Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday in Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation, Turtle Beach, Shark's Cove!, Hale'iwa

Wednesday was another long day that started super early that morning.  We knew that our 2 goals for the day were to do Pearl Harbor and the Dole Plantation. 

When we first got to HI we were both surprised by the number of Asian tourists...specifically Japanese.  Other people dont seem so shocked by this, but we didnt know it was such a hot spot!  It Waikiki it was prob 50/50.  All of the signs and many menus could be read in both English and Japanese.  So, my question was this...when the Japanese people come to Oahu, do they visit Pearl Harbor?  And if they do, what are they thinking while they are there?  (Is this just me being a therapist?  I think it's a normal question...but when I tell people that that was what I was thinking, they say "you are such a therapist" or "of course YOU would want to know that.")  We were about to find out...   

We had heard from friends and read in our "trusty books" to get to Pearl Harbor early.  So, we tried.  Sadly, we failed!  It opened at 7AM with the first ferry boat going to the memorial at 7:45.  Ummm...hello...that's EARLY.  So, we set the alarm and TRIED to get up and out of the hotel by 7.  I said TRIED. 



We ended up leaving closer to 7:45 and got to Pearl Harbor around 8:30.  Not TOO bad, we thought. 

And can I just break a twig and discuss this "getting up" unfairness that exists?!?!?  We were DEAD tired and it was SO hard to wake up in the mornings.  Especially when the alarm is set for something like 5:30.  So, I snoozed it...Ben ALWAYS hits snooze and taught me well...well, I snoozed it a few times.  Ben finally said "are you going to get up?"  And I thought "NO" but I didnt say anything and rolled out of bed only for him to roll over, fall back asleep, and get like 45 more minutes of sleep.  How fair is this?!?!?  I'm sure that it's MY fault for being high maintenance and needing to shower, do makeup, & hair all in the mornings...but he could at least be supportive and get up with me...right?!?!?  Thanks, I thought so, too. 

Now, back to Pearl Harbor:
We were able to park close, so we were crossing our fingers...but when we went to get our time ticket for the next available ferry, it was at 10:20. TEN TWENTY.  YUCK.  So, they have other tours and museums that you can do while you wait.  We debated what to do.  You could tour the USS Missouri, the submarine, or go through a museum.  To do the ship, you had to get on a bus and shuttle around to the other side (near the USS Arizona memorial).  We contemplated whether to do the ship or the sub. 

Ultimately, Ben asked what I would like to do.  I told him that I would rather see the submarine, but that I wasnt like super-excited or HAD to see either.  It was just something to do to fill time & it would just spend more money for something that only slightly interested us.  (I think my dad just disowned me...SORRY DAD!!)  I would have been more interested in taking pics of it all over actually being there.

{Dad, just remember the time that I was younger and memorized the seven somethings of a mast rigger ship things (?) in exchange for being taught how to shoot a gun.  Remember how I got one lesson and it was all about turning the safety on and off?  Well, thanks.  It's been most helpful :) }


ANYWAY...we decided just to talk around and look at the free stuff.  Our first stop...the gift shop.  Doesnt really fit with the FREE thing...but it was bloody hot that day and the gift shop was, well,  INSIDE.  There was a lot of interesting stuff about WWII in there.  I looked through a few books trying to find something with my grandfather's ship in it...but couldnt. 



From what I remember, he was on the USS Logan.  It was a medical ship, I think.  The funny story about his ship that we all remember is that it was rammed by another ship (hard enough that the other ship went INTO his ship).  When they tried to untangle the ships, they both began to take on water...so the re-plugged into the hole and I guess returned to safety that way.  So, I was looking at books of ships and Iwo Jima to get for gifts for him. 

I didnt really know what to get, so I stepped out to call my mom...we had time, right?  This was the first (and only) time we talked during the week.  I just told her where we were and that I wanted to get something for PaPa and explained a few things that they had there.  He has a little cabinet with memorabilia and such in it and I wanted to get him something that he could put in it. 

We then walked around and looked at several monuments, memorial circle walks, and took lots of pics.  We sat and watched the story of Pearl Harbor and the days in HI before and after the attack.  It was very interesting & moving. 


