We spent our only full day in Oahu with our wonderful native (um, after a year living on the island, one achieves native status, yes?) tour guide, Jane.
First order of business: breakfast right outside our hotel. The food (McD’s) was OK; the view was stupendous.
On our way around the south sideof the island I was (as usual on this trip) constantly imploring Tom to “stoooop… need to get a picture of this!”
Coco Crater. You can climb a stairway straight to the top!
Hanauma Bay. (Yes, the water really is that color.)
Halona Beach (where THAT scene in From Here to Eternity was filmed).
Makapu’u Beach, from where you can see these islands…
…called Manana (on the left) and Koahi-ka-ipu.
Then we hit the town where Jane lives, Waimanalo, where she showed us the adorable cottage she lives in and then she and the girls took us on a half-block walk to here:
First stop with Jane, the Buddhist Temple at the Valley of the Temples, a place where a vast variety of religions are acknowledged and revered. (I’ll post the video of us sounding the massive gong later; upload speeds at 35,000 feet – where we are now, headed for snowy Portland and Seattle – are dreadfully slow.)
We’d heard about the “shrimp trucks” from a variety of people – Tom’s brother, other friends, the wizard Pub book (Tom’s Hawaii bible”), and we knew we’d have lunch there. The food was, without doubt, the best I’d had on this vacation, and well worth the wait in line! The shrimp scampi was phenomenal!
And for dessert, malasadas!! Drool.
After lunch, we rolled into the car (oh my god – that food!) and headed to the famous North Shore of Oahu, home to some of the biggest waves in the world and to mega surfing competitions. First stop: Sunset Beach where, coincidentally, they were setting up for a surf competition. Too bad the waves were far from the big ones this region is famous for! Still, they were plenty big for me.
Jane mentioned that “Pipeline” was just around the bend, so of course we set out for that famous beach…
Here, Jane decided to do a “short ocean swim.” She swam out beyond the breaking waves, far away from the shore. Soon after that the lifeguard asked around whether anyone knew who that was, swimming way out there. He was alarmed and at-the-ready. We “claimed” the swimmer, assuring the lifeguard that she’s an experienced, world-class swimmer who has swam the channel between Maui and Lanai, among other numerous ocean swims. He seemed relieved to hear that, but brought out the binoculars, checking on Jane periodically.
At the same time Tom, a Southern California boy, played in the ever-growing waves, body surfing and delighting (as much as Tom “delights”) in a loved and familiar sport. Now he can say that he (body) surfed Pipeline! (Video to come. I’m just gonna have to do a “video post” with straggling videos.)
After a few hours at Pipeline, we headed to another well-known North Shore beach, Wimea, where the waves were unfortunately almost non-existent and where I was obsessed with taking pictures of this lone coconut tree.
Tom put his arm around me for a quick photo…
Ha ha. Very funny.
This is “Turtle Beach,” down the road from Wimea Beach.
Jane said she had never seen this many turtles hanging out on the beach!
…and in the water (reminder to self: post this video!)
Just behind the turtles, this was happening:
After the sun set (god, I’m gonna miss those!), we drove to the charming town of Hale’ewe for s delicious dinner with Janie. I could sense that Tom was already beginning to lament what was facing us when we woke the next day –a flight to cold, windy, snowy Seattle. I must admit that it was hard to get on this plane, where are currently winging our way above the Pacific, the skies turning quickly from bright blue to dark grey.
I’ll attempt to publish this now, during our short lay-over in chilly Portland. Later tonight or tomorrow I’ll post the sad farewell shots from the airplane, along with more videos than you probably care to view.