July 18, 2009

Hawaii - Dole Planation, North Shore, Pearl Harbor

Sunday - Dole Plantation and the North Shore

As befits a vacation Sunday, we slept in a bit. In the late morning we drove up to the Dole Plantation, where we saw how pineapples grow, took little train ride, ate some Dole Whip Pineapple soft serve ice cream, and did the famous outdoor maze. (It took us a little over an hour to collect stencils from the eight hidden stations within. We think a respectable time.) Fun spot.

Afterwards, we explored the cute North Shore town of Hailewa. We walked along the main street, hit some art galleries, grabbed lunch at a cute little road-side shop with the menu written on a surf-board, and hit Aoki’s (next to the possibly more famous Morimotos, but it seemed darned good to us) for shave ice.

Back in Waikiki, we took runs along the canal, and then all went to beach spot in front of our hotel. Protected from the surf by a long wall, it was like a huge swimming pool. While the busy Waikiki beaches are not as nice as the other beaches we had been to, it was perfectly nice and a fun time with the kids, a Frisbee, and a large green floatie - $3 at ABC Mart! We strolled by the torch-lit beach of Waikiki at night, grabbed some dinner, and saw some street performers. The kids, in vacation mode, were up and happy until 10 PM. A totally contented and relaxed day.

Monday - Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor was definitely an amazing place to visit. We visited the USS Missouri Battleship first. The Missouri has an amazing history, serving in battle arenas from WWII to the Persian Gulf (it was the first boat to launch a Tomohawk Cruise Missile in 1991). Its imposing monster 16-inch gun turrets (with a range of something like 150 miles) are a sight to see up close and personal, and the whole ship is really accessible. We also picked up some cool history from the veteran tour guides about WWII surrender ceremony in Tokyo Harbor, which took place aboard the USS Missouri. MacArthur was quite the bad-ass.

We also visited the USS Arizona Memorial, which begins with an extremely well done short movie that includes real footage of the day and time leading up to the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing and the aftermath. Then a boat takes you across the harbor out to memorial, which sits over the top of the eerie sunk boat. Seeing the fallen USS Arizona directly below you and extending out hundreds of feet either way gives you a real appreciation of the size of it and the horrible explosions that destroyed this ship. (In terms of comparison to the feeling of being in Hiroshima or Nagasaki though, it is a very different feeling. Both are great tragedies of war at opposite sides. But the over-arching sadness we felt at the destruction and civilian devastation of a nuclear bomb and the Peace Parks leaves a very different impression than Pearl Harbor.)

Later that afternoon, we had planned to rent bikes and explore Oahu on bike. But the lone bike that had the child seat on it was never returned and another bike had a flat tire. So, in our lone vacation disappointment, the bike ride was not to be. Instead the kids continued making friends at the pool and at the beach. We did some more strolling along the beach at sunset and night in Waikiki, and enjoyed a really nice outdoor dinner with live hula music. Late at night, we listened to live guitar music from Tiki’s - Hotel California, Jack Johnson, Bon Jovi- off our balcony (sorry, lanai!).


Semsavblanc said...

So you enjoyed yourselve then? There's always something exciting waiting just around the corner!

krishna kashyap av said...

Great pictures..
Very much enjoying..
I had never seen a pineapple plant.
Thanks for posting the picture..
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dyana said...

Good post.....

thanks for sharin with us......


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