Spring Break is here! Day 1…

It’s that time again where I trade in the drudgery of early mornings and packing lunches  for the drudgery of keeping my children entertained for the next week and a half.

Day 1, we started off Spring Break with a bang. Dave and Busters for lunch and games. In hindsight I should have probably held off on this one as a bribe until the end but oh well. They have actually been fairly decent to each other lately.

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Look they are even sitting on the same side of the booth, that NEVER happens!! I love Dave and Busters Military discount, especially since I have banned them from drinking anything but water when we go out (I am sorry, $3 for a soda or juice that is hardly touched? No thanks!) Our lunch ends up being quite the deal… Of course I took NO pictures of us playing games, the lighting up in the arcade is horrible anyways. We didn’t hit any jackpots on anything but we had a good time playing.

As we were headed out to the car I decided to take a little detour and hit up Menchies.

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Seems like we are one of the last to hop on this new trend of building your own dessert… There was nothing like this in Spain and we really don’t go out for dessert much. The kids LOVED it and can’t wait to go back!

menchiesIf you haven’t been to this type of FroYo shop before, you get to pick your flavors and topping and add whatever you want to your bowl. Then you pay by the ounce. Needless to say, keep a sharp eye on your kids so they don’t fill up the entire bowl! I went simple with cheesecake flavored frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries, while the kids had some interesting combinations. Mckenna got red velvet and mint with red velvet cake chunks, Omar got mint, ice cream sandwich and coffee with sprinkles.

We will be back! Must try everything!

 

Lulumahu Falls

This was SUPPOSED to be our ruins hike but yet again we just cannot get to the right trailhead! But I do love hiking with Cat because we just go with the flow and find our way somewhere else! We thought that we were on the right trail this time as we were finding our way through a bamboo forest and seeing some pretty cool walls here and there:

not the right wayBut when we hit a stream we knew it wasn’t the right trail. We did suspect that we were now on the trail to Lulumahu Falls, as many people do the ruins and the falls in the same day. I am going to post photos in the order that you should do this hike, I took some of them on the way back to the car to use as landmarks.

Lulumahu Falls!

Take Pali hwy to Nu’uanu Pali Dr. Follow this up to where it almost reconnects with Pali and park in the small parking area.

This is your trailhead. This hike is probably trespassing but as the land isn’t in use any more by the Board of Water Supply I don’t think it is TOO serious.

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Make your way to the left, the should be a trail through the ti leaves that ends at a big grassy ridge.

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There is a trail as well as some old steps that lead to the top. Stop, realize once again that this is the coolest place to live, and take a million pictures. There is a great view as well as a reservoir.

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Take the gravel road pictured above to the right. It should lead to a set of concrete stairs. Follow those up and you should see a fenced in water holding tank. There is a small trail leading behind the fence. Take that. If you follow the big wide trail it will just loop you back around.

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Just keep following the trail. It is a beautiful walk through the woods!

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Word to the wise, wear shoes that you don’t mind getting soaked. There are lots of stream crossings. At the dam you can walk right along the top, it wasn’t slick and was easier than trying to hop from rock to rock. We criss-crossed the stream many more times that day!

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Finally after lots of scrambling we made it to the top! And what a reward for the work!

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It is a beautiful spot to eat some lunch and take a break.

topoffallsI loved this hike!

As far as difficulty level, I wouldn’t really recommend this hike for small kids or carrying a kid on you. While we had both it was difficult at times, there are some tricky areas. Lots of scrambling, stream crossings, over and under and climbing boulders. Our kids and dog just happen to be pretty bad-ass!

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My big puppy

Look who had a birthday!

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Bowser at 5 weeks, and at 2 years!

And yes I really did want to throw him a birthday party but resisted! Instead he got some special cookies from the Petco cookie bar, a trip to the dog park and a trip to the store to pick out a couple of new toys. (he is eating the chipmunk as we speak!)

I love this dog, yes, he drives me crazy, but he is my buddy!

Also I love that he is my guard dog during deployment, thank goodness he learned being protective from somewhere because he was NOT like this in Spain!

 

Eat the Street: Mililani

 

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, before we even moved to Hawaii I saw some pictures from this event and was sold!

I love to eat and one of my FAVORITE shows is the Great Food Truck Race. Finally was able to make this happen!

First off, some advice. Get there early, as close to opening as you can. Park at a shuttle stop, no worries about finding a spot. Come hungry and with plenty of cash.DSC_0144

 

We did a quick sweep of the trucks (there were SO many-spread out over two parking lots!) to get an idea of what was out there and what we wanted to try. ets

 

foodWaffledogs, delicious! Especially drizzled with maple syrup. The kids were VERY skeptical about these but ended up loving them! ($3/each) Next up Xtreme Tacos, smoked chicken taco. It came with two tortillas and I was able to split up the filling. Because there was pico de gallo in it Omar didn’t want to try it and Mckenna didn’t love it. They were good to me though! ($2.75)

food2Our splurge of the day, wood fired pizza from Kiawe Pizza. So good. ($10) Pop pop donuts ($3.50) Aloha Pops ($3)

fairycakesAnd one more dessert to share, Death by Chocolate from Fairy Cakes. I really wanted everything on the menu! Mckenna was eyeballing the Maple Bacon Cake but it was just too weird for her!

We had a great time sampling lots of goodies. I am going to have to branch out and try some things I didn’t get to next time, Fried Musubi, octopus balls and Malasada burgers are calling my name!

More food truck dates and locations for Oahu:

http://www.streetgrindz.com/

Do you have any favorite food trucks or know of any food truck events?

 

 

 

Hawaii Nature Center

So one thing that I am really happy that I am able to do is go on filed trips with my kids classes… This was my first time that I got to go with Mckenna’s class on a field trip. Those 5th graders are so much fun!

We were spending the day hiking up at the Hawaii Nature Center up on one of the hills above us… Unfortunately our bus driver ended up taking a wrong turn and instead we climbed up the other side of the hill toward tantalus. It was quite the scenic trip, it was beautiful but we were for real in the wilds of Hawaii. We FINALLY had a big enough area to turn around and back down we came, made the correct turn and headed up the right side of the mountain!

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The guides at the nature center were amazing, especially Kai and Kristen who were in charge of our group. We learned a lesson about how the islands were formed (I even learned a few things!) and how some additional geological activity has since altered the shape of Oahu.

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From there we were off to our hike. I was initially pretty nervous about the format because the kids were going off into groups of three and learning about a specific plant or tree on our hike and then they would tell the entire group about it. It worked out that every kid got to be a teacher which was great for them, helped with public speaking and knew all there was to know about a plant we saw on our hike.

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I am going to overload this post with pictures, sorry… I tried to at least condense them into collages! It was a REALLY beautiful trail! If you are looking for a nice hike Ualaka’a Trail is one to consider!babies

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After our hike we did an experiment about soil and the difference with forested land and cleared land. (spoiler alert, forests have high permeability). Of course I was loving all of this as its right up my alley and the kids were learning and having fun.

Finally time for lunch, a little late due to our detour! We ended up having a pretty spectacular view of downtown Honolulu and Diamond Head (which I now know was created from a secondary eruption and not from the initial volcano that created the islands!)

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This is a beautiful spot to hike and we saw a few different trailheads that started around here. We will be back to do some more hiking from here for sure!