Out of all the times my parents took our family to Hawaii as I was growing up, I never actually made it to visit Pearl Harbor. Every time we went to Oahu it was to visit family, and they we whisked away to Maui where everything is slower paced. I’ve never really been a tourist on Oahu. This visit we went to visit family, but since Nathan, Kristy, and Shaina had never been to Pearl Harbor either, we decided to be tourists for a day.
My Auntie Cathy came with us, and we set out for the harbor. We looked at the visitor’s center museum while we waited for our time slot to see the Arizona memorial. When it was time to go line up, we used Uncle Scott’s wheelchair to our advantage:
Then we took a boat ride out to the memorial, which sits over the actual ship. Parts of the ship stick up above the water, but most of it is under the surface, and you can just make it out. There has also been oil leaking from the ship for 70 or so years since it sunk. I found it pretty interesting that men who served on the ship and escaped alive can choose to have their ashes placed on the ship. The whole tour was pretty somber. I didn’t feel overly patriotic, but sad for the whole world. Every person who was killed in the war had a family somewhere.
After the Arizona memorial tour, it was super warm and our energy was sapped. We decided to eat our picnic lunch just outside the gates. Simon dropped a pretty large chunk of graham cracker, and a cockroach scuttled out from a crack in the cement and was trying to carry it around. I was alternately amused and horrified at the same time.
After lunch we were ready for more. We chose to tour the Missouri Battleship. It was really interesting to see the officer’s quarters versus the accommodations for everyone else. They had a huge cafeteria, post office, lounges, and more. We got to stand on the spot where World War II ended.
About halfway through, Simon fell asleep. He needed a nap so I was glad, but having his body tucked next to mine in the ergo on a hot sunny day was not comfortable! You can tell from his flushed cheeks that he was pretty warm as well.
Later in the evening, my Auntie Cathy and Uncle Vince, and my cousin Chuck and his wife Eurlyn came over to our hotel for dinner. Simon makes friends with anyone who will read him a story, and Auntie Eurlyn is super nice. The boys enjoyed themselves while we all visited.