Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 8 on Oahu; part 1: Pearl Harbor and hike to Diamondhead

On day 8 we flew from Maui to Oahu and went straight to Pearl Harbor. The sailors were there for a retirement ceremony.
U.S.S. Bowfin submarine
Some of the torpedo's that were used during WW2
There are very few Pearl Harbor survivors left.
The few that are living are in their 90's
Such as these two men. We bought a Pearl Harbor coffee table book. The author was there and he signed it as well as the two survivors who were there. One of these gentlemen was one who helped pull bodies from the water after the bombings.
A favorite flower of mine...the bird of paradise
Heading out to the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. There are several ships that lie on the ocean floor in this harbor. The U.S.S. Arizona is the ship that had the most men on board so it has the largest monument.
You are taken out to the memorial by boat after viewing a short film on the events of the day that the bombing occurred. It's very moving and it is a shrine of sorts. Over 500 men lost their lives this day. Parts of the ship remain above water. This was one of the main hulls.
One of the smokestacks.
self explanatory
The wall with each soldier's name
Looking back through the memorial
And through it all, Old Glory still waves
It reminded me of what it would be like to view the Titanic's resting spot. Oil still seeps from the engines 60 some years later.
More parts of the ship
And to think of all who are buried here.
The U.S.S. Missouri. This ship is similar to the U.S.S. Arizona, so it gives you a perspective in size of what's buried beneath you. Although we would've liked to tour this boat, we simply ran out of time (we had 2 days on Oahu). The U.S.S. Missouri is where the Japanese finally surrendered.
More remnants of the U.S.S. Arizona
A diagram of where the memorial is in relationship to the actual ship
Another part of the ship
The airshow was on at a nearby Air force base, so I caught a picture of the planes flying overhead
U.S.S. Arizona memorial
Mike and I on the boat headed to the memorial (self portrait).:)
Rain clouds moved in as we were finishing up our tour
So, we headed over to Waikiki beach where it was sunny and had some lunch here.
Then it was off to Diamond Head State Monument. Years ago, the military created some tunnels through the remnants of this old volcano. They had bunkers and places to attack if needed after the events at Pearl Harbor. Now it's just a long hot hike through the Hawaii sun to the top. It's worth it though as the view is amazing!
A good bit of the trail is over volcanic rock
Toward the top is a spiral staircase
View looking to the North. The small mountain you see in the distance is another dormant volcano that can be hiked.
Finally made it to the top! Mike and I with downtown Honolulu and Waikiki beach in the background.
I love this lighthouse. Sitting on the edge of the mountain protecting boats from the reefs.

This gives you an idea of how steep it really was. Once you reach the top of these stairs there's a walk through a tunnel and a little squeeze through some cement to get to the top.
Reward for all the hard work! Hawaiian shaved ice. I had been wanting to try one since I first saw one. It was yum!!!
Coming up: Drive up to the North Shore

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 7-Zipline/Last Day on Maui

On our last day on Maui, we headed up to the Baldwin Ranch (Piiholo Ranch) and enjoyed the 5 zipline tour.
Mike all geared up and ready to go
Let's go!!

First up...crossing the swinging suspension bridge
Here's where I might mention that I'm terrified of heights. The first zipline was a short one and not as tall as the others. After I did the first zip I was o.k. with the height thing and was good to go. I guess all my years of downhill skiing and riding ski lifts helped too.
We had to climb two at a time up to the 2nd platform all the while carrying your zipline trolley.
Here we go on zip #2
The views were amazing. You could look down and see waterfalls in the deep gulch below you.
I took this picture from platform #3. You can see the guide attaching my trolley to the line.

At the top of the last zip with the Maui coastline in the distance
Oh yeah, and did I mention that I found my future house in Maui??
Picture from the last platform
You can see the orange balls on the lines in this picture a little better. This last zipline is almost 1/4 mile long. It's also the tallest zipline on Maui. They were required to install the orange balls to the line in the center as a precaution for the helicopter tours that take place on the island. Yes, we were high in the sky on this one!!
After the zipline tour, we headed back down to Ho'okipa Beach again. We could watch the surfers all day.
We had hoped to hike to Swinging Bridges on this day (remember that hike that I was trying to find? I looked it up in a hiking book and found it!), but it was raining on that part of the island, so we decided to save that for another trip.

Oh the things you see in Kihei! This is the park with a humpback whale.
A little peek at our condo. It was a 1bd./1 ba. remodelled condo right on the beach in Kihei. Very nice!
Living/dining area. We never did use the indoor table...just the one on the patio. We were overlooking the pool as well, which we never did use. Who wants a pool when you have an ocean teeming with fish to swim in!
Later that evening we headed over to La Perouse Bay to see if we could spot any dolphins. We never did see any. I think they frequent this part of the island in the early morning hours.
We drove over to Big Beach.
Beautiful Big Beach
We watched the beautiful sunset from our condo on the last night.

Then we headed next door to a wonderful restaurant called "Sorentos on the Beach" for dinner. Thank you Vil and Tami for the wonderful gift certificate! We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner the last night on the island with a beach side table.
Next up: Oahu/Pearl Harbor/Diamondhead