It was me and my girl’s one year anniversary since we met in Brooklyn on that fateful evening at The Woods. I hadn’t been to Oahu since the 80’s, so thought what better time. The morning of our flight we’re lagging a little, this bites us in the ass. We arrive to the airport and find out the bag belts have just closed 5 mins ago. These little 5 mins causes us to have to buy all new tickets! After an hour on the phone with Expedia, we luckily find a pair leaving the same night, all of the rest were the next morning – how depressing would that be!? So we take a cab to Venice, hang on the beach for 8 hours, then come back to the airport. Not the best way to kick off our one year, but we’ll take it. Note to anyone booking flights on a travel site, never miss your flight! This little mistake costed me $1K in fees! Doesn’t matter, the next morning, we wake up in Waikiki…
That’s Cata. We’ve been working hard. I’ve been busy with all my shows, she works full time at the HuffPost Live. We really needed this vacation.
Of course, hit Waikiki’s famous white sand beach.
Flexin. Or sucking it in.
This display of machismo gets me lei’d.
We head over to Hanauma Bay, a bay renowned for it’s wealth of wildlife.
We make our way down.
We got snorkel gear and hit the water. When I last came to Hanauma Bay in the late 80’s, I remember seeing far more fish. But just when I was feeling all sullen about Mother Earth, I swim right into a green sea turtle pecking at the underwater reef. She/he was adorable! I had an underwater camera and the photos didn’t come out! I swear, I saw one! Cata doesn’t believe me.
It’s getting cold so we head to the bus stop. Nobody around, just these cocky bastards. Apparently, we missed the last bus to Waikiki.
These guys start walking…
So we follow suit.
Cata ironically taking a scenic photo… of a sign.
The next day, we’re itching for some real nature adventure. Our driver Trong, good ol’ Trong, I miss the guy – he drives us up to Palolo Valley, a rugged hiking trail in the mountains. Just getting to the trail was like traveling to another country, Okinawa in fact. The trail itself is a bit of a mystery. I did research beforehand and random forums debated where the actual entry to the trail lies. The only unanimous statement was you know you’re near when you see a Japanese Buddhist temple. Trong spots it and tells us he’ll be on standby, in case we die. Cool! Getting out, there’s signs everywhere that say private property and beware of dogs. After a good half hour of poking around, this one grungy dude appear out of nowhere. He had to have come from Palolo. We ask, and he says go right behind those mailboxes. Really? The entry is the size of a doggy door. This isn’t your average hike, for sure. Just look at how spooked Cata is…
It’s a rain forest, so the entire trail and rocks were muddy and very slippery. Of course as the courageous guinea pig, I slip and bust my ass and cut myself within the first 5 mins. Romancing the stone!
She’s already thinking of going back.
Not before a jungle selfie!
We’re all muddy at this point. I mean stepping in giant mudholes, muddy.
It starts to really downpour and we glance around and there is no real clear path. And the mosquitos are going to town on my sweet blood, so we decide to leave…
In Hawaii, around every turn is a new perspective. Every view is simply majestic.
Trong arrives with perfect timing…
We arrive to the more popular Moana Falls, a site where they shot some of Jurassic Park.
Seeing visuals maybe?
We reach the waterfall and chill…..
These Cons are dunzo.
We head back down and it’s Cata’s father’s bday, so she video calls him on Tango, from the middle of the jungle! Turns out, he’s having dinner with his entire family right in the middle of his dining room. So his phone gets passed around and right at that moment, I meet his entire Colombian family. What a moment. An awkward moment!
Jungle selfie part deux!
All this mud and itchiness, it’s time to get out of the rainforest and back to the beach.
Great day. We wake up the next and decide to hit the picturesque Lanikai beach. It’s the beach that epitomizes the Hawaiian postcard…
We rent a kayak. Cata doesn’t want to do it, but she isn’t getting out of it. There’s a great sense of peace off shore…
We reach a tiny island, which is also a bird sanctuary, teeming with life.
Indeed, teeming with wildlife…
Life taketh away.
Looking closer, we see all these tiny little hermit crabs.
Sanctuary selfie, just when this big wave crashes onto me and my 6D!
Life on the cusp…
All this deep talk has me exhausted, so time for a nappy nap with the nesting birds. They don’t mind.
Ahhhhh, rested. Time to get back to shore.
We decide to take a journey up to the North Shore. That drive is nothing short of pure magic. It’s truly a reflection on life, to enjoy the journey and take in the sights. We come up upon a lookout to this serene bay. So I pull over…
That’s our nimble little VW Golf we rented. I gotta say, I really like this car, handles really well. I might have to buy one sometime.
Not another 15 mins and we stop again. This time at the Kahuku Kai Horse Ranch. I’m a year of the horse, I had to!
By this time, Cata’s getting grumpy and swears she’ll die from eating. Either we turn around or keep pushing to the North Shore, where Cholos Homestyle Mexican awaits us. We finally make it…
Their magaritas are legit.
Their chunks of Ahi tuna are even more legit. This is so good, so healthy.
The next day, it’s the 4th of July. I’m always used to the Venice, CA block parties, but this time it’s about celebrating from the furthest outpost in Amuurrrica…
Cata getting her swimsuit issue on…
Coming out of the water I notice this little sweet crab scrambling for his life! He’s dodging all of these giant feet when I pick him up. He isn’t even crabby at this point, he just has the island vibes…
Which brings me to the song that we heard on the local radio station Da-Paina, at least 5 times per day. How can you not be down with this song.
We meet up with our local friends Katie and Scott.
Enough lying around, we hit a little block party around the corner.
Lost in time.
This girl wanted a beer so bad, but she couldn’t because she was grounded for playing too much Candy Crush.
Love when girls vibe like this.
The sun is setting so you know what that means. Fireworks! We race time to see ’em.
We arrive to this beautiful estate in Hawaii Kai. Words can’t express, so I’ll let this picture do my bidding.
I can’t wait to return to Hawaii. I am destined to own a home there. I just love every morsel of this magical place. We take the red eye back home to LA, take a few hour nap, then it starts all over again…
The moral of this blog being don’t forget to enjoy your life. What are we working so hard for anyway. Mahalo.