Taking a Leisurely Drive along the North Shore
Less than an hour in, our first stop is sun-drenched Haleiwa, with blue skies above. Any expectations we may have had about Oahu’s North Shore — a low-key vibe, plenty of local eateries and surf shops, for example — are met the second we pull into this old sugar village-turned-trendy-surf-town of about 4,000. We park, then explore a short four-block stretch on foot.
As we duck into art galleries, specialty shops and a colorful boutique, trucks with surfboards jutting out the back slowly cruise past. Food trucks serving garlic shrimp cluster at one end of the commercial area. At the other end, Matsumoto’s welcomes customers from all over the world who stop in to sample the shop’s legendary shave ice. We each order a frozen treat – think colorful snow cone, but with ice that’s shaved rather than crushed. This is the honeymoon we had in mind.
Our next stop is Pupukea, just 15 minutes north of Haleiwa, this time to check out the Banzai Pipeline, a world-famous surf break. Knowing that my surf skills aren’t quite up for it, we happily hang back and watch others ride beautiful turquoise barrels. A few locals smile, say “Aloha” and tell us, “Keep your eyes on the water — it’s whale season.” We promise to do so.
Then it’s off to Ted’s Bakery, a North Shore staple on Sunset Beach since 1987 that some claim is one of the best pie shops in the world, or so I’ve read. Here, it’s all about the chocolate haupia cream pie, made with rich chocolate mousse and coconut cream in a buttery crust and topped with whipped cream. When we arrive, sadly, all the pie is sold out.
While Hailima orders lunch, a woman behind the counter overhears me moaning about my dashed hopes after traveling thousands of miles for a piece of that pie. Minutes later, she surprises me with a slice to go, packaged along with our order of a spicy mahi-mahi and rice dish. I nearly hug her. “Totally worth the trip,” I say to Hailima as I scoop up another bite.