Live Hawaii

Things to Do in Oahu

Waianae I Ka Po or Waianae at Night

Leaving Ku’ilioloa Heiau and back to the bus.

My wife and I joined Lopaka Kapanui, of Mysteries of Hawaii, on a “three hour tour.” Lopaka offers the “Waianae I Ka Po” tour only a couple of times a year so we were thrilled. Lopaka has great insight to the local legends and supernatural happenings, since he grew up in Maili (near Kaukama Road).

There were only three stops on the tour but Lopaka, a great native story teller, kept everyone entertained and a little nervous during the bus ride. He literally met his wife in a graveyard. No, they weren’t just randomly strolling, she was on one of Lopaka’s tours!

Ku’ilioloa Heiau

According to legend, Ku’ilioloa (the long dog form of Ku) was constructed by a priest from Ra’iatea (Society Islands) who arrived between the 11th and 12th century. One of the major functions of Ku’ilioloa was for navigation but…

Lopaka said there was a different use for the heiau. It was also used for sacrifice. When a Hawaiian baby was born, if there were any defects or flaws detected, the newborn would be sacrificed at Ku’ilioloa.

A few lucky volunteers stood in front of the heiau while the rest of us took pictures of them…nope, no ghosts, orbs or strange lights seen in our photos.

Kaena Point Night Marchers

My 30 seconds of fame!

We pulled into the parking lot at Kaena Point (this is as far as you can drive on the Leeward side of Oahu). We walked towards the mountain and stopped at the tall grass. If you look up, you can see the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station. Here is where the night marchers emerge after winding down the Waianae mountain range.

Lopaka said if you see the lights, from the torches, and hear the drums, run like hell! If you are in their path, it is best to shed your clothes and lay face down until the night marchers pass. He said no worries since they only march during the last four Hawaiian moon phases.

Again, everyone took photos and I was one of the lucky (or not) volunteer models but there was nothing supernatural in anyone’s pictures.

Kaneana (Makua) Cave

Lopaka, in story telling mode, in Kaneana Cave.

According to Hawaiian legend, Kaneana Cave is the home of a shape-shifting shark god by the name of Nananue (Son of Kamohoali‘i, a brother of Madame Pele). Nanaue, disguised as an old man, would trick travelers into dining with him in the cave,  turn back into a shark and eat them. Back to the present!

There’s nothing like hearing chicken skin stories, in a cave that is TOTALLY dark. Lopaka told many stories but the one that stood out was about a teenager from Pearl City. She ran away from home and was partying with a friend near Kaneana Cave.

Somehow the teen, from Pearl City, and her friend were separated and a group of young men began harassing her. She ran away, from them, and hid in the cave. Unfortunately, the men were locals and soon found her. They raped and killed her. Her spirit still remains in Kaneana Cave. She had beautiful long hair and loved combing it. As soon as we entered the cave, Lopaka told us, “If someone asks you for a comb, do NOT go be them one!” Her spirit may follow you home.

Lucky Belly Mini Review – My Belly Says, “Yum Yum”


Lucky Belly
50 North Hotel Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808)531-1888

Lunch                                        Dinner
Monday – Saturday                 Monday – Saturday
11am – 2pm                             5pm – 12am

Lucky Belly is a smallish restaurant will limited seating. I came during lunch time and parked in one of the paid garages. Rarely do the metered parking thing cuz they’re always full! All tables were full, when arriving, so I sat at the bar.

The place, on Hotel Street, is known for their excellent ramen but I wasn’t very hungry so I just ordered the Beet & Spicy Greens salad. The salad includes goat cheese, candied pumpkin seeds & pomegranate dressing. The salad presented very well, the ingredients were fresh and the taste unique but…it wasn’t, in my opinion worth $12 (portion was small also).

It was a hot day so the Hibiscus Lemonade I ordered was a sweet thirst quencher…no free refills though 🙁 The service was terrific and I noticed that those handling food were constantly washing their hands. All in all, a nice light bite to eat. I gotta come back next time and try the ramen!

GEN Korean BBQ House – Hawaii Restaurant Review

1450 Ala Moana Ste 4250
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
(808)944-5227

Another Hawaii restaurant review! GEN Korean BBQ opened at Hookipa Terrace, in Ala Moana Shopping Center, less than a month ago. The Los Angeles based business is one of the largest all-you-can-eat restaurants in the United States. We tried dining there last weekend (7pm) but the wait was 1 hour, thirty minutes. With a six-year-old in the party, we had to find somewhere else to eat (Macaroni Grill).

Finally, on Easter Saturday we tried again and were rewarded with a manageable 15 minute wait. Walking in, I definitely noticed the Astro blue theme going on. Sitting down I saw the small grill, in the middle of the table, and thought, “Oh man, we gotta pay to cook our own meal!” Even though it was only 1:45pm, only the dinner menu was offered which was priced at $26.95 per person (my son only had to pay half price😐).
If you’re a vegetable lover it’s pretty slim pickens. There were some little side dishes with kimchi, mash potatoes, and some other pickled or fermented items (I just noticed fresh vegetables were offered, on the menu, after the fact😟). This a place to get your meat on! All you can eat meat but with a catch! You can only order four dishes of meat at a time and…if you order more meat than you can consume, you are charged extra!

You only get a small bowl of rice so you had better conserve it. Your waiter brings you the different types of meat ordered and you get to cook it! We ordered a variety of meat such as Hawaiian steak, spicy pork bulgogi, premium pork belly, garlic chicken, Gen signature pork chop, et cetera.
Your only utensils are chopsticks, scissors and tongs. If you want your meat in smaller bite size pieces, it is best to cut it before cooking. My mother-law tried, with much difficulty, cutting the pork chop after it was cooked (where are the dang steak knives?!?!).

