Friday, August 19, 2016

Hawaii, Day 13 ~ Surfing and Scenery

Our 5th morning on Oahu, we participated in an activity with extended family: surfing!  The rest of the day, we worked on items from our list.  These included seeing Pali Lookout, eating at Cinnamon's, and driving around an area of the island we had not yet visited.

Waikiki beach is known for surfing.  My uncle said they have consistently good waves for beginners year round.  There are multiple surfboard rental companies along the shore and instructors available.  Apparently prices have gone up, from $25/lesson to $60/lesson.  Sticker shock for sure!  In fact, our impression everywhere in Oahu was that prices have risen in recent years ($200 more/week than the Big Island for the same size car), traffic has risen, and overall it's probably not the best island to spend a lot of time on if you are pinching pennies.  They have some great tourist destinations, but I think the Big Island is better for a longer stay.

Anyway, back to surfing . . .

A short group lesson on the basics.

Into the water they go!  The moms made a mad dash for pics.

I wasn't in swimwear, so I stayed up on dry sand.

As part of our deal, the company used their powerful camera to capture surfers' best moments.  Or worst moments, as the case may be.  Some of the shots totally cracked us up.  Love the expressions.

Greg had a couple of excellent runs.

Here's Kylen getting started with the instructor.

He had a pretty long run standing, but he was in a crouched position most of the time.  When he tried to straighten, he toppled.  Surfing isn't easy starting out!

Coming in.

Next we drove to Pali Lookout.

A haven for feral chickens, right next to the parking lot.

Here's the attraction.

What a view!  And what wind!  I've never experienced such consistently strong gales.  It was fun!

Next, we ate at Cinnamon's in Kailua where we had the best pancakes of our life.  They have two locations on Oahu and two in Japan (in case you happen to visit Japan before you make it to Hawaii).  Everyone is crazy about their guava chiffon pancakes.  We could see why.  They were amazing.

Their breakfast menu is huge.

Kylen got their crab cake burger.  Of course, we all shared the pancakes.

I had a traditional breakfast.  There was a prominent sign when we walked up that said they were out of the bacon hash browns.  Sorry we missed those.  Greg had a steak salad and Kal Bi Chicken (teriyaki), but the pic didn't turn out well.

There was a chocolate store in the same building called Manoa Chocolate Hawaii.  I was able to sample all their bars for free.  They also offered tours.  If I hadn't already been on a chocolate tour, I would have joined.  They don't grow their own cacao, but they do everything from bean to bar.

Then we drove around and saw things.  Such as . . .

A beach popular with kite surfers.

An awesome pro-life car.

Through the windshield.

View on one side of a bridge at Bellows Field (a military base).

View on the other.  Cool, huh?

Views on the Kailua coast.

Greg wanted a picture of the statue of King Kamehameha.  I won't bore you with the ugly details, but let's just say we tried finding it not once, not twice, . . . you get the picture.  Seemed like each time we were in Honolulu, we had a round of looking for the statue.  We knew where it was on the map, but it was a royal nightmare actually getting there.  Did I mention there are lots of one-way streets?

OK, just one example of the kind of frustration we dealt with.  Here's the corner of Queen Emma and Queen Emma.  I know, right????!  We saw more than one sign in which left turns were only permitted when school wasn't in session.  I mean the sign actually said that!  We saw streets of the same name in the same vicinity, but one of them had an "s" at the start for "South".  Navigating Oahu was killer.

On the upside, I usually didn't mind getting lost in Honolulu and Waikiki.  LOVED the tall buildings.