I’ve been back for a few weeks now but I’ve been super busy with getting back to work, watching the Orioles in the playoffs and attending New York Comic Con over the weekend! I feel like I’ve been on the go since vacation! But I’m back and ready to share some photos and stories!
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and it was amazing! You didn’t even need to leave the resort if you didn’t want to. You could do everything there. It’s right on the beach, they have numerous pools and bars, a lagoon and tons of activities! The grounds are beautiful as well. When we arrived we had a “resort view” room but we were upgraded for no extra cost to a “partial ocean view” and it was perfect! We could watch the sunset every night and could watch people have fun at the lagoon. Here’s a few pictures of the resort and our view.
The first few days we didn’t do too much. We would wake up early, around 5am, because of the huge time difference and by 7am we were on the beach. We’d spend a few hours there and afterwards hit up one of the bars and have a Hawaii Five-0 drink. I highly recommend it! We had a beautiful view of Diamond Head from the beach and even saw a rainbow our first full day there!
On Thursday we attended the Paradise Cove Luau. I actually happened to be sick that day with what we think was food poisoning but I still went and had a good time. I didn’t get to each too much of the food which pissed me off but the entertainment and location made up for it. The dancers were great and the music reminded you that yes, you were in paradise.
Later in the week we did a Catamaran ride that was really fun and offered cheap booze. We had some interesting people on board, like the married women that were inviting the crew to go to a strip club with them that evening. Oh and they had their kids with them. No idea what they were planning to do with the rug rats.
Of course when you’re on Oahu, you have to visit Pearl Harbor. We booked a tour that took us to Pearl Harbor, The USS Missouri and The Punch Bowl Cemetery. I’m really glad we went with a tour because the last thing I want to do on vacation is drive around an unknown city. I’d much rather pay someone else to do it. I really don’t know how to put the visit into words. It feels weird to say “amazing” as it was a very sombering visit. The new welcome center is really well put together and the artifacts and interviews they have really hit home. Even if you aren’t into history, you have to visit.
The USS Missouri was awesome to see in person. I have a thing for taking tours of ships. I think maybe I was a sailor in a past life or something. The entire deck is made of teak and the ship has been in episodes of “Hawaii Five-0″ and that amazing movie “Battleship.”
You’ll notice in the last picture how her guns are facing the USS Arizona. That’s because she guards her. They’ll never move those guns.
Another fun tour we took was the KOS Movie/TV tour. Mel and I are big movie and TV people and that’s why this was the first thing we booked after booking our vacation. We got to see where movies like “Jurassic Park” and “Pearl Harbor” filmed as well as where “Hawaii Five-0″ and “LOST” filmed as well. We were lucky enough to see them setting up an outdoor set for the new ABC show “Last Resort.” We missed filming by one day but it was still neat to see.
I highly recommend this tour. It was a great way to see other parts of the island and it was just four of us altogether! Not only did our tour guide point out locations but he had pictures and video as well to show exactly what happened in each spot. Plus he was more than happy to take pictures for us and even had some awesome props for us to use!
Another location you have to visit is the ‘Iolani Palace.
Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, is a marvel of opulence, innovation, and political intrigue. Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu tells of a time when their Majesties, King Kal?kaua, who built it in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili‘uokalani, walked its celebrated halls.
We lucked out and were able to go on “Boat Day.” Those are held on certain Sunday’s that way cruise ship passengers have the chance to visit. The details in this place are amazing. You really can’t put into words. We actually had to wear little booties over our shoes to protect the floors. I’m glad it was just us and a few other people because it gave us the chance to take our time and just look around.
Obviously it was an amazing time and I have no idea why in the hell I came back home. I was really tempted to just miss the bus back to the airport. Something really moving did happen on our flight home though. A USMC Captain was onboard to escort seven fallen Airmen. I know what you’re thinking, from Iraq or the Middle East. Nope. They went down in the Pacific in 1944 and were finally recovered and ID’d. They were on their way to Arlington to finally be laid to rest. I hope that their families finally have some closure.
Anyway, here are some more photos and you can find all of them here.
Oh and if you do watch “Hawaii Five-0″ these locations should be really familiar: