A Travellerspoint blog

April 2006

Day 4 of Mom & Dave's Visit to Hawaii

Polynesian Cultural Center & Luau

Day 4 took us to the Dole Plantation during the morning time, and then to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the whole afternoon and night!


I happen to live right next to the Dole Plantation so we buzzed in there for a tour around the gift shop and we decided from there to take the train ride around the fields. It's a 20-25 minute ride going about 8mph thru the pineapple fields, while a narrated tour tells you a LOT of information about pineapples. LOL I did learn a lot, most of which was pretty interesting!


Here are a few pineapple plants with baby fruits on them...




The Polynesian Cultural Center is a HUGE, fantastic place to visit!! It's unbelievable how sprawling the place is, and it's all gorgeous and so well run.




There are different package deals that you can buy to get in and do various things around the park. Mom and Dave got us in on a big fancy package deal that gave us a guide to take us around the place so that we could do as much as possible. It also included the IMAX movie, the luau and premium seats for the night show, "Horizons".

The first thing we got to see was the parade of canoes. Each set of Polynesian islands was represented by a canoe with people from that area... dressed appropriately and playing/singing music. The represented island groups were: Hawaii, Marquesas, Fiji, Aotearoa, Tahiti, Samoa and Tonga.















Our next stop was to visit "Samoa", and the guy who was our entertainment was really funny! A Samoan with a sense of humor! Who knew?! Here he is:


We were then treated to a canoe ride ourselves. Our tour guide did the poleing, and we sat back and relaxed.


After our canoe ride we went to the IMAX movie that was about the Coral Reefs thruout the South Pacific.

Directly after the movie we had to go for the luau seating. We were all given orchid leis that smelled so nice!!




Once we were seated, the folks that ran the luau thought we'd like to see how the kalua pig was roasted...



Our dinner entertainment... music and hula.


The menu for this Ali'i Luau, or "Royal Feast" was:

Chicken Long Rice, Kalua Pig, Teriyaki Chicken, Island Fish, Poke (marinated fish), Lomilomi Salmon and Pipi Kaula (seasoned beef). Lots of sides and desserts as well.

After dinner there was time for shopping and wandering around before the night show began at 7:30pm.










Posted by Brazen 23:25 Comments (1)

Day 3 of Mom & Dave's Visit to Hawaii

Pearl Harbor and Ko'Olina Lagoons


AlooooooHA! We've been around so many tourguides lately that I keep hearing them yell out to the tourists: ALOOOOOOWWWW - HA! I don't hear that in everyday life around here... it makes me laugh every time! And the tourists all yell back, "ALOOOOOOOO-HA!!!"

Anyway! Day 3 was Pearl Harbor day! What a very busy place that is!! We showed up and scouted out the parking lots for a while but it was early enough that no one was really leaving yet, so we ended up parking further up the street and paying for the priveledge. LOL

By the time we figured out where we were supposed to go and what we were supposed to be doing, there was a 4 HOUR wait to ferry out to see the USS Arizona Memorial! It was disappointing, but sitting around on a bench for 4 hours waiting for them to call your group when you have antsy and bored kids isn't a good idea.

Here are two pictures of the Arizona Memorial for you, tho.... I took this first one:


And this second one is NOT my own photo, but I wanted to share it with you guys in case you'd never seen it. I bought a super-clear version of this picture at the gift shop while there.

This picture is chilling. I'd always known that the memorial was built right over the sunken Arizona, but I just never pictured THIS in my mind.


So after we decided we'd have to skip the Arizona memorial, we headed over to the USS Missouri ticket window. The "Mighty Mo". The Missouri was the last battleship ever built and was only in use for 11 years. It was the toughest and most menacing ship ever built with guns that could fire a 2,700 pound projectile 23 MILES!

Once you buy your tickets ($16 per person unless you're an island resident... in which case the tickets were $10 per person), you wait in a shuttle bus line. Actually it was a trolly! And it takes you from the main island over to Ford Island where you can get on board the battleship.






Right beside the Missouri ticketing window was the USS Bowfin submarine and museum.


After we finished exploring Mighty Mo, we finally got back to the van and headed out to the Ko'Olina Lagoons for a relaxing afternoon. After being around 1,000's of pushing, sweating people at Pearl Harbor, the lagoons sounded PERFECT.







When it was time to head home, I wanted to take a much more scenic and less travelled road home. It's a VERY interesting drive that starts out on the southern shore of the island on Navy property, and takes you up thru the mountains and over Kolekole Pass. At the end you're on Army property... so no matter which end you start out on, you have to have a military ID to get on this road.... hence the "much less travelled" part.

