The morning started at Pearl Harbor. We booked a tour for the USS Arizona. ***Travel Note – the USS Arizona tour tickets are free however you can reserve them online for a $1.50 convenience fee. Another heads up for visitors of Pearl Harbor – you are not allowed to bring any bags with you – you can carry your phone/camera/wallet etc with you but they do not allow you to bring any bags to be brought in. There are storage units that you can pay for and store your belongings or you can leave your stuff in the car.*** The tour began with a half hour video about the history of the Pearl Harbor attack & the USS Arizona. After the video we boarded a boat that took us to the USS Arizona Memorial site. Once on site we had 15 minutes to walk around and view the memorial. It was a somber experience and everyone was quite, soft spoken, and very respectful. Visitors can see the sunken ship as well as all the coral life. Once our time was up we got back on the boat and headed back to the harbor.
This morning I took Bestie to the Swamp Meet & Marketplace at Aloha Stadium in order for her to get her shop on. We were only there for an hour and a half because we had to head to Shagri La for our 10:30am tour. Despite being short on time Bestie was able to do lots of shopping! She found some awesome souvenirs, soaps, local Hawaiian made jams and jewelry. We both got matching Plumeria rings – it’s a little tradition we started to remember the trips we go on together [we just need to get Doc a ring].
The morning started off with breakfast at Cinnamon’s Restaurant in Kailua. They are famous for their Guava Chiffon Duet Topping. I ordered the Portuguese sweet bread french toast with guava chiffon duet topping, Doc had the guava chiffon pancakes, and bestie had the guava chiffon pancakes ala mode. The food was great – a bit heavy – I was only able to finish half of my french toast. When compared to the breakfast we had on Sunday at Boots & Kimo’s – I would definitely rank Boots higher than Cinnamon’s. The food was good but it wasn’t amazing enough that I would want to go back.
After breakfast we headed to Diamond Head to hike. Diamond Head is a crater that was formed nearly 300,000 years ago during a volcanic eruption. The hike is only 0.8 miles – however it involves a hike, 74 steps, a tunnel, a second set of 99 stairs, and then a spiral staircase consisting of 52 stairs. Once you get through all of this you get to the top of the crater and are blown away by the breathtaking view. The elevation of the crater summit and theuppermost level is761 feet. It was extremely windy up top but that didn’t stop us from taking a bunch of pictures!
Today was an adventurous day. Bestie wanted to snorkel and we heard that Hanauma Bay is one of the best areas to do that so we headed there. I put in Hanauma Bay into my GPS and we started driving to the south of Oahu. We did very little research beforehand thus we were very surprised when we arrived and found Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park. First we had to stand in line and buy a ticket to enter the Bay – the admission fee is $7.50 – however it is free for Hawaiian natives. Then we had to watch a 10 minute video on the history of the bay as well as the rules and regulations for snorkeling at the bay. Once all the legal stuff was over we walked down to the beach/bay area to snorkel. We brought a pair of snorkeling gear from the apartment but we also rented some equipment for Doc to go snorkeling as well. As the video suggested you should always go snorkeling with a buddy – we couldn’t send bestie alone therefore Doc decided to go. As Doc and bestie snorkeled I took a ton of pictures and videos of them. They were raving about the snorkeling and all the coral, fish, and sea creatures they saw. They snorkeled for a solid hour and a half. I mostly sat on the beach and listened to music – it was very peaceful and calming.
We started the day with breakfast at Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen in Kailua. They are famous for their Macadamia Nut Pancakes. The sauce they put on their pancakes is the most DELICIOUS thing I have ever tasted. It is crack. Seriously. Doc & bestie ordered some egg omelets and I ordered the Velvet Pancakes – which was basically red velvet cake topped with the macadamia crack sauce! It was divine!
Big sis & I were up bright and early this morning to head to the Swamp Meet & Marketplace at Aloha Stadium. Background info – my sister loves flea markets and lives for a good bargain! She can bargain for ANYTHING – honestly it should be listed as a special talent on her resume. Therefore she was VERY excited to go to this marketplace. It was a very cool experience because I’ve never been to anything like it before. Picture this: football stadium, outside the arena rows of local merchants selling everything from fruits, jewelry, art, clothes, pastries, souvenirs, soap etc. It was awesome. We got their at around 8am and walked around the entire stadium by 11am – Doc & I are very fast decisive speed walking shoppers. We bought a ton of stuff but we will be back to visit with our Mama when she comes in 2 weeks – because she loves these kinds of places [who do you think Doc got the bargain gene from?].