Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hawaii: Day 4

Today we rented a car and drove over to Honolulu. We headed to the Hilton on Waikiki Beach to take a submarine tour. I am so glad we didn't stay down there in Waikiki. Everywhere you looked there were high rise hotels surrounded by souvenir shops. and crowded beaches and pools- people everywhere. It was still nice, just crowded and overloaded with tourist traps. I guess I liked the relative seclusion of our Marriott in Ko'Olina. I had to take a picture of this funny statue outside one of the stores though...
The Hilton had a bit of a mini zoo included in the landscape. Turtles, penguins, exotic birds, and coy ponds at every turn.

And of course the wedding chapel. I think most of the hotel properties have a wedding chapel. There was one at our Marriott too and we saw at least 2 wedding parties a day.
Wedding pictures on this beach would be tricky. Trying to get a shot without bikini clad women in the background would be difficult, not to mention all of the people out in the water. This Japanese couple had to walk past a homeless man asleep on the beach to get their "romantic" beach photos taken.
So, we got to the dock early for our submarine tour. We let the stragglers from a school field trip go ahead of us in line... only to find out that their group had under counted how many kids they had which left 4 of us without a seat on our scheduled ride. (Our tickets had been purchased in advance and our seats reserved.) They asked us to come back in a couple of hours! for another submarine. We were not too happy. We were offered a DVD of the ride for our trouble. Um, no. I don't think so. Eventually they agreed to give us back half of our payment for our trouble. Um, yes. Since each ticket cost about $100 it was nice to get some back!  We needed to figure out something to do to pass the time. We ended up at the Ala Moana Center. It was an interesting mall... all open air and every store imaginable from little t- shirt souvenir shops, Old Navy, and Claire's to Prada, Gucci, and Betsy Johnson.

Finally it was time for our delayed underwater adventure. We took a boat out to open water, then looked for a big bubble on the surface. That's where the submarine surfaced. Very cool.Inside the sub...

We traveled underwater and saw marine life in their natural habitat.  There were many man made reefs down there including a sunken ship and sunken airplane.  It was kind of hard to make out some things and even harder to get a good picture of what we were seeing. If you look really carefully you might see the turtle laying on the deck of a sunken ship.Luckily another turtle came up close for his photo shoot.
And this big guy too.
Most of the time we saw little fish like these in large groups.  Spme were yellow, but with many it was hard to make out what color they were, or even if they had a color. It was a fun experience to have had.  My 40 year old little boy really enjoyed it! :)  We had to rush back to our hotel after the ride because the Lakers were playing again (NBA Playoffs).  I spent some time taking pictures off the balcony.  I really enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere at our beach.  Quiet is nice when you don't get that often.


ryan and laura said...

your hawaiian getaway looks AWESOME!! looks beautify! you two were busy touring the island...hope you got a chance to just enjoy the beach!

Beth Soelberg said...

All I could think of was "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." That's probably bad, huh???

What a beautiful place!

Jill said...

What kind of school has a field trip on a submarine, especially when the tickets are that expensive? Wow!

I'm not sure I'd be keen on going in a sub. It sounds like a cool thing to do, but I think I'd feel claustrophobic in there. Was it hot and humid in there?

Your balcony views are gorgeous! I'd be all about a quiet, gorgeous place like that.

Holly said...

Wow... just seeing pictures makes me feel a tad bit relaxed. Can't imagine what being there would have been like!

I still can't believe they took a school group on a submarine. Who are these kids??

Great pictures by the way!

Leanne said...

Ahhh....I love living a vacation off of your coat tails. hee hee. Does that even make sense?! lol. It seems like a great trip. I really really really really really want to go there some day! And when I do, I'll be calling YOU for advice (or atleast looking back at your blog for ideas!)