Meg and Griff woke up extra early this morning to prepare a delicious pancake and egg breakfast. The sun was shining bright after the morning rain as the participants gathered to eat. After breakfast, we piled into the shuttle van to head towards Honolulu, saying goodbye to our North Shore home. Honolulu is a bustling city much like L.A., except more tropical. We explored Waikiki while our rooms at the hotel were being prepared.
Just before 3pm, we checked in to our rooms, and quickly left for our visit to Pearl Harbor. This wasn’t just any normal tourist visit though. Thanks to Officer Ben Ralen of the U.S.S. Chafee, the Zeal team was authorized to enter the U.S. naval base on Pearl Harbor and tour an active ship. The ship is a guided missile destroyer. It was definitely a one in a lifetime experience.
(Photos were not allowed, this is a stock photo)
During the two-hour tour, we met the Captain of the ship as well as the weapons specialist who is in charge of training all personnel aboard to use the various weapons systems. Officer Ralen remarked after the tour that to meet them, speak with them, and have the opportunity to ask questions is unheard of. We walked all through the ship, seeing the bridge, barracks, officer mess hall, helicopter bay, and front section of the ship.
After the tour, we went back to Waikiki for our final dinner in Hawaii. After much deliberation, we chose Buffalo Wild Wings.
It was a great day, and visiting Pearl Harbor was a perfect end to the Hawaii portion of the trip. Hawaii has far exceeded our expectations, bringing new adventures every day. We’ve seen our group grow from a group of strangers in to something so much more special. We can’t wait to bring these new experiences and friendships onwards to the next portion of our trip. And with that, tomorrow, we’re traveling from here in Hawaii to Anchorage, Alaska. We can not wait!!