Live Hawaii

Hawaii Trivia Quiz – Test Your Knowledge!

quiz

Hawaii trivia quiz? Yes, I know it’s early but time for a dakine…pop quiz! It should bring back fond memories of your school days. Since most of you, taking the quiz, are not from Hawaii, I won’t make this too difficult…I promise! You have 3 minutes and 20 seconds to finish. That’s a whole 20 seconds for each question! Easy?!?!

Koko Head – Climbing Stairs is Good Exercise

koko head
Climbing stairs IS good exercise! Koko Head is a tuff crater formed by volcanic eruptions, from the Koolau Range, more than 10,000 years ago. If you’re driving around Hawaii Kai, you can’t miss it

As I was doing some research, I read of Kapo (the Hawaiian fertility goddess) and her flying vulva & vagina 😕 Kapo saved her sister, Pele, from being raped by Kamapua’a, the pig god. She used her flying vagina to lure Kamapua’a to Koko Head. According to legend, Koko Crater is an imprint of Kapo’s vuvla 😎

The 642 foot summit was a strategic defensive position for the Battery Koko Head during World War II. There was a cable hauled rail system that delivered supplies to the bunkers topside. The 1048 cross ties, used for the track, are what make up the stairs of the Koko Head trail.

koko  koko  koko  koko  koko

For those who have hiked Diamond Head: Koko Head is actually a shorter trail, than Diamond Head, but much tougher to complete. The Diamondhead trail winds it’s way to the top. The Koko Head trail is short, straight and steep (no switchbacks).

While your climbing, if you hear gun shots, you are not hallucinating. Koko Head Shooting Complex is nearby (I always hope there aren’t any stray shots). You can hear gunfire in the short video below.

Just in case you’re interested, KHSC is the ONLY public shooting range on Oahu. There are no rental guns and no sale of ammunition so bring your own gear. There are some prohibited weapons which include hand grenades, dynamite, bombs and canons 😕

koko head

My strategy is to walk up 10 or 15 steps, at a time, then rest for 30 seconds. My advice is to conserve your energy. The second half of the hike is much steeper so don’t start off like a bat out of hell! There some local fitness fanatics/maniacs who race up and down so watch out. I go with my wife so there is no racing (not that I could :roll:).

Around step 500, there is a bridge with no rails and some missing planks. If you have good balance and aren’t afraid of heights…no problem.

I chickened out even trying a crab walk to no avail. To avoid the bridge, there is an easy path, going towards the right, so no worries!

There some local fitness fanatics/maniacs who race up and down so watch out. I go with my wife so there is no racing (not that I could :-/).

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It takes about an hour to hike all the way to the top. Enjoy the spectacular views as you rest up before going back down. On a clear day, you can see Koko Crater, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Kai and even Diamond Head.

The descent is much easier but take your time. It can be a little hard on the knees and you don’t want to trip and fall.

The best thing about Koko Head is…no entrance fee and free parking! There’s not much free stuff, in Hawaii, so enjoy the stairway to hell…I mean heaven 😉

If you have any questions about this post or anything Hawaii related, please leave a comment below or email me at kenneth@livehawaii.org

The Cost of Living in Honolulu, Hawaii – A Comparison

waikiki beack

So…what is the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii?

When moving to Hawaii in 2007, I did experience sticker shock. I was renting a room for $600/month. Groceries were/are crazy expensive and I never, ever bought milk (until my son was born).

In 2008, Hawaii was the first state to average $4 a gallon, for gasoline, but I was riding a moped and a gallon went a loooong way!

Salaries, in Hawaii, are low when measured against those on the mainland. Case in point: As a Chemist, my wife’s annual salary was $25,000 under the national average. As a Civil Engineer, she still makes $25K less than the national norm.

I found a “cost of living calculator”, on CNN Money’s website, to compare the cost of living in Hawaii with that of other cities/towns. The cities I chose for the comparison were:

  • Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • San Jose, California
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Ames, Iowa

I used a $35K salary, in Hawaii, as a baseline.

Cheyenne

Comparable salary $30,120

wyoming flagWyoming was ranked the number one state to retire in, by CNN, so I was curious as to the cost of living. All commodities were considerably less except for health care which is out-of-control nationwide! I went fly fishing, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1978.

Groceries33% less
Housing66% less
Utilities53% less
Transportation26% less
Health Care15% less

San Jose

Comparable salary $43,029

california flagWow, salaries are high in the Bay Area! I grew up in San Jose and lived my first 24 years there. I remember the cost of housing being pretty comparable to Honolulu. When gas hit $4 a gallon in Hawaii, San Jose was right behind.

Groceries22% less
Housing8% less
Utilities41% less
Transportation11% less
Health Care4% more

Anchorage

Comparable salary $25,722

alaska flagIn a recent Gallup Poll, Alaska was named the happiest state in America (don’t know how you measure wellbeing). I was “happy” to see Hawaii came in second place. My grand-father and mother lived in Seward, Alaska for a short time in the late 1940’s.

Groceries20% less
Housing41% less
Utilities55% less
Transportation16% less
Health Care25% more (Ho! Dat's lots)

Orlando

Comparable salary $20,040

florida flagWhen my family and I visited Orlando, for our Disneyworld vacation, we loved the weather. It was 70 degrees in December! Of course, my wife was checking out the real estate scene and found plenty of nice homes at $200K and under.

Groceries34% less
Housing65% less
Utilities49% less
Transportation21% less
Health Care17% less

Ames

Comparable salary $19,417

iowa flagI always thought it would be cool to live in a collage town. Of course, a great college football tradition would definitely be a plus for me. According to livability.com, Ames, Iowa is the best college town to live in (Home to the Iowa State Cyclones).

Groceries40% less
Housing63% less
Utilities59% less
Transportation15% less
Health Care13% less

If you have any questions about this post please leave a comment below or email me at kenneth@livehawaii.org

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