It’s January and the snowbirds are fleeing Oklahoma.
When we arrived at the Hale Koa, friends from Chicago and Washington State were waiting for us. When friends are waiting with drinks, check-in always goes slow.
We found change is in the air at the Hale Koa. Their new slogan is, “Let’s do more with less and all be happy.” KoKo’s and Biba’s restaurants are still alive and well. However, the Hale Koa Room is still dark and it does not appear that recovery is likely.
I wrote last year in this publication that the new quarters being built for rent at Bellows were not yet completed. They were behind in their forecast completion date.
On Jan. 20, 2013, we decided to make a day visit to Bellows and see them completed. We were also going to check into why we could not get a room or a cabin.
Bellows AFS has accommodations from campsites, cabins, and the new Na Mokulua units. All are booked for months.
We were visiting on a four-day weekend and thousands of people were camping and staying at Bellows. There were hundreds of perfectly aligned Boy Scout tents by the old runway. It brought back memories from the days I, too, lived in pup tents while doing training exercises and weapons qualifications.
It appeared that the locals were enjoying this weekend away from their usual base accommodations. I can understand why. It is a beautiful location with pristine white beaches and beautiful blue waters. So, if you are interested in staying at Bellows, plan well in advance and have a back-up plan for other accommodations on the island.
While it’s not a meal you can get at the local mess hall, we have found the best prime rib in the world at Haleiwa Joe’s Haiku Gardens. This restaurant is located near Bellows and apparently is a closely-guarded secret. Note the size of the prime rib you get, all for market price, which was $35 when we were there.
MSG Charles Stanphill U.S. Army, (Ret.) and Nancy Stanphill
Reprint from May–Jun 2013 • Volume 43, No. 3