My 3rd Hiking Adventure in Oahu: Manoa Falls Hiking Trail

manoa-1-9October 28, 2018

After the easy hiked in Makapu’u Lighthouse trail we decided to do another hike 🙂 yep! We’re hyper that day because that was my last day in Hawaii. This hike was in my opinion the real one!


It was already raining a bit when we arrived at the place, I took my backpack camera knowing, if it rains.. It pours …:-) got a rain cover for it! Yeah that was the plan but I did not have time to cover it when the rain came real, I hid my camera under my shirt and focused on the muddy trail. It was slippery, in my mind if I slipped, either I break my leg or my camera. The choice was clear, got to take care of myself first.  I can buy another camera..if ever.. thanks God ! nothing happened 🙂 My friend? Oh she was the monkey, running from one tree to another hahaha joke! Well, she was younger and more healthy than I am (I guess).




If I am not mistaken, this is where the original “Jurassic Park” and TV show “Lost” filmed some of their scenes.





The Manoa Falls trail is a 1.6 mile trail and leads to a 150 foot waterfall that empties into a small pool of water. Swimming is highly discourage due to the threat of Leptospirosis a condition that may lead to kidney failure.

On our way back, more rainfall which made it even more challenging to me but I enjoyed every minute of it.




It was a wonderful day to hike in a rain forest like Manoa. Thank you my dear friend Adora for taking the time to be with me. I hope you had a wonderful day too!



©Copyrights protected

10 days in Waikiki (day 3): Golden Sunrise Photo Tour

October 17, 2018

sunrise18-1-5 2

Woke up at 4:30 early in the morning for an early pick up of 5:30 to catch the sunrise at sandy beach. Crazy? yeah ! to some but not to me, why waste time, I won’t be in Hawaii forever 🙂

Rise and Shine!

Sunrise at Sandy Beach

This is a perfect tour for a female solo traveler who loves to take photos everywhere! Who doesn’t? Well ? If you are reading this, you’re guilty ! 🙂

Nope? alright I did not say anything.

I don’t drive so this tour was a triple treat! I got a transport, a friendly professional photographer and a lot of tips for taking a scenic places in Oahu. Perfect combination indeed!

sunrise18-1-5 4

Sandy Beach located at south shore of Oahu, located between Hanauma Bay Nature preserve park and Makapuu’u point on the East.

Lisa was bubbly and pleasant to talk with, we were only two, so that’s even make the tour better, all women 🙂 I’m glad I took two lenses with me a 50mm and 18-105mm lens. Lisa advised to use the 18-105mm lens. I hesitated for a while because I like the images that comes out with 50mm, I feel it’s more sharper but at the end, I followed what she told me. She gave me a tri-pod to use and I asked , should I use polarizer? Nope! and why they asked me to bring it anyway 🙁

What is circular polarizer? What does it do?

  • It cuts glare, when shooting water  – ok no need for it bec it’s only 5 am and it’s still dark.
  • for the Sky, it changes the color significantly, rotating the polarizer can make it dark or light blue

There’s no amount of bright sunlight yet so it won’t create an impact if I use polarizer. Got it!

Alright, I set up my camera and was acting up, I look at Lisa camera (Canon) we have the same setting, aperture priority mode  we tried F5,F8, F11 , my camera (Nikon) doesn’t give the same outcome. One tip I learned  in this tour is about Exposure compensation setting.

Adjusting the Exposure Compensation can add drama to the scene or add more brightness to the scene. I was in Aperture priority mode, so adjusting the exposure compensation will adjust the shutter speed. By the way, my Cam D90 has little button on top with a positive (+) and negative sign (-) by pressing on it and moving the main dial to right or left will change the exposure compensation setting.


Makapu’u Point Lookout

As the sun rises up, we moved to Makapu’u point located just off Kanalianaole Highway on Oahu southeastern tip.

sunrise18-1-7“Rabbit Island” the Mañana island is across the Makapu’u look out point. Does it look like a rabbit head? I was told it was once inhabited by introduced rabbit after a rancher released them there.

sunrise18-1-10 2

Waimanalo Beach approximately around 3 miles long of white sand, I can sit here for the whole day, doing nothing , go home relaxed and re-energized. Perfect place to have a beach stroll and eat cold pizza 🙂


The beach is backed by iron wood trees which provides a lot of shades.

sunrise18-1-12 2

I forgot to ask questions about photography, I just took photos here and there…enjoyed the sun and shades, the sweeping of the breezy air gave me goose bump , remembering my friend who recently passed away.


