land of spam musubis and tanned hello kitties

our hawaii trip seems like a distant memory already, but it was only last month that D and i were cruising through oahu’s micro-climate in our little convertible, marveling at how we blended in with all the other asians and looking forward to our next meal, which would invariably include rice a plenty. oahu was filled with just as many asians as i remembered from my trip years ago in college (and correspondingly delicious food).

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one of our first stops was the little town of hale-iwa on the north shore. there, we consumed fresh fruit smoothies that tasted like the fruit had fallen off of trees straight into the blender, buttery shrimp from the ubiquitous shrimp trucks, and oh — i almost got attacked by a chicken (much to D’s delight).

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the dole plantation beckoned with promises of “the world’s largest maze” and its pineapple express. once there, we opted out of the flat and soggy looking maze and hopped onto the pineapple express train, where i couldn’t stop humming along to the train’s theme song. when i refused to cradle the requisite pineapple for a photo opp, the plantation theme park lady thrust the pineapple in D’s direction like a trophy, apologizing to D. apologizing for what? for being with someone who refuses to hold a prickly pineapple? i glared at the ugly pineapple.

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we also explored little beaches along the east shore, from lanikai to waimanalo.

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D found a farmer’s market for us to explore.

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blending into swarms of asian locals and tourists at the diamond head farmer’s market, we consumed poke bowls of fresh, meaty poke (raw fish) atop rice, mason jars of juice (yes, mason jars have made their way from brooklyn to oahu), and other asian-influenced bites.

D pointed out that the hello kitty dolls sold in hawaii were tanned (yes, literally tanned). i looked closer. they were indeed tanned.

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one of our favorite stops was the whole foods along the east shore. bento boxes adorned the shelves, a huge smoothie bar lined one of its walls, and there was, behold, a poke bar serving up poke of your choice with yes, rice.

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on one of our last days, we went to see the honolulu christmas lights. we had seen people running around on the beaches with santa hats and were amused. we weren’t disappointed.

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we saw trotting past us cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, lit up in all its glory. note: we did NOT take a spin in this pumpkin carriage, thank god.

some of the most breathtaking moments though, couldn’t be captured on camera. like the feeling of seeing someone you adore basking as happily as you in the warmth of a sun so unlike the sun you left behind. or the feeling of awe and wonder as we cruised along pali highway, its majestic and somewhat frightening landscape threatening to swallow us whole as the wind whipped our hair. the mountains, pure emerald green, rose up into giant formations of pinnacles. we could only throw our heads back and be consumed by it all, knowing we would soon be returning to a gray landscape of skyscrapers.

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