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Guest Adventures Post New Entry

We've added some blogs of a few of our favorite spots on the island and welcome our guests  to add their pictures and a journal of the highlights from their own trips as well.  We look forward to reading them all.  



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April and David from Canada: We Love Hawaii

Posted by Marie Satz on February 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (1)

We traveled all around the island to see so many sites. Here we are ringing the bell at the entrance to the Byodo-In Temple

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Koi in the pond at the Byodo-In Temple and a beautiful Black Swan also at the Temple

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Ooooh those palms ! Ahhhh that sand & water !               Giant Green Turtles at the North Shore            Parrots, penguins--a South African species-                                                                                                           eating the seaweed                                        & flamingos, koi--Hilton Hawaiian Village.

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Be sure to stop and get some super fresh produce                                            Get a photo with parrots on the main drag in Waikiki.                                           at the fruit stands along the highway

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Our favourite indulgence ~ mochi ice cream... right across the street                      The Ala Wai Canal is right outside your door --Great to walk or           from the condo in the little Food Pantry Mall at "HIsteaks" restaurant.                 run on in the mornings.  [So you can eat more mochi ice cream!]               Try a different flavour everyday ! We LOVE mango & passion fruit. 

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Take time to relax under one of the many large Banyan Trees---                       And remember  to shop for your special loved ones back home--                                                                                                                              WE DID!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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        Take it from us----You'll want to go back again and again!!

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The Aiea Loop Trail in Oahu

Posted by Marie Satz on February 17, 2012 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

It took Stan and me two and a half hours to traverse this five-mile trail at the end of Aiea Heights. During the first half, there wasn’t anything spectacular to see. Perhaps that was just as well because we had to constantly watch the ground; otherwise we might trip over the extensive barriers of exposed roots that jutted out from just about every square inch of terrain, whether narrow or wide, steep or level.


But as soon as Stan told me that this hike was laboriously drab, we came to a clearing overlooking the H-3 Highway, my favorite scenic route in Oahu. While the path that we were climbing was enclosed by rough, stark forest, the mountains on the other side of H-3 were monumentally lush. And seeing them from a high altitude made them look even more majestic.


Not far from this perch, we came to another wide-angle expanse: the glittering ocean intersected by a sliver of Sand Island Bridge.


The rest of the trail still had more exposed roots, muddy spots, slick rocks, and fairly recently felled tree trunks that had just enough space between them that my wife and I could either shimmy under them or hoist ourselves over them.


Luckily, just as a few turbo-charged mosquitos ambushed us and our sweat glands were going into overdrive, we spied the parking lot. What a relief to walk on pavement again!

The trek was exhausting, but it had its exhilarating moments among the thickets. One caveat: if you aren’t nimble enough to navigate (e)xposed (r)oots, you could end up in the ER

 

Wahiawa Botanical Garden: A Hidden Treasure

Posted by Marie Satz on February 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A lush tropical garden hidden away in a remote location awaits those who yearn for a peaceful day of being alone in one of the most gorgeously compact rainforests in Hawaii.  If you are traveling to the North Shore for the day, you'll pass through the small town of Wahiawa.  Turn west on California Ave. and discover a Hawaiian nature retreat you will always remember.  On the rim, there are wide stone paths and benches to enjoy your surroundings.....and the steps and pathways lead you into a hauntingly beautiful ravine.


We travel to Oahu for a few months every year, and a visit to the island is not complete unless we spend several days in this lovely spot.  Notice that on a recent trip our 9-year-old grandchildren were equally captivated.


Our Most Recent Trip.

Posted by Marie Satz on August 2, 2011 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

By El & Deb.  July, 2011.

El & Deb have taken several trips to Hawaii.  Here's the latest pictures and places to see/things to do from them.  This year, we visited: Maui (took the drive to Hana); Kauai, (took the riverboat ride and visited the canyon); Byodo-In Temple; Emma’s Summer Place; Doris Duke’s Shangri-La; Ionali Palace; Hawaiian Plantation museum; North Shore Market; the TiKi Bar and we drove all over Oahu.  We enjoyed the Roundtop drive and Pu”U Ualaka’a State Park.  Now to start dreaming about next year and the future for a time when we can stay longer than three weeks.

Pictures from one of the places we visited: I recommend Pu’U Ualaka’a State Park,  Great view of Diamond Head and Honolulu.  The drive along Roundtop road has several areas to pull over an take pictures.

We recommend that you take time to schedule a tour of Ionali Palace.  The rooms and artifacts reflect how Hawaiian Royalty lived and entertained.  Impressive [no cameras are allowed inside].  Reservations are required and tickets are purchased onsite.

Byodo-In Temple is located at the back of the Temple of the Gods Memorial Park.  It is so peaceful and serene and  the drive with beautiful scenery on route to the Byodo-In Temple is well worth the effort.  Once we reached the back of the cemetery, and saw the architecture and the views, I forgot that we were in a cemetery.  The pond of koi fish is amazing and the temple is unforgettable.  Signs remind you to take off your shoes before you enter the temple.  Do not forget to ring the gong for good luck and long life.


 We drove to the Hawaiian Plantation Village and we enjoyed our walk into the life of each ethnic group who journeyed to Hawaii to work the sugar cane fields.  We learned that the people of Hawaii are a blend of several nationalities and in this village you are able to see how each group was able to maintain their own personality and religion.  What an experience to walk through each house and see the artifacts.  The rooms are decorated by time period and it is like walking through a time tunnel.  Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, bring mosquito repellent and come prepared to take numerous pictures.  Our guide, Ken, possess a passion for the history of the Hawaiian people given that his father was one of the plantation workers.  We enjoyed learning the cultures of each group and we have a better understanding of the challenges the workers faced.  The staff who operate the museum are super friendly and their showed us the ultimate in customer service.  They actually made us feel as though we were being welcomed into their home.  We found $3 off coupons in the tourist magazines and the next time we are in Hawaii, we will visit again.


We had a great time on our visit to Maui.  This was our first time seeing black sand beaches.  Beautiful scenery and a stop at a winery made for a memorable visit.




So When Are We Going Back, Mom

Posted by Marie Satz on April 4, 2011 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Anna has done what some of us only dream about.  Even in this modern world where child rearing sometimes can get the best of any of us, she has found the way to be not just a Mom, but a friend as well to her adventuresome 12 year old. Ahhh…have you ever seen such beautiful blue water? Don’t tell anyone, but this trip was not JUST for Chandler.    Anna and Chandler planned it together, but SHE could not wait to get into the water. I’m not sure who was more excited to go to PARADISE……Mom or Son. 


They talked before coming to Hawaii about all the great things they would see and do.  Yet, nothing prepared Chandler for his experience with the great banyan tree just outside his door.  And both of them agreed: the very best part of Hawaii is found in nature.  Chandler……………One happy twelve year old building memories and having the time of his young life.   Can you imagine the stories he will tell when he returns to school?   He even made a new friend. 

HUM…….  Chandler: “I love Hawaii…..but don’t worry mom, YOU are still the BEST”  8)

A Day At the Ranch

Posted by Marie Satz on January 29, 2011 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Some time ago, Clare wrote a post about riding an ATV at Kualoa Ranch... Ever since, I have been planning when I would go.  Well, all I can say to Clare is: "Thanks, it was a blast!"


Our guide Belu was a lot of fun and the countryside was amazing.  Like Clare, I highly recommend the trip.


Hiking: Mariner's Ridge Trail

Posted by Marie Satz on January 4, 2011 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Our most recent guests, Brian and Julie,  are a great couple.  We have so enjoyed Brian's quick wit and Julie's charm.  After a couple dinners and great conversation, we're convinced that our new friends are never out done.  So we issue them a challenge:  We made it to the top..now it's their turn.  There's plenty of time before Brian and Julie leave the island.  We know Julie has her GPS on this trip.  The trail head begins at 1185 Kaluanui Road in Hawaii Kai....no excuses, guys.  Let the trail--or is it the trial?--begin......

The  Mariners Ridge Trail is a 3 mile round-trip journey highly recommended in many travel books as one of the very best ridge hikes on the island. We were not disappointed.   Being 60+, we did stop—and sometimes stumble--along the way to take pictures of astoundingly lush mountain vistas buttressed against a shimmering turquoise ocean.


But the piece de resistance is the glorious panoramic view from the top of the mountain range. [We have not shown the amazing views at the end of the trail out of respect for future hikers]  The ascent is well worth struggling across the gauntlet of boulders, loose dirt slick with pine needles, and dry but deep gullies.


