Friday, April 24, 2015

Hawaii, Day One

I find do my blogging in a myriad of weird ways: right now I'm on the couch watching last night's episode of Jimmy Fallon on HuluPlus (Chris Evans AND Monty Python in one show?! Let me love you, Mr. Palin!) while tapping away at this. And speaking of HuluPlus, I just discovered three movies based on M. R. James' ghost stories while trying to find something to watch while eating my lunch. I usually don't enjoy wasting my time looking for movies and shows to add to my queue and then never watch, but I end up finding little gems here and there.

Okay, Hawaii pics. DAY ONE:

My older brother Jan wanted all his siblings and his Mom to come to Oahu, Hawaii and take part at his Retirement Ceremony (he's been in the Air Force since the mid-90's). The Hubs and I arrived first. Did I ever mention that this was the first time that The Hubs ever met my brothers? Yep.
On our first day, after a morning of hanging out with Jan, his wife Margaret and the kids (three boys and one lil'girl) we got to spend a cool three hours visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial.

It was very nice to go from bipolar Colorado weather to breezy sunshine and blue skies, let me tell ya'.
Anywhoo, we didn't reserve tickets for the ferry to the USS Arizona Memorial in advance but it wasn't a problem getting them at the ticket office. But it was seriously annoying to get stopped at the entrance of the Visitors Center by an overly enthusiastic employee informing me that I couldn't bring in my purse and that I had to check it in at the office, and all the while lots and lots more people were walking past us to get tickets. Jan and The Hubs took off without me to secure our tickets, while I stood there not really listening to this chick trying to be helpful but really just holding me back. Sorry, I understand you're just doing your job and the rules and regulations are there for a reason, but you almost cost us the last pair of tickets for the 12pm ferry.
I didn't tell her that. I just grinned politely and played dumb until the dudes got back.

Jan and Margaret had to pick up everyone else at the airport that afternoon, so The Hubs and I were on our own. There is a museum you can walk through while waiting for the ferry. I was really impressed with a lot of what I saw, from the displays to the videos. It's hard not to be affected, knowing that we were standing right there, in Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row.

The Hubs in front of a model of the Japanese aircraft carrier that launched the planes on December 7, 1941, "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy".

When you near the end of the exhibit, after all the displays of the destruction wrought by the attack and what followed, there is a area dedicated to Sadako Sasaki, the girl who while suffering from radiation-based leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima folded over a thousand paper cranes. When she was short on paper, she used medicine wrappers or went around to other patients' rooms to ask for some. Sadako died at age twelve in 1955. Since then, she is honored in Japan as a heroine and a symbol of the innocent victims of war.

In that little gray display box is one of the original paper cranes Sadako folded.

Since I really couldn't get a pic of the crane itself inside the display view, I found this one through Google. Not my image, never was, yadda yadda.

When it came time to see the USS Arizona Memorial, we all had to file into a small theater and watch a short documentary about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona. Again, it's hard not to be affected. Also, Blythe Danner was narrating the film, and her voice gets me right in the feels.

On the ferry at last.

The crowd was respectfully subdued, with exception of one or two little kids. I wasn't bovvered. The Hubs however told me at one point that he disliked tourists who came to Pearl Harbor just because it's just another place to mark off their itinerary before moving on. I did notice a few peevish acts of 'ugly tourist' syndrome but they weren't overt. It is the last resting place of a 1,100 plus servicemen who had perished on the USS Arizona during the attacks, so the area is technically a cemetery. So please, future visitors, be respectful.

To this day, oil still leaks from the wreck. I spotted a few slicks on the water's surface here and there.


The Shrine to the fallen sailors and marines.

When we got back to the house after our trip to Pearl Harbor, my younger brother Neil was already there. You know how every big family has that certain member who might be seen as a jack-ass (and I mean that affectionately) and is always ready with a smart-alecky comeback? That's Neil. When we were kids, he and Jan would tag team against me and tease me constantly, the punks.
Anywhoo, me and the Hubs tagged along with my bros to pick up my Mom, youngest sibling Evita and her two-year old daughter Lia/Leia/Lea, LEE-AH.

All together for the first time in six years!

My Mom is peeling garlic in this picture. Says it's relaxing. *shrugs*

Later in the day, me and my Mom took Lia and Jan's youngest child Jessica out to the playground. The Hubs tagged along only because I had been twisted his arm for an hour. Pearl Harbor wore him out.
While watching the kids play, my Mom and I got to catch up since we haven't been back to California to visit in a year. I haven't seen my brothers since FOREVER.


Evita and Jan's youngest boy Joey eventually joined us at the playground. On the walk back to the house, I made The Hubs grab a few low-hanging green mangoes from nearby tree for my Mom.
Poor guy. "How does it feel like to be the minority this time?" I jokingly asked him several times during our 4-day stay.

More in the coming days!

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