Hawaii – day 4: Pearl Harbor & Independence Day celebration

Pearl Harbor – Take 2

memorialSaluteWe awoke early to take a return trip to go back to Pearl Harbor. We knew that we’d have to get there early in order to be able to take the tour of the Arizona Memorial. When we arrived, it looked like everyone else thought they better arrive early. Michael parked the car while the rest of us got in line. When we got to the ticket counter, we were lucky enough to get an 8:30 tour. We walked across the bridge, over the oil slicked water, and into the memorial. We passed soldiers raising and saluting flags and then folding them. One for every soldier whose life was lost on that ship. Apparently this only happens on Independence Day.  We then went to the wall where the names of those who lost their lives were listed. It was very emotional. Even now as I write this I’m getting a little teary eyed. It breaks my heart that so many have died so that I can be free.


memorialSaluteEndWhat an experience. It was very humbling to see the place where so many lives were lost and know that just below us was where many soldiers lost their lives for our country. What a way to reflect on all the freedoms we have because of people who were and are still willing to fight for our rights. And what better day for those reflections than the day that we celebrate American independence. We also had a chance to see the anchor from the USS Arizona. It was interesting to me that it was cast in the city of Chester, PA, a city not far from home, in 1911.

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We left Pearl Harbor and went back to home to enjoy some time by the pool and the Independence Day fun that was going on in the main area. We spent time relaxing by the pool, eating grilled burgers, corn on the cob, and potato salad. Alex and Christopher also participated in the pie eating contest. I’m not allowed to post pictures, I was technically not allowed to take any but… well I have a few. Let’s just say, Alex looked like he took a bath in his pie. Christopher, though slow, was quite clean after his pie was finished.

Relaxing on lawn chairs while waiting for the fireworks to start and then watching those fireworks, was a great way to end our day.

Hawaii – day 3: Surfing, Turtles and Pineapple Ice Cream

Off to the North Shore of the Island

We were up early Wednesday morning for a drive to the north shore to meet up with a surfing instructor for Amanda and Christopher. Alex, who had some instruction on surfing from friends when he went surfing in California, wasn’t feeling well. We had a pretty drive and met up with Bobby from Uncle Brian’s Surf school. Bobby got bright yellow shirts for his 2 students, viewed the waves where we were and then told us to follow him to another location. We drove a few miles away to a pretty little beach with some nice looking waves. Bobby got the surfboards set up on the beach and gave his students some instructions on how to get up on the boards.

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After their on the beach instruction it was off to catch some waves. There were a few falls, and some amazing rides. They did great. It was so fun to watch them.

Turtle Beach

When the surfing instruction was over we went down the road a little way to see the turtles on the beach. They were so close to us. With every wave we saw at least one turtle. Little heads stuck out of the water, turtle shells bobbing. We took a lot of pictures and enjoyed the sandy beach for a while before heading to the Dole Plantation.


Pineapple Ice Cream

Though we went to the Dole Pineapple plantation, we didn’t spend the time in the maze, riding the train or doing the tour. The wet tired kids weren’t as interested in that as they were the pineapple ice cream. And frankly, anyone who hasn’t tried it – must. It was so fresh and so tasty. We sat outside at a shaded table and enjoyed the beautiful day along with our ice cream cones and a shared pineapple cheesecake.

From there it was back home to shower, change and have some lunch before heading to Diamond Head so the boys could take a hike.

Diamond Head – The Hike

Amanda and I were not in the mood to go on a hike, we were tired. So the boys headed out to hike to the summit of Diamond Head Crater. A 0.8 mile hike one way with steep stairways and switch backs. The first steep stairway has 74 concrete steps leading into the first narrow tunnel. The second set of stairways has 99 steep steps. Finally there are 52 stairs to the third level of the Fire Control Station. The brochure suggests allowing 1.5 to 2 hours for the hike. Amanda and I were parked in the shade. Our plan was to read/rest for a little while and then walk around the area. You can imagine our surprise when the boys came jogging down the last part of the trail after a mere 45 minutes. And yes, before you ask, they really just jogged down the last part. They weren’t tired or out of breath. Sweaty but happy boys. Rested but happy girls. A good afternoon for all.

Hawaii Five-0

Yes, we watch Hawaii Five-0. Yes we had to take a picture of places we’d seen on the show, why do you think Christopher wanted to go up Diamond Head Crater… So we headed into the city to see the King Kamehaeha (Hawaii’s first king) statue in front of Aliiolani Hale – home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court and across from Iolani Palace. We took a few pictures, walked around for a while and had some slow going trying to get out of the city during rush hour.  By the time we were back in Ko’ Olina we were tired and ready to relax for the evening. So that’s just what we did.