On Thursday, 11 November, we checked out of the Hale Koa. John and I took the #19
bus to Pearl Harbor-
Their rate at that time was $55 The rooms had balconies. They offered a free breakfast including, yogurt, cereal, danish, juice, coffee and tea. They did not offer the free breakfast on the weekends. We liked staying there not only for an affordable rate but because it was near the Navy Exchange located in the Mall at Pearl Harbor. NGIS, too, had rooms set aside for military personnel waiting for permanent housing.
On Friday, 12 November, we went to the Dole Plantation and Polynesian Cultural Center. This was our busiest touring day. First we went to the Dole Plantation and rode on the Pineapple Express train ride which showed you some of the fields with pineapples growing. We do not recommend this ride because most of the fields were barren and looked like they had not been worked for a while. There was a Plantation Garden Tour which would have been the better choice. John and Rene had done the tour before and said they liked it more. There is a shop which includes delicious pineapple ice cream and lots of pineapple goodies. www.doleplantation.com
On Sunday, 7 November, we went to the Aloha Stadium Flea Market. This stadium is the home of the University of Hawaii Warrior Football team. The stadium is near Pearl Harbor. It has all the local island goodies you can want. It is open on weekends and Wednesdays. There’s jewelry, clothing, crafts and local snacks. Needless to say Elaine and Rene really enjoyed shopping there. John and I enjoyed the food.
On Monday, 8 November, we went to the Navy Exchange located in the Mall at Pearl Harbor. It is the largest Navy Exchange worldwide. www.greatlifehawaii.com
We took one of the free buses there. When we returned we hit the beach at our hotel and had dinner at the Hale Koa with our $25 credit.
On Tuesday, 9 November, we took the Hilo free bus to the Hilo Mall on 700 Nimitz Hwy. It has a large selection of the island fashions and gifts. I was able to get my Hawaiian shirt (which Elaine said I had to have) and it was on sale (thanks to Rene’s searching). www.hilohatti.com
After returning to the Hale Koa we went to the pool area and our wives went to the beach. It is nice to have the beach right behind the pool area. You can walk along the beach and see the other hotels and even walk through them. In the distance you can see Diamond Head.
On Wednesday, 10 November, we visited Pearl Harbor. It was a very emotional visit. You have to check in your handbag or any large bag like a backpack. We were unaware of this as were most visitors. Elaine got a small plastic bag from the gift shop to put her wallet, glass case and camera in it. You may want to bring a very small plastic bag to place those few things in it or wear clothing with big pockets.
There is a 20-
DiRocco and friends at Wakiki Beach
We had booked a car rental online which is the best way to get something right away.
It is easy and quick to make changes also. We picked up our car rental on Friday
when we arrived and off we went to stay at the Navy Lodge. www.navy-
That day we took a ride to Hawaii MCB (formerly Kaneohe Bay MCB). It was a beautiful
scenic ride on the windward side (East side) of the island. While driving around
the base you actually cross over active runways which are policed by military personnel.
We were fortunate to see a C-
On Saturday, 6 November, we checked out of the Navy Lodge and drove over to the Hale Koa to see if we could get reservations. They had different specials going on that constantly change depending on availability. We were able to book five nights there at $140 per night. If you ate at one of their two restaurants, they gave you $25 towards the meal. So, at $115 a night, that is a great deal to stay at a nice hotel on the beach in Waikiki.
We turned our car rental in for the five days we stayed there. You do not need one to sightsee around that area. There are some free buses that the hotels offer. The schedules were at the front desk. Public transportation was also available. The price of a bus ticket with our Medicare cards was only one dollar. You can not take luggage with you on the buses. www.thebus.org