I've been in labor once. My oldest was huge (although I've met women who've birthed bigger children with no problems)--he came out at 10 lbs 6 oz. After laboring for 9 hours and pushing for 3, contractions were stalling out so the doctor decided to do a c-section. My other children were planned c-sections. Now, I'm pointing out that I only went into labor once because while in Hawaii, I visited a sacred place that blew me away.
Apparently, back in the day, women who were birthing future chiefs would labor here. On these stones. With men watching. The entire time. Did I mention the 36 male chiefs watching? Then when the baby is born, the child is whisked away from the mother until adulthood.
Honey was the only one who wanted to come with me. This was right behind the sign.
Not one of the birthing stones.
Here are the stones. They don't look very comfortable. And, to top it all off, you had to be in certain positions on certain stones at different times during labor.
We love shave ice. It's shave not shaved. The kids love it and so do I. It's one of the things they talk about all the time. It's absolutely delicious. They are like snow cones, but the ice is so delicate--it's really soft.
The above pictures were taken the first time we had it. Only Sister and Pumpkin really liked it at first (of the children that is--Ben and I loved it from the first bite). We went Aoki's. It was easier because there were no lines and the parking was easy too.
We visited Aoki's often. One time, Pumpkin fell asleep on the way. She slept the entire time we were there and woke up as we were leaving. She protested quite loudly when she realized where we had been and what she had missed out on.
It was Sister, though, who loved it the most. She asked for it every day. The last week we were there, I tried taking her as often as possible. Brother ate one flavor only, root beer while Honey had to have vanilla along with other flavors. Pumpkin didn't care as long as it was green. Me? I had whatever was left over.
In the book Oahu Revealed (an excellent resource and quite funny), the author points the reader to all the wonderful places that locals know. He also tells the history quite well in bits and pieces.
One of the places he pointed us to was Pu'u o Mahuku Heiau. This place is a remnant of a Hawaiian temple. It's above Waimea Bay and it possesses quite a view. This place was a luakini heiau which is a temple where there were human sacrifices.
The road leading to this from the Kam Highway was in a place I knew rather well in my short time in Oahu--it's where I turned into the Starbucks. After a few twists and turns up the hill, we came to the road leading to the temple or heiau. The oddest things we saw upon turning onto the road were these:
I guess this is where modern man makes car sacrifices. Okay, that was a bad joke. More pictures coming.
People come and leave offerings here.
This is what remains of the temple. It's pretty big. Isn't the view amazing?
Our condo was located in the North Shore. It's so different from the Honolulu area. You drive away from the city into the "country" and it's fabulous. As you pass the Dole Plantation, you ride up and down these hills and as you crest one of them you see something out there. For a bit you can't really say for sure if it's what you're looking for. Then you get closer. Yes, there it is--the ocean. So beautiful. The light reflecting off the water is glorious. The road passes Haleiwa (Halley-eva) on the left. This is where you start curving around to the shore. There are what seems like miles and miles of beaches on your left. Of course, traveling at 35 mph, a couple of miles seem like 10 (especially if you're usually fond of traveling at speeds twice that). Here are some pictures of the beaches.
If you're facing the ocean this beach is to the right of the tidal pool to the right of Turtle Bay Resort.
Here's the tide pool. This was the first beach we went to because I misunderstood the directions Ben had given me. It was fine because I didn't have to worry about the surf at all. My lack of impulse control son was kept in check by the nature of this particular beach.
There's Turtle Bay Resort (just for you, Margaret) in the background.
This is at Malaekahana State Recreation Area. The surf was a little rougher but the beach was fabulous. We were the only ones here.
Forgive those pesky spots in the clouds. My camera needs thorough cleaning by professionals. These spots are on the inside sensor--I'm too chicken to get them cleaned by myself. Still, it didn't stop me from taking over 1,000 pictures. But, I digress.
Shoreline Beach, which is that little cove next to Turtle Bay Resort. This is where my husband had originally directed me to.
This picture was taken from the reef/jetty.
This was taken from Waimea Bay Beach. This calm placid water is, during the winter months, the absolute opposite. This is the beach the surfers clamor to for the monstrous waves. Isn't it amazing?
The surf is deceiving though because it sucks you down into the water. It's great for bodysurfing a short distance. The children were quite sandy by the time we left. I didn't let them stay for long because I was too freaked out about the strength of the waves. To placate the older two, I told them we could come back with Daddy in tow on the weekend.
This is Turtle Beach. It's named so because the green sea turtles (Honus) come here to bask in the sunshine. On this particular day, the turtles did not come ashore, but you can see them in the water. This next picture has one in the water. Can you find it?
Here's one more shot of Turtle Beach.
Anyway, these are the beaches we visited. We drove along and viewed many others since the roads we took were along the shore.
We're back from vacation. We took the redeye from Honolulu to Texas and arrived back in Austin at 10:40 am on Thursday. We're tired, tanned, and very happy. There's a lot to tell you but I'm busy unpacking, cleaning, and getting back into the swing of things. Stay tuned in.
For now, here's a picture to savor.