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Hawaii Superferry

And so the Maui journey begins by catching the Hawaii Superferry. We’re about 20 minutes into the 3 hour journey and so far no “Aloha Spills”, apparently Aloha Spill is Superferry talk for barf. OK scratch that, a kid a few feet ahead of me is being led to the barf zone with a barf bag. Might this be the Aloha Spill I have been waiting for!

Boarding the ferry was quick and simple. No line and all we needed were our boarding passes and ID’s. They should just skip having us print out the boarding pass and just cross check our ID’s with their computers. It would be much greener that way.

We chose not to bring our car which ment that we paid just 49 bucks each way. Not bad considering a flight would have cost about 20 dollars more.

One mistake we did make though was assuming that coolers were not allowed. They are allowed. And so now were are stuck with a warm 12 pack. Our bad.

The fascilities are clean and the staff is quite nice and friendly. And they have an abundance of flat screen tv’s throughout the cabins playing Sportscenter. Awesome!

Update:
OK, we are two hours into the Superferry ride. I fell asleep for about an hour. I’m gonna head to the outer deck to see what the view is like.

The outer deck on the Alakai is quite nice. The sides of the ships are a bit windy and the rear of the ship will you get you wet. If you do ride the Superferry I would suggest stepping outside once a while. First of all, it’s not as cold as the ferry interior and secondly it is a calming experience, at least for me it was. If you step out just after the ferry departs Honolulu you’ll get to see a nice view of Honolulu Harbor and Diamond Head.

The restrooms are small with just one toilet and one urinal. I could imagine lines during peak peeing periods like just after departure.

The concession stand was stocked with lots of goodies like sandwiches, musubi’s and saimin. You also get a good selection of pastries to choose from. Beware though, prices on the Superferry are at a premium. $2.50 for a musubi. Ouch!

For those who fear getting sea sick, the Superferry offers free Ginger pills and Dramamine for purchase. I didn’t have an issue with the too and fro motion but others did. If unsure as to whether or not you’ll get sick, take the pills.

All in all the journey aboard the Superferry was a pleasant one. The downside for me was the speed of the journey, or should I say the lack of. Other than that, I’d definitely recommend it as a means traveling to and from the islands.

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Off to Maui Wowwie

Off to Maui, Wowwie Wowwie
Taking the Superferry, will it be merry?
Afraid I’ll barf,
If I do I’ll turn to Mark.  

Only going to be there for two nights,
Enough time to see the sights.
Road to Hana, Ryan’s going to drive.
Twists, dips and turns,
I hope we all survive. 

Mark wants to see the top of Haleakala,
He hasn’t seen silver swords, halaka!
At five miles per hour,
he said he’ll drive.
Afraid that he’ll see an apparition by his side.

The aquarium, the aquarium,
That’s what Joel wants to see.
Turtles and sharks swimming with glee,
Maybe we’ll see one of them pee.

So off I go to pack my bag.
Surf shorts, sun screen and maybe a hat.
And let’s not forget a bag full of snacks.

Manoa Falls

I’ve done the Manoa Falls trail twice now and it never disappoints. The trail leading up to the falls is relatively short, only about 1.5 miles, but as you make your way towards the falls you are greeted at each twist and turn with spectacular jungle like fauna. Imagine Jurassic Park like scenery but on a less grand but more manageable scale. You’ll make your way past bamboo trees as you pass through rainforest as well as some nasty mosquitos so be sure to bring bug repellant.

Like Kaneohe, Manoa is it an often wet location so remember to dress appropriately. Shoes will definitely help when walking through the well worn-out paths. As I made my way through the trail I crossed ways with two angry tourists, both of whom were complaining about the “slippy-ness” of the trail, and of course, they were wearing slippers (flip-flops for you mainland folks). The trail is easy enough for both young and old to do as it consists mainly of straight-a-ways with minimal difficulty and absolutely no areas that involve crawling or climbing.