After Waimanalo, we headed to see the Ko’olau mountains, actually we didn’t hike to the mountains, we just saw it on the road.. the Ko’olau range – dormant fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of Oahu

Ko’olau range photo credit by lisa
Ko’olau range photo taken by me and edited

The long trip leads us to Kalapawai market for breakfast. This has been in Kailua since 1932.


To get to a more panoramic view of the Ko’olau cliffs, we headed to Nuuanu Pali lookout – is a site of deep historical significance, the battle of Nuuanu 1775 where King Kamehameha I, won the struggle which lead to the unity of Oahu under his rule.



Before we end the 5.5 hrs. trip we went to Tantalus lookout, it’s long winding road through the lash of Manoa, sometimes steep inclined on the way to the top!


Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park


And that was the end of the tour, forget the settings and enjoy the scenery 🙂

A wonderful day!



©Copyrights protected

10 days in Waikiki : (day 2/2) Hawaiian Style Cooking Class

October 16, 2018



Oh yes! After photography class and roaming around the park, It’s time to have a Hawaiian style cooking class !


It was a 3 hours home cooking experienced hosted by Linda in her lovely home far from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. I was greeted by “bacon”, so amazing to have seen and touched a domesticated pig! Adorable!


We were in a group of four, the kitchen and ingredients were all assembled and ready. While we were learning all the recipes, Linda gave us some stories, and information about Hawaiian culture, stuffs etc. It was like, cut-talk-hand me-talk-mix-talk-cook- and a lot of more talk-and eat of course! It was so indulging and I enjoyed every minute of it.


First thing in the menu? SPAM MUSUBI of course! So popular in 7/11 or abc stores. Two years ago, my friend taught me how to make it but I want to learn more. It was exciting to know it was included in the cooking class. It gives me a lot of memories.


Spam Musubi – is a popular snack or lunch in Hawaii. So easy to make and easy to pack as well. It is composed of grilled or fried spam sandwich in between with a pack of rice or a variation of different ingredients, the scrambled egg could be in the middle of the rice and the spam is on top of the rice. We sprinkled furikake, salt, fried onions, add some slices of avocado and wrapped it in with nori sheets.


Next popular dish is POKE – is a diced raw fish served as either an appetizer or for main dish. My sons love it so much but honestly, I don’t eat raw food and poke is not on my dream list. This is my very first time to prepare and eat Poke.


We prepared three kinds of POKE: Spicy Tuna Poke, Shoyu Poke and Hawaiian Style Poke


Spicy Tuna Poke 


1Lb Ahi Tuna, cut into 3/4″ cubes

1/4 cup mayo

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp shoyu (soy sauce)

1 tsp Alae red salt to taste

1/4 to 1 tsp Ichimi (ground japanese chili)

a few drops of chili oil to taste

1 TBL tobiko or Masago

Mixed all ingredients together well and serve with sliced scallions on top.


Hmm, checked out my photos below 🙂  I don’t need a caption to prove that I am a first timer in POKE!

And while we were enjoying the Poke preparation, the COCONUT BUTTER MOCHI was already in the oven. We mixed all the ingredients ahead of time, so the sweets was hot and ready for dinner. baking time : 45 mins to 1 hr.


Coconut Butter Mochi


2 cups sugar

2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 cups shredded coconut

1 box mochiko flour

1 stick of unsalted butter,melted

1 can of evaporated milk


Coconut Shrimp


12 large shrimp, deveined, peeled to the tail and skewed

3/4 cup panko

1/2 cup flaked coconut

flour for dusting

2-3 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste



Tips: roll in the FLOUR – EGG – PANKO/COCONUT mix





Ladies, I recommend this experience if you are traveling solo, in here, you meet new friends, learn how to cook few dishes and have an enjoyable dinner! drinks were on the house 🙂





©Copyrights protected


My Oahu Escapades -travelling counterclockwise to Polynesian Cultural Centre (part 5/5)

When we got our ticket to Polynesian Cultural centre though online, we thought 11:45 am was too early to go ahead so, we went to drive route highway 72 (Kalaniana’ole highway) passing thru the spectacular view of Hanauma bay to Waimanalo Beach, Kailua beach to Kamehameha highway. It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes of OMG views 🙂

2015-10-08 at 07-50-00

2015-10-08 at 07-55-25

2015-10-08 at 07-54-44

counterclockwise because a night before ,we passed through this area and yet we got lost in the morning hahaha well, not really, we were just overwhelmed with the views, decided to get out of the car  and tried to sink in once more the beauty of nature!

