“E mahalo kakou I ka mea loa’a”
Hawaiian phrase, “Let us be thankful for what we have”
I am certainly very thankful for this adventure, and for the opportunity to go on this trip with Ronan – mainly to make sure I’m not going to get lost or forget something. It will be the start of making some more great memories in a completely new place for both of us, even if it is only for a week or so.
After booking our flights, our planning of activities around Oahu could get going in earnest. As a massive Jurassic Park fan (so much so that I insisted on going to see Jurassic World while on holidays last summer), I can’t resist the opportunity to visit some of the locations where Jurassic Park was filmed on Oahu, which will include a chance to hike through one of Hawaii’s lush rainforest to the Manoa Waterfall.
We also hope to experience the familiar Ka’a’awa Valley, known as Hollywood’s “Hawaii Backlot”, to see where over 50 of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies and TV shows were filmed, including even some of the 1960’s Elvis classics. The tour we plan to book for this involves hopping aboard a vintage school bus and getting the chance to take a photo of ourselves at the infamous Jurassic Park fallen tree, finding Godzilla’s footprints, and visiting several other locations including the famous “penguin” road site from 50 First Dates, the road site from You Me & Dupree, the house structure from Mighty Joe Young, and numerous Hawaii Five-0 and LOST areas, like Hurley’s golf course! You never know, we might even see a filming in progress! On this tour, we will also get the chance to stop at an amazing WWII army bunker, built entirely into the side of the mountain range…
A trip to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to Pearl Harbour, where the Japanese attacked the US naval base and lead to the American involvement in World War 2. As a ship lover, Ronan is already excited about this part of our trip. Our plan for visiting Pearl Harbour includes a tour of the USS Arizona, a guided tour of the USS Missouri and the USS Bowfin and a self-guided tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum. This will be a long day for us, with a hotel pick up at 7.30am and returning at 5pm or so, but a worthwhile trip to learn more about the history of this unfortunate event.
Another small obsession of Ronan’s is anything shark related – everything from documentaries about them to making sure we saw the shark teeth in the Natural History Museum when we were in New York. So, naturally, when he heard you can go cage diving to see sharks in Hawaii, as well as Australia, he insisted we looked into doing it in Oahu. The trip we plan to do includes a 20 minute cage dive where the sharks we might see include black tip sharks, sand bar sharks, galapagos and occasionally a tiger shark behind the secure metal and Plexiglas enclosure of the shark cage as well as other amazing marine life including dolphins, green sea turtles, flying fish, and humpback whales during their migration season. Luckily, there is a money back guarantee, so that if you don’t see any sharks, you get your money back. Even better for us, if we don’t see any, we get a second chance at shark watching when we are in Oz.
Naturally, as this is a holiday for us, we still hope to have some time to relax and re-energise for a hectic year of working and travelling. We hope to have plenty of time to relax in the sun on the beach at Waikiki. With any luck, there’ll be no sun burn this early in the trip (Ronan, I’m thinking of you there – make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen). Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity to go to a luau while we’re over, and taste some of the local food (sampling new food is one of the best parts of travelling somewhere new, although I’m sure Ronan will disagree once we hit Thailand and he sees the fried insects).
And now the next challenge to organise – the accommodation. We will be researching this over the next few days, to make sure we get a good price for some nice accommodation.
Links to our Planned Tours: