So, Hawaii. It’s one of my reasons. A why. It’s always been a dream of mine to live there someday and if you’ve been there you might’ve thought the same thing. Your initial reaction might be… “Wow, Hawaii. That’s cool but isn’t it expensive?” or “Why, Hawaii?” I’ll tell you why.
The first time I went to Hawaii, I was 16 years old. We took a family trip to the island of Oahu and had a blast. We stayed on the beautiful North Shore side of the island and like every other tourist, we explored different places of the island each day of the week we were there. It just so happened that one of my best friends at the time was also on island the same week. They stayed in Waikiki. The opposite side of the island, and probably the most popular areas of the island for visitors.
Dumb and Dumber
Like I mentioned, I was 16. I had recently gotten my driver’s license back home. My inner rebel had just busted out of its shell and I was anxious to be independent and all grown-up. The day my family went to Waikiki, I convinced my mom to get a moped rental for me. Just for a day. 24 hours was all I asked. After all, my friends that were coincidentally in town at the same time had rented mopeds. I wanted to hang out with my friends and I also didn’t want to succumb to the early drive back to the North Shore. So I had a moped rental and was hanging out with my friends, cruising along the south shore of the island all day. Once the sun started to go down, I told my friends I had to go meet my family. So, I jumped on my moped and started heading east. If you know the island, this might sound crazy now and it probably isn’t allowed any longer. Heck, it might not of been allowed back then either.
The southeast part of the island is pretty much a rocky cliff and of course t’s a narrow windy road to go around. Here I was, on this moped cruising uphill on this road and probably causing minor traffic to queue up behind me. The sun was setting. The views were serene. It was just me and my thoughts. No ipod. No walkman. No fucks given. (All the youngbucks are like “Walkman what’s that?”). I was just cruising the east side of the island carefree. I had thought “Man, it would be nice to live here someday”. As I continued, my ride of the coast to the North Shore it started to rain. Well, it rained, and it came down for like 2 minutes. I was drenched. I found a gas station. As I pull next to the pump, a truck full of local Hawaiian girls pulled up and they were really cute. I’m pumping gas, soaking, looking and feeling dumb. After I filled up, I hurried back on the road before they could get a good look and probably laugh at me. After about 30 minutes, my clothes were pretty much dry and it was now dark out. I probably had another hour to go. These mopeds aren’t really fast. There was no smart phones back then. I just had a brochure and in it was a map of the island. I just knew I had to stay on the same road. Guess what? It rained. Again. For a few minutes. It’s pretty typical for this type of thing to happen in tropical areas and islands but I didn’t know it back then. I didn’t know there were microclimates all over the island. It could be raining on one side of the island but not the other. At this point, I felt like Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dune, from the movie Dumb and Dumber, riding the moped to Aspen. I made it to North Shore and met up with the family just in time for a late dinner and wind down.
So the next day, I had to return the moped. Back to the same rental place in Waikiki, on the south shore side. I doesn’t sound like too much fun now but, it was definitely fun to 16 year old me. I made plans to meet up with family later that afternoon in Waikiki so I can hitch a ride back to North Shore. This time I took the moped in the other direction so I can see the other side of the island on the way back down the western area. My family jumped in the rental car and also headed west. It was super hot. I drove though Haleiwa, and down through the middle of the island where the pineapple fields were. Nowadays, the Dole Plantation is still there but there’s no longer an abundance of growing pineapples in the fields as the growing operations were shutdown in 2009.
Anyways, yes, it was hot riding through those fields and it only got hotter as the day went on. As I got into the next town there was much more greenery. There was a lot of lush trees and healthy grass because it rained a lot. Yep. Rain. You guessed it, it rained, again. All day as I made my way down to Waikiki it was dry and hot, and then it would rain for like 5 minutes. It was Dumb and Dumber all over again….and again.
To this day, I still have fun cruising around in mopeds but I don’t think I’d go around the whole island anymore. I don’t even think you’re allowed to. It wasn’t just this one trip that I knew I wanted to live in Hawaii someday. I’ll continue my Hawaii story over a small series of blog posts. So stay tuned. And dry, if you can help it.