Both my hiking partners were unavailable for a Tuesday Trail, so we (Zach and I) made the most of our free day together and adopted the Tourist Tuesday theme instead. We hit up four windward O'ahu spots and of course made a pitstop for some yummy grub.
First stop on Tourist Tuesday, Ulupo Heiau which is nestled in a quiet Kailua neighborhood and adjacent to a local chapter of the YMCA. It is the second largest Heiau on O'ahu and is commonly associated with menehune legends.
We made sure to respect the sacred land of the ancient Hawaiians by not disturbing, touching, or walking on the rocks that made up the remainder of the Heiau from hundreds of years ago.
Beyond the rocks of the Heiau were several small gardens that field workers were tending to during our visit. We saw Lauhala trees, taro patches, papaya trees, and gardenia flowers to name a few.
This was our first visit here and I soon realized that the backside of the Heiau was part of a favorite walking spot, Kawai Nui Marsh trail...so I snuck in some hiking/walking after all.
A five minute drive to the parking for Kawai Nui Marsh, a few sips of water, and a handful of crackers for the five year old, and we hit the trail that wanders beside marshland containing birds, ducks, fish, and sweeping views of the Ko'olau Mountains.
Our "hike" didn't last long as the sounds of my five year olds belly rumblings became cause for us to turn around about halfway through and head for the car and an early lunch.
When in Kailua, you can't pass up delicious homemade food from Over Easy. Zach decided on Custard French Toast (his diet seems to consist solely of breakfast foods). I went for a savory choice and enjoyed every last bite of my Kalua Pig Hash.
Now that we had successfully negated any walking we accomplished earlier in the morning, we headed out for the second half of Tourist Tuesday.
From Kailua to Kane'ohe, our third stop (unless you count food as a stop) was He'eia State Park. We peeked in at the gift shop (not anything to write home about), we walked the short path around the main building, and we ooohed over the Marines giant airplane flying what seemed like only a few yards above our heads. I discovered this is the place to come for booking a wedding, snorkeling, kayaking, and taking a ride on a glass bottom boat (to be investigated further in the near future).
Continuing on our tour of parks, a drive along this coast of O'ahu would not be complete without stopping at Kualoa Park or as it is lovingly referred to here: Chinaman's Hat (Mokoli'i).
Although I truly think hiking is therapy in more ways than one, Tourist Tuesday was a fun and welcome change from Tuesday Trails. Exploring O'ahu through the eyes of my kid(s) or as someone who doesn't live here, is a really great way to appreciate this island life.