Makapu'u Lighthouse is found on the southeast side of the island. It was on our list of hikes to try, so off we went. I was very surprised by the dry, desert-like landscape especially compared to how rich and green much of the rest of the island is.
We started the "hike from the parking lot. The whole route is paved, so it isn't really hiking, but the views were spectacular.
On the front side of the Makapu'u trail you could see the Koko head crater. There is an odd Hawaiian tale behind this crater, but it was a beautiful site. Yesterday, Lori and Leigh Ann hiked up the back side of the crater (1,050ish) steps straight up the back side.
Amazing views, and LOTS of cactus. We also saw a mongoose or two (mongeese?) crossing the path from time to time. The girls mentioned today that is was weird to see them, and not the squirrels we're used to in SC.
Periodically we'd stop and take a break and enjoy the view. In the winter months this trail is the prime location for viewing humpback whales (as well as others). We also noticed a lot of locals leaving the trail and heading down the backside of the mountain to the rocky beaches below. They looked rough to me, but many people seemed to be up for it.
We finally reached the part of the trail where you could easily view the lighthouse, and then continued up to the top.
At the top we could see the Sea Live attraction, as well as a lot of folks who were paragliding, and hang gliding. We walked back down the mountain, and continued driving around to the blowhole, and "toilet bowl" lookout points.
This area is known as the "toilet bowl" because of the shape. I've read that it is actually a dangerous place to swim due to tides, and surf, but it didn't stop a lot of people from heading down there. We stood at a lookout point watching folks get tossed onto the rocks though, so I don't think it is a place I would take my kids.
It was well past lunch at this point, so we continued on to a road that had a lot of places to eat (thank you Garmin). Right next door to our restaurant was:
Yep. That's right. A store devoted to all things "Dog the Bounty Hunter." Cheesie was thrilled because it is currently one of her favorite shows. She went in and wandered around, finally selecting a t-shirt (black, not pink, because Beth would wear the pink one, not dog). The cashier chatted with us for a few minutes, told us that Dog was currently in Colorado (I hear on an "extended" visit), but gave us directions to his house which was very close by.
So we indulged Cheesie's adoration of this man who makes people follow rules, and essentially became one of those drive by tourists. (Uh, Dog, you left the gate open to your house). As we drove by, Cheesie jumped out for a quick picture at his gate. This was on her list of things she really wanted to do in Oahu, so we finished up for her with.....
driving by his place of business. This storefront was essentially deserted, not sure if it's because he's out of town, or maybe because it's Sunday, but Cheesie was happy regardless.
We finished out the day by returning to the house, swimming in the pool, and hanging out with family. Lori and Leigh Ann took the older kids (Megan, Big Al, and T-Rex) out to the shell in Waikiki to listen to Jason Mraz play a concert. They didn't go into the concert, but sat out in the park and listened from a distance. Only a few days left of this wonderful vacation.