After 10 days of non-stop torrential rain we crossed over the International date line and re-lived February 3rd for the second time. We were finally in Hawaii. It felt strange and overwhelming to be back in the United States. American accents actually sounded like accents to me. Our first American meal in four months was at IHOP (International House of Pancakes) which is funny because I think their only international restaurants are still located in North America (in Mexico and Canada). Also because pancakes seem to be a solely American meal. In some places we went there would be a sort of variation on the pancake but nothing that was quite like an American pancake. There also seems to be a complete absence of maple syrup in other parts of the world and this makes me sad for I don't think anyone should go through life without experiencing the joy of tasting maple syrup.
After about a week on Oahu we decided it wasn't a place we could live in long term so we booked a flight over to Maui for the next morning. We do plan to go back to visit Oahu because I don't feel like we really had the opportunity to relax and enjoy ourselves there but before we left we made it a priority to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
There are many monuments and exhibits to see within the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. Some are free exhibits and some are paid exhibits and they all take at least an hour to visit so depending on what you would like to see you will need to plan ahead. The free tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial are given out on a first come first serve basis. Your ticket will have a time on it for when your tour will begin so while you wait you can visit the other exhibits.
The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the sunken hull which still has over 900 sailors entombed within. The USS Oklahoma memorial honors 429 sailors who died when the ship capsized. The visible hull at the USS Utah memorial commemorates the 58 who died.
I don't like to use words like wonderful or great to describe exhibits about war and tragedy because of the horrific subject matter but it was done very tastefully and respectfully and it was a beautiful memorial to those who lost their lives. After visiting Pearl Harbor, Darren and I both agreed that we have seen way too many war museums and war memorials in such a short period of time. But, I think it's important if you're visiting Oahu to visit and pay your respects at Pearl Harbor and I was glad we got the opportunity to do so.
The next day we left Oahu and flew to Maui.... Please come back soon to read the second part of this post: Hawaii (Part 2) Maui.