Thursday, August 20, 2015

Take Me Back To Hawaii- Part 1- Honolulu

It has taken me a few days to sit down and write this post because I didn't want to be reminded that I wasn't in Hawaii anymore. Friends, that was the best trip ever! It was so different than any other vacation Mike and I have gone on and we mean that in the best way. This was the first trip where we rented a car and had access to drive around and get a feel for the whole island. Gosh, take me back :(

And now I dive in...

Our first stop was Honolulu, to make sure we saw Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. We arrived at 1pm Hawaii (used the Charley's Cab Service- they were great!) time and after getting settled in at the hotel headed straight for the beach. The infamous beach was beautiful and packed full of lively people. One of the first things we did was schedule surfing lessons for Saturday morning before heading out to Kauai. Check. We spent the rest of the evening walking the beach, hanging from trees (not sure if we were supposed to), walking the strip with all the shops and hotels (looked like Chicago's Magnificent Mile), and eating at Cheeseburger In Paradise. I was so hungry I don't even remember chewing. It was (at that moment) the best burger I had ever had. 





Friday was Pearl Harbor. I highly recommend getting there really early to get their free tickets and to get on the ferry before it gets really hot. We didn't buy tickets in advance, but showed up early and got tickets for their 8am boat ride to the USS Arizona. We also bought tickets to the USS Missouri and the audio tape for the entire complex (Jamie Lee Curtis was a pleasant surprise in my headphones). Before taking the ferry over, you watch a 20ish minute video on the history of Pearl Harbor with real footage from the attack. I was absolutely fascinated and I was in awe the whole time. From there we made our way to the USS Arizona memorial. It was beautifully haunting; I felt the same feels at the 9/11 Memorial. It was amazing looking down on a boat below you and imagining what happened. Jamie Lee did a great job telling their story. After walking around, getting pictures, and taking it all in, we were back on the boat and walking around the rest over the complex. They had little stops along the way with visuals, stories, views of the harbor, and lots of history. It was an incredible experience and I am so glad we were able to go. 













From there we made our way to the USS Missouri, where from afar it looked tiny, but boy is that a big ship. I always wondered how far the ocean would go down if we took all the boats out. It might not be much, but ships like that would make a dent. There are so many levels on the ship. The kitchens were amazing and I got lost in the crews sleeping quarters. There was so much to look at, but I think the coolest was the gun chambers. The systems that they had to load each gun with the bomb and gun powder looked so intense and I don't see how they weren't deaf. Very cool. 








I highly recommend sun screen for this tour. The sun was sneaky and I ended up coming home with a crazy sunburn. From the ship we headed to Chinatown! We took the city bus (The Bus) there and it was really easy. We got a transfer ticket for when we were done walking around that would take us back to the hotel. We got off at our stop and started walking around. There was so much fresh fruit around and little flower shops and restaurants scattered. We were on a hunt for a lei and food. My mom stopped a man on the street to see which flower shop we should go to and all I know is that we went up two blocks and to the left. I didn't see which street it was on, but it was so cute. The flowers they had were absolutely beautiful and their lei's were exactly what I imagined. After gushing over the flowers, we were walking the street looking for a good place to eat. One restaurant had their menu in the window and next thing I know we were being beaconed to come inside. We really didn't have a choice haha. So, we ended up eating Dim Sum. I have NO idea what we ate, but it was an experience. I think we were in and out in 15 minutes, but it was an adventure. 





While my mom was looking for souvenirs, a few of us walked across the street to get a bubble (boba) tea. I absolutely love these, so when I saw their menu with ALL of their flavors I was so excited. Of course, when we got up to order, the person right before us got the last of their tapioca, but it was still a delicious treat as we walked around making our way to our bus stop. 



I never ended up buying a lei and was pretty bummed about it, so when we got back to the hotel and saw there was a lei making "class" going on I jumped right in! We were a little late and they were running out of flowers, so we had enough for me to make a headband and my sisters an actual lei and then a bracelet. It was one of my favorite things we did. 



Before we headed out to Kauai on Saturday, we woke up and hit the waves. This was the day of our surf lesson, which was AWESOME! I had tried to surf once in Galveston... yeah that was crap in comparison. Learning to surf on such a famous beach is a pretty cool thing. I was over thinking it at first and kept falling off, but eventually the naturalness kicked in and I was riding into shore. I was such a great experience! 









A guy who worked at the surf shop took hundreds of pictures of us while out there. He captured a lot of funny ones of us eating it, but I thought I would show pics from our successful rides. After surfing and lunch, we headed to the airport for Kauai!! A separate post for that adventure!!

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