And to answer my earlier question about the Japanese visiting the memorial.  We saw a FEW there, but not many.  There was maybe 1 small tour group and a couple of couples walking around.  It took everything in me not to walk up and ask what they were thinking.  Think about it...their history (especially from that day) had to have been taught SO differently than ours.  I still need to know these things.  We walked by one group and after we passed, Ben said "you missed your chance!"  Dang.







It was SERIOUSLY hot and I was getting that hot/havent eaten anything feeling...so we headed off to buy an overly expensive hot dog, chips, and caffeinated drink to split.  By the time we finished & looked through some of the pics we had taken, it was time to head over to the ferry section.  So, we boarded the ferry and were taken to the famous USS Arizona Memorial.  It was a very quiet, somber time.  I assume most were thinking about the ship actually being a burial ground & the fact that there were bodies still in the water below us.







Like I said yesterday, I am SO glad that we got to see it from the air.  It was moving from the ground, but you couldnt see the whole ship...just what was close to the windows.  The names on the wall were very touching.  There was one guy w/ the last name Watkins and one with the last name Stephens.  I took a lot more pics than I will share here and hope to print them for a book for my grandfather. 



I was obsessed with taking pics of the flag through the top of the memorial.  The sky was SO blue Wednesday!!  I did not photo shop ANY of these pics...they are all straight from the camera. 



(OK, I'll only share 4...there are about 20 on the camera!!)

After we returned on the ferry, we went back to the gift shop and got 2 newspaper re-prints and a CD.  One newspaper is from the day Pearl Harbor was attacked & one is from the day the war was over.  The CD is the actual radio coverage from the attack and more from the days afterwards.  Hopefully, we can do something cool with the newspapers and some of the pics I took. 

We headed back to the car to head back towards the North Shore to go to Dole.  We promptly got lost.  Well, we just got on the wrong Hwy going the wrong direction...we quickly figured out a detour and were on our way.  I just wanted to give my Civil Engineer husband a chance to drive on all the expensive highways that were in Hawaii...at least that's my story...sounds good, right?





So, once we knew where we were going (we had already driven past the Dole place on Tuesday) I fell asleep in the car.  It's payback for the extra 45 min that Ben got, right?  The Dole plantation has 3 main exhibits:  The maze (which is the largest in the world), the gardens, and the pineapple express train ride through the fields.  The girl at the ticket counter said that the garden was really just that...a garden...and that it was nice for people who like flowers.  She recommended the train (we asked which of the 2 she would do if she was only doing 1).  So, we bought tickets and got right on the train that was fixing to leave.  It was OK.  It was interesting to see everything, but not as exciting as the description read.  It was very basic. The best part was the little pineapple square on a toothpick that they give you when you exit!















ummm...yeah, so that colored thing in the forefront is a TREE.  It was GORG!!!







After this, we walked around taking pics of the pineapples there were planted in the area.  Again, I was obsessed.  I just loved the structure of the plants...but I wont bore you w/ a million pics of pineapples!  We had heard great things about the ice cream....so we headed into the gift shop/cafe to get a waffle cone to share.  Remember, all we had had to eat that day was a half a hot dog (half = 2 bites) half a bag of chips, and half a soft drink.  So, we shared a waffle cone w/ DELICIOUS soft serve pineapple ice cream.  YUMM.



Then, we were off to the maze.  We found out that it wasnt so much a maze as a game.  You were supposed to find 8 stations within the maze and get a "stamp" and race back to the beginning and beat the best time of the day.  The winner gets a free pineapple.  You can get a map, but if you use a map you are ineligible to win the prize.  Did we get a map...?  Heck no!  We are competitive.  Well, we WERE competitive until we realized that it was just a bunch of walking through big bushes.  It's true that we didnt know where we were going, but it was always easy to get back to the beginning.  We stayed together, so there was no competition.  It would have been fun if we had had another couple or 2 and were trying to beat SOMEONE.  Did I mention that it was HOT this day?  Well, it was...and my knee, hip, and blisters were still bothering me from the twist at Manoa.  We found 3 stations and called it quits.  Sorry...it was just like taking a leisurely walk and we were ready to get in the water!!!






