Seconds Please! Koko Crater Arch and Hiking Hawaii Cafe

A day of seconds.  Second day of full kindergarten for my youngest son Zach.  Second week of High School for my oldest son Gabe.  Second trip to climb/hike the Koko Crater Arch located across the street from the famous Halona (lookout) Blowhole in East Honolulu. Second trip also to the Hiking Hawaii Cafe in Waikiki for after hike nourishment.  Seconds are pretty cool.  

Our initial hike intention was to celebrate "Back to School" with finally conquering the Makapu'u Puka Trail.  Much to our dismay, upon arriving at the parking area for this exciting adventure, we saw  an officer of the law sitting inside his vehicle waiting to give tickets to those who might venture onto property that technically is not for hiking.  Sigh.  Time for Plan B, or the second choice.  Off to a less trespass-y trail nearby, Koko Crater Arch.  I was happy to take my Thursday hiking partner on this totally unshaded, rock filled path to Hawaii's own natural rock arch.

If you look closely in t…

Kane'ohe Exploration: Friendship Gardens to Kapaa Quarry

One year ago I became vigilant about getting out of the house with my family every weekend to hike.  It's been a great year.  At the beginning of our family hiking journey, I would spend time looking up Blog posts, Yelp reviews, or Instagram hashtags to find easy hikes for us to accomplish each Saturday.  My plan for easy hikes was twofold, one, I wanted something short and simple so the kids wouldn't complain too much about hiking, and two, I knew I was not in the kind of shape to tackle anything too physically demanding.  Now, over a year later, what started out as easy family Saturday hiking, has turned into a whole new outlook on life, an ever increasing adventure spirit, and a leaner  nature loving me.  August is my hiker-versary, and to celebrate I took the kids back to an easy trail we did last August---Friendship Garden Trail in Kane'ohe.  

The first time I did this trail I was just trying to get through it.  We initially took it on because it is a short trail, on…

Return to Rocks and Wind: Lanipo Trail (or Mau'umae Trail)

Our tradition of family weekend hiking resumed this past Saturday, it was the last weekend of summer (my oldest started High School today and my youngest starts Kindergarten Thursday!).  We changed our routine slightly and ate BEFORE hiking (which I don't usually like to do).  Hiking on a full stomach makes me sluggish, unmotivated, and more inspired to nap than climb  mountains, but this is how the schedule of events unfolded.  We found ourselves on the outskirts of Chinatown in Downtown Honolulu at Scratch Kitchen and Bakeshop---a long time item on my "to eat" list.  The wait was limited to ten to fifteen minutes (which we used to explore a little of the outdoor Chinatown markets).  Once we were seated, plantation ice tea had been ordered, and our mouths were watering from the orders we placed, I had a chance to look around.  Scratch is very cute inside, a hip urban eatery with many small tables together that were filled with families, young brunchers, a few tourists,…