Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hawaii Vacation - Day 5: Dole Plantation, Waimea Falls

This was the first morning that Kai did not wake up in time for us to go see the sunrise. I think we are finally adjusting to the 5-hour time difference.

On this day, we headed up north to see a different part of Oahu. We started out by driving through the center part of the island and went to the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa. Although Hawaii is no longer the king of global pineapple production, the Dole Plantation draws many tourists who can get a taste of the area's pineapple legacy.

Upon walking around the grounds, we came across a vendor who made fresh sugarcane juice.

She put the canes through a juicing machine that poured out the fresh juice.

Kai had his with fresh mint leaves, while my wife had hers with fresh ginger. Both were sweet and tasty.

Next we went to the Pineapple Garden Maze, which was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest maze.

Covering 100,000 square feet, the maze is made of hibiscus plants.

The goal is not only to make it out, but also to find the 8 secret stations throughout.

We were able to complete it in about an hour, and then rewarded ourselves with Dole Whip, a pineapple-flavored soft serve ice cream. We had ours topped with fresh pineapples which were sweet and oh so delicious.

After that, we took the Pineapple Express Train Tour which took us around the plantation.

We saw many crops, including pineapples, of course.

We had lunch in Wahiawa with my dad's sister-in-law. I had not seen her in many years so it was good to see her again. The area where she lives is near where my dad grew up. On this trip, I wanted to connect back to my dad's youth in Hawaii, and seeing old family and friends are a part of that.

After our visit, the three of us headed up to the North Shore of Oahu. This is a more laid-back part of the island (especially compared to Waikiki) and is very famous for surfing. We wanted to go to one of the beaches but our first stop was Waimea Valley, where you can walk 3/4 of a mile through the valley to the falls at the end. It was a hot day and the hike seemed longer than it was. We were glad to have the opportunity to swim in the water beneath the falls.

Kai especially liked going right up to the falls. We learned that if you try to swim to the falls straight on, you cannot make it as the current will push you back. But if you approach it from the side, you can get right to the falls. In the next photo you see my wife and Kai right at the base next to the falls.

And here you see my wife plunging into the water crashing down.

And afterward, waving to me with Kai to he left.

I also went under the falls with Kai.

And the next photo shows Kai right under the falls.

Kai just loved this! He went back under the falls again and again, even after my wife, and then I, had gotten out of the water. After all the time at the falls, Kai was satisfied that he had gotten enough water time for the day and we decided not to go to the beach.

In the parking lot, we saw a peacock just hanging around. You see a lot of interesting birds in parking lots in Hawaii; first chickens, now a peacock.

For dinner, we went to a seafood restaurant in Haleiwa. Kai had a seafood soup to start with (along with a steak).

My wife and I had fish; hers was grilled and mine was steamed.

For dessert, our waiter recommended the following - macadamia nut ice cream surrounded with pineapples, strawberries, and blueberries, and topped with burnt caramel. It took awhile to come out, and I got antsy as we were hoping to have seen the sunset after dinner. But it tasted so good that it was worth it!

My wife said it was her favorite dinner on the trip so far.

So, we had a nice time up at the North Shore, but did not see as much as we want to so we may go back before we leave Oahu.


  1. The North Shore was where I had spent most of my time. I used to body surf the Winter swells at Waimea Bay, and free dive the bay in the Summer.

    What great fun Kai and his mother had at the falls. I am sure Kai will long remember his day there. It is difficult to find waterfalls to swim under on the mainland.

    That dessert was huge!

    1. I think the waterfall was one of Kai's favorite activities on the trip thus far.

      We did not spend enough time at the North Shore on this first visit so we went back; I'll be writing about Waimea Bay soon.

  2. Looks like you are having so much fun!

    I'd love to taste that dessert! Yum!

    1. I'm happy that Kai is enjoying the trip and we've had very few times where he's been upset.

      The dessert was very tasty!


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