Afterward's we stopped by the towel rental cabana so that Parker could get his last and final arm band. Granted, we had no plans to go swimming that day, and the arm bands are mainly just so the employees know who is allowed in the pools or not. He had been collecting them each day, with the exception of maybe skipping a day or two. He was quite proud of his arm bands, meanwhile, I just knew that when we were out in public that they absolutely made us look like tourists. I never really worry that taking pictures while out and about will make me look like a tourist, especially in this world of social media that we live in. But, I am always paranoid while on vacation that if I look like a tourist, that then I'm an easy target for something (like theft or a mugging). Luckily, I never really felt unsafe in Hawaii!
We finally checked out of the resort and made our way towards our last Hawaiian activity: exploring Pearl Harbor. We only had a few hours before we knew we needed to be at the airport, so we chose to only visit and tour the U.S.S. Missouri, otherwise known as the Mighty Mo. The Mighty Mo is a battleship that is now retired and used as a tourist destination. While at Pearl Harbor one can also visit and tour a submarine (The U.S.S. Bowfin, I think is the name), the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and an airplane museum. Each activity costs admission, but the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is free to go to. We were advised that we would probably enjoy touring the Mighty Mo the most and since we were concerned about the possibility of missing our flight, we took the advice and did not visit the memorial (we could see it from The Mighty Mo though). While aboard The Mighty Mo we went on a brief tour with a tour guide and after he was finished we were free to roam the ship. It was so cool to see! I especially liked the inside, which was basically like it's own city. I usually pride myself with having a super good sense of direction, but once we were actually inside the boat, it was very easy to wonder if the sailors ever got confused about where to go! Thankfully there were arrows leading visitors, or we probably would have made a few circles!!! I was amazed by all the kitchens and Parker was surprised to see how little the bunks were. There was even a post office inside!!!
One has to take a bus from the Pearl Harbor visitors center over to Ford Island to tour The Mighty Mo. On the bus ride back, Parker excitedly said, "Look Mom! A rainbow!!". Earlier that day (and for probably several days before that) I began complaining about not seeing very many rainbows. Do you ever just totally build something up in your head? I do it ALL THE TIME! So, in my mind, I just expected Hawaii to have a ton of rainbows! On our way over to Ford Island it had begun pouring down rain and the sky was dark gray. I began grumbling that I would definitely not be seeing any rainbows on my last day in Hawaii. My wise little boy had a profound response to that though. He said (in a cocky seven-year-old way), "Well, Mom, how often have you seen three rainbows within twelve days? HUH???!!!) Touche, son, touche! Needless to say, he was more excited about getting to point the rainbow out to me than for the actual rainbow itself! And yes, I was very pleased to get to see one last and final Hawaiian rainbow (even though it was only a small portion of a rainbow. But hey, beggars can't be choosers, right?).
We got back in our car around 3:30. Our plane didn't leave until 6:45, but we didn't want to chance missing it, so off to the air port to return our rental car we went. Earlier that morning I had a slight panic about something. I had purposely taken a Ziploc bag with us to Waikiki Beach so that I could put sand in it. I have seen so many cute travel souvenir crafts that use the sand from beaches that one visits. My sister and her family's flight left way earlier that day and she had texted me and said that all of our bags would have to go through an agricultural inspection. This made me panic about the sand, shells, rocks and coral that we had collected during our trip. After doing a quick google search I finally decided that it would be best to not bring the sand. I was so sad! I was still going to take a chance on the shells and rocks, and I put a few pinches of sand in the Ziploc bag that contained these items. Low and behold, once we did reach the agricultural inspection at the airport, they had a big sign that had a list of all the items that one CAN take with them, after it goes through the agricultural inspection (which works just like the carry-on inspection, it's like a big X-ray machine) and guess what one of the items was: sand from a beach. Ugh!!!! So, if anyone plans on visiting Waikiki or the North Shore any time soon, can you bring me back just a little bit of sand? Please!
Speaking of sand, the sand on O'ahu has huge granules! They seemed to be slightly larger than table salt. I am obviously spoiled by the sugar sand that is on my beloved Lake Texoma beaches. It feels really gritty on your bare feet.
We had arrived at the airport with enough time to enjoy an over-priced meal at a restaurant to kill time before our flight. We arrived at our gate and within less than two minutes we were on the airplane that would take us back home. We purposely booked a one-way evening flight back to DFW with hopes of sleeping the entire way. No can do. I was surprised to see that at least 95% of the passengers were awake the whole time. I will say that I was very impressed with all of our flights with American Airlines. I hadn't been on a plane in a few years, but we each had our own TV with literally tons of movies or TV shows or games to play, all for free!!!! So that was pretty cool. We had a safe and un-eventful flight (Thank God!) back to Dallas. Once we landed though we were exhausted!!! We had planned on going back home to Little Axe, but our tired minds and bodies told us to go to our lake house, which was closer, instead. We called one of our awesome neighbor friends and he went over and turned our heat on for us. We arrived there around 9:00 in the morning and then we all went back to bed until around noon. It took us several days to get over being jet lagged, but I would say it was totally worth it!!! We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the island of O'ahu and are so thankful that my sister and brother-in-law invited us and provided us with free lodging at Aulani! Ma halo!
Daily Rainbow Count: 1