vog, pipeline, and shave ice

Today was a super Hawaiian day for us.

Carly, Ashley and I decided to venture to the North Shore for a beach day that wasn’t our same ole, same ole. (Usually we just go to the beaches here on base, which are gorgeous… but we’re on that whole quest to see more of the island, yeah).

This morning there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  It seemed like it would be a perfectly amazing beach day.  Then I learned about VOG.  Vog is volcanic fog that rolls into the skies of Oahu during “winter.”   Its a kind of pollution from volcanic sulfur dioxide mixing with oxygen (according to wikipedia anyways).   Blah blah blah science talk… the bottom line is that vog is yucky and makes everything outside look yucky.  It makes it seem like the weather is crappy, when it really isn’t.  And my asthma friends are having a hard time breathing and exercising outside. Ewwy!

Our first stop was in Laie, at Hukilau Beach Park.  We got down to the sand, and then ended up turning around and going back to the car because it just not fun beach weather at all.

Looking south at Hukilau Beach Park (Laie, Oahu)

Looking north from Hukilau Beach

Hukilau Beach Park


So we decided to keep driving north.  As we’re passing Banzai Pipeline we see a ton of cars, and people, and we see all the stuff set up for a surf contest.  We’re thinking, so rad!

We walk up to the first tent we see and there’s a big contest sign and some brackets.  I can hear an announcer off in the distance, and some people are hawking tee shirts.  Neato!

Pipe Pro

We get a little closer and see the brackets posted.  The contest claims to be “pro” – but I don’t recognize a single name in any of the heats.  Weird. Hmm.

Contest Brackets

We get down to the beach, and we can hear the announcer calling out competitors names and what colors they’re wearing.   The caliber of the crowd is pretty small and not really as pumped as you’d think for the semi-final heats of a major pro contest; there isn’t really any fanfare or commotion going on.  There wasn’t a stage, or any music, and we only could see one photographer.

Yeah, we’re idiots.  It took us a few minutes to realize this was a pro BODYBOARDING competition.

Turns out pro boogie boarding, although pretty sweet and impressive in its own way, is not really that fun or cool to watch.  Especially not if you were expecting that maybe you were about to see pro surfers.  It was also a pretty small day for Pipeline, so that was ho-hum too.  We hung out for a bit hoping it would get sunny, but the vog got the best of us today.   The beach itself (Banzai Pipeline) is really pretty, and we had a nice time just laying down and chit chatting.  Even though it was voggy, it was still warm enough for the beach.

A small day at Pipeline

The contest crowd + judges tent

Do work!

Come on... you know you wanna come out and give me a tan (cancer).

Ashley, Carly, Rose (me) - and the doggie is Bailey, Ashley's pup!

After watching some sweet boogie action, it was time to move on.

The final stop of the day was in Haleiwa, which is a super cute town that’s totally overrun with tourists.  We decided to wait in line for some shave ice from Matsumoto Store.  Word around the aina is that it’s the best save ice on the North Shore.

Matsumoto's Line

too many flavors, so hard to choose

Shave Ice is basically a sno cone, only they call it “shave ice” in Hawaii.  I have no effing idea why its not called shaveD ice, or a sno cone.  But it is what it is.  Shave Ice.  The ice itself is super duper soft, really finely crushed.  Which I guess does make it very unlike a snow cone.  Its like powdery snow really, and there’s no biting necessary.  The flavors are crazy tropical sweet awesomeness, and totally full of very poisonous dyes.  Sometimes you gotta take a walk on the wild side though.

I chose “The Hawaiian” – banana, pineapple, and coconut.

The Hawaiian (holy deliciousness)

I chose wisely.  That janx was so tasty and sweet.  This is a SMALL (can you believe that?) and it costs like $2.  I think mine was $2.75 because I opted to add “beans.”  They literally put beans in the bottom.  I know that sounds so weird, and it kinda is… but they cook the beans (Japanese red beans, although they looks and taste just like black beans/frijoles negros) in sugar water, so they’re kinda candied.  Anyways, whatever they are, they’re also delicious and I should have gotten a picture of them because I’m sure the whole thing sounds weird and crazy (because it is).

I ate mine the fastest.  And in true Rose fashion, I got it all over myself and made a mess.  A very happy, satisfied mess.

I'm queen of the shave ice!

All in all, it was a pretty fun day with my girlies.   Vog and boogie boarders aside, we still giggled and had a good time. I always do when I’m with my gal pals!


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