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July 11 - all Oahu tour and ramen
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-The rest of the trip Brian and I went independent of the rest of the group. Both Brian and I were determined to see more of Oahu than just the Honolulu area, so we decided to take an all Oahu bus tour offered by Roberts Hawaii. Andrew and Wen-Lin also did something similar, but opted for the cheaper TheBus. The rest of the group i think went parasailing and jet-skiing, which while probably fun, Brian and I felt that we could do that in California, but we couldn't see Oahu back in California.
-We had a 8:55 am pick up time in front of our hotel, but we got up at 8 am, showered and ate at the Jack-n-the-box right next to the hotel. The bus came at 9am, and it was one exactly like the one that Germaine's Luau chartered to transport us to Barbers Point. This time, the driver acted as both driver and tour guide, and we got a guy named Thomas. A Hawaii native, he was very knowledgeable about all the sights and offered some interesting commentary on some of Hawaii's declining industries, particularly the agricultural industry. Aptly enough, our first stop in the all Oahu tour, was the Dole Pineapple Plantation.
-Surrounded by acres of fertile red soil, the Dole plantation is your typical tourist attraction complete with pineapple themed gift shop, food, train ride and maze. We both had some interesting pineapple ice cream soft serve. Now the first surprise of the day was that pineapples grow on the ground and not on trees as many people believe. I always thought they grew on trees, mainly because they are such large fruits, but no they grow on the ground. They also take a long time to ripen, some 1.5-2 years.
they grow in the ground!
posing with some plants
-who's cooler in this pic? me or the pineapples?.... the pineapples obviously
more of 'em
-yup.. in the ground
a field of them
-.... "pineapple fields forever..."
pineapple growth cycle
-the growth cycle of pineapples
-the flags of Dole, the US and the State of Hawai'i
the entrance
-the entrance to the plantation
-we left the Dole Plantaion at about 12:30 pm and head to the North Shore area of Oahu. We primarily drove along the shoreline and made a stop at world famous Sunset Beach. The beach is famous for the surfing championships that are held there, in particular the big wave championships. The beach often gets 30-foot waves during the winter time. Unfortunately or fortunately for us there were no such waves.
Sunset Beach
-Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach
-More Sunset Beach
-after a brief stop at the beach, the tour continued east along the northern shore. Much of the scenery and beaches became somewhat repetitive, however it was still beautiful and much more interesting than the skyscrapers of Honolulu.
windward Oahu
-Windward Oahu is very green
Chinaman's Hat Island
-Chinaman's Hat Island
-Driving down the coast, we made a stop at a macadamia nut store which was very full of free macadamia nut samples and plenty of tourists. I had me way too many macadamia nuts, but hell i was on vacation. After the nuts, we drove along some more until reached the summit of Nu'uanu Pali and got impressive views of the green windward shore.
-a waterfall near Nu'uanu Pali Lookout
windward Oahu
-view from Nu'uanu Pali Lookout: Kailua
windward Oahu
-more of Kailua from Nu'uanu Pali Lookout
windward Oahu
-Mountains behing Kailua
-Nu'uanu Pali Lookout was definitely the highlight of the island tour. Nothing else on the tour could really match up to the breathtaking views from the lookout. We left the lookout after a brief 15 minute stop and continued around the coast of Oahu toward Hanauma Bay. Along the way we saw two small islands, Rabbit Island and Kaohikaipu Island. The next stop along the tour was Halona Blowhole, a lava formation. The formation is such that water shoots out of a hole like a geyser whenever the waves crash into it from below. The formation wasn't working too well when we saw it, although we did get some demonstration of the geyser-like action.
-Manana (Rabbit Island, rear) and Kaohikaipu Islands
Sandy Beach
-a view of Sandy Beach from near the Halona blowhole
Sandy Beach
-another shot of Sandy Beach
the Halona blowhole
-the Halona Blowhole (it's where that mist is coming out of)
-a cove near the blowhole. It was featured in the movie "50 First Dates," which i saw on the plane ride in
me and the beach
-me posing in front of Sandy Beach
-The tour continued after Halona Blowhole to Hanauma Bay. No pictures from that since i already put some up for July 9 (and besides it was cloudier than on july 9...) After another stop outside the Diamond Head Crater, our tour and circle around the island of O'ahu was over... We got dropped off at the hotel around 5:30 pm after a long roundtrip. And now for a random picture i took from the hotel room of the Ala Wai Canal right after we got back.
view from room
-Ala Wai Blvd and McCully, next to the Ala Wai Canal... from out 20th floor hotel room
-Brian and I had our last dinner in Hawaii at Ezo Ramen. Pretty good stuff.. and you know it's a good sign when Japanese tourists are in there enjoying it and even thinking they're still in Japan. In Japan, it's not considered rude to be making slurping noises with your noodles, but of course here in the states it is. But this guy i was sitting next to seemed to think he was back in Tokyo or something, cuz he was making tons of slurping noises. It did remind me of when i was in Japan, exactly three years ago. Hahahah, it was nice meal to end the day and the trip with.... GOTO Hawaii Trip Home

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