Today's adventure -- a drive to Oahu's North Shore with college friend Svea Breckberg. Along the way -- the Wahiawa Botanical Gardens, Green World Coffee Farm, Hale'iwa, Sunset Beach, and the resorts at Ko'Olina.
At the Botanical Gardens, the most beautiful tree trunk -- a Eucalypus.
A bed of "Walking Iris," also known as Apostle Plant -- it spreads by dropping down new stalks from where the flowers were; the new stems send down roots.
Enormous fig trees, with roots that spread for many yards around,
and with colonies of ferns and other plants growing along their trunks and branches - very Middle Earth.
The volunteers who were at the reception area were making Ti leaf wreaths for military graves at Pearl Harbor. They have been working on them for a while, and keeping them in a freezer until Memorial Day -- not sure how many they will make -- hundreds, at least.
A building in one of the small towns we passed through -- probably Hale'iwa. It has the worn-out, weather-beaten quality of buildings in the tropics, weary of having to stay alive year-round without a rest. The buildings often appear to have been pieced together out of whatever was handy, with not much thought for the future.
Green World Coffee Farm (owned by a long-time Hawaii lawyer named Howard Green) -- a coffee tree with flowers and berries in various stages of ripeness. The drying is done at another site.
The manager showed us the computer-run roaster, and talked a bit about the operation -- it's been there about five years.
They had a fine collection of coffee posters -- two favorites.
We ate lunch in a minimalist local park at Waimea Bay. Not much in the way of waves today, so we enjoyed all of the birds:
not sure what this one is;
a dove -- bigger and with a browner beast than the ubiquitous little ones that are everywhere.
Some wind turbines; this one on a ridge above a small ranch. They are opposed by the local people who want to keep the North Shore as little developed as it is now (or was twenty years ago). The motto is "Keep the Country Country."
But it's not country -- even today, on a Tuesday afternoon, cloudy and no surf, traffic on the two-lane road was very bad. Dozens of businesses appeal vigorously to the thousands of tourists.
At Sunset Beach, wild chickens.
At Matsumoto Shave Ice in Hale'iwa, Svea admiring someone's big bowl of sugar, ice, flavoring and coloring. Dozens of people were waiting in line for theirs, and many more were sitting on the ground eating.
There are at least a couple of large parking lots filled with food trucks and customers, and many shops at which to buy everything Hawaiian. The area is famous for shrimp trucks that serve locally-farmed shrimp in every guise possible.
Heading back toward Honolulu, pineapple fields, and the Waianae Range of mountains --cloudy much of the day, but the thunderstorms in the forecast never showed up.
A quintessential Hawaiian business, pink, worn, provisional, with a few palm trees for bona fides.
We walked along the beaches at the Ko'Olina resorts at the southwest corner of the island.
On the beautifully-manicured lawns, a Golden Plover (a fairly common bird here).
The outer rim of one of the four man-made coves with beaches.
Doves taking advantage of a water-washed stone wall.
Tropical fish in an aquarium at the Disney resort; kids could swim and snorkel in this pool (several life guards on duty, about one per kid).
Kids with Donald (Duck).
Native painting, carved wood, and stained glass windows in the Disney resort.
Feeding the doves -- these resorts were a well-manicured, carefully-presented different side of Hawaii from the North Shore.
Tonight's band and dancers at the Royal Hawaiian Center courtyard, much more jazzy-pop than at the Halekulani.
The propane torches that light all of the big hotels' patios at night.
Waves breaking on the sand.
A subtle sunset tonight.