Hawaii : ATV rides in Jurassic Park!

I woke up this morning feeling excited because we were riding ATVs this afternoon.  I’ve never gone before and I was a little nervous because I was told that you need a decent amount of strength to control it.  I wasn’t in the best shape so I was worried that I wouldn’t even be able to go.  But still, I wanted to try it.

After breakfast, Papa Steve and Tita Rachel picked us up from the hotel.

IMG_2177Quick picture in the lobby while waiting for them

On the way to the ranch, I snapped some pictures of the road signs because I thought the names were cute:

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Before going to the ranch, we stopped by Mokoli’i first.  Some people know it as Chinaman’s Hat.  It’s a small island that resembles a Chinese hat (although I think it looks more like a Vietnamese hat).

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I found this painting online by Dean Howell, which shows how people must envision the Chinese man wearing the hat:

The water is pretty shallow so you can actually walk to the island during low tide, but we decided to just stay on shore and take a few photos while admiring the view.

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The “noisy” ladies in Papa Steve’s car 😄  (They have extremely loud voices, especially when they’re excited.  Luckily Ezra, Kurt and I were in a separate car)

We asked someone to help us take this complete group photo

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In return Papa Steve took pictures for them:

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We saw this cute couple taking pictures by the shore too:

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Honeymooners? 😄

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As usual Kurt was going around taking lots of videos of Ezra

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On our way back to the car we saw these birds

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Whatchu lookin’ at?  (He reminds me of Woody Woodpecker)

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 We also came across these nuts:

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I thought they were macadamias but I later found out that they were Kukui nuts

After a few more minutes of driving, we arrived at the Kualoa Ranch.  It’s a famous tourist destination because it has been used as a film location for many popular movies and TV shows such as Jurassic Park, Lost, Pearl Harbor and Godzilla.  They offer lots of activities such as tours, ATVs, and horseback riding.

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First we stopped by the ticket office to sign up for the ATV tour

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My parents didn’t want to go on the ATV so they signed up for the backlot/movie site tour instead

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We still had about 2 hours before the tours started so we walked around the place a bit

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There were lots of horses there

There was also a small petting zoo which we decided to check out

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Saying hello to Mr. Tortoise

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Funny thing was that he was kept in the same pen as this fat pig

We also saw some goats which made Ezra very happy.  (She was still addicted to Cuticle Detective Inaba at this time and called all of them Don Valentino.)

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After taking a look around, we went to the cafeteria to grab some lunch

Ezra and I shared a loco moco

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If you remember, we had this on our first night at the Trump Cafe.  Of course Trump’s version is more upscale so it looked a little different

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Trump’s loco moco

But this is what a regular loco moco looks like

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Yum~

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I saw this aloe vera drink there and I was curious so I decided to get it.  I’ve never tried aloe vera before, I just know it’s good for your skin.  I was breaking out quite badly at the time so I hoped this would help.

Finally it was time for our ATV tour

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Kurt went on this tour before and he warned us it would be EXTREMELY dusty so we prepared some masks just in case.  We also made sure to get some goggles to protect our eyes (although I didn’t use mine because I wore my glasses during the tour).  Fortunately we didn’t have that much problem with dust because it rained a few minutes before, so the ground was damp.  (We were actually worried that we were going to have to ride in the rain, but thankfully it stopped right before our tour started.)

Before getting on the ATVs, we were briefed and shown an instructional video.  They had different videos for different languages – Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English.  We went with the English group of course.  (Funny thing was the staff thought we were lost and kept saying “This is the English video”.  We didn’t realize that they were talking to us at first, but we assured them that we were in the right place.)

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The video was about the the Do’s and Don’t’s of ATV riding, and it was pretty funny

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All set!

We were grouped into sixes and were assigned a guide for each group.  I took a few photos before we started because we weren’t allowed to have our cameras out while operating the ATV.

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I kept my jacket on even though it was warm because I didn’t want to get sunburned.

