Sunday, April 29, 2013
Woke at 6:45am. The sun is shining, again!
It has become a routine, I make coffee and snack on mini-shredded wheats, and work on my blog.
Today we spend the day at Pearl Harbor. I made reservations a month ago. Due to government cutbacks, the hours to the USS Arizona Memorial have been cut, just like the tours to the White House. I can’t help but to think federal cuts could have been made elsewhere other than to services that really promote US pride and that a regular citizen can enjoy. Personally, I would have preferred that the President and First Lady reduce their staffs or that Congress lop off some bucks from research project (like the effect of cow flatulence) — but I guess that would have really hurt somebody!
As usual, my DH did some research and found that there are three major complaints about the Pearl Harbor attraction:
- Visitors are not allowed to bring in anything bigger than a camera and a wallet. I think that is fairly telling of the priorities of a federal funded attraction.
- Eating options are limited. Picnics are not allowed (see #1) and you have to eat the “special interest” of the day if you get hungry.
- You need reservations or you may not be allowed to see the USS Arizona. Yes, you may be denied that opportunity to pay your respects to the men who died to protect your liberties. Way to show us selfish taxpayers a thing of two, Congress!
Lucky for us, I knew about number #3 and as my DH is happy to remind me, a little bit of research makes for a great vacation! On the other hand, #1 and #2 are a huge annoyance! I’m a woman, I need my purse!!!!
We meet the shuttle that is to take us to Pearl Harbor at 9am at the hotel lobby. An hour later, we are at the Pearl Harbor gate. With reservation number and drivers license in hand, we get our tickets for the 11am shuttle to the USS Arizona Memorial. Actually, they never looked at my driver’s license. Admission is free but I paid $3 to book the reservation on line. I worked in the computer industry for years and I can tell you that an on-line reservation costs a fraction of a cent so $3 is a margin of 3000% . With an hour to spare, we decide to tour the submarine, the USS Bowfin.
The USS Bowfin was nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger and sank 44 enemy ships during the course of her nine extraordinary war patrols during WWII. What I found to be the most interesting is how compact everything is. The designers of submarines must be geniuses in space efficiency. Here are some pictures:
After the USS Bowfin, we climbed on to the launch and made our well to the park’s main attraction, the USS Arizona Memorial. This Memorial is a grave site for 900+ sailors who died here during the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Here are some pictures:
After the USS Arizona Memorial, we had lunch. The special interest today is beef, as in all-beef hot dogs! We bought a couple of hot dogs (at $3/each) and water (a bottle at $2). I must admit, they were pretty good!
After lunch, we made our way through the museums with an excellent audio tour. After that, we boarded the bus to take us to see the USS Missouri, the last battleship ever built and the biggest. Besides her extensive war record, it was on the deck of the USS Missouri that on September 2, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s surrender, thereby ending World War II. Here are some pictures:
At 3:45pm, we caught the shuttle back to the hotel. Around 5pm, we exchanged our shoes for sandals and walked down to the beach to watch the sunset. The evening was warm with a cool breeze and the beach was mostly empty. We took off our sandals and walked on the beach, dodging the waves breaking the shore.
We washed the sand off our feet at the Hilton Cabana. The bar on the beach looked tempting so we stopped at Tropics Bar for a cocktail and a little evening music.
Around 8:30pm, we returned to the Thai Square restaurant for some more amazing Thai food. It was just as good tonight as it was a few days ago.
At 10am we were back at the hotel. My DH is reading a book and I am taking care of the pictures and cameras. It was a really nice day filled with history, beauty, a Blue Hawaii cocktail, and spicy Thai food. Does it get any better than this?
Quote of the day: “All they have here are hot dogs?” — DH