Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hawaii: Day 5

May 15, 2009
Happy 17th Anniversary to us!
This morning we headed out for Pearl Harbor and decided to stop for a quick breakfast at McDonald's.  Check out the Hawaiian specialty breakfasts.  Eggs with rice and Spam or Portuguese sausage.  Apparently Spam is a big deal over there.   Also, along side the traditional apple pie they also have taro pie.  Interesting.
What I liked the most was that although we were not in a touristy area, after we got our order the lady said, Mahalo.  (Thank you in Hawaiian.)  It struck me that it wasn't just something cute they just do for the tourists, it is actually their culture to continue to use some native words.  Even the sign at the end of the drive thru said Mahalo instead of Thank You like everywhere else in the U.S.Then off to Pearl Harbor to go to the USS Arizona Memorial.  Since it is a National Monument, it has the same restrictions as all national monuments have had since 9/11.  
When we entered the building we were given a ticket (free) telling us what time our group would begin.  We were lucky enough to get in the next group.  First we were brought to a theater where we watched a documentary film about the Pearl Harbor attacks.  Pretty much made you really mad at the Japanese back then.  How insane do you have to be to pull this? Ultimately they ended up getting the raw end of the deal though.  Anyhow, after the film we got on a boat which took us out to the Arizona.  Very somber there.
1177 men died that day, many are still entombed in the ship below.  The Japanese  bomb that hit the USSArizona ignited the forward magazine causing an explosion that sunk the battleship in nine minutes.  They couldn't get out.  60 years later there is still oil leaking form the ship.  Apparently these are nicknamed the "tears of the Arizona".

The USS Missouri was docked nearby which is the same size as the Arizona.  We didn't tour it, but it is available for tours.  The white ball in the distance marks the front end of the Arizona.
This drawing gives you better perspective of the size of the ship under the memorial building-  the white narrow rectangle perpendicular to the ship below.
At one end of the memorial is a wall of names listing those killed in action.  Many had the same last names since many sets of brothers or father& son perished together that day.  I am so glad we went here and were able to pay our respects to those brave men.
After our thought provoking visit to the Arizona, we headed back to Laie.   The other side of the island is so beautifully lush and green.  This is not a great picture of the scenery from the car, but it reminded me of footage from the show Lost.
Our first stop in Laie was to the Temple.  It is closed for renovations, but we enjoyed walking the grounds, going to Visitor's Center and even Church distribution.  
Loved how all the little touch screens in the visitors center were in little  huts!!
Even the film viewing room had Hawaiian touches.
This sculpture was unusual to me, but it was created by the same artist who did the carved friezes atop the temple

We stopped next at the campus again.  Thought we'd have lunch at their version of the Cougareat.
Let's just say the Seasider is no Cougareat...
so we went next door to the Polynesian Cultural Center for lunch (our tickets were good for a repeat visit.)  We spent some more time browsing around the different island areas. Of course we had to stop in New Zealand so I could get a tattoo. ;)
Then to Tahiti to learn some hip shaking hula
and even to Easter Island to pose with the big heads.
We returned to our hotel in time to sit out on the beach and enjoy our last Hawaiian sunset together.  

Then off to dinner at the fancy restaurant at the hotel. What a great day- great week- to spend with my best friend.  How glad I am we chose each other all those years ago.


Holly said...

Wow! You postin fool! Good job!

So interesting about Mc Donalds, I remember Mc Donalds, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in England being different than the USA, but Hawaii is the USA. I guess it must be like fry sauce in Utah... :) Glad you documented it so we could see it too!

SOOO cool that you went to Pearl Harbor. That must have been totally sobering. I just can't imagine it. I think things like that are good for us, it reminds us that we have it good because so many have fought for us, constantly in harms way. Makes me want to watch the movie again...


Abby said...

Nikki, I have LOVED reading about your amazing trip! You guys sure do know how to vacation! :) I think we'll hire you as a vacation planner for our next trip!

Sunny said...

YEA! Posts! Way to get the Hawaii posts done before you head to Michigan! :) I would really like to go to Pearl Harbor! I remember when the movie came out thinking "Man our generation has no concept of what war really is. We have never experienced anything anywhere near this." It was really eye opening. Until then we'd only seen the first Gulf war which was pretty quick. I guess we've seen some thing now with 9-11-01. For better or for worse.

Dad said...

Agreed, Holly.
I felt moved just thinking about the memorial and what it represented as I read this post.
What a wonderful post to remember a very special time.
Congratulations, you two!

Leanne said...

~sigh~. I just love this post.

Caity said...

How awesome! You were right by my brother who is going to BYU-H. I'm trying to work something out for a nice little visit to him :)