Sunday, March 29, 2009

Road Trip Hawaii? YES! I know it's not a real road trip, but when you live on an island, sometimes you have to make do with what you've got. People who live on large continents don't usually understand when someone who lives in Hawaii balks at driving 40 miles (that's like driving halfway around the island!) to get somewhere. Driving around the island is something I haven't done in a while so I thought this weekend would be a good time since the weather was nice. A little too windy and hazy for my liking, but still nice. And the bonus of it was that my daughter and I got to spend an entire day together.... plus we got out of the house and away from the madness. We've already decided that we need to do this more often s0 hopefully every month we'll get to fantasize about living in some fabulous beach-front mansion. Come along with us and enjoy our little weekend outing!

Our first stop was Keehi Beach Park. Not the best beach on the island, but popular with the paddlers for practicing.

This isn't really scenic, but we did stop to visit my favorite homeless kitty that I have so affectionately named Cujo. Before you bite my head off, I know he's not a dog, I know he's not rabid, and wait a minute...I'm not 100% sure it's a he and not a she. I'm sticking with HE. He's a sweetie and I visit him a couple times a week...along with the other kitties that hang out at this park.

We did drive by Ala Moana Beach and Waikiki, but no photos since we didn't stop and get out of the car. Besides, there are a million billion beach shots of those on the Internet.

This next one is one of the scenic stops along Diamond Head. Notice there's no one on the beach? Yea, that's because you have to hike down from the parking area and for what? To lay on a beach that's full of rocks. This area is popular with wind surfers.

A tribute to Amelia Diamond Head.
I've lived here my entire life (so far) and this is the first time I've seen this rock. I'm not even sure what it's doing here. Oh wait..I remember now. I read the rock and it said she was the first person to fly alone from Hawaii to North America in 1935.

This is the view from one of the Diamond Head scenic stops. That lump in the background is part of the old volcano named "Koko Head."
The white structure near the center of the photo, that's my house. Oh no...was I dreaming again? Sorry.

Koko Head is sort of whale-shaped. Come on, use your imagination... here's the whales tail (below). If you look closely, at the middle of the tail you can see the hiking stair trail that we plan on doing someday.

We stopped by the Halona Blow Hole but the tide was low and not much blowing was happening. As you can see, it's a beautiful area, but the surf is pretty rough and being windy just makes it worse. We didn't stay long at all because I'm a wimp and don't like cold & wind.

It's been a couple of hours and we're needing a bathroom break. Of course there is no bathroom here and I'm not about to jump in the water. So we drive just down the road a little to Sandy Beach. It's been a long time since I've been here so I didn't know what I was in for. We find a parking space near one of the bathrooms; yippee, there are actually doors on the stalls! That's probably the only thing this bathroom has going for it. Of course, it's not a clean bathroom, what was I expecting - but that's not the best part. Have you ever seen those documentaries that show you the inside of a prison cell? That's the kind of toilet that was in this bathroom! I kid you not.... stainless steel bow with no seat. I guess it's hover time. At least there was some tissue and I didn't have to resort to the fast food napkins sitting in my glove box. There's an experience I could have done without. I'm sure we'll be laughing about it soon.

Ah, Chinaman's Hat or Mokoli'i "Little Lizard."

It doesn't look very far, does it? If you're a good swimmer, you can swim out to the island. Otherwise, you can walk out during low tide or paddle out on a kayak, raft or surfboard.

This is why I wouldn't swim out. It's far!!

okay, it's not that far, but I had a bad experience here as a child that involved Portuguese Man-o-War and lots of screaming on my part. I told you I was a wimp. Still, it's farther than I would want to or am even capable of swimming.

So we finally made it to the north end of the island and stopped at the famous - or is it infamous? Shrimp Truck. There are more than a few shrimp trucks in Kahuku that sell plates of Kahuku Shrimp, but this one by far has the largest reputation. This was more than evidenced by the long wait to get our order. Once we ordered, number 43 was ready for pick up and our tag said 6. Yes. 6. Just before we started freaking out that we would be there until sunset, we realized the numbers ended at 50 then started again. Still we had to wait through 13 plates before they called our number. Was it worth it? Not just no...hell no. $12 for 12 pieces of overcooked shrimp with 2 scoops of rice. I can do way better at home. Was it an experience? Yes. Now we can say "Been there, Done that." Once was enough.

We drove on through the North Shore and stopped at Pupukea. Once again nature was calling and we drank too much soda. This bathroom rivaled the Sandy Beach bathroom in more ways than one. There was a line at this one. One stall had no paper! But there was a normal toilet so I didn't feel like an inmate. Luckily, there was a smart person in line who brought a roll of paper towels with her - bless her soul. Paper towels = ouch. but better than nothing.

We were going to stop for some shave ice in Haleiwa, but it was getting late, we were getting tired, and the lines were insanely long. I personally don't get it. People drive miles and miles to these shave ice stands where parking is very limited so they can stand in line for over 30 minutes, fight off the bees and pay way more than they should for ice with flavored syrup. But hey, that's just me. I own a small shave ice machine and can make my own at home...and WalMart sells the syrup really cheap :)

Well that was our day. We visited beautiful beaches, said hello to my cat friends, experienced a few undesirable bathrooms, dreamed about living in a celebrity crib, ate overcooked shrimp, and best of....created memories.

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