Since the North Shore is about 70-90 minutes from where we're staying, we decided to head on up there. The weather was beautiful here this morning. Perfect, really. Sunny, not too hot... well, as we went more and more north, the weather got crappier and crappier. Cloudy, rainy... yuck.
But, since we had driven all the way up there, we definitely wanted to go through with our lessons. We met at a Quiksilver Surf Shop, where we paid ($55 each for 90 minutes... not bad, it was worth it) and were given rash guards to wear. We also got directions to the beach where we would meet up with our instructors.
We brought our digital camera in the underwater case, thinking that we'd take pictures. But once we got there, a photographer introduced himself to us and said that he takes pictures of all of the lesson groups while they are out on the water. He said that he snaps a bunch of pics, and we'd have the option of buying the CD of all pictures at the end of the lesson. The CD was $30. We decided it was worth it to not have to try to carry the camera while also trying to learn to surf.
Ready to try out this surfing thing
I'll tell you... it was challenging. Michael was definitely better at it than me. I had trouble not looking down at the board. When you look down, it throws off your balance and you usually fall. You're supposed to focus on one point on the shore, and just look straight ahead at it. I didn't have too much trouble standing up on the board--my problem was staying up. I eventually got it, and toward the end of the lesson, I became OK at it. Michael had the stance down, so he balanced more easily and did a good job.
I'll tell you another thing... damn, it was tiring. I guess I never really thought about it before. But when you ride a wave into shore, you have to turn around and paddle all the way back out to catch another wave. The more successful you are at riding the wave in, the longer you have to paddle back out. The 90 minutes seemed like an eternity. At one point, I looked at Michael and said, "Isn't this over yet?" I was having fun, but I was exhausted. And hungry.
The 90 minutes did finally end, and we paddled back to shore and dropped off our boards. We went back to the surf shop to drop off our rash guards and pick up the disk of pictures (and obviously, you're looking at the photos).
We drove up the road a little bit and found a nice place to park with a view of a beach. We ate our sandwiches in the car, and then continued on up to go snorkel at Tunnels Beach (which is supposed to be amazing).
Well, due to the weather, and probably the time of day, the conditions at Tunnels Beach sucked. We got into the water with our masks and snorkels, but we were out there maybe five minutes. Visibility was awful, and the waves were tossing us around. We quickly decided to pack it up and just go home.
Once back at the condo, we showered and got ready for dinner.
This morning, on our way up to the North Shore, I was looking at the Revealed book again. I came across the review of Duke's, and noticed that it mentioned Duke's had burgers, pizza, ribs, etc. I found that odd, since (as I blogged about yesterday), we looked at the menu online and it was all seafood. I went to the website on my Blackberry and figured out the problem. We had been looking at Duke's Restaurant, which is in the same place... but what we wanted was Duke's Barefoot Bar. The Barefoot Bar is downstairs from Duke's Restaurant, and it's much more casual. The food? Right up my alley. So we decided this morning that we would actually be making a trip to Duke's.
It took us a little while to get there since it is up near the airport in Lihue, but the drive was nice and it wasn't bad at all. We were seated outdoors with a nice view of the beach. We really liked the look and feel of the place.
View from our table at Duke's
We shared two appetizers, which were very good... and then we finished off the meal with the famous Hula Pie. What is Hula Pie? Well, they don't have a description of it on the menu, so we weren't really sure. But essentially, it's Oreo (I think it was Oreo) cookie crust, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, fudge, and crushed peanuts. So yeah, what's not to like? It was enormous... definitely only need to order one.
Now we are home and relaxing. We have to get up early tomorrow for our helicopter tour (should be interesting!). I'm nervous for it just because I'm not a big fan of small aircraft, but I'm sure we'll make it through. Should have some amazing pictures to share tomorrow!