Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hawaii - Day One

Ok. Now I have that whole millennium dilemma thing going on because I counted wrong. This is really our second day of actual vacationing but because we headed out to Kailua the day before I am calling the previous day, Day 0. So like the Gregorian calendar, I am starting with Zero rather than One.

This day was the BIG day of good old fashioned touristy fun. We went around 3/4 of the island of Oahu and even hit the Dole Pineapple plantation. As with every other day, I woke up at 5:30 am and went to the beach to see the sunrise. FIL and I let J and MIL work out a plan for the day. They did a great job with the previous day so we figure they knew what they were doing. They came up with a killer day. It helped that Highway 82 was absolutely spectacular with vistas of the mountains and ocean.

Tropical Farms The Macadamia Nut Outlet
First up was the Macadamia Nut Outlet. This outlet had fresh nuts that are brought from the orchards? nutteries? daily. You definitely can taste the difference. And taste we did because they have free samples galore. Their samples included all variety of macadamia nuts but also Hawaiian coffee. This is a total tourist area but a good tourist center because of great service and tons of free samples.

Polynesian Culture tour
In the back of the Nut Outlet, is a Polynesian Culture Tour. As it turns out, the Nut Outlet land is used a lot for movies and tv. All of these locations were pointed out to us. Be prepared to be flexible because the tour starts when it starts. Another thing to be prepared for - sexual harassment. Our tour guide's schtick was to constantly make sexual innuendos and proposition the women in the tour group. I honestly felt like taking a shower afterwards because it got a little too icky for me. The three swinging bachelorettes from West Virginia ate that schtick up. The multigenerational Korean family was completely bewildered. In an ancient school bus we saw a lot of local crops including tea trees, taro, and coconut trees. We went to a little amphitheater where we saw our lusty tour guide crack open a coconut, start a fire without flint or matches, and make coconut milk. We then went on a tour of the lagoon where some submarine on Lost was sunk and the lagoon scenes from Giligan's Island were filmed.

We then went back to the bus where there was a fake cantina where 50 First Dates and ER's African scenes were filmed.

As a shout out to my Brother in Law, Stef, and Jason, more scenes from Lost.

After the movie tour, we met up with the lascivious tour guide and happily he dropped the dirty talk and just gave us a damn tour. Actually, he gave us the most awesome tour EVER! We heard about his own background growing up in Samoa and what he's done to develop a tourist trade in him home island. We heard about his education and background in being a firestarter and twirler. We also heard how he's developed the tour we were on. The best part, going to the fruit orchards where we saw the efforts to preserve native fruits. Well, that was part of the best part. The best part of the best part was actually EATING said native fruit. Right off the tree. It was a foodgasm of infinite proportions. We got fresh starfruit, pineapple, and guava. He just stopped the bus and chopped fruit for us. It's was one of the best food experiences of my life.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
all of that fresh fruit just made us even hungrier so we zoomed down Kamehameha Highway to go to the part of Oahu with all the shrimp trucks. In the North Shore of Oahu, there are shrimp farms with taco truck style eateries that serve shrimp. All of the guides recommended Giovanni's as the go to shrimp truck.

This is the best shrimp you will ever have bar none. I recommend getting the scampi style which is shrimp sauteed with a ton of garlic. The shrimp was tender and flavorful and just melted in your mouth. I put liberal amounts of Giovanni's hot sauce on the shrimp and it was heaven. I would say that the rice is comes with is a big gloppy mess but you get such as generous helping of shrimp you don't need the rice.

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Finally we decided to go around the North shore tip of the island past the Polynesian Cultural Center (owned by the Mormon church!) to the leeward side of the island. It was raining so we stay in the car and just enjoyed the drive. To get back to Kailua, we decided to go towards the center of the island and take the H2 to the windward side. The benefit of this route was a stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation where we all got a Dole Whip. For any of you who grew up in SoCal, Disneyland's Adventureland has Dole Pineapple Whip. It's seriously the best reason for going to Disneyland. It's essentially pineapply frozen yogurt that is surprisingly dairy free. I learned from that the Dole Whip was 100% pineapple that was just pulverzied and run through an ice cream maker. But this was ideal for J who is lactose intolerant. Does it look divine?

We has such a good day of food we just stayed home and ate sandwiches and quesadillas while J got fish tacos from Maui Fish tacos.


Lainey Schallock said...

Well I started out reading your comments about Java Green because I went there today for lunch for the first time and wanted to hear reviews. But then I saw your amazing review of the Dole Whip. I am in fact a Southern California ("SoCal") native and have similar addiction to the Pineapple Dole Whip at Disneyland - to my knowledge it's the only place to find the Dole Whip (Outside of Hawaii I guess). This treat is always a MUST HAVE during any annual trip to D-land. Thanks.

Tonya C said...

Wow, I just returned from Hawaii on Dec. 14...and I must say, we had a very similar experience. I attended the Ziggy Marley concert while there, and that's where I had my Giovanni's shrimp experience...There is NOTHING like that taste anywhere near NC where I'm from. And the Pineapple whip at the Dole Plantation, it was love at first bite. What a joy Hawaii was not only for the visit, but also the fantastic food. The only thing I regret I missed was the movie tour. We searched for an entire day to find the location of 50 first dates with no luck...the locals we asked told us they didn't know either. So we gave up and went to Killer Taco's on North Shore...if you didn't try that, all I can say is WOW for those loaded nachos!
It was nice reading your food blog...you really made me want some more of that heavenly shrimp.:)