M. Matsumoto Shave Ice

DSC_1039 2.jpgOne 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.

A great trip!

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Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout

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.

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The welcome sign
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I was going to crop that man hanging on to the sign, but I thought he looked kind of funny, so I left him in. Anyhow, you can see what you’re looking at by reading the sign.
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Looking straight ahead from the overlook.
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Looking to the right – here you can definitely see the rain on the lens.
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To the left.

 

The Resort

I remember attending a conference at DisneyWorld. The shuttle picked us up at the airport and took us right to our hotel complex. We never saw anything outside of the magical world of Mickey. Since I had been to Florida (and DisneyWorld) before, that was fine for the conference visit, but kind of limiting to someone who hadn’t been to the South.

You can do the same in Oahu. A shuttle will pick you up at the airport and deliver you to the Disney (and other hotels in the resort area) and then take you back when your stay is over.

One night we went over to the resort area and walked down to the beach. Although the resort areas are closed off  to the public – the beach is public and they have a path that you can follow to the public area.

And then we waited for another beautiful sunset.

 

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Pretty beaches

 

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The Disney Resort
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The resort –
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Sunset

But more important is the view out to sea …

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Don’t know who these people are, but they sure got cool wedding photos.

 

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A beautiful ending.

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.

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

 

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That says it all. (I wonder if customers forgetting their cars is something that happens a lot.)
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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.

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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.)

 

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

 

 

 

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Sunshine!
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Not a sign I see too often in Illinois.

I Made It – the Fiftieth State!

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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.

Yum!

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

 

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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