At the beginning of the month, I wrote about our family trip to Dole pineapple plantation. I mentioned that we hadn’t taken any tours and that we would probably not be returning. Well, as usual, I was wrong. My daughter-in-law, Cathy, convinced the rest of us to take the train tour, so we would have pictures of Ezra, my grandson, on the train.
The tickets weren’t terribly expensive, at $11.25 for each of us as being military-related. Tourists only pay $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for children 4-12 years of age. Children under 4 are free. After buying the tickets, we had to wait an hour and a half to board the next available train. I don’t remember which train it was. The tour is 2 miles, and it’s supposed to take around 20 minutes. Cathy took 30 minutes of video.
My son, Jon, is stationed at the Helemano Military Reservation (HMR), north of the Dole plantation. I didn’t realize how close together both places are until I saw some familiar buildings at HMR while riding the train and taking pictures. I took dozens of pictures.
There’s no way I can list all the different grasses, bushes and trees that are grown on the plantation grounds. I’ll mention what I can remember without going through all the pictures. I remember the bamboo thicket, the avocado, banana, breadfruit and coconut trees, the coffee bushes and cacao trees, the green and red tea leaves, the lemon and lime trees, the ironwood trees, the longan, lychee, macadamia nut and rambutan trees and the sugar cane.
Most of the flora is familiar to me due to the time I’ve spent in various tropical locales. I can’t pronounce the rest of them. There was also some old plantation farming equipment in various stages of decay. Interesting to see, but I don’t see the point of showing them as part of the tour. Yes, both coffee and chocolate are produced on the island of Oahu, but the plantation garden isn’t one of the sources.
We decided to eat before leaving this time. The Plantation Grille is in the main building, to the back and to the right. It wasn’t the best food or the most expensive food I’ve had on the island, but it wasn’t the opposite either. The dining area is behind the building, between the building and the train boarding platform.
This trip was different from the first, where we spent most of our time shopping in the main building. It was better this time because a lot of the COVID restrictions were no longer in place.