Continuing on from
Day 5: Today is the day for a round island drive. The Lincoln is wheeled out and the GPS is ready, off we go. Not long out of Waikiki the GPS packs up asking for a pin number. I remember the agent telling me about this and hand the pin printout over to the bride to input. Wrong pin. Try again, wrong pin. I guess we will just have to wing it, as we had done it before we knew the basic route. We just kept a look out for road signs for the North Shore. Anyhoo, who knows what road we take, certainly not one that I had travelled before and before long we are at Dole Plantation. Last time we were here the place was fairly empty. This time it was packed, no parking spaces left, heaps of buses, I even thought of posing as a limo driver to get a parking spot but my casual attire may have given the game away. Eventually we found a parking spot and headed inside straight for the Dole Whip counter. Again the queue was a mile long but nothing was getting between me and that creamy yellow delight. After a couple of bowls and a little shopping in the gift shop (my wife had bought pineapple candles there before and needed to restock) we were outta there. Onwards to Hale'iwa and a stop for lunch. We continued onto Waimea Bay Beach Park, also packed, and continued around the top of the island. There was an impressive wind farm that had sprung up since our last trip at Kahuku(?), each to thier own but I reckon those windmills look impressive. The wind was fairly howling too (as it was most of the trip) and those blades were turning pretty good. All the way down the coast the wind was blowing waves/water onto the road. Previously we had turned off to visit the Pali lookout, but this time we decidied to travel all the way around the SE corner of Oahu. Im glad we did, plenty of sights to see and so different to the rest of the island.
Day 6: For something completely different we went to Budget to try and get the GPS working. They were helpfull again and gave me a new one that def worked and some more discount.
First stop for the day was Ross at the Ward Center, I didnt care for this palce too much and Im not sure if my wife did either but the lure of a bargain for my daughter proved too strong and she bought a few things. It is certainly cheap but its a right pain looking through the racks to find waht you want. The suitcase there are cheap though and we would return to snag a couple later. I did however like Sports Authourity next door. The Waikele Center SA didnt have the same specials as this one and I ended up with 2 pairs of sneakers (Nike and NB) and my wife one pair (Nike) for less than $150, take that Footlocker Adelaide! We then plugged in the coordinates for Target near the airport into the GPS and headed off. Remenber how I said this GPS was working OK? Well we ended up on a 4 lane road heading into the Navy Base with no way to turn around. We approached the gate pleading that we are lost to the guard, who was looking a little nervous himself. He asked where we we going, Target we replied. He also asked for my licence after a quick check of my credentials, he halted all 4 lanes going in so that this very embaresed writer and his family could do a u turn are he directed us down a road thru the married quarters and take a right and another right and you cant miss it. Off we go, glad that we arent full of holes take a right and another, guess waht we are heading back down the same piece of road toward the main gate! I just kept my head down and turned toward the married quarters again without actually appraoching the gate. By now my paniced wife, who is almost a dribbling mess, had restarted this damn GPS and it told us to turn LEFT then right and there was our holy grail, Target. These Targets are nothing like the stores in Aust. Much better range of clothes, names like Converse and Mossimo and just about full supermarket lines. There is also a Starbucks and Pizza Hut instore, but I really needed a stiff drink after my run in with the guard.
That night we went back to Magic Island Park to watch the fireworks at the HHV, along with most of the population oh Honolulu. It was great to see so many families enjoying the evening with a bbq or take out food in the park in an orderly manner without getting smashed and ruining it for everyone. Take a bow Honolulu-ites. The fireworks were spectacular from this vantage point and highly recommend you do this if you can. Bring something to sit on like a mat or towell, fortunately we were able to snag a park bench.
Day 7: Up early to walk up Diamond Head. My wife wasnt keen but I woke her anyway. The kids just slept in, they didnt even know we had gone! We arrived at DH at 0630 there were already several tour busses parked inside and more people that I expected. We bought a Gatorade form the machine and started our walk. Its a good walk, probably the only difficulty is the unevenness of the ground further up. As the climb is a switchback or zig zag you dont notice how steep it is untill you look back and see how far below the others are. The tunnels were crowded as were the stairs and several times we needed to stop and wait for long periods for others to come down so we could go up. The only difficult bit of the whole hike is when you squeeze through the "battlements" at the top while ducking your head and climbing 3 steps up a ladder. The view is spectacular and well wprth the effort and early start. My wife was all thanks for getting her up and taking her. On the way down a chap had set up shop with certificates "I climbed Diamond Head" for a donation of a couple of buck we picked one up. On the way down most of the people traffic had ceased and we were down much quicker than going up and by this time the food vans had set up in the car park. We went past the Farmers Market on the way back but that was very busy also, even had police directing traffic in and around, so we didnt stop. All up including getting a tank full of gas on the way back, we were gone 2 hours and 10 mins. After a quick swin in the hotel pool to cool off (curiously the pool doesnt open till 9:00am) we went back and had breakfast and woke the kids who were no wiser that we had gone. That afternoon we went to Pearl Harbour. As we had already done the movie and USS Arizona Memorial, we weren't too fussed about getting there early, we really wanted to see the new exhibits/displays, and they have done a great job there. We spent the evening finishing off what was left in the fridge and packing our bags for the move tomorrow.
Day 8: Our last morning at the Waikiki Sunset., and the last day with a car. We will be moving onto the HHV today for the last 4 days of our holiday. We are sorry to leave the Sunset, its a great place for families. The 2 br condo is really nice and has helped us save heaps by having breakfast and dinner in each night. Its well located and the kids loved having a tv in their bedroom with cable, Phineas and Ferb anyone?
We decide that we wont have enough suitcase space for the trip home so we make a mercy dash to Ross for 2 new suitcases. A big ABS plastic one for clothes and the like and a smaller cabin sized bag for food and electronics. Much easier when going thru customs in Aust when all your food (read: candy and choc macs) are in one easy to get to place. We travel straight from Ross to HHV and drop off the bags and wife and kids while I take the car back to Budget. Will be sorry to see the big barge go, but my days as a "Pimp Daddy" are over. After a brisk walk back wI find the family and go to the Ali'i to check in. My wife had told me that she tried to check in, but they needed me to do it , "but I can tell you, that you have a very nice room". This was repeated at the Ali'i reception and we were upgraded to an Ocean Front room 702.
Once again a spectacular view over the beach and pool at the Ali'i this time, we sure have been lucky. After unpacking our bags we went off in search of food and arrived at Round Table Pizza in HHV. Quite busy but the food came out quick, the service though was terrible. In the afternoon we had a swim in the Ali'i pool as all the others were so full of people it was quite revolting, reminded me of soup. Anyway I think the Ali'i is the only place after 5:00pm that you can still get a towel for the pool. That night we ate at another HHV outlet, CJs NY Deli. Food and service was excellent. They really spoilt the kids. My son was talking to the waiter who told him" your in America buddy, you can have anything you want" to which my boy replied "I want 7 sprites". About 2 mins later a jug/pitcher of sprite appeared with one straw. His eyes nearly popped out of his head., we werent charges for it either, but the waiter did get a nice tip.
End of part 2.