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Hiking Diamond Head and visiting Pearl Harbor
Hi guys and ALOOOHAAAA!
Sorry I missed you the past couple of days.
Would you believe me if I told you that we've been running around so much that by the time we are getting back to our room the only thing that we still have energy for is to collapse onto our beds!
Well that is the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth.
So what I'm gonna do is catch you up on all the SCOOP from yesterday...because that is what ya get in the Daily Scoop. And then I'll begin working my way back to fill ya in on all the rest.
Our Sunday plans mostly consisted of
1) Hiking Diamond Head and 2) Visiting Pearl Harbor
Because of wanting to save some extra cashola and because our hotel is charging highway robbery for both the self parking option and the valet parking, we opted to park about a block away in another structure and not get robbed (so to speak).
Best thing about this is that the new garage has a 10hr special. So for the first 2 nights that is what we've been doing and since it is such a bargain I kinda feel like we are getting a way with a steal!
Plus, it is also keeping us on a good schedule and that is kinda what I'm getting at here.
We were out and about, ready to rock and roll before 8am yesterday morning. Took our short little stroll to the car park hopped in the car and headed for a nearby juice/smoothie/coffee bar for a boost of pre-hiking energy.
I found a place located right outside of the International Market Place that sounded pretty darn good and that served all purposes - Aloha Coffee.
International Market Place is an open-air shopping center located in Waikīkī on the island of O‘ahu.
While I'm not sure if you've ever visited Waikiki or the original International Market Place, but when we first realized that they were going to make renovations and shut down all of the locally owned shops and kiosks it was definitely viewed as the end of an era and although it wasn't the "nicest" marketplace, it did capture a certain glimpse into Honolulu's past, allow you to "shop locally", interact with the local vendors and also try plenty of "local eats".
So I've got to admit that I was a bit saddened by the fact that they were putting in yet another shopping mall.
Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE SHOPPING!
But I was a little hesitant to go and visit the "new" International Market Place. So although they reopened in 2016 and I was here in 2017, I hadn't done a walk through until yesterday and I can happily say that I was impressed by the fact they that left much of the integrity and feel and most importantly the dear old and huge Banyan Tree still stands tall and wide at its center.
Standing in front of the old Banyan Tree (c)travelincousins.com
At the International Market Place (c)travelincousins.com
Back to us getting our liquid energy...
With hot and cold drinks in hand (c)travelincousins.com
Once we were juiced and caffeine'd up, we were again on our way.
We arrived to the semi busy parking lot at the base of Diamond Head State Monument and waited for a spot to open up.
Once parked we got out and it was time for our hike!
CHECK OUT THESE FUN FACTS ABOUT THE TRAIL UP TO DIAMOND HEAD:
1. The elevation at the trailhead on the crater floor is about 200 feet.
2. The trail conforms to the 1908 alignment with switchbacks up the interior slope.
3. The tunnel is lighted and 225 feet long.
4. The lookout provides sweeping views of southeastern O'ahu coastline towards Koko Head and the offshore islands of Moloka'i, Lana'i, and Maui.
And then you reach the tippy top where you find views showing the Waikīkī neighborhood, and the pillbox at the peak.
This hike is never a lonely one, as there are always plenty of tourists making their way to the top. And trying to get a picture without the masses is something that you need to hoping have patience for...Because there are people EVERYWHERE!
Once satisfied with our visit, it was time to head back down and to our brunch reservations at Vegan Hills.
This would be our second brunch at Vegan Hills in 2 days. And I would definitely say that this is "the" vegan place to go for scrumptious bites. It was seriously sooooo good!
Then after brunch, it was time to head back to Pearl Harbor.
I say "head back" because of the frustrating attempt at a visit last year...
With that being said - I've got to say that I was a bit more than disappointed when the hours stated that Pearl Harbor closed at 5pm, and we showed up at 3:15p only to find out that the last boat out was at 3:30p and that we would have to be back at the main grounds by 4pm - WTH?! Now I was not the only one standing there in disbelief that this visit was a bust. There were other tourists who obviously saw the information and were dumbstruck upon arrival."
And so yet again this was another visit to Pearl Harbor that left me feeling as though there is a definite LACK of visitor information on their website.
I'm gonna run down and get a smoothie, I'll be back with more on this issue.