|On the cruise ship, Left to Right Sitting, Clarence, Carol, Benny, Beverly, Danny, Frank. Standing: Left to Right: Rob, Danny, Brian, Helen, Sharon and Susan.|
Third Day Sunday, November 28, 2010 Kahuhui, Maui, Hawaii:
On Sunday morning we arrived Kahului, Island of Maui, Hawaii.
|Arriving, Kahului, Island of Maui, Hawaii|
|Arriving, Kahului, Island of Maui, Hawaii|
|Haleakala Crater Visitor Center Silver sword plant.|
We spent about a half hour at the summit and headed back down the volcano toward the cruise ship. Our driver took a side trip on the way back through some sugar cane fields and small towns on the Island. One of the towns we went through was PaiaPaia means "noisy" in Hawaiian, which definitely describes the early days in Paia. Today most of the houses are small souvenir shops, art galleries, restaurants, and windsurfing stores. We drove by Charley's sports bar and restaurant, said to be owned and frequented by country singer Willie Nelson. We saw an old abandoned sugar mill and one of the oldest churches on the island as we drove toward Hookipa Beach Park. This was a very pretty park with a number of surfers taking advantage of the wave activity. We left the park and went back to the cruise ship. We spent the rest of the day napping, relaxing, eating, then ending the day attending a comedy act on board the ship.
|Surfing off of Hookipa Beach|
|Hookipa Beach Park|
Fourth Day Monday, November 29, 2010 Maui, Hawaii:
The next 6 pictures were taken in the park on the way to the Iao Valley. The park was full of beautiful tropical plants, ponds, streams, birds galore and a great view of the Valley in the distance.
The below pictures were taken of the Iao Valley and Iao Needle, it was a beautiful morning, the plants all on the hill sides were plush and vibrant. This is a very peaceful place that I thoroughly enjoyed.
|Maui Plantation above and a number of flowers and plants growing on the plantation are below.|
|Lunch at the Maui Tropical Garden and Plantation. Left side: Danny waving and Susan. Right side Left to Right: Clarence, Sharon, Carol, Benny, not pictured: Danny and Beverly getting their lunch and me, Rob taking the picture.|
|View from the Maui Ocean Center|
|Our cruise ship in port Hilo, The Big Island, Hawaii|
|A Banyon Tree in downtown Hilo, Hawaii. This tree is a native of India and is of the Mulberry family. We saw a number of these large trees all over the islands of Hawaii.|
|Our excursion in Hilo Hawaii included a Candy Store where we enjoyed samples of candy and coffee. The two flower pictures below were taken on the grounds of the Candy Store.|
|Active volcano in Volcanoes National Park, Big island, Hawaii. Highly toxic gas and steam boiled out of the volcano as we watched. We were cautioned that if the wind changed we needed to leave so as not to breath in the vapor.|
|Volcanoes National Park, very desolate and rugged.|
|Lava fields were all over, we walked on the lava and it was extremely difficult to keep your balance.|
|Susie making a Hawaiian Orchid Lei on board the ship.|
|Susie wearing the lei she made in a class she attended aboard ship while in port at Hilo, Hawaii..|
6th day Wednesday December 1, 2010, Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii:
Arriving in the early morning hours we anchored out in the bay about a mile from shore as Kona does not have an appropriate docking/pier for the size of the cruise ship. Kona by land and sea excursion was a very enjoyable tour. We started on board a motor coach and enjoyed the scenic western coastline of the Big Island, stopping at a local coffee house to taste the famed Kona coffee. The views from the bus of Kealakekua Bay, the flowers and plants a long the roadside was very pretty. This tour took us to the St. Benedict's historic Painted Church, Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park and stopped at a Kona coffee shop where we were able to sample fresh Kona coffee. Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park a place of refuge has served as a political and religious sanctuary since ancient times and is home to the sacred Halo Keawe Heiau, a temple that once housed the bones of deceased chiefs.
