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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Day 4 - Yesterday We Circled Oahu - Dole Plantation - Haleiwa - Waimea Bay - Ala Moana Shopping Downtown Honolulu

You think Florida has tropical plants? These ARE tropical plants at Dole Plantation.

Lulu took this picture of the waves at Waimea Bay. The girl in the foreground had a Butter Face. When she turned around everything was beautiful "but her face." The waves at Waimea and the surfers were the main attraction.

Because of jet lag - our days start out at around 4 AM. Wednesday was no exception. After breakfast - around sunrise - Lulu had us lying on Waikiki Beach. Then we piled into the car to circle the island.

Our first stop was the Dole Plantation. One of our favorite things about Hawaii is Dole Whip. It is a pineapple flavored soft sherbet /ice cream. We try to make it at home but nothing compares to what is served here. While finishing off waffle cones of it - we walked through the pineapple fields.

Next was Haleiwa - the North Shore surfer village. This is not a food tour but I love the hot pastrami and pineapple sandwiches at a little busy shop there. The place has a Bohemian feeling - a cross between rich vacation home owners and native surfing crackers.

You could see the giant waves breaking as you approach Haleiwa. Waimea Bay is just a few miles away - but it took longer with the line of cars on this two lane road trying to rubber neck in a few views of the waves.

Waimea Bay - one of the best surfing venues in the world - was packed with cars and watchers. The waves were 15 to 25 feet high - and no one was allowed in the water - except about 30 surfers. they were way out where the waves were breaking - and good pictures required big lens. It took a little trickery to get a parking place - because everyone was circling with no slots in sight. Finally - I remembered an old trick I used before - I saw a guy going for his car - and offered him a ride - then as he pulled out I slipped in. It works every time.

After Waimea - it was a winding traffic filled drive back to Honolulu along the Pipeline. This windward side gets tons of rain and the area is lush and full of fruit stands.

At Kanehoe - we crossed the island to Honolulu through a tunnel and down the other side. Once in Honolulu - we had supper at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. At the food court - I found the perfect restaurant. A place served steaks for $9 to $12 - nice steaks. Every plate was prepared the same - corn - string beans - mashed potatoes - gravy - and a steak cooked to your choice. Lulu chose pulled pork someplace else - but I will visit this steak place again soon.

The Ala Moana Mall has more upscale shops that I have even seen in Hong Kong - NYC - London - Paris. Tourists and vacationers from Asia and the rest of the world have lots of disposable income. I will stick to my steaks.

One stand caught our eye - there was a place there that made shoes for you - you pick out the bottoms and the straps and decorations - and they make them on the spot - $25. they must have stolen the idea form Morgan Miller.

We got back to the condo at 7 PM and by 8 PM - I was snoring with the computer on my chest. Sleeping is so says here - no AC blasting - no heater motors - just quiet - peaceful - the breezes lull you to sleep.

Today - Thursday - Lulu does her presentation at the Hilton next door. It is the Hawaii International Conference on Education. It is timed perfectly for an after holiday visit.

At the Dole Plantation - the top attraction is Dole Whip. We first had it in 1991 when the boys took the cannery tour with us.

This place made you shoes while your waited - $25 - you select the components and walk away with them on. They stole this ides from Gary Miller and his daughter Morgan Miller.
When I took Lulu to the beach in her bikini - people booed me and called me a pedophile. It ruined our 40th wedding anniversary. Lulu glows all over anywhere near the surf.

Lulu is all smiles on any beach - and Waimea Bay is tops. This is the same beach where I nearly drowned in 1991 - when I tried to defeat these waves. I crawled out onto the beach - heart pounding - too proud to wave for the life guard in front of my kids.

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