Monday, January 19, 2015

Part II - Christmas in Hawaii 2014 & 2015 New Year

Saturday, Kelly and I took off for a little after-Christmas shopping and to see some of her favorite boutiques (Soha was just one I could remember) and various vintage stores.  We had lunch in China town at Fresh CafĂ©.  We didn’t buy much, the find of the day was little tiny blue green Christmas trees that will surely find their way into a craft project next year….oh and Starbucks coffee, buy one get one…never heard of this but it was a great deal

We drove up to the North Shore to Haleiwa for dinner of Mahi and burgers. A great drive to see part of the island and enjoy a meal with family.

Sunday, Kelly and I headed out to run errands with the little guy and we started at his favorite store, Target.  He likes to check out the dollar bins, toys, shoes, but does really, well, just riding around in the cart taking it all in.  Next up was Costco his second favorite store because of all the food you can taste and there is always the chance of getting a slice of pizza--but not today.  Today we bought crab for dinner and the little guy gets the shell, it’s a big deal.  Throw in a few clams, pretzel rolls, salad, and you have the makings of a really good feast.

Monday I walked down to the preschool and picked the little guy up.  He held my hand and asked a hundred questions about every little thing he saw on the way home and I tried to answer each question before he asked me something else.  Playtime, nap time, and I fixed dinner since Kelly had to work today.  After dinner we tried to get our base passes but the air force gate only issues one day passes so we have to go to the navy gate another day.  Kelly and I headed off to Walmart on the back streets because the freeway was almost at a standstill.  We wound our way west, with the occasional northward uphill downhill, great evening views of the shoreline with all the lights glistening out ahead of us.  It was movie night when we got home.

Tuesday the little guy requested that grandma pick him up from school after lunch and we go to subway for a snack.  Subway is only across from the school so we stopped and had lunch together and even bought lunch to take home to papa.  It is so nice to be outside in seventy degree weather, short sleeves, and the warmth of the sun just sinking into my bones relieving the ache I get when the weather is too cold.  We fixed Naan bread pizza for dinner, everyone choosing what they wanted for toppings. 

Wednesday, papa and grandma walked down to the preschool to pick up the little guy and spent the early afternoon playing monster trucks.  Nap time for everyone to get ready for New Year’s Eve.   The parents went out to dinner and papa and I took the little guy to the park which is nice because it is only about a block from the house.  We arrived back to start dinner when Kelly and Kyle came home to see the little guy before going out to celebrate with friends.  Now it’s a movie on the tablet for the little guy, football on the television for papa, and grandma gets the computer.  In Hawaii they drop the pineapple at the same time New York drops the ball, so we celebrated early at seven PM.

Kyle has to work tonight so he is sleeping while Kelly takes us sightseeing on Thursday.  We started out with lunch at Uncle’s Fish Market and Grill.  Kelly, the little guy and Larry all enjoyed assorted fish entrees and I had a prime rib hamburger on a Hawaiian bread roll, and everyone agreed the food was good.  We drove east towards the windward side of the island, passing Diamond Head and catching brief glimpses of the ocean.  We saw Haiku Stairs referred to as the Stairway to Heaven one of the most popular of Oahu's "forbidden" trails and, even if it was not blocked off the public, I am not sure we would want to hike the  2,120-foot, 3,922-step ascent.  The beaches were full of tourists but the parks were closed due to it being a holiday.

I love the old trees, standing tall with twisted branches reaching outward and upward and some with massive trunks, everywhere on the island and on Hickam Air Base.  Too bad they won’t grow in the cold wet northwest.  Some of my favorites are the Sycamore fig, Plumeria, Baobab, Bo Tree, Ficus Banyan Tree, Monkey Pod or rain tree, Pili Nut, Tamarind, Cassia Javanica also called the rainbow shower tree, and the Moraceae fig family. 

We drove through Kaneohe and saw the street blocked off with barricades and police cars leading to the house where President Obama and his family are vacationing.  We also saw the jet boats in the canal keeping guard and the other side of the waterway was blocked to boat traffic.  This is probably as close as we were going to get but we can say we vacationed with the Obama’s on Oahu during Christmas.

We stopped at Heeia State Park to stretch our legs and take in the view of Kaneohe Bay.  We also saw the wild chickens wandering the park and some of the two hundred and fifty cats that call the park home and are fed every day.  They said people just drop off their cats when they move and leave them at the park.  It’s nice they are fed but I can’t imagine leaving a pet who is like a family member in a park to fend for themselves.

We passed a Longs Drugs store and while most people would not even notice this unless they needed something, I once worked for Longs Drugs in their general office and fixture shop for ten years.  CVS now owns Longs but did not change the name in Hawaii.  Down the road we saw a windmill farm and cows, lots of cows.  We stopped for our next island experience at a little roadside shop selling Hawaiian shaved ice.  Kelly and the little guy had not yet had the experience so we all shared a new treat although I opted for the tropical fruit smoothie and Kelly shared a taste of her shaved ice.

We drove to Haleiwa on the North Shore and then headed south towards home.  A quick stop at the grocery store and then home to make dinner, watch a movie, catch up on football and bed.  What a wonderful day. 

