Day 6 - Monday Sept 21st
Our short flight from Maui was on Hawaiian Airlines. We were met at the airport by a representative of the tour company and received our activity tickets and were directed to the bus for our transfer to the hotel.
We were mightily impressed when we were dropped at our hotel...the Outrigger Waikiki. The hotel facilities were quite nice and our room was excellent. Below is the view from our balcony.
We unpacked quickly and went exploring. The beach was beautiful. The pool area was great and Duke's Canoe Club was right there! We have a Lava Flow and Mai Tai to celebrate and then walked the beach for a bit.
We took the required photos at Duke's statue. Seriously a tourist thing to do! :-)
The Husband was excited to find a Chuck's Steakhouse located in the hotel. It brought back fond memories of 30+ years ago when he lived in Connecticut and went to a Chuck's Steakhouse there a few times.
Again, early to bed so we would be prepared for the next day.
Day 7 - Tuesday Sept 22nd
We had intended to go to the Polynesian Cultural Centre on this day. I knew we were supposed to catch the bus at 10:30am, but I didn't realize they would not return us to the hotel until 10:30pm! We didn't want to stay that long at the Centre, because the next day we were scheduled to be picked up at 6:25am (!) for our Pearl Harbor tour. Long story short, was we decided to cancel the Cultural Centre tour. Next time we go to Hawaii, maybe we'll get to go there.
We spent the morning on the beach and at the pool. Again, liberally slathered with sun screen! We had lunch and then strolled the shopping district. It was just like the Magnificent Mile in Chicago...Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's.
One thing we noticed in Waikiki was the large number of Japanese tourists. They were the most serious shoppers at the high end stores. Plus we saw at least 5 brides. Evidently, it is common for the Japanese to have a traditional wedding at home and then come to Hawaii for an all out western wedding. I just love brides and weddings. I had take a few pictures!
Dinner again at Chuck's Steakhouse and early to bed.
Day 8 - Wednesday Sept 23rd
We were up at 5:00am to get ready for the 6:25am pickup for the Pearl Harbor tour. We ended up with probably 10 other couples on the tour. By arriving so early at the visitor's center we were able to get tickets to 8:30am movie and tour of the USS Arizona memorial. The movie was a good summary of the Pearl Harbor attack. The memorial itself was very solemn.
Here we are on the Arizona Memorial.
We then moved on to tour the battleship USS Missouri. It was immense and impressive. Watch out, I've got a machine gun!
We saw the memorial for the USS Oklahoma casualties.
We left the military base and took a city tour of Honolulu. Among other sites, the driver took us by the hospital where our President Barack Obama was born, the apartment building where he lived with his grandmother and the Baskin Robbins where he had his first job.
The last portion of the day was devoted to a tour of the Punchbowl Cemetery, which was very solemn. The cemetery also offered very impressive views of Diamondhead, Waikiki and Honolulu.
By the time we returned to the hotel at 4:30pm we were both tired from the day -- awake so early and all the walking, my goodness, all the walking!
We were both in bed and sound asleep by 9:30pm! Whoo hoo!
Day 9 - Thursday Sept 24th
Our last day in Hawaii started very slowly. We slept late, and took our time reading the paper, checking e-mail and packing. We took one last stroll and stopped for lunch at Cheeseburger.
Our airport transportation picked us up at 3:45pm and then stopped at a second hotel to pick up another couple for the airport. Mike and Breezy were their names and they happened to be on the same flight as us. They were in the mid 20's and were on a delayed honeymoon. They had been married for 20 months. They were delightful. We enjoyed them so much on the ride to the airport, we invited them to join us at the airport lounge to wait for our flight together!
Folks that know me, know me to be organized. But I imagine Breezy could teach me a thing or two. She's one of those women who plans her menus out a month in advance, grocery shops a month in advance, and cooks most everyday. She plans lunches and dinners so closely, she even tells her husband when he can and CANNOT have seconds at dinner! "No seconds tonight, honey. That's your lunch tomorrow." Crazy!
Our flight departed at 7:15pm, which was midnight 15 in Oklahoma. Thankfully, we managed to get some sleep.
Day 10 - Friday, Sept 25th
Our flight arrived in Dallas at 7:30am. We had an almost 3 hour wait for our flight to Tulsa. However, it was on time and we were home, sweet, home by 12:30pm.
We thought we would take this trip to Hawaii and then check it off our life "to do" list. However, we both found ourselves saying, "Next time we come here, I want to do this...or this...". I think there may be another trip to Hawaii in our future. We need to be sure and save all our airline points, so we can travel first class again!
We are not "tour" people. We both were frustrated at different times by being restricted to the "group" activities or schedule. This is good to know as we begin retirement!
Hawaii is definitely an "early to bed, early to rise" location. Which is great, because given the time zone differences, our bodies were ready to wake up at 6:00am, so we got to fully enjoy every day.
All in all, it was a fabulous vacation!