Thursday, I had a free day at the conference, so we packed in as much sight-seeing as we could. We left the hotel by 7am to pick up our rental car for the remainder of our stay. We made it to Pearl Harbor by 7:30 so that we could stand in line for tickets. Thankfully, we made it on the first cruise out to the USS Arizona Memorial.
To stand on the Memorial site was truly humbling, knowing that the bodies of those men who lost their lives on that fateful day were still entombed in the Arizona below us. The attack on Pearl Harbor holds the same weight for our grandparents’ generation as that of 9/11 for me and my generation.
Once we were aboard the Memorial, it was very quiet almost as if you were at a funeral. We were able to look below and see the rusted ship below us. Little droplets of oil still float to the surface and are referred to as “black tears.”
After visiting the Arizona Memorial, we took a tour aboard the USS Bowfin submarine that was launched on December 7, 1942, exactly one year after the Pearl Harbor attack.
Then we visited the USS Missouri battleship, which was commissioned in 1944 and served until its decommissioning in 1996.
We then toured I’olani Palace but had trouble finding it. Even though we were following our GPS directions, we ended up in the pick-up line at a school! We got out of there as fast as we could before someone reported us as suspicious!
I’olani Palace was home to the Hawaiian royal family prior to the US occupation and takeover. It was very modern and had indoor running water and electricity before the White House!
After the tour, we drove up the coast to visit the Halona Blowhole, which was very cool.
We continued driving and stopped at practically every little pullout along way. There wasn’t a bad view to be had. On one stop, we were walking back to our car when a group of girls met us and were sort of watching us. We didn’t think anything about until we rounded their car and noticed a naked man, changing clothes in the parking lot! We were embarrassed, and they just thought it was hilarious.
We were getting hungry for supper, so we stopped at the little town of Kailua and stumbled upon this great restaurant Uahi Island Grill that had been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. We had to wait for about 20 minutes to be seated, because there were about 12 tables total. But it was absolutely worth it!