Chapter 13 - Time to go home :(
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|Mon, 08-12-2013 - 7:51am|
Satuday. . .a/k/a Sad-day - July 6th
So Mickie and I got up early and took pics of the ship for Kim. :) Then we met John and Maddie at Cagneys for our last breakfast. We gave Thomas his thank you card. He really was fantastic.
And Nikkia (a/k/a Aunt Nikki) came over to say good bye too. She is planning to cruise on the Breakaway next summer and told us to meet her there. Well, first we have the UK cruise booked & 2nd. . have you seen those prices?! Ouch!!
On the way back to our stateroom we ran into Marc and Erlito, and handed them thank you cards as well.
The bags we were checking were hauled away the night before. So, after breakfast we took a final look around our stateroom, then wheeled our carry ons to the theater to meet our departure tour group.
Before too long we were loaded on a bus. Our flight doesn't leave until 7:30 tonight, so to pass the time I booked a departure tour with the ship. they would take us to Pearl Harbour, the Mighty Missouri, the Punchbowl Cemetary, and then drop us off at the airport. It seemed a nice way to pass time.
Back in 1975 (I think) Oahu had a huge slide. . .you would slide down it on mats. I remember my father stopping at this tire place to get us inner tubes to slide on - and the owner of the place served him personally. My dad came out star struck because the owner did his own commercials. His name was Lex Brody - so I took a pic of the sign as we went by so I could show my brother and we could giggle a little remembering my father's reaction to meeting him.
Our driver/guide today was named "Cousin Garfield". He explained he was named after a past president - not the cat. Anyhow, he was a heavy set, bald man wearing a tye dye shirt. So he said to look for him .. . . John teased him later they could be twins and it might confuse people. :)
We get to Pearl Harbor - and you are not allowed to bring any type of bag in. The bus would be locked, so we were told it was okay to leave things - but nothing of value. So I had John put my cash/credit cards into his wallet, and left my purse, our carryons and even the big camera on the bus and off we went.
We walked around a bit waiting for our turn to head over to the Mighty Missouri.
The Missouri was not in Hawaii at the time it was bombed, she was not completed until 1944 (Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941). But she was the sight for Japan's surrender.
We were routed to a roped area and waited for the shuttle to come - loaded up, and were driven over to where we board the ship. We were told to make sure to be back by 11:00 am as our tickets for the Arizona Memorial were for noon.
There were rooms with cases holding memorbilia from WWII
It was really a neat experience to be able to see the battle ship. I was tickled the girls were as interested as they were. But after a while, in 90 degree heat - climbing up all those ladders to get from one deck to the next. . .well. . .I ate no young chicken - and it got to me. So John decided to keep climbing and I said I'd meet him lower. The girls followed me down. We found a nice shaded area and waited for him.
Once he rejoined us, we headed off the ship. We then caught a bus back over to the main area. We then walked over to the theater and waited for our turn to watch the pre Arizona movie.
While sitting outside a man gave my DDs some peanuts and showed them how to crush them for the birds. My girls LOVED this.
Okay, enough with the birds - right?
We went to the theater and watched a short film about the bombing. I was again pleasantly surprised that my DDs were reasonable quiet. There were moments where they would whisper a question to me (especially Maddie) trying to make sense of what she was seeing. When the movie was over Maddie said "that was so cool". Thankfully she did realize that was an odd word to tie to a tragedy - and she corrected herself "that was interesting". She then wanted to make sure we were no longer fighting with the Japanese.
So after the movie we were taken to a ferry to ride out to the Arizona memorial. I snapped this pic before I was told "no pics in this area".
Ooops, I snapped this one too, pulling up to the memorial. He didn't scold me, but he did tell some other people that cameras were to be kept off until we were inside.
Pics from inside the memorial. You can make out the ship through the water.
The ship is still leaking oil after all these years. Someone asked about the enviroment dangers - and they were told 70 years ago the oil was not as full of chemicals like it is now.
We got to the Wall with the names, and my DDs looked for family names. Don't know if they were related in any way, but the M&Ms still were in awe to see the names.
We saw the flag was flying at 1/2 mass and asked about it - this was the first time we had heard the news about the 19 fire fighters that died in Arizona earlier this week.
So after the Arizona Memorial - we reloaded on the bus, and were taken up to the Punchbowl Cemetary. Sadly, we were not able to get out. . .
We then drove around Honolulu a bit.
The Capital Building. Hawaiis is unique as it is surround by a pool of water - to symbolize the Pacific Ocean. Then the inside has two cones to represent the volcanos that formed the land. Again, it was a quick drive by - so not the best pics.
This is an Eternal Flame that is dedicated to military people who have served to protect Hawaii.
This is a monument in honor of Father Damien, who cared for people with leporasy in Hawaii.
Okay, this is why I went ahead and touched a bit on the issues with Robin and her family. I'm sure they are really nice people, perhaps the heat got to them - and Robin did share her husband got sea sick a lot on the cruise. But I got a text from Sheila. She and her family had an earlier flight with a layover in Los Angeles. Well, here is verbatim what she wrote:
"OMG Robin and Wayne are on our plane sitting right behind me and Mike. She's complaining because the gate hasn't opened yet because china air is there. She's askng them where am I suppose to sit? She plopped down right on the carpet where everyone walks. Mike said to tell John to stop laughing, it's not funny. :)"
LOL. We did laugh. John had me text them back:
"That is what you get for not doing an excursion with us. But thank you we both had a good laugh at the mental image". And we did.
We were then dropped off at the airport - our terminal was last. It was still early - we checked our bags and looked for a restroom & food.
Honolulu Airport was different from anything I had seen before. The terminals have sliding glass doors in front of them - so if there is not a flight coming reasonably soon they close and lock the doors. So Sheila's text from earlier made sense as we couldn't get into the terminal gate we were assigned. We found a bathroom, then we found a Burger King. Our last meal in Hawaii - Burger King. :) 2 Whopper Jr meals + 2 kids meals = $35.
We then killed time doing a little shopping. The airport is not enclosed, so it was a tad warm and birds were flying around inside. Eventually our gate opened, we went and and after a bit were loaded on the plane.
Before I turned my cell off I got another text from Sheila "Just landed in LA. Not too bad. I have almost two hours here."
I texted her back "We are at the airport in Honolulu killing time. Hey, we looked around and did not know anyone on our flight :) "
She responded: "ha ha ha".
So that's it. We took off - it was an 8 hour flight + the 5 hour time zone change. We landed at home about 8:00 am Sunday morning. We were sore, tired, but had a good trip.