Reawakening Memories of the North Shore

December 13, 2015

As a young boy my family and I always went out to the North shore to vacation.  As a native son of Oahu and a self proclaimed "Towney"  I don't make it out to the north shore much these days.  So on a stormy November morning I set out to rediscover some of the places that were so special to me as a child.

After passing through Wahiawa town, and continuing through the sugarcane and pineapple fields, I began to remember the anticipation I used to feel as the endless fields opened and Haleiwa came into view.  Great memories of eating shave ice with my brother on the bench at Matsumoto's,  A burger I shared with my father at Kua'aina, and a lady selling shells on the side of the road whom my mother and I had stopped to check out.  Feelings of nostalgia brought on by memories of days long past...  better times, simpler times, where a little bit of condensed milk and azuki beans could bring more happiness than any dollar amount could afford.  

After a filling Burrito lunch at Luisbueno, I continued on through Haleiwa town.  Snaking my way through while trying to avoid the hundreds of tourists in the road, I made it to the bridge and stopped to take a few snaps.

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Waimea Bay, the Mount Everest of my people.  Where larger than life  men and women ride mountains of water to see the face of God and touch the creator.  A place where mortal men/women perform unbelievable feats that pass them into myth and legend.   Where my father and brother taught me to overcome my fear of heights and jump from the highest point of the famous "rock".   

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    Continuing on down Kam Highway, I past Sunset Beach.  This is where I took my wife on our first Valentines day as a couple.  We drove out there at midnight and watched the stars and listened to the sound of the waves for hours.  Counting satellites and shooting stars, it is one of my fondest memories of times with my wife before e were married.  

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    Passing Turtle Bay I remembered all the summers my family spent at the Cabanas.  BBQing and boogey boarding all day long.   That place has now become special to me and my daughter when we summered there after her first birthday.  I took her to a little cove not far from the hotel where my brother and I used to snorkel as kids. As children we spent countless days there in the tide pools and swimming in the sandy cove.  This was our special place.  My family named this place "Dafodils" after the poem of the same name.

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The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A Poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

- William Wordsworth

    Past the Crouching Lion and into Kaaawa, I happened by my Uncle Calvin's old house.  We'd camp there as kids with my fathers entire side of the family.  In tents on his front yard we'd sleep, and during the day we'd cast our nets to partake of the seas bounty.   Lobsters, octopus and fish would fill our table from end to end.  We'd eat, play music, and socialize all night.  Then we'd watch my grandfather spearfish by torchlight.   

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  Rounding Kahana and Kualoa and coming back through Kaneohe, civilization again began to arise from the jungle thickets.  My memories of the North shore completed, and a sense of pride and reverence filled,  I'm so proud to be born Hawaiian and to have wonderful memories of these places which I plan to share with the next generations of our family.  

-Nicholas K Kau

  • Kathleen Kau

    on December 17, 2015

    I teared up reading of your north shore journey and remembering those special young kine memories, when you and zkau were just kids. beautiful pics, heartfelt dialog, thank you for bringing those days back to life.

  • Lauren Taylor Creates

    on December 17, 2015

    This makes me miss Hawaii! Beautiful post! Congrats on the new website!

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