Manoa Falls Trail + Update

Aloha!

So many things have happened this past month. I finally got a full time job (yay for not being homeless!) in Honolulu. It’s such a big deal since my husband and I moved here with limited savings and with the goal of my getting a job as quickly as possible. After weeks and weeks of interview, I finally landed a job where I can use my language skills. I speak 3 languages, including English, fluently. Being on the computer for hours really discouraged me to try update my blog and our business website. Today’s motivation is due to a nice little hike we did yesterday.

I love nature! It is one of the many reasons why I moved here in Hawaii. I also love moving around and getting my workout on, so we decided to go on a little hike. I’m a beginner hiker, so we decided to go to Manoa Falls Trail, which is a relatively easy hike. I also wanted to see the Banyan tree on the path that is notorious for being haunted. It was daytime so it wasn’t that spooky, but I bet it gets pretty scary at night time. First rule of hiking, which I found the hard way, is always put on bug spray! I was a walking feast for mosquitoes, and all the sweating from the hike made matters worse. I now have mosquito bites all over my thighs and legs. Lesson learned. Anyway, there was a bunch of people yesterday since it was a Sunday. It was quite a busy day at the trail and everyone wanted to take a picture in front of the Banyan tree! I felt that the two trees with the red bark that lead to the Banyan tree had more of an eerie aura though, but maybe that’s just me? I was sort of hoping for something paranormal, to happen but nothing really occurred. Well, except for that time when something apparently fell from a tree and hit my left arm. I thought someone threw a rock at me cause it really hurt. My skin was actually cut a bit and bruised. I asked my husband if he threw something at me and he said he didn’t and he never saw what happened. I don’t know about you guys, but I do believe in the supernatural so after that I just said “excuse me” and “thank you” whenever I sat down a rock or something!

 

Anyway, I enjoyed being in nature and just exploring the place. I saw a cute little bird chirping a beautiful melody up close! I wish I could’ve taken the time to explore more, and just hike as slow as I could to take it all in. But there were just too many people and it was hard to stop and smell the roses when everyone else is in a rush. There were areas of the trail that were rock and steep, especially close to the falls. And there was little room to rest or just stop to let everyone else go ahead of us. Nevertheless, we had a great time!

When we got to the falls, there was more than 10 people already there. Many of them went past the wires that are meant to keep them safe. Apparently, rocks started pummeling down the falls which made the government put the signs and wires around the area. I did want to go past the wires and maybe dip my feet in the water, but when I heard about leptospirosis I decided to not take that risk. We didn’t get rain this past week so the waterfall was not gushing with water, which disappointed some hikers. I heard some people saying that it was not as big at the picture. In reality, it is quite a small area and the falls although beautiful didn’t really pack a punch. Still, it was a great hike surrounded by lots of beautiful scenery, verdant greens of leaves, ferns, algae and bamboos and a peaceful stream going down rocky boulder on the right hand side.

Nude Beach Anyone? Makaleha Beach Park / Polo Beach Park

Last week, my husband and I decided to hit the beach. I was about to start a new job at the time, and so we wanted to get our beach on before we get busy with work and other grown-up stuff. We drove towards North Shore and found a beach right across from a place called Dillingham Ranch. At first we didn’t know we arrived because there were no signs that say there was a beach park there. Well, there was a small sign that said public access to beach, but we had no clue what the name of the beach was. The only other thing that let us know it must be the entrance to the beach was the number of cars that were parked on the side of the road.
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Aloha State: Commuting Around Honolulu and the Kindness of Strangers

Aloha friends!

It has officially been 3 weeks since I landed on the island of Oahu. Did I mention we got a brand new car? Daring, crazy, stupid move I guess? But you can’t go without a car here in Oahu. If you really want to experience all that Hawaii has to offer, going around the island in a car is probably a good option, despite the headache inducing traffic. Yes, I guess you’ve heard time and time again about the terrible traffic in Hawaii. The stories are true (surprise?), especially in town. I remember being stuck on H1 (one of the 3 freeways here) on our way back to town during rush hour, which is around 5PM. Good thing you get a nice view of Hawaii Kai, and the fresh air to keep you company. Unfortunately, my days of being driven around are soon coming to an end. (Insert wailing noise here). I have actually already treaded the murky waters of commuting. Well, murky mostly because I am unfamiliar about getting around with the bus. I lived in Japan for about 10 years, and thus commuted for all the years I lived there. I am not afraid of going on an adventure, but it is always nerve wrecking to commute for the first time on your way to an interview!

First challenge: Where is the bus stop?! 
Thank God for Google Maps! I was running a little late that morning, and was a bit under the weather due to an oncoming cold (ugh), so I had no time to research the routes and times the old fashioned way. But with Google maps, I just put where I am going, the time I want to arrive there and change the car symbol to the bus one. And Presto! It tells me where to go, what time the bus arrives, if it is late or early and gives an estimated ETA. It is so traveler/tourist friendly in my opinion.

Second Challenge: No Change for my 10!?
The App does tell you about the bus fare, too, but I wish it mentioned the “no change given” part! I only had $10 with me, no singles or change when I mounted the bus and I saw the sign. I mildly panicked because I had no other form of payment available. The bus driver gruffly told me to ask someone in the bus. So, there I was, sweating for I was wearing a jacket (interview attire), looking like a dummy asking for a kind person to break her bill. A lot of the patrons were rummaging through their bags and wallets. One of them was quick enough and broke my $10. I was so flushed and nervous that I think I forgot to thank her properly.
But the great thing about the buses is that it is affordable, and they also give you a transfer ticket which can be used I think within 2 or 3 hours. It will tell you on top of the ticket. A more detailed account of fares is on their website.

Third Challenge: I think I’m lost.
After the interview in Waikiki, I decided to head to UH Manoa campus mainly because I can’t go in our place. We had our locks replaced and we haven’t made a copy yet. I have been planning to stop by UH anyway to ask about admissions and whatnot. I knew which bus to take thanks to the App. I also was able to use the transfer ticket since it was within the allotted time. Whew! But I did not know exactly which bus stop to get off at. The campus is huge! Way larger than my college in Japan. Asked the driver where to get off, and he was very helpful. I got off the bus, but I still had to find the building in which admissions was located. I saw a bunch of students seated on benches in what it seemed like a bus stop. I did not feel like getting lost, for the 4th time that day, so I asked someone for directions. She was so helpful, and even went her way to walk me all the way to the building. I was surprised cause I never expected such kindness. I would have most definitely have gotten lost in that campus. Sure, I would have found the building, but maybe like 15 to 20 minutes later. But then again, with the supply of good-natured souls in the island, someone would have probably done the same thing that she did.

It was an eventful and adventurous day that I will never forget. If I learned anything, it would be to have cash handy at all time. And make sure to have my phone fully charged before leaving the apartment!

 

Aloha! from the Aloha State

img_5782It has been about two weeks since we moved from sunny Florida to the Oahu island of the Aloha State. I’ve been very busy with moving and job search. We luckily were able to find a place during our first week in the island. A few days later, I found a temporary job! Everything is moving quite fast, and thankfully things are falling into place. Last two weeks were quite crazy, hectic and sleep deprived! But I had some down time this week, so the hubby took me to some beaches around the area.

The first beach he took me was Lanikai beach, located in Kailua. There is only street parking available in this beach, and there are not toilets too, FYI. You will have to walk all the way to Kailua beach park to use the restroom. The waves were small, which makes it a great beach for people who aren’t strong swimmers and for kids.

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