Travel opened up mid-April 2021 with only some minor but necessary inconveniences. So where does an intrepid traveler and runner travel first as the gates open? To visit family, of course. Mask wearing enroute and results from a specific type of Covid test took me to the shores of O’ahu.
What a wonder to once again sit and color with a grandchild, and compare hot car distance runs with another. I did manage to slip away for a run during online school lessons or a nap time or two.
Now, to describe these outings as “runs” is to stretch the definition. More time was spent peaking around corners, gazing at the ocean and taking in changes to routes I had not been on in awhile. Come along with me, because you never know what you will find on a random run.
Run One – Off to Diamond Head Park to enjoy the view, then down Monserrat Boulevard to see whether (or how many of) the funky shops and restaurants had survived the months of restrictions. I spotted signs for an estate sale and followed the arrows up a long drive where the bits and pieces of lives of the family were displayed on out-door tables. Every sale of this type tells a story about the owners who no longer have a use for their collectibles, their books, their awards.
Run Two– On Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Road, we started with yoga on the beach (I recommend it), then a carefully distanced walk past a Hawaiian monk seal mother who decided to beach with her newborn at the most crowded beach on O’ahu. From there, up Diamond Head Road, I noticed several sparsely used small public parks. I took a walk across these and realized that unless you live nearby or ride a bicycle or other small transportation, you won’t have access since there are no parking areas.Waikiki
Run Three – I took off on a random run one morning. Lack of planning took me over HI on three different walkways. Some runs are like that.
As I wound my way through neighborhoods between commercial buildings I ran across the Japanese Moiliili Community Cemetery. Established more than 100 years ago, it continues to be preserved and carefully attended. Honolulu has grown up around it. You will see skyscrapers in the background of the photos.
Run 4 – I am a sucker for an open house. As I took a last run through Kaimuki, I spotted an open house sign and put the breaks on (these running shoes stop at open houses).
This appears to be the last original house on the street, built in the early 1940’s. Lava rock walls and two separate living spaces, typical of the ohana, or extended family, style. The rear area, fruit trees and huts look as if small animals were once housed here. The interior was untouched by renovation, sporting original kitchens and bathrooms and flooring of linoleum and hardwood. I felt a sense of what life would have been like on this street before original homes were replaced with modern wonders. Maybe I will stop by on a run next trip and see what the new owners have done with this sweet view of mid-century living.
If you find yourself in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu, you will enjoy some of the unique local shops along Koko Head and Harding Avenues.
As we have options we didn’t have several months ago, have you been exploring the newly accessible world through your runs? Let’s hear about it.