We were up early again, closer to 5:30 this time, and after breakfast we made plans to beat feet up the North Shore to get a jump on the crowds.
The Dole Plantation is on the way and since the kids had never been we decided to make a quick pit stop. We were the first ones in the parking lot at 9:00 am and decided to hang around until they opened at 9:30. Riley and Camden played with the wild chickens that were roaming outside while we waited.
We took a quick cruise through the viewing garden and fed the koi, but decided to skip the train and the maze because we didn't want to wait much longer before getting to the North Shore.
Pretending to serve smoothies to their customers: a rotating cast of me, Gammy, Gampy and TG.
We weren't in too much of a hurry to miss our chance to eat pineapple soft serve for a mid morning snack. Riley still talks about how delicious it was. This picture cracks me up because Gammy is just eating, Riley is making a cold ice cream face and Gampy is trying to convince Cam to take a taste. For the record he would not eat it.
From there, with bellies full of spam musubi and pineapple ice cream, we zipped to Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach). It was really hot on land, but freezing in the water. Visibility was good, much better than Waikiki had been the day before, and we snorkeled for a while taking turns showing the kids everything. We had been there about an hour and hadn't seen any turtles, but there were plenty of colorful fish to observe. I was just about to head back to the beach when I realized there was a commotion on shore and my Mom was waving her hands at me. I turned to my right and saw the biggest honu I've ever seen an arm's reach away. He lazily blinked an eye at me and kept moving. He never made it up onto the beach because there were too many people crowding the sand, but later the volunteer told me he is one of their biggest turtles, tipping the scales at 300 lbs.
I love this pic of Cam playing, Riley diligently rinsing out her snorkel mask, and Ka'ena Point in the distance.
Laniakea Beach, July 31, 2014.
When we honeymooned in Hawaii, ten years ago, TG and I stayed on the North Shore and found a small restaurant that we loved. Haleiwa Joe's has outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the marina and the food is incredible. Their kahlua pork sandwich on a taro roll is perhaps my favorite meal in the world. Gammy and Gampy were eager to try it and they agreed it was a new favorite. While on vacation, dessert is a must and this time we tried a coffee ice cream chocolate pie concoction that I am still dreaming about. My little family annihilated this baby after a ceremonial toasting of spoons. Speaking of my little family, yes it's incredibly crazy, to be sitting in the same spot, at the same restaurant, where I honeymooned with my sweet husband ten years ago, now with our two children. Crazy, beautiful, life.
We made the decision to go ahead and head back to the hotel after lunch because the traffic down the North Shore at that point was insane. We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool in the sun while the kids worked on their swimming skills.
Hale Koa Ilima Pool, July 31st, 2014.