Tag Archives: Hawaiian Islands

Locals Flooding Oahu’s North Shore For Massive Waves At Sunset Beach

Massive 50-Foot Waves Brings Gawkers And Bumper-To-Bumper Traffic

North Shore waves
People line the street to see the massive North Shore waves. Photo; Hawaii News Now

Locals, normally to laid-back to care, are excited about the massive waves hitting Hawaii.

They are clogging the highway to the North Shore to check out the scene. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper, making the highway resemble the 4-5 freeway in Los Angeles at rush hour.

Cars are lined up on the edge of the road and people are watching as huge waves are crashing down seeming right in front of them.

Hopefully, they are doing it from a safe distance because it’s not wise to tempt nature just to get a good photo to put on Facebook or Instagram. The huge waves are a result of a Pacific storm that’s bringing high surf not just to Hawaii but all up and down the California coast, as well.

If you are going to join them, be patient. There’ s only one road in and out of the North Shore and it’s a slow two-lane burn. Make a day of it, in fact. Stop at the shrimp trucks for garlic shrimp. Have some shaved ice or a plate lunch and pie from Ted’s Bakery.

Here’s a slideshow of the waves: www.hawaiinewsnow.com/slideshow?widgetid=102159&utm_content=buffere9264&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

In Pursuit Of Waikiki Beach’s Best Fried Rice At Blazin’ Steaks

One Time Is Better Than No Time For The Beach Blogger

 Fried Rice Blazin Steaks
Blazin' Steaks has great food, but don't ask for the fried rice.


My friend has been spending a lot of time in Waikiki Beach lately on business, and when I went there to join him for a few days on a weekend, one of the first things he told me was about this place to eat that has “the world’s best fried rice.”

It was a only a block from where we were staying so of course I was eager to give it a try. It’s called Blazin’ Steaks and this particular location – and there are a few of them in Oahu – is right behind the Hyatt Regency, pretty much across from the Duke’s statue.

I went for lunch on a Friday, alone, as my friend was at work. The place is small and was very busy. I looked at the menu – it’s an L&L BBQ type of place, serving traditional Hawaiian food of rice and grilled meats – and looked at what others were ordering. “The chicken is good, the steak is great and the shrimp is really good,” the guy at the cash register told me.

I was salivating but what I did not see was fried rice. When I inquired about it, the bro said, “oh, we don’t make that any longer.”

My wide-open, anxious eyes rolled in the back of my head. What!? My friend just had it yesterday!

Just then, the manager emerged from a side room and seeing my disappointment, said he would make it for me. He did and it was sensational. In fact, he comped me the fried rice! I had the chicken with it and the full lunch plate and was only charged 10 bucks.  You just have to love that Aloha spirit in Hawaii.

Still, I couldn’t understand why they would not make a dish that clearly is so spectacular.

 Fried Rice Blazin Steaks
The fried rice is no longer available but the rest of the food is great.


 Fried Rice Blazin Steaks
The Waikiki Beach location of Blazin' Steaks is behind the Hyatt.


When my friend went back in and few days later and ordered it for something like the 10th time in the last two weeks he was told, “we have a small cooking area, you always come in when we are busy (well heck, it’s lunchtime!)  and it takes up a lot of counter space. We’ll make it for you one more time but this is the last time.”

They are not at all like the famous Soup Nazi of the “Seinfield” episode –quite the opposite, in fact – but it was clear the we both had the last of that great fried rice.

At least I had it that once!


Stand-up Paddleboarding With Dolphins One Of Hawaii’s Top Activities

SUP With Aquatic Animals, Plus Snorkeling And Surfing Part OF Adventure

Hawaii Activities Stand Up Paddleboarding Dolphins
Get up close to dolphins at the West Oahu SUP tour in Hawaii.

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the hot new water and beach activities, largely because of its relaxing and calming pace.

But who can be relaxed and calm when there are hundreds – that’s no exaggeration, either – of dolphins swimming around when you are on a stand-up paddleboard!?

Yet that’s exactly what happens at West Oahu SUP. That SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard, for all you squids out there, by the way.

