The Other Oahu

Yesterday was our day in the big city.  Today we were planning on being taken on a tour of the North Shore (where we are staying) and the Eastern Shore.  Basically making a loop around the entire island.  The plan was to leave around 9:30 this morning but I know my family and knew that was not even going to be close to our departure time.  My money was on 3:00 pm.

With that knowledge I decided to take a walk along the beach and check out the surf and sand.  The beach where Lost was filmed is just a short (although, with the thick sand it seems much farther) walk down from where we are staying.  On my way back I was lucky enough to spot some sea turtles swimming in the surf.  I was hoping they would come on the beach (always looking for that Christmas card picture!) but they somehow managed to stay in the water despite the waves.  I did not find many shells but but did find a small, dead crab.  The sand was so thick it was really hard to walk and I’m guessing I will feel it in the morning.

I came back to the house and sat with my Dad on the porch when started spotting whales so we spent some time watching the whales.  Turtles and whales all in the one morning!

Time was ticking away and we were no closer to leaving but I was much closer to needing lunch.  We went to Kua ‘Aina which is a popular burger joint in Haliewa.  It was delicious!!  I don’t know if it was just my hunger level or not but I think it was a darn good burger!  They serve all the burgers with a giant grilled onion on top and I’m not usually an onion person but it tasted great!  We also got some fries which were hot and fresh and skinny which are my favorite kind.  The other interesting thing about it was the giant carrot that was served as a side with the burgers.  Delicious but unexcpected.

Next we headed to the Aloha General Store which is in a small collection of shops that sell everything from jewels and clothes to super tacky souveniers.  We had the shaved ice talk comparing between the General Store and the famous Matsumoto.  I was not in the mood for a line so we went General Store.  I got the chocolate cherry bowl which was a scoop (very generous) scoope of fresh made chocolate ice cream covered by cherry ice and whipped cream.  Yum, yum!  My Dad got the a coconut and mango shaved ice and enjoyed his as well.  Be careful for freeze headaches!  We did a little shopping and then headed back to the house.

Around 4:15 we finally piled into the car for the big tour.  If you’re keeping track I was only off by an hour…  Anyway, we drove by Sunset Beach and Turtle Bay before heading to the eastern coast.  We stopped at the Chinaman’s hat for some pictures.  It’s pretty cool.  It’s a big rock formation just off the coast that is shaped like a chinaman’s hat or the Prudential rock if you ask my Dad.  There is a nice park that you can pull into that gives you great views of it and excellent picture ops.  We ended our tour in Kailua which is actually a good size city.  My Dad’s family has this thing about driving by houses they used to live in, or in this case, thought about living in.  The cool thing about it is that it was on the same street where the Obamas stay when the vacation here.  By this time it was dark and time to head back.

The eastern coast is so different from any other part of the island.  You are right up in the mountains and they all look so prehistoric.  All covered in green growth.  The bad thing about that side of the island is you miss the beautiful sunsets but I bet the sunrises are amazing!   The surf is definitely more gentle than what is here on the North Shore and Honolulu is entirely different from both of these areas.  I was happy to have the chance to check out the scenery.

Tomorrow I have some free time to get out and explore a little so I’m looking forward to that.  I have a few ideas so we’ll see which way I head!

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