Keana Point State Park

After dining on shrimp as we listened to the roosters crow, the pigeons coo, and watched the cats wait for their dinner, we headed up to Keana Point State Park.

Part of the park was closed to cars because of the recent flooding, (won’t be open again until 2019), but there was still a lot to see as we watched the sun go down over the Pacific. The closer it got to the sunset hour, the more people showed up, but still, compared to other areas we visited, there weren’t that many people around.

The point was beautiful and I could have sat there for hours just watching the play of the sun on the water.

Plus, I got my first glimpse of a red-crested cardinal! In my research on birds I might see in Hawaii, this one was often mentioned and I liked its coloring. The cardinal, however, is not a cardinal, but a tanager. And,  like all the birds I saw, this one is also an alien – from South America.

But still pretty.

A map to let us know where we were – always a good thing,
Tom and Marti enjoy the view.
My first siting of a red-crested cardinal who is actually a tanager and not a cardinal at all, but he’s still very pretty.
The sun continues to set.
One of my favorite pictures of the trip.
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I liked the silhouettes of the pick-up trucks and the people

Chickens, Chickens Everywhere

DSC_0592I remember when we went to Israel, I was surprised to see cats everywhere.

Well, in Hawaii – it’s chickens or if you want to be precise – red jungle fowl.

They are everywhere – thousands of them. They crow constantly, not even waiting for dawn.

The island has had programs where police would capture the chickens, but the programs haven’t worked and they simply keep multiplying. With all the feral chickens I saw, I can’t believe this is the only picture I got and it’s not even a good one. This one was at the shrimp truck.

I think my absolute favorite sighting was when we were in the McDonald’s drive-thru line one morning – to get Egg McMuffins. Think of the resulting ad campaign they could create!!!

Oh yeah, not only chickens, but speed bumps. Everywhere! So my takeaway from Hawaii – speed bumps and roosters.

Shrimp Trucks

One of the places a visitor to Hawaii must stop is a shrimp truck on the North Shore. They have a reputation for great, locally caught shrimp.

Deciding what to eat.
A place to sit in the comfort of Hawaiian breezes.
My dinner.


That says it all. (I wonder if customers forgetting their cars is something that happens a lot.)
And then the cats show up for their handouts.

Traveling the North Shore

After stopping at the Dole Plantation, we drove along the North Shore. The best way for me to describe the ride is – the scenery was exactly as I imagined Hawaii scenery to be … blue sky, endless sparkling water, rocky shorelines that fade into sandy beaches.

Better yet – here’s a few (yes, just a few) of the pictures I took.

On the way to the shore … not absolutely 100% sure, but I think we are still passing the Dole plantation and these are pineapple plants. When I  zoomed in, they looked like pineapple. (Willing to be corrected.)


Hmm … words to describe God’s beautiful creation: serene, breathtaking, sparkling.
Again, breathtaking.
Does anything get more Hawaiian-looking than this?




Not a sign I see too often in Illinois.

A Yellow Post

Two more pictures from the Dole Plantation –

A yellow hibiscus. Of course, we think of hibiscus when we think of Hawaii and the Dole Plantation had many planted on the grounds (along with other flowers.)

So pretty.

I also mentioned in my last post that we enjoyed Dole Whip.

Dole Whip is what you eat if you’re on the Dole Plantation, but also what you eat if you’re at Disneyland (so I’ve been told). The first place serving it at Disneyland was the Tiki Room which was sponsored by … Dole. even has a recipe for their whip. Let’s just say it’s pineapple and sugar and banana and coconut milk whipped into an ice cream consistency.

Most people get the pineapple whip, but I read it comes in six flavors. Tangy and sweet.

But enough of that. Just sitting in the sunshine at the Dole Plantation … enjoying our whip.


Ok, I might as well post the picture of the common myna bird here, too. This bird is an alien spieces from guess where? Yep! Southeast Asia and has the distinction of being of the list of the world’s worse invasive species so we won’t talk about it any more than this.


The Dole Plantation

We headed up the North Shore of Oahu and stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. The Plantation has several activities, but we chose to enjoy the garden, see some of the many pineapple plants, and then enjoyed some Dole Whip.

