Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dole Plantation

[NOTE: these pics were taken in 2010]
When i was in Hawaii i had a few days to do non-work related things. A friend had been to Oahu a few years earlier and told me that one of her favorite places was the Dole Plantation so after the canoe surfing adventure i set out with my trusty map towards the North Shore.

it looks like botanical fire

As one might expect the grounds were breath-takingly beautiful, featuring this awesome pointy plant that i had never seen before,
and, of course, pineapples. In fact, there were so many fruit bearing plants that in the parking lot i chuckled to find this sign:
There are a number of things to explore at the plantation - store, restaurant, gardens, world's largest pineapple maze, train ride - but i arrived only two hours before they closed so i had to make a strategic plan to see as much as possible.
If you know me at all i bet that you can guess that my number one option was the train tour; i don't know what it is about little trains, but i LOVE them. 

The Pineapple Express took us on a narrated tour through the pineapple fields and grounds of the Plantation:

hello wooden cutout of a worker

hello lychee trees

hello gorgeous red soil

Did you know that pineapples grew on the ground?
Cause i thought that they grew on trees.

They grow on short ground plants that are individually hand seeded,

then hand picked and put on one of these conveyors to be transported to shipping.

The train did a turn around in a beautifully cultivated garden where various shrubs grew in the shape of pineapples.

Also, it took us by a lovely reservoir with mountains in the distance.

hello cool looking machine that i have no idea what you do

The train tracks went right in among the plants, sometimes so close that you could reach out and touch them.
There were lots of crops besides pineapples, like the lychee trees pictured earlier, macadamia nut trees and row after row of birds of paradise.

Right by the train station is the variety garden where you can see the different types of pineapples.
Heck, i didn't even know that there were different types of pineapples.

lordy, isn't it adorable

this pink guy is so big it fell over;
no, i have no idea what variety it is
I made a stop at the nearby pond where i encountered tourist fish:

These koi are so forceful about being fed by humans that they actually come out of the water.

I decided it was time to hit the store which was quite randomly surrounded by peacocks and peahens.
I don't really think peacock when i think Hawaii, but okay.
After some shopping and wandering i worked up the courage to try the house specialty, a type of soft-serve called Pineapple Whip even though i am no big fan of pineapple:

if only they had these dishes i definitely would have bought a set
It was surprisingly delicious.
Here i am enjoying my cone next to a perfect little pineapple.

i'm Pineapple Pete

and whatever the female version of Pineapple Pete is called

almost five thousand miles away from home

[look Rea: one of the fabled last five Hawaii posts]


Rea said...

Arg...I commented yesterday and it's not showimg!

Congratulations on getting up another Hawaii post! Proud of I'm holding my breath (and blue is not a good color for me) until I see the other 4!

Niki said...

Since there were about 10 months between this post and the LAST Hawaii post, you might want to breathe...