2015-10-06 at 12-01-36

2015-10-06 at 12-03-09

2015-10-06 at 12-04-21

By the time we reached the Polynesian cultural centre , we have missed some of the shows already but we had a very enjoyable fun time the rest of the day.

First stop : the Canoe pageant, a show case of musician and dancers representing stories of different Islands of Aotearoa,Samoa,Tonga,Tahiti, Fiji and Hawaii.

2015-10-08 at 08-45-43
2015-10-08 at 08-54-01
2015-10-08 at 08-51-52
AOTEAROA (New Zealand)
2015-10-08 at 08-58-26

second stop: the island of Tonga, this is where.. lol! laugh out loud. Don’t miss this show or you will miss the fun. Three men from the audience was called on stage to demonstrate the rhythm of oversized drum, a hilarious fun of learning in front of so many spectators, but oh boy! they did great and was on game every minute :-). You have to see it to enjoy them!

2015-10-08 at 09-18-32

Next..The Tahiti this! it started from the day they met.. to engagement and the wedding. During the ceremony, married couples (from the audience)were asked to say their vows once again. This is sweet 🙂

2015-10-08 at 09-51-53

2015-10-08 at 09-47-54

2015-10-08 at 09-34-33

We also went to Fiji and Hawaii island, learnt something about the hula dance, their cultures and stories. I was not able to take pictures because I choose to just watch and listen. Good idea? well, it depends, if I’m writing a blog I should have at least document what I saw to share it!

Anyhow, after which ..dinner ! The Ali ‘i Luau is the Hawaii’s largest and most authentic Luau, set against the backdrop of waterfalls and lush garden. It features dancers,musicians, fresh flower lei for each guest.

2015-10-07 at 17-53-38

After dinner, we went to Cinema presentation ” Hawaiian journey” a tribute to the splendours of Hawaii. At night,we watched the most awaited show “Ha’ the breath of life” a stunning show full of dancers and it showcase the saga of life from birth to death, love and family, triumph and tragedy. At the beginning, I was skeptic, it’s like a broadway show narrowed to just storytelling which made us sleepy at some point but at the latter part, we were brought to life when the thrill of Samoa fire knife dancing started. Photography was not allowed, I guess this is better, so I was really into the show, not taking pictures 🙂

Ladies, my Oahu escapades was one of so many memorable journey of my life. I won’t hesitate to travel once more to this places and who knows? Maybe one day I will have the chance to live and experience life like the locals in Hawaii. 🙂

Dreams do come true and beautybeyondfity believe so..

Aloha.. Mahalo..



©Copyrights protected


My Oahu Escapades – Makapu’u Look out to Makapu’u beach park (part 4/5)


2015-10-08 at 05-56-55

2015-10-08 at 05-55-20

A drive past Hanauma bay and Sandy beach, the Makapu’u point State Wayside Park, is a roadside park with magnificent view of Ka-iwi State scenic shoreline and Mañana Island (rabbit Island).

2015-10-02 at 10-04-58
panoramic view of shoreline

2015-10-03 at 04-08-59


2015-10-03 at 04-19-00

Though there was a drizzle of rain from time to time, it didn’t stop us (and a lot of tourist too!) from getting out of the car .The sky was so blue and the view was spectacular, how can you stay in the car?

2015-10-03 at 04-12-52

2015-10-03 at 04-15-52

2015-10-03 at 04-13-39

2015-10-03 at 04-13-43

2015-10-03 at 04-18-42

Makapu’u beach

2015-10-03 at 04-18-14

again, we’re here just to see the view and we didn’t even took the Makapu’u light house trail!

tsk! tsk! there’s a lot to see ..a lot of things to do time to see it all and do 🙂

2015-10-03 at 04-09-31

2015-10-03 at 04-09-05

a distant view of the rabbit island. does it really look like a rabbit head?

2015-10-08 at 06-04-55
a closer view of rabbit island

2015-10-03 at 04-14-25

2015-10-08 at 05-58-15

2015-10-08 at 06-33-35
Makapu’u s lighthouse from a far
2015-10-08 at 06-33-41
a closer view of the lighthouse built in 1909 on a 600 foot sea cliff overlooking Makapu’u beach

We went down to have a closer look of the beach and have seen a lot of like.. lava rocks and tide pools where tiny fishes and crabs got stuck in between during low tides.

2015-10-07 at 12-15-44

2015-10-08 at 06-40-12

2015-10-08 at 06-41-04

Ladies, here’s my picture once again with an open arms.. just one way of saying..

be free!

Life is beautiful to hold on to whats bringing you down.



©Copyrights protected