Started our Hawaii vacation in Honolulu. As my previous post says, I had been in Hawaii for two weeks before Sapan got there. Sapan landed on a rainy Friday evening. It was too late by the time Sapan got there so, we just had some Pizza at the hotel and decided to call it a night..
On Saturday, we woke up really early and decided to go for a run along the beach. After couple miles of the run, we had breakfast at the Wailana Coffee House . A few hours later, we met up with Armando and Will and decided to go to the USS Arizona Memorial . While waiting for our Arizona tour, we decided also visit the USS Bowfin Submarine . Didn't realize how claustrophobic the submarine would be. As expected on a boat, everything is bolted down. Would love to tour one of the recent subs to see how much has changed. Arizona was a humbling experience. Before you board the boat to go to the memorial, you see a video describing the attack and all the loss the US Navy suffered. Made me want to learn more about WW-II. The ride to the memorial was about 10 minutes. We spent some 1/2 hour so at the memorial and took the next boat back. By the time we got back, it was lunch time. We had decided to go up the Diamond Head Crater , so we decided to have lunch somewhere in Waikiki. We had a hard time finding a place that all 4 of us liked. So, we split up. Sapan and I had lunch at Taco Bell and Armando and Will had lunch at Ono Hawaiian Foods . This is supposed to be a place to get the best Hawaiian food in town. But, Armando and Will didn't like it as much. They initially rated it at 6/10 and then a few hours later demoted it to 4/10. After lunch we headed over to the crater. We pulled out of a tunnel into the parking lot of the crater. At this point, you look around and realize that you are in the middle of the crater. Quite impressive. This photo of the crater that I had taken from the plane a few weeks before when I got to Honolulu. The activity in this place was to hike up one of the edges of the crater to see the spectacular views at the top. And, it was well worth it. Didn't take us too long. I definitely realized how horribly out of shape I was when I climbed up the 200 stairs to the top.. Spent some time at the top taking photos and then came back down and drove back to the hotel to drop off Armando and Will. Later in the afternoon, we drove up the west coast of Oahu. Most of it looked it industrial land. We stopped at a beach and watched few people boogie boarding. Sunset also looked quite pretty from this place. After sunset, we drove back to Waikiki and went to Cafe Maharani for dinner. This place is really good. The wait however was too long at an hour. By the time we were done with dinner, we were too exhausted to do anything else and decided to retire for the night.
On Sunday, we had a nice relaxing breakfast the hotel before our Atlantis Submarine Tour . The tour was nice but not worth the money they charged. Maybe because I had already seen a lot of the fish that we saw when I went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. It was however neat to be at the bottom of the ocean, some 100 ft. down. After the submarine tour, we headed up to the north shore to watch surfers at the bonzai pipeline. Always amazing to see high waves and people riding them. We then decided to keep driving the Kamehameha Highway along the coast. We stopped along to roadside to have lunch of the Indian leftovers. Saw lots of pretty sights, including a pregnant seal along the way. Later in the afternoon, we went to the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden saw some pretty flowers there and got eaten alive with mosquitoes. People who were in Hawaii with me the previous week will tell you how big those mosquito bites get (as big as a quarter) and I had 10 bites all over my arms and legs.. Yah, I counted.. After the mosquito bites, we decided we had had enough of the nature and decided to bid adieu to Honolulu and started heading back to the airport. We took Pali Highway. The road that I had taken every day for two weeks. It was hard not to feel sad as the reality of maybe never coming back and never seeing my Hawaii friends kinda sunk in. We did stop by the Pali lookout point to see the panaromic views of Kaneohe bay.
We finally got to the airport and got on our plane to Hilo (Big Island). Stay tuned for stories of our Hilo adventures.. The rest of our photos from Honolulu are posted here