It’s two-hour tour in the morning session is greeted by the dolphins, who show up by the hundreds to play with the SUPs. And that could be you, because West Oahu SUP gives lessons, which means people of all ages and no prior skill level is required. In other words, you don’t have to a North Shore big wave surfer to participate. Squids are welcome!

Sessions are at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. To paddle with the dolphins, you have to be there at 9. And the location is about an hour from Waikiki, at Mauna Lahi lahi Beach Park in Makaha. Westside of Oahu, on the Waianae Coast.  Fortunately, there are  shuttle trips from Waikiki.

Stand Up Paddleboarding Hawaii Oahu
The stand-up paddleboarding sessions run three times a day.


Oahu Hawaii Activities Snorkeling With Turtles
In addition to SUP with dolphins, West Oahu has snorkeling with turtles.


And West Oahu SUP doesn’t stop with SUPs. it also rents body boards ($20/day), long boards ($25.day), short boards ($25.day),  kayaks ($25/hr., 50/day for and $60/day for two-person), snorkeling gear ($15/day) and even underwater cameras (for just $20 for all day).

You can go on your own or take lessons. The staff is made up of experienced local Watermen, Lifeguards, Professional Surfers, and Paddlers. All are CPR and First Aid certified.

Check it all out yourself at: westoahusup.com.


Be Careful Of The Dangers Of Hawaii’s Spitting Caves on Oahu

Natural Attraction Also Has Hazards From The Cliffs To The Churning Ocean

Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
People stand on the edge of the rocks at Spitting Cave in Oahu.

They are gorgeous and one of those things that seems unique to Hawaii. A natural attraction that’s nature just being, well, nature.

A rush of water rolls into a cut in the rocks and then “spits” the spray back out to sea. It’s a phenomenon that has earned this area a nickname, the Spitting Caves (though there’s really only one main cave where this occurs).

They are a huge draw for locals and a rush for visitors in the know. They are just 20 or so minutes from Waikiki Beach and less than 10 minutes from the blowhole and the famous “From Here To Eternity” beach.

But if you come here, be careful.

When you look into the gorgeous distance, or peer over the ledge to see the cave spit out the waves, watch your step and be aware of your surroundings. There are no ropes or a guardrail. The rocks on which you stand are solid but they are also uneven. And they can be slippery. It would be easy to trip.

On the day I was there, it was also windy, which is a common condition. I felt that at any moment, the wind could blow me off the ledge and plunge me into the churning sea. That is, if I got too close to the edge and on that day, I made sure to keep some surface below my toes.

Call me cautious, or even wimpy, but when I approached the edge I backed away cautiously. When I moved to the edge of the edge, I sat down.

As a confirmation of my conservative approach, there are a couple of religious crosses on the rocks where other people have met their untimely demise. That’s sad. And I had no interest in having flowers placed there as a memorial to me.

Later I learned a sad story about the place.

A friend who lives on the island told of the time when she watched one of her friends perish at the the caves.

Her friend, as some locals like to do from time to time, jumped into the water from the rocks. It seems a foolish thrill to me but “oh now,”my friend said. “Locals do it all the time.”

Except on that day, the sea was churning and the person could not make it back to a ladder that is hanging – precariously, if you ask me – from one of the rock formations down into the water. The suddenly struggling swimmer was being thrown hard against the rocks and by the time rescuers got to him it was, sadly, too late.

This is by no means meant to discourage you from going to the Spitting Cave. It’s just a warning to be careful.

Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
Spitting Cave is one of Hawaii's Natural Attractions.


Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
Be careful peering over the edge to see the Spitting Cave.


Spitting Cave Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
Look closely; there are people at the top of the rock pretty close to the edge.


The Spitting Caves are one of Hawaii’s great natural phenomenons and it’s well worth a visit.

Just enjoy them with the proper caution.


Driving Directions To The Spitting Caves



How To Get To The Spitting Caves In Oahu Driving Directions

Getting To One Of Oahu’s Natural Attractions From Waikiki Beach

Spitting Caves Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
This is the end of the drive, the spectacular Spitting Caves.

One of the most beautiful – and overlooked – natural attractions on Oahu is called the Spitting Caves.

