Some people are planners when they travel. Others are not. And most of us fall somewhere in the middle, right?
What I mean is, there’s no real illustrative value in pitting a list-ticking, clock-watching, map-packing, live-for-“The Plan” person against a late-sleeping, pack-nothing, indecisive/impulsive, let’s-pull-over-here-cause-we-can person. You don’t have to hit the extremes to see yourself — or the person you’re traveling with — as a little of both, but maybe leaning towards one, or to see the “opportunity to truly collaborate” on a vacation day/week/month.
Point being: Today was an adventure! As all good adventures are — even the mini one described here — it was unplanned. It was in fact, the result of bad planning.
(We had planned to go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, but got too late a start. And when the parking lot is full? Well, they just won’t let you in. It’s pretty harsh, really; you have two options: turn your sorry bumper around and head back home…. or just… keep driving. We went for option two.)
So, I was thrilled to suddenly have the whole day yawning before us at 10:45 am on a tropic island. But then, I tend to lean towards the Unplanned masses, for whom a change of schedule is maybe disappointing, but in no way stymieing, and easily replaced by multitudes of other options just waiting to be worked into the schedule.
The husband — leaning a little more towards the Planners populace — took a few clocked miles to get over “the failure” of plans past… but he eventually warmed to the our new adventure day and the stretches of road we followed around the island, whipping a few impulsive turns of his own throughout the day.
Streaking sun, low-hanging clouds, rain showers, construction zones, pineapple plantation-lined roads, suburban and historic down towns, ghetto neighborhoods, and resort-side freeways… we drove the borrowed car through them all today. And beaches. Lots of those too.
Plans fall through… so now what?
So Hanuama Bay was all full up. No snorkeling for us. We stopped at the next place to pull off the road and either turn around or keep on going: The scenic viewpoint at Halona Blowhole.
As is perhaps a teensy bit evident in the pic, the husband was still a little miffed that our plan fell through and I was still trying far too hard to convince him it was no big deal.
But we saw a whale! And we decided to hop back in the car and see where it took us.
Decision made. Hooray!
Heading out… beach or… beach?
We made a quick stop in Kailua for gas ($2.73/gal) and decided not to stay at the gorgeous beach there. I think maybe it was a bit overcast on that part of the island, or maybe the husband was inspired by Roger Miller’s King of the Road, playing on a CD TheYoungestEmily left in the car.
In either case, he told me he decided that we were off to the NorthShore… and so we went, two finally cheerful mid-range planners with no plan, a half-tank of gas, an empty day, $18 cash, and no maps, just road signs, most of which were half hidden in the roadside greenery… particularly the half with the arrow on it. (and lots of last-minute lane switches!)
Tropic’ainas: “Didn’t I see you in…?”
First impulse decision of the day: Swerve real quick-like into a restaurant parking lot because “Hey! That’s the place from that movie with Drew Barrymore and she can’t remember anything!”
[Spoiler alert: Totally wasn’t that place from 50 First Dates]
Since we wanted to go in and be all gawky touristy, but not seem gawky touristy (especially since we might turn out to be totally wrong [see spoiler above]), we figured we’d better at least order something…. Something that wouldn’t totally diminish our $18 cash (no plastic on this ride).
And besides… chili fries were right there on the awesome surfboard sign. Had to be good.
Turns out the little street-front entryway opened into a fantastic view. Even better, it was one we could ogle from the shelter of the porch, and avoid getting wet through with the misty showers. Please note the chicken’s saucy tail-feathers, just to the left of the little stone raised bed. This same chicken hopped right up on the neighboring diners table, seconds after they left it.
Fruits stands in the mist
Next stop: Roadside fruit stand in between pinapple plantations and horses in fields. The husband finally pulled over into one after craned my neck backwards at three or four and wistfully –yet audibly — noted: “I’m adding roadside fruitstands to my list [of things we want to do while we’re here].”
Actually, here’s what he told me to write, if I chose to blog about it: “At this point, the husband finally loosened up and just pulled over.”
I bought a papaya for breakfast tomorrow.
Otherwise known as, “the most beautiul beach ever.”
Serisously. Incredibly soft sand, water that just felt like an ocean should, and waves the right height for swimming and floating and being rocked on your back while you hear the sand slipping away below you. Soooooo good.
Haleiwa: Shave Ice & Silly Bikers
No explanation necessary, I think.
Only to say, the best plans may be the ones you never made. This guy would probably agree.