We got up early, checked out of the hotel, and went over to Pearl Harbor as the monument was opening. There was already a line of a few hundred people waiting. We went in, got our (free) tickets for the 11:30 shuttle, and went back to the car.
Stephanie has a sports stadium fetish I don’t really understand, but I liken it to my love of Japanese department stores. We went over to Aloha Stadium, and it was a win for the both of us: in the parking lot, they were holding the Aloha Flea Market.
The flea market had about 95% crap, but it was still entertaining. She took photos of the stadium, and we headed back to Pearl Harbor.
u.s.s. arizona memorial
Before you board the shuttle, you watch a 20-minute documentary about the attack. I didn’t really know much about the history of that event, and it was appalling. We were a bunch of sniffling fools heading out of that theatre.
We got on the boat for a 5-minute ride to the memorial. It’s mounted atop the sunken U.S.S. Arizona, which is also the grave of its entire crew. They asked for silence while on the memorial, but people were there gabbing away. That bothered me a lot.
The ship still leaks oil from a couple locations; we could see it floating on the water.
We took the shuttle back, then drove back into Waikiki. In search of a fast lunch, we stopped at the gigantic food court in Ala Moana Center. At the Hawaiian food booth, past the point at which I had abandoned all hope, I found it: POI.
I ordered a serving of it for $1.75. The cashier gave me a very strange look and handed me a little styrofoam cup and a spoon. I pried off the lid and found a greyish-brown substance inside. I worried that perhaps it had some kind of meat gravy on it, even though it’s supposed to just be taro. I took a bite.
That stuff is nasty.
I tossed it and we found food elsewhere. Then we headed off to climb Diamond Head, rushing to get it in before our flight.
looking west from diamond head
The book made it sound like the hike was pretty easy compared to anything we’d already done. It said something about a bit of a walk and some stairs. That book is full of crap. Yeah, it was nothing compared to the volcanoes, but still. It’s a gradual climb up the inside of the crater, which really wasn’t too bad, but it was long. Then there were stairs. The second set of stairs was 100 extremely-steep steps. Every single person who reached the bottom would stand there and stare up at them in disbelief. It was kind of funny.
After the stairs, there were a couple tunnels through the rock, then a spiral staircase up to a strange enclosed concrete room. We climbed out the window of the room and onto the bottom of the lookout. From there, we took metal stairs up to the top platforms. It was a hell of a climb. It probably woudln’t have been that much at the beginning of the trip, but it hurt at the end. It was really hot, too.
hawaii kai (south shore)
The view was totally worth it. To the west, we could see it raining over the ocean.
On the way back down, we encountered two women who were running the hundred steep steps. One appeared to be training the other. She was incredible, and had awesome tribal-marking tattoos around her (monstrous) thighs. She was taking the steps by twos. As she reached the top, I said, “You’re so hardcore. I think you’re my idol.” She said, “Thanks! That’s the fourth time I’ve done that so far.” Holy shit.
It was painfully hot on the way down, I could feel my sunburn, and Japanese tourists kept laughing at me. Well, at first I thought they were laughing at me, then I realized they were laughing at my shirt (it says ‘perfect angel massage parlor’). I was seriously paranoid for a while.
king kamehameha (downtown honolulu)
We started off in the direction of the airport, stopping downtown to see King Kamehameha in his cute little skirt, and the palace. The capitol building supposedly looks like a volcano, but it’s a stretch. We saw Chinatown, too; I’d had greater expectations for Chinatown in a place so heavily Asian, but it was quite small.
We figured the H1 would be a parking lot, but it wasn’t bad at all. We returned the car and got to the airport fairly early. Then our flight was delayed another hour and a half; we killed time in the bar, in every single store in the airport, in the bathroom, and sitting at the gate. My knitting was nearly complete, but I was too tired to continue it by the time we got on the plane.
The flight sucked in a huge way, because I can’t sleep on airplanes. It was a DC-10 and we were in the center section of a totally-booked flight. I’d doze off every 10 minutes and wake up crabby, seeing flashes of the stupid movies they were showing. We arrived in Minneapolis around 10:30am on Sunday, stumbling blinkingly out of the airport. I came home, fed the panicky animals, then went right to bed.