Being our departure day we got up early and headed to Diamond Head, the last item undone on our list. Ok, it was a mental list of things to do; I am not much of a list maker.
Unexpected highlight of the trek upward is that we passed Rex Ryan (head coach of the NY Jets) on the trail up Diamond Head. I didn't place the face to a name when I saw him & he walked by, but I knew his face was celebrity. Twenty yards later when I passed a girl in a NY Jets t-shirt the name came to me. Too bad it didn't register when I first saw him, I'd have yelled Go Jets!
The hike up Diamond Head was only 0.8 miles from the park parking lot but it was a side-busting hike. The trail is largely uneven dirt & rock that winds via several switch backs up the interior slope of the crater wall. A pair of sets of steep stairs and a poorly lit 200+ foot tunnel have to be managed before getting to the old gun emplacement you need to squat down and crawl through to get to the observation decks.
Only the way up I cussed many times & questioned my sanity for bringing the family here for this vacation's final event. But once at the top we were glad we took the challenge. Great views, excellent photos, and we got to look down on scores of folks still hiking up. Yeah we didn't feel sorry for them.
Breakfast: Leonard's bakery is where we went to recharge our post hike batteries. Known for their Malasadas, an island pastry or doughnut, we grabbed a bunch & brought them back to the hotel.
With about 90 minutes to kill before having to check out we ate, did our final packing, & chilled a bit.
We checked out just before noon, which left us about six hours before we needed to be at the airport. So off to the theatre we went to see Transformers-3. Simply we were drained from the weeks activities & I had had enough sunshine & sand and was ready to return to mostly cloudy skies & concrete again. The movie was good, surprising for the third movie of a series. I can't imagine there being a 4th, but then I won't be surprised if they cook up a plot for Transformers Quattro.
Lunch: Mmmm, airport food at Chowmein Express where I feasted on Spicy Chicken & chowmein noodles; it filled the void below.
Our plane departed Honolulu right on time, 9:09pm
Dinner: for the flight I brought a package of shortbread cookies & diet coke.
The 4hr:20min flight was by the book or shall I say better than that as we arrived 23 minutes early. But as soon as we deplaned to the terminal we learned that our flight to Chicago was delayed 2 hours due to "operational" reasons. Not sure what that means other that we got 2 extra hours to lounge in San Fran.
Breakfast: A breakfast burrito & orange juice from a mexican joint at the airport food court.
Up up & away we went at 8am San Fran time & we landed in Chicago at 1:40pm. Two hours later we were home, exhausted, and very grateful for our time together in Hawaii.
Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!