Live Hawaii

Hanalei Bay Pizzeria – Greatest of All Time?

Hanalaei Bay Pizzeria
5-5190 Kuhio Hwy Hanalei, HI 96714
(808) 827-8000

We drove all the way to Hanalei, from our hotel in Lihue, for this pizza and we were not disappointed. Disputed the dreary, rainy weather, our salivary glands drove us on. Located in Ching Young Village, the front lot was packed but there is parking in the rear and a back entrance into the shopping center.

There is a 1 large table inside but we decided to dine outside. It was pouring rain but there was an overhang protecting us and the temperature. We enjoyed watching other shoppers deal with the monsoon…torrential rain (okay it wasn’t that bad!).

The staff was kind enough to keep us updated on the level of Hanalei River which was rising. Once it reaches 8 feet, the bridge usually closes which means you will be stuck and dependent on the rain god…Lono. There’s only one way in and one way out of Hanalei. So if there is a rain storm, you might want to think twice about visiting Hanalei and it’s seven famous one-lane bridges.
We ordered a large pizza (leftovers for later). The dough includes organic Hawaiian honey and organic extra virgin olive oil which gives it a slightly sweet taste. The dough is allowed to slow rise for 2 days to develop flavor.

Toppings are local and organic, whenever possible, so expect your ingredients to be fresh and healthy. For ours, we decided on pepperoni, bacon and double pineapple. Without fail we are shorted on pineapples so we always double up!

The difference maker was the sauce…Pinapple BBQ (best sauce of all time!). Yes, it packed a punch (popped our palates!) and we all turned into savages while devouring our Kauai style pizza.

All in all, this is some of the best dakine pizza ever, rain or no rain! It’s definitely on par with Big Kahuna’s “Sumo Special” and Round Table’s “Maui Zaui”. If we return to Kauai, we’re coming back here, bang!

Kountry Kitchen – Old Kapaa Town, Kauai

Kountry Style Kitchen Restaurant
4-1485 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, HI 96746

If you’re visiting Kauai, wake up hungry and are near Old Town Kapaa, then stop on by Kountry Style Kitchen Restaurant. You won’t be disappointed as the food is excellent and the portions large and I mean LARGE! There will be leftovers and if you’re old enough to remember, you will need a “doggie bag”!

As for parking, there is limited parking in front and on the street. I found out later that here is a private lot, next to Coconut Coast Gifts where restaurant parking is allowed.

We had a very friendly waitress who told us that there was also a Kountry Kitchen location, in Ewa Beach, on our own island of Oahu. Wow, we were surprised though there are so many eateries, just in Honolulu, Okay, time to order!

Having an affinity for Mexican food, I ordered the Spanish Omelette which is filled with sour cream, onion, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and salsa. The side dishes were hash browns and thick toast which tasted delicious with butter (didn’t try the jelly).

As much as I tried, I could not finish my dish! The omelette hit the spot as I love sour cream and salsa. The hash browns were nice and crunchy, just how I like ’em, but not greasy. Toast is always a good filler but I was stuffed! Looks like I’m taking tomorrow’s breakfast back to the hotel!

Pu’ukohola Heiau – History and Hiking (Ok, Not Much Hiking!)

Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
62-3601 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743
(808) 882-7218
Daily Hours – 7:45 AM – 4:45 PM

Pu’ukohala Heiau is one of the most famous temples in the Hawaiian Islands. This heiau was an important part of Hawaiian tradition which encompassed social, political and religious life.

Pu’ukohala Heiau is a national historical site managed by the National Park Service. I was happily surprised that there was no entry fee. I was unhappily surprised that short trail to the Heiau was closed. I did come across this sign with an explanation.

Building the Heiau

The kahuna or priest told Kamehameha that if a heiau was built, at Pu’ukohala, and dedicated to the war god Kuka’ilimoku, (along with a human sacrifice) he would conquer all of the Hawaiian Islands. Keoua Ku’ahu’ula, Kamehameha’s rival, was slain and sacrificed on the alter to fulfill the kahuna’s prophecy.

Pu’ukohala Heiau was constructed between 1790 and 1791 by Kamehameha. Thousands and thousands of men toiled for almost a year to completed the heiau. Tradition says that the lava rocks used were brought from the Pololo Valley, over the Kohala Mountains, by a 25 mile long human chain of workers.

Nana Stone

The Nana Stone was a sacred stone that tested the leadership potential for those of the royal line. Whoever could move the 5000 pound stone contained the necessary “mana” or spiritual power to rule the land. Though Kamehameha was not of the Nana chiefly line, he was determined to put this belief to the test.

A large procession of  ali’i (royalty) and common folk followed Kamehameha’s procession to the Nana Stone. As he gripped the stone, Kamehameha said, “You are naha, and the chief who frees your kapu is naha. I am nī‘aupi‘o, a smoke arching in the wilderness.” With this, Kamehameha not only moved the Nana Stone but turned it over. The sacred stone now resides in front of the Hilo library.

As close as I could get and still fit the entire heiau in my camera frame.

Favorite Places to Run – Ironman Marathon Route

Photo by Chris McCormack / CC BY

On our vacation to the Big Island, I was stoked (excited) about where the fam (family) and I were staying. Ali’i Drive (dramatic pause). Yes, Ali’i Drive. The same road that is part of the marathon course for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The first morning, I was out the door at 6am. Unfortunately, I didn’t research the marathon route and ran in the wrong direction! After a mile, there was this huge hill that I died trying to climb. Actually, I made it to the top but had to slow to a walk a couple of times (or a few times).

This is hill I died on!

Now, I did see a few runners/walkers and encountered many cyclists so at least I wasn’t alone in my agony! Later on, I finally did google the marathon course so I was ready to go the next morning. At the break of dawn, I was back out there. This time I was running in the right direction.

There are some great beaches and ocean views on Ali’i Drive. There were lots of runners (and lots of hotels and resorts) that gave me inspiration and some inner competition (racing against another runner without them knowing it).

Bike lanes for runner & cyclists!

The road is very safe with bike lanes on both sides of the street. There will be some cyclists so stay focused on the road ahead of you. If you run far enough north, you will run into Historic Kailua Village which will be crowded with restaurants, shops, cars and people.

You can run around 5 1/2 miles, on Ali’i Drive, from the Kona Coast Resort (where I stayed) to the end of the road. You can’t really run on Ka’ahumanu Highway though I did see some cyclists, on the highway, outside of Kona and past the airport. So…if you want to run the entire marathon course, it is possible. On to the photos!!!

Kahalu’u Beach Park…duh!

La’aloa (very sacred) Bay Beach Park!

Beautiful view of the coastline!

Lots of vacation homes around here!

Roadside shrine!

Passing some resorts!

Another Beach Park!

A very small church and the southern turnaround point of the Ironman marathon! Protection Status