Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I....don't really know where to start.

The reason why I didn't post yesterday because I was tired.

Yes, really. I was TIRED.

I am not even kidding right now. Yesterday (and today) were such eventful days that I had to hype myself up on sugar in order to muster the strength to write this post.

Anyway, our hotel provides us with free breakfast (!!!!!!!! free food !!!!!!!!!!), so we had some of that. As you can see, I was trying to be healthy.


I had like a yogurt and two more mini muffins and more fruit and stuff after this, but I didn't do too badly.

Before breakfast, though, my mom and I worked out in the "Fitness Center" they have here and went down to the beach.

And you might be thinking, Rachel! Are you seriously that much of an early bird??!!

And the answer is NO. I am NOT an early bird. My mother is. I am not. But Hawaii is three hours behind my time, so 4:30 in the morning (when I woke up) is like 7:30 a.m. back home. 

It was really weird being up early in the morning. But I managed to catch the sunrise! (Kind of...)

For some reason I really like Hawaiian architecture ^^^^^^ I keep taking pictures of all the buildings.

They have a bunch of different things up for rent at the beach. I kind of want to go on that giant wheely thing.

After breakfast, we headed to the Diamond Head trail. It was pretty easy, but we had to take the bus and walk to the bus stops and stuff so it was more than 1.6 miles.

I'm pretty sure I don't need to say this, but it was BEAAAAUUUUTTTIFFFUUULLL.

California water is kind of like a darker, grayish bluish color. Hawaiian water is two-toned and way prettier.

Afterward, we went back home and got some food from one of the several hundred thousand million ABC Stores here. They're kind of like convenience stores, except they have everything and they're pretty fairly priced. I'm not even kidding--they have clothes, souvenirs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, fire lighters, groceries, and legitimate food. 

Then we went down to the beach, which was really nice--the water's really shallow for a really long time; you can really get out there and the water'd still be up at your waist. I didn't take any pictures because I was too busy playing in the water.

Then we went back up, dried off, and walked back down to a different beach for a SURFING LESSON.


They made us use these really long, thick, heavy boards, so I only fell off once or twice or thrice (but no more than thrice) and even though I didn't go very far and I needed to get pushed in order to actually catch waves, it was really fun. For an hour or two there, I felt like a true soul surfer ;-) 

Also, can I just say that paddling is really hard? Like, you wouldn't think so, but if you're on one of those giant beginner boards, your arms get tired. (My shoulders are sore as I'm typing this right now.) Also, I'm really bad at it. Scooping water is harder than it looks. Just a heads-up in case you guys go surfing. 


The paddling was what wore me out. And the hiking. We went and got musubi afterwards--musubi is like this Asian thing (I'm pretty sure it's Japanese) where they wrap seaweed around a bunch of rice and a meat (usually Spam)--but we had to walk like fifteen minutes to get there and I got all worn out. The musubi place was this little hole-in-the-wall. I got their cucumber-egg-Spam one, and it was super salty but also really good. The egg was sweet, for some reason, but it complemented the Spam because--if you haven't ever had Spam--it's salty. Like, INSANELY salty.

THEEEEENNN we got a shave ice. I usually don't like banana flavors, but the banana ice was the best.

Afterward, we got back to our hotel room and I just about collapsed. I was SO. TIRED. I fell asleep literally as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Of course, it didn't help when my mom had to wake me up at 5:30 in the morning today. 

See, there are these people called tourists in Hawaii. They're quite common, I've heard; actually, occasionally I refer to myself as one of them. But the problem with tourists is that, in the summer, they're very prevalent. And a lot of them flock to Hawaii. And a lot of them want to go see Pearl Harbor and all the famous Hawaiian sights.

But the problem is, WE want to go see Pearl Harbor and all the famous Hawaiian sights too.

So guess what?

We had to wake up early and go see them before everyone else did. 

And, I suppose, that's what we had to do.

