One night we drove through Wakiki – which is a part of Honolulu best known for its beaches. But Wakiki is also an area of city lights, upscale stores – think Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The night we drove through the area, the roads were semi-empty because some of them were blocked off for a festival. However, the sidewalks were packed with people. I mean, we kind of wondered how they could walk there were so many of them. You can’t really tell from the video because a lot of the people were back off the sidewalks a little – but one corner must’ve had 500 people standing on it.
I didn’t get a great picture since I took it out of the car window at night – but the red and blue building is the Aloha Tower which is actually a lighthouse that can be seen 15 miles from shore, an iconic symbol of Hawaii.
Some people say that like the Statue of Liberty welcomes people on the East Coast, so the Aloha Tower welcomes people into Hawaii.
The tower was built in 1926 and up into the 60s was the tallest building on the islands. Now, it is being redeveloped by the Hawaii Pacific University as a residence hall.
(Ok, interesting sidenote – Honolulu ranks seventh as US cities with most high rises.)
During World War II, the military protected the tower and in fact, painted it in camouflage colors and turned off the light so it could not be seen. Finally, in the late 40s it was sandblasted back to its original color.
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.
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.)
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.
Dole.com 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.
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.