Australia Day 5/Hawaii Day 1

Today we packed our bags and headed to Paddy’s once our bags were in storage. Using only our memories for navigation, we got to the flea market for the final time, and we haggled for bags and other souvenirs. Then we walked to 7/11 and bought more Tim Tams to take home. After lunch, I hiked to a grocery store, Coles, with a friend to help her pick out her Tim Tams. the security guard told me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures within the store…so naturally I did because I was told not to.

Then we hiked back to the hotel, and said our goodbyes to Matt, while we waited for the bus to the airport. Four hours later, we were on a nine hour flight. A flight I got no sleep on, had no music for, and didn’t feel like reading on. Otherwise known as a red eye. We crossed the International Date Line, so we left on July 9th Australian Time, and arrived at 7:30am on July 9th, Hawaiian Time. So to answer any remaining questions, yes, we did in fact travel.

We met our new tour guide Laurie, and bus driver Richard. Tired, hungry, dirty, and disheveled, we were told we wouldn’t have time to change or clean up before visiting the USS Arizona Memorial. It was beautiful and very cool to learn about Pearl Harbor, or at least what I hadn’t already learned from the movie. 😀

After a short film about December 7th, 1941, we took a boat out to the memorial which is built over the Arizona, never recovered. There are seven windows on two of the sides and the roof, symbolizing the 21 gun salute.

While there, a Pearl Harbor survivor hobbled in on his cane, and everyone applauded him. Apparently he comes back to visit the memorial every year the week of July 4th.

Then we took the boat back to the mainland and loaded the bus to Punchbowl Cemetery, with a pit stop at a hot dog stand to appease our stomachs. Punchbowl was a drive through, and then we drove to Diamond Head Crater (another drive through.) Finally, after seven hours, we could rest at the hotel. We got our rooming assignments, and headed straight for the beach. Intermittent sun showers didn’t spoil the beauty of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. Our skin hadn’t seen sun in a week after the New Zealand and Australian winters.

We went back to Queen Kapiolani Hotel, dressed up for the first time in weeks, and walked to get smoothies with the girls. We enjoyed the beautiful boardwalk, street performers, and warm weather most of all.

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