Pearl Harbor

It has been a few months since I returned from Hawaii, the trip was an amazing trip and I know I will cherish the memories from that trip with my father for the rest of my life.  One of the major highlights of the trip was Pearl Harbor.


I haven’t posted about this trip because the experience is so hard to put into words.  It was an emotional visit and one that is nearly impossible to put into words.  I think I am finally ready to try and put this trip into words because it was a true highlight of my trip, and I know without a doubt it was dad’s.

This is going to be a very long post because I am going to try and fit everything into this post.  I am also going to feature book recommendations to read before your visit these are recommended by Packabook. Go check them out they are AWESOME!

First don’t ask Siri to “get directions” to Pearl Harbor. I did that and ended up at a military check point.  While it was hilarious (I played dumb to the very cute military guy & dad pretty much rolled me under the bus) it was waste of his time to explain to a tourist this wasn’t Pearl Harbor, I needed to drive a little further.  The military is pretty busy, so try to use the actual memorial address vs the just being very vague to Siri.

Another pointer, don’t wear a dress.  I did, because I figured “Hey I was in Hawaii a dress is called for” it is very windy and I am pretty sure I flashed my fair share of people.

Also I hate that I feel I need to say this but I am going to just say it and then get off my high horse.  Half the people there WILL be Japanese.  Get over it, don’t be “that guy” that mouths off to them over the event.  Remember they were following orders too.  Be respectful.  Ok please excuse me while I step off my soap box.

OK now that I have given my tips, let me try to put the experience into words.  The memorial was something I hope every American can see in their lifetime.  It is a moment in our history when lives were taken and pretty much changed America forever.   We had a surprise attack, it was the first time this occurred and many American soldiers were lost.  Most teenagers or young adults.

I met a survivor, one of the few left.  It was such a sobering experience, and I can’t imagine what he feels when he visits the place where all his brothers were lost.  It is something I know I simply just can’t imagine and while I am not an emotional person. I couldn’t help but feeling emotional when I shook his hand.

Before you get on the boat to go to the actual memorial there is a very tasteful video that explains why Japan attacked us, why it was so easily taken and the aftermath.  Again I would be lying if I said I didn’t get slightly emotional watching that video, it was very informative and even brought understanding to the Japanese point of view.  War is war and it causes loss to both sides.


When we arrived to the Arizona memorial I found it fascinating that oil still leaks from the ship.  I also found out the few survivors that should have been on the ship want to be buried at sea with their shipmates.   It was one of the most touching stories I heard.

Dad and I spent some time on the Arizona Memorial honoring the fallen, when we decided to go we decided to tour other parts of Pearl Harbor.  We decided to tour the USS Bowfin also known as The Pearl Harbor Avenger, we took part in the audio tour and again I was fascinated to see first hand the life our military men (and now women) endear for the safety of our country.

Simply put, I am 5’2″ and I had to duck to get into some of the rooms, talk about tight compartments.  The tour lasted about an hour and it was time to walk over to the museum and walk through that.  It was fascinating seeing World War 2 artifacts and hearing the stories from Military men, nurses and people who witnessed Pearl Harbor first hand.


It was about lunch time but we were not done, we had to go see the USS Missouri. We spent easily two hours on this ship we took a walking tour with a guide who told us the stories and history of the battleship.   We boarded a bus and took us to the military base (the base I illegally had tried to enter earlier) where we were dropped off in front of this mighty battle ship.  I was awestruck! It was massive and I couldn’t believe the history that is associated with this ship.   Just further proof that travel is one of the best educational opportunities a person can take.

“Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed!

–  General MacArthur, September 2, 1945, aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay

We were able to stand where the famous documents were signed and learned that this was the first AND only time Japan has surrendered.   We learned the theories as to why the battleship was chosen to have the papers signed.   We learned that a Japanese soldier attempted to kamikaze ship and lost his life in the process.  General MacArthur, stated that  he would have a soldiers burial  because he is a fellow soldier.    Touring the ship was deeply moving and I again I was awestruck with the life our military men and woman sign up for.


We toured the ship and it was fun to see the decor of the 90s.  (it will make you realize just how old you are!).

By this point it was late afternoon and we still had one more stop to make the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor dad works with planes and this was going to be the final stop of our trip.

Again I couldn’t help but feel proud to have been born American and see what our ancestors endured so we could have the basic rights we have today, that so many do not have.

Overall this was a very long and very emotionally draining day.  I went through so many emotions touring this area while in Hawaii. I felt sadness, anger, pity, happiness, joy… pretty much every emotion a person could feel.  I would do this day all over again.  If you are in Hawaii this is an absolute MUST do.  Believe me you will not regret it.

I will share another post in the future of my favorite photos I took 300 from the day and it is hard to choose my favorites.

Planning a trip to Pearl Harbor soon? Below are some books to get you ready for this very emotional experience

Novels to read while visiting Pearl Harbor

The Lion in the Lei Shop by Kaye Starbird
Goodreads Link

The bombing of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of a young army officer’s wife and her 5-year old daughter. A rare chance to experience the impact this dramatic period of American history had on its women.


Lucky Come Hawaii by Jon Shirota
Goodreads Link

The emotions and trauma of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on one Japanese-American family living in Hawaii.


East, Wind, Rain by Caroline Paul
Goodreads Link

December 1941 and a place crash-lands in an isolated Hawaiian community. When a plane crash-lands on the island, the people who live there have no idea the pilot has just bombed Pearl Harbor.


These reading suggestions are provided by Packabook Travel Novels, the place to go to find novels set in the place you want to travel to. Happy Reading!

Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin


Purchase Link: Last Train to Istanbul: A Novel

Country Set in: France, Turkey

This book caught my eye as I was searching for book set in “France”.  It caught my eye because the premise of the story is about an Islam girl who falls in love with a Jewish man right at the peak of Nazi occupied Europe.  It intrigued me because with all the negativity surrounding Islam  it was a firm reminder that hatred of some time has always been present historically.  That is a topic to be debated for another day, but I would be lying if I didn’t explain why this book interested me.

March Goals

This month was total garbage with news, I had an utter month of unexpected expenses because of added expenses that kept me from accomplishing a lot of my goals.

1. Pay off my Firestone Credit Card– didn’t have due to an unexpected medical expense

2. Practice Spanish 15 minutes a day– due to said medical expense Ecuador is pushed back and I said screw it I am not practicing because I am bitter

3. Save $500 in my rainy day fund– Medical expense drained all my money and therefore did not add to fun

4. Watch 10 movies on the American Film Institute Greatest 100 movie list– I did do this… I need to write about this 🙂 )

5. Walk the neighborhood three times a week– I didn’t walk the neighborhood but I did walk the 1.25 loop at work on my lunch break

6. Eat breakfast daily– I did this about 75% of the time

So that brings me to March, while I did accomplish a few things on my list I didn’t tackle the big list.  I recently have learned that upcoming medical procedures that I need are going to be expensive.  I have insurance but it isn’t the greatest.  While I am very depressed I know I must take care of my health and because of this I have postponed all international travel until I am completely sure of the actual expense of my procedures.

Which is why for the next few months the focus of my blog will be more “inspiration” rather than what I learned on the road.  I might do some traveling state side, but because I am going to pay a lot of money towards medical procedures I have to be a responsible adult.  I said I wanted to get healthy this year and that is exactly what I will do.

I am going to try to “travel the world” without leaving my home, I am going to find movies, books and even cooking recipes to try to inspire YOU to get ready for your travels.  Check out my “Travel by Book & Movie” page for more information.  I realize that this is just a slight hiccup in my travel endeavors but I know my health has to come first or I will never hike the Inca Trail.

That being said it is time to get to my March goals.

1. Pay off my three smallest credit cards.  It is bonus month for me, and with my bonus I am taking care of some small debts and setting the cards aside because I don’t really have a reason to use them so it will be nice to have them paid off.

2. Get $500 in my rainy day fund.   If my math is right and I don’t have anything else occur unexpectedly I should accomplish this pretty easy with the remainder of my bonus money.

3. Continue my exercise and eating healthy regime.  I need to keep up the healthy habits I have developed and just because I am stressed out doesn’t mean I need to let things I have already accomplished go awry.

4. Have my Ecuador Fundraising Party. I had huge plans to raise money for my project and yes I still intend on doing that, I said I was going to raise money for those children and I intend to stick to my word.

5. Develop a payment plan for my large balanced credit card and my car. One of my major goals this year was to get my car paid off it isn’t due to be paid off until May of 2016 and I want to get it paid off at least 6 months in advance.

6. Finish my USO girl costume and my Poison Ivy costume. These are two costumes I have wanted to get finished for quite some time.  It is time that I get these done. Plus I figure I am not going anywhere I might as well finish all my unfinished projects.

So yes I am very disappointed that Iam postponing International travel, but if my plans go according to plan I will be financially stronger in 2016 and able to travel more often.   Plus this gives me the opportunity to put my stellar research skills to work and compile a database of movies & books based in a certain country for when YOU travel somewhere.  So if you need a little inspiration go check out my database page.  You might find the inspiration you need.

Do you have any goals this month?

Spending the month of February reading Jane Austen

When I announced I was adding the “1001 Books to Read Before You Die” list I decided that for every “fluff” paranormal romance book I read I would read a book on the list so I could be and I quote “Classy and sh*t”  as it is no secret that I love reading  I figured some of the books may be a fun way to travel the world while I stay put in my bedroom. Sadly.

Because of my decision to be classy, I decided that I would start with the Jane Austen books:

#932- Northanger Abbey
#933- Persuasion
#936- Emma
#937- Mansfield Park
#938- Pride and Prejudice
#940- Sense and Sensibility

I decided to focus on Jane Austen for the following reasons:

I often claimed I am a “Huge Jane Austen Fan” when in actuality I have only read Pride and Prejudice.  I don’t feel it is fair to call myself a fan, when I have only read one of her works.

In my defense, I have seen a lot of the movie & TV versions of Emma, so I knew I would like the story of Emma so I figured I should read the book.

Furthermore, I decided that if I was in fact a “Huge fan of Jane Austen” it was time to sit my butt down and read the books. I even re-read Pride and Prejudice… I just love Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy way too much. Que sighs now.

I also figured that as an Anglophile it was important that I read these stories. Please see my United Kingdom category for other books I have read based in the United Kingdom if you are curious. Some day I will make it there. Someday.

and last as February is the month of “love” (finger quotes used) I figured why not read some of the greatest love stories of all time.

I won’t bore you with the details of the books, because to be quite frank classier people have stated all that there is to be said about these fantastic books.  I mean people have PhD’s in Jane Austen, and will write much better reviews on these books than I could ever imagine writing.

I will tell you that Mr. Knightly might… (gasp I know!) be my new favorite. He is practically perfect in every way. I will also say the lack of manners in the  modern world is so sad, and it is fun to escape into a past time where manners were considered every day life.  Imagine people actually being polite.  I love that almost as much as I love the characters in the books.

I enjoyed these books… they are all an easy five stars, and I think everyone should give them a go.   Plus the books were an easy 6 books to read on the list.

995 books left on that list to go…. oh joy.

Just escape the cubicle already

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