Kelly had the day off on Friday so we headed to the health food store, Starbucks, and Target before returning home to pick up Larry and then stopping for Kyler at preschool.  We got our base passes and then Kelly took us to Ford Island to see the USS Utah that was torpedoed on December 7th, 1941 and rolled over and sank killing 64 soldiers.  You can still see part of the rusty remains of the ship that lies above the waterline and two buoys mark the bow and the stern which lie under the water.  We walked along the water and Kelly pointed out bits of metal and glass that were fused to the rocks when the ship exploded.  It is not permissible or acceptable to dig up glass or metal but if pieces are loose lying on the ground it is okay to take one.  Kelly said people come looking for glass with words or dates and today we found a piece of green glass with the number 943 so we are guessing this is part of a bottle from a solider during the war, and it was common for bottles to be marked with a year, so we think this bottle is 1943.  We found some sort of metal gear or knob lying loose but left it with the remains on the beach.

 Kelly drove us to the other side of the island to see the memorial for the USS Oklahoma which was also bombed on December 7th 1941 and 439 soldiers lost their lives.  The black granite wall suggest the hull of the USS Oklahoma and the white marble standards represent the Marines and Sailors who died that day.  Each standard symbolizes a white dress uniform standing at attention manning the rails of the Oklahoma forever.

There are several black marble slabs with famous quotes.  Below are four that stood out for me.

1.      John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
2.      They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
3.      Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.  President John F. Kennedy
4.      That was the most horrible scene that you could ever think of.  Shipmates there you can't help them. Ship cook George Brown

You can also see and tour the USS Missouri which was the ship where the Japanese surrendered.  I was on board the Missouri named for my home state years ago when it was at Bremerton Washington.

General MacArthur September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo bay:  “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.  These proceedings are closed.”  And with those works World War II was finally over.

If only those who choose to control other people and countries for their own personal gain and greed could understand the cost of war for those who gave their lives, those who are still missing in action, those who return home injured, those who may never recover, and the family and friends who are effected by a war.  We will always defend our country at home and aboard and others countries should never mistake our wish for peace as a sign of weakness. 

There was a group of preteens running around the Oklahoma memorial shouting about who died first, jumping up and down slapping the memorial markers, being totally disrespectful.  Kelly mentioned to the mothers that this was a memorial and they should show respect and the mothers just sort of causally told their kids to stop, which they didn’t.  Larry said the kids probably didn’t know better.  They probably didn’t but they were all old enough to understand and certainly their mothers were old enough to understand and explain that this was a memorial to honor those died.  It made me cry to look at those markers and the USS Missouri and think that US citizens can be so casual about our history.

It was past lunch time so Kelly took us to Hank’s Haute Dogs in downtown Honolulu.  Guy Fieri from Triple D on the Food Network and Adam Richman Man vs Food on the Travel Channel both have done shows from there and inside there is a photo of President Obama eating a Hank’s dog.  Kelly and I both had the Chicago dog and she also had the cheesy truffle fries and said she would eat cheesy truffle fries every day if she could, Larry had the lobster dog and thought it was wonderful, and the little guy had a regular hotdog.

Papa and the little guy watched football while Kelly and I ran to buy more art supplies.  I fixed dinner while Kelly was busy working on her dream catchers and papa and the little guy were busy with football and monster trucks.  The little guy curled up next to me on the sofa after dinner and watched part of a movie before bedtime.  It was a good day.

Kelly had to run into work today and Kyler and I went with her.  When she came out of the office she had a piece of the best English toffee candy I have ever eaten--and no way to get more. It looked like regular toffee covered in chocolate and nuts but the butter toffee was soft, not a chewy caramel but not a hard crunchy toffee, just sort of melt in your mouth. They were a gift to my daughter at work, from a customer who gets them from a friend who only makes them for family and friends. I need to be a friend.

We stopped off at McDonalds to get the little guy lunch and then it was home for a nap.  Mom and dad left for a movie and date night.  I put a pot roast in the crockpot and after nap time took the little guy to the park.   

One thing about being on base is they have Reveille, the flag raising ceremony at the beginning of the day, and Retreat, which is the flag lowering ceremony at the end of the day.  President Woodrow Wilson once said, "This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us -- speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it." On the base, military personnel should stand at attention and face the American flag or the direction of the music if the flag is not visible.  Civilians should stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart.

After Retreat we left the park and headed home to have dinner, watch a movie, and have bath time.  A good day is measured by hugs, kisses, and I love you’s, and today was a really good day.  Every night my grandson says his prayers with his mom but tonight he didn’t want to say his bedtime prayer that he usually says.  He asked if he could pray for the soldiers who died on the ships and ask Jesus to take care of them.  The impact of seeing the USS Arizona, the USS Utah, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial has made a powerful impression on him.

Sunday is pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Larry and Kelly were off to a one and a half hour Turtle Reef Snorkel tour.  The tour provides the equipment and you just show up for the fun snorkeling with the fish and turtles in the azure blue waters.  The Spirit of Aloha is fifty-four feet long and thirty feet wide catamaran and takes you to the outer side of the Turtle Canyon reef near Hilton Hawaiian Village.  No whales but lots of turtles and fish and it was a good adventure for the two of them while dad sleeps because he works nights and the little guy naps and spends time with grandma.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails