Postcard from Hawaii - III

By day 3 in Paradise, we were sleeping in a little later - and by later I mean the sun was rising rather than us waking up while it was still dark. That was perfect for this day as we had a lot of sightseeing planned. North Shore here we come!

After a quick breakfast, we drove Hwy 93 south and then east to connect to the H1 freeway until we connected to H2 and started north. Fortunately, we were early enough to have beaten most of the morning rush hour traffic. When you think of Hawaii, the last thing on your mind is stop-and-go rush hour traffic, but it is definitely there around Honolulu. Honolulu has gorgeous Waikiki Beach and for the most part is a beautiful and clean place, but otherwise, sadly, it is just another big city with too many people, too much traffic, and too many people and businesses trying to move money from your pocket to theirs. Fortunately, we were headed north; Honolulu was south.

H2 ends its life as an interstate at the Schofield Barracks military base. At that point, we picked up 2-lane Hwy 99, Kamehameha Highway, and drove through numerous little towns and farms growing pineapples and other fruit in the rust-red dirt. There's no big, fancy hotels through here and few tourists. The rows upon rows of pineapples grow within a couple of feet of the roadway. 

Rainbow Bridge over the Anahulu River
Soon we crossed over the historic Rainbow Bridge which spans the Anahulu River and marks the north entrance to Hale'iwa Town.   And what's in Hale'iwa? Matsumoto Shave Ice is what's in Hale'iwa! Matsumoto started out as a humble, locally-owned grocery store in 1951. Still owned and operated by the same family, it is now Oahu's oldest continuously run place of business. In 1956 they began selling shave ice in a small corner of the store. When the original owner retired, his son took it over in 1976 (a grandson now operates it), moved some of the groceries to the side and began selling shave ice treats and a plethora of Matsumoto t-shirts from one side of the establishment. A legend was born! In the summer, over 1,000 of the treats are served each day and in the off-season, over 500 are sold each and every day even though the store is only open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The line of customers for a shave ice often extends out the door and down the block and you never know who you might stand next to while you wait - people like Tom Hanks, Sean Penn and Tom Selleck have all patiently waited their turn.

Shave ice, called kakigori in Japan where it was invented, is very different from the snow cone found on the United States mainland. A snow cone is basically a ball of crushed ice doused in various flavors of syrup. The shave ice machine, on the other hand, whittles down a 3-lb block of ice and in the process, creates shavings like delicate snowflake crystals. A large, plastic cup then has a good dose of vanilla ice cream plopped into it, the frozen snow crystals are added in and the mixture molded into a ball. From there, you pick the flavor of syrup extract(s) you want. Instead of dousing a ball of ice, the flavored extract floats down through the various layers. Finally, the whole concoction is covered with condensed milk. A 15-minute wait in the line gave me time to decide which flavor I wanted - pineapple, banana & coconut. 

Youngest-daughter adding a Matsumoto coin to her large
"squished penny" collection.

The first bite was really good. The 2nd bite was even better. By the time I got to the bottom and tossed back my head to drain the dregs, I was hooked! I was very full; full enough that for comfort, I loosened my belt a notch, but I gave serious thought to getting in line for another one. Common sense finally won, but I for sure would not be leaving Hawaii without another shave ice!
A cool church in Hale'iwa we passed on our way to the shore.
As we headed east on the coast highway, we came to
Haleiwa Ali'i Beach or "King's Beach" on the north shore.
The Wai'anae Mountains are in the background.

Puu O Mahuka Heiau, an ancient sacred temple site
from the early 1600's where wives of the chiefs gave birth
and human sacrifices were conducted. Lo
cated high
up on the side of a mountain, I am standing where the
sacrifices took place. It was a bit eerie to think about.
Native Hawaiians come at night carrying hand-made tiki
 torches to leave offerings of fruit, flower leis, shells, and
beads to the gods and spirits that still live in this place. 

Waimea Bay beach, world famous for "Big Wave" surfing.
 Was made famous in the 1964 movie 
"Ride The Wild Surf"
and one of the settings of the TV show "
Kahuku Land Farms roadside market where we ate our
fill and then some of fresh picked fruit. Good lunch!

Going south along the east coast of Oahu and stopping at all the
interesting places. 
Laie Point State Wayside was very cool, but
I was shocked at the number of tour buses, mostly Japanese,
which stopped here. We had seen very few before here. Perhaps
they just come this far north from Honolulu & then go back.
Die-hard fans of the TV show "Lost" will recognize this as
the area where Hurley built a golf course. 

Entrance to the National Memorial Cemetery of the
Pacific. Over 
13,000 soldiers and sailors who died during
WWII are buried here.
Overlooking Honolulu from the Punchbowl Crater. In spite
of my dislike for large, crowded cities, we did drive around
in Honolulu for a while checking out buildings, statues,
and other sites we had heard about.

Arriving back at our hotel, we stopped at a combination
sandwich shop/grocery store in the resort complex and bought
hoagies, chips, soda's and some snacks which we took back
to our room. We ate on the lanai watching an amazing sunset.
All was good with the world.