Monday, August 01, 2005

One Island Down, Two To Go. A Waikiki Recap

First off wow, it is amazing how fast time passes you by when you do something everyday. The funny thing is the trip almost did not happen. We arrived at Sac Intl around 7:03AM on Monday, plan leaving at 9:00AM. After grabbing breakfast at the food court we thought we had time to kill, since it was around 8:30ish. Boy were we wrong, we all thought that boarding was at 9:00, not take off. Fortunately for Robert and I we heard the “final boarding” announcement over the PA. Unfortunately Monica, my mom and dad did not. So there we are, Robert and my self sitting on the plan waiting for the rest of our family, hoping they make it. Then we heard the one thing we were praying we would not hear, “Flight Crew, prepare the cabin for take off.” We looked at each other, wondering what to do. Do we get off and take the next plane? Do we stay onboard and meet them in Honolulu? At that moment we saw them, rushing to their seat. The made it in time. My dad told me later on that when they got to the gate the airline was in the process of giving their tickets away. So there we are, the whole family, on a plane, leaving Sacramento, on our way to Oahu.

We arrive and settle in at the Aston Pacific Monarch. We were on the 28th floor, room 3. My dad paid extra for an ocean view, and boy was it worth it. Right when you walk in there was a huge panoramic view of the water, and to the right was the balcony. This was our home for the next four days. That was our Monday.

Tuesday started out early due to the time difference (Hawai’i is three hours behind California right now because they do not observe daylight savings time). We were off to one of the many ABC Stores in Waikiki to buy our bus passes. TheBus, Honolulu city and county’s public transportation, offers a four day unlimited rides ticket for only $20. What a system, anyone who has ridden it knows it is the best in the country, as well the Department of Transportation which has awarded the system “best in the nation” several years in a row. With the passes in hand, we were off to hike to the top of Diamond Head. While hiking with my family I realized that this was the third time I did this hike, even funnier was the thought that I did the same hike with Stephanie less than three months ago. I love the part when you think the worst is over, then bam! The 99 stairs. Finally after 45 minutes we all made it to the top, set up camp on the old observation platform, and relaxed, enjoying the spectacular 360ยบ views. As we are hiking down to the bus stop Robert said he wanted to see the Punchbowl. So at that moment there we all are, one the bus going toward the Punchbowl. The Punchbowl is the United States Military Cemetery of the Pacific. It all started during WWII and is still in use today. What a sobering moment when you enter through the gates, the hollowed grounds of the crater have an affect on you that I can’t explain.

Wednesday was another busy day. On the bus again going to the flea market at Aloha Stadium. Now for all my friends in the 916 and part of the 530, the flea market is just like Dinios (sp?) Farmers Market in Roseville except with a Hawaiian flare. This is where everyone did their souvenir shopping. After about three hours we were off to the Ala Mona Shopping Center because my mom and sis wanted to go to the Coach store. What a day, filled with shopping, yea!

Thursday was the day we did what my dad wanted to do, and the reason he booked the week in Oahu: to see the Arizona and the Missouri. I find it neat that you can see where WWII started for the US and ended for the world in the same place. We got there early after a quick one hour bus ride. Got our tickets for the Arizona and decided to go see the USS Bowfin while waiting for our numbers to be called. It’s amazing how they could fit 80 men into the cramp quarter of a diesel sub. It’s amazing how they built that thing in the first place. After the sub we went back to the visitor center and were off to the Arizona. Now talk about hollow grounds, over 1,000 men went down with the ship, and are resting there today. They say the oil leaking is the ship crying for the bodies it holds. They estimate that there is still 500,000 gallons of oil in the ship, which mean it’s a ticking time bomb for the harbor. After paying our respect we hopped a shuttle and were on our way to the USS Missouri. GEES what a huge ship! The one thing that got me was that the main guns could hurdle a 2,000 pounds explosive shell 26 miles, with all 9 guns firing the guide told us that they could have 21 shells in the air before they hit the ground. Now two big things happened on that ship. The first is it is the site of the singing of the Japanese surrender ending World War Two. The second is it was the Missouri’s remote plane where during Gulf War One the Iraqi National Guard surrendered to, making them the first army to give up to a remote controlled plane. Oh, and before I forget Cher (sp?) made a music video on its deck back in the 80’s.

Friday ended up being a day of relaxation. Our first day at the beach and our last day on Oahu. We really got our moneys worth with those bus passes.

So here I am, on Maui, now finally able to relax. Oahu is to busy for me. 75% of the population of Hawai’i lives on that one island, and it’s one of the smallest. Maui is more laid back and rural to boot. Maui is my home away from home; I just wish Stephanie was here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

denios

Toph said...

denios

Mr President said...

Thank you guys