Day 2 - Turtle Bay Resort
Before I say anything, I have acknowledge the celebration of another year for my beautiful wife and mother of our children. 46, er, 39!!! Happy Birthday, Jenny!!!
After crashing “early” Hawaii time, I managed to wake up “early” Hawaii time again. Though I had only 6 or so hours of sleep, I couldn’t get it out of my head that I wanted to see a sunrise. So around 5:15 I ambled out of bed, brushed my teeth, and headed outside towards the beach.
Since it was very dark the night before, this was the first time I saw much of the surrounding area. In the pre-dawn hour, I could see all sorts of things, like trees, flowers, and mountains. Oh, and the ocean. I had some idea that those things were there, but seeing them for the first time was comforting.
I trekked the half mile or so to the beach near the Turtle Bay Hotel, took off my shoes, and headed out on the beach, trying to secure an eastward view. Being at the far north peak of the island, it turns out it’s easy to find places to watch both sunrises and sunsets over the ocean. Pretty unique, actually, when you think about it.
Once I found my spot, I was able to find a position where I couldn’t see or hear anything manmade, including other people, and I just sort of shut my brain off. Of course, my brain doesn’t quite work that way, so I went back to the sidewalk where I left my shoes because having the half dozen or so people around me made me feel weird about having left my shoes somewhere that somebody might take them, so I went back to get those, went back to my spot, then tried again to turn off my mind.
I can’t say I was very successful in my attempts at meditation or becoming “one with the world,” but I can tell you that I saw a pretty killer sunrise. At first I thought I may have missed it. There were some clouds on the horizon in the east, so I thought maybe the sun had come up and was hiding behind them. About 10 seconds later I was treated to the very first sliver, then over the course of about 2 minutes and 30 seconds saw the full sun crest the horizon, then promptly hide behind a cloud. Pretty cool.
I managed to walk around the resort a little bit and found out where the restaurants were, where the beach house was, where the pools were, and that we had a walking trail! The trail will come in useful. Not much time for walking around, though, because I needed to get back, tidy up, and get the family fed, which Jenny and I had worried about due to their general incessence on eating first thing when they wake up (mainly Mireille, but she’s loud enough for all of them).
When I returned from my walk, the “family” (minus Ethan) were up and moving. So I grabbed a quick shower and we headed out for breakfast at the Lei Lei Lounge, a restaurant on the resort grounds. Jenny was briefly thinking we might need reservations to go here, but that proved to not be necessary by a long shot - we were literally the only people eating at 7:00 in the morning.
Breakfast was pretty good, though it showed us two things that were expected yet unexpected at the same time. First, food in Hawaii is expensive. Our modest little breakfast was around $70, for four of us! The other, we are really far behind the rest of the company from a timezone perspective. We were watching the women’s national team compete in the world cup, and it was already past halftime! I would imagine it would be difficult to cheer for an east coast football team if you were a Hawiian resident.
In an attempt to control costs, and since we have a full kitchen in our condo, we went to the local Foodland and got some groceries. Since we are on the north end of the island, it is pretty rural, and the grocery stores are a bit like those in Neillsville, our home town. So it was small, the selection wasn’t super impressive, but it had pretty much everything you needed. We got what was I thought at once too much and too little for the week and the bill came out to more than $200. To be fair, we did get a fair amount of alcohol, and we were also able to save over 20% by signging up for their club card, so all was not lost.
It was at the Foodland that we first realized that the state’s equivalent to a squirrel is almost definitely the chicken. Yeah, that kind of chicken. They are all over the place, at least on the north end of this island!
On the way back to the condo we saw a roadside fruit stand where we stopped and got some fruits and treats. Mireille and I each had this deep fried banana thing that was absolutely delicious, Jenny picked up some pineapple, mangos, and some strange fruit that resembled what I can only imagine an alien’s testicles must look like (when you peel them, they look like a peeled grape, but they were bigger and more ovulur). We also get a fresh coconut split open with 4 straws since Quin had been talking about drinking from a coconut since before we even landed. He wasn’t too impressed, unfortunately.
After putting away our groceries, Quinton and Mireille were ready to swim. Our resort has 4 small pools near the condos and a large pool closer to the hotel, so Mireille, Quinton, and I went to one of the close ones and swam by ourselves while Ethan and Jenny explored the rest of the property.