After the bus tour we boarded a powered catamaran for a once in a lifetime cruise of Kona's history. The spokesman on the catamaran was very informative, sharing historical information when ancient kings ruled the islands to the arrival of Captain Cook in Kealakekua Bay. We saw the Hawaiian temples known as Heiau, the Holua slide, battlefields and the birth place of King Kamehameha. We saw a number of caves that were described as burial places for a number of the Islands Rulers. Entertainment was especially good with live music and song by LT Shine a Grammy award winner singer and song writer. We had a full buffet sandwich bar including tropical fruits, Maui chips, sodas and island juices.
|Picture was taken out of the life boat that we rode over to shore for our excursion,|
The above picture was taken from the dock as we boarded the catamaran, our cruise ship anchored in the background.
The next few pictures are of the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or puʻuhonua. The offender would be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle. The grounds just outside the Great Wall that encloses the puʻuhonua were home to several generations of powerful chiefs. The park setting was so peaceful and serene. What a beautiful place to take refuge.
The St Benedict Painted Church below along with pictures of many beautiful plants in the cemetery and around the grounds. St. Benedict's Painted Church is located in the famous Kona coffee growing region, it is the jewel of South Kona, at a place called Honaunau. While it is an important historical site, it is still a vibrant parish, with outreach programs to take care of those in need and to provide medical services for the local community.
As mentioned earlier we returned from our land portion of the day arriving Keauhou Bay around 1:00 pm to start the sea portion of the day boarding a large catamaran. We got under way and lunch was provided immediately. While we ate, a local Hawaiian provided a historical narrative describing certain points of interest. The pictures below are of some of the historical interests that he covered: the holua at Keauhou, Kuamo`o battlefield, Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook monument, the battle of Mokuohai at Ke`ei, and Pu`uhonua o Honaunau.
|Memorial to Captain Cook, early explorer.|
|Susie and Rob on board the Catamaran with Captain Cook memorial in the background.|
|Along the seashore with Kona, Hawaii in the back ground|
7th day Thursday December 3, 2010 Naeiliwili on the island of Kauai, Hawaii:
The Waimea Canyon, Wailua river ride and Fern Grotto tour lasted about 8 hours. It was a full day, one of the best days that all of us enjoyed. Kauai is known as the Garden Isle and turned out to be my favorite island that we toured.
We started the tour going directly to a spectacular water fall., we then drove to catch a river boat for a tour up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto, from there we rode down to the shore visiting a beautiful beach and blow hole, we had a fantastic lunch at a local restaurant and then ended the day by going to Waimea Canyon known as Hawaii's Grand Canyon.
|The above and below picture were taken as we arrived Naeiliwili on the island of Kauai, Hawaii|
|Beautiful water fall on the Island of Kona|
|Wailua River, we road a river boat to the Fern Grotto|
|We were entertained by Hawaiian music, singing and hula dancing while riding the river boat.|
|Susan and Rob at the Fern Grotto, a traditional Hawaiian wedding song was played while we were at the Fern Grotto|
|Above picture is that of a blow hole, as the waves moved in, they are forced through a hole in the lava rock resulting in a loud blowing noise and a huge gush of water.|
The next 3 pictures are of Waimea Canyon, we barely made it to the top of the Canyon before the fog moved in. I took these pictures immediately after we got to the overlook and within 5 minutes the whole Canyon was fogged in and it started to mist rain very heavily. What I saw was very beautiful with reds, greens, blues and brown colors.
After the Waimea Canyon we visited a Hawaiian gift shop and then headed back to the ship.
