Hawaii 2008 (Part 2 Oahu)

November 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm (Travel, Uncategorized) (, , )

10/29: As we neared Oahu from the air I could immediately see this was totally different than the Big Island.  There were high rises and highways and a real airport.  It was more of a city.  We rented our car and headed into Honolulu. During rush hour.  Ick.  We ducked into the Ala Moana Center – a mall on our way to Waikiki and walked around there to kill some time.  It is a HUGE mall with lots of stores.  Very nice.  Next we headed to our hotel – Waikiki Beach Marriott.  We had a nice room with a view of the beach and Diamond Head.  We settled in then headed out.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t really have a good first impression.  What I saw was South Beach.  Nothing different except the mountains.  This was not what I flew 5000 miles for.  Anyway, we walked around the “Ocean Drive” of Waikiki and went into the many touristy shops and to a place called the International Market which was filled with kiosks of jewelry and other wares.  I got a black pearl 3 strand necklace and matching earrings.  We walked some more and around 9 we went back to our hotel for dinner.  Sansei Sushi was in our hotel it’s run by a well-known chef and was supposed to be very good.  We were not disappointed.  It was on the scale of Nobu.  The food was amazing.  We ordered way too many dishes b/c we could not narrow them down.  Definitely one of the best meals either of us had ever had.  We then went to sleep full and happy!!!!!

10/30: We decided to go to Pearl Harbor today b/c it was Thursday and we were hoping the crowds wouldn’t be too bad.  Also there was a slight drizzle.  We arrive at 10:15 at the site of the USS Arizona Memorial and our tickets were for the 10:30 tour, not bad.  At 10:30 we went into the theater for the 20 minute film on the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  I hadn’t thought until that day about the glaring similarities between that attack and 9/11.  Unfortunately the reactions by the governments were vastly different but I won’t get into an anti-Bush rant here – see previous posts for that! After the film we boarded a ferry for the ride out to the memorial.  It was peaceful out there.  The memorial sits over the USS Arizona so we could see the ship on both sides submerged.  There is still oil that leaks out.  There are close to 1000 men who are still buried in the ship so it’s a graveyard as well as a memorial.  On the far side is a wall with all the names of the men who lost their lives during the bombing.  On a separate wall are names of men who survived the bombing but wanted to be buried with their shipmates so they have been brought back and buried there.  It’s very moving and solemn.  I am so glad I was able to go there.   Once we finished with the Arizona we took a bus over to Ford Island to the USS Missouri.  This is a battleship that was the site of the signing of the treaty that ended WWII.  It also served in the Persian Gulf.  It is now decommissioned and sits as a floating museum.  We had lunch on the docks before boarding.  We walked around for a long time and it was so amazing being so close to a part of such amazing history.  Once we left there, we decdided to skip the Aviation Museum and the USS Bowfin submarine.  We then gt in the car and drove to the Dole Pineapple Plantation.  We ddin’t really want to tour the plantation so we just went to the gift shop.  It was great!! Pineapple everything!! We got a couple gifts for Alexis and we each had yummy pineapple ice cream.  Then we drove around a bit and headed back to the hotel.  After some relaxing we headed out for dinner.  We walked around Waikiki a bit again before going to Duke’s.  It wasn’t our first choice but it was one of the few places that didn’t have a wait.  We had a very nice table that was on the beach which was nice.  Luckily we had that b/c the food sucked.  I was not happy.  They had a good salad bar and I wish I would have stuck with that.  Marc liked his food, I didn’t like mine at all.  I was very disappointed but I didn’t think I would like it too much, it was much too touristy!!!

10/31: Today Marc had his conference and I didn’t really have anything planned.  I got up and lounged for a bit.  I went to Starbucks for a coffee and then walked along the beach and headed back upstairs.  I changed into my bathing suit and went out to the pool.  I laid out by the pool most of the day – I took a break only for lunch when I went to Cheeseburger in Paradise (not owned by Jimmy Buffet) for an expensive cheeseburger and fries.  Once Marc was done with work we decided to got out of Waikiki for dinner since it was Halloween and promised to be crazy. We went to the original Roy’s in a non-tourist area of the island.  Roy’s is one of Marc’s favorite restaurants, I had only been to one before in Orlando but it was neat to go to the original.  The food was excellent!!!!!! Everything was good – appetizers, entrees and dessert!! This was a good dinner.  Unfortunately, it took us a very very long time to get back to Waikiki because of all the other people trying to get there for halloween.  We finally made it and I was exhausted and I don’t like crowds of drunk costumed people so I went to the room, Marc wanted to be part of the action so he walked around a little bit.

