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July 28th (Tuesday): Pillboxes and Likeke Falls Hikes
I joined a hiking Meetup group a while back but nothing ever seemed to fit my schedule. Well, I finally spotted one that worked, and it involved two hikes I'd never done before, both in the Kailua area
The first hike was Pillboxes, which is a fairly well known one. It starts in a Lanikai housing development and, after a relatively short but kinda steep climb, follows a ridge to a couple of pillboxes (old military bunkers). While the pillboxes themselves aren't much to look at, the views are great. There were some interesting plants up there too. The hike itself isn't very long (you can make it to the pillboxes in under 30 minutes if you keep a decent pace), though you can keep following the ridge for quite a while after that (I heard it eventually loops back down into a different part of the town). Not too strenuous either, though the very beginning is a bit steep. Definitely a nice shorter hike.
After that going to the pillboxes and back, we drove to the Ko'olau Golf Club, which is the start of the Likeke Falls hike. One end of it, anyway (someone said the other end of the trail connects to the Pali highway somewhere). Hiking from the Paili could have been kind of long. From the golf club though, it was a really short (if a little muddy) 10 or 15 minutes to the falls. The only tricky part was spotting the turn off for the falls (it's by a big tree that lots of people have carved on). Unlike the Pillboxes, this trail was in a thick forest. Really thick at spots (like where I took that photo). The falls themselves are nice. Not amazing, but nice. And one advantage of hiking with others is that there's always someone to take a picture of you. As a note, considering how short the hike is, it's hard to say if it would be worth driving out there just for that. But it makes a nice combo with other hikes or activities.
After we finished the hikes, some group members, myself included, decided to get lunch (see the review, below). It was a fun morning, and I'll definitely do some more hikes with that group if I get the chance.
Restaurant Review: Mike's Hulihuli Chicken
I've driven past Mike's a few times in the past, and could always smell the chicken roasting. Now, I finally got to try it. Mike's used to be a food truck but got popular enough to upgrade to a more permanent setup, though still with a very strong food truck vibe. They've got a good variety of plate lunches (all meat based, of course). A little on the expensive side for a food truck, but you do get a pretty big serving. I got the chicken plate, which is their signature dish. Got to say, they really know how to grill a good chicken. Crisp skin, tender meat, for rotisserie chicken, the texture was about as good as it can get. Nicely spiced too. I can't comment on their other meats, but you can't really ask for a better chicken. I'll be sure to go back next time I'm in the area.
Well, Friday and Saturday were kind of interesting. Sunday not so much (I spent most of the day working on things).
July 24th - 25th (Friday - Saturday): Events in Honolulu
This weekend marked the debut of Comic Con Honolulu (aka. Hokukon). It's actually one of several new cons that are starting this year to compliment Kawaii Kon (which I wrote about a while back). Regular comic cons generally don't interest me as much as anime conventions, but I figured I'd check it out. All in all, they did fairly good for a first year con but it was pretty small, with only two panel rooms, a small vendor area, a couple of game spaces, and an autograph room. I was originally thinking I might spend most of the weekend there but the panels that interested me the most were all at times I couldn't go and, over all, there just wasn't enough to hold my attention so I ended up just going for Friday. I could have always spent more time playing around in the video or table top game areas, but I had enough other stuff I wanted and needed to do that I decided not to. As for whether or not I'll go next year, it'll depend on who the guests are and how the other new cons stack up.
My other weekend activity, besides some beach time, was checking out the dragon boat races Saturday morning. While you see a lot of long kayaks on Honolulu's main canal, dragon boats are different. They're Chinese in origin and they have dragon head and tail designs. More practically though, they have two rows of rowers and a drummer to help them keep time (like the old ships used to have). There's also a person laying on the front whose job it is to grab a flag at the end of the race. Now this is what I thought the Dragon Boat Festival in China would have a lot of (I was wrong). Kinda interesting to watch, at least for a bit.