Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The last of the vacation, I promise...

I am sure that this is wearing thin on anyone reading this and I promise this is the last of the Hawaii stuff... I just haven't been able to help myself.

These are our pictures from the Arizona Memorial... I was surprised to see how much Imelda learned from the experience... She can tell you the number of people who died. How many of them were on the Arizona and how many of them remain on the Arizona (900... They are legally considered buried at sea)So we took a picture of the sailors and marines that were lost. Imelda was suprised to see that separate box with the names of men who died post 1990...

Apparently some of the survivors of the Arizona ask to buried on the ship. She also made note of the information about the environmental impacts of the attack.. Specifically the oil that continues to leak from the ships. When we got the memorial... I pointed it out.

I thought it was important to takes my filles to Pearl Harbor. Yes, because it is part of American history, but also because it is their part of their personal history. You see, my dad, who was with us on the trip was born in Honolulu, March 6, 1942, almost 3 months to the day after the attack at Pearl Harbor. My grandparents lived in Pearl City, where my grandfather was a civilian welder assigned to the U.S.S. Utah. The morning of December 7th, my grandmother wasn't feeling well...She was 6 months pregnant with her first child and 5,000 miles away from home. She managed to make my grandfather run late that morning. No matter... the ferries ran periodically to the ships and he would take the next one out*...

Except of course, there was no next ferry. As a welder, my grandfather was sent out to crack open some of the ships to look for survivors. Something he NEVER discussed.

One of the other things that we did was to visit the Waimea Valley Audubon Center. The botanical garden was beautiful and at the end of the hike you make your way to Waimea Falls. The water is cold and refreshing, although the rocks to get down into it as sharp as heck.. Imelda was a bit nervous about going in so I had to go in with her even though Papa was there too. Sadly I was not wearing one of those bras where you can slide it off and stick it surreptiously into your pocket. I had to wear it and since my t-shirt went completely see-through, well I guess, it was just as well that I was still wearing my bra. Once I was finished with the wet-shirt contest... we walked back down the mountain. My sandals were slippery... and I kept slipping out of them... so I was slow.

Towards the end of the week we were sitting on our lanai (patio) drinking beer and/or mai tais discussing all the different things we had done on the vacation. Suddenly Fun Daddy yells, "Quick! Get the camera! I saw a whale!" And sure enough.. it was.. or a pod, I don't know. Frankly, I was stunned that he managed to get a picture where you can see even the smallest part of the tail.. but he did.

When push comes to shove, any single part of our adventure would have made for a fantastic vacation. And we were lucky enough to experience them all at once. I think we will have to take vacations more often!

*This is a fantastic story, isn't it? Apparently though, parts of it have been embellished by my family (my grandmother, I think). Some day maybe I will tell you all the REAL story. All was finally revealed to me recently... Family! Gotta love 'em!

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