The insects are minimal, the gusts of wind are refreshing, and the tree branches used for balance hold fast. It took us only an hour and a half each way—not from sea level but from an already high elevation at the end of the Kaluanui Road at the trail entrance.  



 While challenging for us, we were greeted by a cool and collected “Tarzan and Jane,”



happy tourists from our home state of North Carolina...a daring handsome young local, a man jogging to the top and even jogging back down, and a woman heroically forcing herself uphill on the sidewalk. We would never have made it to the peak if we had to trek to the trail head.



 A reminder: it’s much safer to wear running shoes than sandals, and put your water bottles in your back pockets so that you have both hands free to hoist yourself up and lower yourself down rocky pathways [Of course this is our very own Tarzan on the left and he did mention that he usually does not wear any shoes at all]


 

The Honeymoon Couple: 04/07.10 Ronald & Cathy (Spokane Valley, Wa)

Posted by Marie Satz on April 26, 2010 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I've been following Ron and Cathy on facebook both during their stay and since.  They sure are an active couple.  With their consent, I've posted these pictures of just some of their adventures.  Enjoy....  A big Aloha from the happy couple. (Written by Marie Satz; Pictures by Ron & Cathy)


Okay, Ron one, two, three... get ready, get set...GO...This guy will share the water with you....

So Ron caught one good wave.......Cathy kept up.......and then.....who is in that 3rd picture, again???


Hey guys that's cheating!!


Up, up in the air.............                                   ..Look Mom, no hands



We're beginning to see a pattern here.......Prehaps dry land is the answer??



Watch out Ron....She likes him...........Absolutely NO NO NO....You can't take them home with you.....

THAT IS NO IN ANY LANGUAGE:  Haw in the Middle East, Nee in South Africa, Mah nguh  in Thailand, Arangkwa in Australia,  Non in Spain, Không in Vietnam,  Nein in Germany,  Naw in the great country of Texas,  Nee in Belgium,  Mhai in China,  Lie in Japan,  Ochi in Greece, Seja in Fiji,  Aan in Russia, and of course  Nej in Sweden.  NO.  Don't even think about it......



Now, we all know you two can do almost anything....but no, you can't get home either way.....



Sorry about that Cathy....... Retun to Paradise soon....Thanks for sharing your memories.

[Don't make her angry, Ron!!]




Return Trip: A Quick Taste of Paradise by Clare Smith

Posted by Marie Satz on April 12, 2010 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (3)

I recently went back to Oahu for another quick taste of paradise. It doesn't matter how many times you visit there is always something new and exciting to see and do. The first activity on this trip was a visit to The Kualoa Ranch located in Kaneohe. We signed up for 2 of the many activities that are offered. We did the narrated Jungle Exhibition tour first. It takes you through the jungle trails, the terrain is very exciting and a little rough, hold on tight.... Your guide makes many stops along the way for photo op's.(Written & Pictures  by Clare Smith)

Second we chose the 1 hour ATV ride through the Kualoa mountains. The sights are absolutely breathtaking along the trails. Our guide took us through the valleys, mountains and streams. He pointed out many movie set locations, one of which was a WW2 bunker that was used in the film Pearl Harbor. It was my first time riding an ATV but definitely not my last.

  

On our 3rd day we decided to go on the Alii Kai catamaran for the dinner and show. Personally I would not recommend this activity to people visiting the island for the first time. It seemed like a very 'low budget' performance.

 

One of the best parties in town happens on Sundays at Dukes in the Outrigger Waikiki. Between 4pm and 6pm enjoy dancing to the soulful sounds of the Wild Hawaiian a.k.a Henry Kapono. Admission is free, the beer is cold and the sunsets are beautiful.

 

I find the prices in Waikiki a little pricey so for all of you that want souvenirs etc may I suggest the Swap meet out at the Aloha Stadium. You will pay a 3rd of the prices for all the same items.

After 22 years of visiting the islands I always feel as though its my first visit. I'm at peace with myself, and my world......I may be a Canadian girl through residence but my home and my heart belongs to Hawaii!! Aloooohaaa!!

 

Hawaii is rated the Happiest State!

Posted by Marie Satz on March 3, 2010 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Hawaii has been voted the Happiest State by Livescience.com!  Out of the 50 states of USA, Hawaii took the top spot from Utah, who held the title in 2009! For more information on this article: Happiest States:  Hawaii moves to first place!  Come visit us and see why we have earned that title and let us show you the Aloha Spirit.

