December 24, 2011

Crater Climbing, a Seven Mile Walk, and a Sunset: Diamond Head with Five Kids

**We are traveling and writing again, and blogging about it at "Are We There Yet"**

On Thursday, we ventured out after lunch to climb Diamond Head Crater. Several websites and guidebooks warned that the climb would be strenuous, so we wore our tennis shoes, comfortable gear, and packed water and snacks. It is great we went prepared, as we walked a lot throughout the day.

We hopped on the Number 23 Bus, which let us off right at the foot of the Crater. We had to walk about 15 minutes to get to the entrance. I asked my brother, Ian, to turn on his Runkeeper App to see how many miles we would clock during the day.

We paid the admission fee of $1 each and began our trek up the crater. The trail is 0.8 miles up and another 0.8 down. The kids (aged 8 to 10) had no trouble going up, although we did stop at least once to catch our breath. The 99 stairs at the top was the most strenuous part, but overall, I’d say the warnings about this being a very difficult trail were overblown.
The view to Waikiki from Diamond Head Crater

The views from the top were amazing. You can see all of Waikiki Beach, most of the city of Honolulu, and way out to the Koko Crater that borders Hanauma Bay. The top also had a lovely, refreshing breeze.

A bit breezy at the top!

The trek up and down, with plenty of rest, took us about two hours. I really wanted to go to the beach afterwards, but the kids wanted to go home. I decided to play a little trick on them and tell them that we had to walk to the bus stop. My nephew, Dante, who is quite clever, pointed to the bus stop, and said “The 23 stops here,” as he knew the 23 goes to Kahala. I told him we were going to take a different bus. The kids complained, but kept walking.

One of my tricks for when the kids begin to complain about walking is to tell them stories. I told Dante and Raymi funny stories about stuff I had seen riding buses, and Dante had a few stories of his own. The walk to Kapiolani Beach Park was a bit farther than I had anticipated. It turned out to be two miles from Diamond Head. However, the kids made it. We just kept telling them at each turn that it was “just down the road.”

When we finally made it to Kapiolani Beach Park, and the bus stop I had been talking about all along, the kids spotted a few ducks waddling around a small lake, and asked if they could play with the ducks. We let them, and then coaxed the kids across the street to a huge banyan tree. Once they saw the beach, they asked if they could go for a swim. Of course, I knew that once they saw the ocean they would want to get in. Mission accomplished: I got the kids to walk to the beach, and could watch the amazing Pacific sunset.

Waikiki Sunset

Watching the sun drop like a flaming ball into the Pacific Ocean is one of my favorite sights.

Sunset swimming

Once the sun set, I looked up a restaurant on Yelp! and found this place: Gyoza No Ohsho, which was just five blocks away. The food there was awesome! The kids loved the gyozas and the ramen, and it was a great deal. The ramen soups are about $9.00 and the gyozas are $4.50 for six.

Once we finished eating, we walked another five blocks back to the Number 14 bus stop, and took it all the way to Kahala Mall. Before getting on the bus, I asked my brother how long we had walked. He told me 7 miles. The kids were excited to hear they had broken their previous record of 5 miles. I was happy to have convinced them to walk that much.

On Friday morning, I asked Tatiana, Soraya, and Raymi to each write 100 words about their day. Here are their reports:


I walked 70 blocks yesterday up on the mountains. I whined some of the time. It was so not worth it when I got to the top. We ate crackers and cuties (mandarin oranges) at the top. Going down was way shorter. At the bottom, we ate shaved ice. It was good. My cousin Assata and I got lemon-lime and strawberry. Soraya and Tatiana shared watermelon and strawberry. Ian and Dante shared lemon-lime and watermelon. After eating, we walked to the bus stop. Man, that bus stop took long. We got on bus number 14. We got off the bus and saw a dog and I did cartwheels.


Yesterday we went to the mountains. Before we went up, I drank some water, used the bathroom, and drank some more water to get ready. Then we started walking up the mountain. On the way up, Raymi started to hang onto my dad’s arm. So Raymi and dad got way far behind. The rest of us kept on going. We saw some stairs. Then we found benches and rested for a while. Next to the benches were other stairs. We thought that those stairs went the wrong way. So when we were done resting, we went up the long stairs. After those stairs, there were some other stairs that went around in circles that led to the top. At the top, we were able to see the big crater – Diamond Head Crater. When I saw the crater, I saw a big circle that kind of looked like a sting ray with a tail. It was cool.


Yesterday we went to the mountain. We walked. I don’t like walking sometimes. We walked to the top of the mountain. And ran down. Dante got ahead of us but we caught up with him. After that we walked to the bus stop. It was like 70 blocks overall. We stopped for a while because we saw some ducks. There was a baby duckling. It was so cute! After that we went to the beach that was across the street. We stayed there until the sun went down. Then we went to a Japanese restaurant. I ate soup. It was delicious. Then we went home on the bus.


  1. It's incredible that you managed all that with 5 kids. It puts me to shame - I have none and struggle to fit so much in!

  2. Great! Love this kind of posts because you end up knowing more people and find out great inspiration! Travel Oh Travel