You do all the planning, book your tickets, get your hotel, and then… rain.  You get up in the morning to see the forecast and look out the window only to see ominous clouds as far as the eye can see.


We’ve all had those days while on vacation.  I’m a never give up kind of gal (which sometimes bites me in the but).  I will hold out hope for sunshine and refuse to give up on my plans for the day at the cost of just about anything.  Recently while vacationing with my family, and visiting my sister’s family, in Kailua Oahu, we woke up to just such a day.  Light but consistent rain all morning and clouds that warned us things were only getting worse. My kids and husband believe rain = stay home. I was not easily dissuaded from our plans.

I convinced everyone not to give up on an adventure.  We loaded up in the cars and headed out for our first stop.

Destination: Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Weather: rainy and chilly.  Situation: critical.

It’s an almost 2,000 feet high lookout over a panoramic view of the windward side of Oahu.  I love to infuse a little education into our site seeing.  Nu’uanu Pali is the site of one of the most important and bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history where Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian islands, defeated the defenders of Oahu.  

My husband and I argued the whole way there.  We turned around twice, for fear of rain.  But eventually I convinced him to give it a shot.  If the weather hadn’t cleared by the time we got there, I would yield.  This is one of those times my stubbornness, rather than bite our collective butts, saved the day.  As we parked, it was lightly sprinkling.  After the 3 minute walk to the lookout the rain cleared and the warmth of that sweet Hawaiian sun revealed the beauty of the peaks and valleys surrounding us.  The tension that had grown between me and my husband on the drive also melted and gave way to our surroundings.  The kids’ laughter filled the warm air as they ran around playing.

poli overlook

Poli overlook Leif


On the drive home, we spied what appeared to be a trail up the hillside and decided to check it out.  I’m so glad we did.  It was a well worn trail with several cars parked at the base, I don’t recommend bush whacking.  The first 200 yards or so was through a bamboo forest bathed in the songs of what sounded like a million birds.


bamboo forest

For kids, bamboo=spears

It opened up to a valley that led to a jungle trail which followed a runoff river up the mountainside.

It was slippery and a bit treacherous in spots. I would give it a moderate difficulty.  Our party consisted of two 12 yr olds, two 10 yr olds, one 6 yr old, one 4 yr old, my sister, my husband, and me.  I had to carry my 4 yr old over the trickier spots.  He loves to pretend being a monkey holding onto mama’s back so the difficulty was OK for him. It was absolutely worth the hard work and complaining that always seems to accompany hiking children.  The hike peaked at a waterfall about 50ft high, flanked on either side by dense jungle.  It was breathtaking!  The kids couldn’t help splashing around in the pool of water at the base of the fall.  We almost couldn’t will ourselves to leave.




Destination: family togetherness and bonding.  Weather: gorgeous. Situation: success!