Ever since I saw the spectacular 80s movie NORTH SHORE, I’ve been dying to go. I kid. NORTH SHORE was far from spectacular, but of course, the real beaches are.
The other day, Yahoo ran a story about the North Shore having the second-highest number of shark attacks in the world. Awesome. SURFER magazine said that Hale’iwa is the best surfing beach in the world. Double awesome. Not that we surf, or want to be attacked by sharks.
We did go to Hale’iwa Bay and the historic Hale’iwa town, going up the middle of Oahu through lots of dry countryside. In Hale’iwa, we drove along a side street toward a sign reading CEMENT CITY, but never got there. We saw a giant junkyard down an alley (Sanford & Son?) and wondered if that were it. I thought that if we stopped to take a pic of the junkyard, a giant Doberman would attack the car.
Then we saw this old church, which also looks like an old-timey school house:
I love old churches and barns. If I were any good at watercolor, I would spend all my time painting these buildings. “Stop the car!” I hollered.
At first, my husband only stopped across the street, so I made him circle back. Strangely, there were cars parked all around the church. I don’t know if it’s a meeting hall now, or the people were meeting there for some other purpose; but picture-taking was awkward with a half-dozen strangers looking on.
We drove past Hale’iwa Bay, seeing stony shores and lots of rocks, thinking there was a better beach ahead. There was– the uber-crowded surfing part.We went to Waimea Bay, which had a full parking lot, a fuller beach, and a clogged line of cars circling. So we went back to Halei’wa Bay. It was rocky and shallow, but at least there was parking.
There, a Korean family with a curly-haired two year old and a four year old snorkeled. The dad went out, the two-year old affixed to his back in a lifejacket, in a marvel of skill. I was sure my own kids would have fallen off my husband’s back as he swam obliviously on. A sea turtle poked its head near them and all was magical.
It rained off on and on, so we decided to pack up and head for home down the coast. This, while not far in distance, took a couple of hours. The speed limit in Hawaii is low– 45 tops– on these small highways, and even slower if the bus stops, people need to cross the road, or some tourist slow down in awe at the vista.
We passed many a horse farm.
Then we came to Shrimp Country. It must have been, for every hundred yards there was another gut truck shrimp stand, promising Fresh Shrimp, Cooked Shrimp, Shrimp and Rice, and so on.
Unfortunately, the family had already consumed a giant sub sandwich and an entire bag of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion, so our tummies were busting. Besides, Kaiya had had enough and was wrecked.
Yet she would not sleep, for a movie played in the mini-van; and as long as something occupies her she shall not sleep.
We drove down further and stopped briefly to look at the ocean and its huge waves. Ethan tried to run in; we had to restrain him so he wouldn’t be swept out. That’s the thing about Ethan: he’s not a great swimmer yet, but he LOVES swimming. Every time he swims he looks like a drowning doggie, even as his head bobs up, his face all grins, spitting out water. He gets beat up in the surf, is covered head to toe in sand, his eyes are red and swollen, and he doesn’t want to get out. Good for him.
Further down, we came across Kualoa Ranch, which I saw from my previous reseach is where many episodes of LOST were filmed, as well as movies.
And then, after a brief restroom break near a homeless beach encampment, we were home.