Feb 1, 2012

Pearl Harbor

This is the final post about our Hawaii trip and it's about an unexpected extension to our time there. The minute my conference was over we headed to the airport to hop on a plane from Maui to Honolulu on the island of O'ahu. We were supposed to then fly to Atlanta...but the flight was WAY over booked. There were several people who got bumped without any compensation at all. We decided that we didn't want them to force us to take a different flight so we volunteered to be rebooked.

That meant we got $400 each in vouchers and Delta picked up the tab for our hotel and food...while we got to stay an extra day in Honolulu and see Pearl Harbor and Waikiki! (two things we had wanted to do anyway but had decided not to spend the money on right now) Woohoo!

We were up early to catch a bus to Pearl Harbor and try to beat the big tours by getting there first. We walked around and looked at the museums, learning the history of what happened there. I honestly didn't know much about it and it's quite an amazing and tragic story.
This is a model of the way the visitor center sits over the wreckage of one of the ships. It was hard to really get a feel for what you were looking at once you were at the site...so this helped immensely.
 Here we are on the boat outside the memorial.
Inside the memorial. The building is really beautiful.
This is a wall at one end of the building that contains the names of everyone who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Parts of the ship are still sticking up out of the water since the harbor is so shallow.
After seeing Pearl Harbor we decided to walk to a market we had heard about. There are vendors set up with tents and are literally lined up the entire way around the Aloha Stadium...where the Pro Bowl was played last weekend. (we missed all that fun by a week - bummer)
We picked up a few fun souvenirs for the kids and then caught another bus to Waikiki. We were expecting to see a spectacular beach with all that we've heard about Waikiki. But, to be honest, Waikiki is everything we dislike about beaches! It was BUSY! The natural beauty of the area is hidden by stacks of hotels and cheesy restaurant chains. We were glad to go see it...but don't know that we'll go back to vacation there. We've heard other parts of O'ahu are beautiful and much less built-up...that would be more our style.
We were only in O'ahu for about 24 hours before getting on our plane home. It was such a fun and unexpected mini-vacation, though. And the best part was that we didn't have to pay for it! :) Thanks Delta! You can overbook your flights anytime. And...of course...thanks Mom and Dad for being willing to watch the kids for a whole week...plus the extra day we got bumped! The kids had a blast!

Leaving Honolulu at sunset.
 This is Waikiki from the air. Bye, Hawaii. Hope we get to see you again soon!


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