January 09, 2003

Hawai'i Day Five

Finally, a day in which we all felt well enough to tour. We drove up H2 toward the North Shore, stopping every time something seemed vaguely interesting. First stop was the Dole Plantation, the epitome of tourist trappitude. Pineapple pot holders, pineapple shirts, pineapple softserve cones, pineapple quilts, a maze of pineapple plants arranged like a giant crop circle.... you get the picture. And here, as in many places in Waikiki, there are vendors where you pay to pick an oyster out of a pile and then watch as they open it up to see if you got a pearl while ringing a bell and calling out "A - Lo - HA!". The original natives of this island must be spinning in their tombs.


We then stopped at the Waimea Falls Park, a Disneyized version of a verdant valley, and then lunched at Giovanni's, a place that's famous for its shrimp. It's just a white truck parked on the side of the road and they only serve shrimp in one of three ways, but it was very good. Small world: we bumped into one of the 25 people who were in my session at the conference yesterday.


We dropped in at the Polynesian Cultural Center, but the $40 per person minimum entry fee was a deal killer since we really didn't feel like $120 worth of Polynesian culture. Spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the view of the coast, as well as a botanical garden. Then back to Honolulu to kick back and then dinner. With our aesthetic sense and any trace of frugality already beatenout of us, we picked up another 2 muumuus and a shirt on the way back to the hotel. We ended the day watching Japanese soap operas on TV. Wish we got that channel at home!

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