In my hurry to get part one written, I missed a couple of things, as well as several typos. So allow me to back up a bit before we venture into Zoe’s birthday.
Saturday after I got back from the store I suggested we head down to the International Marketplace. I was bummed to find out that the marketplace, one of my favorite places to go in Waikiki, is slated to be closing at the end of the year. Rumor has it, it will be replaced by a store I would be uncomfortable shopping in, like Sak’s 5th Ave.
We walked down the beach instead of the sidewalk because I thought it would be a more scenic route than on the street. Jeff started seriously regretting his agreement to tag along. Zoe and Parker were having a difficult time resisting the urge to go into the water and walking on sand is deceptively difficult.
About halfway down the beach, we came across a man with a parrot stand. He had all sorts of tropical birds, and he was selling the opportunity to be photographed holding them in front of Diamondhead. His business? “Parrotdise Hawaii.” Get it? Parrotdise. Zoe and Parker were intrigued, but a little skittish. The man was very patient and he convinced them to go along with these shenanigans.
He positioned them in the right spot, and then began placing birds on them.
See this man in the dark pants? He and his wife (right behind him) stopped to check out what was going on. Soon, the man began taking pictures of the man positioning the kids.
And just when I stepped out of range, missing what was surely to be my favorite picture of the day, the man shooed his wife into the scene, she popped up behind the kids and he snapped her picture. With my kids holding parrots.
The parrot man shouted something at them in Japanese and made them leave. I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. They only looked mildly chastised, mostly smug. I’m not sure if they just wanted pictures of the birds, or if it was a photo that would be captioned “look at these silly Americans paying money to hold a parrot.”
On my first trip to Hawaii when I was 10, my mom , my older sisters Shannon and Colleen and I were in the water at Waikiki beach when we noticed three Japanese men swimming in their tighty-whities and their white undershirts. One had a camera, and we noticed that the other two kept inching closer and closer to us so that the man with the camera could take a picture. Eventually they made enough charade-type hand gestures asking my mom if they could have their picture with us. So somewhere in Japan, someone has this photo. Not sure what they did with it, or the story they told their friends when they got back home.
The parrot man did a great job with the kids. The bird on Parker’s shoulder kept trying to eat his hair, and Zoe’s kept resting its head on her face. If you’re ever on Waikiki, it’s a fun way to get pics.
When we finally made it to the International Marketplace, Zoe was lured in by the Maui Divers booth, with their hairy oysters and pretty girls shouting “Aloha!” as excited customers waited to see what treasure was held within the slimy guts. We watched for a bit and then moved on, with Zoe glancing back longingly.
She talked me into getting her a fresh pineapple juice to drink- out of a pineapple. It was pretty sour, and the pineapple isn’t the easiest to lug around.
Parker got bored by the whole thing pretty quickly. The only thing he was interested in was a wooden tiki mask.
I said to Jeff, “Hey, if you want, there is a trolley that you can catch back to the hotel. Zoe and I can finish here and you can go now.”
Jeff responded, “That’s the smartest thing I’ve heard you say all day.”
After the boys left, Zoe, Grandma Toni and I went back to the pearl kiosk. Zoe had watched another lady do negotiations, so she walked up to the girl and said, “I want to make a deal.”
She laughed in surprise and said, “well, what kind of deal are you looking to make?”
Zoe said she wanted to do two oysters for $6 instead of one for $12, and that she planned on making jewelry. She doesn’t get her negotiating skills from me.
So she looked over the oysters, and after long perusal, decided on two. She did the requisite tap 3 times, then made a wish and shouted “Aloha!”
The first oyster revealed twin purple-black pearls. The second was a giant white pearl. Although she loves turtles, she ended up putting the white pearl in a plumeria pendant. When the salesgirl discovered that Zoe’s birthday was the next day, she told her to pick one more oyster as her gift. It was another white pearl. It was a fun early birthday present.
Sunday the 13th was Zoe’s 10th birthday. When she woke up, she got to open her gifts and I made her requested breakfast of French toast and bacon. We had orange juice and POG (Passion orange guava juice) and fresh sliced pineapple.
After opening her gifts, we all got ready and loaded into the car for the journey up to the North Shore.
Our first stop was the Dole Plantation. I have a large fondness for the dole whip pineapple floats. We didn’t spend a lot of time there, but while we were there, this happened…
And then there was a bit of a scuffle. Check out Zoe’s face in the background of the pictures…
Nathan continued his attempt to avoid a single photo being taken of him during the entire vacation…
Sydney got in touch with her inner child and her inner Ariel (Little Mermaid) by singing “Part of your world” like she used to when she was 2…
And Zoe copied her big sister.
We then made our way further north to Haleiwa, the small surfing town my brother and his family have lived in for over 15 years.
They live on what used to be a taro farm, and their dream is to once again make it a working taro farm. Farm living in Hawaii means geckos crawling all over your property
And bananas by the boatload… (Cue the “Banana boat Song”: Come Mr Tally man, tally me bananas)
We stopped by the store and grabbed food before heading the beach, Puaena point. This was definitely not a tourist beach.
Zoe’s dream was to learn to surf and swim with the sea turtles, and on her 10th birthday, that dream came true.
My brother, who has been surfing since he could walk, now exclusively does stand up paddle surfing. It’s a lot more difficult than it looks. For me, at least. The more coordinated among us got up on the board fairly easily.
The swells were starting to come in, so the bay, which is flat and calm in the summer, was starting to be a little choppy. Nothing compared to what’s coming this winter, when the swells will reach epic proportions and Haleiwa will become flooded with surfers from around the world in search of dream waves.
Sea turtles were everywhere. In Hawaii, they call them honu. They swam right under the board as she paddled around. When she was out swimming in the waves, turtles were swimming all around her.
Nathan did pretty well on the paddle board as well.
Hopefully the pictures of me falling over never see the light of day. I know they exist, and I believe they are being reserved to be held against me some day.
After the day at the beach, we headed back to the farm to get cleaned up. We had sand in all sorts of places which will not be mentioned.
My brother, his wife Brooke, and the rest of us went to a place right by the water called Haleiwa Joe’s. It was delicious. We had appetizers coming out our ears. Mahi-mahi, Ahi, Kalbi ribs. Zoe ordered herself a filet mignon. Why not? It was her birthday.
She finished her day with paradise pie, a takeoff on mud pie.
It was a birthday to remember, that’s for sure!
Coming soon… Hawaii part 3… Who let the dogs out at the Polynesian Cultural Center?