Iconic Hawaiian, but the real stuff

Ko Olina Travel Blog

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La'au and Kelsey
My good friend Dan went above and beyond when he found out I was going to Oahu. It was his home for 5 years previously while he was doing his PhD in plant biology before he moved back to CA to pursue a career in alternative biofuels. He once called himself the luckiest person on earth for studying beautiful anthuriums for his PhD.

He called up his most local friend in Oahu and asked him to take me out for a day. La'au called the day I arrived and we chatted for a bit. I found out that for a living - he dives for tropical fish, catches and then packs them to ship all over the world to aquarium stores! I haven't told many people this, but that's what I want to do when I retire. Yes I realize I will have to learn to swim first, but when someone asks me what I want in life - I tell them an island with a reef - because I want to occassionally collect little fish for my aquarium and breed them, etc.
Family Portrait!
as well as making sure there is a safe habitat. La'au also told me he makes jewelry out of some very rare shell, which can sell for thousands. I'm not sure how true that is, as the idea of shells as currency strikes me as a tropical legend. But I was very excited at the prospect of getting on a boat and watching him at his job! So we eventually arranged to meet on Saturday.

The drive to Ko Olina was fairly uneventful and we met at a shopping mall so that we wouldn't get lost to his house. This cool sporty car pulls up in front of me with a gorgeous girl in the driver's seat with a flower in her hair. La'au gets out and he has a ton of tattoos and is HOT. It doesn't hurt that he flashes a charming smile and goes "Are you ready for a WestSide adventure?"

He and his girlfriend are unbelievably iconic Hawaiian.
Beach on Westside
My jaw just dropped - I don't think I've ever seen two more naturally beautiful people in my life. He actually reminds me of my favorite ex, Paul. So much so I almost made the mistake of txting Paul to say hello, and that I had met his almost-twin brother in Hawaii. He even sung reggae songs loudly over the monster engine. If he had played Tupac songs I would have just flipped out right then and there.

We parked at his house and changed cars. I couldn't believe my eyes, La'au had a huge monster truck. The kind that you see roll over other cars in large arenas full of fat people drinking beer. The kind with teeth and scary faces painted on the front grill. And I was offered mango and home grown pot. Wow =) I didn't accept either but it was very sweet! After getting the pit bull situated in her cage, I catapaulted what seemed like a hundred feet into the truck and was sandwiched by two of the hottest people on earth while they passed pot back and forth.
La'au shows us a crab he just caught!
=) Hahaha!

We headed very far West, where apparently most of the Hawaiian poor are marginalized. Tents line the shores and beaches where the permanently homeless and the unknowing campers find themselves side-by-side. They spoke about the drug problems in Oahu, and reminisced about the most "chronic" people they've seen on the island. Apparently the U.S. government used to also send the institutionalized and homeless on boats to Hawaii so that they wouldn't have to deal with the massive problem.

We went to a market which had a deli of yummy local items such as octopus, raw crab, poki, and other things. They all looked SO DELICIOUS. Well, except for the poi. I just don't get poi. But I could eat poke for the rest of my life, raw tuna with green onion, salt and sesame oil with maybe some spice has got to be the stuff of life - healthy, tasty and easy to come by!

We took our food, some drinks and some rapidly melting ice cream along a rocky beach that we had to get to by foot after off-roading in his huge monster truck for a good 10 minutes.
Deserted beach with awesome tidepools on WESTSIDE!
Nobody was there, it was completely private and quiet. What it lacked in scenery it makes up for in content. We had a cave to hide under as the sun was really beating down. And there was an area that was creating some very deep tidepools just FULL of creatures. I was chasing colorful fish, and a ton of different crabs were just scuttling about. This beach was much more pebbly than sandy, and it wasn't even pebbles, it was the remains of tons of sea creatures - broken shells, colorful spikes from anemones and urchins long dead, and tons and tons of coral. It was amazing but very incomfortable to walk on. What a sight it was to watch La'au lay down on flat rock among all the fish and literally just lie down, letting the water break and blanket him. It was like taking the coolest bath ever in very warm water.
Lava rocks and offroad


Afterwards, we hiked back to the truck because the conditions at this beach were not conducive to swimming and it was blistering hot here. We gathered into La'au's monster truck again and went to a beach where we could actually swim and where Cotton could have some fun playing in the surf. We headed further west to a gorgeous surfing beach. I don't know the name of it except there are a few surfs that coincide with some dips in the road. Therefore they are called "First Dip", "Second Dip" and "Third Dip".

The sand was very deep here and I didn't realize why until I basically ate it on the beach. There's like this little 3 foot precipace of sand and then this rolling clear water was ahead of you. I guess the surf was super strong because I would lie close to the edge of where the water would come and the wave was strong enough to push me back and then pull me forward which definitely freaked me out.
Cotton - a very friendly and very strong pitbull!
At one point, I was so hot I wanted to get my shoulders wet, so I lay a little closer. I got nice and soaked up to my shoulders and then got up to walk away from the water. But while walking away, a wave apparently gained some strength and literally took my legs out from under me. Down I went, and La'au went "oh SHIT!" Hahaha. I couldn't sit for two days afterwards but that's ok, who wants to sit around in Hawaii anyway?!
vances says:
I can attest to the comment La'au made about shell jewelry. The natives on Ni╩╗ihau still produce some beautiful pieces which are sold at the Bishop Museum...you should go and gawk at the prices in their gift shop! My friend took me there to get something for my wife and suggested a necklace.....but as the cheapest one was around $2K (even though Martina is a member and got me a 10% discount) I opted for a bracelet, lol.
Posted on: Feb 02, 2009
TRE69 says:
Sounds like a fun day...isn't awesome to know local peep!!!
Posted on: Jul 24, 2008
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Laau and Kelsey
La'au and Kelsey
Family Portrait!
Family Portrait!
Beach on Westside
Beach on Westside
Laau shows us a crab he just caug…
La'au shows us a crab he just cau…
Deserted beach with awesome tidepo…
Deserted beach with awesome tidep…
Lava rocks and offroad
Lava rocks and offroad
Cotton - a very friendly and very …
Cotton - a very friendly and very…
Cotton swimming
Cotton swimming
The family swimming =)
The family swimming =)
Beach on Westside!
Beach on Westside!
Laau watching Cotton
La'au watching Cotton
Beach on Westside
Beach on Westside
Kelsey and Laau
Kelsey and La'au
Lava rocks and offroad
Lava rocks and offroad
Most beautiful young couple Ive e…
Most beautiful young couple I've …
Laau giving Kelsey some love.
La'au giving Kelsey some love.
on Pali highway
on Pali highway
Ko Olina
photo by: jenn79