Sunday began warm and sunny, and stayed that way the entire day. We skipped our usual morning coffee because the lines at both nearby places were extra long. Probably not the best decision, but it seemed the best choice at the time. We found the car (we’d been parking on the same level of the parking garage since we arrived, and Friday had to go up further because “our” floor was full) and headed out to Aloha Stadium for the Swap Meet and Aloha Market. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures there. I did pick up a few trinkets and a birthday present for my other half. It was mostly all the same stuff from stall to stall, and everyone was willing to give you the “best deal.” We wandered for about 75 minutes and had had enough. The sun was getting quite warm, and there wasn’t anything that screamed “buy me.” (Although I did see a Hawaiian quilt Christmas tree skirt which came very close to coming home with me.)
We were now running ahead of schedule as we weren’t due to meet up with my cousins until noon. We decided a “real” breakfast was a good idea, and we headed into Aiea to Koa Pancake House. D. ordered the short stack of banana pancakes, and I ordered eggs and corned beef hash. I opted for the side of pancakes, figuring it would be one pancake. Nope, three pancakes! There was no way I would be consuming all my breakfast. Service was friendly and quick, and the food tasted quite good. In fact, I did eat just about all of the corned beef hash – it was exceptionally good! Small place, and I’m guessing they probably do a lot of military breakfasts during the week. If you’re ever in Aiea and wanting breakfast, I would say this is definitely worth considering.
We got to Cousins’ house a little ahead of schedule, and they had the truck just about packed and ready to go. I quick changed into my bathing suit, we borrowed a paddle board from the neighbor in addition to the one already loaded, and we set off for White Plains Beach at Barber’s Point. This is the beach where my mom and her sister would bring the kids when the dads were at sea on patrol. We’d rent a cabin on the beach for the weekend, and spend every day in the sand and sea. And we did go a few times when the guys were home from patrol, too. Couldn’t have all the fun without them, now, could we? Most of the cabins are still there.
I had taken some ibuprofen before we left the house, so after we had our little area all set up, it was time to give it a shot. I left my camera with D. so she could get photos of whatever happened. We opted for the bigger board as it was lighter and also wider, so easier to balance and get the initial feel for the water. Cuz held the board while I got on, then I paddled while he pushed far enough out for me to “catch a good one” and see how far I could go. We went over most waves, but one or two went over us, and I managed to stay on. As I got ready to ride my first wave, Cuz says “Once the wave grabs you it will shoot you like a torpedo, so be ready.” Um, wait, what? Torpedo? I didn’t have much choice, though. Cuz has a 100% success ratio going into today in getting all his “students” to stand up on their first day. (No pressure there, either!) Deep breath, I can do this. “Are you ready? Are you paddling?” Yes to both, and I was off. I opted to stay on my belly the first ride.
I found if you are on your belly you can use your feet off the sides as brakes to slow down and even help turn. I managed to stay on, and even had one couple in the water cheering me on. Well if that’s doesn’t give you encouragement to keep going, along with the smile on Cuz’s face, I don’t know what would. Back out for ride two…ready? paddling? Yes to both, and I was off again. This time I managed to get onto my knees before the wave died out, and I took a little swim. I managed to get myself back on the board and paddled back out to Cuz. Round three. Would this be The Time? By now it didn’t feel quite like a torpedo, but more like an amusement park ride. The adrenaline rush in those first few seconds can get rather heady, and I enjoy a good challenge. Are you ready? Are you paddling? Yes to both, and off I went. Steady, up on the knees, steady, balance…and I was standing! I’m not really sure what happened next…whether the wave died out, or if in my excitement I lost my balance. Either way, I was in the water. I had done it! Cuz’s success ratio was still 100%, and I was grinning from ear to ear. At that point it was time for a break, and celebratory beer. My cheering section with the cameras gave me a 10 and a round of applause as I got back.
A bit of rest, conversation and sun, and I was ready to head back and try out the “real” surfboard. It would have been a shame to have brought it and not use it, right? Cuz waxed it up and out we went. A whole different feel on this board – much narrower, and a lot more difficult to keep that center of gravity centered. Same drill as before…Ready? Paddling? Two rides on this board and I had to call it a day. I needed to save some strength and energy for the rest of our trip.
We stopped and bought poke on the way home. The building the store is in used to be the base commisary. Cousins had put a crock pot of chili on earlier in the day, so dinner was waiting at home. Once back at the house we took a dip in the pool to “de-salt” and cool off from the sun. Cuz was super sweet and didn’t even make me get out of the pool for pupus. A small bowl of poke, a set of chopsticks, and I ate while in my floating chair. For those who may not know, poke (pronounced poke-ee) is a raw fish, generally ahi tuna, with fresh chopped onion and seasonings. Depending on the chef, it may or may not have seaweed or other veggies, and each chef has their own seasoning recipe. I am eating my fill here and trying to find the best Oahu has to offer. So far, it’s a tie between last night’s at LuLu’s and today’s. Pupus were rounded out with fresh pineapple, grapes, strawberries and garlic loaded edamame. The chili was delicious, and a perfect meal for an awesome day.
On our drive back we saw a beautiful rainbow. Of course I had to pull over and get a picture! We got back to the hotel in time for sunset off the lanai, and I then had the pleasure of watching the cutest 7-month old guy I know so his folks could have some adult time.
Tomorrow is an extra early day, so Iam calling it a night shortly. We have to be at the airport by 5:45AM for our flight to the Big Island. Hopefully Madame Pele is still putting on a show for us!