I’d been on Oahu, in Honolulu, for a few days. But when I came back through for just one day on June 2nd, I decided to rent a car. My reasoning: if it was going to cost me $20 to have some stupid luggage company hold my big backpack for the next 14 hours (because there are NO storage lockers at Honolulu airport), I might as well spend a bit more to get a car, and just lock my bag in the trunk.
I saw a lot in one day. Pearl Harbor, the Dole pineapple plantation, Sunset Beach, and many small towns around the island. Here’s what amazed me most from Pearl Harbor: the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. Even today, Arizona survivors who pass away from natural causes ask to be buried on the old ship, alongside their shipmates who were killed in the Japanese attack on that fateful day.
I’m not a big history buff, but when I confront it in real life, I’m always absorbed by the truths of our past, and by the bravery of those who took part in such memorable events. The Pearl Harbor site has many ships, subs, and weapons for our viewing and education. I was struck by the Kaiten, the Japanese one-man suicide attack torpedo. What bravery and valor must have been required of a Japanese soldier to climb into such a machine? It reminds me that not every culture has the same views and values.
Next I moved to lighter themes. Sunset beach had very calm waters, and “big wave” surfing on the north shore was pretty much over for the season.
Later I tried a Shave Ice (not shaved, don’t ask me why), which was delicious. I also found some Taro chips in the Shave Ice shack – more details on that tomorrow! I made it to the Pali viewpoint as well, to get a grand overview of the Honolulu area. Just imagine what this island must have been like before giant concrete buildings cropped up everywhere.
What do I recommend from this day? Everything.
- The Dole plantation is great for botanical photos and for kids (think giant hedge maze), though it’s not cheap.
- Pearl Harbor is fascinating for the historical aspects.
- The beautiful beaches of the north shore of Oahu are quite a change from crowded Waikiki.
- Shave Ice is delicious; I recommend to get it with the sweet beans.
- The view from the Pali Overlook is truly amazing, even on a cloudy day.
Don’t think you can see it all in one day by bus; I would have never made all these stops without renting a car. Enjoy Oahu!
Tomorrow, read about my thoughts on Taro chips. Mmm…