we were just kind of driving aimlessly towards north shore when we came across the site of an old sugar mill that's been repurposed into a surfboard factory and a few gift shops. it looked interesting, and so we pulled in to check it out.
that last shop offered a free chocolate and coffee tour, so of course we got out of the car and went in to check it out. they had a ton of old hawaii souvenirs and memorabilia for sale.
and of course, lots and lots of local snacks and coffee and things.
this made me a little sad, because we've had to give up the hula lessons since they conflict with cheer practice.
we headed outside in the blazing hot sun to take our free coffee and chocolate tour and got to see coffee beans as they go from tree to packing.
they remove the beans from those colorful gourds and spread them out to let them dry in the sun.
we even got to taste one. it's dry and crunchy, kind of like a nut, and not as bitter as you'd imagine. the bean, of course, was not a fan. heh.
here's a cacao tree. now the bean started getting a little more excited.
they make a delicious chocolate-covered macadamia nut brittle, too.
semisweet chocolate, best for fun stuff like chocolate chip cookies or shoving straight into your mouth. this was my favorite.
and we got to try the milk chocolate too.
they sell different flavors of peanut butter, too. this one had a coconut tinge to it that i liked, but the old lady was not a fan.
nor did she care for the elvis version, because it was banana flavored and she hates bananas.
by then we were all hot and sweaty, which could only mean one thing: beach time!
she'd made so much fun of my parasol when i showed it to her, but when she said she was worried about getting too much sun she sure was happy i'd brought it.
after we'd gotten our fill of the sun for the day, we made our traditional stop at matsumoto's for shave ice. although we'd already decided that waiola is actually much, much better, it's just not a hawaii trip without matsumoto's.
the line, of course, was incredibly and rather stupidly long. the hub volunteered to stand in it while we went inside and looked around. he's such a keeper.
they'd done some pretty extensive remodeling since the last time we were here.
we rejoined the hub in line and noticed that there are actually instructions for how to order now. i suppose it streamlines the process since there's always a line like that.
i love reading text on japanese snacks. it's always entertaining and cheerful...like this:
we placed our orders for shave ice and went down the line watching the process as they made it for us.
yum. and yay!
on our way back to the hotel, we passed aloha tower. last time i was here was when the old lady was about 2 and we were getting on a cruise ship. ah, the memories.
so this was the first time that we'd actually stayed on waikiki beach, right in the middle of all the action. and we found that while we loved the surfrider, we didn't love all the crowds. and i think it's always like that down there. maybe next time we'll try a different island, like maui. or even kauai, which is the hub's preference. we'll see.
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