H2.JPGH1.JPGI don’t know where the hell I am driving sometimes. I’ve lived in Hawaii for 28 years & been driving for 16. I have discovered more places while driving around lost than I have found the places I was originally driving to. On this day, I had actually found a destination in Mililani that I had intended to visit, & then needed to travel on to Waianae. Go ahead, consult a map of O’ahu. Yeah, yeah – Waianae is not even remotely in the same direction as Haleiwa. I know.

H4.JPGH3a.JPGH3.JPGI never saw the North shore until I was in college. This is partly from having overprotective parents & partly from refusing to learn how to drive until I was 18. My girlfriend Silke & I used to make frequent trips to Haleiwa “for coffee.” For some reason the coffee tasted better out there. Kind of like how wine tasted best at the top of Mariner’s Ridge. But I digress.

H6.JPGH5.JPGI hadn’t been to Haleiwa since college days, & I don’t even drink coffee any more. But as I (mistakenly) rolled into Wahiawa, something clicked in my head. Yes, I knew I wasn’t enroute to Waianae. But I just kept driving. I drove through what I think used to be cane fields, & then the oceans of pineapple fields. Once you hit the fields, there’s no way you can not end up somewhere pretty. And this is a good thing.

H93.JPGH8.JPGH7.JPGHaleiwa was mostly as I remembered: sunny, dusty, & colorful. There were some new buildings & Kua ‘Aina had a new location with actual paint on the exterior. Somehow it didn’t look as appealing in that nice new building any more. I think it just doesn’t look dusty enough.

H92.JPGThe blue Shrimp van was still there, & I drove across the Claustrophobic Bridge that I used to dread many years ago. I would approach the bridge hoping that no one was coming from the other way, because I was convinced we couldn’t fit. Since then I’ve driven through Chinatown many times & become desensitized. Gas was priced the same as in town. I know that the Chevrons don’t all have to have the same prices because I saw Kahala Chevron lower its prices the day after Kahala Shell had, while Ke’eaumoku Chevron had not.

H94.JPGH95.JPGHowever, Haleiwa didn’t really feel the same. I think it was because I was alone, without my friends to sing along to Violent Femmes with me in the car. And I also didn’t have any Violent Femmes cassettes at the moment. And the AC in this car works. Definitely not the same.

Silke, where are you??

H97.JPGH96a.JPGH96.JPGI envy people who can live in Haleiwa. It’s not because I think their lives are a big surf party or anything. It’s just that Haleiwa might be as close to Mayberry as I’ll ever get on O’ahu. My friends all love the city, & they insist that I’d go crazy away from the city, but I sure would love to find a quiet spot somewhere & maybe even have a cup of coffee.

Decaf, though.

5 Comments so far

  1. Harumi (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    One time of Haleiwa has been. It was the place that you might take though it was the country. I ate shrimp of Giovanni and ate Matsumoto shave ice.
    Because I went by bus, it was terrifically long.

    I write blog properly recently, too. But Lauren cannot watch it because I use Japanese.

  2. Lauren (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 5:28 pm

    Wow, aishiteru!!

  3. logan (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 5:14 pm

    Ah I’ve got alot of memories driving through Haleiwa. We used to drive through there to go to the beach everyday. This was before the bypass road.. always stopped by mcdonalds, and grabbed some food and a slurpee at the 7-11 before going on to the north shore. I love that little bridge.. so many close calls on there with TheBUS .. crazy guys.. and can’t forget about Matsumotos! Good stuff.

  4. KDJ Reid (unregistered) on November 14th, 2005 @ 3:07 pm

    I have never been there………………For years. I was working at a job on that side and I thought that is was Hawaii before Hotels. I love that side but, I wonder…………Do they have internet??????

  5. Antonio (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 7:52 am

    The last time I was at Haleiwa unfortunately it was thronged with tourists. Driving down the Haleiwa Road I almost hit a couple of gawkers and couldn’t get into Matsumoto’s because the line was too long. Although the Coffee Gallery was a nice “local” respite with surfers logging unto WiFi with their laptops adn a dog and cat running around.

    I prefer the sleepy town of Kahuku. Had the pleasure of staying at a house there and it felt like a cozy little town with all the Aloha and you cold walk to the strip mall shop for groceries, catch a movie and then head out to the beaches without the crowds.

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