Last week we took our first trip to Hawaii, sort of a post-deployment vacation. We “took a hop”, i.e., flew on a military plane at no charge except comfort, to Oahu: Hickam AFB/Pearl Harbor Naval base. Pearl Harbor hold personal significance for me because my mom’s dad was stationed on the USS Maryland when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Here’s a part of a memorial on the Pearl side of the base honoring the Maryland.
We did take a bus over to the actual site of the attack where they have all sorts of memorials and galleries, to include the USS Arizona memorial, but they were sold out of tickets for three weeks or something to actually go out to the Arizona. We still gleaned a lot of information from the dozens of informational plaques and memorials and galleries on the mainland, even though we didn’t make it out to Ford Island. I thought this map was pretty neat, although the area looks absolutely nothing like this now, only the water and the Arizona are still in place:
I zoomed in on the main groups of ships that were attacked so you can see where the Maryland was, somewhat protected by the Oklahoma.
That afternoon we took the bus through Honolulu down to Waikiki. Since we did not want to bring our sandcastle buckets on our carry-on luggage, I made a “beach house” with my hands.
The next day we took a plane to the “big island”, Hawaii, to see my Uncle John and Aunt Michelle. Caleb went on a scuba dive that night and had a lot of fun seeing huge manta rays feed at night. I took a walk along the water. Though it was a bit cloudy, I thought the waves crashing against the black lava rocks were beautiful.
The next day we drove to an area about thirty minutes south of Kona to do some snorkeling. Here’s the view from where we stopped to get some sandwiches:
We went to a lava rock beach, if you could call it a beach, where the rocks go right up to the water so instead of wading, you jump in, and if you’re so lucky as to have a snorkel mask and fins and you put your face in the water, you can see dozens of colorful creatures swimming all around the coral reefs in this little bay. Yellow tang fish are incredibly common; we also saw sea urchins, sea stars, trumpet fish, angelfish, moorish idols, and a dozen other little colorful fish whose names escape me.
The sky had been even bluer before these pictures were taken while we were snorkeling.
We also made it a priority to try some Scandinavian Shave Ice, heartily recommended by my Uncle TR and Aunt Barb, who’ve visited Kona several times. Sort of like a Sno-Cone, only much much finer and softer and creamier.
Here you can sort of see how it’s created: