A trip to Hawai'i is dousing oneself with the three S's of ideal vacation life: Sun, sand, and sea. Sun is all around the powdery beaches and cool waters of the Pacific Ocean (okay, so it's not a sea).

Of course, Waikiki beach is the most popular one in Hawai'i, but for backpackers and ordinary tourists (read: no money!) there are plenty of public beaches to go. Two of these are Waimea and Northshore, both located near the historic Hale'iwa strip — the same strip preserved to provide tourists a glimpse of the old plantation town life in the islands.

An added attraction to this part of the island is another essential S: Shave Ice. Not just any other shave ice but a Matsumoto Shave Ice. As Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, the Matsumotos pioneered shave ice back in 1951. Back then, it was just a come-on for surfers and tourists to visit the Matsumoto general merchandise store (as there were a string of stores that peddled the same stuff). As fate would have it, shave ice took a popular turn with the emergence of the hippie generation when all things bright and multicolored (and addictive, hehe) were, well, cool.

Shave ice are far different from snow cones, as any native Hawai'ian would argue. Shave ice are finer in texture and the syrups are not artificially flavored, unlike the real (exotic, even) fruit syrups of shave ice (although, this part is arguable what with shave ice bubble gum flavor). The best part of this Hawai'an concoction is the ice cream underneath. After eating the powdery flavored ice on top, one finds a generous serving of ice cream treat at the bottom of the cone *yumm-eh!* Just a bit of advise: Don't oggle at the shave ice too long, it (as any frozen produce) melts!

So if you ever take a vacation in Hawai'i, don't forget to add the extra S in your SSS itinerary, okay?