On our final day, we attempted to complete a couple last items on our list. First, we tried swimming to make up for the disappointing beach day earlier in the week. The weather didn't cooperate. It rained sporadically most of the morning, which gave me a chance to prepare and mail postcards and a package. The rain kept coming, and we gave up on swimming.
My boys changed out of their swim clothes, and we ate brunch at Waialua Bakery. They grow many of their own ingredients, and everything is homemade.
Next, we went to the Dole Plantation. This is one of those tourist traps you're not supposed to miss. They have a large gift shop, train ride, maze, and of course Dole Whip. We skipped the maze.
I don't know if they changed their ingredients, but I remember us liking Dole Whip years ago at Disneyland. Here it tasted fake. Kylen and I threw most of ours away.
It was awesome seeing how pineapples grow!
We headed to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, otherwise known as the Punchbowl. This was another destination that was difficult to find.
But find it, we did! This "cemetery of heroes" is the resting place of more than 25,000 victims of three American wars: World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. The punchbowl was formed thousands of years ago during volcanic activity. It is a crater formed from the ejection of hot lava through cracks in old coral reefs.
We practically had the place to ourselves, which made it feel almost sacred.
Walls of names.
Kylen really enjoyed this memorial. I'm glad we persisted in locating it!
We had dinner at Cinnamon's, their Waikiki location this time.
We weren't as impressed with their dinner as we were with their breakfast, but Greg absolutely loved his teriyaki chicken. In fact, his love for teriyaki chicken was cemented in Hawaii. And . . . they had a fantastic view next to the eating area where we captured some of my favorite pictures of the trip.
This is where we took the pictures from, sort of like a huge balcony area.
That overlooked a harbor.
The next morning, we scrambled to leave the house extra early so we could have one last meal in Oahu before our long day of travel. We ate at Ted's Bakery. Their pies are supposed to be the bomb, so we shared a slice of haupia cream.
This place is for people with huge appetites! We should have ordered one or two plates and shared.
Would we do it again? Greg would like to return someday and visit the other islands, perhaps even revisit the Big Island. Despite my struggles with humidity, I am open to the idea. As long as it isn't during summer! :) I have tried to understand why we had so many challenges, especially on Oahu, and I may never know the full answer. But I realize that despite the trials, we made tons of fantastic memories - on both islands. I am truly grateful for that. And the educational value? Staggering . . . I couldn't even begin to put a price on it. So I'm glad we went, but if there is a next time, we'll be making some changes!