First Full Day in Hawai’i

As suspected, I woke up early due to the time change. Never mind the exhausting day before… I still woke up at 5 AM this morning. I laid around until 6 or so and took a shower. Most everyone else was up and heading to the office. Time for a road trip!

I was not sure where I was going to go. I first ventured to Leonard’s again and afterwards I drove toward Waikiki Beach. I eventually stumbled upon Diamond Head and I ended up driving in. I wanted to park outside and hike up to the top so that was a buzzkill to accidentally drive into it. Oh well… onwards.

The North Shore came highly recommended to me. It was on my list of places to go, and I just decided I was going to go today. One thing that helped my decision was the wind was picking up it looked like it might blow little storm, and the North Shore is notorious for its giant waves. That’s what I wanted to see.

I drove along a beautiful two-lane highway heading north. Lots of twists and turns; it would’ve been great on my motorcycle. Oh well, at least I wasn’t stuck driving a little teeny Chevy Spark. When I had gone to pick up my rental car the kids out in the parking lot gave me a Subaru. No complaints on my part!

I made a few stops along the way. I stopped by some tidal pools but the pounding surf was a little too much to get down too close to. It would be a bad thing to get sucked into that undercurrent, but the other thing is you would get thrashed against all the volcanic rock. There wouldn’t be anything left but hamburger.

The highway headed north through bunch of small towns and villages on the waterfront. There are lots of parks to pull over and have picnics in, parking areas to stop in so you can get out and check out the beaches. There were people fishing, and of course quite a bit of surfing.

Several people told me to check out the shrimp trucks on the North Shore. I went to one of them and it was different than what I imagined but I was going to stop back by at lunchtime and have myself a plate of shrimp scampi.

While I was out, I just kept driving and driving almost this far you could drive. I thought you said Karen and come back and start heading back towards the bunkhouse. On the way back I passed a fruitstand. But of course I had to stop.

There were several people in there with booths selling all sorts of different things. The first thing I tried was a deep-fried banana. I know, I know, it sounds strange. But it was very, very good. It was a banana sliced in half lengthwise and put into some sort of thin wrapper like a tortilla type thing. I believe they may have had a little cinnamon or something sprinkled on – some sort of spices were on it. They were delicious.

The next thing I saw intrigued me. Amongst the Ziploc baggies full of pre-sliced and peeled pineapples and Pallesi mangoes and all the other obligatory fruits of that ilk, there was a fruit with a bright pink outside and white inside with little black dots. I asked the guy what it was and he told me was a dragon fruit. I used to drink an energy water that had Dragon fruit in it so I knew the taste somewhat. I bought a bag of it – it was a little expensive but it is fresh Dragon fruit. I opened up the bag and took a big bite and it was really, really good. I may have to find more before my trip is done.

I stopped back by the shrimp truck and there was no way I was going to get any food within the next hour because it was so busy. So I decided to just head back and miss out on the shrimp. Bummer. Oh well, I hear they are not native anyway. I do still have time to get back up there though.

I decided on my return trip to take a different route. I decided to cut down to the center of the island. It was a beautiful drive and then I saw the sign for Pearl Harbor. Since that was where my class was going to be I decide to head over that way and see if I could check out the trip home from there in order to get an idea of the route.

I ended up going to the Pearl Harbor visitor center to see what all was there. I ended up going on the Arizona Memorial and I’m going to go back sometime over the weekend and see the USS Missouri, a submarine, and the aviation Museum and hopefully spend some more time checking out the displays.

It was really a unique experience being in the middle of Pearl Harbor like that. This is the place I read about in the history books and saw in all the war movies on television. It was pretty incredible. Heading out towards the Arizona Memorial you can see the battleship Missouri standing there in all her glory. Quite an impressive looking piece of hardware. Yes, I will have to go back.

I ended up heading on to the H1 highway to come back to the bunkhouse. There’s a hell of a lot of traffic in this city. I believe is about a 12 mile drive, and it takes me about 45 minutes to get that far. The drivers are all very courteous, unlike Denver, but there are just so many cars.

I got back and got to bed early preparation for my big day tomorrow – the first day of class.

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