12:00am - On the road to DFW to catch our flight to Honolulu!
We had a nifty lightening storm giving us a lovely light show on the way to DFW last night!
We made it to the airport right on time, but had a two hour flight delay when the air conditioning went out on the plane. Still, the students (and adults!) are excited!
Landed just before 3:30pm local time!
Dinner and Hula lessons! (There is no photographic proof that I participated... 😉)
We finished the evening off with a walk on the beach at sunset. We are all so tired- but excited for tomorrow!
Everything is better with a little bit of sleep! We got an early start and headed to Secret Island. First, we learned the basics of island life: how to start a fire, and open a coconut!
This is my friend Bobbie (below). We all got to try some fresh coconut! 🥥
Then we took the ferry to the island itself...
On the island, the students got to try their hand at paddle boarding, kayaking, and their first experience with a catamaran!
My job was super tough...
But I did experience some native wildlife!
He must have crawled under the beach chair to avoid the brief downburst of rain we had during lunch!
And back to Waikiki Beach!
This morning we headed to Pearl Harbor.
We had some time to spend seeing the memorials. I was very impressed with the USS Bowfin. There has been great care taken to preserve this submarine.
In fact, while I was there, they were polishing the brass!
I could almost hear PaPa talking to me as I toured the sub, and so made special note to take a picture of the radio room...
Even though I know he would have reminded me that he was on an aircraft carrier, not a submarine!
It is sobering to think about those soldiers on the subs. And more sobering to remember that the average life span of a submarine during WWII was six months.
I did take the time to walk through the Memorial for all of the soldiers who we lost on submarines during the war. Each of the stones told the story of each sub lost.
As a large group, the students viewed the documentary on the USS Arizona, and the attack on Pearl Harbor before we made the trip out to view the memorial. Despite being unable to dock because of the repairs, it was a moving journey.
Afterwards, the students laid the leis we received on our arrival as a memorial to all of those lost at Pearl Harbor.
We had the opportunity to attend the Pan-Pacific Festival tonight - an international street party happening right down from our hotel! Lots of food, music and various vendors...
Whew! Lots of sights, smells and sounds!
But at the end of the evening I was reminded by where I was as I followed the surfers (undeterred by the festival) back down the road...
June 9, entry 4:
We had lunch in Haleiwa before heading to the beach.
June 9, entry 5:
The walk to the beach was just as gorgeous as anything.
We had dinner and there was a local musical family there celebrating a young boys birthday. They set up a tent and proceeded to make music and sing. The young boy sang an excellent rendition of “Lovesick Blues.” 🙂
While I was getting dinner, our students made friends and I turned around to hear several of our students taking turns at the microphone - including one of my quietest students!
We all had a great time and this evening was definitely a highlight for me.
June 9, Entry 2:
We had a brief delay while we waited for a bus for one of the other groups, so my bus took a group photo!
Then we continued on to the Dole Plantation. Yes, that’s right: Pineapples!
June 9, Entry 3:
At the Dole Plantation, I got to try a Pineapple Whip! Yummy! It melted too fast for a photo op... 😊
We drove across the center of Oahu to get to the North Shore. I did not realize that there is quite a bit of agriculture here!
In fact, Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee! (Those are the smaller trees in this photo).
June 9, Entry 1:
Aloha Swap Meet! Lots of bargain shopping!!
We spent most of today on the beach. The surf was too high for going out on the Catamaran, but many of the students had the opportunity to snorkel.
Later, we drove to Paradise Cove for the Luau.
It was very beautiful.
Some of our crew received training in bringing in the fishing nets. This was a definite highlight...
Students also got to participate in the like spear throwing.
We also enjoyed the “Shower of Flowers” 🌸 (my friend, Kathy took this cool photo!)
Afterwards, we had a meal together and enjoyed a concert featuring traditional dances from across Polynesia.
The trip back to the hotel was pretty fun too. I had the best bus all week long!
Our last day in Hawaii began with an early start. We hiked up Diamond Head - the side of a dormant volcano. The views were spectacular!
Also impressive were the number of stairs to get there!
Towards the top, you went through a tunnel (Not for those who are claustrophobic!) and then you had a choice:
The “easy route”
Or the “direct route”
I’ll let you guess which I chose!
Here’s one more picture just because it was really beautiful:
Afterwards it was back to the hotel to pack and leave. My last photo of Hawaii was, fittingly, waiting for the elevator (we took the stairs a LOT this week as there were many people staying in our hotel and going up and down was a challenge!)
Regardless, we all had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat! Thanks to Mr. Shaw, Directors Choice, Allison Graham, and our local guide, Cousin Kai for making this an unforgettable trip for me and all of our students!