poipu Beach for another round of snorkeling. That beach is so good for snorkeling!


But the currents were stronger today so we did not snorkel for long.

Later on we were bored so we decided to go out to look for some stores to browse.  


The rain came down pretty hard while we were on the road. It’s the most rain we’ve seen this week.

We shopped/browsed at the shops at Kukui. There’s a Macy’s, Big K mart, Ross, Costco, and a bunch of other stores.

One thing I really, really love about Kauai is their lack of crowds. We have not seen any tour groups or tour buses.  We have been to a few shopping plazas and they were all so quiet and chill.

After some browsing and shopping, we went back to our area for a weekly farmers market (they call it a Culinery Market.)


It was the most crowded space we’ve seen all week.  And it’s not even that crowded still. I think all the tourists on the island came.


There were many food and snack vendors and a few produce vendors. 

We had a slider with slaw to start.

And picked up some pink guavas, fried Mochi balls on a stick, a mushroom soup.


If you could just see the layers of noodle they used on their lasagna…

V got a kale mushroom lasagna:

And of course I got a shrimp plate!

Everything was so good! Perfect for our last night on Kauai.

 But…

As we were finishing our dinner, we found out there was some plumping issue with our air bnb condo and we had to move to a hotel.

It’s a hassle but we cant really blame this on anyone.

The hotel turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 


 

It’s nicer than our air bnb (a working AC, hooray!!) and we were greeted with a mai tai and  a margarita by the pool.

 

Tomorrow we are heading to Oahu!


I was right. I woke up so sore all over my body from that strenuous hike yesterday. It’s almost like post-marathon soreness.

We had ziplining on our agenda today and I questioned myself how much I could move. Luckily my muscles warmed up as I moved around and the soreness faded a little.

8am: The weather was kind of gloomy early on and it even sprinkled for a short time.

#doubleselfie

We did the 8-line zip tour all over this valley.   There were 7 of us on this tour and it’s a small group so we didn’t have to wait long for each of our turns.  


One more thing checked off from my bucket list ๐Ÿ™‚ 

We finished ziplining by 9:30am. We went to Puka Dog for Hawaiian-style polish dogs. They were not amazing. The sausage to bread ratio was disappointing. Their tropical relish is what make them unique. I got coconut relish with lilikoi mustard.

We stopped by the Spouting Horn but the hole wasn’t blowing much water. We left.


We went back to our air bnb and decided we have plenty of time left in the day to go snorkeling. My body did not want to move cus it hurt.  I had to take an Aleve and it really worked! 


We went to Poipu Beach and set our stuff down.

The waves were calm and sun was out. It was perfect condition to snorkel. And there were so many colors and sizes of fishes in one area. I couldn’t get enough. 


We snorkeled for an hour and I don’t know how the time passed so quickly.

After beach, we stopped by Uncle’s Shave Ice for this frozen treat.

V had to to-go a plate of spicy garlic butter shrimps for second lunch. It was as amazing as the first night we had it! I hope to go back one more time before leaving Kauai.

After resting a bit, we went to the historic/old Koloa Town to walk around and visited a few shops.

And we got Hawaiian dinner from Koloa Fish Market:


It was OMG good!! And we have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Later we went out to see sunset at 6pm.


So many people were waiting too.


The rain poured down for a minute or two while we waited.  Twice!  It rained about 6 times today!


Rainbow and sunset; what to watch?!


6:10pm Sunset in Koloa, Kauai.

Hundreds of parrots go back to their nests at sunset time every night at the palm trees outside our place. Its noisy and interesting!

Sightseeing day tomorrow and maybe another hike… !


Aloha! 

Active day today! This is gonna be a long post.

Today I woke up at 4am Hawaii time. That’s 7am back home and it’s pretty late for me. (I normally wake up at 5 ๐Ÿ˜€)

Had my morning cup of coffee from Foodland, ate a spam masubi and a lemon bar, and we hit the road at 5:30am.  

We arrived at the trail head of Kalalau Trail in north coast of Kauai by 7am.

We chose an 8-mile round trip trail to see a waterfall.

The view of Napali Coastline was breathtaking.

We thought, hey let’s just run it so we can finish faster with less time on our feet, hence easier. But oh no, the trail was not runnable.  It was muddy, rocky, and extremely slippery in many places. It was not safe to even walk.


We slipped so many times.  


One of the most challenging parts of the trail was the river crossings.  I jumped over the rocks and slipped a few times. I slipped and banged my knee on a rock at mile 2.

After mile 2, the trail became more difficult.  Some parts were covered in mud with some mysterious fruits (edit: wild guava) with bugs buzzing around everywhere.

We hiked through a bamboo forest.

After 4 miles, we were rewarded with a sweeping view of the Hanakapiai waterfall.  It was massive and we couldn’t capture the whole waterfall in pictures.

There were 2 other couples there.  We were all early and beat the rush. It took us 2 hours to get there!

V jumped into the water but I didn’t. Water was cold and I didn’t have my swimsuit on so I dipped my legs to clean off the mud and the scrape on my knee. The swim there would’ve been pretty epic though!


We were just half way through our hike. Now we have to return back to our car ๐Ÿ˜ญ 

It was probably the most challenging hike I’ve done due to the difficult terrain.  I was so miserable. The shoes were soaked for most of the hike so my toes were pruned the whole time.


We crossed a few more rivers (one of 5 rivers we crossed, twice!) By then I decided that getting in the water would be easier and safer for me since my shoes were already wet anyways.  

Andddd we got back to our rental car safely!

I would not recommend this hike to anyone with no hiking experience.  It was not safe at all!  I’m gonna be so sore everywhere tomorrow from balancing myself for 8 miles.

We washed mud off ourselves and drove to a town close by for lunch. BBQ sampler shared by us!

And shave ice with macadamia nut icecream on the bottom, so freaking good ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

We checked out Queen’s Bath for a tide pool. The waves were so strong so no one was able to get in. We saw 2 giant sea turtles swimming!

And we were tired. It was about 2pm by then so we headed back to our air bnb. We both were so sticky and most definitely smelly. 

Shower had never felt so good!!!

Got poke bowls for dinner! This place has a solid 5 stars on Yelp but we both think it’s pretty average for Hawaii.

Today’s hike was epic to me with mixed emotions of misery, suffering, and feeling of accomplishment as a reward. Now I must ice my knee.  Mahalo for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚  



Breakfast on Hawaiian Air


Landed on Kauai by noon and had Korean BBQ in Hawaiian lunch-plate style.


The island is so lush green! 


We stopped by Foodland grocery store for some snacks and an older Japanese-Hawaiian couple recommended a flavored sake to me in store.


Ready to check out the beach by our air bnb!


It turned out to be a small beach area and quite rocky.


๐Ÿ˜„

We came back to our room to shower and freshen up and decided to drive around to look for a better beach.


This is Poipu Beach.


Looks a lot like Waikiki beach which is not for us. Too crowded. But maybe it’ll be more quiet in the morning. We went around 4 so that’s a busy time.


Then we walked around 2 shopping plazas that were so nice and quiet. 


Not many tourists!


Hehe

Then we got some take-outs from Savage Shrimp

So good. I wanna go back to try other items!


By sunset, hundreds of parrots chirped outside our door. It was quite a scene (to me) I was so amazed by it.

So tired now although we didn’t do anything active today ๐Ÿ˜ด