Sunday started with brunch at the New Otani Kaimana Beach hotel, where a lot of the wedding party was staying. We didn’t get too see much of Jamie and Lee-Roy (just enough to grab a picture with them before they departed on their honeymoon), but we hung out some more with Jesi, Tina and I Ching, who are all really interesting and inspiring in different ways.
After brunch we ended up hiking—and by hiking I mean climbing—Koko Head with AK’s college friend Tai-An, her husband Mano and their friends Terry and Marie. As we were driving, I saw a steep domed hill with a stripe of brown running straight up the side of it. In the back of my head I thought, “What if that’s our trail? Ha, ha…no, that’s clearly just a fire break or something.”
Around this time we also learned that Mano, Marie and Terry had all been in the Navy. Terry was an ex-firefighter and Tai-An, according to Mano, used to play volleyball “eight days a week, 25 hours a day.”
And of course that thing that was too impossibly steep to be our trail was our trail.
“How did we get here?” AK whispered. Meaning that left to our own devices, we are the kind of people who do some light jogging. Two days a week, a half hour a day.
“At least there are no switchbacks,” I said.
It quite literally kicked our gluteals, but it felt great too. The trail was an old railroad where apparently the military used to ship artillery to the top of the hill. So at least it wasn’t slippery.
It was cool to see another side of Oahu: scrubby brush, military culture and its remnants (there was a shooting range on one side of us for added authenticity). Then literally another side of Oahu, the blobby turquoise bays stretching out below us.
And it was cool to feel all fit and outdoorsy. My self-image is largely pasty, bookish city girl, but the ex-gymnast and occasional jogger in me would like to crank it up in an interesting way—hike or jog somewhere pretty and different. Take classes instead of just doing the elliptical machine.
AK was a little nauseous after the hike, but she perked up after having the world’s tastiest, local-est shave ice at Waiola’s. The stuff we had at the zoo was Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine compared to this. The custard bowl I had was like actual snow covered with matcha green tea and covering a tiny wonderful flan. Dessert with a secret dessert inside.
We were too tired for Diamond Head afterwards, which had been our original plan, but we did go out for Thai Food at Mekong II in Chinatown with Tina, Jesi and I Ching.
It’s been a wonderful trip. Now home to Team Gato!