number fourteen: hello-ha*

We interrupt our Greek series to bring you a post from the lovely island of Oahu. That’s right. I spent Canadian Thanksgiving in Greece and American Thanksgiving in Hawaii.

We arrived here Sunday afternoon and as usual for me when I travel, it’s taken me a few days to get into the groove. I’m a homebody and even when I’m in a place like this – relaxing, easy and not very foreign – I feel misplaced at first. But today was great. We headed out fairly early and went to the Dole Plantation. I read a few reviews online and there were a few great ones and a few terrible ones. The terrible ones all said “don’t go, it’s a tourist trap”. But Greg and I have long since learned we are just fine with most tourist trips, provided they offer some entertainment for us and our children. The plantation had both a train and a maze. Good enough for us!

The drive there was beautiful. We are staying on the northeast side of the island, and we drove around the northern tip and then south through lush, rolling hills with equally lush mountains in the background. I love how green this island is.

The plantation itself was also beautiful, and surprisingly not too crowded given that its a national holiday. The train ride was a bit hokey, but my expectations were met and the kids had fun. We gave them one of our cameras and I just looked at the pictures they took. Very entertaining.

The maze was lots of fun. We were in it for an hour and we found all the “special spots” we were supposed to find. It was named the world’s largest maze in the 2008 Guiness Book of World Records. Amy was “done” about 15 minutes before we were actually done, but she persevered. Albeit loudly. Between the train ride and the maze we all partook in the “world-famous” Dole whip. Greg and I questioned it’s famous-ness, as neither of us had heard of it. It was basically pineapple flavoured soft ice cream. But it was good, and refreshing.

We left in the early afternoon and headed back the way we came, looking for a place to have lunch. We settled on a shrimp truck (Hono) that looked fairly well attended (but not as busy as the one we passed first, which had at least one tour bus load of people eating at it). I had the garlic butter shrimp, Greg had the sweet and sour shrimp, and the kids split the butter shrimp. It was delicious. I just checked out the reviews online and we weren’t the only ones who thought so. It was the best shrimp I’ve ever had.

We got back to the condo a bit hot and sticky, so we suited up and headed down to the beach for a bit. The condo we are staying in isn’t the greatest inside, but it’s right on a beautiful beach, which has been awesome. It just makes it so easy to take the kids down for a quick dip. Greg and I also managed a short snorkel (our first of the trip) while Gramma stayed with the kids. Then it was on to the freezing cold pool, at the kids’ request.

We finished up the evening with a home-cooked dinner of fajitas, baths for the kids, and as I sit and write this I’m sipping a cider and listening to the waves hit the beach. Hello-ha, indeed.

*Amy’s version of aloha