Saturday, August 16, 2014

Another one of our fun days spent on the island of Oahu...The Dole Pineapple Plantation, The North Shore, yummy Shrimp trucks, Ala Moana Shopping Mall, Sephora, MAC, Nordies and Walmart...

Tuesday, July 29th our family wanted to head to the North Shore for a day of site seeing and spicy garlic shrimp eating and before all that... we would head to the Dole Pineapple Plantation along the way, we woke up bright and early and got a pretty early start. However...on our drive to the Dole Pineapple Plantation we passed right by the hospital where Branden was born at. The Kaiser Moana Lua. We always point it out to the kids in the car before we even get close. And Branden loves hearing all our little stories. They always ohh and awe at this building every time we drive passed (we do the same when we drive passed Noah's place of birth in Funabashi). : ) One of my many stories is, the doctor was the first to point out that Branden had dimples! One of, Noboru's stories is, there was so much security on the maternity floor that he needed a special wrist band and stuff each time he came to visit! Hahaha. My other story was...after dinner every evening.. a few hours after dinner ended each night a lady would roll around a free sandwich cart, they had the most delicious roast beef and also had turkey sandwiches. And if you got hungry afterwards... you could find extra sammys in a little nook area for us mom's. : )  This hospital was so awesome. They even helped me when I was having trouble breastfeeding at first, made me an appointment with a helper from an expert from La Leche League (breastfeeding organization) and said Bran was latching too tightly, she showed Branden how to *not* clamp on so tightly, gave me a few pointers in case he ever latched too tightly again. Might be TMI...but this hospital was the absolute best! An epidural and in my native language, it was just a really wonderful experience. Noah's delivery was in Japan and we found a pain free clinic and it was *amazing* too. Anyway...back on the subject.... 

There's a lot of the American military about, which is wonderful, they do such a good job! : )

Almost there...a couple more minutes and then we'll be at Dole!

Gorgeous!

Dole Pineapple Plantation 2014!!!

Delicious, pineapple soft serve and fresh pineapple!! It melts super fast... so eat quickly everyone! : ) 

Branden enjoying his...we all enjoyed our own! And the pineapple was so sweet!

There was a peacock walking around. Everyone there... is just in this relaxed mood. Us too. We bought 2 things at Dole. 1 for us and 1 for Omiyage/souvenir.

Nearing the North Shore now. Matsumoto Shave ice. The line to get a shave ice is REALLY long here. This place is very popular with the Japanese tourists, it's in practically every tourist book in Japanese you can find. Famous Japanese people come here and give their autographs here, pictures of Japanese talent are visible inside. So while there are a few American or other tourists, most are from Japan, we have personally been here 3-4 times. We have been in here before...and don't shoot me for saying this but..I don't see a huge flavor difference of this shave ice than say for example... Joe Blows shave ice from down the street, or ours made at home. I just in all honestly don't see a huge difference that would warrant you standing in a 20 minute line to buy a $6 shave ice or however how much. 

Meanwhile this place not 20 steps away is as... dead as a door nail. Go figure. And we have had shave ice from here once before too. And I felt it was no different than Matsumoto's either, not better, not worse either...pretty much same. But again...if you were coming from Japan and you had seen it in the "places to go" brochure...sure I can understand you wanting to try Matsumoto's but honestly tastes no different than any other shave ice you'd find anywhere else. 

Food trucks are all over the North Shore. Some have fish tacos. Some have Thai. You can find just about any type a food in a truck around the North Shore...however the #1 most common thing to find is the shrimp trucks. 

Another shave ice stand...again no 20 minute long line at all...American tourists buying from here. 

Fresh fruit stand...lots of fresh fruit found along the North Shore. 

Again...very eco, very green. Right on North Shore! : ) 

We always went to Andy's until they moved to the Waikiki area. Last year we went to Giovanni's and hated it. It was Tabasco type hot and not really flavorful type hot. This year we were deciding on Fumi's or Macky's or just simply a place called..."Famous Kahuku Shrimp"...we decided to try...Famous Kahuku Shrimp this year and we loved it!

First stop... buy Noah something before we hit the shrimp truck. At his age, he doesn't really care for shrimp...but granted Branden didn't like it at the same age and now he loves it...so I think Noah will love it in due time. : ) Who knows, we'll see. : ) We also bought 2 large drinks at Taco Bell, just cheaper than buying a can of drink at the shrimp truck. 

The shrimp was really good, the flavor was delicious, I could see pieces of garlic in it, it was hot spicy and garlic-y and also buttery. So good. 

2 of the tables near us were locals. And the rest of all other tables were from Korea with a tour guide. At many shrimp trucks... the shrimp plates are $14-$16 bucks each plate, these plates were however $12 US....so we really liked this place, we liked the price and we'll come back. 


