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SEÑOR FROGS Waikiki Beach Honolulu Hawaii

barwebTequila…tequila…to kill ya! What more can I say about Señor Frogs? If you want togo to a happening party, Señor Frogs is the place. From the “party starter” deejay to the tequila shot-pouring dinosaur, Señor Frogs is non-stop activity. And if the drink, dance, and music don’t appeal to you, you might get a laugh from the décor and manbikinibuttsayings that speak to almost anyone.

This date comes on the heels of a hike up Kuliouou Ridge and ends with a beach walk. Why not? Mr. Frogs is right next to the newly renovated Waikiki Beach Walk.

Cost: $3 Jello shooters, Tong Margarita $12 each, most pupus about $12

Do’s and Don’ts: Go before 10 p.m. to avoid the $10 cover charge and long lines.

KOKO CRATER Railway Hike Hawaii Kai Honolulu

If your New Year’s resolution was to burn those buns, this is the date for you. It starts behind the Goeas Baseball Field at Koko Head Park in Hawaii Kai (on the way to Hanauma Bay). The locals hike up over the newly landscaped hill surrounding the baseball field to the bottom of the old rail track–part of an abaondoned incline tram used by the military during World War II–then start the more than 1000–step trek to the top of 1208 foot Koko Crater for a great workout, panoramic view of East Honolulu, and bonding experience that involves a lot of sweating and panting


Cost: FREE!!!

Do’s and Don’ts: For a better view on the way up, let her go first.

ART AFTER DARK – Honolulu Academy of the Arts- Hawaii

Big applause to the Honolulu Academy of Arts PR folks; they sure know how to put on a good event. ARTafterDARK, a premier event happening from 6 to 9 p.m. on most last Friday’s of the month draws attention to the Academy and its featured exhibits. We’ve never not had a good time at ARTafterDARK.
Show up, get food, get drink, see the exhibit and usually a lot of friends, and wander the beautiful grounds to see what is set up in every corner to entertain you. Then, dance to popular music in the open air courtyard at the Academy. The strict ending time of 9 p.m. is perfect—time to go off and hit the town, or, if you’re tired after a work day, head home.

This particular ARTafterDARK, entitled Dragon Thunder, featured the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and exhibits from the region. The monks, in colorful robes, helped out with the event—painting surfboards with regional designs, demonstrating Mandala sand painting, and ancient Buddhist dances.

Cost: $10 cover charge (free for members), $4-7 per plate of food, $4-6 drinks

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Plan to be surprised and entertained. Stay near the main courtyard at the start of the event if you want a good view of the entertainment. Or—hit the food booths while everyone else crowds to see the entertainment. Don’t fret the early closing time; this is a great ice breaker for the start of your evening.

Halloween – Monster Mosh 2008

Website: http://www.honoluluacademy.org

KULIOUOU RIDGE HIKE – Honolulu, Hawaii

In East Honolulu, the Kuliouou Ridge Hike is a local favorite. In minutes you step from the residential streets of Aina Haina onto tree covered paths that zig zag to the top of the Koolaus. On the way up, you cover varied terrain, from pine forests to multi-colored hills. The top is considered pristine forest, and the vegetation changes to tropical flora and Ohia trees. The ridge line offers spectacular views around the southeast end of Oahu, from Kaneohe all the way to Waikiki.

This hike takes all of three hours at a leisurely pace—and is guaranteed to take away your worries (especially if you’re wearing a Trouble Hook…see Chinatown blog entry).

What to Expect:
A picnic table and shelter erected by the Boy Scouts and nearby area used for camping awaits along the ridgeline during the climb to the summit.

The official 3.4-mi/1700-ft trail ends at the first junction with the Koolau crest. The formidable peak to the left, which stands tall at the head of Kuliouou Valley, is called Puu o Kona (elev. 2,200-ft).

Distances/Elevation Change:
Kalaau Pl (end) to intersection: 0.2-mi / +50 ft
Switchbacks – int. to ridgeline: 0.7-mi / +740 ft
Ridgeline to Koolau crest: 0.8-mi / +910 ft
Crest junction to Puu o Kona: 0.4-mi / +170 ft

Trailhead Location:
Both Kuliouou trails begin on the right-hand, mauka (uphill) side about 25 yards beyond the chained entrance to the Board of Water Supply access road at the end of Kalaau Pl. Several signs mark the beginning of the foot-trail, including one that reads: “Kuliouou Public Hunting Area”.

Accessing the Trail:
Both trails are part of the Na Ala Hele inventory meaning they are open to the public and well-maintained. There is no designated parking except what hikers can find within the residential area on Kalaau Pl. Do not park along the cul-de-sac: it is designated “no parking”.

From either direction along Kalanianaole Hwy (Rte 72), turn at the traffic light onto Kuliouou Road and drive 0.3-mile to the end (stop sign). Do not continue straight for that housing complex is the Haleloa residential area (there are no trailheads there). Instead, follow Elelupe Road a block to the left, then make an immediate right back onto Kuliouou Road (yes, for some reason it is disjointed). Proceed 0.7-mile and turn right onto Kalaau Pl. Total distance between highway and trailhead: 1.3-miles.

Cost: FREE

Do’s and Don’ts on this date:
Hike this ridge on a hot day, as foliage and elevation make it a cooler trek than some others.

NU’UANU JUDD MEMORIAL TRAIL TO JACKASS GINGER SWIMMING HOLE

Looking for a quick stroll in the forest or for a refreshing swim? This is the ticket. Right off the Pali Highway, just outside of Downtown Honolulu, the Judd Trail is an easy hike that runs along Nu’uanu Stream to Jackass Ginger Pond and then continues in a 1 mile loop, with minimal elevation gain. Jackass Ginger Pond is a great swimming hole with a 10 foot waterfall into the pond and a rope swing to jump from into the water, which is up to 8 feet deep in some places. Be warned that this pond is surrounded by boulders, which means there might be boulders in the water. Remember, “sticks and stone can break my bones,” so jumping is at your own risk.

Those looking for more of a workout can take an alternative path to a higher elevation, Pauoa Flats, and finally Nu’uanu Valley Overlook (1600 feet) which has views of the Pali, higher peaks in the Ko’olau Range, the Wai’anae Range, Nu’uanu Valley, and Punchbowl.
Cost: Free

Do’s and don’ts: Do consider mosquito repellent or walk fast. Don’t try anything fancy off the rope.

FIRST NIGHT (Streets of Chinatown) Honolulu Hawaii

1stnight

As part of Honolulu Chinatown’s revitalization, First Night happens on the first Friday of every month.Art galleries, typically closed during the evenings, open from 5 to 9 p.m. I thought that on this cold, rainy evening, most locals would skip First Night.I was wrong.Chinatown was hopping, from Indigo, where we started our date (and skipped the recommended Green Room, going to the slightly less crowded bar instead) to art galleries and 39 Hotel—where performance artists entertained us (and made me want to finger paint).