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January 6, 2003

Hawai'i, Day Two

Got a lot packed into one day. One of the virtues of going west is that you wake up earlier in the morning, so even sleepaphilic Alex was up for breakfast at 8. First stop, thanks to a missed exit, was the National Cemetary of the Pacific, a vast and pretty set of fields with tombstones set flat into the ground.

Then on to the Bishop Museum, where a demonstration of various forms of Hawaiian songs, chants and dances was just starting when we arrived. The museum covers the natural and social history of the islands, and includes a planetarium that we might go back to later in the week.

Then on to the USS Arizona Memorial which was a moving and well designed experience. You see a film about Pearl Harbor, then get onto a boat to enter the memorial itself which is anchored over the wreck of the Arizona. It was (ironic? bemusing?) to see Japanese tourists having their pictures taken with the rusting shell of the ship in the background. Next stop, Hilo Hattie's, a megastore for all things Hawaiian. We got caught up in the moment and bought a muumuu for June's Mom, 5 shirts for the rest of us, and salted macademias. Finally, dinner in Chinatown with pretty good seafood and dirty water glasses.

More to see tomorrow.