11/1: We got up on the early side and headed to Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling.  We stopped first to rent snorkeling equipment.  I was a little skeeved at the thought of renting a snorkel but it would have been expensive to buy it, not to mention useless since we don’t snorkel ever.  So I asked the people at the rental place how they clean their equipment and I also asked them to please give me one that was relatively new.  I was ok but just to make me feel better I wiped the mouth piece with Purell – yes I am a germ-a-phobic!! Anyway.  We arrived at Hanauma Bay and the view was spectacular.  It’s a bay surrounded by cliffs.  First we had to watch a short video on the Bay since it’s a preserved habitat.  Then we headed down to the beach.  It’s quite a walk. There’s a tram, it’s $.50 to get down and $1.00 to come back up.  We walked down but decided we would need to take that tram back up!!!!!!! We slathered ourselves with sunscreen and headed for the water.  Brrrrrrrr!!!! I’m sure for people from points north of me the water was nice, but for this SoFla girl it was cold!!!! This was not Miami Atlantic bathwater warm so it took some getting used to.  The reef in the bay is enclosed with only a small opening to get out to the open ocean so there weren’t any sharks.  This is something I thoroughly researched before we left miami – I watch Shark Week I don’t want to come face to face with a shark.  Ever.  We had bought an underwater camera so we snorkeled and saw some beautiful colorful fish and took neat pictures.  Unfortunately the coral was mostly dead because of uneducated people standing on it but the fish were still there.  I’m sure if we had ventured out to the portion of the reef beyond the enclosed part it would have been much neater but see my sentence above about sharks.  Not happening.  Once we were sufficiently water-logged we changed and rinsed off and went to have lunch – burgers.  Then we went driving up the coast.  Our first stop was the Halona Blowhole – a natural spot where the foam from the Pacific shoots up creating a marine variety of Old Faithful – very cool.  Next to the blowhole is the Halona Beach Cove, famous because it’s where the love scene in From Here to Eternity was filmed.  Then we went to Sandy Beach – one of the most dangerous beaches, it has an ambulance on perpetual standby for the body-surfers who get sucked under.  Again, a spot I was content to visit from afar.  Next we stopped at Makapuu point where we saw an island shaped like a swimming rabbit with its ears pulled back (supposedly, all I saw was a big hunk of rock) there was a lighthouse tucked into the cliffs and another amazing view.  We could see Molokai (or Lanai, not sure).  Next to that was Waimanalo Beach Park and we were not planning on stopping here until we saw a big commotion so we decided to check it out.  Turns out they were releasing large turtles back into the ocean.  So we watched along with a crowd of people.  Marc lost a flip flop in his excitement to get a close up picture.  Luckily someone caught it before it floated out to sea.  Next we took a scenic route along the Pali Highway back to the hotel.  That night we stayed around our area and went shopping for souvenirs and then had dinner at a restaurant called MAC 24-7 which was open 24 hours – dinner was yummy and we were tired.

11/2: Our last day in Hawaii.  We got up and took one last stroll along Waikiki Beach then packed everything up and checked out.  We headed to the North Shore.  We stopped at Haleiwa – the “capital” of the North Shore and had lunch at what is supposedly the best burger place Kua Aina the burgers were really good.  We then walked around the town a little bit and had a shave ice which is popular there.  It’s like a snow cone – it was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!  Then we drove along and stopped at all the famous surfing spots – and watched the waves and the surfers for a while.  We then headed back to Honolulu.  We had some time before dinner so we went back to the Ala Moana Center to walk around.  Then we went to dinner at Sam Choy’s which was soo good!!!! After  that it was time to go to the airport and say goodbye to Hawaii.  It was a lkong flight to LA then another long flight to Miami.  We were both happy to be home!!!!!!!

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