Welcome to Part II:
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make time to visit the famous Pearl Harbor Monument which was situated right here in Honolulu. Apparently, it’s one of the most visited National Monuments in the US and ticket sales are limited each day. Tickets were sold out on the only afternoon I could have seen it. No worries though, there was plenty to still explore. We decided we had enough of the big city and wanted to see the inland and north shores of Oahu. So, I rented a 2016 CR-V for the day, and we set out.
After several Uber uses, it sure was nice to be behind the wheel again and having more control over the destination and stopping points.
The first stop was to the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park located on the windward side Oahu. Here we would visit a 1968 replica of the 11th-century Phoenix Hall of the Byodo-In Buddhist temple. James and I both share an interest in Japanese culture, so this was a must.
The Byodo-In Buddhist temple was quite impressive in person. It was established in 1968, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It’s currently a non-practicing Buddhist temple and welcomes people of all faiths to worship, meditate or simply appreciate its beauty.
Back on the road driving along the north shore. It was a nice change to see some local life rather than the tourist-packed areas of Honolulu.
Getting some beach time near Turtle Bay.
Some more Hawaiian grub at Haleiwa Bowls. I had a Acai Smoothie and James got the Hapa Bowl.
One thing that blew my mind is how we circled the majority of the island in such a short amount of time. Before long, we were back in the outskirts of Honolulu. Of course, we got back right at the peak of rush hour traffic.
Some views of the skyscrapers.
The last day on the island was more relaxed filled with good food, beach time and general relaxing. I couldn’t shake a nagging feeling of sadness though knowing this was the last day. This is a rare thing for me. Normally I’m itching to get back home. Lunch was one of my favorite meals of the trip at Marukame Udon.
I opted for the curry flavored udon with an egg and tempura shrimp.
Moving on to check out the small Waikiki Aquarium…
As evening set in, we wandered around a bit to soak up the last of the night life.
Dinner was at a local chain called, Zippy’s. I had another try at Loco Moco… I loved it that much!
Dessert was some shaved ice from a local stand.
James and I stumbled upon a hula show!
That covers the last of the trip. As I write this, I’m actually sad to bring this to an end as I absolutely loved my time in Hawaii. The people, the culture, food and scenery made for a spectacular experience and I will be back in due time. Mahalo, Hawaii, it was fun!