Thursday, June 02, 2016

A Hostel, Tantalus Drive, and The Punchbowl

Originally, we had planned to land in Honolulu, change planes, and continue on to Kona, on the Big Island. But, because of our International Date Line crossing, the airline got a little confused and scheduled our connecting flight for today rather than yesterday. When we discovered this little snafu a couple of months ago and realized we would need to have a place to stay overnight, we began exploring our lodging options. We could not find anything available for just one night in any price range. Just when we were beginning to think we might just have to sleep in our rental, I found a hostel with availability and no minimum night requirements. We had never stayed in a hostel, so Jeff and I thought it seemed like a great adventure. The kids, however, were not too sure about our family being split up into boys and girls dorms and sleeping in rooms with strangers. (At one point, Weston uttered a Freudian slip while talking to my parents on the phone and told them we were staying in a "hostage.") But, the accommodations turned out to be great, the kids were able to broaden their horizons, and no one was taken hostage.

Well, unless you count Weston's stomach, which seemed to have been taken hostage by an overlarge Philly cheesesteak he had at the food court yesterday that didn't sit too well. We lingered at the hostel this morning to give him some time to recover, but, eventually, we hopped in the car and headed out to see some sights before our flight. First, we cruised along Tantalus Drive, taking in the lush tropical forest and the amazing lookouts along the way. Then, we stopped at The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, better known as The Punchbowl. My grandmother's brother's name is listed on the Honolulu Memorial, along with the other MIA soldiers. It was an honor to pay tribute to him and to the other soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for our country's freedom. 

Diamond Head, from Tantalus Drive

Diamond Head and some of the high rises of Waikiki

Tantalus Drive

The Punchbowl, from a lookout on Tantalus Drive

Entering the national cemetery

The Honolulu Memorial

Diamond Head, from the plane

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