Christmas in Hawaii: Day Seven

Click here to start at the beginning.

Originally, I intended to lump all of our Oahu stories into one post. I mean, seriously, how many times can we say "we went to the beach and got awesomely tan"?

Day Seven was different, though.

We started out early in the morning and stopped by the BEST manapua shop in the WORLD, Libby's. It's a local place in the industrial district that caters to locals, dock workers, factory workers, etc. It's not a place one wanders into unless one knows EXACTLY what one wants. Just a fair warning.

We had intended to stop at the beach and eat our food there, but I really wanted to eat at Ala Moana and we were long past it. So we kept driving towards the North Shore until we got to the Dole Plantation.

Let me stop and tell you that yes, while this place is fun, it's definitely touristy. I wouldn't normally recommend it as a place to stop unless you a) have to pee, b) are thirsty, c) are in the mood for something touristy, or d) really enjoy horticultural mazes. We were everything, so we stopped. We dug into our manapua and pork hash and washed it all down with freshly-squeezed pineapple juice. Then we took the kids through the maze for a 30-minute trial of patience. And when we couldn't stand it anymore, we hopped back into the car and headed for Hale'iwa.

Our mission on the North Shore was singular: find the LOST beach. I promised Matt that we would look for it, and guess what. WE FOUND IT, thanks to this post from Go Visit Hawaii.

It's amazing, really. You turn off Kamehameha Highway onto Papailoa Road, a private drive with expensive houses. There a small parking lot near a narrow public beach access path. Turn left and trudge along for about 10 minutes and BAM. You're there. The campsite is actually just someone's backyard, and there are remnants of the set still there. It's mostly Coke cans and orange fencing, but still! And because it's in a curve of the coast, there is NO ONE there. No footprints, no sunbathers, nothing. You really get the feeling of being marooned.

Our intention was to complete the drive around the island, maybe cutting through over Nu'uanu Pali to get back for dinner, but traffic was so backed up on Kamehameha Hwy that we decided to turn around and go back the way we came. Lucky thing, too, because it gave us an excuse to stop at Matsumoto Shave Ice.

I do recommend this place: it's famous. And the shave ice is unparalleled. I had to get something a little campy for the kids (a Hawaiian blend), but I got guava and lilikoi (yellow passion fruit). It was ... just ... mmmmm.

The drive home was uneventful, and we spent the rest of the day kickin' it at Waikiki.

Well, the rest of the day until Matt and I went our for our anniversary dinner. Yes, we were lucky enough to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Honolulu. We were able to get reservations at Chai's Island Bistro, this minuscule restaurant in the Aloha Tower Marketplace. It's well known for its live entertainment, often featuring the Brothers Cazimero, who are probably the most famous Hawaiian musicians of our day. I don't remember who was entertaining that night, unfortunately; we were wrapped up in our little cocoon of being in love that we forgot to check. I'm sure she was someone well known; my grandparents kept asking how we enjoyed her music.

We topped off our night with fruity drinks at the Banyan Courtyard at the Moana Surfrider Hotel, another luxurious Waikiki beach resort. All in all, not a bad way to celebrate four years of marriage.

Other posts about our Christmas in Hawaii:
Days One and Two
Day Three
Day Four
Days Five and Six
The Rest

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