S: Hawaii Vacation and Cruise 2008
FC: Hawaiian Island Vacation and Cruise July 24 to August 4, 2008
1: After picking up Billy and Pam, we left for the airport around 8 am. We left our truck at Park and fly. Chealsie and Hunter being shuttled to the airport from the Parking place.
2: We met up with Bud, Vickie, Charlie and Renae at the airport after we ate at a Mexican Restaurant. Our AA flight # 5 departed at 12:45 pm from DFW. We kept busy for 8 hours with word puzzles, in flight movies, and reading. We brought some snacks as well. Bud upset the stewardess by pressing the button over and over he thought he was adjusting his seat.
3: When we arrived at the airport, we met up with Tammy, Buckley and the kids. They had came in on another flight that made a stop in Phoenix Arizona. We all took Roberts Tours for transportation to our hotel at the Equss.
4: Honolulu Hawaii July 24-26, 2008
5: This is some of the sites we seen on our way to the hotel. We saw the bay that Gilligan's Island was filmed at. The following morning on our way to the Pearl Harbor tour we seen Cartwright street and the beautiful palm trees lining the beach. We settled into the Equss hotel then walked over to the Outback Steakhouse. Hunter was so exhausted that he just about fell asleep eating.
6: Pearl Harbor Stars and Stripes Tour USS Arizona Memorial Tour* Guided tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum* Exclusive narrated tour at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl* State Capitol/City Hall Kamehameha Statue Iolani Palace - the only Royal Palace on American soil Kawaihao Church No host lunch( we received local box lunches our host arranged for us).
7: While waiting in the long lines to get into the museum, we rented a audio headset for our tour of the museum. After our tour, we watched a documentary of Pearl Harbor. We had watched the movie at home the night before we flew out.
8: A boat took us out to the USS Arizona Memorial. It was sad to think about what this crew encountered. There is a list of victims names that died on the ship during the attack of Pearl Harbor. The oil coming up from the ship is still floating in the water.
11: Next, we had a guided tour of the Battleship Missouri. We seen the spot where a Kamikaze struck the ship and the document that ended the war.
15: Our tour guide arranged for us to have a box lunch prepared for us by a local cafe for $7 each. He joked that his sister made it, I am not sure. Box lunches are common in Hawaii. I thought it was really good, wouldn't you know it came with Spam. Spam was introduced to Hawaii via the military during WWII. We ate our lunch at a park while enjoying the views of the ocean. The kids goofed around while on the bus.
16: Enjoying the scenery after our lunch at the State Park.
17: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl
18: Overlooking the city of Honolulu, with Diamond Head in the distance. The shadow from the tree makes the shape of a heart.
20: We finished up our Stars and Strips tour. We freshened up at the hotel. The Brooks family and us met up with the Jenkin's for a buffet dinner at the Outrigger on the beach. I tried poi (ground taro root) for the first time, not too bad, not too good. We took a city bus to the World Market place to find them. Needless to say we did a lot of walking and seen some unusual sights along the way.
21: This was the first beach we stepped on in Hawaii and the sunset was beautiful. I was surprised at how strong the water current was. It was difficult to stand. Hunter ended up in the water with his shorts on, He had a blast. The kids enjoyed the meal they got to grill their own meat.
22: Saturday July 26, we checked out of the Equss hotel and we were surprised that our taxi was a limo. Our driver was Chinese. We had so much luggage that he had to tie down the trunk.
24: Norwegian Cruiselines Pride of America
25: We boarded the ship in time for lunch. We had to explore to see what our surroundings would be for the next 7 nights.
26: Settling in on the ship and snapping a few fun photos during our life boat and safety tutorial. Afterwards, we checked out the hot tub, and relaxed with a drink while viewing the scenery and watching the Hawaiian dancers.
28: Sunday, July 27, 2008 Maui
29: We had a fun time at breakfast. We stacked everyones cartons in front of Tammy and took a picture, to make it look like she had eaten alot. I later posted it on my blog. Maui is beautiful on and off the ship.
30: Iao Valley State Park Maui Hawaii | Iao Valley is a lush valley that was once a place of battle, in which the Iao needle had been used to shield natives in the battle of 1790. We hiked to the ridge top look out for views of the valley. We toured gardens, in which taro root grows along with exotic tropical plants. We enjoyed the tide pools as well.
35: We stopped at the visitors center on our way up to Haleakala to view the dormant volcano. We had the rare opportunity to see a Silversword in bloom. This plant is native to Haleakala. It lives 15 to 50 years, but only blooms once then it dies. | Haleakala National Park, Maui
37: Despite reading about Haleakala's extreme low temperatures at the top, I thought it would be neat if we rented a jeep for us to experience the fresh air and the views. It started to rain and the top of the jeep was torn. We were wet and cold, all we had was beach towels to cover up with. The winds at the top of the volcano were very strong and cool. | Renae and Vickie had educated us on the NeNe bird in Hawaii. The NeNe bird is not so easy to view, as we were winding around the volcano we came across these birds. I thought we were going to wreck trying to get a picture. We were so excited and came back to tell the others and they laughed and told us that they were not the Ne Ne birds.
38: Wailea Beach, South Beach Maui Monday July 28, 2008
39: This south beach of Maui is beautiful. The south beaches of Maui have been voted as some of the best in the world. I could not believe I was really here. The sounds of the water, and mountains in the distance was beautiful. The beaches here are used for the Marriott and a lot of the nicer hotels so the snack bar was a little expensive. I think we payed $5 for a snow cone and the guys paid about $9 for a beer. Water was complimentary.
