I’ve been sharing with you all about playing my family playing tourist where we live. I hate going home during the holidays and having family gawking over us about living in paradise only to tell them we rarely leave base and go exploring. So with about a year left on this rock we are deciding to take all the opportunities we get and see what is beyond the base walls.
A few weeks ago Hubs and I had a amazing day celebrating our anniversary. I wrote a post about us hiking Diamond Head, swimming at Eternity Beach and eating at the Kona Brewing Company for lunch. Then a few days back I followed that up with a post exploring the Honolulu Zoo (with scavenger hunt printable link), USS Arizona Memorial and the Dole Plantation.
I wanted to bring you a few more chances to explore Hawaii by visiting the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Missouri and Makapuu Lighthouse Hike.
Our son loves going here. Not only do they have tons of planes and helicopters what totally amazes Hubs and I is the fact that they kept the damage caused when Ford Island was attacked during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It only takes about 30 minutes to a hour to get through the museum itself. Before you begin the walk through is a short 12 minute movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor. There are smooth concert floors and it is built in a hanger so ample room to maneuver a stroller. It is air conditioned which is a great relief if you are just coming from other outings like visiting the Arizona Memorial (I do recommend visiting the Arizona Memorial first and then drive over to Ford Island if you have a military ID). Our kids like to roam around and since it is a open floor plan and isn’t one of those stuffy hush-hush type museums loud kids aren’t looked down upon to bad. There are life size torpedoes the kids like to stand next to and a floor map that they can walk on and see what path the Japanese took when approaching Oahu. There are exciting and real full size planes hanging from the ceilings and displayed on the floor. Please be mindful of your children though so they don’t climb up or in any of the floor displays.
Once you see the movie and complete the tour in the museum stroll on down to hanger 37. Before you enter the hanger make sure you stop and look up at the blue pane windows. There are several bullet holes that remind us of the sober moment that once happened there. Once inside they have several full sized aircraft to see. They also have a restoration shop inside where you can see modern day restorations.
Two miles round trip, we thought this would be a easy up and back with some spectacular views. Well we got one thing right. The views were awesome and I loved stopping (on the ocean side) to feel the sea spray and breeze off the ocean. We tossed back and forth how to transport three small children on the hike. We decided upon two walking and one stroller bound. The other option we thought about wearing Diva in the Ergo and trekking Diva up in the Kelty carrier. Hubs was happy he didn’t choose that route. Hubs is a fit man but wearing Diva up that hike probably would have lead us to eat our children, again.
This is not a easy hike. We go on family walks a lot and thought our children could easily do two miles. But we didn’t take into account for the gain in elevation and the wineness factor of our kids. I seriously wanted to throw them off at the top. Luckily we were able to use the footrest at the base of the stroller as a second seat.
Advice is to hurry up on the first half of the walk to the other side where the breeze blows off the ocean. Half of the first part of the hike is on the side of the mountain that blocks the breeze put off by the ocean. Make sure you bring a water bottle for every hiker. We went through all 5 water bottles. There is basically no shade and limited resting spots; it would be wise to wear hats and sunglasses. Lastly, once you get to the second half where the breeze is blowing; STOP. It is a beautiful sight.
This isn’t one for young kids or adults who need assistance walking. Both our mothers have very bad knees and neither had the stamina or ability to do this “hike”. I do call it a “hike” as it is up and down a lot of stairs and in tight (VERY TIGHT) passage ways. It is mainly a one way street for most of the “hike” and there are lots of places that are roped and blocked off. I honestly would not take any children under the age of 5 unless they understand no means no. Our spawn would try and duck under the ropes and run past the “do not enter” signs. Please be mindful if you do take children that there are individuals here who are remembering a point in their life that might have brought them a lot of pain and sadness. Be mindful to the calm atmosphere here.
In a later post I’ll share with you some great places to eat and visit on the North Shore of Hawaii. Stay tuned!