So as I was walking through the parking lot, I had an interesting thought. You know how when you do the license plate game, you always have trouble getting Hawaii? I remember the first time I found an Hawaii plate. We were camping at Crater Lake and Dad and I were walking through the campsites and I saw an Hawaii car. I was maybe 10 or so and very excited. Dad walked up to the family who owned the car and we talked to them for awhile. Well, if you’re playing the game in Hawaii – it’s hard to find anything BUT Hawaii plates – though we did see one car from Ohio.

Back to the Dole Plantation.


The place was definitely colorful!


Notice the varied colors of the pineapples.
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Liked the purple on this one.


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Chocolate trees! What’s better than that?
More colors!
And still more …
More birds:this is a Japanese white eye.(メジロ, 白) However, although I distinctly saw his white-rimmed eye, he hid when I took his picture. Like all the new birds I have posted – this one is an alien species to Hawaii. He comes from (drumroll) Japan!
And another bird who is not supposed to be in Hawaii – but came over from Southeast Asia – the red-vented bulbul. He’s especially not liked because the bulbuls ruin fruit crops so I don’t think the Dole Plantation is the best place for it to hang out, but he was hanging.
Remember I said that Hawaii has a smell? Well, Hawaii also has a sound. Wherever you go, and whatever time of day it is, you hear the background cooing of the zebra dove. And yes, they, too, are supposed to be over there in Southeast Asia. Let’s just say that many made the trip to Hawaii – they are everywhere!

A New Morning and Two New Birds

People traveling with me know I am intense about learning the name of every new bird, flower or tree that I see. I will ask until I find out and then to be even more annoying, I have to stop and take a picture of said bird, flower, tree. Sometimes I mentally tell myself to stop and not bother people, but then I see another bird, flower, and tree and I’m once again asking questions. I apologize to everyone who has gone anywhere with me. Sort. Of.  All comes down to just wanting to know.

So the very first morning in Hawaii I saw two new birds.

I identified the common waxbill by texting my brother. This pretty little finch was sitting in the branches off  the balcony of the condo where we where staying. A lot of other birds were also flitting around and singing, but I couldn’t capture them via photo nor could I see them close enough to describe them.

But I did get a picture of the common waxbill, although it’s not very clear. This bird is also called the St. Helena waxbill (for the island of St. Helena).DSC_0503 2.jpg

Although the name says it’s common, it’s not as common here as it is in Southern Africa and the Pacific Islands. The red streak across it’s eyes is pretty, sorry I didn’t get a better view.

I also saw a spotted dove (a long-tailed pigeon). Well, actually I saw dozens of spotted doves over the next week. This bird is found mostly in Asia, in particular India but has now reached Hawaii and Southern California. I liked the polka dots on it’s neck – they made it seem as if the dove was wearing a scarf.


So two new birds on a new morning in Hawaii.

I Made It – the Fiftieth State!


Not only is Hawaii the fiftieth state, it was also my fiftieth and final state. I have now been in all the states! The first thing I noticed is that Hawaii has a spicy, flowery smell. On doing some research, I read that part of it is because there is no industry pollution floating around. The other part is that there is a lot of puakenikeni, plumeria, and ginger perfuming the air.

I arrived in Oahu, Hawaii about seven at night and immediately Tom and Marti gave me a new experience … we went to a conclave of food trucks, ordered dinner … and then ate a new-to-me dessert – malasadas (Portuguese doughnut). Malasada specifically means “poorly or undercooked” which refers to the crispy coating and the soft, doughy insides (but you don’t think of them as undercooked). I would compare them to beignets.

Malasadas are thought to come from Sao Miquel, an island in the Azores settled by the Portuguese in 1427. When the Hawaii sugar and pineapple industry needed more workers, they hired many of them from other Pacific Islands, most often from Madeira and the Azores because those people already knew about harvesting sugar cane. They brought the Portuguese malasada with them. The doughnuts are egg-shaped and often filled with a creamy custard, chocolate or coconut filling.

Leonards is the most famous bakery on Oahu for malasadas … and we purchased ours at Leonard’s Malasadamobile.


And how I missed taking a picture considering how many hundreds of pictures I’ve taken the past few weeks, I have NO idea.


At the food truck – shelves full of malasadas, ready to fry.

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Another new food I had the very  next morning was an apple banana. They are from the Philippines and are sweeter, shorter and have a thicker skin than the bananas we are used to. They also have three times the Vitamin C that we’re used to and 1 1/2 times the amount of Vitamin A. A great start to a great trip.IMG_0700.jpg