Today we were getting the rental car so woke up early and called their free shuttle to come and get us at 8am. 40 minutes came and went and still nothing so we called them – apparently they had forgot about us to told us to hop in a taxi and they would reimburse it. I was a bit annoyed as it delayed our day heading out to explore the island, and if I had known it wasn’t that far we would have walked! We got there quite quickly in the taxi and they deducted the money from our rental costs so all was fine.
We picked up our ‘compact’ although we would definitely not call it that in UK terms – it was still a beast! We headed off in the direction of Kailua to try the breakfast at Boots & Kimo’s as I really wanted to try their famous mac nut pancakes. On the way there we got a little lost trying to get on the highway in the right direction but sorted it in the end! We put our name down as there was a 45 minute wait and took off to explore the shops nearby for a bit. We mostly poked around the Times Supermarket but headed back after 30 minutes which was lucky as they called our name just as we were walking up. Apart from two other tables we were the only non Japanese customers in there so I guess this place is well publicised in their guidebooks!
Chris ordered the mac nut waffle, I ordered the pancakes and randomly we shared a side of hash browns. The pancakes were heavenly, I can understand the hype! One thing though, I wouldn’t really describe the sauce as mac nut tasting? It is amazingly good but more of a white chocolate-vanilla flavour in my opinion. Chris agreed he didn’t get the mac nut flavour but rated them as super good too.
Bouts of heavy rain kept coming in so we tried to dodge it as best as we could and hoped the skies would clear up once we reached the north shore. We stopped off at a few beaches on the way including Chinaman’s Hat but the skies weren’t great and the photos looked a bit moody! We continued on to the Kualoa mountains – these were very Lost like which Chris loved as he was a Lost obsessive. By the time we got to Lai’e point the skies had cleared in one direction but were grim in the other, it was a nice spot there and reminded me a little bit of Cornwall in England.
We drove through the Kahuku area and saw the shrimp truck from Lost (we think). We were still dodging the rain but it was starting to ease off a bit. As I was a fan of the Forgetting Sarah Marshall movie we stopped off at Turtle Bay and Kuilima Cove. It’s so much prettier and less hectic than Waikiki up here, I would definitely think of spending a few nights at Turtle Bay if we came back. We continued to Sunset Beach and watched the surfers for a while on an almost empty beach before a tour bus pulled in so we went back on our merry way! The pipeline area was as flat as a pancake at this time of year but we had a nose anyway – it was very pretty there and deserted again. I finally got to see some roosters (I had missed them since Kauai!) but they weren’t as friendly or willing to pose for a photo! I did see a mumma chicken with her fuzzy babies though.
The next stop was Shark’s Cove just to check it out as we planned to come back and snorkel there later. The skies were grey which reflected on the water so there weren’t too many great photo opportunities. It looked lovely and calm there but was packed quite full of people. We continued on to Waimea Bay, another pretty beach but fairly busy. It was fun to watch the cliff jumpers for a while – some of them managed to do multiple somersaults into the water. There was also an area of cats, goose and roosters all hanging out together like a family which was quite odd. Some of the geese looked like roosters – not sure if there has been some weird mating going on, would that make goosters??!
Our next beach was Turtle Beach, and there were groups of people trying to get a peek at the turtles. There was one taking a nap on the sand when we arrived, it was smaller than some we had seen but still seemed huge. A few of his friends were bobbing around in the water as well. Loads of people were descending on the beach so we continued on to Hale’iwa, stopping for an obligatory shave ice at Matsumoto’s. The ice here was good but the paper cone cup made it a nightmare to eat as it was melting and dribbling all over the place. This place wins the award for trickiest to eat! I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t offer mac nut ice cream considering all the hype – all shave ice tastes far superior with that in my opinion!
We walked around the town for a bit, I wanted to eat at Opal’s but it was just after 3pm and they were closed until 5pm. We poked around but couldn’t really commit to somewhere and decided we would wait until dinner. There was a supermarket right there so we popped in for a drink and some crisps to last us and headed back to the car.
On the way back we tried to locate Hale’iwa boat harbour ready for our shark tour tomorrow but must have went the wrong way around. Somehow we ended up on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere so we gave up and turned around. We opted to take highway 99 back to Waikiki and stopped off at the Dole Plantation for a speedy toilet stop just as they were closing. I had a brief look at all the pineapple related items on sale and wished we were a little earlier to buy some random bits to take home. It was quite cool driving through the pineapple fields on the way back and seemed quite quick without many cars around.
Tonight was the night we would endure the wait for The Cheesecake Factory so we popped back to the hotel to get changed. I have always loved eating here during trips to the US as we have nothing like it at home – a huge menu, giant portions and good value! The wait was just over an hour, which wasn’t too bad as there had been waits of over 1.5 hours for most of the week. We took our buzzer and I browsed around Forever 21 whilst Chris sat on the bench outside and poached somebody’s wi-fi. I couldn’t find many items with 3 reasons to buy them so I went back outside and we sat and read through the enormous menu. We seemed to be called quite quickly after that and got a great little table in the far back corner separated from everyone else a bit. The waitress was very chatty and friendly – as usual at TCF!
We were starving by this point and wolfed down half of the free bread basket before even deciding on our order! I skipped on a starter to save room for cheesecake and went for my favourite pasta – the chicken, tomato & pesto one, switching the penne to angel hair for perfection! Chris had some tower like BBQ burger thing that was as high as a coke bottle, which he said was the best burger so far on our trip. Mine was delicious but I could only manage half so took the rest away. We weren’t sure if we had room for dessert but decided to go for it and take whatever we couldn’t eat back to the hotel.
Chris had an Oreo and I had a peanut butter one. They were enormous and we both managed around half and kept the rest for tomorrows late night munchies. We waddled back to the room and watched TV for a while before bed ready for our early start tomorrow.