Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kualoa ~ Long back

Just a warning, today was very eventful, so this is going to be one quite long and detailed post!

Saturday morning, alarms were set for 6:00am which was definitely difficult, and we were on the road by 6:30 across the island of Oahu to the East Shore where the Kualoa Ranch is located. As we were driving, we knew we'd have a great day, because out of the blue we saw the end of a rainbow!!

At the ranch, we had a full day of expeditions booked and were ready for some adventure! :) 

Our first expedition was a movie site tour. I had previously known that movies such as Jurrassic Park and Pearl Harbor, as well as shows such as LOST and Hawaii 5-O were filmed here on Oahu, but there are so many more films/tv series' filmed here as well! Movies like 50 First Dates, George of the Jungle, Godzilla, A Brady Bunch Special, and many more. And we got to visit where of these movies were filmed on this tour. 

Pearl Harbor

Jurassic Park!

Scenes from 50 First Dates were filmed along this road.

This is an original "Godzilla" footprint that used to be 6 feet deep.

You, Me and Dupree.

50 First Dates

Here is where scenes from Pearl Harbor were filmed, and also, on December 7, 1941, there was a boy scout troop camping on these hills, and they were just about the only ones who actually saw the Japanese planes fly through this exact valley on their way to Pearl Harbor. 

Mighty Joe Young

A poster from Jurassic Park.

The Cast of LOST...

...and Hawaii 5-0.

This is the submarine used in LOST.

Next up was a tour of the ancient fish pond and gardens on the ranch. We saw star fruit trees, guava trees, jack fruit trees, macadamia nut trees, cacao plants, coffee plants, tora plants, mango trees, red ginger and many more plants and flowers. Here are some pictures of what we saw

This is a guava that we got to pick!

Star Fruit

A Jack fruit tree...

And the actual Jack Fruit which when fully grown, weighs up to 80 pounds!

This is a macadamia nut that we got to crack open and eat! It was delicious :)

And here is a papaya tree.

We then went to the ancient fish pond which is 800 years old and 125 acres in size. There are many kinds of fish in here and we got to learn all about how the fish come in, how the water flow works and even got to go on a boat out onto the pond and get a closer look of the stone walls that surround the pond to preserve it.
Here is a Chinese racing boat, and you can see the huge fish pond in the background.

These are some of the predator fish in the pond such as the Jack Fish, which is the yellow-ish one in the middle and the barracuda on the top.

Also on the side of the pond, is a chapel that was actually one of the movie sites for the movie Soul Surfer!

Next up was lunch which was provided for us and was just a buffet style meal.

It was then time for our next excursion, which was an ATV tour!

Let me tell you, riding ATV's is one of the greatest things ever, but what made it even better is that we got to drive them UP the beautiful mountains and through the valleys. We couldn't take pictures while riding, but this is what we rode.

After that we went on a Jungle Expedition up the other side of the mountain range and through the jungle. We saw a few more filming sites of some of the same movies/shows and we even got to try a mountain apple!

They were definitely interesting, and not something I'd reach for, but they weren't too bad. They taste kind of like a mix between a watery pear and an apple.

This is the vehicle that we were on for this expedition, and this tour was one of the bumpiest this ever. There were no smooth parts, it was just constant bumps and flying out of the seat, but fun nonetheless :)

This concluded our day of four excursions, but there is also a petting zoo on the ranch so we went over there...

...and saw goats climbing and just chilling in the trees.

Big turtles.

And fat, sleeping pigs.

We also did some shopping at the gift shop for souvenirs, and it was then time to go. Today was a really fun one, and definitely a highlight of my mom's vacation here. On our way back to Honolulu, we passed the Stairway to Heaven again, which I talk about in yeaterday's post, and we actually saw people on it even though it was 3:45 in the afternoon! It is now an even bigger goal of mine to climb those steps one day.

We were very sweaty from the day, so we went back to where we were staying, showered and got freshened up, and then went back to Aulani for a nice dinner and evening.

We saw another beautiful, Hawaiian sunset.

A Koi fish pond

And even got to watch a Hawaiian music performance which was really cool.

That concludes our last full day together. I am so grateful to have had my mom on this trip with me, and will miss her presence greatly when she leaves tomorrow and I will be on my own. 

We had such a great day and I hope you enjoyed this post! :) Talk to you tomorrow.

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