In conclusion, the meat was tasty, with a lot of variety. For us, the dinner was over priced since none of us are big eaters. I would have liked more rice and my soda refilled but the waiters were focused on our meat orders only. I could of asked but I take a waiter’s attentiveness, into consideration, when it comes to tipping time.

Kids Activities in Honolulu – More Microscopes at Bishop Museum

micro eyeMore kids activities in Honolulu! Another microscope I discovered at Bishop Museum’s Science Adventure Center was a microEYE DISCOVERY which is a video microscope. Actually, as you can see, there are two microscopes mounted to the exhibit. The exhibit features a sample of sand from six different beaches throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The size, shape, and color of a grain of sand gives us a clue as to its origin. Hawaiian sand is formed from a mix of volcanic rock marine organisms, coral, fish bones, ectetera.

The video below show to views of each type of sand. First will be a naked eye view followed by a microscopic view. I labeled each type of sand to avoid confusion. To be honest, I was not impressed by the video views of the microEYE DISCOVERY microscope. Maybe grains of sand are not conducive to the technical specifications of the microscope. All I know is that I was kind of disappointed but that is must my opinion. Enjoy!

Kaihalulu Beach
The distinctive red colored sand of Kaihlulu Beach (on Maui’s eastern end) comes from iron oxide (rust) from volcanic cinders composed of very loosely packed material.

Sunset Beach
A wide array of coral and organisms, that have broken away from surrounding reefs, make up the sand of Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore.

Kalapana Beach
Broken down pieces of lava created the black sand beaches on the southeastern shores of the Hawaii Island. Basalt rock sand is created by hot lava flowing into the cool ocean which causing the lava to explode into small pieces.

Sandy Beach
Pieces of nearby reef and broken down lava from Koko Crater make up the sand of Sand Beach. The relentless crashing waves and strong current remove the fine sand leaving only coarse sand.

Papakolea Beach
The green sand of Papakolea Beach, near the southern point of Hawaii Island, comes from olivine which is a common mineral found volcanic rocks. This side of the island has no coral reefs so the sand is created by recent lava flows only.

Kailua Beach
The fine white sands, of Kailua Beach, are composed of mollusk and coral fragments, grains of calcareous and coralline algae and limestone rock fragments.


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ken a vision

In the Long Gallery next to Hawaiian Hall, is currently an exhibit called “Journeys: Heritage of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.” The exhibit allows visitors to experience the natural beauty and rich history of the islands with multimedia exhibits and hands-on interactives.

Part of the exhibit includes a viewing station of various types of algae found in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, established in 2006, which is one of the world’s largest marine conservation areas.

This viewing station features a Ken-A-Vision flex document camera, with video screen, so it is technically not a microscope. The camera has a quick turn manual focus system which is simple to use. Unfortunately, when I adjusted the focus, the neck would wobble a bit knocking the camera out of focus.

Check out the video below to view the seven samples, of algae, I recorded from the video screen. The samples, in the video, are labeled and in the same order as algae descriptions below.

Green Algae
Codium reediae
This branching seaweed can be found on reef flats and is edible

Green Algae
Halimeda discoidea
This cactus like green seaweed produces calcium carbonate that contributes to the sands of Hawaii

Red Algae
Acanthophora spicifera
This was invasive marine seaweed competes with native seaweed and can overgrow and kill live coral.

Green Algae
Luba lactuca
This flat-blade green seaweed is edible and very common in shallow water habitats.

Brown Algae
Patina melemele
This fan-shaped brown seaweed is distinct in that the upper surface easily and continuously calcified and the surface uncalcified.

Brown Algae
Sargassum aquafolium
This is one of the larger algae found on coral reefs. The unicorn fish feeds on this species.

Green Algae
Microdictyon setchellianum
This net like species is the most common seaweed growing on the islands and atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Kids Activities in Honolulu- Microscopes at Bishop Museum

sac final textKids activities in Honolulu! For those of us who love science, one of the fun kid activities on our to do list (yes, I will always be a kid at heart), is looking through a microscope. Lucky for me, I live almost across the street from Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the Science Adventure Center, there is a microscope INSIDE the huge erupting model volcano.

There are slides of different kinds of Hawaiian lava rocks. The slices of rocks are polished and magnified 40 times through a Wentzscope Diode Illuminator. You will also be looking through a polarized filter. This will make it easier to distinguish the rock’s minerals. Unfortunately, this will also changes the apparent color of the rocks. You can change the angle of the filter to look for different minerals.

If you can’t get to Bishop Museum, I have created a video (see below) of six kinds of Hawaiian Lava Rocks. They are:

1 – Picritic Basalt
2 – Dunite
3 – Gabbro
4 – Nepheline Basalt
5 – Ankaramite Basalt
6 – Mystery Rock

Here’s the challenge: The Mystery Rock is the same type of rock as one of the others shown above. Hint: compare the mineral sizes and textures. It shouldn’t be too hard. Dang! I should have made this into some kind of quiz…shoots!

Also laying around the Science Adventure Building, you will find a Brock Magiscope (5x eyepiece and 4/0.10 objective lens) with a piece of basalt on the stage. This a simple classroom type microscope but the magic  still awaits…just look through the eyepiece! I found another microscope called microEYE DISCOVERY which is a video microscope. I haven’t figured out whether I will post images or videos or both but it will be a separate post. Bye for now 😀

basalt

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