Subject: Re: Big Trip - Ideas Wanted
Iain, What a fantastic trip you have planned! I can give you a few suggestions for your stay in Hawaii.

First of all, you'll be there during the high surf season. That means the big waves will be pounding the North Shore. You will have an opportunity to visit the Mecca of surfing. After all this is where the sport was born. So, head out of Honolulu up to the North Shore past Haleiwa (stop at Matsumoto's General Store for some refreshing shave ice). Then visit the holy trio of Oahu surfing breaks#Waimea Bay, The Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach. Watching these valiant surfers taming (and sometimes being smashed by) these Pacific behemoths will surely have you work up an appetite. look for Giovanni's Original White Shrimp Truck, either in Kahuku (past Sunset Beach) or back in Haleiwa. This roadside caterer puts out a mean plate of garlic prawns made with fresh locally farm-raised Kahuku prawns.

Back in Honolulu take a hike up to Manoa Falls to get a sense of the lushness of the high valleys of these islands. You'll be amazed at how this dense rainforest is so close to the urban jungle of Honolulu.

For some historical perspective on the Islands I make two recommendations, the Bishop Museum and the Waipahu Sugar Plantation Village. The museum is the best example of the settling of the Islands by Polynesians and the subsequent development of their unique culture. Displays of other Oceania cultures help give perspective to the Hawaiian's cultural development.

The Waipahu Sugar Plantation Village was an absolute gem of a discovery. This park/village relates the history of the immigrants who came to Hawaii to work the sugar cane fields from the 1870's to the 1930's. These included immigrants from China, Portugal, the Phillipines, Japan, Puerto Rico, Korea, Okinawa, and others. Homes from the various ethnic groups have been lovingly restored and refurnished with period pieces. The docents who guide you through the grounds relate what life was like working and living on the plantations. And the most amazing thing is their stories are first-hand. These are the people who worked, lived, and grew up in these villages. So, when you're walking through the example of the Japanese family's home your guide will tell you about the family that lived there and may relate an incident he had experienced while visiting the home. Extremely fascinating and poignant.

For some authentic local cusine go for plate lunch at the Rainbow Drive-in on Kapahulu Dr. just north of Waikiki at the east end of Kapiolani Park. Afterwards for dessert stop by for a malasada at Leonard's Bakery just a couple of blocks further north on Kapahulu Dr.

Have a great trip.

John Rule San Diego, CA