Sunday, July 30, 2006
Hawaii Day 5 - July 15th
Today is another one of our "free days", so we went to Pearl Harbor to see the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin submarine attraction. (Click here for the pictures.) We knew we would have to get an early start if we wanted to beat the crowds and see as much as we could. The gates to the Arizona Memorial don't open until 7:30am, so we figured if we got there by 7:00am we would be in pretty good shape. As you can see by one of the pictures, there were about 300 other people with the same idea. By the time the gates opened, the line had circled around in to a spiral shape on the "front lawn" area. On a side note, ever since 9/11, security is very tight there: no bags of any kind allowed. Just you, your wallet, and your camera. Part of the Arizona Memorial experience is a 15 minute video presentation on the history of Pearl Harbor, the Memorial, and the museum. By the time we got in we were in the 4th group to see the video (shown in a small movie theater). From there they take you by ferry to the Memorial. It is a very moving experience. You are asked to remain silent and thoughtful from the time you enter the movie theater, while you are on the Memorial, until you are returned to museum area. Most people respect this request. We spent about 3 1/2 hours at the USS Arizona. From there we went next door to the USS Bowfin submarine exhibit.
The USS Bowfin is a WWII submarine that is now de-commissioned and used tourist attraction. It was incredible to actually go aboard and in this submarine. There is a self -guided tour that uses an audio player and headphones to guide you around the submarine and explain what you are looking at. It is hard to imagine what it must have been like spending months at a time on a submarine like this. After touring the submarine, we walked around the other submarine exhibits on the property. As you can see by the pictures, there is a "conning tower" taken from another sub, periscopes, and torpedoes to look at. After lunch, we went through the submarine museum which covered everything from the invention of the submarine, right up to modern day subs.
We had planned to go to the beach for the rest of the afternoon, but with weather was overcast and we needed naps. The girls did spend a little bit of time in the hotel pool. After resting up (and cleaning up), we walked down the street to Chili's for supper. We know this violates Uncle Jay's rule of: never eat at any place that you can at home. However, we like Chili's and it sounded good to us.
Posted by Lincoln Leaf at 3:15 PM