Location: Oahu, Hawaii
80ºF in February?!?!?!?! Let’s hope the weather stays like this for a while because today is my last post about tropical Hawaii. You know how Mother Nature loves my Hawaii posts…. Kind of bittersweet but I’m sure we’re all ready to move on now.
ALI’IOLANI HALE – HAWAII STATE CAPITAL BUILDING
The Capital Building was a part of our Pearl Harbor City Tour that we booked with the GoOahu pass (See? I’m telling you – BUY THE PASS!!!!). Pearl Harbor, The Capital Building, and Punch Bowl were all on the tour. Our driver gave us about 15 minutes to check the place out, but it was super rainy that day so we did a quick tour and hopped back on the bus. The King Kamehameha statue was massive. Like 18′ massive! It’s one of I believe 6 statues and the 1st replica of the original statue that was created in 1878 (at least that’s what I can remember the tour guide saying). The building is in the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0 but they don’t really film there. The only time they really film there is when they’re running down the stairs. No luck “accidentally” being an extra on that film set…
PEARL HARBOR/USS BOWFIN/USS ARIZONA
We did our Pearl Harbor City Tour on 9/11. We thought it was pretty cool to be able to visit a monument that plays such an important part to the history of the United States on another day that is so significant to the United States, in my time of existence. There wasn’t really anything special that was done to commemorate the Holiday, but the feeling of American Pride was very strong. When we first arrived and got through the gates, we were given about 30-45 minutes to go explore on our own. Since the USS Bowfin tour was on our GoOahu pass, we went there. It’s amazing how our Military men and women were able to maneuver and live in such a massive ship, but in such small corridors. We had to hunch over to get through doorways that took us throughout the ship, and I’m not that tall. Imagine what it was like to have to do this daily for months at a time. If you ever need a little reminder of some of the many reasons you should be grateful for our Military – Go visit!
Once our time was up, we were given instructions to head into the theatre where we watched a film about “December 7, 1941 – A date that will live in infamy.” It was a very emotional film and I don’t think there was one dry eye in the building. Maybe some but mine were definitely not. I learned so much on this tour that I either don’t remember ever learning or maybe just never paid attention to in class. It’s crazy how you have such a different appreciation for things when you get older. I would say, “Damn Age,” however, this is a good thing that comes with age.
Ok. Enough about age….. let’s get back to Pearl Harbor. So underneath the memorial are the remains of the USS Arizona and is the final resting place for about 1,177 of the crewmen. There’s a marble wall in the back of the monument with the names of the crewmen who died on the USS Arizona. It’s inscribed “To the memory of the gallant men here entombed and their shipmates who gave their lives in action.” It’s estimated that there’s about 500,000 gallons of fuel in the ship and about 4-5 quarts of fuel leaks from the ship on a daily basis. That’s just crazy. You can see the fuel bubbling up and the rainbow film that it leaves behind. Apparently, it doesn’t harm the wildlife down there, though. I’m not sure how, but that’s what they tell you.
After our tour on the USS Arizona, we headed back and were given more time to tour Pearl Harbor. There was a walk through tour with each building being a different phase in the timeline of events. It was very interesting to see the different artifacts and the tactic from each side of the war. The last item that really drew my attention was President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking for a declaration of war against Japan.
So that concludes my picture tour of Oahu. Did you enjoy it? Just say, “Yes” and we’ll all be fine. Alrighty, folks. Last Aloha, but not my last see you later. Have a great weekend and enjoy your Valentines / Galentines / No-entines. Whatever you choose.