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Old Jul 18, 16, 1:50 am
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,060
Oahu, Hawaii

This was my second time to Oahu, the first was c. 1990-92 with my grandparents when we stayed in Honolulu. I've been to Hawaii (Big Island/Maui) since then a combined 8-10 times. I originally had booked this trip to myself and thought I would go meet my parents and sister on another island, but my sister didn't feel like flying with my nephew yet (17 months).

I decided it had been so long I may as well just stay on Oahu and I would invite my friend to come meet me for the trip. With that I knew I didn't wan to stay in Honolulu. I thought about a Marriott/SPG hotel but decided I'd rather have more space and a kitchen so I went through AirBnB and saw that places in Kailua/Kaneohe looked pretty good, area seemed decent enough and could easily pop over the mountain or up the North Shore. Parts of it were upscale and then you'd go over a few streets and it was very working family.

(not the house we rented)

Whole Foods was a 2 min drive or 6 min walk from the house which was perfect. Went to stock up on things in the hour I had to wait before I could get the keys and then made our way down a little bit to cruise around and went to Waimanalo Beach just pace the Air Force base.

When on at Maui tacos.

I found a place in Aiea called Powerhouse Gym which offered a week pass for $25 which was a steal. Open 24 hours. The girl was shocked when I said we were staying in Kailua. It's a beautiful driver over the Pali Highway or the normal hwy and only took us about 25-30 min enjoying the scenery with the top down.

In the shopping center there was also this plate lunch spot which we ate the garlic chicken from after every workout.

Looking up hikes and things to do I wanted to go on the Maunawili Falls trail, it's only a 7 min drive from where we were staying. I read that it was muddy and ruins your shoes, breaks your flip flops. We didn't have anything we wanted to we went barefoot. The whole way.

It's pretty much in the covered canopy and yes it's a slog the entire way. Honestly for a while it felt good and I enjoyed the mud. The rocks for the most part was fine. What started to kill us in the last bit and on the way back was the roots that you go across, very unforgiving. There is one hill you crest and it opens you up on top of a ridge that you then go back down into the falls.

Took us 3:20 and we actually didn't slip and fall once. Sites say it takes 3 hours (including some swim time) and lots of people we saw had mud all over their asses or backs. We found sticks to use which I think helped with not falling. For the next 2-3 days the pads of our feet were pretty tender anytime walking around the house barefoot.

Beach time it was to recover.

We had some photos to shoot at sunset which means we had to go to the other side of the island. I scoped out a few things at Barber's Point with the light house and then also a bit up the road at Paradise Cove (next to the Four Seasons Ko Olina).

Paradise Cove is next to a luau and the beach was a lot busier (pretty small) with lots of kids. Barber's Point you go through this industrial park and it also has a luau but a larger stretch of beach with more local families, people fishing.

Before you get back on the freeway is a shopping center and we went through to a conveyer belt sushi place Kazuka that was decent. Didn't see much else besides Outback, Chilis and those sorts. The nice thing is when you're starving you don't have to wait to order.


Back home at our Crossfit gym in Monterey there's a decent amount of military families and 3 of them had lived in Kailua so they told us to get breakfast at Cinnamon's. On a Tuesday morning huge amounts of people waiting, we almost didn't ask about the wait but did and since we were just 2 it would only be about 15-20 as all the other parties were big groups with 45-60 min. We were told to get the Kaula pork eggs was okay, nothing amazing.

Fueled up it was time to...Koko Head! I knew it wasn't a "fun" hike and it's just an old tram track straight up the mountain. Once you actually see it and how high and steep it goes it gets a bit daunting. We did it for time. I got up in 17 min flat and my (stronger, buffer, sexier but slower) friend got up in 19:30.

Once you get to the top and go past the little tram structures there's great views (sorry he's not included on future hikes) and a WONDERFUL breeze.

After getting back and freshening up before we did a backyard BBQ we talked over to Cactus for some happy hour spicy margaritas and ceviche. The staff was great and the menu looked awesome.

Our hump day was a bit of a bust. We decided we would go up and around to the North Shore. I wanted to stop halfway up and go to Goat Head Island. It was pretty windy, the waves were big and it was off and on raining. I would have been fine swimming there but I originally wanted to take photos on it but that wasn't going to workout with my treading with camera in 3 plastic bags above my head. We went on and then got stuck in a standstill for about 25-30 min as the road was down to one lane and alternating traffic.

Another rec from our military friends was Opal Thai in Haleiwa. You can say that I'm skeptical of people recommending Thai places who haven't spent much time in Siam. Walked in, guy shook our hand, waitress gave us menus. Came up and asked if we liked Thai food, I said sure love it. Asked us to name 5 Thai dishes...when I did that (including things like khao soi) and said a few other things in Thai he asked if I've spent much time/ lived in Thailand. After that he took the menus away from us without ordering and just brought us some food. It was really good, not the best Thai food I've had. But when he sat down next to us and talked for a few minutes and the whole experience made it very special.

We proceded on along the shore past Dillingham Airfield where the sky diving is to do the Kealia Trail. Upon getting there and double checking that people say it takes 3-4 hours and being late in the day and still having to go to the gym we skipped that and went back down to Aiea to work out. It looked AWESOME.

Went back around to the shops and was going to go to another plate place called Fat Boys but I was too tempted next door by the nicer dining at Formaggio and devoured the prime rib.

Another day another hike. Going up the west side we went to Makua Cave. You'll see the pull out and space to park for Kane Cave which is just off the highway, no climbing. If you go north on the road just past the speed limit sign you'll see a few starts to trails...and this.

They all converge and start going up the mountain, once halfway up you go to the right and around the front of it and you'll see a small cut out and going down and past that on the other side of the rock you come to the "cave".

It's more of a really large overhang and shelter. The photos most people take with super wide angle GoPros make it seem big. There were 5 of us sitting around and that was enough to be out of people's ways taking photos and such.

Last day, just enjoy a little bit more time in the water at Lanikai beach.

All in all I enjoyed my time but I think that was since I finally got to travel/spend time with someone when I'm usually solo or just meeting someone here or there for drinks/food/etc. Do I want to come back to Oahu? No*. We only had one time where we dealt with the horrible traffic. I feel the locals hate howlies more here. If I wanted to go to a big beachy city you can go to Miami or San Diego. I'll gladly continue to go back to Maui or Kona but in the future I'd like to finally make it to Kauai at some point.
*If I could legally do the Stairway to Heaven hike I would come just for that.
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