Hawaii – day 2: Pearl Harbor, Submarine Ride and the Best Burgers

Pearl Harbor, briefly visited

After a filling breakfast made in our kitchen we were off to Pearl Harbor. We didn’t have too much time because Michael and I had an appointment with the timeshare people so they could try to convince us to buy what it is that they were trying to sell this time. ┬áWhen we got to Pearl Harbor, after a brief incorrect turn – thanks Siri, we started walking around reading the signs. I admit to being choked up many times as I read of soldiers going out on December 6th for a night of entertainment not knowing that it could, and for many of them, would be their last night on Earth. I also read of how many were getting ready for church before the bombing took their lives. Mike was off to get us tickets to go to the Arizona Memorial. But when he returned we realized that we would not be able to make it to the memorial and back in time for the sales pitch. So we decided to come back on July 4th.

Waikiki and the Submarine

During our meeting, the kids were off to play in the sand and swim at the pools. I’m sure they had more fun than we did. ­čÖé When we returned, it was off to Waikiki for a submarine ride. We had some extra time to walk around in Waikiki before our ride. We found a shop with fabulous cookies, the Honolulu Cookie Company.┬áLet’s just say that their marketing department did a great job when they placed many different cookie samples in the window. We pigged out on samples and then filled a box with each of us choosing our 5 favorites. We also wandered by a shop where they were letting you choose and open your own oyster to get a pearl for “Only $14.99” what a bargain right? Mike encouraged Amanda to try it. She got a gorgeous silver pearl with her pick. As you may imagine, that enticed the rest of us to want to do the same thing. Michael has determined that they are the best at getting you to buy something. As now not only do we have pearls, but we have settings. We did manage to say “no” to the chains they were selling. This technique must work really well as later we saw many places doing the same thing.

We walked out the pier to board the boat that would take us to the submarine from Atlantis Adventures. It was about a 10 minute ride from the boat to the submarine. During that time we got to see a nice view of that part of the island. We exited the boat and got into the Atlantis XIV submarine. It’s the world’s largest hi-tech passenger submarine, and holds 64 passengers. We were able to see fish, sharks and a couple of turtles. We also saw a plane wreck that has become a reef for the wildlife as well as some other manmade reefs. Diving down as deep as 104 feet we watched the leaching of the color as we went further and further down. Everything looked blue and even the colors of our shirts, and my nail polish, changed.

Since we were in Waikiki, the boys (all 3 of them), wanted to go and take the long hike up Diamond┬áHead Crater. Following Siri’s directions, (will we ever learn), I dropped the boys off so they could “walk” to their destination. Amanda and I took out our phone cameras and proceeded to take photographs of the surfers way down at the bottom of the hill. We also started snacking on our cookies – we were hungry. My phone rang and it was the boys. Apparently it was a lot longer walk than Siri lead them to believe. Amanda and I drove off to pick them up and take them to the actual destination. By the time we got there it was after the last time they would let hikers go up the crater. So we turned around and went on a search for food.

Michael had seen an ad for the “best” hamburgers in Honolulu so we googled to see if we could find something nearby. We found a place called Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. Let’s just say, I’m not surprised that so many people gave them good reviews. The juice from our burgers dripped everywhere and the flavor of the burgers was amazing. I had an avocado bacon burger, I swear they had at least a half an avocado in there. Michael a volcano burger and though I have no idea what was in it, I wasn’t about to taste it. Alex and Christopher had Hawaiian Style burgers and Amanda had an original burger. We shared shakes and fries and we were stuffed by the time we left. I have to say that I’m a little happy that they don’t have Teddy’s Bigger Burgers here, they would be a hard temptation to avoid.

A relaxing evening poolside ended our busy day.

Hawaii trip – day 1: An overview of the island by plane

Hawaii Here We Come

Early June 30th, we were up before dawn ready to start our much awaited adventure to Hawaii. We were up before 4am and out the door to the airport. This would be a long flight with one short layover in Salt Lake, but we were prepared. Or so we thought.

We arrived at the Salt Lake airport with just enough time to grab a quick lunch and get to our gate. When we sat down to eat, we got a call from Delta. Our flight was delayed. Ok, so at least it wasn’t cancelled. It was only going to be delayed a couple of hours, or so they thought. Apparently there was a mechanical error that would not allow the plane to fly over the ocean so a part needed to be replaced. One was being flown in from LA. The gate attendant assured everyone that the part was easy to replace and we should be able to board in no time. No time came and went. Michael stood at the window to watch the repair progress. There was much scratching and shaking of heads by the mechanics. After a 7 hour delay, we were told that the plane was not going to be able to fly over the ocean but they could take us to LA where we would switch planes and once again be on our way. Only one glitch remained, they would have to take the extra fuel out of the tank before we could leave. We boarded the plane and waited, and waited, and waited. I was by the window and watched more of the head shaking scratching that Michael had seen before. After watching half of a movie, Jack the Giant Slayer, we were finally able to leave Salt Lake.

Looks like we made it

We finally arrived in Hawaii, got our luggage, rental car, and made our way to the Ko’Olina beachclub resort. It was 11pm when we got there. Tired, hungry and ready to sleep. I have to say that the staff there was amazing. They provided us with some sandwiches and drinks at no charge and made sure that we were all set with anything we needed.

Up and at ’em

Still on Pennsylvania time, Michael and I were up early and wandering the beach in front of our building as the sun was coming up. It was a beautiful morning, slight breeze and some humidity (not like PA). We took some pictures and walked around the resort exploring. After the kids were up, we went out in search of breakfast before our plane ride over the island.

Up up and away


Siri led the way to the place we were supposed to meet our pilot for the morning. Well Siri actually got us a little lost. With some help from google maps we got on the right track and went to meet ┬áGene, our pilot from Flight See Hawaii. The plane, a┬áCessna 182 Skylane holds 4 people, including the pilot so we split up.I went with Amanda and Christopher. Amanda had the co-pilot seat, Christopher was in charge of pictures and I was just happy to see the awesome view. Gene flew us over the island and pointed out places that we might want to go back and visit on our trip. He pointed out places that tended to be crowded and places where the locals go. He was very knowledgeable and personable. It was a great trip. Even the little air bubbles were fun, for most of us. After we landed, Michael and Alex took their turn. Because of the trade winds, they saw a few different areas we didn’t see. It was fun to combine our photographs and see everything.


After our amazing flights, we were off to buy groceries for the week and get some lunch. We found a store similar to Whole foods, and a Costco where we stocked up on fresh fruits and food that we could make for breakfast. The kids got to pick where they’d like get lunch. Now if you know our kids, it won’t surprise you to know that they picked a place we don’t have here, a place that they, of course loved. The place was called Ramen Ya. It’s a Japanese noodle restaurant that serves Ramen noodles. But these noodles aren’t the salty things that college students buy by the case load. These bowls were HUGE and filled with yummy goodness. I learned, however, that eating noodles with chopsticks is something that I’ll need more practice doing. By the end of our meal, I was no longer flinging juice across the table. I think that’s improvement. ­čÖé Here are a couple of our bowls.

ramenYa ramenYa2


A dip in the pool

After lunch and putting groceries away we were off to the pool(s) and the beach to relax and play in the sand. It was a great way to end our first day on the island of Oahu.