We decided to give the North Shore another try as seeing the big waves was on more than one person's list of things we had to see while in Hawaii. We had been checking the surf report and they were reporting good size waves on the north side. Amber & Andy headed out before us so they could make another stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Anaki wanted more of that Pineapple ice cream. The rest of us headed for Waimea Bay but again, it was FLAT! What the heck?? We headed up a little further and finally spotted a few surfers so decided to stop and get out and see what was going on. The waves were good and we watched some surfers for a while but as we looked up the beach to the north we could see a bigger crowd gathering. The sand on the North Shore is really hard to walk on. It's coarse and really deep. You just seem to sink and that makes for some tough walking. Tyler and I decided to head up the beach and see what was going on. We ended up at the Banzai Pipeline and the waves were about 10 feet but lots of surfers were trying to catch them.
We called the rest of the family to tell them where we were and how great the waves were so they went to pick up some lunch so we could stay longer.
Also, let's just say that someone parked somewhere that someone else told them not to even though a "local" said it would be fine and someone got a ticket and someone was very unhappy. But then someone got over it very quickly (much to their credit) and things were just fine. Speaking of fines, someone had to to pay one but it wasn't as much as someone thought it was going to be. *Note to self, (and anyone visiting the North Shore) don't trust the locals* (The names have been changed to someone to protect the innocent (and the guilty.)
While it was great to find bigger waves and some surfers I was disappointed that I couldn't see the really big waves. I can't even imagine what that might have looked like. It was great though to finally see some surfing!
On the way back we stopped at a popular shave ice place as that was one of the things we heard about that people said not to miss. It's really just like the snow cones of my youth except the ice is smoother. They were tasty!!
I also saw these guys in the parking lot. I had seen chickens all over the island but never was able to get close to them until we stopped for the shave ice!
We left the North Shore and drove back to Kailua and shopped in a few shops and then it was time to head back to the house and make dinner. We wanted to finish eating up what food we had left as our time in Hawaii was winding down. We had our final cookout of hot dogs and chicken and then ate out on the deck. At the end of our lovely dinner things started to go downhill. Apparently New Year's Eve is bigger than July 4th in Hawaii and the locals love their personal fireworks. Surprisingly they were even legal, at least from 9:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. I guess the locals figure they can just add on to both ends of those times because the fireworks started around dark. The guy across the street had warned us that people would be shooting off fireworks but his warnings came nowhere near the reality. I've never heard so many firecrackers go off in my life. At times if felt like you were in a warzone, for hours and hours, until well after midnight. I think a downpour around 1:00 a.m. slowed things down for a bit but I heard more firecrackers and a couple big bangs around 2:00. We all just wanted to get some sleep but it was impossible. We just tried to get through it the best we could. We all agreed it was probably the worst New Year's Eve ever.