Ohau’s Windward Coast Vacation| Day# 11 (Punch Bowel & Hawaiian Plantation Village)

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Updated: 12/2017

Now at this point you may have figured out I have some connection to the military. I grew up with its presence in my life, and it has shaped a part of me. I have great respect for the military and those who sacrificed for this country. A few years ago I had the chance to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri with a choir group I was in high school with. This time I wanted to visit one last dedication to the Pacific Fleet.

Eight years ago I visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, “Punch Bowl” with the choir group I was with. I never had the chance to step off the bus and take a closer look at the memorial part, but looked out a tour bus window as it hurried through the cemetery. Now on a stormy gray day in Hawaii, I had the chance to see it without the tinted glass. When we were there, it had a very quiet peaceful stillness that made the whole experience worth while.

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Tiled battle Map
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Lookout over the Cemetery
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Angle of Freedom
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Chapel Dedication Wall
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Memorial Wall

From one end to the other, the tile maps detailed all the important campaigns from WWII to Desert Storm. Each representing all branches of the military involved in these key battles. Chapel was filled with flowers dedicated to all those whose grave is only known to God, and a dedication to took place a few hours before we arrived. On the outside walls are the names of those who’s remains were never found, buried overseas, and those who remain missing in action or prisoners of war. Each name represents the cost of freedom and cost of sacrifice one makes for country.

Later that day we headed to the Hawaiian Plantation Village Museum. I will admit this, I like anything historical since every car trip with my Granddad resulted in stopping at least one historical marker or attraction along the way. But for some reason I found this place a little boring. I don’t know if it was just the tour guide or I was getting tired of the slow pace of things. This don’t mean I would not recommend it to anyone because I believe it is still a place to visit. To fill you in Hawaii is multicultural identification has its roots in sugar plantations of the early 1800s. Up until the 1960s the sugar plantations of Hawaii thrived (think back to Dole Pineapple Plantations). In the 1800s to the 1960s plantation owners recruited Chinese, Filipinos, Europeans, Puerto Ricans , Native Hawaiians, Japanese, and Koreans into working for the plantations. The museum tour showed the many different distinctive houses each generation of plantation workers and their heritage had. Also showed how each plantation was run depending on what its main crop was. Most of the volunteer tour guides has some background in the sugar plantations. Ours had parents who worked in the fields, and he too had worked for the same sugar plantation as his parents did. He said many generations of plantation workers worked until the closing of sugar plantations in the 1960s. Some had six generations all worked for the same plantation.

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Oahu’s Windward Coast Vacation | Day #4 (Dole Pineapple Plantation & Hawaiian Birth Stones)

Update: 12/2017

The day  started out with a tropical storm blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. Just by looking at how the rain and wind was blowing, you may have thought a hurricane was hitting land. Seeing how stormy the waves looked as they came crashing on the shore was a sight you only read about. Breakfast was Hawaiian sweet bread with passion fruit jam and Dragon fruit sliced. You really get spoiled here in Hawaii with all the fresh fruit. Pineapples in the continental US are not as good as fresh Hawaiian pineapple right off the tree.

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Stormy weather

Originally we had planned to go to the North Shore, but looking at the weather we decided to switch days with another activity. Instead we all went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Wahiawa. Getting there was an adventure in itself. I believe the GPS had us going in the direction of the Waikiki instead of Wahiawa. Eventually we arrived at the plantation just as the tour buses were unloading all the tourists for the day. The store was crowed with people going nuts over anything Dole pineapple related. As always when anyone of us from my work group goes somewhere for vacation we bring back something for the group. I bought two small bags of Milk Chocolate Pineapple Crunch ($4.95) for everyone to try ( my group loved it!). I also got two beautiful hair clips (one is for Mom for Christmas), and a lovely picture of Spam Macadamia Nuts. There you have it, Spam is now a flavoring for nuts! Now for those who never had a real Dole pineapple, you need to try one when you are in Hawaii. Reason why is the pineapple is not like the ones you buy in the stores in mainland US. They are a lot sweeter and juicy.

Only in Hawaii can you get pineapple ice cream, and only at the Dole Pineapple Plantation (CORRECTION: Dole Pineapple Whip is now at Disneyland parks and at select Munchies stores. Still try it at the plantation since it is fresh from the plantation fields. Even better have it anytime you are in Hawaii!). So naturally I wanted to try what pineapple ice cream would taste like. Oh my goodness, you have to try it! There are two ways you can have it, one just the soft serve without the pineapple chunks on the side, or the second way with pineapple chucks (Dole Whip). Either way, they are both really good. I ordered the regular without the pineapple chunks ($4.50) and tried my Mom’s which had the pineapple chucks ($4.95).

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Pineapple ice cream

After an ice cream comatose, we toured the garden with all the various pineapple plants from around the world. I never realized there are many different varieties of pineapples, and each have their own destructed characteristics. I guess we are all use to the pineapples that were cultivated by Dole which is the most recognized species of pineapple around the world. While touring the garden there was several geckos (looked like the Geico Gecko, but does not talk with a Australian accent) sitting on some of the leaves enjoying himself. Geckos are all over Hawaii and there was even one sitting in the bushes at Bellows one day.

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Gecko
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Pineapple (Dole)
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Mom and I in a pineapple
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Pink Pineapple

According to the Guinness World Record book, Dole Pineapple Plantation has the largest corn maze in the world back in 2009. This the reason I had to get lost in a corn maze in Hawaii, and live to tell the tale. Plus saying you survived the maze in a tropical rain storm is even better! So Mom, Dad and I decided to do the maze as a family building exercise. The maze costs around $6.00 a person, but I had a coupon for buy one admission get one free. I was the one free since I though up this idea in the first place. Half way through the maze we all three got soaked with rain dumping from the sky. But hey, we are all from Seattle, and the rain was like taking a shower compare to back home. As people were scurrying along to get out of the rain, we all three made our way around the maze looking for the hidden symbols we had to find. The secret to the maze is, going around the outside from one end of the maze to the end, and only sweep inward when you are close to the target. With this strategy we did the maze within forty-five minutes instead of hours.

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My maze scavenger hunt card

Later we jumped back into the car and head a little bit down the road to Kukaniloko (Hawaiian Birth Stones). The site sits back off the road in a farmer’s field on North Wahiuwa Hwy 80 and Whitmore Ave where a small odd road goes off towards a field. If you are not looking for it you will miss the entrance. This place is one of a few sacrate place to the Hawaiians, and the story is when a women gave birth on the stones, her child will have high or royal status in the kingdom. The place is very peaceful place and calmness. There is a little bit of an energy coming off the stone and having sit on one, would make you think maybe my future kid will reach high status. After we viewed the site, I realized the red clay stuck to my sandals are like glue hard glue! Took a lot of elbow grease to scrub off the mud/clay off the sandals.

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Birth stones
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Nana and I sitting on birth stones

On our way to the Dole Plantation we passed through the famous Waiahae Mountain Range on the Kolekole Pass. The area around the pass looks like a scene out of the TV shows Lost, Jurassic Park, and other tropical island shows.

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Pass of no return (j/k)!

That night the full moon made spectacular appearance over the ocean. Looks like the postcard scenes you see with the full moon over Diamond Head.

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Full moon

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