While on their walk, Ethan found the place where I watched the sunrise. He did a bit more exploring than I did, walking way out on the rocks where he found a bunch of crabs. While he was telling me about them, I made some hilarious dad joke about sexually transmitted diseases. Ethan obliged me with a laugh. Quinton said something to the effect of, “You got herbies?” As usual, Quinton stole the joke without even knowing it!
After our morning adventures, we decided to head over to a small surfer town called Haleiwa. The road we took was packed with people parking and beaching at various places, so it took us better than 25 minutes to travel the 10 or so miles to the small town. Once we were there, we had to park on the extreme edge of town and walk a ways to get to the shops and restaurants that awaited us.
Our first order of business was lunch. We stopped at Haleiwa Joe’s and had some local faire. Ethan had fish tacos, I tried the poke, Jenny had some other fish dish, and the kids pretty much stayed safe with fried things and burgers, though Quinton explored the caesar salad only to find out that he prefers them with ranch dressing, not Caesar dressing! At one point during the meal, Quinton downloaded a game on Jenny’s phone that took a photo and ranked the person for how “pretty” they were. I’m happy to report that I “won” with 95%. I won’t say what Jenny got, but I’m pretty sure the game is rigged - it’s my people that likely made the game (computer programmers, that is).
After lunch we headed further into town, determined to try some famous Hawaiian Shave Ice. It’s important to note that it is “Shave Ice” and not “Shaved Ice,” which is a common mistake made. Ethan looked up the best place to get it, which was Matsumoto’s. Unfortunatly, his phone was reporting that it was 2 miles ahead, so we picked the closest place to advertise Shave Ice which happened to be Aoki’s Shave Ice. We each got one, which were pretty good. While waiting for them to construct our concoctions, I struck up a conversation with one of the employees and asked what set one Shave Ice vendor apart from another. Apparently the shave of the ice as well as the ingredients, which are typically home made are what people came back for. He said that his stand was popular with the locals because of the long lines across the street. I figured he meant this other little shop across the street which had like 3 people in line, which was why we chose Aoki’s, but apparently hea meant Matsumoto’s, for after we got our treats we continued down the street and Matsumoto’s was literally the next storefront! I guess it wasn’t 2 miles away… Anyway, they did have really long lines, and Aoki’s was very good anyway. We also got a bunch of souveniers from Matsumoto’s, so it wasn’t a complete loss. Also while talking with the guy from Aoki’s he asked where we were from. I said Colorado, assuming everybody knew where that was. He proceeded to node politely, then ask if that was on the east coast!!! I suppose if you are an Islander, you probably wouldn’t know the mainland geography very well. Hell, I don’t even know all of the island names in Hawaii!!!
We continued down the way, but were hot and tired, so we turned around and went back to the car. On the way out of town we stopped at a “Mac Nuts” farm outlet where we learned a little about macademia nuts and bananas. We also saw our first wild pig, and chickens were everywhere, including in the trees and on the roof of the store!
We returned to the condo - it was hot and the kids wanted to swim some more, so we went back to our little pool. This time there were a lot more people there, but it still served the purpose - it cooled us down.
We took dinner in the room - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mac and cheese. It was plenty - we were spent!
After dinner, Mireille was heading to bed, but Ethan really wanted to see a sunset, having missed the sunrise that morning. So he, Quinton, and I headed out around 7:00 to try to find a suitable place for a sunset - somewhere vaguely westward facing. We followed some horse trails and eventually found Hidden Beach, which was spectacular!! Not a soul in site, and a perfect view of what I’m sure would have been a spectacular sunset. Unfortunately, clouds prevented us from seeing the final descent, but we managed to get some killer pictures anyway!
On the way to Hidden Beach, Quinton told us that he really wanted to surf since these looked like some really “Naughty Waves.” I explained to him that typically surfers called them “Gnarley Waves,” but his version was funnier…
We returned to the room by about 8:30, right about in time to go to bed. I’m pretty sure we were all in bed and sleeping by 9:30, reminding you that it is 1:30 in our biological timezone!!! Anyway, we had to get up early and leave for our tour of Pearl Harbor in the morning!!!