Margaret Dilloway, American Housewife

Come for the books, stay for the fun.



Maunawili Falls

The Kailua area in the Koolau Mountains is home to Maunawili Falls, a 30 foot waterfall contaminated with bacteria so you’re not supposed to swim in it (yet people do). Yesterday we decided to do the hike because we were bored and it was only about 75 degrees, and hiking is much pleasanter to do when it’s not 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity. Especially if you can’t swim at the end.

The trail was at the end of a long and narrow– very narrow– road. So narrow cars can’t pass each other, and there’s a mountain on one side and a drop off on the other. We passed a truck, but luckily it was a truck so it went sot of up on the mountainside a bit. That’s what trucks are for. The driver seemed unwilling to subject his precious truck to such dirt, but he finally acquiesced.

Also back here are huge homes, whose owners, when visible, look perturbed at the sight of all these cars coming to the trail. Yet the roads are public, so there’s not much they can do.

The waterfall trail itself was a 1.5 mile hike, extremely muddy, wet stinky and sticky mud (we saw several shoes that had been eaten by the mud, it was sort of like the swamp scene in THE PRINCESS BRIDE), with obstacles like CROSSING A RIVER 5 TIMES. It was more like a stream. It was highly exciting, especially with muddy feet. And there were tons of stairs. My left knee, busted a couple of weeks ago, did not like the stairs. I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, but the popping noise while I stand around cannot be good.

Ethan and Kaiya complained the entire time. It is difficult to get Ethan to do anything, in fact, because he is a homebody. Once he’s out, he usually has a good time. Not on the trail. “I feel sick, I want to be at home watching TV,” Ethan moaned over and over. To which I told him, “Hey, stop whining, most people save up their money to get to come here and you’re telling me you want to watch TV?” Finally I told him if he said one more thing he would not be allowed to watch any television, which seemed to shut him up.

Kaiya, I think, mostly enjoyed chiming in with her brother whenever she could and was scared because the mud was slippery. But Cadillac CARRIED her most of the way, what did she have to worry about?

Elyse had no problems and ran ahead of everyone in her high-top highly impractical-for-hiking basketball shoes.

At the end, there were a bunch of people swimming in the aforementioned bacteria-laden waters, waters which looked gray in the streams, so we just watched a woman jump up from high up.

What else? Lots of graffiti, litter, pot smoke wafting strongly through the jungle at several times, but it was still pretty cool to be inside a jungle that looked straight out of LOST.


North Shore Field Trip

Ever since I saw the spectacular 80s movie NORTH SHORE, I’ve been dying to go.  I kid.  NORTH SHORE was far from spectacular, but of course, the real beaches are.

The other day, Yahoo ran a story about the North Shore having the second-highest number of shark attacks in the world.  Awesome.  SURFER magazine said that Hale’iwa is the best surfing beach in the world.  Double awesome. Not that we surf, or want to be attacked by sharks.

We did go to Hale’iwa Bay and the historic Hale’iwa town, going up the middle of Oahu through lots of dry countryside.  In Hale’iwa, we drove along a side street toward a sign reading CEMENT CITY, but never got there. We saw a giant junkyard down an alley (Sanford & Son?) and wondered if that were it.  I thought that if we stopped to take a pic of the junkyard, a giant Doberman would attack the car.

Then we saw this old church, which also looks like an old-timey school house:

06 06 09 021I love old churches and barns.  If I were any good at watercolor, I would spend all my time painting these buildings.  “Stop the car!” I hollered.

At first, my husband only stopped across the street, so I made him circle back.  Strangely, there were cars parked all around the church.  I don’t know if it’s a meeting hall now, or the people were meeting there for some other purpose; but picture-taking was awkward with a half-dozen strangers looking on.

We  drove past Hale’iwa Bay, seeing stony shores and lots of rocks, thinking there was a better beach ahead.  There was– the uber-crowded surfing part.We went to Waimea Bay, which had a full parking lot, a fuller beach, and a clogged line of cars circling.  So we went back to Halei’wa Bay.  It was rocky and shallow, but at least there was parking.

Haleiwa Bay
Haleiwa Bay
Hale'iwa Bay
Hale'iwa Bay

There, a Korean family with a curly-haired two year old and a four year old snorkeled.  The dad went out, the two-year old affixed to his back in a lifejacket, in a marvel of skill.  I was sure my own kids would have fallen off my husband’s back as he swam obliviously on.  A sea turtle poked its head near them and all was magical.

It rained off on and on, so we decided to pack up and head for home down the coast.  This, while not far in distance, took a couple of hours.  The speed limit in Hawaii is low– 45 tops– on these small highways, and even slower if the bus stops, people need to cross the road, or some tourist slow down in awe at the vista.

We passed many a horse farm.

06 06 09 023

Then we came to Shrimp Country.  It must have been, for every hundred yards there was another gut truck shrimp stand, promising Fresh Shrimp, Cooked Shrimp, Shrimp and Rice, and so on.

shrimp truck
shrimp truck

Unfortunately,  the family had already consumed a giant sub sandwich and an entire bag of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion, so our tummies were busting.  Besides, Kaiya had had enough and was wrecked.

ready to call it a day
ready to call it a day

Yet she would not sleep, for a movie played in the mini-van; and as long as something occupies her she shall not sleep.

beach on the way home
beach on the way home
Big waves
Big waves

We drove down further and stopped briefly to look at the ocean and its huge waves.  Ethan tried to run in; we had to restrain him so he wouldn’t be swept out.  That’s the thing about Ethan: he’s not a great swimmer yet, but he LOVES swimming. Every time he swims he looks like a drowning doggie, even as his head bobs up, his face all grins, spitting out water.  He gets beat up in the surf, is covered head to toe in sand, his eyes are red and swollen, and he doesn’t want to get out.  Good for him.

Further down, we came across Kualoa Ranch, which I saw from my previous reseach is where many episodes of LOST were filmed, as well as movies.

Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch

And then, after a brief restroom break near a homeless beach encampment, we were home.

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