Since our brains were still on PST, we woke freakishly early (well, freakishly early for me) and listened to the far-off sound of roosters trying to bring up the sun. We ate breakfast with the family, prepped for the day, then headed toward Pearl Harbor to visit the U.S.S. Arizona memorial.
1) Admission is free, though you do need to secure tickets for a spot on the boat over to the memorial. These tickets are first-come, first-served, so it behooves you to get there earlier than we did, before the hordes of tourists descend.
2) For security reasons, no purses, backpacks or other large carry-in items are allowed into the memorial. Leave your purse at home or in a safe place, as the memorial's parking lot is what is known as a theft-rich location. If you plan on spending any money in the gift shops, bring in something like a wallet. Or do as Miss V did, and bug your uncle.
Speaking of which, Miss V was not overly pleased to be stuck waiting for a boat ride at a national monument. We had some time to kill before 11:15 and she didn't see enough opportunities to go shopping. So we let her go off to Target with the fam while we took a look around.
Well, as Monty Python says, "enough of this gay banter." None of this was really the reason we were there.
Miss V rejoined us around 11:00, still a bit sulky as she waited around for the boat. She wasn't the least bit interested at first. But before you ride over to the memorial, you watch a short documentary film about what happened at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. There is archival footage of the attack, including what it looked like when the Arizona was bombed. 70+ years later, the footage still has the power to send a shock wave of horror through the audience.
After the film, V had plenty of questions.
Tripler Army Hospital, the big pink building where my friend Fen was born.
Everybody was hungry at that point, so we went to two long-running local institutions: Rainbow Drive-In for plate lunches...
...followed by Leonard's for some fresh-made malasadas (Portuguese-style donuts). The malasada in particular did terrible things to my blood sugar, but oohhhhh so tasty. Sometimes you just gotta live a little. (Can you blame me? Come on, look at that display case and tell me you'd have the willpower to resist!)
After that we went to the Punchbowl. No, it is not a drinking establishment.
Lest you think we were being excessively morbid on Valentine's Day...
Once we'd had enough of the Punchbowl, we headed back for the North Shore, stopping to take in the Pali Lookout.
Later in the evening, Captain Midnight and I did some sweetheart-y stuff at the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was having a big Valentine's Day feast that reminded me of nothing so much as the first 10 minutes of Spirited Away.
After we ate our fill, CM and I sauntered out to take a boat ride around the park. The usual ride had been transformed with paper lanterns and tiny lights and other Valentinesque detritus, with lots of lurve ballads playing. This made us a little silly, so that as we headed back to the dock and another boat approached ours, the woman sitting beside us couldn't help but shout, "RAMMING SPEED!" and we began to pantomime beating drums to spur on our gondolier to commit mayhem. Fun!
Much satisfied with our first full day on Oahu, we went home and fell into bed.