Pearl Harbor: USS Arizona

(Before I start, I forgot to post about the scrumptious malasada I had yesterday. Gosh, it’s so good. It’s a nice donut coated with sugar that tastes so sweet and also like cinnamon. The “mama” of the office had her husband bring them to work. These were from Zippy’s but my aunt says that Leonard’s Bakery is the best place to get them; they even have a flavor of the month! I’ll have to try those another day.)

I ran this morning! Kind of. I haven’t technically “run” since I did track in high school… Today thiss was not the best idea. I ran some (which is basically jogging, elle oh elle) and walked some. The sand made this much overdue exercise more difficult, and let’s just say I was worn out when I was finished.

Since I was mainly working on social media today, I stayed at home to do that. (Plus, my computer is way faster.) I also took the opportunity to take my computer outside with me and get some sun. Werkin’ it.

I worked a lot on getting our WorkStar profiles following many people in the area or relevant to the company and also pinned some interesting things that people with WorkStar or in Hawaii would like. I’m keeping a record of how effective all of this is, so we will see.

In the afternoon, my aunt and I drove to the Pearl Harbor sight.

On the way, we stopped at a place called Lanikai Juice. The smoothies here were much better than any smoothie I’ve gotten back home.

Lanikai Juice

Lanikai Juice

We also stopped to pick up something at the mall and we happened to walk in at exactly 1:00, which is the time that the hula show happens every day. For a solid half hour, several girls and guys (probably in their twenties) danced for a huge audience in the middle of the mall. The two hosts sang the songs when they danced and the performers were always in the hula spirit.

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As we entered the Pearl Harbor memorial, we saw the historic landmark sign of Hawaii.

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We got an awesome parking spot and walked to the park entrance. First stop is the gate. At the gate, the guard said they don’t allow bags of a certain size into the park. So we had to walk to another area to check our bags and get out what we wanted, like our phone, camera, and wallet. (You may think this is all irrelevant, but just wait.) As we were checking our bags, the attendant warned us that the USS Arizona was already sold out for the day. What… They only admit 2,000 people per day for the Arizona and today it was sold out at noon. Not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed. I thought we would be getting there earlier than 2:00 and would have no problem seeing it. Nope. We compromised and said we would just buy tickets to see the USS Missouri. So we went back to the oh-so-pleasant guard and said he should warn people that Arizona was sold out before he directed them to the bag check. Anyways, once we were past the gate, we headed to the ticket counter. My aunt asked just to double check if they were sold out of the Arizona, which of course we knew they were, and lo-and-behold the attendant directed us to the next counter. She said there was a gentleman who was turning his tickets in right now! I personally sprinted to the other counter and saw the tired man and his family of three hand in the tickets before leaving the park. I excitedly asked the ticket lady if those tickets were available now, and she just slid them across the counter to us.

PERFECT TIMING. I couldn’t stop smiling all day. THANK YOU, GOD.

So we grabbed a bite to eat at the sandwich shop. As we were eating I finally realized how you can tell the tourists from the locals: they’re sunburned. Pearl Harbor is the most highly visited tourist attraction in Hawaii, and you could tell. The people were either red or white from today being their last day or their first day of vacation, respectively. That sunblock should have been spread aloe-ver(a).

They had a few small things to view in the park while you wait. I found a big anchor. No surprise. I’m kind of attracted to them.

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We got in line shortly before our 3:00 reservation and soon enough we were let into the movie theater. First you watch a short film about the war and the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attacks. I, along with the other audience members, was undeniably agitated by the two children that would not shut up. The parents did nothing to stop them from crying and screaming throughout the whole first half of the film. Everyone just took turns looking at them until they finally walked out. After I was able to pay attention to the film, it was very moving. It showed a lot of footage of the attacks which were breathtaking…

We then walked onto the boat and it took us to the  memorial.

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Seeing all the names of the military that passed that day really made me think of my friends that are serving our country.

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The memorial is spread over the USS Arizona, which remains in the water where it originally sank. The bodies of those who died on the ship are still down there and have not been retrieved because of the safety risk of the potential diver. The memorial is placed over the boat to form a cross. The shape of the memorial (how it sinks in the middle and rises on the ends) signifies how we were defeated by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 but were victorious in the Pacific and Atlantic.

Really eerily cool post card

Really eerily cool post card

The cutout on the sides is called the Tree of Life. The architect wanted it to symbolize renewal and encouraged visitors to form their own thoughts about it.

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I loved how mostly everything was translated into Braille. It made me even more proud to be a Delta Gamma supporting the visually impaired. (check out the newest addition to our foundation, Service for Sight: Joining Forces: http://www.deltagamma.org/content.aspx?audience=foundation&item=Foundation/2Helping Others/joining_forces.xml )

We were the last ones in the park and shut it down, down, downnnn.

Tonight, we experienced this great thing called Zippy’s. My aunt attempted to compare this restaurant to something I have back home, but there is literally no comparison. It is a mix of Chili’s, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, a Japanese restaurant, and a Chinese restaurant. It even had floats. Like this crazy one.

OrangeBangFloatTTT!

OrangeBangFloatTTT!

I had the Mahi Mahi. Delish.

(If you’re bored by now, you can stop reading. This next part is a little more political but definitely an insight into the community I’m staying in.)

After the interesting meal, we walked across the street to an elementary school. This is where my aunt and uncle had a neighborhood board meeting. It’s so serious. The neighborhoods in Hawaii are required to have boards and hold at least 10 meetings a year. I’ve never heard of anything like this in Mississippi.

Semi-small chairs were set out in rows across the kindergarten carpet for any member of the community to join. The officers had their own table and normal sized chairs (they even had name plates!). In the background, the classroom had the Chinese lanterns and the chairs were stacked on the children’s tables. Geckos and senators alike were also in attendance.

This board had many “issues” to cover. Some of the topics were expanding one of the bike paths instead of building another, funding for a Culinary Institute to be started at the University of Hawaii, things the government was doing that is a waste of their tax money, THE HOMELESS (they are everywhere) and how many “homeless sweeps” had to happen on the slope of Diamond Head and under the hedges at the nearby tennis court, and many more.

Oh yeah, a lot of the people wore flower shirts.

The most interesting issue they covered was about this man who has bought about 20 properties across the neighborhood and is leasing them to the homeless for $1/month. Yeah. Crazy. He is trying to decrease the value of this absolutely wonderful neighborhood by allowing the properties to get ruined and look awful. Come on, it’s a neighborhood, not da hood. The board is all aboard on making this villain stop blighting properties and return to Japan where he came from. I hope they succeed.

Signing off. I’m tired.

 

Also, I got bored in the car today. ANTM material?

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