8th day Friday December 3, 2010 Island of Kona and starting our cruise back to Honolulu, Hawaii.
|Sundown, the last evening of our cruise|
9th day Saturday December 4, 2010 Honolulu, Hawaii:
We packed our bags and were able to exit the ship around 9:30 am, catching a shuttle to our next destination, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Hawaii. The cruise was so much fun and enjoyable. The accommodations were excellent, the employees/crew was extremely friendly, the entertainment was outstanding and it was great sharing the trip with Clarence and his nieces and nephews
|Susie and Rob in the main lobby of the cruise ship just prior to departing the ship after our cruise.|
After checking into the hotel we went to the Reception area for the Pearl Harbor Survivors and Registered for the upcoming activities to take place over the next few days.
The next four pictures were taken from our balcony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The views were all along Waikiki Beach. I sat out on the balcony as often as I could, the views were outstanding and the weather was refreshing with warm tropical winds blowing. The next two pictures are of the entrance and grounds of the hotel and the last picture is of Susie and I in front of the Christmas tree on the 2nd floor convention area of the hotel.
10th day Sunday December 5, 2010 Honolulu, Hawaii:The Pearl Harbor Survivors had set up a tour of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. We had signed up for this tour many weeks in advance. We met the bus at 5:45am to start our tour, the driver explained we would cover about 160 miles. The areas that we visited were Diamond Head, Nuuanu Pali Lookout, North Shore surfing beaches, Exclusive Kahala Estates, Waimea Bay, Hanauma Bay, Pineapple fields (Dole Plantation), Chinaman's Hat, Mormon Temple, Halona "Blow Hole" lookout, Kualoa Ranch Buffet for lunch, a Macadamia nut farm for sampling, Pali Lookout and Punch Bowl Cemetery.
|Clarence and Danny with Hanauma Bay in the background|
|The below and above picture is of Hanauma Bay and Beach, the last morning of the trip, Danny, Brian, Danny and I went snorkeling. I really just enjoyed the scenery as I couldn't handle the snorkel.|
|Above and below pictures of Halona "Blow Hole" look out|
|Island named Chinaman Hat|
|The above picture and next two pictures were taken at a Kualoa Ranch where we ate lunch.|
|Brian, Benny, Carol, Clarence, Danny and Beverly|
|Susan, Helen, Frank, Danny and Sharon|
|We went to the Dole Plantation gift shop where we had a Dole Pineapple Whip Cone, mmmmm.|
|The Punch Bowl Military Cemetery, very beautiful and somber. The cemetery sits high on a hill overlooking Honolulu.|
11th Day Monday December 6, 2010 Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Hawaii
As part of the Pearl Harbor Survivor events, we had an opportunity to spend the day on Pearl Harbor visiting the grounds, the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Battleship Missouri Tour. The Park service and various military personnel, mostly Navy went out of there way to make the Survivors and their guests very comfortable. The Survivors were treated with the highest of respect, salutes, kind words and words of appreciation from everyone. We boarded the USS Arizona Memorial with a number of Survivors and their families. The media was there and a number of the Survivors provided stories of that horrible day. 69 years later each of them were living that day all over, creating a very emotional environment. A number of the Survivors talked of their shipmates and fellow soldiers that were friends, dieing next to them. They reflected on their opportunity to live through that day, the whole war, as well as 69 years later and being able to talk about the events. I have had a strong appreciation for those who died and those who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms. This day has heightened that appreciation beyond any describable words. Having been in the Navy one of my desires was to visit Pearl Harbor. Having the opportunity to share this day with Clarence, other Survivors and others who served in the military made this day one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The following days events, December 7, 2010 the 69th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and dedication of the new Museum was yet to come.
