Day 6: Into the Great Wide Open

May 3, 2011

Today we hiked the Kuilau Ridge trail in the Keahua Arboretum – in KAPA’A, of course. As we entered town I spotted an alternate route on the map – 581 to ‘Olohena Rd. to Kamalu Rd., then 580/Kuamo’o Rd to the Arboretum. 

It was a lovely hilly drive and the children lolled in their car seats, peacefully drowsy.

We had been to the Arboretum on an early trip ('05) when we rented a Jeep Wrangler and fearlessly charged over the spillways.

Given the combination of a small car with tiny wheels, a high water volume from the rain, and the general wisdom that comes with being slightly older with greater responsibilities, we decided to park in the lot before the spillways (which is closer to this trailhead anyway). 

I was a little worried that the trail might be too muddy, but we were pleasantly surprised. It appeared to have been recently mowed and there were very few mud puddles.

The clouds obscured the best inland views, but it was still a nice, not too strenuous walk with very few other people on the trail.

We made it to the picnic area and unpacked our lunch, happy to unload the weight of the kids.

Earlier in the week I had pointed out a cattle egret to Ryan and he was enthralled by the one who loitered near the picnic area (not for handouts, though – he was finding all sorts of tasty bugs in the grass).

We strolled downhill and drove back to civilization with a quick stop at Opaeka’a Falls (which were flowing mightily). Ryan was still awake and jabbering away, so we went over to Kamalani Playground at Lydgate. I had read that it was a big play area, but I was totally taken aback by just how enormous it was. We will definitely return to explore even more of this amazing structure.

At midday the Kapa’a traffic was not terrible and we were soon on our way back to Princeville. The boys fell asleep just as we passed Kilauea so Sam wanted to keep driving to the end of the road and back, but I was confident we could transfer them to their beds at the condo, no problem. It sort of worked, but not really; by the time Bill and Nancy returned, we were READY for our date night.

Sam had wanted to get sushi, but after all the chatter about BarAcuda, I couldn’t miss the chance to check it out. We arrived at 5:45 without a reservation but were able to get a small table right in the middle of everything.

The server was friendly but appeared to have two large parties in her section, so we didn’t get a
whole lot of chitchat.

We ordered a variety of dishes – honeycomb and chevre, banderillas, olives, bruschetta, scallops, and the ono. It was all pretty good, though the olives were hella garlicky and the banderillas too chewy, but I liked the bruschetta and the honeycomb, with the pot de crème for dessert.

As with most tapas restaurants, we were still hungry when we left with an empty wallet...

We considered heading over to Bouchon’s for drinks and sushi, but opted instead to go back to the condo (did I mention that we are PARTY ANIMALS?).