This week we are celebrating our wedding anniversary, and so we decided to go on a weekend getaway to Kauai this past weekend to celebrate! The last time we were on Kauai was during a stop on the NCL Hawaii cruise almost 10 years ago so it was due time for us to visit the Garden Island once more. Thanks to my credit card churning hobby, I was able to get us two free nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai along with a free roundtrip flight on Hawaiian Airlines. Any chance to spend a weekend on vacation is great, but getting to do so with zero travel costs for airfare and hotel is particularly awesome!
I was born and raised here on Oahu. But, despite calling Oahu home for 25 years (after deducting those 5 years spent in MN), I have never made it out the most western point of the island. Since moving back to Honolulu last fall I’ve been slowly working in a few hikes to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. While the southern trail to Kaena point is more of a walk down a dirt road than a hike, it still affords some stunning views and the rare opportunity to encounter wildlife such as monk seals and albatross.
Undoubtedly one of the most visited sites on Oahu, the nature preserve of Hanauma Bay provides one of the easiest accesses to a coral reef teeming with fish. Upwards of one million people visit the bay each year. While many of these visitors are tourists, locals still make it out to enjoy the waters, snorkeling, and the beach. Since we live nearby, it was easy enough for us to get up early to beat the crowds and enjoy a morning of snorkeling and sun.
I really enjoyed our last half-day community service project, helping to clear invasive mangrove trees at a fish pond in Kaneohe Bay. For this month’s project we stayed in the East Oahu area and helped Niu Valley Middle School with a campus cleanup project. About a dozen of my fellow rotarians turned up early this past Saturday to pitch in and help!
Occupying the space of the high-end tasting menu restaurant, costing $300+ per person, the original Vintage Cave Honolulu in the former basement area of Shirokiya was inaccessible to many. The high price point and club membership format meant that most Hawaii diners would never get the opportunity to experience the unique design of the restaurant. That was until Vintage Cave Cafe, the originals sister-restaurant, opened its doors this week.
One of the culinary downsides to living in Minnesota was the utter lack of yakiniku restaurants. Right at the tail end of our five years there one place did open up, but for 5 years we went without being able to satisfy our craving to go to a restaurant and cook Korean-style bbq over a hot grill. Since we’ve moved back I’ve been to a fair number of yakiniku places around town, but I’m not really one for the “all you can eat” scene. I made an exception this past weekend to visit Gen Korean BBQ House, which opened its first Hawaii location in Ala Moana.