Hawaii: Part 12 (Pearl Harbor)

Happy Friday everyone! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the weekend!  I'm also very ready for this post...the last of the Hawaii posts.  I/We loved Hawaii and it really is a gorgeous place, but I think I overloaded myself with photos (and you too)...and that's saying a lot for me!  Editing down my photos into small, concise posts has never been my strong suit.  And I'm sure it never will be, that's not me.  I get too attached.  And with these Hawaii photos I felt even more attached to them since it was more than just your usual trip.  Hawaii in general is kind of a big deal, but the fact that it was our wedding/honeymoon just made the photos even more special.  And today I'm going to share one of my favorite places we visited on Oahu, one that in the sea of superficiality that is Honolulu felt the most genuine and honest, Pearl Harbor.  If you're looking for a recap, here you go:

Since our flight out of Honolulu wasn't leaving until 9pm we decided to take full advantage of our last day in Hawaii.  After we checked out of our airbnb place in Kailua, we stopped at this turn off and Koko Crater Botanical Garden for a bit before heading to brunch in Waikiki (sorry, I can't remember the name of the place).  Next we had made reservations for a tour of the USS Arizona at 1pm.  We were running a little ahead of schedule, but decided to head over there anyway and see what we could check out before our tour-time.  Normally, tour tickets for the Arizona are free, but they are on a first come basis so you are advise to get them the day before or early in the day.  I decided to make reservations ahead of time and to book the narrated audio-tour, which is about $7.50 per person.  I don't think either Antoine or I have ever done a audio-tour before, but we were so glad we did!  We were able to do about half of the audio-tour before our 1pm tour-time and then we finished up the rest after we got back from the Arizona.
This is the "Tree of Life" statue that sits in the main promenade.  This symbol is also found on either side of the USS Arizona Memorial in the shrine room.
This is a model of the USS Arizona.  It was part of one of the two exhibits galleries/museums which are included in the tour and are part of the audio-tour.  One is called "Road to War" and the other "Attack".  
This is actually a detonated Japanese torpedo that was dredged up from the bottom of the harbor in the 1990s. 
Leave it to me to go to a US memorial and find the flowers.  I can't help wanting to find a little beauty in such a sad place.

Before heading out to the Arizona Memorial you watch a very poignant video in the Pearl Harbor Memorial theater, which gives you background information about that day and about the memorial itself.  Then two US Navy officers take you out to the memorial on a boat.
Part of the USS Arizona that sits above the surface.
It was overcast and sprinkling by the time we got to the memorial, but you could still see parts of the Arizona that have becoming a living reef.
This is the shrine room.  On the wall are the names of all the entombed men.
On either side of the room, placed in front of the wall of names, are two marble pieces.  These list the names of all the survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona who have since passed away and had their ashes entombed in the Arizona; an option open to all the survivors.
The Arizona continues to this day to leak oil into the harbor, about 2-9 quarts a day, which gives the water around the memorial and the battleship a noticeable sheen.  Antoine and I actually spotted a bubble of oil rising to the surface.
A view of the memorial from the outside.

Once we got back on land we finished our audio-tour and went to the gift shops.
A red-crested cardinal.
The anchor from the USS Arizona.
The USS Bowfin.

We probably spent at least 3 or 4 hours in the Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona complex.  Like I said, the audio-tour was amazing.  It's narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis and contains a lot of great information, including interviews from survivors, who share their experience and memories of the attack.  If you ever find yourself in Oahu, I would highly recommend going to the USS Arizona's an enlightening and heart-wrenching experience.

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