Saturday, July 16, 2011

Haleiwa and the North Shore

On Monday, K and I drove up through the center of the island to the North Shore area. During the winter, this is the area that surfers go for the really big waves, but during the summer, it is just a great place to see. The center of the island is where pineapples and sugarcane are grown, although we didn't see any sugarcane (not that I would recognize it if I saw it). We stopped at the Dole Plantation, although we had little interest in going on a tour (I hate pineapple and I have moral oppositions to Sanford Dole, the plantation system in general and the subsequent takeover of Hawaii...). I took a couple of pictures, but my friend Stacie has a much better description (and far better pictures) here. This is a decorative pineapple, by the way.
I did learn a few new Hawaiian words while I was there....Mahalo was one of them. It means thank you. We spent a grand total of about 20 minutes at the Dole Plantation, and continued on to the North Shore.
I took this picture just for my dad...this is apparently some kind of pineapple harvesting apparatus. There was nowhere to stop, so I took it out the car window as K was driving.
When we got to Haleiwa, we were a little early, and in Hawaii "open at 10" could mean 10, or 10:30, or 11, or whenever, so we just walked around from one end of the main street to the other. Haleiwa is apparently one of the main stops on the Japanese tours of Hawaii, K and I were some of the only white people there. This was especially apparent in this little coffee shop we stopped at, where the menu was in both English and Japanese.
Down the street a bit was a collection of buses that apparently belonged to Ron Artis and his reggae band. I do not know anything about Ron Artis, but he seemed to be quite famous on Oahu anyway. I thought the collection was interesting.
Down the street a bit more was a really cool, presumably old church, beautifully framed in a coral block (?)  archway. The archway itself was completely wrapped in blooming cactus (more on that later) and it was really pretty. Next to the church was the graveyard and if we'd had more time and it wasn't quite so hot, I would have liked to explored a little bit.

One of my favorite things about Hawaii is that it is so easy to see what it would have been like in the 1950s and 1960s, at the height of the luxury travel era. It is this fascinating mix of midcentury retro, hippie surfer, and ultramodern. We saw more than one bright pink, neon yellow, grass green, or sky blue car or pickup while we were there, as well as many MANY variations on the Volkswagon Bug or van. This is one of my favorite pictures from Haleiwa.
After we wandered around Haleiwa for a while, we went out to Mokule'ia beach, which was recommended by a friend (thanks Pseudo!) and sat on the beach and read for several hours. Of course, since we were still sunburned, we sat under a tree, but it was still really relaxing and awesome. There were several kite surfers out there, who were really cool to watch. 
I love sitting on the beach. I like watching the water, the clouds, the people, and the wildlife. This was a great beach and a nice, relaxing day.

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