Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 5 - Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach

Today was Pearl Harbor Day. Seeing Pearl Harbor was one of the reasons we picked Oahu. I knew it could be a long day, so I didn’t really plan anything afterwards except the beach.

We got up early this morning and arrive at Pearl Harbor a little before 7am. There were already some people in line, but maybe only 20 or so. I have to say I was amazed at how many people did not research before hand or read the signs to know that no bags were allowed in. Some had big bags full of all kinds of stuff.

At 7am when they opened the gates, we got our tickets for the Arizona Memorial. The tickets for this are free, but you do have to get tickets in order to take the ferry out. We were lucky and got the 8am tour, which is the first tour out. We also got our tickets for the USS Bowfin Submarine and the Battleship Missouri.

Since we had a bit of time before our ferry we walked around the grounds and read about some of the history. We also went ahead and got the audio tour so we could learn a little more.

At 8am we went in and watched a video about the history of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When the video was over we caught the ferry out to the memorial. That was really powerful. It amazes me that almost 60 years later, oil is still leaking from the ship. We took pictures and took in the experience before catching our ferry back.

We were going to do the Bowfin next, but the shuttle to take us out to Ford Island and the Missouri was there so we went ahead and hopped on. After a short ride we were dropped off at the Missouri. We decided we would do the tour on our own. At this point we were a little hungry, so we grabbed a quick snack before starting the tour. For a little while we were behind a young group of kids and it was taking a long time, so when we could we found a way to pass them and continue on the tour.

After seeing all we wanted to see, we caught the shuttle back to the visitor center so we could do our tour of the Bowfin submarine. There was an audio tour with that which was pretty interesting. However, being a submarine, it was close quarters and really hot.

By the time we were done, all of us were hot, hungry and grumpy. We needed food.

We got in the car and headed toward Waikiki because we knew we were going to spend the afternoon on the beach. All we needed to do was find parking and food. We decided to eat at the Hard Rock Café. It wasn’t really our first choice, but we had seen it yesterday so we knew where it was and we knew they would have a veggie burger for me. The food and service was actually really good. We even had a small dessert.

We then changed clothes and walked to Waikiki beach. Once there we rented 2 surfboards. Madison and I gave it a go first. Let’s just say that surfing is harder than stand up paddle boarding. After a little while I let Joel try. Unfortunately, Dalton had somehow forgotten his bathing suit, so no water time for him this afternoon. Joel was out for a short try and then I went out again. I can’t tell you how many times I fell and my ribs are a little sore from the time I landed on the board. Oops.

We turned the board in and chilled on the beach until around 6pm. Then we headed back to the resort to eat. It was a relaxing afternoon.

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