It was me and my girl’s one year anniversary since we met in Brooklyn on that fateful evening at The Woods.  I hadn’t been to Oahu since the 80’s, so thought what better time. The morning of our flight we’re lagging a little, this bites us in the ass.  We arrive to the airport and find out the bag belts have just closed 5 mins ago. These little 5 mins causes us to have to buy all new tickets!  After an hour on the phone with Expedia, we luckily find a pair leaving the same night, all of the rest were the next morning – how depressing would that be!?  So we take a cab to Venice, hang on the beach for 8 hours, then come back to the airport.  Not the best way to kick off our one year, but we’ll take it.  Note to anyone booking flights on a travel site, never miss your flight!  This little mistake costed me $1K in fees!  Doesn’t matter, the next morning, we wake up in Waikiki…

IMG_2622

That’s Cata.  We’ve been working hard.  I’ve been busy with all my shows, she works full time at the HuffPost Live. We really needed this vacation.

IMG_2629

Of course, hit Waikiki’s famous white sand beach.

IMG_2687

IMG_2677

Flexin. Or sucking it in.

IMG_2697

This display of machismo gets me lei’d.

IMG_2724

We head over to Hanauma Bay, a bay renowned for it’s wealth of wildlife.

IMG_2764

We make our way down.

IMG_2781

IMG_2788

IMG_2791

We got snorkel gear and hit the water.  When I last came to Hanauma Bay in the late 80’s, I remember seeing far more fish.  But just when I was feeling all sullen about Mother Earth, I swim right into a green sea turtle pecking at the underwater reef.  She/he was adorable!  I had an underwater camera and the photos didn’t come out! I swear, I saw one!  Cata doesn’t believe me.

IMG_2794

It’s getting cold so we head to the bus stop.  Nobody around, just these cocky bastards.  Apparently, we missed the last bus to Waikiki.
IMG_2823

These guys start walking…

IMG_2830

So we follow suit.

IMG_2832

Cata ironically taking a scenic photo… of a sign.

IMG_2838

The next day, we’re itching for some real nature adventure.  Our driver Trong, good ol’ Trong, I miss the guy – he drives us up to Palolo Valley, a rugged hiking trail in the mountains.  Just getting to the trail was like traveling to another country, Okinawa in fact.  The trail itself is a bit of a mystery.  I did research beforehand and random forums debated where the actual entry to the trail lies.  The only unanimous statement was you know you’re near when you see a Japanese Buddhist temple.  Trong spots it and tells us he’ll be on standby, in case we die. Cool!  Getting out, there’s signs everywhere that say private property and beware of dogs.  After a good half hour of poking around, this one grungy dude appear out of nowhere.  He had to have come from Palolo.  We ask, and he says go right behind those mailboxes. Really?  The entry is the size of a doggy door.  This isn’t your average hike, for sure. Just look at how spooked Cata is…

IMG_2923

It’s a rain forest, so the entire trail and rocks were muddy and very slippery. Of course as the courageous guinea pig, I slip and bust my ass and cut myself within the first 5 mins. Romancing the stone!

IMG_2911

She’s already thinking of going back.

IMG_2916

Not before a jungle selfie!

IMG_2935

We’re all muddy at this point.  I mean stepping in giant mudholes, muddy.

IMG_2926

It starts to really downpour and we glance around and there is no real clear path. And the mosquitos are going to town on my sweet blood, so we decide to leave…

IMG_2955

IMG_2983

IMG_2985

In Hawaii, around every turn is a new perspective.  Every view is simply majestic.

IMG_2973

Trong arrives with perfect timing…

IMG_2994

We arrive to the more popular Moana Falls, a site where they shot some of Jurassic Park.

IMG_3027

Seeing visuals maybe?

IMG_3038
We reach the waterfall and chill…..

IMG_3062

IMG_3065

These Cons are dunzo.

