RT Cunningham

Ka Makana Ali’i in Kapolei, Hawaii - Exploring the Island of Oahu

Ka Makana Ali'iMy daughter-in-law, Cathy, wanted to go to one of the Forever 21 stores. I found the closest store to be in Kapolei. It’s located in an outdoor shopping mall called “Ka Makana Ali’i”. It’s Hawaiian, and I have no idea what it means.

Although I had been to Kapolei once before, it didn’t make it any easier to get to where I wanted to go. Kapolei is a planned community and the roads between the freeway and the mall are wide, with all kinds of lines on them. Confusing is an understatement. Although navigating wasn’t an issue for me, Cathy wouldn’t be able to drive in that location. She doesn’t have enough driving experience.

The Ka Makana Ali’i Mall

Pictures of the mall clearly show it as an outdoor mall. You’ll find more pictures on YouTube than the website. There are plenty of venues for dining, shopping and entertainment.

After finding out the Forever 21 store didn’t have much to offer (most of it was clothing made in China), the four of us (including my wife, Josie, and my younger son, Jon) got something to eat before visiting other stores. Jon and Cathy had sushi from Okomi and Josie and I had Chinese food from Panda Express. As usual, prices were way too high.

We visited the Old Navy store and then while Josie and Cathy were inside Famous Footwear, Jon and I visited Spencer’s (gifts and novelties). Then Josie and Cathy visited Footlocker. They like their shoes. Anyway, none of us bought anything after Old Navy.

There are plenty of stores, more than we wanted to visit in one day. There’s a theater there, one of the many “Consolidated Theaters”. I prefer the one at the Town Center in Mililani. It’s closer and easier to get to. I don’t know about the theater there, but the one in Mililani is very affordable. I pay less there than I did at the Harkins Theatres in Phoenix, Arizona in 2005. And the seats are nicer.

Going the Distance

The Ka Makana Ali’i mall in Kapolei is about 22.1 miles (35.57 kilometers) from where I’m living today. It was supposed to take around 36 minutes to get there, but I tend to drive a little faster than the speed limit. Then I had to add the time it took to park and walk to the first destination. It probably took us 40 minutes altogether.

I didn’t know it (and didn’t care to know it at the time), but the Ko Olina lagoons are only about 5.5 miles (8.85 kilometers) away from the mall. Frankly, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to get anywhere on the island, rush hour traffic notwithstanding. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about rush hour traffic. Ever.

I experience an adventure at least once a month and that’s simply because I’m not from here. It’s impossible to get lost (not like getting lost in mainland big cities) but finding certain things is still an adventure. Most of the time, it’s places we need to go. Sometimes, it’s places where we want to go. I always prefer the latter.

Photo Attribution: Travis Thurston [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


RT Cunningham
October 6, 2019