Islands

Spending the Morning at Pearl Harbor

Visiting Pearl Harbor was an educational and moving experience for us! There are so many ways to spend your day here. For instance, you can go to the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri, check out the aviation and Pacific Fleet Submarine museum, walk through the exhibit galleries, and so much more. You could easily spend the entire day visiting all of the different sites. However, because there were ten of us with varying attention levels, we decided to just spend a morning at Pearl Harbor. We tried to get tickets to the USS Arizona, but they sell out everyday online within a couple of minutes and it was impossible to get ten at the same time. So we opted for the impressive USS Missouri!

USS Arizona Memorial spend the morning at Pearl Harbor
USS Arizona Memorial
USS Missouri. Spend the morning at Pearl Harbor
USS Missouri

The USS Missouri

The USS Missouri is located on Ford Island. From the visitor center you take a quick shuttle and you’re there! It was quite an impressive sight! The battleship is ripe with history featuring exhibits, historical information, and free guided tours. We were impressed with the amount of things to see and do on the ship. Each deck has different areas to read and learn about, and we were able to explore at our leisure. It was an incredible feeling knowing that we were standing in the very spot where the signing of Japanese surrender happened during WWII. It is also important to note that this was the last battleship ever built. The USS Missouri was launched on January 29,1944 and remained active for over 70 years since then.

The kids had a blast looking at the massive size of the ship. In addition, they were fascinated with how the military lived and worked onboard. Some of the bunk beds had three beds each to them! The workers even had a small scavenger hunt for kids which had them hunting for certain objects around the ship. It kept them entertained and happy! They even learned a bit about WWII and the sacrifices that our military makes to defend our country.

We spent over two hours on the ship, going up and down very steep staircases and dodging low hanging doorframes. I definitely could have spent more time reading all of the information at the exhibits and exploring a little more. There was so much interesting stuff to comb through. However, we managed to see every deck and room, and we made it out of there before it got too hot!

Food and Pool

Since the temperature was quickly rising and we were just a little parched, we bought some amazing shaved ice from one of the food trucks just outside the Missouri. This provided a nice break and relief from the heat!

We took the shuttle back to the Pearl Harbor visitor center and couldn’t believe how crowded it had gotten. The line for the shuttle to the USS Missouri was wrapped around the bend. This was one of many benefits to our early rising because of the time change… we beat the crowds and the heat!

On the way back to the resort we went into Pearl City and picked up some poke bowls to go from Poke On Da Run. They were divine! Spending the morning at Pearl Harbor was a great option for us as we then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the pool. It was the perfect day filled with education, awe, and pool time.

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Favorite Things to Do in Capri

Capri from above

While we lived in Italy, we visited Capri six times. Visit there once, and you’ll understand why! Capri is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, close to the Amalfi Coast and very popular among tourists and locals.

For our first visit, on a hot and sunny day, we were joined by Jon’s parents, Joe and Lori. Later, we explored the island with other family and friends. It’s amazing that even on a small island, you can find so much to do. Some of our favorite things to do include riding up to Monte Solaro, walking to Arco Naturale, and enjoying time on the water!

Amazing Views on Monte Solaro

One of the places that we visited multiple times was Anacapri. On many visits with family and friends we hopped on a bus, which took us up some very narrow and winding roads to the town of Anacapri.

The ancient Greek prefix “ana” means “up” or “above,” signifying that it is at a higher elevation than the town of Capri. We caught the Seggiovia (chairlift), which took us to Monte Solaro. This is the highest peak of the entire island, at just about 2,000 feet. As we rode up the incline, we passed private homes and pretty gardens and orchards. At the top, we were welcomed with amazing views of the bays and Capri down below. The first time we visited, it was pretty hazy day so we couldn’t see as far as we wanted to, but other visits allowed us to see out into the distance.

Strolling Around Capri

Simply walking around the town of Capri is also one of our favorite things to do. (Sometimes you don’t need a big plan or a major landmark to have a great time, right?) We walked around the streets, gazing into little boutiques. Every once in a while we stopped, took in the views, and continued on our way.

We bought some Italian goodies and souvenirs and explored the narrow streets and shops along the way. We even stumbled upon a few streets that looked like they could be Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue.

Stairs and walkways crisscross the island, making it accessible and fun to explore!

Besides walking around the town, we also hiked and walked to Arco Naturale. There is a pretty well marked path from the center of Capri to the Arco Naturale. The path involved a lot of steps and walking, but it gave us amazing views of the cliffs and water.

It is definitely one of our favorite things to do in Capri!

Water Fun

The warmer season is a great time to rent a boat. You can drive it yourself or opt to have someone else drive it for you. I’ve experienced time on the water both ways, and it’s a wonderful way to relax, and see hidden gems that you may not have seen.

During one visit, my friend, Liz, and I rented a boat at the marina near the ferry. We enjoyed ourselves for two whole hours!

We were able to drive around the island and see beautiful views and rock formations. After an hour, we found a nice beach, where we thought we’d stop to enjoy the snacks and wine we’d brought. But when we dropped the anchor, it snapped right off of the rope!

After some hysterical laughter, we realized the swaying of our boat wasn’t safe and we had to make a quick exit to calmer waters. When we got back to the pier, we told them what happened and they shrugged and said, “It happens.”

Nevertheless, we loved this unique experience!

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