Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Hawaii Day 2 - July 12th
After sleeping in, we strolled down to the boulevard that runs along in front of the beach. Our goal for the morning was to get acclimated to our surrounding (and find some breakfast). Not wanting to get too adventurous our first time out, we found a Burger King for breakfast. After breakfast (which was really brunch), we stopped by an ABC Store (which is a convenience/souvenir shop) for some supplies. (The ABC Stores are kind of an island joke because there is at least one of them on every block in the Waikiki Beach area.) We grabbed a map, got our bearings, fired up the rental car, and headed for the Dole Pineapple Plantation.
Today was one of our free days (a day that did not have any activities planned for us by the Make-A-Wish people.) Even though Hawaii is a US state, navigating is not that easy because every street name has several "k's", "a's", and "o's" in it. (Or so it seemed to us main-landers.) But we made it, and the Dole Plantation was a great way to fill the afternoon. We were amazed at how many people were there, and how many of them arrived in limo's. The giant maze was fun (and hot). There are six stands in the maze with templates in them. The objective is to find all the stands and mark the templates on your maze card. The fastest all six have been found is four minutes. We spent 15 minutes going in circles without finding anything except heat exhaustion. We finally gave up and got a map from the entrance booth. Even with the map it still took some effort to find the stands.
After the maze we cooled off with a "cool" treat: pineapple sherbert and a pineapple smoothie. Next we were off to ride the Pineapple Express. This was a little train the went through the plantation with audio narration. We were very interested to learn that pineapples take 18-24 months to grow, and they are grown on a plant close to the ground.
We still had a little time before supper so we decided to drive around the north side of the island on the way home. Looking at the map it was only about 40-50 miles to take this alternate route back to the hotel. Of course, the speed limit varied from 25 to 40 mph the whole way so it took a little longer than expected. That was ok though, because we were able to stop at Waimea Bay Beach Park along the way and the girls donned their swim suits and played in the sand/surf.
While searching for somewhere to eat supper, we stumbled on a little out of the way restaurant called the Island Shack. It was basically an old mettle storage shed with no doors and used mixed and matched restaurant furniture. The kitchen was an old utility van backed up the back door of the place. The restaurant was surrounded by tents and shacks. Every thing on the menu was either grilled, steamed, or boiled. The whole place had a hippie-ish feel to it. When we walked in the place Jeff recognized the music that was playing as Jack Johnson (currently of the Curious George movie soundtrack fame). He asked one of the employees about it, and it turns out that Jack Johnson is one of the neighbors. Pretty cool! The place looked a little shady at first, but the food was delicious and the people were great. It turns out that all the people that work there are surfers that follow the surf circuit, and work at the restaurant for room and board. Livin' the dream! Click here to enjoy the pictures.
It was dark by the time we got back to the hotel and we were wiped out. Time to get some sleep and get ready for Sea Life Park tomorrow.
Posted by Lincoln Leaf at 11:00 PM