My Hawai'i Adventure

H1 Highway

H1 Highway

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.


USS Arizona

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.

USS Utah

USS Utah, The "Forgotten" Memorial

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.


Hickham Air Base

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.

The Mighty MO

The Mighty MO

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!

Kim from SOS Aloha

Kim from SOS Aloha

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?

17 thoughts on “My Hawai’i Adventure

  1. Cate S says:

    Alaska is awe inspiring… and I would like to see Hawaii. I love seeing it through your blog..

  2. Betty Hamilton says:

    Yes. About 15 yeaars ago, my son and I left South Florida to tour the South West by car. We traveled west on route 10 and took many side trips into the states that we drove through. We visited many National and State parks and other points of interest. The return drive was to the north (I think route 40) so that we were in different parts of states already visited of different states altogether. To us, it was a once in a lifetime vacation. I put well over 7,000 miles on my car.

    1. Mia says:

      7000 miles! Now that’s a step or two. If you have the time, a road trip is still the best way to explore.

      1. Nynke says:

        Ooh, a road trip… I’m taking driving lessons at the moment, and I’m so looking forward to being able to drive myself (and Asbjørn) around on holiday! And the US must be one of the best countries to do that in.

  3. Pamela Clare says:

    Yes, it was very sad. His bride never remarried. She lived as a widow for the rest of her life. I find that to be so very sad. To be a bride one week, then kiss your new husband goodbye and lose him in the same couple of hours.

    I posted their photos on SOS Aloha on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

  4. Liz says:

    Isn’t Kim the best?

    Memoriable pictures and description.

  5. Jeanne Miro says:

    Hi Mia!

    I know exactly what you mean when you talk about Kim. She really makes you feel like your part of her family. I’ve already invited her to come visit for a lobster and clam bake when she in “my neck of the woods”!

    My dream of a lifetime happened when I earned a trip to England from my work and got to take my husband to Stonehenge . He is a Master Stone Mason as well as history “buff” and his one dream has always been to visit there. He spent hours simple examining the wonder before him.

    My favorite moment on the trip was when we went to Salisbury and when we opened the doors of the Cathdral beautiful organ music filled the air. We were the only visitors there at the time and had our own private concert!

  6. Pamela Clare says:

    Hi, Mia — I’m so glad you had a great vacation. Kim is wonderful, isn’t she? She’s reconnected us with events there.

    Thanks for paying a visit to my Uncle Joe Connor. He was a newlywed and had just gotten back from his honeymoon when the attack occurred. He worked in the boiler room and went down with the ship. His body remained on the ship, so the site of the Utah is quite literally his grave.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Oh, how sad that your uncle was a newlywed. That makes it even worse somehow–to go from such joy to such horror. God bless him and his bride.

  7. Marcy W says:

    Thanks, Mia, wonderful pics and I’m always touched by any stories of Pearl Harbor Day. Glad you went to Hickham, where the attack was indeed swift and deadly. The confusion, even among well-trained troops, must have been incredible. What a good start to your Hawaiian sojourn. — And it’s always better with someone local to help; Kim sounds like a great gal. I’m looking forward to more pics whenever you have time to get them up.
    And Dr Nynke, Venice in July sounds absolutely grand! May we hope for pictures from that trip?? :)
    To answer Mia’s question, I was ten when we toured Switzerland (Dad was stationed in Germany for four years), and read “Heidi” as we drove through the alps. Mom was exasperated, but I thought it was great to look out at exactly those mountains as I read! :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Marcy, I’ll bet you “were” Heidi for that trip, weren’t you? What a lovely melding of imagination and reality!

    2. Nynke says:

      I’ll do my best, Marcy!

  8. Aloha, Mia! It was my privilege and pleasure to share with you!

    I offer you a Hawaiian proverb:

    A’ohe hana nui ka alu’ia.

    Translation: No task is too big when done together.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Mahalo nui loa, Kim!

  9. Nynke says:

    Wow, 2238 dead in 90 minutes! I had no idea it was that swift and deadly… Also, I now realize what was wrong with my spelling of ‘Hawaii’. I’m looking forward to the rest of your travel journal!

    I’m also looking forward to my summer holiday in Northern Italy! We’re going to see Venice for the first time. It must be packed with people in July, and my stepmom found it stinky, but I still think it’ll be fascinating and wonderful, going there with my boyfriend!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      The Hawaiian language is made up of only 12 letters, five of which are vowels. The pronunciation of the vowels mirrors romance languages and all of them are voiced–no dipthongs.

      Venice sounds like a wonderful adventure. I hope you’ll post some pics on your FB! Hi to Asbjorn!

      1. Nynke says:

        I will most certainly post pics after the holidays. :)
        And Asbjørn says hi back!

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