Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 5, 4/16

We got up early on Wednesday morning for our planned trip to Pearl Harbor. We knew we needed to get their early, and we did….but so did thousands of other people. The line was wrapped around the block so we decided to deviate for a while. We headed over to the Pro Bowl stadium, where on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays there is a swap meet with all the cheap souvenirs you could imagine. We walked around for a while, walking away with only a few things. Most of it was pretty much the same, and lots of haggling involved. It was a lot of fun, though!

Once we headed back to Pearl Harbor we had a 2-hour wait until our turn to see the USS Arizona. So we did an audio tour of the onsite museum, which was really interesting. Especially the part where it describes the typical day in a soldier’s life on a battleship. I took lots of pictures to show my grandpa, who spent years on a battleship during his time in the Navy during WWII and the Korean War. I want to hear more.

Then we took a short tour of the USS Bowfin submarine. Made me claustrophobic, but put a lot of perspective into life on a sub. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the USS Missouri battleship, but we did take the boat over to the USS Arizona.

It really is very sobering to stand above this battleship that is sunken right beneath you. You can see the ship, see details at times. Part of it sits above the water line. You can watch oil droplets rise to the surface every minute or so….1-2 liters each day. But knowing that it could not be raised and that 900 men are buried down there…it’s really sobering. The whole memorial was very well done, and makes me wish America had had a similar reaction to the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars that we had after Pearl Harbor. I’m constantly amazed at what men and women in the military do for us that we never understand.

After finally finishing up, we headed back to Kailua and made it down to the beach. After snorkeling in rough open waters and seeing nothing, Dad and I headed back to the shore where John had been watching some people boogey boarding and body surfing. He was interested. Two boogie boards later, the three of us were taking turns riding the waves. There was sand…lots of sand…everywhere. But it was lots of fun, even though John’s knees were pretty beat up from sand burn!

Once again, soak in pool and hot tub and dinner at home.

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