Hawaii Vacation Part 2

Tuesday morning we woke up about oh, 4:45am. Darn jet lag. Going back to sleep was not going to work, so we decided to go to the gym - which was probably one of the nicest gyms I have ever seen. After we lifted weights together (haha), we got ready for the day and then headed to breakfast.

The Hyatt has an incredible breakfast buffet that overlooks Waikiki Beach and has every type of food you can imagine. We were seated and had already started eating our food when the hotel manager came over and told us that he had checked with the front desk about our package and we did not have the free breakfast option included, and handed us a bill for $60! Now, props to you if you are able to budget $60 for breakfasts on vacation, but we did not, especially not when we were planning on it being free! We were pretty shocked, but determined not to be ugly about it, and also not to let it ruin our day. We had a couple of pretty useless, unhelpful conversations with the front desk about the issue and saw that it wasn't really being resolved, so we just dropped and it and decided to deal with it again at checkout.

After that little fiasco, we headed to the Pearl Harbor/ U.S.S Arizona Memorial and spent the morning going through the WWII museums there, and then took the boat tour to view the sunken, but still visible U.S.S Arizona battleship. It was for sure one of the best history museum experiences I've ever had, and I left with a much greater understanding and appreciation for what happened on that day, and how it impacted our nation.

I found someone with the last name of Whitehead on the wall of the names of those who died on the U.S.S. Arizona. 

Our cute little tour guide who answered questions about the ship and the attacks on Pearl Harbor. 

After visiting Pearl Harbor, we too a little drive up into a mountain called the Tantalus / Round Top Drive. It was a fun road with tons of sharp curves and steep hills and incredible views! 

After the drive, we headed to the middle of the island to the Dole Pineapple Plantation to get some Pineapple Whip! I had told Loren all about how wonderful this stuff was from the last time my family had gone to Maui in 2006.  So, we made a special trip just to have some! It was pretty much pineapple soft-serve ice cream - we got it with a splash of pineapple juice poured over it like a pineapple float. Delicious! At the Dole Plantation was every kind of pineapple food or gift you could imagine. Lots of fun things to look at and sample. 

After our Pineapple Whip experience, we headed back to the hotel and decided we had to spend at least get in the ocean at Waikiki Beach, since we were heading to the North Shore the next day.  We hopped in the water and played in the waves, watched surfers and people-watched - always a good idea in Waikiki.

We went to a little beach-front restaurant called LuLu's for dinner and split a HUGE plate of Kalua pork nachos that totally hit the spot. We found ourselves commenting during almost every meal how awesome it was that we had perfectly clear ocean view - we wanted to soak it all up because, obviously, we never get to see it at home!

WEDNESDAY was another crazy full day. We got up a little less early (thankfully!), and hit up a nearby McDonalds for breakfast, since we weren't making that $60 mistake again! Once again, we got perfectly clear ocean views because the McDonalds was right across the street from Waikiki Beach, so we sat even closer to the beach than the day before and enjoyed a much cheaper breakfast.

We had to check out of our hotel by 11am, so after breakfast we unfortunately spent a lot of our time on the phone with Priceline.com and the front desk staff trying to fix the free breakfast situation. Long story short, they ended up meeting us halfway by giving us a day of free valet parking. Frustrating that what we thought we were paying for on Priceline wasn't actually what we were getting. We were told that we didn't read the fine print closely enough before we made the purchase -  we said that we thought we were purchasing a hotel with free breakfast and they upgraded us without our permission to one that didn't. Basically, live and learn. But we were pleased that the Hyatt Regency manager was willing to work with us and give us a little bit of a break. 

Before we left Waikiki, we ate lunch at Duke's Canoe Club - a well-known restaurant on the Hawaiian islands. Mostly well-known for Hula Pie:
One of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.

We headed out of Waikiki after lunch, because we were going Parasailing! We had signed up for the Honolulu Groupon emails about 2 weeks before we left so we could be on watch for any good deals on activities. We were thrilled that just a couple days before we left, there was a Groupon deal for over 50% off a tandem parasailing excursion from a reputable company, so we snatched it up! We didn't get any pictures because we didn't want to pay the $40 to get the pictures provided from the company, and obviously we didn't take a camera up there with us.

So - just trust me when I say it was AMAZING and SO beautiful and really really cool. And I got literally immersed in the ocean TWICE - which was not planned but I guess our boat driver was feeling ornery? I am so so glad we did something like this while we were there - the views from 300 feet in the air just suspended from a balloon were something I will never forget. It was hard to take it all in! 

After parasailing, we spent the rest of the afternoon making the drive up to the North Shore of Oahu, where we were going to stay the rest of our time at Turtle Bay Resort. The drive up the eastern side of Oahu is absolutely gorgeous - the highway is SO close to the ocean sometimes there's just a guardrail between them! We stopped off several places just to take pictures or look out at the views. Pictures don't even do it justice - sometimes I had to put my camera/phone down and just take mental pictures because I wanted to remember it the way it really looked, not just a picture.