Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Oahu Is Much More Than Honolulu!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Oahu Is Much More Than Honolulu!

Chinaman's Hat in Oahu
For a long while, I thought Honolulu was Hawaii. It’s been the hub of many of my business trips when I was still a jet-setting executive. Kyle Colborn, Bill’s first grandchild, lives in the Hawaiian capital. We visited him at the end of our Hawaiian swing, and he took us on an enjoyable road trip through the northern part of the island of Oahu. I discovered it was as interesting as Kauai and Maui!
Waikiki Beach


He was still at work when we got to Honolulu, so Bill and I spent our first night with dinner overlooking Waikiki Beach, actually a series of beaches. Our hotel, Queen Kapiolani, happened to be on Kuhio Beach, a calmer section because of an offshore retaining wall. On a brief walk after dinner, we chanced upon the four stones known as the Ancient Pohaku (Wizard Stones) which are believed to hold healing powers.

Duke Kahanamoku statue
The next day, Kyle was still on call and would be available only at 2 pm. We spent the morning walking further on the beach and found some souvenir items, like the cute onesie for my newest (7th) grandson whom I would see in London after Hawaii.  We stumbled upon a huge banyan tree.We saw a throng of people milling around a statue. They told us it was of the legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku. His statue was all adorned with leis. We found out we were already in the part called the Duke Kahanamoku Beach. It is a man-made beach and lagoon at the Ala Moana end of Waikiki and a favorite photo spot.

Diamond Head from a parking lot
Then we looked for different parks at the end of Waikiki from where we could get the best shot of Diamond Head. After several attempts, we drove to Diamond Head State Park and found out, to my chagrin, that we neither had the time nor the strength to hike the Head! But we had some good photo-ops and proceeded to have lunch nearby.
Oahu's North Shore 

After our meal, we picked up Kyle from his apartment and made our way up the northeastern coast of Oahu. First stop was the Kualoa Regional Park east of Honolulu on H3. Mokoliʻi, formerly known as Chinaman's Hat, is a basalt islet in Kāneʻohe Bay, Hawaii, 1⁄3 mile offshore of Kualoa Point. The 12.5-acre islet was at one time part of a basaltic ridge on Oahu before marine erosion separated it. It does look like a Chinaman’s hat!

Brigham Young University
We went further north and stopped at the Polynesian Cultural Center, famous for the best luau in Hawaii. PCC is a theme park and living museum located in Laie and owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 42 acres of eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia. The Center is operated by nearby Brigham Young University–Hawaii whose students comprise 70 percent of the Center's 1,300 employees.

home of best tuna poke in Oahu
When we reached Kahuku, Kyle wanted to stop because he said that is where the best tuna poke can be had at the Kahuku Superette. The grandfather and grandson shared the Hawaiian delicacy in the car…their snack for the afternoon. Then, stretching for more than 7 miles, the beaches of the North Shore that host the world’s best surfing competitions appeared one after another: Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Sunset Beach. The months between November and February are the best times to watch big wave surfing. That is when waves can swell up to thirty feet or more.

Waimea Bay Overlook
Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site
After this, Kyle led us to the Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site, the largest heiau on the island. Puʻu o Mahuka means 'Hill of Escape' and overlooks Waimea Bay. Legends have it that from this point, Pele (Volcano Goddess) leaped to the next island, Molokai. From this hilltop, sentries could monitor the Oahu northern shoreline and spot signal fires from the Wailua Heiaus on Kauaʻi. The Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and became the center of a 4-acre State Park.

Haleiwa Bay resto
It was already getting dark, and we reached the end of the North Shore beaches at Haleiwa Bay. That’s where Kyle said we could have an excellent seafood dinner. And he had his favorite cheeseburger! Indeed, Kyle showed us in one afternoon that Oahu is more than Honolulu and how it is much like the other islands of Kauai and Maui!

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