42: We had a long, fun day at the beach. We stopped at Walmart and picked up some souvenir's and needed items. Buckley picked up some T-shirts at Harley Davidson before we returned the rental car and got back on the ship. Back on the ship we took a photo of a rainbow, Maui is known for their beautiful rainbows. We all dressed up for dinner and later attended a show on the ship.
43: Hilo on Big Island Tuesday July 29, 2008 | Hilo is on the windward (wet) side of the Big Island. It can get up to 300 inches of rain per year.
44: Rainbow Falls
46: Banyan trees and humidity
48: Macadamia trees on our way into the Mauna Loa Nut Factory. We bought chocolate covered nuts, and souvenirs, We ate lunch here, some bought ice ream. The smoke is from mud pots on our way into the Volcano's National park. You could smell the sulphur.
49: Volcano's National Park Hawaii
50: Our tour guides Hanging loose
51: Akatsuka Orchid Nursery We stopped off to view the nursery and there was an opportunity to shop a little. I was a little surprised to see that a plant could cost $20,000. This tour was good because it took us to some good sites but I felt rushed. I was also disappointed that we did not get to see Lava flowing and I wanted to pick Hunter up a Volcano's National park hiking medallion, but our tour did not stop at the visitors center.
52: Our last stop was Thurston Lava tube. We actually walked through a cave that was formed from lava years ago.
54: Back on the ship after our tour in Hilo. Hunter and Chance tried out the Gyro sphere, later we relaxed by the pool and enjoyed the scenery.
55: The ship left the east side of the Big Island and headed to Kona, the west side. We had wonderful views of the Volcano's, it was amazing.
56: Big Island of Hawaii Wednesday, July 30, 2008 This day we docked at Kona. We had to be tendered out to the port. We all met under the big Banyan tree while waiting on our rental cars. The Brooks, Giles and our family drove along the coastline then enjoyed some beach time.
58: We stopped off for a closer look at the beach, We explored the tide pools. We spotted crabs and sea turtles. Along our drive we seen a lot of black lava with names written with white stones. We have been warned from our guides and signs posted to not take the lava rock it will bring bad luck.
63: We drove to Waikoloa and had an expensive lunch at the Marriott hotel on the Anaeho'omala beach then enjoyed some fun in the sand and sun.
65: Kona was a very charming area, different from all the other ports, I like that there was a little shopping village at the port. As we waited to be tendered back to our ship we watched contestants coming in from a billfish fishing tournament.
66: Kauai Thursday, July 31, 2008 We picked up our rentals but had a difficult time deciding what to do. We had thought about going to Waimea canyon but wasn't sure if time would allow it, so we drove on the Northwest side of the island after shopping at Hilo Hatties and quickly learning the navigation. We stopped in Princeville for lunch meat and items. We were accused of stopping traffic, which is an inside joke now with the Brooks, Giles and our family. Chickens roam wild here, at the beach, and even the grocery store. We had lunch on the beach then drove to the end of road, Kee Beach then back to the ship to get ready for the Luau.
70: I was rushed and stressed because I had everyones tickets since I booked this excursion. We made it in time and enjoyed the River and Fern grotto tour before going to the Luau.
71: Wailua Fern Grotto
73: Here we are waiting to get into the Luau and gardens. Once in we boarded a tram that took us all around the garden then we took pictures with the natives.
74: Smith Family Luau and Gardens
77: The Smith family gardens, and Luau was really a highlight of the trip for me. The scenery was beautiful. I felt like I was in the garden of Eden. The picture to the left is probably my favorite picture from our trip. It was wonderful to get to watch the pig being unearthed and the food was great. I liked the poi better here.
80: At this point Hunter was homesick. He missed everyone back at home.
83: Lydgate State Park, Kauai
86: Our last night on Pride of America | Norwegian cruiselines Pride of America
87: Saturday, August 2, 2008. We are back in Honolulu. After disembarking the ship we rented a car, and dropped off our luggage at the hotel. We stopped at the Dole plantation. Hunter and I sampled the pineapples. We tried a chili spice on the pineapple and it was really good. We stopped for Mexican food then world famous Matsumoto's shaved ice.
89: Waimea Gardens and Falls
90: After a full day around the island of Oahu we return to our hotel Hilton Hawaiian Village. The hotel is in the midst of shopping centers and pretty expensive.
93: Long hike in flip flops, beautiful views.
94: Hanauma Bay Honolulu Hawaii
97: After returning from a long day of hiking Diamond Head, and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, we freshened up at the hotel and the Brooks, Giles families along with ours had dinner at Senor Frogs of Honolulu. We enjoyed our dinner on the balcony. We stopped in their store for more souvenirs. After dinner the Brooks family left for the airport. Pam, Chealsie and I shopped some more. I would catch myself looking for them. I missed them already, I will never forget this trip and memories we all shared. Bud, Vickie and Charlie and Renae also left a little earlier today. As for us we have one more night.
99: Monday August 4, 2008 was our last day in Hawaii. This has been an amazing trip. One I will never forget, we had planned this trip for 4 years to celebrate Chealsie and Kassaundra's graduation from high school. Chealsie and I had stayed up last night watching Sisterhood of Traveling pants movie. Hunter and I got up early to try and enjoy our last day in Hawaii. This was his only opportunity to play in the pool at this beautiful hotel. We checked out of the hotel around noon, and had lunch at Planet Hollywood. After returning the rental us along with Pam and Billy met up with the Jenkins for our flight home.