When we planned our trip to the island of Oahu, I knew we wanted to see Pearl Harbor and go to a Luau. How could we go to Hawaii and not go to a Luau? I’d feel like maybe we missed something if we didn’t attend one. Then both Mr. Cottage’s father and my father had served in WWII. I have tons of photos of my father in uniform and photos he took while he was in the service. While my father was in the Army, Mr. Cottage’s father served in the Navy. Both were in the Pacific, and I know my father fought in Okinawa. Knowing someone who served in this war, I felt a pulling to go to Pearl Harbor. If your father, grandfather or great-grandfather served in the Pacific during WWII, I would highly recommend visiting Pearl Harbor if you ever get the chance.
Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date that will live in infamy – The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt – 8 December 1941
Our cruise ship coming into Honolulu.
After we docked, we got onto a bus and had to ride through parts of Honolulu to get to Pearl Harbor.
We all hear about the USS Arizona, but there were other ships that also sunk; but fortunately didn’t lose most all of their crew as the USS Arizona did.
These signs were posted at the entrance.
This is the actual anchor recovered from the USS Arizona. It’s one of the first things you notice upon entering the grounds.
Everywhere you looked where the names of servicemen who had lost their lives.
This area honored all the submarines and their crew who were lost in the Pacific. The submarine, USS Bowfin, is in the background and was open to tour.
There was a great museum to see actual photos, models, stories and recordings to listen to. Above is a model of the Japanese aircraft carrier that attacked Pearl Harbor that fateful morning. I was really impressed to see a bunch of teenagers taking an interest in everything. I don’t know if it was a field trip or not, but none of them seemed bored.
This is the model of the USS Arizona.
There were lots of huge photos and great information to read. I could have spent more time in here, but our tickets had a specific time for us to board the tender that takes you out to the USS Arizona.
This is the model of what the ship looks like under it’s memorial.
We were very fortunate to have had great weather the day we visited. If the weather is bad, they will not run the tenders to and from the memorial for tourists.
This is all part of the Arizona that you’re looking at. The circle in the photo shows a couple more memorials that show the location of other ships that were heavily damaged and/or sunk.
The arrows are just pointing out some of the USS Arizona that is showing above the surface. You can also see three more memorials floating for other ships that were sunk or damaged. The battleship at the top left is the USS Missouri which we went to after leaving here.
There’s an opening in the middle to look down and see the ship, along with the oil that is still leaking after all these years. It’s said that the ship is weeping and will stop when all it’s crew is together.
This is looking down in another spot and seeing the ship, along with all the barnacles that have formed on it.
We had a volunteer who talked to us about this memorial and it’s crew. The circled area in the lower right corner is a special block that have added the names of the crew who survived the sinking of the Arizona, but have since died and have joined their crew members. You can read more about it in this newspaper article. I think the saddest part of this was hearing that there were a number of sets of brothers onboard, as well as some fathers and their sons who all perished that day.
After we left the USS Arizona, we boarded the bus again and drove around to the USS Missouri. In case you’re not familiar with it’s name, it’s the ship where the final surrender of Japan took place in Tokyo Bay.
The USS Missouri (also known as the Mighty MO) was used in WWII, Korean War and the Iraq War. At some point after it was retired, it was suggested to put it in Pearl Harbor to face the USS Arizona, with the Arizona representing the start of the War for us and the Missouri where the War with Japan ended.
This was a photo they had onboard in the location where the surrender took place. Sorry about the glare, but this was all under glass.
This was also under glass, along with the actual pen that everyone used to sign this form. While we enjoyed our visit to Pearl Harbor, I felt like we had rushed through things a bit faster than I really wanted to. I know there was only so much time from the excursion we signed up for, to go and return by a set time. If you’re on Oahu and have plenty of time, I think you would enjoy it much more if you could go with no time limit. But then again, I love history and we had a connection with our fathers who served in the Pacific. I found it very interesting.
After returning to the ship from Pearl Harbor, we had a few hours before we left for the Luau. While the luau had good entertainment, overall the group of friends we hung around with had decided it was much too long.
We arrived early and had drink tickets, but there was plenty of time before the actual show started. Even though it was in Honolulu, or very near to the city, the luau was held pretty much on the beach. Everything was in the sand.
There was a ceremony to take the roasting pig out of the ground, but for those who might be squeamish, I decided not to show you those photos. And yes, this was the same pork they served to everyone. They had other types of meat, veggies, salads, etc. so no one would starve. I almost took some poi, but I kept hearing that no one liked it, so I put other items in it’s spot on the plate, like the Haupia (Coconut Pudding) which was delicious!
You can read more about Germaine’s Luau and see photos of the food and the fire dancers here. For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to get great photos of the fire dancers, which really was great.
I think altogether we were at the Luau for about 5 hours. When it ended, we got back on the bus and it drove us to our ship.
As soon as we all got settled back on the ship, we left Honolulu and all the city lights behind and headed to Kauai. I know many wanted to go to Waikiki Beach and see more the of city, Diamond Head, and other destinations that could be chosen for an excursion; but to be honest those places didn’t interest us.
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I have one more island to share with you and then I’ll sum up about the Hawaiian Islands before I move on to cruise ships and other destinations. Make sure to indicate on your email subscription to see every post and/or lifestyle to catch all future posts on traveling.