89 degrees and sunny. It’s a Waiola Shave Ice day.
I’ve been coming here since forever. I remember my high school cross country coach taking us on a run around the Ala Wai Canal and then detouring up Pa’ani Street to treat us to some shave ice before heading back to the school grounds. Every time we ran around the Canal after that, I secretly hoped he’d take that same detour.
Annie and I would go there quite often when we were dating, at least once or twice a month. At the ordering window, it was always the same order: a large cone with ice cream, li hing and Melona flavors for Annie, and strawberry-li hing for me.
Annie and I eventually began talking about getting engaged. One of my friends shared her story of getting engaged on Christmas Day when her boyfriend walked her to the end of a snow-covered runway and dropped to his knee. I thought to myself, where am I going to find snow in Hawaii? That’s when I got the idea to sneak the engagement ring into Annie’s shave ice.
The day I actually proposed, Annie wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t want to have shave ice but I prevailed upon her. When she found the plastic baggie holding the ring, she almost tossed it out, thinking it was trash that had somehow gotten into the dessert. Of course, I was right there to pick it out and make my proposal.
She said yes, and the rest is history.
X-Large Bowl with Ice Cream, Lilikoi and Strawberry for Esther
Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa may be the most famous, but it’s just hype. Waiola Shave Ice in Moiliili is where you can find the best shave ice in Hawaii. The ice is finer, the choices wider, and the flavors are bolder.
Here’s to you, Waiola Shave Ice
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