You can't stop for pictures at any point along the way except for one scenic overlook:



We all hop in the car ready to just buzz home, and after only driving a few feet, we found a peacock! LOL


Posted by Brazen 10:11 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Day 2 of Mom & Dave's Visit to Hawaii

Hiking Diamondhead and various sights


Day 2 was Easter Sunday! The Easter bunny came during the night, so the kids had their easter egg hunt before we started our touring day.

After we left home, the first destination was Diamondhead Crater, on the opposite side of the island. I took the slower, more scenic way to get there... taking us thru Honolulu and Waikiki. We got stopped in traffic for a bit behind a limo that must've had someone famous in it because there were cameras pointed in the window and people scurrying around. We never saw who it was, tho.

Diamondhead Crater was last active as a volcano around 100,000 years ago. You climb 761 feet up to the summit to the most amazing views!!!

Here's a shot of Diamondhead from the distance... we climbed to the tip top of that!









The end is in sight!


The view of Waikiki and Honolulu from the very top!

The hike was great. It was the first time the kids had done it, too! They said it wasn't as hard as they'd expected, and have challenged me to find them a harder hike to do... and SOON! LOL

My itinerary for the rest of the day was to circle the island, stopping off at all of the scenic vistas and viewpoints, plus my favorite beaches.

We stopped for a fast lunch at Hawaii Kai and then just up the road was our first stop at Halona Blowhole and Beach. The Halona Beach was the one from the 1950's movie From Here to Eternity.

The Halona Blowhole is a spot where the ocean has undercut the lava stone and drilled a hole up thru to the top... so when a swell comes in, it goes into that hole and appears to erupt out thru the hole! It's like a mini Old Faithful every 15-25 seconds when the surf is high!



Here's the blowhole's eruption:

Sandy Beach is next... not even half a mile up the road from Halona



Next planned stop is at Lanikai Beach near Kailua. Last year Cosmo rated this the most romantic beach in the country... tho we can't really figure out why. It's gorgeous, that's true... but it's the amazing water and offshore islands that are so wonderful... not the beach itself!



One of my favorite shots on the whole island! Here is the shot from last year when I saw it for the first time:


After swimming and tanning here for an hour or so, we hit the road again and drove up the whole Windward side of the island. We made a quick stop at Kualoa Park to get an up close and personal view of Chinaman's Hat:


If you turn around and face the other way from Chinaman's Hat, you see this great mountain view:


After this we continued driving, stopping at Sunset Beach, and then Banzai Pipeline. Here are Mom and Dave walking out to the top of the very steep beach here at Pipeline:


When we stopped at Waimea Bay it started raining on us, and they got to see a really nice rainbow right away!


The final stop before going home was to Matsumodo's for shave ice. It was soooo good, as always! No pictures from there... we were too busy eating and being sticky and fighting off the bees!

Posted by Brazen 11:07 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Day 1 of Mom & Dave's Visit to Hawaii

Sunset at Turtle Beach


Mom and Dave arrived safely after that realllllllllllly long flight at 3:15pm Hawaii time. Mom caught herself a cold on the flight, so she's fighting that already! The kids and I chose a fresh lei for each of them, and suprised them as they came into the baggage claim area. That reminds me that we didn't get any pictures with the leis, so I'll have to fix that today.

Mom was really hungry so the first thing we did was get out of Honolulu and then stopped at Ruby Tuesday's in Mililani for an early dinner. After that we swung by our house to unload luggage and change shoes before heading out to the North Shore for a sunset, turtle hunting and shave ice!!

I decided to get to the North Shore by driving thru the cool little surf town of Haleiwa... which is also where the shave ice is. I don't know what time they close, but all 3 shops were already closed! How disappointing!

We carried on, headed for Turtle Beach... hoping to find a turtle or two and catch the sunset as a bonus. In 8 months of living here, I had yet to see a sea turtle!!



After the first few minutes of admiring the view, we walked down the beach to where I thought the turtles usually hung out. And.... guess what was blended right in with the rocks!!


Turle L7! hehehe At first we thought he was dead and weren't going to take any pictures because he had sand up on his sides and we didn't know what the stick thing was on his back... thought maybe some kids did something to him. But as we were pondering all this, a women from the Hono Nature Services arrived to take his picture with the sunset and she assured us that he was NOT dead. And the stick thing on his back was a GPS system to track him everywhere he goes.





And that's it! Once that sun starts to move down, it goes fast! We hopped in the van and drove back home because the kids still had Easter eggs to color. And with the 6 hour time difference Mom and Dave were feeling a BIT tired.

Posted by Brazen 10:00 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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