Just a few days--what do I see?

Posted by Marie Satz on December 29, 2009 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I was thinking about that question and of course, the answer would depend on what most interests you.  One of the great things about Oahu is that there is something for everyone.  There are remote beaches, great country side with wonderful hikes, history and museums, and lots of city life.  So you have so much to choose from.  I can't answer that question for others, but for my husband and me---we love beautiful scenery, and this island offers a great variety of that for everyone.  Here is what ranks at the top of our list

Rent a car and drive around the island.  Each side of the island offers its own Paradise to delight the eye and nourish the soul:       The east coast offers vistas of rock formations and beautiful beaches


The North Shore has some of the best surf and wave action in the world

Everywhere you look there are sunsets.  The view below is from the Pali Outlook

Flowers are Everywhere around Waikiki, in the hotels and on the grounds.  The picture on the right was captured from the Eastern Shore drive.

A little know walk is through KoKo Gardens.  It is deserted most of the time, but offers unusual plants and great mountain views:


This sand art could be found on any beach on Oahu.....the Moutain top view  was taken from the outlook at the top of Tantalus Drive...above Waikiki

Wahi'awa Botanical Gardens.....The tour book says: "skip this one"  I think not:  1396 California Avenue, Wahiawa

Who says that a hotel is just a hotel?  These pictures were taken on the grounds surrounding the Rainbow Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Villiage in downtown Waikiki.


No trip to Hawaii is complete without snorkeling in Hanauma Bay on the eastern shore.  And this begins by viewing the mountains above the bay from Kahala........and then the road above Hawaii Kai

Continue up this mountain and there is the Bay.  Plan to spend at least 1/2 a day...or more.  Look at that reef....wow


Our Favorite Spots

Posted by Hawaii Vacation Rentals on June 11, 2008 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Koko Gardens:  One of the less known hiking trails on Ohau is the Koko Gardens.  This area has so many different kinds of plants and vegetation and is a quiet place to spend the day.  Some of the many plants found are:

  • Cacti
  • Alluaudias
  • Sansevierias
  • Baobabs
  • Dryland Palms
  • Aloes
  • Euphorbias
  • Adeniums
Of special note is the native grove of wiliwili trees (Erythrina sandwicensis) found in the Hawaiian section.

KOKO CRATER BOTANICAL GARDEN is home to a collection of rare and beautiful plants from the tropical regions of the world. Some are rare or endangered in their native habitat.  It is a cinder cone remaining from the last active volcano tha

t occurred on O'ahu approximately 10,000 years ago. This crater is the tallest tuff ring in Hawaii, measuring 1,207 feet in height.  The slopes of the crater drop

steeply into Molokai Channal, an area which lacks protection from off shore reefs, causing very turbelent seas in the area.  We have never seen so many or such variety of cati anywhere.

  This seems to be a little known tourist destination and one of the islands best kept secrets.


 

Kahala Beach: A favorite wedding

spot on the island.  Come and spend

the day here and you will often see a wedding.  We have watched as many as four weddings in one day!!  Located at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, it is very near Waikiki and is the only beach on Ohau that serves food right on the beach.  This is an amazing resort, but costly.  If you have a smaller budget, it is a wonderful place to spend the day.  The beaches in Hawaii are all public beaches and you'll find that the hotel staff is happy to make your day special. 

There is so much to do here.  This is the home of Dolphin Quest a really special place on the island.  Here you can swim with the dolphins, or if you would rather, just watch them do their tricks from pool side.  Visitors are welcome and there is no charge to watch and talk with the trainers.  They always seem to have time for you and have a wealth of information about these wonderful animals.

The beach area here is so relaxing and QUIET!!  I'm not sure what we like the best.  I like to be in the shade with the cool breezes blowing all around.  Stan sits in the sun, and we both can read for hours.  The mountains in the background are an added bonus.  This is a great place to meet friends for the day and to watch the sunset in the evening. 

Drive to Kahala Beach and park at the public parking area.  Walk to the beach and along the ocean to the east to the Kahala Hotel area and pull up a chair and spend the day relaxing.  Or if you don't have a car, take bus 14 from the eastern most area of Waikiki near Starbucks on the edge of the park










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