We ended up having an additional day in Hawaii because of the President’s Day holiday and the extensive work going on in the engine room to install the new K600 control system. On Sunday morning, Barr and I went to see the USS Arizona memorial, which marks the site where 1,102 sailors and marines were killed during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. We got tickets to take the ferry out to the memorial for 1015. Tickets are free; the ticket system is just used to manage crowds. Since we had some time, we walked around the grounds and through the two free museums, which give a brief overview of World Wars I and II. I was impressed by the design of the museums and the models that are displayed. Before taking the ferry out to the memorial, there is a short film, which gives a detailed narration of December 7, 1941 and the events leading up to the attack. The film was beautifully produced, and I left with a renewed pride in being an American. When approaching the memorial, I thought the most striking part was the smell and sight of oil in the water. The structure of the memorial is simple and elegant, and the atmosphere is peaceful. I’m very glad we were able to see Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial; it was a humbling experience.
In the afternoon, we walked around downtown Honolulu. We saw Iolani Palace, which is the only royal palace now a part of the United States and was used as an official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy, the Hawaii Supreme Court building fronted by a famous statue of King Kamehameha the Great, and the Hawaii State Capitol Building. We also tried manapua, which is a large barbecued pork-filled steamed dumpling, at the famous Char Hung Sut in Honolulu’s Chinatown. Manapua is an echo of the Chinese char siu bao, which was brought to the islands by Chinese immigrants. Manapua is delicious and must be tried when visiting Hawaii.
On our second day, we climbed to the top of Diamond Head Crater, which overlooks Waikiki. The view is incredible. Diamond Head was home to Fort Ruger, which was established in 1906 as the first military reservation in the Territory of Hawaii. It only took us about an hour to get to the top and back down again. For brunch, we ate at Heavenly, a health food café that uses all locally grown foods. It’s probably the best brunch spot I’ve ever been to.
In the afternoon, we went to the beach to soak up our last moments in this tropical paradise.
A hui hou!
(Until we meet again!)