The Dole Plantation on Oahu might be one of my favorite places in the world, and not just for all the pineapple. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to walk through a giant maze made out of bushes, and I did it first at Dole.
You're issued a card when you buy your ticket. To officially complete the pineapple maze (so-called because it's shaped like a pineapple, not because it's made of pineapples, although that would be delicious), you have to find the six stations hidden in the maze, stick your card into a stencil, and trace the little Hawai'iana figure onto the card, proving that you've been there.
Not pictured: Monkey
There's a board at the front of the maze listing the top ten best finishing times, and they're all under or around ten minutes. I don't know how many times you have to walk this maze to be able to complete it in ten minutes, but that's a rabbit hole even I don't want to go down. Sarah and I will be happy to beat my standing record time of an hour and a half.
The woman selling tickets hands us our cards and our little pencils, and asks us if we want a map of the maze. Oh no, we assure her, we do not want a map. We are going to do this the right way, the industrious way, with honor.
That lasts as long as it takes for us to find someone's discarded map at our third dead end. "Okay, I'm pretty sure we're here," says Sarah, making a little mark on the map with her pencil. "So I think we need to go that way."
We passed this cone fifteen times.
We do that for a long while, Sarah with her pencil on the map, telling me when to turn left, and when to go straight. We walk and walk and walk and walk and still we haven't found the first checkpoint. "I don't understand," she says as we circle the same bush for the seventh time. "It should be right here." I peek through the bushes, and I can see it. It's right there. Some other woman is tracing a monkey onto her card while we're futzing around on the other side. "Whatever," says my sister, throwing her hands up in frustration, and pushes her way through the line of bushes. I follow. I tell you, it was worth it to get that monkey. So much for honor.
We do try to actually do the maze. We reset ourselves on the map at the checkpoint, and follow the map diligently, but we just keep hitting those dead ends. And, well, we're not going to beat my record going around in circles, so...yes. We cheated. We're big fat cheaters. We felt really guilty about it, but sometimes sacrifices must be made. Every time we hit a dead end, we pushed our way through the bushes to the other side quick like ninjas. And we hit plenty of dead ends.
Which gives me ample time to do this:
I should say, Sarah is adorable in real life, but I could fill entire blogs with unflattering photos I've taken of my sister. This is actually one of the better ones.
In the end, I think we shaved about fifteen minutes off my previous time, so all that heartache was totally worth it.