Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two Weeks Continued... Pearl Harbor

One of the other days we went into Honolulu we went to go to Pearl Harbor. As someone who is just missing a foreign language requirement to get a Bachelor's degree in History, I have always loved history. On top of that my Grandpa fought in World War II, and the Bowfin, the submarine at Pearl Harbor is the same class as the Apagon that he was on, so Pearl Harbor was a must.

We were able to go out to U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, and after getting back from being out there I told my aunt that to me it was almost emotionally exhausting being there at Pearl Harbor. It was fascinating, but it literally made me feel exhausted. I have always been a bit more "sensitive" about things and events like that than many others, and knowing that we would be touring the Bowfin added to that. My grandfather passed away last summer, and besides former step grandparents he is the first grandparent that I have lost. His death came at a time where I was already extremely emotionally wrought, having had a friend lose her husband and finding out with her through a phone call from her kids who found him while we were gone. So, being able to see what a submarine like the one he had been on was like, was bound to be emotional.

Anyways, Pearl Harbor was a great, albeit emotional, experience.


My grandpa always talked about how they preferred the bunks over the torpedoes, after touring the sub, I understand why!

My grandpa also cut hair on the submarine during the War.

The battle flag from the sub my grandpa was on.

U.S.S. Arizona anchor

Two Weeks in Paradise

Everyday stroll on the beach, no biggie. ;)

My two weeks in Hawaii were wonderful. For me it was a much needed vacation. When I went to England 6 (GASP!) years ago, it was a trip. A wonderful, beautiful, fun filled, trip. There was not a lot of relaxing, we had plans for where we were going everyday, and I loved it. However, I also loved my Hawaiian vacation. I went and sat on the beach with a book several days. Took my camera and walked up and down the beach. When the outskirts of the hurricane hit and we had 24+ hours of non stop rain, we walked to church under the umbrella, came home and relaxed in front of the T.V. after lunch. Many days had some hours of my aunt and I relaxing together, watching new shows, talking, strolling around the neighborhood, etc.

Lest you think that I spent my entire two weeks in Hawaii inside the house, I did do many other things! One of the first things we did was go into the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. This was a nice, light introduction into Hawaiian history and culture.

We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, wandered around the villages, watched some performances, attended the luau, and then my uncle and I went to the Ha: Breath of Life show that evening. It was SPECTACULAR. The whole thing was wonderful, I loved getting a brief introduction to the various cultures that are represented there and each one made me want to visit the actual islands to really immerse myself in the culture. (I think that was one of the biggest things I loved about Hawaii was the range of culture there. Growing up in Idaho and then Arizona, I have typically always been in the majority, but I loved being the only white girl in restaurants and at different places sometimes.) The food at the luau was super delicious, and the Ha: Breath of Life show really was just spectacular. The PCC is something I highly recommend everyone going to while in Hawaii.

We went into Honolulu several times. The first time both my aunt and uncle had doctor's appointments, so I spent a few hours just walking around a few mile block of Honolulu. I discovered the Police Department, the Honolulu Museum of Art (I didn't go in though), and a park across the street from the museum that I sat in for awhile and talked to my mom on the phone.

Thomas Square in Honolulu

Thomas Square
As we headed home after the doctor's appointments we stopped at one of the many gorgeous beaches and I got some pictures of Chinaman's Hat, along with the stunning mountains that run along the other side of the road.


Sunrise at Sky Harbor the morning of my flight out

The day had finally come, I was headed out on an 8:00 am flight to Honolulu! The morning was perfect, the sunrise was beautiful, I had a new camera in my hand, ready to experiment with it. Life was good.

After a couple hour wait at the airport (8:00 am flights REALLY do not require you to be there 2 hours early, there was practically no one at the airport!), during which I learned there was a hurricane headed for the islands, it was finally time to board!

Like I said before, I ADORE flying. Everything about it, planes just astound me, and the whole thing is amazing. I am that 3 year old kid with a huge grin on my face as we begin the taxi to take off, the force of the speed pressing you back against your seat, the sound of the engines in your ears... It's heaven. Then my face will be plastered against the window the whole ascent into the air and many times during the flight.

After a 6+ hour flight I landed in Honolulu, turned my phone on and texted my aunt that I had landed. We met at the baggage claim and she placed a lei around my neck and gave me a huge hug. Hawaii was going to be awesome!!

After finding my bag and getting back to the car we began the trip to Laie, about an hour drive. We did have to turn around once, as we were going the wrong way, but hey it's Hawaii and I'm with one of my favorite aunts, who cares! Once we get out of the city, I am just dumbstruck by the beauty of Oahu. The farmland as we get closer to the coast, then the beach... it was all breathtaking. That evening we went down to the beach and swam in the ocean. (The beach is literally about a 3 minute walk from their house.) As I floated in the ocean I thought, "I could get used to this!' The water was perfect, there were very few other people on the beach, and for the most part we had it to ourselves. It was amazing.

Laie Beach

In which I Journey to......

One of my passions, although it is quite often unrequited, is traveling. Sadly, in my state of joblessness which follows a state of low paying job, I have suffered from a state of lack of funds. In other words I'm broke! Of course, since I am in this process of New Beginnings and trying to recreate myself (or maybe it is discovering myself, I am not really sure)... I decided to hell with lack of funds! I am going to go spend two weeks in Hawaii!

Okay, so it didn't totally go  like that... actually it kind of did. And you know what? I don't feel bad that I don't feel bad that I spent that money and went. It did sound a bit bratty though... nope, I'm not working, but guess what I'm going to be gone for two weeks in Hawaii!

Now, before you start hating me let me expound a little bit. Over the summer my aunt and uncle relocated to Hawaii. He got a a position as a professor at BYU Hawaii, and so they moved before the school year started. When they got to Hawaii they discovered they would be living in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house! With their only son serving a mission for the church, they had room for visitors! After several Facebook posts and family emails inviting anyone to come out and visit them and realizing that round-trip flights were less than $500 I decided "Why not?" After a couple of weeks of going back and forth in my brain, "GO!" "I'm jobless and have a limited amount of money left, I shouldn't..." "GET YOUR TICKET AND GO!" "But, money... I need to be responsible!" "GOOOOO!!!!!" I finally bought my ticket and started dreaming  of Hawaii...

Now, while I love traveling I have always been more of a Europe sort of girl. In my not so extensive travels I have had one trip to the United Kingdom, the majority of the time in England, with a foray into Wales and Scotland. That's about it. Besides the Oregon/San Francisco trip earlier this year, and the almost yearly Utah/Idaho trips, etc. Anyways! Like I said, more of a European, not so much tropical sort of person. Sure the tropics look beautiful, but it has always been Europe that speaks to me. Calls me, demands me to visit and discover it... One day Europe, one day....

This being said, I was still ecstatic to be going to Hawaii, it was a vacation, I got to fly on a plane (I LOOOOVE flying, simply adore it), and perhaps best of all I was spending two weeks with my aunt and uncle who are probably everyone's favorite aunt and uncle on that side of the family. Life was good.