Haole's i ke Moana

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This year's cruise was an 11 day aboard RCI's Serenade of the Seas departing from Honolulu, Hawaii October 5, 2006. We actually set out on the 6th because Kauai was dropped due to some conflict issue (probably with NCL) so we got an extra day in Honolulu. The ports we did hit were Maui (Lahaina overnight), Hilo & Kona (Big island) and then we had 5 days on the open Pacific finally pulling into port at Ensenada on October 16, 2006.

Then the bus ride L to San Diego so we could catch the plane home. That turned out to be a nightmare for some. We were lucky I guess.

ALOHA OAHU

                                            

We arrived in Honolulu on various days with the first of our group arriving Sunday, Patti and I on Monday (albeit an hour late, thanks ATA) and the rest on Wednesday. After Patti and I picked up the rental car and got checked into the Hotel Ilima about 2:00 PM we headed down towards Waikiki Beach to get the lay of the land. We wandered around awhile and decided we were hungry (it was just about dinner time according to our body clocks) We found The Cheescake Factory and decided to check it out. Not bad and they serve huge portions! We got a call from the early birds, Steve, Norma, Joanie and Sandy who were at a bar (where else!). After "dinner" we headed over there. Nice open air bar & (sort of) grill  in the middle of the Ali Moana Mall called Mai Tai. The mall is very nice too. Lot of great stores but the Long's seems to be very popular for some reason.

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The next day Patti & I headed back down to Cheescake only to find they don't open until 11:00 AM. We decided to check out Duke's on the beach. It was recommended by the Revealed guide (see link below). The buffet was pretty good but the view was spectacular just as the guide said. Duke's is right on Waikiki Beach next to the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel (one of the first on Waikiki). After a little shopping in the International Marketplace we hooked up with the Bennett crew and headed off on a tour of Oahu. We hit the Pali lookout then up the east coast of the island toward the north shore. We passed by the Polynesian Cultural Center but didn't stop in. It's huge and takes almost all day! We did stop at Turtle Beach. It's where dozens (if not more) green sea turtles hang out and munch on algae.

After checking out the Bennetts condo we headed back down to Duke's for pupus and drinks. We wandered on the beach for a awhile until sunset then headed over to the International Marketplace again. We shopped awhile then found Coconut Willys where Imai & Greg on guitar and keyboards respectively were performing "Hawaiian" versions of popular songs. It turned into a real sing along. They're apparently now performing on Good Morning Hawaii as The Fuzzy Coconuts.

Pali Lookout

Pali Lookout view

This peak has a name but I just can't remember what!

Nice View

Tunnels

They what?!

This was the last and O'ahu's bloodiest battleground in King Kamehameha's drive for Hawaiian surpemacy. He drove O'ahu's army off the cliffs and onto the rocks below.

Huh?!!

Jay Leno would like this one

Kualoa Park

Nice beach on the side of the highway. Lot of these on the islands!

Chinaman's Hat

Right off of Kualoa Park

Aren't they so cuddly?!

The requsite Steve & Bill hug picture

Kualoa Park

The hillls behind the park

Kualoa Park

Patti fronting the hills. Looks very "Lost" to me.

La'ie Point

Beautiful views and worth the detour.

La'ie Point view west

La'ie Point arch

Created by a tsunami on April Fool's day 1946

La'ie Point

Norma & Patti relaxing on the wall at the end of the street. They are looking out toward La'ie Point. Nice place to live eh? (except for us tourists I suppose!)

There be turtles Cap'n!!

Bill & Steve marveling at the sheer number of turtles here

Turtle Beach

A docent reminded us that it's a $500 fine for touching them

Turtle Beach

Steve wondered if he could get $500 if they touched him!

Turtle Beach

Hwy 99 sugar cane fields

Coffee, Sugar Cane & Macadamia nut fields blanketed both sides of the highway as did the familiar red dirt.

Duke's Canoe Club

Right on Waiikiki Beach. Great place to hang out!

Cute Couple

Joanie & Sandy at Duke's

Diamond Head

Duh Duh Duh Da da, Da Da Da Duh, Book 'em Dano!

Royal Hawiian

Built in 1927 was one of the first (2nd to the Moana) and also known as the Pink Palace

Waikiki Beach

Coconut Willys

Inside the International Marketplace. Great food and drink and the entertainment is awesome!!

Hang Loose!!

Imai, Patti and Greg. Imai & Greg were fantastic entertainment!!

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Next day, Wednesday was an early one for us. They recommend arriving at the Arizona Memorial early so we did. It was well worth it. They have the tour set up well. The tour itself is free but I highly recommend the audio tour. It is only a $5.00 donation. It is narrated by Ernest Borgnine and includes witness accounts by actual survivors. They move 150 people through every 15 minutes. That sounds quick but it didn't seem like it. It was very emotional especially heading out to and then arriving at the memorial itself. It is eerie but reverent when you realize that over 900 men are entombed below.

Arizona Memorial

Arizona Memorial

View from the memorial grounds of the USS Bowfin sub lauched in 1942. It sank 44 enemy ships during it's commision.

Arizona Memorial

The memorial wall of the servicemen, servicewomen and civilians who died that infamous day. The youngest was 9 months.

Arizona Memorial

A relief map of O'ahu and the military installations attacked that day

Arizona Memorial

Heading out to the memorial. USS Missouri on the left

Arizona Memorial

Arizona Memorial

Map of the ships location. The long white highlighted area is the viewing platform.

Arizona Memorial

One gun turret above the water. All others were below water level.

Arizona Memorial

Berth

Arizona Memorial

Flag pole is attached to the USS Arizona. It is raised and lowered every day as the Arizona has never been decommsioned. Long may it wave.

Arizona Memorial

The Wall.

Arizona Memorial

May we never forget.

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After the Arizona we went to the big flea market that happens every Wednesday at Aloha stadium. We found a few bargains (especially Steve!) but after an hour and a half we were shopped out. We headed back toward the Bennett's condo and had lunch at Cheeseburger In Waikiki. Great food and drinks! They ate there almost every day as it's right below their condo. After being satiated we decided we would all go over and pick up the last of our group, Ted and Ralph at the airport. After Norma went in looking for them she found out they got in early! ATA again, you just never know with the airlines these days. We caught up them at the their hotel, The Hawaiian Prince. Very nice place and not too far from the beach. We dragged them over to Mai Tai for pupus and drinks. We made a stop at Long's(!) then went back to our hotels/condos to prepare for embarkation on Thursday.

Mai Tai

Aaahh so cute!!

Okay, enough already!!

Aloha Tower

Aloha Tower at night

Waikiki Sunset

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Shake it Hula-Kitty, shake it like a Polaroid picture!

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LINKS:

Oahu Revealed

Ilima Hotel

Hawaii Prince Hotel

Duke's Canoe Club

Mai Tai Bar

Nuuanu State Park

Coconut Willy's

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Turtle Beach

Aloha Stadium Flea Market

Cheesecake Factory

Map of Oahu

 

Arizona Memorial

 

Click on the slippers to follow on to Maui 

 

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