Last day on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. So sad but ready to go home we were… We got up early again (okay so maybe only one of us willingly) and were off to go see the sunset again. We managed to get some more donuts (since our bagel and peanut butter supply were out) and starbucks coffee just after we watched the sunrise again on Diamond Head Beach.

Today we had a full exciting agenda of the things local in Honolulu since we were to fly out on the red eye from Honolulu International Airport. First stop was Iolani Palace (seen on Magnum P.I television shows) which was the only American residence in America that had royalty live in it. It was right in the middle of the city and we were sad to see there was no public parking anywhere. We drove around a few times since we wanted to go inside and take a tour. Unfortunately we could not find anything and seeing as it was a working day, the garages were full. So we took photos and drove through the small grounds to see the palace. While driving around for parking we also found the courthouse building another building that looked like a castle and a few other interesting attractions. We wanted to see the tour but couldn’t find it for some reason.
Next we drove just to a small park where we listened to the Hawaiian birds chirp in the trees and watched the rain drizzle on our Jeep window. It was very peaceful. We actually found a little shrine about a block away so we went to see it. It was my husband’s first shrine so I wanted to get him a good luck charm but unfortunately they only took cash, which we had none. So we had to find a gasoline station or store where we could get some money out of our debt card – which there were no stores for about 20 minutes away. Yikes! We ended up in this little side city that was filled with Chinese people and everything was in Chinese. It was very strange! But we found a good store and purchased some more pineapple, water and a few other things for our trip. Back to the shrine we got our charms and donated to the shrine.

As a promise to my niece, Emma, we went to Queen Emma’s summer palace which looked more like a residence on the island. It was actually a gift from her relatives since when growing up she loved the place. It is now run by a local organization that keeps the residence running, I believe the gift shop lady said that every person in the organization must have a family member that lived on the island before the 1800’s or something like that to be a member. We didn’t actually pay to go on a tour since we weren’t that interested being it is so small but we did donate a lot in the gift section for my two nieces. All the gifts in the shop are done local artists and all support the mission of the organization that runs the palace.

Finally back at our hotel we showered and got ready to check out of the hotel and then were off to the beach. The only problem with having a late flight is that you have to wait the whole day with your entire luggage. Thankfully we had paid our daily garage fee at the hotel already so it wasn’t that difficult. We headed to get some more bento items from the same place as last night and then to the beach we went. We were really tired by this time so it was hard to enjoy anything but a good nap on the beach.

Back again to our hotel to get our luggage and Jeep and off to the airport. We managed to get our Jeep fueled to the brim and get into the airport about three hours early. Let’s just say the airport was completely empty. The thing about an island is that the airports are not busy at all. We managed to get through the check point with our check in luggage and check in our bags. The night before we checked in through United’s iPhone app which makes things so much easier when you are on vacation… As we ate dinner the night before we checked in for the next day. We even managed to get better seats then when we first bought our tickets. So it was a win-win situation. We went to starbucks for a much needed soy frapp – which we were a bit sad learning that they DO NOT go along with the rewards card so we had to pay full price for our soy milk. I’m not one that approves of paying .60 cents for soy in our drinks when we have already paid the full price for a cow’s milk drink. I think people with soy drinks should get a discount first since they aren’t drinking the cow’s milk. But that’s just me. But, we were at our flight and got on the plane without too much of an issue. BTW, we have learned that airliners always tell customers that they are going to have to check in their luggage since the flight was “booked”. Yeah, we learned this isn’t true… So, don’t fall for it and just keep your luggage with you and see what happens, it’s much easier than having to check it in and then having it lost with all your presents.
Finally the next day we arrived back home on the mainland in Chicago. Next we just have to drive from Michigan to Ohio for the very last time. Hooray!