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April 19, 2022

USA 2022 – summary

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , , , , — mat @ 6:36 pm

While sitting at the lounge at LHR waiting for the connecting flight to AMS a brief recap.

Place to be : Haleiwa , Oahu

Beach: Unknown beach around the corner

just the two of us

Food : Poke!!!

Scenic drive : 17 miles drive at Peeble beach

Viewpoint: Battery Spencer for Golden Gate bridge

Place to skip : Los Angeles

Place to return: Hawaii, San Francisco

Crazy place : Las Vegas

Beer : Kona Longboard Lager aka Liquid Aloha. comes along best with plain nachos

National park : all of them. Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, Big Sur.

Car : white Mustang convertible

Hotel : The Bellagio, Las Vegas

Motel : Inn at the beach, Santa Barbara

Overrated: Shave ice from Matsumoto, Haleiwa

Sunrise: Lanikai beach

Sunset : Waimea beach

Airline : Finnair Business class A 350-900

Distance driven : mainland USA 4180 km

April 1, 2022

Oahu – last day

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , — mat @ 4:40 am

With a relaxed start the last day has begun. Coffee , yoghurt with granola and piece of mind. Clothes and stuff was prepared for packing and we went to the closest beach, 100 mtr (or even less…) Aaaaaand … sea turtles!!! How cool is this. One last jump into the ocean at north shore and back. Shower and more coffee. Shake hands with Jeff, a short chat and ride the mustang towards Kahuku. Bought shirts for friends and , meanwhile close to lunch, went to superette where the poke should so good … and yesssss it is ! Spicy tuna was so yummy. Drove to coastal road to Honolulu, stopped at Kaluoa ranch for a pic and reached Honolulu around 1:30 pm. Luggage storing was booked in advance so we get the rental car back just in time. Time for Honolulu… some points on the list were open. Mainly locations from Hawaii Five O reboot series. First , Hilton Hawaiian Village. Fortunately we did NOT book one night. So massive overcrowded… not worth the money. Rooms expensive and approximately 100$ per day for beach accessories like sun chair and umbrella. Pool area … no way.

pool with too many people

Next , Alo Moana beach park. Man-made but nice especially for children, no big waves due to the wall a little outside.

much more better than Waikiki beach

It started raining so we skipped the plan to see the King Kamehameha statue in front of the Iolani palace. A pity but the Alo Moana shopping mall was very close and it’s food court sounded amazing. To be honest, never seen so tasty fresh asian food outside Asia. We had Laksa soup and fresh spring rolls. And … Thai Ice Tea  how great.

Uber is already ordered and payed so we need only the way to the storage place. Mahalo. See you in Los Angeles.

March 31, 2022

Oahu – day 6

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , , — mat @ 6:26 am

What else might be better as a hike to start the last full day? Right , nothing 😊 So the Pink Pillbox hike has been targeted. The ride was 50 mins and with a little luck we found the “entrance “ just coz some guys came down. Mandy said it’s a medium rated hike which is possible with kids too. Fortunately no kids were seen and no one has worn flip flops either. It took us 45 mins up and the same down. Have a look…

final goal
straight up
The white tree of Gondor
yes …. like a goat
but the view … stunning as always
me in the Pink WW II bunker

We spent the next hrs at the beach. Nothing special. Than home, shower and aloe vera creme for our sunburned bodies. Next : shopping in Haleiwa. Successful! More Hawaii shirts and finally we had a shave ice (even it’s not from Mostsumoto)

shave ice with 🌈topping

With a little hole in the credit card we went back to Wailua for steak and poke dinner. It was too early to eat so 2 cans of beer grabbed and enter the beach. Right in front of our temp home. Great choice…

hang loose and ALOHA!
sunset is included

Now planning for tomorrow and the days in LA. Mahalo for reading.

March 30, 2022

Oahu – day 5

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , , — mat @ 7:01 am

Recovery was the plan for today. And so we did. Slept for almost 12 hrs and had a relaxed and healthy breakfast. Afterwards we drove to Wailua for coin laundry. Took us one hour and while waiting we found out that the small shop next door serves very tasty poke bowl variations. Next stop a beach which is used by locals only. It was so amazing…. it was just the two of us, the sun and the Pacific ocean.

no name beach

Back at our stay lunch was served- poke bowls!!!

tasty and more than enough

Now : engaging the air conditioning and get a rest. Done and coffee. We bought local coffee which is good if prepared in the caffetierra. Idea for more rest : visit a botanical garden. We found one at Wahiawa and enjoyed the well maintained garden and the fresh air.

botanical garden at Wahiawa

The garden gate was closed at 4pm and we made it to Kahuku for shopping just in time. Mandy bought a nice painting from a local artist with her sign. We promised her to send an email once the pic is on our wall. And for dinner we stopped by for Huli chicken from Mike. A local dish, at the end it’s chicken with rice… 😊 On our way back the sunset at Waimea beach was awesome as well as the waves which crashed down on the shore.

sunset at Waimea beach

Enough for today, tomorrow will be our last full day for Oahu. I can second what Mandy was saying “I really like Oahu…”

March 29, 2022

Oahu – day 4

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , , , , — mat @ 4:21 am

The most intense day so far. Was really tough but we made it through. 4:45 – alarm clock rungs. Coffee was a must. We were heading towards East Oahu’s shoreside. I ve been told that Lanikai is the most beautiful and breathtaking beach all over the island. Especially for sunrise. And yes , true ….

sunrise at Lanikai

Meanwhile some guys get the canoes to water, looked like a training for an upcoming event…

canoe training

It was soooo nice to sit there and watch the sun rising. One more pic? here you go…

sunrise II

Our breakfast package prepared after the show was almost over and we had our meal facing the Pacific ocean. Stamina was needed for next topic on todays list. Lanikai pillbox hike. Medium rated and yes it was. 500 mtrs up and down within 45 mins. The view was stunning. Have a look

Lanikai hike view

And , the water was shimmering like on pictures…

At the top are two old WWII bunker which are used as a view point terrace. Now down down down hurry up… next stop : Pearl Harbor memorial.

