Hard Core Hawaiian

Emma samples a classic North Shore treat.
Since my high school days, one of my favorite spots on Oahu is the little tourist/hippie town of Haleiwa.  So today, as my visit winds down, we headed along the north coast, passing local landmarks like Chinaman's Hat, the town of Laie, Waimea Bay, and the lush valley where dozens of films and TV shows were filmed.

Chinaman's Hat sits happily in the bay - I got this shot from the car window at 35 mph
As we drove across the Rainbow Bridge (that's really its name) into Haleiwa, I could almost taste the sprout-and-avocado sandwiches we used to get there, back in the 70's.

This bridge was built in 1921, and has withstood scores of dramatic weather events.

Matsumoto's General Store draws hundreds of tourists and locals alike for their signature Shave Ice (39 flavors, plus ice cream), and t-shirts and other souvenirs.  Hitting Matsumoto's is a Gotta Do when I come to Hawaii.

Expert staff members keep the long lines moving by taking orders in batches.

After loading up with some flavored frozen sugar water, the gang is ready to hit the waves.  Clockwise from 12 o'clock are Emma, Rachael, Uncle Mark, and friend Kaili.

Landlubbers Andrew, Karelin, Stephanie (and I) hold down the beach blankets and keep track of the success of our surfers.

Cousin Rachael encourages Emma in the wonderful world of surfing.

Cousin Rebecca rocks the waves - here she bails on a wave so that she doesn't have to paddle all the way back to the good swells.

Emma bides her time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to get up on her board.

And on her first time out, she makes it up to her knees.  She's on her way to considering surfing as a career.  Ok, probably not.  But her experienced cousins were very impressed with her mad water skilz...  She did confide to me later that after a couple of hours in the waves, she is concerned that her arms won't work at all tomorrow.  Paddle, paddle, paddle, and paddle some more...

Back on land, Uncle Mark starts cooking hamburgers on the hibachi.  It's so easy to bring a party to the beach!

My sister and brother in law are such an inspiration to me - they are raising four fantastic kids, and have made room for a temporary fifth - our Emma.

The end of a perfect Hawaiian day.  Fortunately, I get a few more of these before I head home.


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