Sunday, 18 December 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii 16.6.-26.6.2011, Days 4, 5 and 6

The day after my birthday, we decided it was time to see the biggest shopping mall in Honolulu, also known as Ala Moana Center. Nothing much to report - I got myself season 1 of one of my all-time favourite TV shows, Picket Fences, and Tiina did some shopping at Victoria's Secret. We ended the day with a nice Panda Express meal - orange chicken, yum! So good!

On Tuesday, we figured we could really use a day of doing nothing in particular so we went back to Waikiki and had a beach day. We also swam in the pool and had more sushi. Heavenly!

On Wednesday, though, it was time to get going again. This time we were off to Polynesian Cultural Center. It's a bit further away from Honolulu so it takes 1,5 hours to get there by bus. From Waikiki, you'll catch bus number 55. The good thing is that the road goes along the coastline so the views are really pretty almost all the time.The bad thing is that it's a long and winding road, meaning it's easy to get carsick.

Polynesian Cultural Center is a theme park type place where you can visit different outdoors villages of various Polynesian countries and cultures, including Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga and the Marquesas Islands. In every village, you have people dressed up in traditional outfits of that particular culture and telling or teaching you something about their country, for example dancing, cooking or how to make fire.

The entrance.

First, we took a boat ride to the other side of the place.

The Hawaiian village.

Where we were :).

The first known picture of a surfer with his board.

Hula dancing in the Hawaiian village.

How to make Tahitian coconut bread.

Samoan food.

This Samoan man was crazy :D! He showed us how to make fire, among many other things.

...and how to get coconut milk.

On our way back, we stopped by at Ala Moana Center to get some more of that delicious Orange Chicken :).

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii 16.6.-26.6.2011, Day 4

Day 4 of the Hawaiian leg of our trip was my 29th birthday. I don't know about others but for me, my birthday means a lot and I need it to be perfect. When I turned 27, I had the most miserable birthday ever - no one was around, everyone was abroad with someone else and I was home alone. I got myself a frozen pizza but forgot it in the oven and it burned black. That day, I decided that never again would my birthday be so lonely and horrible. So, when I turned 28, I was in Los Angeles (and got to meet Rosanna Arquette and Stephen Bray!) and when I turned 29, I was in Hawaii. I need to be somewhere amazing for my 30th as well since I'm feeling especially miserable about that one for personal reasons.

Anyway, on my 29th birthday, we went to Pearl Harbor. It's recommended you go there as early as possible because the later you go, the longer you'll have to wait to get to go to the USS Arizona Memorial. Visiting the Memorial is free of charge, but if you want to go to some of the other attractions as well, such as the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum or USS Missouri (Mighty Mo), you'll need to have money with you. We decided to go to those three places and so we paid $28 in the end. But like I said, the USS Arizona Memorial is free, and it's really the most important place you'll want to see there. If you ask me, you really don't need to visit any of the other places unless they already interest you somehow.

We left for Pearl Harbor at about 7:30 am from Waikiki and arrived about an hour later. You have to leave your belongings in a safety deposit box, which costs $3. You can have your wallet, phone and camera with you but no bag of any size is allowed. After that, we went to get our tickets and made it to the 9:45 am show. First, they'll show you a really interesting 23-minute documentary film on the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 and after that, you're taken to the Memorial where you'll have 15 minutes before the ferry takes you back.

The USS Arizona Memorial.

Oil is still oozing from the sunken ship.

After USS Arizona, we went to USS Bowfin and Battleship Missouri but they weren't as interesting to us. Lots of gadgets, torpedos and stuff like that for those who're into that sort of things, though.

USS Bowfin.

A memorial for those who lost their lives on the USS Oklahoma.

Battleship Missouri.

After we'd seen everything we wanted to see in Pearl Harbor, we left back for Waikiki for my birthday celebrations. We got ourselves leis and went to the beach to watch the sun set. It was so beautiful! There were hula dancers there and the night was warm. We took our shoes off and walked in the water, let the waves wash our feet, and just enjoyed the perfect evening and the beautiful views. I was so lucky to be turning 29 on that beautiful island!


Tiina and me :).

One of Tiina's favourites :).

Finally, we had a huge sushi feast at the hotel and Tiina played me Shania, Cheryl Cole and J.Lo :). Another amazing birthday <3!

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