We are glad we went to the Dole Plantation...but prob wont go again (if we ever get back) unless we were to be in Hawaii w/ kids (which we agreed prob wont happen...taking them to Hawaii, not having them in general!)

We got back to the car and drove up towards the North Shore.  We took a detour through Hale'iwa and decided that it was an ADORABLE little town and we would come back there for dinner.  Ben asked if I wanted to stop...but I didnt want to just "run in" somewhere...if I stopped I would want like a few hours to just browse.  Ben hates browsing, so we drove on!

We found turtle beach and were able to see some large sea turtles up close!






Then, we made our way to Shark's Cove (supposedly the best snorkeling on the island...but only calm in the Summer months).  The beaches over there are just one after the other.  So, we pulled into a couple before realizing that they were not Shark's Cove.  We finally found it and went into the restrooms to change.  EWWW.  SICK.  We got changed and headed down a man-made path to the beach below.  Shark's Cove is more low-key than Waimea.  There is no lifeguard and not really a beach.  It's on the side of another beach and the cove is made up of ROCKS.  SHARP ROCKS.  There were several families there and maybe 10-15 other people in the water snorkeling.

you can see a few heads snorkeling



We parked our stuff under this tree and took our sand covered snorkel equipment down to the water.  We left our shoes up by the tree and had a good 30 feet to walk in the rocks.  Guys, this hurt SO bad.  I was almost in tears by the time we got there.  I have never wanted to sit on a slimy rock so bad in my life!  We un-gracefully-ly got our fins on and got out into the water so we could tread water to get our goggles and snorkel situated.  We finally got going and had an AMAZING time in the water.  We saw a TON of fish.  It was truly beautiful!!!  Ben saw a sea turtle, I missed it but later told him that I think I was glad that I didnt see it...I am afraid that it would bite me!!  We also saw 2 eel...the first one made me scream into my snorkel and take off swimming.  Ben just laughed (he heard the scream).  The water was SO calm...it took NO work at ALL to snorkel...well, other than our goggles fogging up (in spite of the "no fog" stuff from snorkel bob) and my nose thing filling with water.  It was SO relaxing just to float around.  We went way out in the cove and along the sides.  It was amazing!



Yep...that's the "beach"
actually, if you look SUPER closely...I'm laying there reading!

We headed back in and Ben walked up the rocks and moved out stuff down.  We laid on the towels (over the rocks!) and read for a while & ate some cheese & crackers.  (The lady next to me was reading a Baxter Family book by Karen Kingsbury and I SO wanted to start up a convo...but chickened out).  We read for a while and most of the people left.  We went back into the water (un-gracefully, again!) but it was cold this time!  We stayed out for a while, but quickly found that we were some of the only people left.  With it being SO secluded, I didnt want us to look up and be the only people in the water...so I kept coming up and looking for people to be there.  We finally decided to get out of the water and get something to eat.







Bless his heart, Ben asked if I wanted to get shrimp from a shrimp truck again.  I would have loved too, but I also wanted to go back to Hale'iwa to try something new.  Our goal in Hawaii was not not eat ANYWHERE that we could get on the mainland (I keep wanting to say "in the States" but I KNOW that's not right!  SORRY!)...I'm happy to say that we did keep this goal for ALL meals and snacks!!

Anyway, we decided to go back to the oogy bathrooms and change back into our shorts.  First, we rinsed off in a stinkin cold outdoor shower.  AFTER I had put my head under and had my breath taken away...I see that Ben has only rinsed his feet and decided not to rinse his whole body b/c it was too cold.  Thanks.  Well, I needed to rinse my hair anyway.  So we changed and headed to Hale'iwa Joe's Seafood right at the marina. We were there just in time for the sunset but didnt have a good view b/c of the boats.

We waited at Hale'iwa Joe's to sit outside.  We enjoyed another yummy meal.  It was kind of a seafood/Asian fusion and  I FINALLY got some coconut shrimp.  I thought that stuff would be EVERYWHERE.  Oh well!  After we ate, we headed back to Waikiki and back to the room for the night.  We sound so old...but we were just SO worn out!!!  Of course, I didnt say we slept...   

1 comment:

Jen said...

your pictures are gorgeous!

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