We told our guide that this was Ezra’s and my first time riding an ATV so she placed us at the very front of the pack to keep an eye on us.  We made a few laps around the area first to warm up before getting on with the tour.  I was a little worried because at the briefing they warned us that if we sucked during the practice round they would take us out of the ATV tour and make us join the bus tour. How embarrassing!  Fortunately we passed and we didn’t have to get kicked out.

The tour was fun.  Our guide took us to a couple of rough paths, which was a little challenging but exciting.  The only problem I had was that my hands were shaking badly about 20 minutes in because I had to keep a tight grip on the handlebars (that’s where the gas was).

We passed several beautiful locations where I would have loved to stop to take photos, but we were told that we weren’t allowed to get off the ATVs.  We did make a stop at this magnificent place though:

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This was where Jurassic Park was filmed.  In my last entry I mentioned that Nicki Minaj’s Starships music video was shot at the beach cove we went to the previous day.  If you watch her video you can see that some parts were also filmed here as well.

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Doing good so far 🙂 (Even though my hands were shaking)

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Quick selca before we had to go again

I didn’t take many photos because we were too busy taking in the view, but Kurt managed to shoot some footage of us.  (I’ll post the videos here on my blog after I finish all my Hawaii entries.)

After this we rode around some more before returning to the starting point where the next tour was waiting to start.

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Hooray!

The adults also had fun on their movie site tour.  They took plenty of photos and I figured I’d share some of them here as well

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The bus they rode

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It was a scenic tour with plenty of amazing sights

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They saw some people on the ATV tour (different group from ours though)

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Of course the tour highlighted several famous filming locations:

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I used to really love this show but I got bored after season 2

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(We saw these signs on our ATV tour too but we weren’t allowed to stop.  Huhu, I wanted a picture with the Jurassic Park sign too T__T)

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Their tour finished earlier than ours so they stopped by the museum near the cafeteria

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We met up later in the cafeteria where we were already waiting for them:

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IMG_7055a (4)aI took this selfie while waiting for our parents, which Kurt decided to “improve” by showing off his belly.  I censored it for your sake 😄

We wanted to see the museum too so Papa Steve and Tita Rachel took us there while my parents rested.

We had fun playing around with this huge wooden barrel

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Rawr

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Ugggh

Before we left we decided to take one last peek at the horses.

The ranch was about to close so they were all being washed and fed

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After this Papa Steve and Tita Rachel took us to this Macadamia store to buy some pasalubong

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I passed the time trying out all the free samples

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Aside from nuts, they had other local products for sale too

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Ninang being Donya Asela

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Were pretty tired so we sat around while waiting for my mom to finish shopping

Outside we saw a limo:

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I’ve never been inside a limo before, it’s something I’d like to experience some day 🙂

Before heading back to out hotel, we stopped by Chinatown to try this Durian shake which Kurt and Papa Steve recommended

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The shakes were made with fresh or frozen fruits.  None of that artificial powder flavoring crap.

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They had all sorts of flavors to choose from.  I wanted to try the mango and lychee but I went with durian since that’s what we came here for.

Finally it was time for us to go back to our hotel

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Shoes and slippers all lined in the hallway entrance

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and talking about the highlights of our day.  We also watched the sun set from our balcony:

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We were too tired to go out for dinner so Papa Steve had some Pizza Hut delivered to our room, which I really appreciated.  I always enjoy having dinner in the comforts of our hotel room 🙂

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Pizza, cheese sticks and hot wings

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Ninang being her wacky self while posing with a chicken wing and pizza slice

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Later that evening we enjoyed a free firework display courtesy of the Hilton Hotel.  We had a great view from our balcony 🙂

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Such a lovely way to end a wonderful day 🙂

Related entries:

And if you prefer watching videos to reading long blog entries, then you can check out some videos that Kurt made of our Hawaii trip by CLICKING HERE.

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