Monday, June 9, 2008

The Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri

The one thing Jimmy said he wanted to see was the Arizona Memorial. We went the day after Memorial Day. Austin did really well and was very quiet. He's growing up so much! I remember not even taking him over to the memorial a few times because he wouldn't be quiet! :-)

We also went on the USS Missouri. For those who don't know, this is the ship that the peace treaty was signed on. You can explore a lot of the ship, so it's a lot of walking and stairs, but totally worth it! Here's a shot of me and Austin going down into the mess hall area of the ship. He wouldn't go down the stair by himself...he was scared. They were pretty steep, so I don't blame him one bit! :-)

Turtle Beach

We went by Turtle Beach while Jimmy was here. There was one turtle on the sand and this is a cool picture I got of him/her.
Another visit more recently, I learned that the scientists/volunteers that make sure the turtles are not disturbed by the tourists actually name the turtles that lay on the beach. They have 24 turtles that are named so far. A turtle has to come up on the beach 5 times in order to get named. If they don't ever come up on the beach, then they don't get named. There was a turtle in the water when we went and it had a tumor over it's eye. It's something similar to the HPV in humans and is easily passed from turtle to turtle. She only came up so far to the beach, then would turn around and go back a little deeper. The volunteer that was there said that they had seen her at this beach for a year and a half and she has never come up on the beach. They have no idea why.
We also learned that before the turtles were on the protected list (one step from the endangered list), hotels used to serve turtle soup and meat to their customers. They would come to this particular beach and find turtles, put them on their backs on the beach (so they wouldn't get away) and go out for another one. They would capture and kill about 30 turtles a day using this technique. Turtles only nest at the same place they were born. There used to be nesting spots on the 5 major islands of Hawaii. However, there are no longer any nesting spots...that means that the entire population of turtles that were born in Hawaii has been killed.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kualoa Ranch ATV tour

While my brother, Jimmy, was visiting, we tried to plan things that he would enjoy. The biggest of these things was probably the ATV tour at Kualoa Ranch. He owns his own 4 Wheeler, so I thought this would be something that he would enjoy doing. It wasn't exactly what we thought it would be, but it ended up being fun nonetheless!
They basically take you around this huge Ranch (4-5,000 acres) that a lot of movies use for their sets. This side of the island is also very cool looking with the unique mountains. Here are the pictures:
Brian and Jimmy in front of a set of Pearl Harbor (they also had all kinds of movie memorabilia in this real WWII bunker)

Jimmy and I with the ocean to our backs....the only picture of him and I together! :-)

Brian ready to get going!

Brian at Hurley's Golf Course on the TV show LOST

These are all the ATVs in our tour....

It is intended as a sightseeing tour along with some riding along the trails they have made. The instructional video we had to watch before getting on the ATVs said we would only go about 5-10 mph. We weren't sure after that if this was going to be as fun as we had orginally thought. However, it turned out better and we were going faster than the 10 mph. I can completely understand the safety issue of letting just any tourist go as fast as they want on one of these things!

Anyway, at the end, the tourguide took us through a path that had all kinds of dust dunes and picked up the speed. I think that is what really turned this tour around. We had a blast and when we got back, everyone was covered in dust and smiling.