It was raining when we arrived. Baggage costs 6 $ each, the entrance is free to the area. You can move around, watch movies and visit several museums. If you want to get to a battle ship or a submarine you have to pay for. Which is ok, what we didn’t know , you can pick a time slot online to avoid queuing. Otherwise queue lasts for at least 2 hrs. So we walked around and took pictures and read the information.

Been here, done that. What’s next? Diamond head hiking trail. A breathtaking view was promised. But on the way there we found ourselves close to Waikiki beach so we stopped by. Nice beach. For tourists with little kids…

Waikiki beach
official sign
a cheeky guest for lunch at Waikiki

Now was time for Diamond Head. During the middle of the day, 28 degrees, sunny. We climbed the trail up. And down. Unfortunately Mandy broke up, it was too hot. And of course the second hike this day. I made it up to the top and was rewarded with this …

view point Diamond Head

Now we feel groggy but it was the effort worth. For sure. Now the dinner is waiting and we burned so many calories that we will have burger for tonight’s dinner.

March 28, 2022

Oahu – day 3

Filed under: privat — Tags: , , , — mat @ 7:03 am

Idea for today. Do the coastal hiking trail which will bring you to the most western point of Oahu. Right beside the Pacific ocean with a stunning view.

Coastal hiking trail west Oahu

Whole trail was 5.5 miles, there and back. At the end of the track a big fence stopped us but with a door, closed with a latch. Just to protect the Albatross colony and their breeding. Eggs would be stolen otherwise by rats and mungo.

On the way back the light rain catches us. Nasty even it was not cold. So 2 miles with wet clothes.. not really fun. Pace was increased so we made the round trip within 2:25 hrs for 9,5 km.

Most western hill at Oahu … and rain.

Back to our tiny house for a shower, a quick light lunch and a rest. For the afternoon we decided to visit the Kualoa Ranch, famous for the reboot Hawaii Five-O production. Soon enough Mandy realized that it would be closed as soon as we would arrive. Damn. Skipped this plan for some shopping and coffee so we drove direction Kahuku. Sunday afternoon when in Germany the sky is crystal clear and everyone goes for ice cream or coffee or or or… most locations here were closed from 5 pm on. Wired. But we grabbed food for dinner at Foodland supermarket and spent the rest of the day at Papa’iloa beach for sunset. And were not disappointed… see by yourself

sunset Papa’iloa beach
Me, my Hawaii shirt and Mandy 😊
final stage ….

For tomorrow… go to bed early and get up at 4:30 for a sunrise hike at Lanikai beach. Ride is approximately 45 mins . I hope it’s worth the effort.

March 27, 2022

Oahu – day 2

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , , — mat @ 6:35 am

Got up 6am. Plan for today: Waimea Valley, an ancient and sacred place for ‘ Ohana. The people of Hawaii. Beautiful place, very well maintained and worth to pay 20$ each. We learned a lot about the vegetation and the history of the islands. Highlight was the waterfall with a nice pond so of course we jumped in . 0930 am. Refreshing guys believe me. The next stop was Kahuku for shopping and a coffee. I’m the proud owner of a Hawaiian shirt 😊. Afternoon business was planned for beaches but I was in a grumpy mood so we went back for a rest. With a little rest I felt better and we went out for a pillbox hike for sunset. Was a short hike but very intensive . The view was very nice. And again we met people which, as soon as they recognized we are from Germany , started a chat about the war in Europe immediately.

Waimea valley
Ancient hut
Turtle bay
view form the pillbox
sunset at Waimea beach

March 26, 2022

Oahu – first vacation day

Filed under: travel — Tags: , — mat @ 6:20 am

Got up 6:30 am. And it felt good. Lesson learned: Italian coffee power is the best. Our day started with light rain , nevertheless we hit the road to the western part of the island. A lot of beaches along the road. Of course we stopped by….

yessss this is fun on the road

Return point was a roadblock and a sign which says “ your journey end’s here”. A supermarket was nearby for a banana and some beer jerky. In addition I bought a mobile phone holder for the car. The once I brought from home broke after 2 hrs usage under Hawaiian conditions. There and back we spent almost 3 hrs in the car, sometimes with some rain drops. Back to Haleiwa we found the city center overcrowded but a coffee was needed so we had no choice.

The queue in front of Matsumoto shave ice

After having a discussion where to go now we decided to go on a beach close to our airbnb. Packed with Kona island lager beer, chips and guacamole and sandwiches and sausages the afternoon could start. Unfortunately there was no sunset but we had a relaxed time .

Haleiwa beach

March 25, 2022

Hawaii- Oahu

Filed under: travel — Tags: , — mat @ 6:35 pm

After a 6 hrs flight (with a short stop in Maui) our trip has found its final destination Honolulu international airport. We passed the covid screening in Maui already so we were allowed to move out of the airport immediately. Just because it saved me 700 $ we picked up the rental car in downtown and not at the airport. Taxi ride took a way too long but …. well. Lesson learned: drive slow on the island. And we got our car for the next days…

White Mustang convertible 😀

Our stay were easy to find, North shore Haleiwa Nice tiny house with outdoor kitchen and shower.

tiny house
outdoor kitchen
outdoor shower

Very close to Haleiwa sunset park so of course a short walk was a must-do

sunset at Haleiwa

And for dinner – seafood! what else if your are so close to the shores of the Pacific ocean. With a local beer finished we went straight to bed.

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