What's the name of this place? Famous Kahuku Shrimp. A really simple name. : ) 

A very typical tagged up truck...but some truly ono (delicious) eats!!! Don't let the scary truck stop you from giving it a try! Ohh, also forgot 1 thing...they also can give you a half and half shrimp...meaning/such as half fried coconut shrimp and have spicy garlic shrimp. So while this place might not be as fancy as the other trucks...this truck has some amazing food. 

The drive was just so beautiful and scenic and with full tummy's, we were all pretty happy enjoying our drive around the North Shore. 

See that formation in the water back there...that's called "Chinaman's Hat." 

So by now it's 1:30pm-ish. Again we had a very early morning start...to be fair we were at Dole as soon as they opened. So we got the ball rollin' super early. Anyway we went to the Ala Moana shopping mall as soon as we got back to the Waikiki area from the North Shore. I did go to Sephora (bought a few things, took about 30 mins) Mac (bought 1 thing, took less than 5 mins MAC Studio Fix NC20 so easy purchase)..went to Nordies (bought a makeup finishing spray and a bag/purse (knew the spray I wanted and the bag was somethign that caught my eye, loved it at first site and had to have, plus it was on sale for $24.99 and gorgeous!!! again took barely no time at all) 2nd bag bought this trip, because 1st bag I got was from the first day and from Target...anyway...after Nordies we went to Walmart which is right next to the Ala Moana mall. 2 Secret deodorants for me and 2 for Bran (Bran did clearly not get Secret brand, I'm just saying)...2 Secret body sprays for me. Advil (for this, I need name brand I bought generic once and will never again buy generic.. I need Advil)...generic version of Neosprin. Toilet deodorizer a bunch of them. American flag pencils for the kids. Gummy worms etc for the movie later that night. 2 DVD's (Uncle Buck in the $5 bin and the story on Cesaer Chavez...same as the 12 years a Slave movie, must know history...the good and the bad). Twinkies. Miracle Whip and this Suave Shine shampoo/conditioner is *so* good...we used it in the hotel during our stay...anyway it gave me the nicest hair, during the rest of our Honolulu stay..made my hair so soft so shiny..smelled so seriously good. I had to buy more of this shampoo while in Guam. Buffalo Wing powder and Velveeta Chicken skillet dinner dish. We then dropped off everything off at the hotel, we all went pee/to the bathroom. I freshened up my makeup a tad and we left.  Walmart really didn't take us that long because the majority of stuff we picked up at Target days before... so Walmart was just mostly sratching a few last things off the list and then bopping down a few food aisles and cosmetic or shampoo type aisles or DVD aisle. 

Straight to China Town... for Mexican food. China Town here is really famous and if we had more time, more days we would have loved to try out a restaurant or two. 

Almost there..I can see the sign and the kids running to it...

Wonkwonkwonk!!! What the heck?? Their restaurant closed at 3pm that day? @.@ What restaurant closes at 3pm?!!! Well apparently... this one, lol. Forget the fact... that parking costs in China Town are expensive/ridiculous. I think we paid $5 to park and leave in under 10 minutes... since the restaurant was closed. And for what it's worth...we did check their website online THAT MORNING and the days open and closed and hours open were NOT, I repeat NOT on there! We were a little irritated for a minute or two...we talked crap/smack all the way back to the rental car...just being honest (can you believe this restaurant...what type a restaurant is this...blah blah blah nothing serious or anything). But by the time we got back to the car we were over it...we felt we got it off our chests. And we were ready to move on! Seriously not worth more than 2-3 minutes tops....nothings worth ruining an entire evening about. So we moved on...we had planned to go and see a movie after supper. However now we just went to the movie first. 

The movies at the Dole Cannery seem to be the cheapest place to see a movie. Their movie tickets are just $6 US. Plus...we get points because we have a Regal movie card and the movie theater we go to in Guam is Regal too...so every 2 or 3 movies we go to and buy snacks from...we collect points and with the points..we get a free drink or free popcorn that type a thing. And free charger for electric cars at the movies, right on! 
In Guam this would be $5US but in Honolulu at the Dole cannery it's $6... which is still a super good price on movie tickets. It really is a great price. Our movie was in theater #15...and we went to see the new Planet of the Apes movie...Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. We bought a tub of popcorn and a large soda and the kids had their gummy worms and Noah had sour gummy worms. : )

What's that old saying...when life gives you lemons make lemonade...well sorta/semi along those lines...when the restaurant you and yours, have been wanting to try is closed...go to the movies instead. And it was an excellent movie!!! We loved it! : )
Noboru loves Zippy's. So we went to Zippy's. I had a hot turkey sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Noah had mac and cheese and Branden had the famous Zippy's chili with hot dog, rice and corn. Zippy's really is famous for their chili. : ) 

Noboru had the Saimin, his favorite thing to eat at Zippy's. Wednesday, the next day we went to the beach and had a chill day there with picnic lunch again. : )