Lillikoi and Coconut...
Day 3, Friday, dawned a little later, but not much, as we slowly acclimated to Hawaiian time. We decided to have a little adventure excursion before some shopping. The secret to a 40+ year marriage?.....Compromise!. We followed the Likelike Highway up and through the Koolau Mountains. Shrouded in clouds, the nearly vertical walls of vegetation-accented stone are wondrously mysterious and forbidding. We traced the shore line highway from Kaneohe and through Laie to Malaekahana Park intent to wade to Goat Island. The tide was low, very low, and the water was never more than knee deep as we crossed the 250-yd stretch of water behind a family of six. Goat (Mokuauia) Island, is a bird sanctuary and mostly off limits, but it has a gorgeous curved shoreline away from the ocean that defines a quiet, sand-bottomed, natural swimming pool. What a great place to embrace yours "lost on a deserted island with a gorgeous woman" fantasy.....but not with four kids playing around you. Such is life. We also met a couple, he an Auburn grad working for NOAA and she a naturalist from Aiea. After trading the obligatory insults about the other's football team, we had a great conversation about Oahu and its flora and fauna. Oahu people are so friendly.
Obligation met, BS (Beloved Spouse) gently suggested, "Time's up. Let's shop now." We worked our way through passing right right by Matsumoto's general store. My tropical shave ice concoction with lillikoi, papaya, and guava toppings was fabulous but skip the bean thing and get the ice cream. So there we were, minding our business, nursing our shave ice treats, when a bright red Ferrari pulls up. Mr. and Mrs. Big Shot literally hop out to get their shave ice. No doors for them. Talk about an incongruent scene. I'll post the pictures soon.
On to the Pearl Harbor Naval Exchange. To a world traveled Army soldier, this Exchange is still incredible beyond words. The booze alone could float the battleship Missouri. I have never seen so much stuff anywhere, ever. A couple of hours later, I left about a week's pay lighter. But BS was smiling. And I am relieved. It could have been worse, much worse.
Waioli Tea Room is on our perennial Oahu must do list, and off we went. Perched on a hillside in a forest grove in the Manoa Valley, it is the Salvation Army's crown jewel. The restaurant in a house built in 1922 serves delightful food on an open air porch. Today's special was naval bean and couscous soup, a fresh ahi garden salad and plantation tea. Thought I might have to share with a zebra dove and a Brazilian cardinal or two, but they maintained a respectful distance. Desert was.......you guessed it....lillikoi pie. Delta is going to charge me excess weight when we go home. Like the PCC, it is alcohol-free at Waioli. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just sayin'.
Back to the hotel to buff up for an evening at the Halekulani House With A Key cocktail hour on the sunset terrace. Did I mention the coconut shrimp and the coconut cake? We joined with long time Army friend, Janice Smith, her son, DIL and 2- yr old daughter, Adrianna, who are visiting Oahu as well. The musicians and the dancer were such a treat to enjoy. The evening breeze was soothing. The food and drinks were perfect. Our long time favorite dancer, Kanoe Miller, was off for the evening and replaced by a beautiful dancer from Kaneohe. She was a superb dancer and very friendly. Adrianna (and Joe) were entranced.