Day 4: Pearl Harbor and the Arizona memorial. Visiting Pearl Harbor is a long day. We knew there would be a wait, but the internet didn't explain it to us properly. Tickets for the boat to the memorial are free and at assigned times, like the Fast Pass at Disneyland. There are also a very limited number of tickets. We arrived at roughly 10AM and were lucky to get on the second to last boat of the day at 2:30PM.
Fortunately, there are a lot of museums and displays to see while waiting for your ticket group.
|Dan on the deck of the submarine Bowfin|
|Using binoculars to observe the Arizona memorial from the Bowfin.|
|The USS Arizona Memorial|
|The exposed sections of the Arizona|
|You can see the light oil slick from the oil slowly bubbling up from the sunken ship|
Day 5: Paddleboarding. This was the epic day of paddleboarding. Since we didn't have the forethought to bring a disposable waterproof camera or a waterproof case for either of our phones, there's no evidence that it ever happened. But it did! And I only fell in the water once!
If you know anything about me in the real world, you know that I am not athletic. Not in the slightest. However, when we were on this awesome vacation, I really wanted to take advantage of the amenities the hotel had to offer. Since surfing was out, I got up the courage early in the trip to convince Dan to try paddleboarding with me.
And I'm so glad we did. No one else signed up for our class, so it was just me and Dan and our instructor in the cove where they filmed 'Catching Fire'. (Image 1 Source, Image 2 Source)
That's right. I'm Katniss, now.
There were barely any waves, which made keeping my balance remarkably easy. The only time I fell over was because the instructor was trying to teach me a move to turn fast. Slow turning was working just fine, thank you very much.
There was also a moment of incredible panic on my part when I looked down and saw movement under my board. Movement in the ocean = sharks, in my brain. Turns out, it was just a big old sea turtle. Amazing!
Unfortunately, I did not apply sunscreen well enough and after standing in the sun on a board for two hours, I got one of the worst sun burns of my life. My shorts were shorter than I thought so I wound up with a fried strip across both my thighs. I couldn't sleep on my stomach for days.
The burn also kept the next few days pretty quiet, since I was in a lot of pain. We spent the afternoon at our section of beach and went to dinner in Haleiwa at Dan's new favorite burger joint.
Day 6: Flying home. This was probably the weirdest day of the whole trip. Our flight home was a red-eye, leaving Honolulu at 11PM. We had to check out of the hotel at 11AM, so we had a total of twelve hours to kill. The day was quite a hodge-podge as we worked our way across the island.
Until the last day, we hadn't purchased any souvenirs. The only thing that had caught my eye were some dashboard hula girls at Waimea Falls, so we went back and bought them. Three total, one for me and two as presents to my mom and sister for watching the cats. Then, we stopped in Haleiwa for a Mexican food lunch. Even though Tucson is 90 minutes from the border, this restaurant had some of the best Mexican food we've ever had.
By the time we arrived back in Honolulu, it was roughly 3PM. We were out of sites we wanted to see and my legs hurt everytime I moved from my sunburn. To kill time, we decided to visit the weird shopping mall in existence. It was like the stores were lego bricks and a toddler had smashed them together. A Chanel next to a Claire's. Weird. We filled as much time as we could without buying anything ridiculous. All we ended up with was a Dole Whip and some Hawaiian burgers. Yum.
It was a great and exhausting trip. I'm so glad we did it (even after Dan totaled up the cost, yikes). In spite of that, we need to do something like this every year.