Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Family Adventure

We picked up a car on Sunday afternoon, following our usual routine of riding TheBus down to the airport, grabbing a car from Alamo, and raiding CostCo on the way home. The next morning we packed up the car with snorkels, masks, fins, boogie boards, teenagers, and beach towels. Everything one might want for an island excursion. The weather was poor; windy, cool, and rainy, but we had hopes that we could find better conditions somewhere.

Our first stop was Haunama Bay. We got there early enough that there were plenty of parking spaces available. But then, it might have been the wind and rain, rather than the hour, that kept the crowds down. Standing at the top of the cliff, we took a vote and unanimously decided to keep on driving (with the proviso that we would eventually get back to the bay on this trip).

Continuing along Kalaniana`ole Hwy we stopped at Sandy Beach. Being a Monday morning, with school back in session, the beach was fairly empty and the surf was cranking. There were a handful of people in the lineup, dropping into 6 foot barrels that broke on wet sand. The kids (Aaron) wanted to get out in the water, but I didn't relish anyone (Aaron) breaking their neck, so we piled back into the car and continued on.

Sightseeing didn't seem to be too popular with the backseat crowd so we pressed hard for Waimanalo. The single car in the parking lot gave us the first indication that we weren't going to be battling crowds. We walked out into sunny skies shining on an empty beach. 2'-3' waves were breaking on the shore and Aaron, Rae, and I wasted no time getting into them. Waimanalo is a great beach for body surfing and boogie boarding. The waves break very close to shore on a sandbar, so fins aren't necessary; just walk out and hop on.

After a few hours, our hunger for waves sated, we showered off and continued our trek. We stopped briefly at the Pali Lookout where the winds were blowing hard enough to lift some of the smaller tourists off their feet. Many theorize that it was these same winds that led to the eradication of the Menehune, blowing them off into Waikiki where they were eventually sold as garden gnomes at the International Market Place.

On we continued to the North Shore where we supped at Pizza Bob's. For you old timers out there, Pizza Bob's has moved to the former location of Steamer's. We sat outside and enjoyed sandwiches and pizza, all the while being entertained by a feral chicken who wandered about the tables terrorizing anyone with an irrational fear of poultry.

From Hale`iwa we pointed the car towards Ka`ena Point with the vague notion that the set of Lost was somewhere out there and maybe we could find it. We made it to the end of the road without spotting any of the lostaways, but we did see an abandoned VW van and a YMCA camp that looked vaguely familiar.

Working our way back towards civilization we stopped at the Dole Plantation where everyone enjoyed a refreshing pineapple-based treat. While the kids tried to find their way out of the pineapple maze we had shoved them into, Sue and I wandered through the pineapple hall of fame. Eventually Liz and Aaron solved the maze (Liz winning by 10 seconds) and we waited around for Rae to find her way out. When the plantation closed down and she still hadn't emerged we were faced with the decision of sending the two surviving kids back in to find her or setting the maze on fire to flush her out. We decided to gamble with the two we had left and sent them back in. They returned a short time later with their missing sibling.

We went back to the house as the sun was setting. Tired, but enriched with new vacation memories.

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