All right, writing up this trip for the edification of all you loyal readers is probably going to take me forever, so I guess I might as well get started!
Our first stop in Hawaii was on the island of Oahu, where we stayed in Waikiki. We started off our first full day there with a visit to Pearl Harbor. Which was maybe an odd choice, as it's not exactly a happy, vacation-y spot. I hadn't realized this, but the U.S.S. Arizona memorial is quite literally a graveyard; the bodies of the sailors who went down with her were left to rest where she sank. The mood is appropriately somber, and the experience of visiting the site is really quite moving. They also have some very good little museums there on shore, which are well worth a visit if you're at all interested in that particular period of history. The site is free to visit, if you ever get the chance, but I heartily recommend spending a few bucks for the audio tour, which includes, among other things, commentary from people who were actually there. (I've got no pictures worth sharing from that particular stop, though, sorry.)
Then, in a complete change of pace, we visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation, where you can ride around on a little train past working pineapple fields, as well as samples of a few of their other crops conveniently planted by the train tracks for the admiration of tourists. This includes a little narration about how the crops are grown and about the history of Dole in Hawaii, although, unsurprisingly, it leaves out all the more unsavory bits. (And thank you, Sarah Vowell, for telling me about those.) It's thus rather less interesting than it theoretically might have been, but feed me enough amazingly fresh pineapple and heavenly pineapple ice cream, and I can be induced to cheerfully put up with your corporate propaganda for a couple of hours. Man, that stuff was good. I ate tons of pineapple while I was in Hawaii, and I am still craving more.
They also had what's billed as the world's largest maze. I actually found this kind of creepy, initially, having seen/read one too many fantasy stories, in which labyrinths are never a good thing. They're especially not a good thing for someone with absolutely no sense of direction. Eventually we gave up on solving the thing, but the attempt was at least entertaining.
I don't have many pics from this stop, either, but here's a picture of an adorable baby pineapple. I think this was some exotic red variety they don't usually grow in Hawaii.
Don't worry. There will be some very pretty pictures on the next trip post!