You can now find daily updates pictures and links to all of our Hawaii adventures! There will be pictures and youtube links in order for you to feel as though you were on this exotic island with us!
Students met at Wauwatosa West bright and early in order to depart (ahead of schedule!) for O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Upon reaching O'Hare Airport, students checked their luggage, went through security without a hitch, and waited around for the delayed flight to LAX
Students appreciated a beautiful view from the plane of the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon
We spent only 15 minutes at LAX due to an unforeseen delay of the flight. Students had time for a quick bathroom break and grabbed a bite to eat.
Students arrive in Honolulu, HI after after over 17 hours of travel. After their arrival they were "lei'd" (Hawaiian style) and gathered their luggage to depart for the hotel.
Day two, Sunday, began with a 6:30 sunrise church service on the beach. Then, students had free time at the beach with the option of parasailing, a surfing lesson, or a catamaran tour around the island. Lunch was on the students, and many tried foods they never had before. Dinner was an authentic Hawaiian feast at Germaine's Luau, a privately owned beach and luau, with a hula show.
After the church service, students had free time at the beach with options, for an additional fee, such as parasailing, catamaran tour, and surfing lessons. After the beach, students changed into their luau attire and boarded the busses to head to Germaine's Luau.
Students headed to the Secret Island early in the morning to catch a Polynesian show on fire making, coconut husking, and the Hawaiians use of the land. Students were able to see a Hawaiian plantation and reserve growing bananas, macadamia nuts, tarot, and more. They were visited by wild chickens, a largely appreciated favorite of many students. The students then took two boats out to the island where they were able to swim, kayak, and enjoy the sun. There was also a glass bottom boat that took students out to see the island, and there were quite a few sea turtle sightings! The students were served a beach barbecue with pulled pork sandwiches, pineapple, and salad. Students then had the opportunity to watch the Badger game in the lobby of the hotel. They then walked to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for burgers, pulled pork, or chicken salad.
Be sure to click on each of the pictures above to scroll through!
Tuesday started off with some free time for students. Many used the time to get caught up on sleep or go sightseeing around the hotel. Then they changed into their performance gear and headed off to Pearl Harbor. There was a short rehearsal first, and then the students gathered their things and performed outside of the USS Bowfin. Even though there were some unforeseen rain showers, the students powered through and played the best they ever have. After the performance, sandwiches were provided for lunch and students had the opportunity to visit the gift shop and tour the USS Bowfin. Finally, there was a guided tour to the USS Arizona, where students presented a flower wreath to the memorial. Students were also able to disperse the flowers from their leis into the ocean as an additional recognition to the fallen soldiers. They then departed from Pearl Harbor on a guided bus tour on the way back to the hotel. They then had free time and were able to get dinner and walk along the beach at sunset.
The morning started with a trip to Hanauma Bay for snorkeling. Haunama Bay is a Nature Perserve and a Marine Life Conversation, and therefore it is difficult to get large groups in. There were several vans that took groups of 14 students, and before reaching the park they were split into groups of 7 and shuttled into the park. They were then supplied with a snorkel and flippers and had the chance to swim with and see fish in their natural habitat. Then, students headed back to the hotel and had some time to get a bite to eat. They then changed into their performance gear to play at the Ala Moana Center Stage. Students were given meal money and got to spend some time shopping in the mall.
The day started bright and early with a trip to the Dole Plantation. Students were able to purchase dole whips and other souvenirs. Then, we headed to the north shore shopping complex for lunch on their own. They had an hour or so to shop and walk around. Then, they boarded the busses and headed to one of the beaches on the north shore. They had time to swim and lounge on the beach, and then were supplied a lunch of hotdogs, burgers, and chicken sandwiches. Finally, the group took one more bus ride to the symphony and were able to sit in on a dress rehearsal for an hour or so. Then students were bussed back to the hotel and some free time to walk around before lock in.
The morning started with an early hike up Diamond Head Crater. We went early to beat the crowd and the heat, and then had the opportunity to buy shave ice. Then students had almost 7 hours of free time to spend getting lunch, soaking up the sun, and lounging around the hotel. They then walked over to a park along the beach where both students and chaperones were taught how to hula (video included!). Then Hawaii's Friday night fireworks were launched, and students had time to walk around Waikiki and shop.
On the last day of the trip, students had until almost 11:00 to pack up their suitcases and clean their rooms up. Many students used this time to walk around and spend a final hour or so at the beach. They then gathered all their luggage and carry ons and headed down to the lobby. Everything was packed into the busses and students headed for the swap meet. This is a big open air market, and the students bartering skills were put to the test! There were lots of tshirts and jewelry stores, and everyone ended up picking up a few final souvenirs. Then we headed to a park for a combined bus meeting before heading to Buca di Beppo's for a family style Italian dinner. Then it was off to the airport. Students got through security without a hitch, and nearly everyone slept on the flight to LAX. The bus ride from Chicago to school was another quiet one, as the travelling really got to everyone at that point. Everyone made it home safe and sound, excited to be back at school in the morning!