IMG_3076

We head back down and it’s Cata’s father’s bday, so she video calls him on Tango, from the middle of the jungle!  Turns out, he’s having dinner with his entire family right in the middle of his dining room.  So his phone gets passed around and right at that moment, I meet his entire Colombian family. What a moment. An awkward moment!

IMG_3127

IMG_3136

Jungle selfie part deux!

IMG_3144

All this mud and itchiness, it’s time to get out of the rainforest and back to the beach.

IMG_3165

Ahhhhhhhhh…

IMG_3177

IMG_3187

Great day.  We wake up the next and decide to hit the picturesque Lanikai beach. It’s the beach that epitomizes the Hawaiian postcard…

IMG_3263

We rent a kayak.  Cata doesn’t want to do it, but she isn’t getting out of it. There’s a great sense of peace off shore…

IMG_3282

We reach a tiny island, which is also a bird sanctuary, teeming with life.

IMG_3315

IMG_3310
Indeed, teeming with wildlife…

IMG_3339

IMG_3343

Life giveth…

IMG_3359

Life taketh away.

IMG_3362

IMG_3371

Looking closer, we see all these tiny little hermit crabs.

IMG_3335

Everywhere!

IMG_3368
Sanctuary selfie, just when this big wave crashes onto me and my 6D!

IMG_3375

Life on the cusp…

IMG_3386

Life begins.

IMG_3384

Life ends.

IMG_3397

All this deep talk has me exhausted, so time for a nappy nap with the nesting birds.  They don’t mind.

IMG_3411

Ahhhhh, rested. Time to get back to shore.

IMG_3418

IMG_3435

We decide to take a journey up to the North Shore.  That drive is nothing short of pure magic.  It’s truly a reflection on life, to enjoy the journey and take in the sights.  We come up upon a lookout to this serene bay. So I pull over…

IMG_3462

IMG_3465

Liberating.

IMG_3470

IMG_3476

That’s our nimble little VW Golf we rented.  I gotta say, I really like this car, handles really well.  I might have to buy one sometime.

IMG_3478

Not another 15 mins and we stop again.  This time at the Kahuku Kai Horse Ranch.  I’m a year of the horse, I had to!

IMG_3506

IMG_3496

By this time, Cata’s getting grumpy and swears she’ll die from eating.  Either we turn around or keep pushing to the North Shore, where Cholos Homestyle Mexican awaits us. We finally make it…

IMG_3517

Their magaritas are legit.

IMG_3513

Their chunks of Ahi tuna are even more legit. This is so good, so healthy.

IMG_3518

The next day, it’s the 4th of July.  I’m always used to the Venice, CA block parties, but this time it’s about celebrating from the furthest outpost in Amuurrrica…

IMG_3567

IMG_3535

IMG_3548

IMG_3558

Cata getting her swimsuit issue on…

IMG_3561

Coming out of the water I notice this little sweet crab scrambling for his life!  He’s dodging all of these giant feet when I pick him up. He isn’t even crabby at this point, he just has the island vibes…

IMG_3573

IMG_3571

Which brings me to the song that we heard on the local radio station Da-Paina, at least 5 times per day.  How can you not be down with this song.


We meet up with our local friends Katie and Scott.

IMG_3582

Enough lying around, we hit a little block party around the corner.

IMG_3601

IMG_3614

Lost in time.

IMG_3652

This girl wanted a beer so bad, but she couldn’t because she was grounded for playing too much Candy Crush.

IMG_3618

Love when girls vibe like this.

IMG_3634

IMG_3638

IMG_3674

The sun is setting so you know what that means. Fireworks! We race time to see ’em.

IMG_3679

We arrive to this beautiful estate in Hawaii Kai. Words can’t express, so I’ll let this picture do my bidding.

IMG_3704

IMG_3701

I can’t wait to return to Hawaii. I am destined to own a home there. I just love every morsel of this magical place. We take the red eye back home to LA, take a few hour nap, then it starts all over again…

IMG_3808

The moral of this blog being don’t forget to enjoy your life. What are we working so hard for anyway.  Mahalo.