I WAS STILL REALLY TIRED. I had gotten 8-9 hours of sleep, but I probably could've gotten at least a couple more because (I don't really know) I was so worn out from the day before. I kind of wandered around Pearl Harbor in a half-sleepy daze for a couple of hours.

Pearl Harbor is divided into a bunch of different sections with a bunch of different memorials. There's the USS Arizona memorial (a movie + a boat ride to the memorial, which is a white building that sits on top of the ship itself) and the submarine and a shuttle bus ride to the USS Missouri and an aviation museum. There's also a museum and some other stuff, I think.

This was the memorial. It was an oblong white building with some plaques and a bunch of windows so we could look out to the sunken ship.

These kind of places fascinate and sober me. It's kind of strange to me that I'm standing on a piece of, seventy years ago General Douglas MacArthur was walking around the places that I was walking on. Or, when I was standing on the USS Missouri, I was standing on the same deck that, many moons ago, housed the ending of WWII (the final Japanese surrender was signed on the deck of the ship). There are a thousand sailors' names etched on the wall of the USS Arizona memorial. And it's crazy to me--me, who at fifteen years old still cannot quite yet grasp the reality of death--that all of these men? They were once living. They had families. They had identities. They had wives and girlfriends and children and they spoke and then one day a Japanese bomb exploded the ammunition chamber of their ship and bam--they were gone.

I'm still so young that I can't ever imagine dying, or being put in a situation in which I'm going to die. I've never had a near-death experience. My imagination is more real to me than reality is sometimes.

And yet...these things happen.

I think that, with getting older, I realize the sobriety of the situations more. I've been to several monuments in Washington, D.C., over five years ago, but none of them have affected me quite as much as the USS Arizona memorial has.

And I've never appreciated the veterans and the American military more. And I get it more, why we have Veteran's Day and Memorial Day and why veterans get discounts and also why they get PTSD and all the awful stuff. War is a terrible thing.

To think that the remains of over 900 men from the explosion are still down there, lingering in the ship, makes me think. 

We're not invincible. But we act like we are sometimes. And these people--they knew they weren't invincible. And yet they still went out and did their duties.

If you're working for the military and you're reading this, for whatever reason...thank you.

After, I had to get ice cream. Even though I'd absorbed that much impact in a short amount of time, I DESPERATELY needed a sugar fix.

For some reason, caffeine makes me sleepy. I always have to resort to sugar, even at 9:45 in the morning.

We walked around the inside of a submarine, and then we got hot dogs. (I'm taking pictures of all the food, guys. Feast with your eyes.)

Then we went to the USS Missouri...

Then we drove to the Dole Pineapple Plantation!

We didn't do that much there--just walked around the shops, bought some Dole Whip, and did a little train tour of the plantation--but it was nice, being in fresh air and seeing the "rural" side of Hawaii. 

Dole Whip is actually really good. It's kind of like pineapple froyo. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the tart-sweet combination thing, it still tasted magical. (Sorry, I'm running out of adjectives.)

Train ride selfie!

The tour was in this tiny train that reminded me of Disneyland, and there was an audio tour along with it. The audio tour was great; the "musical breaks"--EXTREMELY CLICHED MUSIC SONGS ABOUT PINEAPPLES AND HAWAII--were awful (they played little interludes of "local music" to persuade us poor deluded tourists to buy these "local" CDs). The music itself wasn't bad--there were plenty of ukuleles and drums and stuff--but GEEZ, the lyrics were awful. The guy singing was like...

Won't you pick me a pineapple
That'd be really really dapple
But pineapples aren't apples
Let's go plaaaaaayyyyyyyyy

(Okay, not really, but you get the gist. They needed a new lyricist.)

It's getting late now and I need to go--we have to wake up early tomorrow too--so I'll let you go! See you in a day or two!


  1. !!!!!!! Wow, no wonder you are exhausted! I'm exhausted reading about what you've done! :)

  2. Wow, that sounds awesome! Surfing sounds so fun but then I'd be terrible at it :)