Wednesday, August 13, 2003

2003-Aug., Oahu for Sean’s reenlistment

While Sean was stationed in Oahu, he reenlisted for his 3rd (I believe) term. He asked my Dad (his Grandpa) to be his reenlisting officer. So Dad asked me to go along with him and make a vacation out of it. I eagerly accepted and flew out to PDX to meet up with him and fly out the next morning.

As it turned out, the Navy didn’t have enough money to give Sean his reenlistment bonus if he did it at the originally scheduled time, so Dad didn’t end up being the reenlistment officer, but we did spend a few days visiting with Sean and playing tourist on Oahu. Sean did later reenlist, but Dad wasn’t able to make it back out for that.

Back in those days, I didn’t have as many timeshare points as I do now, so I went online and found a reasonable rental for a 1 bedroom/2 bath condo about a block from the beach---Imperial of Waikiki Vacation Club. I believe I got the week for something like $450 for the week at short notice. I figured that was a great deal. After seeing our unit, it was a fantastic deal! Since it was only a one bedroom, I let Dad have the bedroom and I took the fold out couch. It was actually more comfortable then I expected. It was also really nice having our own bathrooms.

Dcp_4725-entryway to table

The kitchen was small but very functional.


I had called and requested an upper unit with ocean view and we got the request. We were both blown away by our view!

Dcp_5043-view from our window

We wandered around Waikiki quite a bit. The beach is really beautiful.


It was always interesting people watching. Especially when they’re as talented as this painter.


One of Dad’s favorite things to do, we head to Baskin Robbins for an afternoon ice cream.

Dcp_5048-baskin robbins

One of the days that Sean hung around with us he took us to one of his favorite restaurants, Dixie Kitchens. Great bar b q food.

Dcp_4732-dad and sean in Dixie Kitchens

He also took us through his Navy base and on to the north side to Waimea Park. We walked through the park.

Dcp_4863-dad and sean

Eventually ending up at a waterfall and pond.

Dcp_4842-sean on rock

Another day, Dad and I took an Atlantis Submarine ride. A boat shuttle picked us up from the pier by the Hilton.

Dcp_4930-Atlantis dock

Then it took us out to meet the sub.

Dcp_4985-the sub

It still amazes me that the ocean is so bright 100’ down.

Dcp_4950-dad inside submarine

A couple of nights, Dad and I wandered over to the Hale Koa Resort. This is a resort for military only. Since Dad is retired military, he was able to get us onto the property and we enjoyed dinner there a couple times. Very nice place.


Another day Dad and I went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. They do charge a fee to get in there now and try to enlighten people on the necessity of watching out for the coral, but I’m afraid the coral is being destroyed. The first time Ken and I snorkeled there, it was phenomenal, each trip after that has shown more wear and tear on the area.

Dcp_5021-from overlook

Another day Sean hung around with us and we did the Diamond Head hike. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater. The crater was formed about 300,000 years ago during a single explosive eruption. The trail to the summit of Le'ahi was built in 1908 as part of O'ahu's coastal defense system. The 0.8 mile hike from trailhead to the summit is steep, gaining 560 feet as it ascends from the crater floor.

diamond head crater

A lighted 225-foot tunnel leads to the Fire Control Station completed in 1911. There are also lots of stairs along the way.

Dcp_5089-sean on stairs

The view of the shoreline from Koko Head to Wai'anae is stunning.

Dcp_5092-dad and sean with waikiki

We also walked along Waikiki beach with Sean.

Dcp_5138-dad and sean on waikiki beach

Of course a visit to Oahu wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Arizona Memorial! It marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II. The memorial was dedicated in 1962. It is accessible only by boat. The memorial crosses above the middle of the sunken hull of the battleship.

Dcp_5180-sean and dad on arizona

Historical information about the attack, shuttle boats to and from the memorial, and general visitor services are available at the associated USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, opened in 1980 and operated by the National Park Service. The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989.

DCP_5179-dad and sean on arizona memorial

Another view of the memorial as we were waiting on the dock to take the shuttle back to the visitor center.

Dcp_5187-sean and memorial

The three of us also visited the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii in Ft. DeRussy Park in Waikiki. Fort DeRussy was one of a number of shore batterys on the island of Oahu designed to provide coastal defense. The Fourteen inch guns of Shore Battery Randolph were fired once in a practice shortly after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, shattering many of the windows in the Royal Hawaiian and Moana, and were never fired again. The museum's collection contains some World War II armor pieces, an AH-1 Cobra helicopter, and small arms indoors. It’s an interesting free exhibit right there on Waikiki beach.

Dcp_5211-sean and dad by copter

Since Dad’s birthday also fell during the week we were there, we decided to do something special for his birthday. We elected to go on a limo tour of Oahu. In hindsight, it wasn’t as luxurious as we thought it would be. With 7 or 8 other people also in the limo, it really wasn’t that comfortable!

Dcp_5233-in limo

I also didn’t care that it stopped at a shrimp wagon for lunch, since I’m allergic to shrimp.

Dcp_5329-shrimp wagon

But we did enjoy the stop at Kualoa Ranch. There we were put on a comfortable open air shuttle bus and given a tour of the ranch.

Dcp_5264-dad on bus

Throughout the ranch were fields of tropical fruit plants. They encouraged visitors to try the fruit.

Dcp_5287-dad and banana

This place was sacred to ancient Oahuans from the 13th to the 18th century. It is best known as a film location for productions such as Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Godzilla, and Lost. It is open for tourist activities such as horseback riding and hiking. They also put on shows depicting the ancient Hawaiians celebrations, such as this fire dance.

Dcp_5281-fire dancing

All in all, we did enjoy our limo tour.

It was another great father/daughter trip. Again we got to play tourist as well as visit family. It was a fun week in Oahu.

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