~ Shrimp trucks and shave ice; surfer dudes and snorkeling.
~ Oh, and a bonus embarrassing bit about yours truly.
So there you go, then. You’ve been warned.
There are these lovely little shrimp trucks scattered all over the island. The food is cheap and delicious. Oh my goodness, nothing looks better after a day at the beach than a plate piled high with coconut shrimp and rice!
I had no idea that we were in for such a hilarious experience, though. There were three different shrimp “trucks” (they’re really RVs) in the parking lot we visited. Which one’s the best? Does it really matter? I mean, how embarrassing to go from truck to truck comparing! We went with the truck that was directly in front of our vehicle when we pulled in. The young lady who ran it did not speak much English, but she had a sweet little smile and was so darned earnest that we were instantly loyal. She won our hearts and got our money.
We sat at one of the picnic tables and she served us our food promptly. Then, while we were munching contentedly on our delicious meal and talking about our day, we became aware of a woman yelling. Come hee-ah! (She was Asian, too) Come hee-ah! We numba one! You no like you no pay! Come hee-ah!
John and I gave each other a look of what-the-heck? We looked around and then we saw her—an older lady who was leaning out of a shrimp truck at the other end of the lot and beckoning.
Loudly. And non-stop.
It was an odd and obnoxious thing for her to do and yet we could sympathize. Hers was not prime real estate. We wondered, though, if perhaps she wasn’t related in some way to the young lady whose truck we had frequented because she loaned the latter several items throughout the evening.
Didn’t matter. What was important was the good food and the fun, and both were present.
II. Shave Ice in the Lovely Little Town of Haliewa
When I posted this thread on the 4RealLearning Forum, Rachel May was quick to mention stopping by the quaint little town of Haliewa to get a shave ice.
VERY good advice from Rachel May.
Haliewa was lovely—full of art galleries and cute little shops. This shave ice stuff, though, was something else. I ordered mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom and it was heavenly.
A thousand thanks to Rachel May! We have put you in our will.
At least, that’s the flavor I had that day! 😉
Our resort was on the north shore of Oahu, so when we needed to go to Honolulu we had to drive along Highway 99 (also known as Kamehameha Hwy.) by all the beaches. Winter is the big surfing season in Hawaii, and there were surfers & surfing shops at every turn. With names like Planet Surf, Strong Current and (my personal favorite) Devocean, we were privy to plenty of hemp apparel and posters of Bob Marley. I felt like I was back in my early twenties.
One of our favorite haunts was the Foodland across the street from Sunset Beach. We got our orange juice and our bottled water there, as well as all those little food items one likes to have on hand.
Well, let me tell you. We saw no end of characters parading in and out of that Foodland. On our first day there, John turned to me in the car before going in and said, “You know, you’re going to see quite a bit of skin while we’re here. So don’t freak out about it.”
And I did pretty well, all things considered! I saw a lot of skin and I only wigged out a little bit.
Every now and then. When there was an…excess.
It was hard, though. There were a couple of times when we’d be standing in line at the check-out and next to us would be Michelangelo’s David. More or less. And I stood and I stared at my yogurt and I turned red.
I felt very much the Minnesotan that I was, at times. I am so not California.
IV. An Unfortunate Series of Events
So we went scuba diving in Hawaii. Big deal! I was pretty much hating it the whole time. A word of advice to the highly caffeinated: go easy on the coffee the morning of a dive. My heart started pounding the minute they passed me my wet suit! And it didn’t let up the Entire Time.
Little did I know that I was about to go throw up all over the ocean.
This pasty-white Minnesotan never intended to go 30 feet under. The only reason we did is because we were given a free scuba diving—yes, free—by the clever entrepreneurs at Deep Ecology (a little scuba shop in Haliewa). The instructors come to the Turtle Bay Resort twice a week and hang out by the pool with their equipment. If you want a free orientation, hey, it’s yours! And since you did so very well, wouldn’t you like to try it out for real later on that week? (That dive will cost you some $$$, however.)
Why not? my husband asked me. And feeling some crazy need to recapture my lost youth, I agreed.
We met the instructors and three other like-minded
fools young men at Electric Beach. After a brief orientation the two instructors, a surfer-dude type named Tyler and his hardy blonde assistant, Kelly, handed us our wet suits and approximately 200 lbs worth of equipment. “Follow us,” they said, and proceeded to go crashing through the ten-foot surf into the sea.
Unfortunately, I was given plenty of time to take this picture.
Well, long story short, I got sea-sick. Tyler need to spend a little extra time training one of the other fellows before we made the dive, and so the rest of us bobbed like buoys in the choppy water while we waited. I felt the first few waves of nausea and thought, “Oh no.” It was morning sickness all over again, only worse. I don’t throw up with morning sickness! I tried to hang in there and hoped the horrible feeling would pass once we descended.
I gave ol’ Tyler the “thumbs up” signal, which in scuba language does not mean everything’s peachy but rather, I need to go up now. And so he took me to the surface and waited patiently while, my head averted as best I was able, I lost my lunch and then some.
“It’ll be better next time,” John assured me. I just snorted. “You did great!” Tyler enthused. “I’m not tipping you, you know,” I joked. “So you don’t have to say that.” He told me that no, really, 60% of his students refuse to go down at all once they get out there.
He then added that it’s okay to throw up in your regulator (that’s the bit that fits in your mouth). Thank you but no thank you, I’m sure.
So there you go, then, that’s my story. If I don’t have my dignity I still have a story, and for a blogger that’s almost as good!
This event requires little narration. I love snorkeling, ever since the first (and only other) time I went—off the coast of Ireland, of all unexpected places. (Do you remember when I swam with Fungi? It was that same day.)
We went to Hanauma Bay, which is absolutely gorgeous and which, according to the guide books, is “not a secret for a reason.” We were two people among many that day, but it was worth it.
Here are some photos from the outing.
And that’s the third installment in the series Thoughts of Oahu. Are you getting sick of these yet? I hope not! On the docket: a nature walk at Waimea Falls and a poignant visit to Pearl Harbor.
“Colorful Surf Boards on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii” courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography.