My Hawai'i Adventure
I recently returned from an idyllic trip to Hawaii with my DH, our daughters and my parents. This vaca was a year in the making and it was worth the wait. At the risk of boring you to tears, here are a few of the sights we saw.
Day 1: We rented a van, drove around Diamond Head and up the coast to the North Shore. I was expecting to see huge waves once we got there, but it turned out to be the wrong time of year. However, every turn in the road opened into a gorgeous vista, stunning ocean views and breathtaking flowers.
Day 2: We met up with Kim Adams from SOS Aloha Blog at Pearl Harbor. My Dad was 6 when the attack happened and remembers hearing President Roosevelt’s speech on the radio, so this part of the trip was specially meaningful to him.
Kim delighted us with a “behind the scenes” tour. Her knowledge of the history was so detailed and fascinating, she really made Dec. 7, 1941 come to life in my imagination. The horrifying 90 minutes when 2238 Americans died changed history and roused a nation to commit to total war.
This is a little patch of oil seeping from the submerged USS Arizona, the watery grave for over 1100 sailors. After all these years, the wreck still weeps oil into the blue water of Pearl Harbor. Not all the crewmen assigned to the Arizona died that day, but when they pass they have the option to be interred with their shipmates. Legend says the ship will stop leaking oil when the last crewman comes home.
Kim took us to see the USS Utah, the forgotten memorial. It was a training ship where 50 some lives were lost, including author Pamela Clare‘s “Uncle Joe.” This was my second trip to Pearl Harbor, but I hadn’t known about the second memorial.
Kim did a terrific job explaining how frantic and disorganized the Americans were when the Japanese attack surprised them. She showed us the place where the commander of the Nevada beached his ship rather than clog the harbor mouth when it became clear they couldn’t make it to open sea.
Pearl Harbor wasn’t the only place that was devastated by the attack. Hickham airfield was also decimated. All the planes were lined up, wing-tip to wing-tip, in the middle of the field. If we’d tried, we couldn’t have presented an easier target.
The Pacific Air Command building was strafed with a hail of fire. As you can see from this picture, the bullet holes have been left in the building. Even inside, there are holes in the metal staircase. There was no place of safety on that dark day.
Only a little distance from the Arizona memorial, the USS Missouri (The Might MO) rides at anchor. It was the site of the Japanese surrender and provided a sense of closure for our tour.
As a side note, the USS Missouri features prominently in the upcoming movie BATTLESHIP, which opens May 18th. After seeing the real thing, I think I’ll have to check out the movie!
One of the biggest highlights of our Day 2 for me was getting to know Kim better. Since I’ve been published, I’ve been blessed to make a number of “virtual” friends. When we finally meet in real life, we click together like magnets. Meeting up with Kim in Hawaii was no exception.
Thanks again to my friend for a wonderful day exploring the history of Pearl Harbor. The generous gift of her time and knowledge demonstrated the best of what they call the “spirit of Aloha.”
Wow, we haven’t even made it to the cruise ship yet! Well, that’s a tale for another day.
Now it’s your turn. Have you taken a trip that excited your imagination?