Dec 132012

Eastern shore of Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii. We landed before lunch with an appetite and knew exactly where we were going. First up though we had to get our rental car and make our way through Honolulu. This is like driving through an outdoor Forums Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. If you’ve come to Hawaii to shop, this is certainly the place to do that. This hustle and bustle is not for us, we are heading down class. Away from the glitz we were looking for Ono Hawaiian Food, a joint of a restaurant. Nothing fancy here, but the food is said to be amazing. In just a few minutes we are squeezed into a small table and the menu is dropped in front of us. We drool on the options and decide to share a pork laulau (steamed pork in taro leaves), a kalua pork (pork roast in Hawaiian yumminess), butter fish (not exactly what you might think), and some purple yam. If only we can come back one more time before the end of our stay on Oahu!

Time for us to get out of the tourist rat race and head for the hills. During our visit to the islands back in 2006 we only afforded Oahu a few hour stop over after hearing that travelers and Honolulu are incompatible. We had circumnavigated the southern end of the island passing through Diamond Head and making our way about half way up before cutting over highway 83 to return to the airport for our flight to the Big Island. Today we are traveling in the opposite direction and will drive north after reaching the eastern shore. The photo above is our first stop at the waters edge. No tourists, no shops, nothing but a picnic table and some trees up against the ocean. On that trip half a dozen years ago we ended our vacation in a similar manner. On Kauai at Poipu Beach our last stop was at a picnic table under the trees where we had breakfast and bid Hawaii adieu. Today we are full of aloha to be so fortunate to have returned.

The view from our room at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

Last year at Interactive Sites Christmas party, the place Caroline works, she was the grand prize winner of the big giveaway. That prize was for five days to be spent at Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Guess where we are? A big warm MAHALO to Mike and Paul for sending us here, they are the bosses and their generosity is super appreciated.

Caroline Wise standing on the north shore at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu, Hawaii

Checked in and ecstatic we head to the beach. Lava rock and sand, yep we are on Hawaii. The water is crystal clear and beautiful, but the sun is disappearing fast. The long days of summer have passed though we aren’t complaining, we wouldn’t know how as we are so high on the fact that we are here standing at the oceans edge on the north shore. Along our walk we spot snails, crabs, small fish, anemones, sea cucumbers, broken corals, small peculiar looking plants that look like ears, some small birds, and not one other person. For this sunset the day after Caroline’s 45th birthday that fell on 12 – 12 -12 we are together with this stretch of beach all to ourselves. What a great gift and day it is.

We weren’t quite done yet though. No, we didn’t dine at a fine restaurant at the resort, no candle lit meal for us in view of the sea. In keeping with our “take-it-easy’ approach to things, we wanted local funk and that’s what we got. Down the road we’d come up on earlier we had passed the Kahuku Grill and that is where we were going back to. Not that our decision was that easy. We looked around for some local grindz but pickings were slim, so we just kept on searching until we had gotten as far as the Kahuku. Lucky us. Like a lighthouse beacon grabbing your attention it was the Fire in Paradise Burger that arrested ours. Wow is the only thing we could utter as we fell in love with their grilled pineapple and jalapeno burger. The place is popular with the college crowd so be prepared to wait, but it’s so well worth it. Back in the room we opened the balcony door wide to go to sleep to the sound of the crashing surf below.

Nov 012006

Various Hawaiian cookies from Aloha Baskets & Balloons

This week has been terrific for our senses. First we get the mandolin back, then a big damp box of Poi from Hanalei Poi on Kauai is delivered – this stuff is fresh, just made on Monday, wrapped in a box lined with frozen bags and two-day express shipped. And finally, this box of goodies arrives from Aloha Baskets & Balloons on the Big Island (808-935-1939). Sharla was delayed sending the cookies due to the earthquake Hawaii recently experienced, and to make up for the delay she included some freebies including delicious Pineapple Coconut Butter Cookies and Macadamia Nut Butter Cookies, both of these are from Mama Ellas of Hawaii, and a bag of Cinnamon Butter Hawaiian Topical Lavosh – from Rainbow Falls Connection. Also in the box were the Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Butter Cookies I ordered for myself, and Caroline’s favorite – Mt. View Stone Cookies. Now, if I could just get those guys at the Koloa Fish Market in Kauai to send over their most awesome Poke Bento…or give us the recipe, come on guys we promise not to share it with anyone!!!!

Jun 202006

Stone Cookies from the Big Island of Hawaii

Leaving the Big Island of Hawaii we skipped breakfast for the sake of a little more sightseeing and picked up a bag of Stone Cookies for a quick snack on the plane. The bag did not get opened until we were in the air – mmmmm, yummy, these would be great with coffee. Figuring we could buy more on one of the next islands, we were disappointed in not finding even one bag more. We cherished them, finishing the last cookie after we returned to Arizona. These are after all Stone cookies and as hard as they are, one could easily believe they might last forever or at least never appear stale.

It took weeks of calling the number on the bag in Mt. View, Hawaii, before I caught someone in the bakery and was able to inquire about mail order. They don’t do it. But, Aloha Baskets & Balloons in Hilo does. A very nice lady by the name of Sharla gladly took my order for half a dozen bags of these wonderful Stone Cookies and soon seven pounds of the rocks were on their way. These cookies are not very sweet, they may be the most difficult things to chew next to bones, but there is something about them Caroline and I love. So, if you were lucky enough to try Stone Cookies on your recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and have been wondering where to find them, try Sharla at 808-935-1939. The free bag of Passion Fruit Butter Cookies was a great treat, too.

Apr 302006

Poipu Beach on the island of Kauai, Hawaii

Under Kahili Mountain we awoke to the rooster’s crow, stepped outside and showered beneath the banana tree leaves partly covering our outdoor shower. I left the key on the table of our cabin, started the car and drove to the beach. Caroline grabbed yesterday’s pineapple and apple bananas and I picked up the snorkel gear and we sat down below this palm tree for breakfast on Poipu beach. Some early morning cloud cover quickly gave way and the sun lit the shallow waters for one more swim with the fishies.

Photo location was on Poipu Beach, Kauai: N21 52.418 W159 27.266 – Map link.

Apr 292006

Lowfin Chub at Poipu Beach on Kauai, Hawaii

We did lots of snorkeling between Maui, Molokai, and Kauai, thanks to the guys at Snorkel Bob’s who rented us the gear. Pufferfish to eels, butterfly fish to needlefish, even the state fish of Hawaii, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (also known as the reef trigger fish) were all seen by Caroline and I on our snorkelings. This is our last full day on the islands and we made the best of it. After snorkeling we paid a short visit to part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens where mosquitos drove us away. Next stop was back at the little roadside fresh fruit stand to get another sweet pineapple along with the yummiest apple bananas that we kept for tomorrow’s breakfast. Then a stop at the Koloa Fish Market for another poke bento fish breakfast. Up the coast to Hanalei in time for lunch at Mixed Plate including poi and rice and a taro smoothie. The day was finished with a hike up the Napali coast trail – we only went in about a mile and half but the views were great and it was getting late. Back down on the Ke’e beach we were just in time for a golden sunset and a beautiful ending to our final day on Kauai.

Photo location was at the Beach House: N21 52.913 W159 28.583 – Map link.