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The Dole Plantation is just about as classic tourist trap as you can get: more bus parking than car parking, pay individually for each ‘attraction’, gift shop the size of Target and it’s ¢75 for a handful of stinky fish food to feed the Koi. Not exactly my bag. BUT. They have delicious DoleWhip and a mini train ride, making it one of Grace’s favorite places on earth. And let’s be serious, I’m a fan of the tangy DoleWhip myself so one day after Grace’s summer school let out we headed toward the North Shore and the Dole Plantation.

My dad was with us and I asked if he wanted to do the worlds biggest outdoor maze or see the Dole Garden, but he’s just about a big of a fan of tourists as I am so he declined. I proceeded to get ripped off for 3 tickets on the Pineapple Express.

What’s a tourist attraction without plywood paintings to stick your face through?

I mean, I paid the generously discounted military rate for the train ride. It’s an open air, kid sized train that goes along and narrates the history of pineapple in Hawaii (minus all the parts about forced labor and land barons). I thought Janie would love it. Wrong. One minute into a twenty minute ride she was trying to jump off. The track has small numbered stakes all along it in case your sunglasses or hat go overboard, I was sure I was going to have to say “Oh, excuse me, I lost my baby by stake 13”

Don’t let this post discourage you from going if you’re ever here on Oahu. It’s right on the way to the North Shore, the DoleWhip is delicious and the train ride is pretty educational (the first time). And they have more than Dole Whip, they have pineapple on a stick, pineapple floats, pineapple splits . . . Plus, you can get all your friends back home bright yellow Dole t-shirts. Best. Souvenir. Ever.

MMMMmmm, Dole Whip.

I like to call this “Look what we conned Gramps into buying us”

Grace was really excited to stick her face in each cut out, despite all the other people milling about who also wanted to have their picture taken. Ahhh, to be a carefree 5 year old who doesn’t notice nasty looks.

Don’t lose your head with excitement. Go slow.