Arrived Nadi, Fiji

Our 2:55 AM flight from Honolulu to Nadi, Fiji did not depart until almost 4:30. The good news is that Fiji Airways contacted us in the evening and we were able to adjust our schedule. Once we boarded the service provided was great. The staff all had smiles, actively worked to ensure we enjoyed the experience. As we landed in Fiji, it was cloudy and raining.

This was our plane, a 737-800. Luckily is was not one of the grounded 737-MAX.

A few pictures on approach into Nadi. You can see the cloud cover and rain. During the flight, the purser had inquired about our trip. I explained it was to celebrate 30 years together. When we were deplaning, the cabin flight attendants handed us this card.

We thought that a nice gesture which was indicative of the level of service we had received.

We are now resting in our Ocean Front Room and looking forward to exploring the Resort later today. Here are a couple room pictures.

And the view from our room.

We have couple of scuba dives planned and we will take in an interesting bike trip later in the week. More about that later.

Our last full day on Oahu – North Coast Bike Trail and Polo Beach

While biking on the North Coast has some challenges, there is one stretch that has a separated bike path for about 4 miles from Waimea Bay to Sunset Beach. Bill and I rented Cruisers for a few hours and rode the North Shore Bike Trail round trip, logging just over 8 miles.

The bikes, with their wide tires, soft suspension and big swooping handlebars, reminded me of driving late 50s vintage cars.

We thought the basket would be convenient, but it bounced so much we took our cellphones out, worried they might break. I guess if we had a jacket or sweater to put in and soften the load, it would have been better.

The Trail is right along the beach.

Or covered by a thick canopy.

This is the curved bridge as we entered Waimea Beach Park.

We had lunch at North Shore Tacos, a food truck in Pūpūkea. A word about the food trucks: With the high cost of dining out in Hawaii, food trucks are an alternative to in restaurant dining. They are regulated just like restaurants. They have to meet all food safety requirements and must post their inspection rating placard. Because of lower overhead they can provide good food at lower prices than traditional restaurants. Usually the dining area is a few picnic tables under a tent canopy. If you search restaurants in Pūpūkea, almost all are food trucks. After lunch, we headed to Polo Beach for a few hours.

The surf at Polo Beach was coming in at a rapid pace. Although, by North Shore standards, they were not particularly high, the strong wind was moving it right along.

I particularly liked this driftwood that washed onto the beach.

We check out of our Airbnb guest house this morning and drive to Honolulu. We have a room at the Best Western Plaza Hotel, near the airport, but only need it until about midnight, because our flight to Nadi, Fiji departs at 2:55 AM. With a two hour time change and flying over the International Date Line, we arrive into Nadi at 7:45 AM, Monday. With the date change, Fiji is 19 hours later than the west coast.

My next post will probably be late Sunday night, US time.

Nice hike in Pūpūkea-Paumalu Forest Reseve, Sunset at Shark’s Cove

We had a fun day! In the morning, we took a hike in the Pūpūkea Paumalu Forest. The entire ride was only 4.2 miles.

We then did some errands and stopped by the Waimea Valley Farmers Market and enjoyed the local produce and had a couple of beers.

That evening, we went to the food truck area at Shark’s Coveand had both had a grilled shrimp dinner and watched sunset. Here are some sunset pics!

As we were walking around, Bill could not resist the photo op!

Travel Day – Short flight to Oahu

So this is the story of how , a short 25 minute flight can dominate a whole day. We got up early and after breakfast started the routine of leaving the condo for a few months. Things had to be packed away in the owner’s closet, the car had to be covered. We had already packed away the bikes. So about 10 AM off we go to the airport, so that we could be there 2 hours early.

With two hours to kill and knowing, even in first class, there wouldn’t be any food on the short flight, we had an early lunch. We were in first for purely economic reasons. The first class ticket was $30 more than coach. But with a 1st ticket we had 2 free checked bags. In coach, both bags would have been $50. You do the math. It’s a good thing though, because the service was, well, that’s just it. There wasn’t any. At least the seats reclined.

After, the flight, we picked up the rental car and headed for the north shore. By the time we arrived, it was 3:30, 5 1/2 hours since we left our condo for the 25 minute flight. Our guest house is up on a hill. Without the trees, I am sure there is a magnificent view of the coast, but as it is we are surrounded by lush trees and bushes.

