We spent basically 2 months in Kailua, Oahu, trying to accomplish a few things. We went to help some friends while they went on vacation. We had the pleasure of looking after 2 very sweet dogs that we miss greatly – besides our friends of course.
We had the opportunity to meet new people and experience the 4th of July. It was an experience to say the least. We had first hand view of the fireworks and, for the first time, cuddle with animals through the night. Princess and Lily Rose are not fans of fireworks. I understand. I broke my rule. I never let animals sleep in the same room with me. I need my sleep too. This time, I couldn’t bear to see them shake from fear. I know the feeling. Magpie was ecstatic.
Thanks to the 4th of July party, I found out about a lovely woman that teaches swimming lessons. We talked. I booked. Magpie swims. Awesome! Now we can go snorkelling from anywhere. Aunty Pat – how she likes the kids to call her – is a great teacher and will be seeing us again, when we go back.
Most of the summer was laid back, but we did get to Pearl Harbour this time. It was a request from son#1 who came for a visit with my daughter. We had fun.
It is not possible to see everything at Pearl Harbour in one day. We were there first thing in the morning for one of the free tickets they give out. The only thing we did not go to was the Aviation Museum – it was hard not going, being ex air force. Son #1 and I both looked at each other when we drove by it, but we knew it was not possibly. We closed Pearl Harbour that day.
Getting to the USS Arizona Memorial
The free ticket that is given out is for the USS Arizona Memorial. When you receive your ticket it is for a specific time slot. This is still an active base, so only so many people are allowed out to the memorial in a day. The US Navy ferries everyone back and forth. How long you stay at the memorial is also controlled. The amount of time given is reasonable. Before you are taken over, everyone enters a theatre to watch a film of Pearl Harbour with actual footage. If you weren’t already feeling it, the movie helps put in the right mood.
Once at the USS Arizona, it is stressed that this is a memorial – grave site – and proper respect by not talking be observed. It is solemn. There are small sign posts dotted around explaining what you are seeing. The memorial floats over top the wreckage, where parts of the ship can still be seen. You will see oil leaks and it is all explained as to why there are still oil leaks. I am not going to go into minute details on everything. You must go and experience it.
If you have time before your time slot, a visit to the museum is a must. It is in a chronological order and is not so big that it is overwhelming. The museum brings the war full circle ending with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the push for peace with a little Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki and her thousand paper cranes.
Lots of information. Very interactive.
USS Missouri and Bowfin
On the USS Missouri we had the pleasure of talking with the brother of an officer who was there for the signing of the surrender. The Missouri also had a travelling exhibition from Japan on Kamikaze pilots. While on the deck of the USS Missouri, we happened to see a real submarine come into harbour, that was really cool, it was so long. Bonus was our next stop being the USS Bowfin – a submarine we could go into. Nowhere near the size of the one floating by but still as impressive.
Words cannot really do these exhibits justice. I leave the photos for you to experience.
We packed a lunch and because we arrived so early we had a parking spot at the front. Nothing is allowed past the gate unless it is in your pocket or in your hand. No bags, purses at all, no exceptions.
We thought it would be difficult with needing water and sunscreen, but choosing the right clothing helped immensely, along with a close parking spot.
Overall we all liked it and it surpassed our expectations. It was definitely an information and emotion overload.
Driving back, as it was now close to 6 pm, it was a dinner out and then hit the waves to relax.