Today was a much better day. We woke up to pouring down rain and were a bit disheartened. It would pour, then stop, then start again. However, instead of staying at the hotel we decided to head up the middle of the island to check out the Dole Plantation and the North Shore. Although the Weather Channel said rain once again, we had read somewhere that, "if you don't like the weather, get in the car and drive...you'll find something better." On our trip up the island we saw a rainbow. We then turned a corner to find a huge rainbow, complete from side to side. I've never experienced one before, they've only been the half-rainbow. We drove right "under and through" it.
By the time we got to the Dole Plantation the weather had not gotten better. Still humid and wet. We sucked it up and checked out the store then got some fresh island fruit. There are fresh fruit vendors everywhere here. Yum yum in the tum tum. It included mango (not really a fan, weird texture), apple pineapple (never heard of it but boy, was it to die for), and then coconut (never had coconut before, not all that great and doesn't live up to your thoughts on what to expect), and the miniature bananas (not sure what they're called). After that we headed to the Dole Maze. Basically it's a hedge maze kind of like in the Harry Potter movie. Crazy. Not only is it a maze, you have checkpoints that you find to accomplish the entire task. It was a fun time even though it decided to rain almost the entire time. You know me though, once I start something, I gotta finish it. Mission accomplished. It only took us about 30 minutes...pretty poor considering the record is 6 minutes (I can't see how anyone could do it in 6 minutes...lots of planning and preparation I guess). After our hard work David surprised me with a pineapple juice, pineapple sherbert float. That stuff is to die for, but I have to eat it in moderation because I'll get sicker than a dog. David really wanted to go to the Dole Plantation and I just went along not really expecting much. Most of the books called it a tourist trap. It was very "touristy" but fun and enjoyable at the same time. I'm definitely glad that we stopped.
After that we headed up to the North Shore. Just gorgeous. The skies cleared, the waves roared, and we soaked up the sun. Oh yeah, we decided to try out the convertible top again. We figured it out. As we continued our drive all I could think about was, "This is what I'm talking about. This is vacation." The North Shore is totally different than Waikiki. Much more laid back and just chill with little stores here and there. Hard to explain. Hale'iwa is known for it's surfing so that's where we started. We road along the stretch for a few miles then headed back into town for some grub. We shared a burger and fries at Kua'Aina Sandwich. It was an awesome burger and fresh cut thin fries. We then traveled clockwise from the top, down the windward side of the island. Come to find out they're having the World Cup Surfing Competition right now. That's when the big dogs come out to surf Sweet. When we arrived we found that the conditions weren't favorable enough for surfing so the events for today had to be cancelled. We'll definitely be checking out the area again. We continued on down the island, car top down, sun shining, wind blowing through our hair, capturing the amazing natural beauty of the island. Things you only see in photographs. Once again, this is what I'm talking about. I couldn't take the smile off my face.
We rode through all the small towns, stopping here and there to check out little stores and we ended up at the Kailua Beach. It was a calm beach with not too many people. Very peaceful. Oh yeah, we did end up going to the bach yesterday (Waikiki) and found that the water is pretty chilly. Once you get in it's nice, but it's definitely not bathwater warm. Yesterday we only ended up walking the beach instead of swimming. Obviously we had the same problem today with the water being chilly but we did get in. It's been such a long time since I've swam in salt water that I forgot how "sticky" you feel after being in the water.
We finished up our swim and headed back to Waikiki to find that it was still raining...surprise, surprise. We went back to the hotel, took quick showers, then headed out for dinner. Buca Di Beppo was our choice. We've only been to Buca's twice and they've never let us down. Today was no different. Very good and fast service. Once again we shared leaving room for some sort of dessert. We bummed around the area checking out some stores at the Ward Center before they closed. After that we headed back to the hotel and went on an adventure to find dessert. We found a place called Rock Island Cafe. We passed it the other night and didn't think much of it. We stopped by it again tonight and found that it was pretty cool. It's a local deal that's set up like an old diner. They're playing old music and everything's basically Elvis, Coke, Marilyn Monroe, etc. While waiting for our "King Kong Banana Split" (which didn't end up being very King Kong-like) there were old game cards from Trivial Pursuit and other types of games that kept us busy.
It's now 8:30pm and we're going to chill the rest of tonight. Not sure what our plans are for tomorrow. I definitely have Diamondhead, Pearl Harbor, and a few other things on my "must see list" yet. I do know that we'll definitely be headed back up to the North Shore at some point though. By the way, sorry if I have a ton of typos in theses posts, I'm trying to get everything typed real fast.