|Picture of other Battleship Memorials with Ford Island in the background|
|Arriving the USS Arizona Memorial assisted by Military personnel|
|The wall of memory of those who died aboard the USS Arizona|
|On board the USS Arizona Memorial, Clarence: Pearl Harbor Survivor center back row with Nephews Frank on he left and Danny on the right. His nieces left to right: Carol and Beverly and his great nephew Brian.|
|The USS Arizona Memorial as we headed back to shore.|
|Battleship USS Missouri picture taken from the water shuttle going to the USS Arizona Memorial|
|16 inch guns on the USS Missouri|
|Actual spot where documents were signed ending World War II|
|Guns, bow of the USS Missouri with the USS Arizona Memorial in the distance|
|Copy of the signed document on board the USS Missouri ending World War II|
|Picture of the USS Arizona Memorial taken from the Bridge of the USS Battleship Missouri|
|Flags lined up to the entrance of the USS Battleship Missouri|
|As we left Pearl Harbor and headed back to the hotel, we drove through the Punch Bowl Military Cemetery again.|
|Susie and I as we arrived at the Luau|
|Sharon and Clarence at the Luau|
|Making a Hawaiian Lei the traditional way|
|Making head bands and leggings from Palm Tree leaves|
|Entertainment included Hawaiian dance|
The day started very early again as the ceremony was to coincide with the actual timeline that Pearl Harbor was attacked. The ceremony was conducted by the National Park Service and the US Navy as Pearl Harbor is both a National Park and the current Naval Headquarters and Base for the United States Pacific Fleet and Military Operations.. Many high ranking National Parks officials were in attendance along with the Senior Officers of the Naval Base along with about 100 Pearl Harbor Survivors. The Governor of Hawaii spoke along with, National Parks officials and Military Officers. There was a missing man fly over, the USS Chafee arrived in the Harbor and the Dedication of the new multi million dollar Museum and Visitor center was conducted.,
|Clarence Pearl Harbor Survivor and his Nephew Danny just prior to the start of the 69th Pearl Harbor ceremony and the Dedication ceremony for the new Pearl Harbor Museum and Visitors Center|
|Opening Ceremonies with the USS Pearl Harbor in the background|
The next two pictures reflects the Presentation of the Colors
|Arrival of the USS Chafee DDG 90 with her crew manning the rail during the ceremony|
|Sharon, Danny and Brian|
|Left to Right Sitting: Beverly, Clarence, Carol Standing: Frank and Danny|
|Beverly and Danny|
|Benny and Carol|
|Frank and Helen|
|Sharon and Danny|
|Clarence: Thank you for your service to our country and thank you for including Susan and I in all of the Pearl Harbor Survivor Association activites and events. We had a blast.|
13th day Wednesday December 8, 2010 Honolulu, Hawaii
10 of the 12 of us was flying home on this day. Susan and I stayed over one more night and flew home the next day. Their flight was scheduled for the late afternoon, Danny, Brian, Danny and I took a shuttle to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. The park and beach was one of the prettiest we had seen on the whole trip. I had never snorkeled before and ended up having a difficult time with the mask. I ended up sitting on the beach, enjoying just doing nothing as it was the first time to do nothing for almost two weeks. The other 3 had a great time and said they saw a number of beautiful fish. We headed back to the hotel and met the others for lunch. After lunch we all went back to Susan and my room the last couple of hours visiting and saying good bye. After everyone headed to the airport, Susie and I went out to walk Waikiki Beach and watch the sun go down. We then went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for dinner and went shopping in the mall. We purchased Susan a beautiful necklace made of Pink Turquoise and carved Koa wood. On the way to our room we walked through the grounds of the hotel and took a few pictures. We then walked to our room, packed our bags and called it an evening.
|When we walked out on the Waikiki Beach this hula dancer was peforming a sundown dance|
|Susan on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii at sundown our last evening in Hawaii December 8, 2010|
|Diamond Head in the background looking down Waikiki Beach, Hawaii|
|Rob on Waikiki Beach Hawaii at Sundown on December 8, 2010|
The next few pictures are sundown on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii December 8, 2010
|Susan and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Honolulu, Hawaii|
14th day Thursday December 9, 2010 Honolulu, Hawaii to Houston, Texas
We left the hotel for the airport at 4:30 am. When we arrived we learned that our flight had been cancelled. We were rerouted through San Francisco then to Houston leaving an hour later than our original flight. We arrived back into to Houston at midnight only losing the original hour from the beginning of our return home.