At the end of the Manoa Falls trail you be treated to a stunning 60-foot high waterfall that flows year round. Although not suggested, many people (not me) tend to gather in the pool directly below the falls. It’s not deep but just enough to allow you to waddle in the water. The main issue with relaxing in the pool under the picturesque waterfall is the danger of Leptospirosis, so be forewarned.

To get to Manoa Falls, head towards Manoa onto West Manoa Road. You’ll drive through residential area and then reach the driveway of the old Paradise Park. The Manoa Falls parking is just below the Lyon Arboretum. The parking area is considered a high theft area even though it costs an expensive 5 dollars to park your car in the lot with an attendant present. It might be more feasible and safe to park in the residential areas and then walk up to the trailhead. 

Shang Tsung’s Mugshot

Poor Shang Tsung aka Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Here’s his mugshot. Turns out he pleaded guilty to harassing his girlfriend. So much for being a powerful and greedy sorcerer. He should have thrown a few flaming skulls as he left court. 

The Cream Pot

The Crème Pot is a relatively new eatery that opened up its kitchen this past February. It’s clean, cute and frilly with lots of flowers, lace and pastel colored pattern thingies. Although the eats are heterosexual, the décor is definitively geared toward those with less testosterone and more estrogen.

Enough about the décor. The food at this cutesy little European styled restaurant at the Waikiki Monarch Hotel totally delivered. I indulged in a nice serving of Belgian waffles. The waffles came topped with a lovely butter topping, maple syrup and powdered sugar and fresh bananas. The waffles were out of this world good! The syrup and butter topping did not overpower the taste of the waffles. It’s not unusual for me to only eat half the plate when ordering pancakes or waffles but to my surprise I was able to gobble up the hearty serving of waffles in its entirety.

I’m usually an eggs and bacon kind of guy, so luckily, Michelle and I ordered some maple bacon and baked eggs with potatoes on the side. The eggs were incredibly good even though the side of bacon was disappointingly small. Michelle ordered a breakfast set that included an omelet served with rice and greens as well as a crepe with fresh bananas.

If you’re into breakfast then The Crème pot is a must visit. We ended up paying about $45 for a breakfast for two. The prices are on the high end, but as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. What you get is a great breakfast with quick, efficient and friendly service (not to mention lots of girly decor!). 

The Cream Pot
44 Niu St.
Hawaiian Monarch Hotel Waikiki
Honolulu, HI 96815 
(808) 429-0945

Koko Head Crater Trail

95% of the Koko Head Trail Hike is climbing and sometimes crawling along an abandoned military track that was previously used to transfer supplied from the bottom of the crater to the top. The last 5% of the trail more than makes up for the challenging hike up the 1,100 steps of beaten up train track. Once you   reach the last track on the trail, follow the dirt path and that will lead you to an abandoned Helipad as well as a beautiful view into Koko Head crater and the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also get great views of Makapu’u, Diamond Head, and the Honolulu skyline. It will take about 90 minutes to reach the end of the track and less than 5 minutes to get to the part of the hike with the beautiful scenic views. We ended up spending about 3 hours total on this trail with most of the time spent lounging at the top of the crater. Be forewarned that this hike is entirely an uphill climb, as you can probably tell by the pictures.

About midway though the trail you will encounter the track trestle that spans a ravine. This is the part of the trail that is a bit daunting, especially if you are afraid of heights. Carefully maneuver yourself across the worn out bridge and try not to think about the steep fall you’ll experience if you miss a step. Cross with caution!

To get to the Koko Head Trail take H1 toward Hawaii Kai and continue on to Kalanianaole Highway. Continue driving down Kalanianaole Highway towards Hanauma Bay. You will see the Hanauma Bay entrance on your right, once you have passed the Haunama Bay entrance take the first left. This road will take you to a parking lot and the start of the hike.

It’s probably best to do this hike during the morning hours since the trail provides no shade and the sun can be harsh during midday. Speaking of the sun, the day after I hiked Koko Head I was pretty sun burnt so be sure to lather yourself up in lots of sunscreen! Most importantly, bring water and maybe an energy bar or two.