In 2014, our favorite Thai hiker turned 31. Of course, a birthday celebration hike was in order. Ahnate chose Aiea Loop Trail’s significantly bigger brother, Aiea Ridge. Aiea Ridge is a rugged trail and is a commonly featured Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club (HTMC) hike.
It’s been a while since I last hiked up this beast. Not so long ago, I’d do this short scorcher once, maybe twice, a week for exercise. And then life took over and I suddenly didn’t have much free time. Well, things have changed. Koko Crater is one of those hike that will quickly help you to figure out whether you’re in good cardiovascular shape, or not. In my Koko Crater hay day, I was able to make it up to the top in under twenty minutes. Today, I was far from the time. Time to dust off those old hiking shoes (or get new ones) and get back into hiking shape. After all, this new change is the start to new and fantastic things.
Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau is the largest heiau on the island, covering almost 2 acres. Built in the 1600’s, Pu’u o Mahuka is a series of three walled enclosures of stacked rock walls. The name of the heiau translates to “hill of escape” and served a pivotal role in the governing of Waimea Valley in the pre-contact era. It was at this heiau that religious ceremonies were practiced up until 1819, when the Kapu System was banned. The heiau was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
Bill Granger, owner of bills Sydney, has restaurants in Australia, the U.K., and Japan. This Australian celebrity chef opened his first restaurant when he was just 22 years of age. He recently opened a new “bills” restaurant on Oahu, which is the first U.S. location. Dubbed as the “egg master of Sydney” by the New York Times, he has brought his take on “barefoot-from-the-beach” dining concept to the tourist mecca of Hawaii known as Waikiki.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to experience the 12th Annual Waikiki SPAM Jam Festival. The event featured twenty vendors serving a variety of foods made with the timeless meat in a can, SPAM. During the madness, I decided to take a break and check out the sunset on Waikiki Beach. Located next to the Cheesecake Factory is a little alley that’s lined with surfboards. The alley will lead you straight to the white sands of Waikiki Beach. I walked along the beach and watched as the sun began to set. It was quite a sight. And then I went back to eating SPAM.
I’m spoiled when it comes to the luxuries of fine sushi. It wasn’t always this way, though. A decade ago, the closest thing to adventurous that I would get in a sushi bar (and I use the term sushi bar loosely here to mean rotating belt-type establishments like Genki Sushi ) was ordering a crab mayo roll.