The North Shore, Pearl Harbor, and East Coast

Trip Start Mar 19, 2009
Trip End Mar 30, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Monday, March 23, 2009

Yesterday morning we decided to rent a car and make the drive to Oahu's north shore.  We found a car rental place a couple of blocks from us and rented one for the day.  We left Waikiki around 9 in the morning, stopped at Hawaiian Fire to buy rash guards in case we wanted to surf, and headed to Hale'iwa.  The drive only took about 30 minutes.  We decided to drive to the east end of the north shore and work our way back to Hale'iwa with various stops.  We went as far east as La'ie to see the natural rock arch formed by a tsunami in the 1940's.  It was pretty cool and got us really excited for what we had yet to see!  Along the way back towards Hale'iwa, we stopped at Giovanni's shrimp truck to see what all the fuss was about.  Not only was this in our guidebook, but there was a line outside so we wanted to try for ourselves.  We both got a dozen peel and eat shrimp with some rice.  They were fantastic and highly recommended!  These shrimp trucks are pretty common in the smaller towns and are popular for a reason.  
Continuing to make our way back, our next stop was at Ehukai Beach.  Ehukai Beach is where the infamous Banzai Pipeline is and a surfing mecca in the winter.  The Bonzai Pipeline is about 100 yards to the left of the primary Ehukai Beach Park.  Although Ehukai was crowded with locals, the surf was not the surf you read about in magazines.  That is because it is spring and the mad waves don't come again for several months, but let's just say that it was still big enough that Geoff and I were not willing to test our skills out there.  There were, however, some locals going at it, primarily girls, and they would have put us to shame anyway!  I think we sat out there and watched in awe for over an hour.  We finally had to leave only because we had not yet put on sunscreen and were starting to burn! 
Back in the car and on the road again, we decided to stop at Waimea Beach Park because it looked so pretty.  That beach was so popular we couldn't find a parking space and decided to move on.  I was able to snap a picture of it out the car window, though!  Our final stop along the north shore was in Hale'iwa for some shaved ice at Aoki's....and it was my favorite yet!
Heading back into Honolulu we decided to swing by Pearl Harbor because the guilt of not going was starting to get to us and it was just off the highway.   We stopped, took a few pictures, and saw a short film on its history.  It was definitely an educational experience and worth our time.  We did answer a question that had been lingering in our minds...since Honolulu/Waikiki is full of Japanese visitors, do they visit Pearl Harbor?  The answer...not that we could tell.  There was a small handful, but nothing compared to the population walking the streets of Waikiki.  
After Pearl Harbor and since our north shore drive didn't take as long as we planned on, we decided to drive over to the east coast of Oahu and check it out.  The H-3, which is the highway that cuts through central Oahu to the east coast is only 16 miles long, but it cost $100 million PER MILE to build as it cuts through the mountains that divide east and west Oahu with an elevated road and tunnels.  It was an awesome drive!  One thing we did notice was that it was raining on the east side, but not on the west side due to the mountains and they are only 16 miles apart!  When we got to Kane'ohe, it was raining so we didn't spend much time outside, but snapped a few pictures.  Continuing on the east coast back towards the southern coast, we stopped at Lanikai Beach, which was overcast, but full of windsurfers and it was definitely a great day for that! We stopped at Maui Tacos in a nearby town for dinner and then continued winding our way back towards Waikiki along the coast, stopping at a couple of lookout points along the way to see the views and take pictures
One of the cool things to see was the Halona Blowhole, where the ocean comes up under a lava bench and rages out through a hole.  The same day we were there, a teenage boy apparently tried to walk down to the blowhole and got knocked over by a wave that nearly killed him.  The ocean can be mean sometimes!
Finally, we stopped at a couple more lookouts, stopped for the sunset all the way back around near Diamond Head and headed back to our hotel.  Once we got back we went out for ice cream and some cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company and called it a night.  It was a beautiful drive and well worth the time and car rental to see other parts of the island!
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