Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hawaii Vacation - Day 3: Lanikai Hike, Punchbowl Cemetery, and More

Kai was up early on our second full day in Hawaii. He came over to our bed and said he wanted to see the sunrise. Alas, it was raining so we did not head out to the beach.

Instead, we went to a local restaurant and had some local specialties for breakfast. My wife had lilikoi pancakes (lilikoi is a local Hawaiian fruit), Kai had the chili moco which is supposed to be chili, eggs, and rice, but he had it without the eggs.

I had the Hawaiian dish called moco loco which is rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried eggs, and gravy. It was yummy!

As we walked out of the restaurant, we saw more chickens just hanging around. One rooster was crowing loudly.

After that hearty breakfast, we went on the Lanikai Pillbox Hike. Websites I researched called this one of the best hikes on Oahu for the beautiful views from the top. One site called it an easy hike while another rated it as intermediate.

Here you see us about halfway up. At this point, Kai still managed a smile.

The trail had some steep portions that were not too difficult.

However other portions, especially near the top, got more difficult.

It was definitely strenuous, especially considering that it was a very muggy day.

I have to commend Kai as he did not give up and kept hiking. I recall past hikes where he said he was too tired to continue after coming to the first minor incline.

So we were thrilled that he made it all the way to the top. Once there, he laid down for about 10-15 minutes.

He moved only to drink water.

Once he rested, we enjoyed the view which was as spectacular as we hoped.

The following photo shows us on the descent with the pillbox (concrete outpost) where we had climbed to in the background.

The walk down was much easier than the climb up.

I had told Kai before the hike that afterward we would go to the beach. Perhaps that was his motivator to keep climbing. Regardless, we all could not wait to jump in the ocean.

After a good amount of time swimming and using the boogie boards, we went for a late lunch at a local quick service restaurant. I loved my char siu (Chinese barbecue pork) and teriyaki chicken. It is my favorite meal so far on this vacation.

I also had to try the spam musubi. For some reason, Hawaiians really love spam; they have the highest consumption of spam in the U.S. I enjoyed this musubi.

After lunch, we went back to the shave ice spot which was next door. I was too full from lunch to have any, but my wife and Kai loved theirs.

After lunch we drove into Honolulu and visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, more commonly known as Punchbowl. This cemetery serves as a memorial to honor those men and women who served in the Armed Services.

We noticed that many of the graves were of Japanese Americans who served in World War II.

The all Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team suffered many casualties in fighting for America while many of their family members were in internment camps back home. The 442nd was the most decorated unit in US military history.

We also saw gravesites of famous Americans including Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka and World War II journalist Ernie Pyle.

From the top of Punchbowl, we had a spectacular view of all of Honolulu and Waikiki.

After that, we drove into the city and went to Iolani Palace, the former home of the Hawaiian monarchs back when Hawaii was a kingdom. We had arrived just after most of the palace closed, but we saw some exhibits in the basement.

With our lunch being so late, we decided not to have dinner in the city. We drove back to our cottage and picked up a light dinner and went to bed early. We had a busy day ahead and wanted to rest up and try to get our bodies used to Hawaii time.


  1. A day of plentiful exercise. I'll bet all slept soundly on that night. You are certainly making good use of each day.

    1. We were all a little wiped out that day. But we were glad we got to do a few different things.


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