Our adventures in Hawaii began bright and early on the morning of April 4, when we headed out on the “Circle Island Tour.” As mentioned in a previous, “quote-of-the-day” post, our tour guide’s name was Kona, like the coffee. He picked us up at the hotel and we began our very full day of sightseeing.
Our first stop was the Dole Pineapple Pavilion, where we enjoyed “pineapple whip,” a frozen dessert. Kara and I thought it tasted kind of like cheesecake.
The pavilion also had a maze of hedges we could walk through, but we didn’t pay the extra money to do it (plus, it looked really easy – you could see the middle from the starting point!). Instead, we walked around the plantation and discovered just how many miles from home we were (4,972).
And who can resist playing with the pineapple person cutouts they had all around the plantation?
Seeing pineapples in their various stages of growth was oddly interesting. I especially liked the small pineapples that weren’t ripe enough or big enough to be picked yet (they were adorable, just like everything else they make in minature). They also grow standing up, almost like they are on a little pedestal.
From the pineapple paviliion we saw more of the island, including a stop at a Macadamia Nut Fam, where we were able to sample the many different varieties. Karawas particularly fascinated, however, by the automatic paper towel dispenser in the bathroom! Those automatic dispensers are pretty much the norm today, but apparently nine years ago they were more of a novelty!
From the Macadamia Nut Farm, we toured a number of various sights on the island. We saw the Diamond Head Crater, Chinaman’s Hat (an island in that shape; we saw it from the bus), the “From Here to Eternity” beach and Hanauma Bay (which we only saw briefly on this day, but went to a few days later) and a beach where they warned us not to touch the turtles. All of these places made for amazing pictures, as the scenery is Hawaii is as picturesque as you can imagine, and from what I understand we weren’t even on the most beautiful of it’s island.
Our tour included lunch, which was at a golf club/course (the Ko’olau Golf Club). During the meal, two wayward birds managed to get into the restaurant. They didn’t cause any trouble though – they simply walked around as though they had every right to be inside the building (which I suppose they did!). The golf club provided it’s own bathroom fascination as well – the bathroom was the size of an apartment, with a large seating area that looked as though you could hold an entire business conference!
Also around the golf club were some of the scenes used in “Jurassic Park,” which you can see by helicopter (we didn’t have time for that!).
After the tour, dinner was at Outback (the first in a series of chain restaurants we went to), and we headed back to the hotel, but not after a stop at one of the ABC (All Blocks Covered) stores that grace EVERY SINGLE street!