Koko Crater Railway Trail

We took an amazing hike on March 17, 2016!!! We walked the entire way up the Koko Crater Railway Trail, totaling between 1000 and 1100 stairs!!! We even brought our dog, Maui, and he loved it! Sophia walked all the way up to the top and pretty much the entire way down all by herself with little to no complaints! I held her hand for most of the way down, simply because of the steepness of the stairs, but she wasn’t carried or pampered and did an amazing job!!! The view at the top was absolutely spectacular!!!!! We reached the top and ate some sandwiches for our lunch before walking around and exploring the top. The visibility was so great that we could see the outline of Molokai. There is a tunnel at the top leading into an old bunker that was pretty interesting to walk around inside. Part of the way up the stairs there is a spot where the stairs are no longer on the solid ground, but rather form a bridge. It was so fun, although challenging for the kids and dog with their tiny legs, but it was so great!!! I highly recommend this hike to anyone visiting Oahu. We spent a total of about 4 hours round trip on the stairs, but this is MUCH longer than it typically takes. Tiny legs, but slow and steady was safe and still fun!

Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial/Pacific Aviation Museum

On March 16, 2016 the family took a trip to visit Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial, and the Pacific Aviation Museum located on Ford Island. These sites are amazing and humbling and beautiful in a horrible way. These historic sites were fun in a small way, in that we got to see all of the planes in the museum and the remnants of such beautiful ships. It also ended up being a quiet learning day for the kids, who at 6 and 4 realize that death happens and our freedom in America comes at a cost. This trip was amazing from a historic perspective. I spent much of the day explaining to the kids what everything meant and why it was so important to understand. The questions of why the attack happened definitely came up, which also proved to be a wonderful experience in teaching such small, innocent people that although such horrible interactions between America and Japan took place, we are working towards cooperation with each other and with a mutual understanding of respect between us because sometimes bad things happen and we cannot hate everyone who is different than us or everyone who does us wrong. This post has a more somber tone to it much like the day itself did, but it was a wonderful, educational, and inspiring trip to see and teach the children from nonetheless.

Keaiwa Heiau Camping

I am a bit late posting this, but I have been busy with packing, cleaning, and classes. We had our first land adventure earlier this month! It obviously wasn’t our first ever, but it was our first since starting this blog.

We went camping March 11-13 at the Keaiwa Heiau State Park! It was beautiful, and fun, and cold.

We took a roughly 4 mile hike, had hot chocolate with marshmallows, and made smores. Our hike was along the Aiea Loop Trail. It had some incredible views!!! We even got to see the WWII airplane that had unfortunately crashed there on its second flight. Stephen went off trail a little to get some better pictures and a better look. We found a Jackson’s Chameleon. The kids, and the Boy Scout Troop we were hiking and camping near, got a history lesson about the plane and a biology lesson before we put him back. The children named him Pickles! Hopefully Pickles has a nice long life and will help educate more hikers.

In our tents, I was freezing!!! I had my wonderful plaid fleece pjs on (in Hawaii) and was curled up in Stephen’s winter army sleeping system. The wind up there seeped through everything!!! Thankfully the hot fire and hot coffee in the morning was amazing! I recommend getting a french press if you don’t have one! Just boil the water and it works like tea! No coffee pot or electric needed. I loved our tent! We got it specifically for this trip because the kids would have their own tent and we would have the dog in ours, so Sophia’s teepee style owl tent wouldn’t work for them. We decided on this amazing 3 person tent. It was so easy to put up and I loved the awning in the front so I could keep shoes out of the rain and out of the tent. Then we slept in it. It was sweltering it there!!! We went to open the windows to let in some air, but I quickly realized that the wonderful tent that we loved so much could only have air flow if we go out of the tent and unzip the rainfly from the outside! This major design flaw really ruined the tent for us, so we are now looking into other options! We are always trying to improve our experiences. What we’ve learned from this adventure is that we need a tent with windows that open from the inside (preferably with the awning still), a lantern to see what we are eating if it gets dark quicker than expected, flip flops for everyone in case the ground in rocky at camp so we don’t wear boots the ENTIRE trip, and head lamps for everyone! We already can’t wait for our next trip!