Monthly Archives: June 2015

Hike to Manoa Falls

One of the goals of our trip to Hawaii was to see a water falls.  There are plenty around but not all are that easy to get to.  Some of them require “pay to view,”  others are illusive by way of their lofty locations, and there are those that are a nearly impossible hike to get there.  Manoa Falls, located in beautiful Manoa Valley where rainbows are manufactured on a daily basis, is not any of the above.  A hop on the bus with one transfer and a 45 minute ride out of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and the easy to moderate hike begins.


This was taken in Waikiki, but I am pretty sure it originated in Manoa Valley.


The hike begins as soon as you are off the bus. We walk up the hill, and past the few houses at the bottom of the majestic mountains that lay before us.



Suddenly we have entered a tropical rain forest.  The beginning of the hike was definitely easy, but progressed to moderate as we steadily climbed on.




Picture stops were frequent as there was dense forest beauty on every hand.

The picture below reminded me of two other rain forests I’ve been in.  One in the Blue Mountains of Australia and the other on the climb to the first base camp of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  I have similar shots of the two large trees framing the path.


The rain begins.




The mud is sure to follow.


Photo ops abound.  Look closely, we are now passing through a bamboo forest.


The “are we there yet” questions begin about here.


Our first glimpse of the falls, still an uphill walk in the distance.


Higher and higher we go. Later we learn that you can hike beyond the first falls to other ones farther up the path. Two falls in one day was not on our agenda.


And there it is, Manoa Falls.  Very high, very much worth the walk.  Not as much water coming over as usual, but we had talked to folks earlier in the week that told us the falls were dry several weeks prior.  So we were happy that there was indeed, to quote from the first page of A Wish Called Wanda,  “white water cascading over the cliffs high above the glistening pool.”  I can’t say much for the roar of water pounding in my ears, but who is to say whether this could have been the very water fall on the calendar picture that inspired my dream to come to Hawaii in the first place.

I was happy to be there, and I chose to dub Manoa those falls.  I had the joy of briefly sharing a small part of my story of going to Hawaii fifty years ago with a young gal, who joined me here at the base. We had but a few moments of telling each other our stories but, in that time we made a connection of two people who love to travel, meet people and share stories.


At that moment I really needed to share.  I was bursting with excitement of having returned to Hawaii with the memories of my own youth fresh in my mind.   And She was there, excited to listen and sweet gal named Hillary made my day!!!!


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An anniversary day blog

Forty-seven years ago on June first 1968 I married the man who captured my heart while living in Waikiki, Hawaii. In my book “A  Wish Called Wanda” I describe him as being “polite, thoughtful, nice-looking and attentive.  He wasn’t a big guy per se but he could just about swallow my five-foot three, 112-pound frame in an embrace.”  Although he was plenty tall enough for me, he was a bit shorter than his roommate whom he was standing beside when I nudged my roommate and said “I’ll take the short one” just so she knew not to get any ideas.  I had first and thankfully last dibs on him and am so thankful for our marriage, the Christian home we have established, our children and grandchildren who have made our lives complete.  This past April I made a return trip to Hawaii just to have another look at where it all began.


This is the building that replaced the apartment on Saratoga Rd where I lived when I met Dick.  The hotel right beside it was where my roommate and I spent our first couple nights in Hawaii in 1965.   Location, location, location was the deal here.  We were right across from Fort DeRussy Beach, an R&R resort for the military.  It was and is still a public beach where we spent many a happy hour among the palm trees and lawn areas.


Still as pretty as ever, a beautiful spot to “pop the question.”

We were married in the First Baptist Church of Honolulu.  My recent visit there brought back lovely memories and reminded me that my sister Pat was also married in this church. My brother Ken  and my cousin Alma met their spouses here in our very active youth group.


During this visit I was given opportunity to share these and other stories of my time here in the mid-sixties.





After we were married we moved up the street a little ways near Ala Moana Blvd.  We sat near this lagoon and watched the workers place the tiles on the Rainbow Hotel.


Another favorite pastime was to buy a banana Popsicle and walk through the yacht harbor dreaming of boats he would like to have and why.  None of those tall buildings you see on this picture were there then, except the one on the far right.  Back then it was a revolving restaurant with brilliant views, today it houses business offices.



Lizards or gecko’s were very common place back then.  They were in our houses and just about everywhere you looked.  This is the only one I saw on our trip in April.


The Crouching Lion Inn was a nice restaurant located near here that no longer exists, but you can see the mighty beast still commands the mountain.  IMG_1956

This beach is near Punaluu near where we spent our honeymoon.

After our three day get away, our wedding guests from home met us and we spent the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. On the visit to the center in 2015 we learned that the center was celebrating its 50th anniversary which means they opened in 1965, my first year in Hawaii.



Seven years ago we celebrated our 40th anniversary with what I called an Hawaiian Luau and what Dick called a Pennsylvania Pig Roast.  After seeing this picture I may have to concede that ours was a PA Pig Roast. This years celebration is much quieter as Dick recovers from recent foot surgery.  Thanks for coming along with me as we looked back to where it all began. I have to add that reading the letters that made up most of the book made me fall in love with him, and life all over again. We look forward to many more years together.

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