We were greeted by Sage, the official welcome cat.

After settling in, we took a nice long nap and then went to dinner at The Beach House restaurant in Haleiwa,

Today, we hope to get in a hike and I am trying to find a way to rent a bike for the day. There are not many good bike options here and that may be a bust. But, with any luck, today will be far more exciting than yesterday,

Last full day on Maui

We spent a quiet day on Maui. I got in a 30 mile ride. Bill hung around the condo waiting for an appliance repair that never happened. Since, we found our favorite place to park our car in the lot open, we parked it, where it will be until we return in November. We walked to Monsoon Indian restaurant for dinner. I have always thought they have good food, great sunset view, but the decor old and tired. Well, surprise, they are renovating. We will see the results in November.

We are flying to Oahu this afternoon for three nights before heading to Fiji.

Here are a couple pictures from my ride. I know, same boring beach and mountain pictures, but I never tire of the rides and the views.

St Patrick’s Day – Bike, Beach and Corned Beef and Cabbage

St Patrick’s Day was beautiful, Mid 80’s, clear, light breeze. Bill decided to drive to the beach early. I rode the the beach, but before getting off the bike, I rode to the end of Makena Road, to La Perouse Bay, named after the first European to land on Maui.

La Perouse Bay is a part of the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. To get there, I rode by Kanehena Cove. You can see Big Beach in the background.

And across the lava flow from the last Haleakala eruption in about 1790. Although, there is some dispute about the date.

On my way to Little Beach. I took this picture of Big Beach from the top of the outcropping that separates the two.

After enjoying the afternoon at the beach, Bill and I stopped by McGillicuddys, for Corned Beef and Cabbage to celebrate St. paddy’s Day. All in all, a fun day,

Biking, Shopping and the beach

Bill and I started the day by biking to breakfast. We went to the split personality restaurant McGillicuddys, but is actually downstairs in the space that during the rest of the day for Fred’s, a Mexican restaurant. After some over cooked egg drama, we had a decent breakfast. But the authenticity of the Mexican aspect of the restaurant is in question. What is wrong with this picture?

After breakfast we went into Kahului to replenish condo supplies, buy a new coffee maker and replace broken glasses.

Then after a nice nap, we went to the beach for sunset, arriving around 4 PM, we were treated to at least 45 minutes of whales frolicking off the coast. Several different pods were playing near the surface.

Here are several of the beach pictures .

View from our shady spot under the trees.

One other thing, I did today is put the finishing touches on a bike trip this September. Bill and I are going to bike the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Towpath Trails from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. This is on my bucket list, and we are going to do it. It is only 335 miles, in 10 Days! want to join us?

Scuba Trip and Rest day

Yesterday, Bill and I took dive trip with Maui Dive Shop. We dove two separate sites, Molikini Crater and Turtletown, off the Makena coast. The 45 minute boat ride was enhance by three different nearby whale breaches. Of course, they were too quick to capture on camera. It was a beautiful day, low winds, perfect visibility under water. It had been several years since we dove, so the dive master dove with us and one other guy, so we could get a little refresher. Today, we both took it easy. Bill at the beach sand me taking care of a few things at the condo

Off Makea, during our surface interval.

Bill getting ready for the next dive.

Just waiting the necessary time before Dive 2

Getting ready to depart the harbor

    Underway, Maalaea Harbor in the distance

Fun Day!

Bill and I decided to do separate activities. He went to Little Makena Beach. I did a 40 mile bike ride. I stopped to watch the Kite and wind surfers at Kanaha State Park, went to lunch in Paia, which was my turnaround point and then rode to Wailuku and finally returned home.

Little Beach

Sunset at Little Beach

Selfie at Kanaha Beach Park

Kite Surfers
In a couple of minutes he was racing across the bay being pulled by this kite

It was fun to watch, but I had to get back on the bike.

Paia Town

Then we both went to the Courtyard Kahului Airport, where and my friend Marc Walz is GM, and listened to a local group, Kuikawa. They played a collection of their Hawaiian songs, as well as known favorites. They were joined by some local hula dancers.  A very fun night!