Since we didn't hike to a waterfall on our last trip, we decided to do one this time. We hiked Manoa Falls, which took us through a bamboo forest. One crazy thing about Oahu is that there are wild chickens everywhere! I even saw one try to go into Target! These chickens were in the parking lot at the falls.
Besides seeing the turtles, we both got to check things off our bucket list. Husband got to ride a jet ski and I got to drink water from a coconut. Husband enjoyed the jet skiing more than I enjoyed the coconut water. If I was ever stranded on an island and coconuts were my only food source, I would most likely die. I never want to taste that nasty stuff again!
We also discovered the Ko Olina Lagoons this time around. These four man-made lagoons are stunningly beautiful and picture perfect. While the snorkeling wasn't amazing here, the calm water, protected coves, and white sand beaches made for a great way to spend the day. The lagoons quickly became one of my favourite places on the island. We also saw a few mongooses (mongeese? mongi?) at the lagoons.
We had a bit of rain one day so we decided to visit the Iolani Palace. This is the only royal palace on US soil (well as long as you aren't counting Cinderella's castle!). It has a throne room, so you know it's legit. We took a tour and learned the history of the royals in Hawaii and how they were overthrown. Fascinating stuff.
While Husband was hard at work, I got to explore a bit on my own. I spent one morning at the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden. I am convinced this is where they filmed Jurassic Park. As I wandered around, I kind of expected a dinosaur to appear on the path.
We ended our trip with a drive up to an overlook of Honolulu, a tour of the USS Bowfin (which sits near the USS Arizona memorial), a stop to see where the USS Utah was sunk during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and a visit to the USS Oklahoma memorial, where white pillars line up representing the 429 Sailors and Marines killed when the Japanese attacked. The USS Oklahoma was pretty sobering, especially when we read that the design was inspired by the Navy tradition of "manning the rails." Manning the rails occurs when the crew of ship, dressed in full white dress, line up along the ship's rails and stand attention. It is the Navy's way of rendering honour to important people.