I spent a great deal outdoors today. Strange, me outdoors. I’m beginning to discover the island girl in me. I told one of my aunties (which I feel that without names it’s beginning to get confusing), that I’m really becoming enamored by Hawaii. It’s really true.
I was picked up by my Auntie Berdem (decided I’ll start naming some people in my life, haha) and we decided to have breakfast at Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen. The restaurant was very famous for their pancakes topped with a sweet macadamia nut glaze. Unfortunately, the place was too packed and the wait was too long for us hungry girls. Time for Plan B, which was Moke’s Bread & Breakfast. The service was immediate; we were seated immediately and our server was very amicable (I’m going to assume that everyone here has the “Aloha” attitude). We both ordered Lilikoi pancakes (which was a pancake with passion fruit glazed, topped with whipped cream and orange peel) with eggs and our respective meats (I got Portuguese sausage, while my auntie got bacon). The food came out five minutes later and it looked and tasted beautiful. There’s something refined about the Lilikoi pancakes, I don’t know if it was the presentation, the beautiful light, fluffy pancakes, or the elegant and balanced sweetness of the passion fruit sauce; well done, Moke’s.
The Pillbox Trail & Lanikai Beach
After breakfast, I went with my Auntie Berdem to take a hike up to the Pillbox trail (a.k.a Ka’iwa Ridge Trail). I understood why the residents complain about tourists parking in their yard, because the hike trail is literally in the middle of a residential area, with no public parking in sight. But we found a shaded area to park and I find myself walking up on the steep trail. I was on the ground, holding myself up on the branches of the trees. It was hard hiking, in FLIP FLOPS. While I was struggling (I’ll admit), I saw hikers in comfy running shoes, and I mentally hit myself in the head. Well, no turning back now. It was a good thing I made a makeshift neck strap for my camera and forgoing with my big camera bag. Because it’s hard to carry things uphill. The hike was relatively short and sooner you know you’re presented with a beautiful landscape. Mountains on one side and the view of Lanikai beach on the other. It was breathtaking, literally speaking (I just hiked up in flip flops, duh). We took a couple of pictures and enjoyed the strong breeze. I still am amazed the contrast of colors here in Hawaii. Maybe it’s the ocean breeze that makes it clearer or my contacts; the ocean was still the beautiful hue of blue that mirrors the skies and the trees and grass was as green, like it was freshly rained on.
After admiring the view, we went and hiked our way down. More precisely, I watched people in their running shoes, while I crawl on the floor and praying that I do not slip or fall. The flip flops were too slippery and I decided I’ll go ahead and go barefoot. Yep. Auntie Berdem and I walked our way to the beautiful Lanikai beach. It was another breathtaking site. You can see the mountains and small islands that you can kayak your way over. The water was cool blue and clear. I can see my toes underneath the waters. Unlike Miami waters, there’s no sea weed on the shore. After the hike, I definitely needed to cool down and this was just perfection.
After sunbathing and enjoying the cool waters, we went out to grab some lunch. We had taken Ono Hawaiian Foods to-go. It’s this little hole-in the wall that is very popular for their traditional Hawaiian foods. We also picked up some malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) from Leonard’s Bakery (the best one in town) on the way back to my aunt’s apartment. We opened our tray and behold! There was the delicious Lau Lau (which had become my favorite). It’s perfectly salted and flavored pork (melts in your mouth) wrapped around taro and tea leaf greens (steamed, nice and tender texture). To eat it with where raw onions, lomi salmon (salmon bits with tomatoes), poi (a substitute to rice – not a fan of it – it’s taro paste, pudding like starch) and haupia (simple coconut dessert). I had a headache the rest of the afternoon, I really think it was due to me overheating. I was upset I wasn’t able to try the malasadas! But, I was promised we’ll get a fresh batch the next day.
After a nap and a cold shower, my aunties and I head our way to a nice dinner at Livestock Tavern. The place was very hip and looked very fancy. We ordered a lot of food from their summer menu. I enjoyed my lobster and squid ink pasta with a spiced tomato sauce. Unfortunately, my photo came out blurry! But trust me, it was creamy and delicious! They gave a huge serving of lobster, which was great! The squid ink pasta was made in house. It eventually became everyone’s favorite We also had bourbon honey glaze on smoked pork belly (see picture) under an amazing corn bread, seared scallop and pea risotto and salmon.
Overall, it was a very great day for eating, hiking, and swimming at the beach. I got a little color in me now too!
Updates on Projects…
Project: Redefining Me
While hiking, I definitely learned to never hike with flip-flops (even if it’s possible). But while being up there, surrounded by the beautiful view, you definitely learned that you need to appreciate little successes and accomplishments. The biggest enemy is your own negative thoughts: the “I can’t do this” or “this is too hard” thoughts. Give yourself some credit, and do not forget that there’s someone there to encourage you.
Lessons Learned: Explore your horizons. It may be tough, but the higher you strive and hike, the better the view.
Here’s a couple of pictures I took from my third day in Hawaii! These were taken by my Canon T4i, 50mm f1.8 lenses. I did quick edits on these. Still unsure if I want a film look or not.