I was home from Hawaii for three days before Sue and I left for the East Coast a road trip over familiar territory. Our first stop was near Sugar Creek, Ohio. One of the touristy things we saw advertised was a giant cuckoo clock.
Early the next morning we drove through beautiful country looking for the town Sugar Creek and the clock. The day was covered in fog with drizzly rain and few people were walking around the streets … except for a couple who were also waiting for the clock to cuckoo.
The clock was okay. I did live near Frankenmuth for four years and just a few miles away from the Glockenspiel Tower – so, well ….
If you’re somewhere in the area and seeing the world’s largest cuckoo clock is on your bucket list or todo list, then this is what you’re looking for.
Afterwards, we did wander down the street and enjoy pastries from an Amish bakery and had a great conversation with the baker herself.
So a good start, but not overly memorable, start to the day.
So one night while in the Northwoods, we drove to Rondele Ranch (pronounced Rondalay) because we heard they had a Christmas light display. Most of the seasonal event was over (the part with rides and cookies and such). But the lights were still up and the weather was crisp and cool …
One of the foods on the you-must-try-this-when-in-Hawaii lists is shave ice. (Not SHAVED ice, but shave ice.) One of the most popular places to get your shave ice is at M.Matsumoto. The place was busy
Being a person who needs my ICED tea as soon as I get up in the morning – I knew I would like this AND I did. A. Lot. Shave ice is kind of like a glorified snow cone, but not really. The ice is shaved thinner and the flavors are stronger.
And truly it’s a place not to be missed.
As we sat in the courtyard, enjoying our treat, the sun was going down in the West (Duh! Seldom does it go down in the East.) The night was beautiful and I perfectly understood the lure of the Islands.
The next day was a long flight home … in time for another conference journey – this one about as far across the country as you can get.
So one thing I haven’t talked about on my Hawaii posts is the lady who sat next to me on the plane from L.A. to Honolulu. As soon as I sat down, I was instantly her best friend. W. was my new Pilipino, Hawaiian tour guide who actually lives in Texas. During the five hour flight, she periodically would nudge me and tell me somewhere else I HAD to eat or I HAD to visit when in Hawaii. She was very funny and very sweet and really did have good recommendations. Not only did she tell me where to eat, but also what to order. And when I got to Hawaii – I ate at some of those places because they were so very good.
Anyhow here are three restaurants Tom and Marti introduced me to in Oahu.
Zippys. Zippys has several locations on the Islands. Two brothers opened the first Zippys back in 1966 (they planned to open a car wash, but it turned into a restaurant. Go figure.)
Zippys was the place I had my first loco moco – an Hawaiian speciality.
Basically loco moco is rice, topped with a hamburger, topped with a fried egg and covered with brown gravy.
Since gravy, meat and rice are a favorite of mine, it didn’t take much for me to enjoy this.
Another popular restaurant is The Big City Dinner (clever name). I also had loco moco here.
My very favorite restaurant, however, was 604. This is right off the parking lot at the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The front isn’t spectacular, but the back has beautiful views of the harbor itself. (And my Hawaiian, Pilipino friend from Texas didn’t even mention this one.)
Here I had a seafood melt that was out-of-this-world delicious. The top was crunchy and so good! Marti and I then split a dessert – a pineapple chutney cheesecake. We both super enjoyed it. Yes. This was my favorite.
I knew a little about Pearl Harbor. Like when it happened. What happened. Where it happened. But most of my World War II reading has been from the Jewish perspective, so I found visiting Pearl Harbor to be sobering and fascinating.
The two museum complexes are detailed and interesting – and give a detailed view of what happened when. After going through the museums, I felt like I had a good understanding of the event – including the fact that the planes were picked up on radar, but when reported by the servicemen who saw them on the screen, were ignored by their commanders. (Has to be a devotional there somewhere.)
At this point, you cannot go on to the memorial itself because of an oil leak (think I have that right), but you can take a boat ride around the memorial. (The brown structure in front is part of the sunken Arizona. The memorial will be open again in March.
On Sunday afternoon between church and going to another church, we headed up to Nuuanu Pali Lookout, an Hawaiian State Park. (Pali means cliff.) The lookout looks out (got that?) over the northeast coast of Oahu. Specifically over Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe Bay, and Kailua.
The day we were there was cloudy and rain started coming down as we took in the view which is why there are spots on the pictures. (I always am more concerned about my camera than I am me when I get caught in the rain.)
The area has a lot of history … and a lot of visitors. Even on this rainy afternoon, a lot of people were walking around, taking pictures, admiring the view, and dodging raindrops.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of blog posts about places I’ve visited while speaking at conferences. And I always feel kind of funny because I talk about the scenery, but not the people. That’s because it’s hard to talk about the people. I don’t have permission to post their pictures, and I don’t want to break any confidences by talking about questions they asked or challenges they have in their ministry.
And part of this trip was ministry.
The conference was at Calvary chapel, Pearl Harbor, a fairly large church located in a strip mall. I met so many friendly leaders.
And the music during the opening was appropriately Hawaiian! Such fun.
The next morning we were able to attend the service at Hawaii Kai. (I love saying Hawaii Kai!) Good service and more friendly people.
In fact, afterwards, one of the men took us out to lunch at the Maona Cafe – a popular breakfast place in Hawaii Kai. He told us that there is always a wait. I had a super delicious strawberry waffle and good conversation.
That afternoon we visited two Awana clubs in two different areas and once again, I had the opportunity to meet great people. (I took a lot of pictures but can’t post them because of privacy restrictions.)
But here is the Game Square for one of the churches.