Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hawai'i - North Shore (12/29/2011)

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Our last full day in Oahu. We started with breakfast at the Wailana Coffee House (1860 Ala Moana Blvd.):
Known as the best breakfast place and all-you-can-eat-pancakes restaurant in Oahu.
Kent's breakfast came with three fluffy pancakes, and he could have had more! Along with maple syrup is coconut syrup.
We drove the Likelike Highway ('cause we liked the name) across the island to the Windward Side. Our goal was to explore the North Shore.
We skirted the town of Kane'ohe, as that was where the Obama family was spending the holiday. Headed north on Kahekili Highway. By now we were positive that the Hawaiian language was limited to the 5 vowels and about 5 consonants!
Our first stop was the Byodo-in, which was in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, a cemetery with chapels of various denominations:
Founded in 1963, the highlight of the area is a scale replica of the Byodo-in Buddhist Temple in Uji, Japan.
A separate entry fee was required for the temple.
The temple is made entirely without nails, and was dedicated in 1968 on the centennial commemoration of the first Japanese immigrants in Hawaii.
With the Koolau Mountain as a backdrop.
The garden complex was designed by famed Kyoto landscaper Kiichi Toemon Sano.
Cygnus atratus/Black Swan:
Clusia rosea/Autograph Tree: 
Some autographed leaves: 
Interesting tree trunks:
The token koi photo:
Koi are a Japanese symbol of love and friendship.
An 18' gilded statue of Buddha:
Plumeria pudica/White Frangipani:
The sacred bell:
The bell is rung by swinging a log against its side:
This will bring happiness and longevity.
A last look at Byodo-in:
Spathodea campanulata/African Tulip Tree:
Japanese cemetery: 
Hmm, Hygienic Store?  
But no restroom!
First sighting of Mokoli'i Island known as Chinaman's Hat:
Second sighting from Kualoa Regional Park:
There is a legend stating Hi'aka, Pele's sister, created Mokoli'i/Little Lizard Island by slaying a threatening no'o/dragon, and setting his giant flukes in the water as a landmark.
Paroaria coronata/Red-crested Cardinals:  
Sugar mill (1863-1870) ruins:
Windswept palms:
La'ie Hawai'i Temple:
This temple is of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Hibiscus brackenridgei/Pua aloalo/State flower of Hawai'i:
Time for lunch. 
We stopped at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in Kahuku:  
Kent ordered our first course:
One order of garlic shrimp:
Next we drove to The Ponds:
An aquaculture site.
We had planned to order another portion of garlic shrimp at Romy's:
But they had a waiting time of 2 hours!
Wind turbines across the street:
So we headed to Sunset Beach for dessert at Ted's Bakery:
Here there was a long line for garlic shrimp, but a short line for the chocolate-haupia cream pie. We shared two slices:  
Now we were definitely at the North Shore of Hawai'i, famous for the surfing:
I think this is the Banzai Pipeline:
See the surfer? 
Kent & Brynne:
Tamiko & Brynne:
Shark's Cove:
Kent looking for tidepools:
Three Tables Beach: 
Tide a little high for snorkeling.
A couple crabs: 
Here comes the wave:
Took a short and rocky drive uphill to the Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau: 
This is the largest heiau on the island of Oahu.
We heard lots of birds, but could not identify any of those flitting in the trees. We also saw a couple mongoose darting into the undergrowth.
We ended up in Haleiwa, so decided to complete our lunch at Haleiwa Joe's:
Spicy edamama: 
Haleiwa bridge with kayakers and paddle surfer:
Time for one more stop as we head back to Honolulu - Dole Plantation:
We were here specifically for the Pineapple Garden Maze: 
Once the world's largest maze, as featured in the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records:
Prizes are supposedly given for the fastest times through the maze, where you have to find eight stations and mark your card with particular shapes:
The timer wasn't turned on this afternoon, but we did pretty well.
Another dessert, this time pineapple ice cream. 
And praline macadamia nuts.
On our way out, we sighted a Copsychus malabaricus/White-rumped Shama:  
Kent found a wine shop to do some shopping. Later, we took the Waikiki Trolley from the hotel (what a long wait!), and hopped off at the Beach Walk. From there we walked to the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel for the Waikiki Christmas Ornament Store. Bought a half-price surfboard ornament with a coupon.  
Walked along Kalakaua Avenue to find a place for a quick bite, and ended up at the Royal Hawaiian Center Food Court. Then it was an easy walk back to the hotel to pack and get ready for a day of travel for everyone the next day.