Below a tall and jagged rock formation, which is plenty large enough to walk on, as the Pacific Ocean roars into the rocks a small opening “spits” the waves back out to the sea. It’s incredible.

It’s also not easy to find.  It’s in a residential area off Kalanlanaloe Highway (Hwy 72), just before Hanauma Bay, the famous snorkeling spot, on Lumaha’i St.

But, unless you know where you are going, of course, and Surfside Sam provides these directions from Waikiki Beach:

• Take Kalakaua Ave. (that’s the main one-way road that runs parallel to the beach) toward Diamond Head

• Turn left on Kapahula Ave.

• Turn left, in 1.3 miles, onto Kaimuki Ave.

• Turn left, in just .3 miles, onto Kapiolani Ave. and enter the H-1 East freeway. You’ll stay on it for just 2 miles.

• Continue onto HI-72 and continue for 5 miles.

• Turn right on Lunalilo Street. There’s a shopping center across the street and an elementary school on the corner.

• Turn left at Poipu Dr.

• Turn left onto Lumaha’i St.  The Spitting Caves are at the end of the road on the right. You will see the trailhead.

• The trail to the rocks is down a pretty steep and somewhat slippery dirt trail. There are branches and a fence to grab hold of, and the trail is only a couple hundred yards in length.

Be careful when you pop out onto the rocks; they, too can be slippery and it could be windy. There are also no railings over the edge, so be careful.

Spitting Caves Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
You can see the cave spitting over this point but be careful by the edge.


Spitting Caves Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
People hang out on the rocks above the Spitting Caves.


Spitting Caves Neighborhood Oahu Hawaii's Natural Attractions
The Spitting Caves are in a residential neighborhood; look for this intersection.



• Reasons To Be Careful At The Spitting Caves






It’s Another Gorgeous Day In Beautiful Waikiki Beach

Hawaii Weather Perfect, Despite A Little Liquid Sunshine

Waikiki Beach to Diamond Head
Just another fun, sunny day in Wakiki Beach.

It’s always a great feeling to wake up in Waikiki Beach.

Especially when the weather is this prefect, a bright blue sky beaming with sunshine, bright and clear conditions with a slight tropical breeze.

I’ve been here a week and that’s how it’s been the entire time, one beautiful day followed by another beautiful day.

Oh, there’s been liquid sunshine in the afternoons. That’s the light showers that often hit Hawaii. Some tourists (mainly from the Midwestern USA) can’t comprehend the fact that it’s sprinkling with the sun shining, one going so far as to complain “when it’s raining it should be dark and there should be clouds!”

But that’s why Hawaiians call it liquid sunshine.

So it’s going to the beach, to my favorite non-tourist snorkel spot, even for a run up the hill toward Diamond Head. One day, my friend took me out for a liquid lunch that turned into a full-day tour of the gorgeous beaches on the south side of the island.

So it’s just another shitty day in paradise, to use a Jimmy Buffett phrase.




32nd Kapalua Wine & Food Festival At Maui Ritz-Carlton In June

Grand Tasting, Seafood Festival Just Part Of The Many Tasty Events

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival Maui
It's a great setting for the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival in Maui.

More than 30 wineries from around the world are paired with a dozen chefs from Hawaii and a pair from San Francisco at the 32nd annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival June 6 – 9.

It takes place at the Ritz-Carlton in Maui.

The festival includes cooking demonstrations, wine and food pairings, winemakers’ dinners, a golf tournament (of course, it’s Maui!), a tennis clinic, the Kapalua wine tour and two major evening galas, the celebrated Grand Tasting with theme-inspired cuisine and wines from around the world and the Seafood Festival featuring food from some of Hawaii’s top chefs.

This year’s festival boasts Master Sommeliers Michael A. Jordan, MS, CWE as host and Chuck Furuya, MS as co-host.   Highly touted celebrity chefs, Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco and Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco, will lead interactive cooking demonstrations of their specialty cuisines during the weekend.

Each day has several events of wines and food tastings. The Grand Tasting is Friday, June 7 and the Seafood Festival is Sunday from 6:30-9:30.

The Ritz-Carlton is offering several hotel and festival packages.

Here’s more on the festival, details on the specific events and of course those packages: kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com