Military, Pearl Harbor Day, Uncategorized

In Memory of Pearl Harbor


Dearest Readers:

I would like to take a moment of time, a moment of silence, in memory of Pearl Harbor Day. Today, December 7, 2016 is the 75th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii.

I’ve visited Hawaii twice. Both times, I wanted to tour the memorial; however, it was closed for renovations, improvements, etc. The military holds a special significance inside my heart. I remember studying about the Pearl Harbor attack in history class. One of my class projects was about Pearl Harbor. Although my teacher gave me an A+, and she read my project to the class, she refused to return my project.  This was back in the days of typewriters, not computers. What is a typewriter, you might ask? Before computers and keyboarding typing was a subject in high school. I am thankful I learned to type the correct way, not the hunt, punch, pecking order most people use now.

Reportedly, according to my husband, his father was stationed on the USS Arizona. He survived. Although I met my father-in-law, never did I hear him speak about Pearl Harbor Day and his survival. He didn’t speak much at all, that is, until he was so drunk one could not understand his speech. I honestly do not know what it was like to live at that time, or to see Japanese planes attacking, burning, and destroying beautiful Hawaii, the USS Arizona and other ships and killing so many of our military. Some of the family say my father-in-law drank so much because of Pearl Harbor. I have my doubts about that statement, simply because my father-in-law was quick to blame others for any of his betrayals, deceptions and life in general.

Posted below is a site I discovered while researching about Pearl Harbor. http://www.history.com/news/5-facts-about-pearl-harbor-and-the-uss-arizona

Reading that site, I discovered Elvis Presley helped raise $50,000 in funds for the memorial back in March, 1961. Truly a site worthy of reading, just to learn a bit more about Pearl Harbor.

Twenty-three sets of brothers died on the USS Arizona. One full set of brothers, Kenneth and Russell Warriner, survived the attack. You can read about them by visiting the site: http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/7193335-74/harbor-pearl-kralik

There is much that is written about Pearl Harbor. One interesting topic is the fact that our military veterans rarely talk about their experiences. Reportedly, “The total number of military personnel killed was 2,335, including 2,008 navy personnel, 109 marines, and 218 army. Added to this were 68 civilians, making the total 2403 people dead. 1,177 were from the USS Arizona.” https://visitpearlharbor.org/faqs/how-many-people-died-at-pearl-harbor-during-the-attack/

To all of you who know about Pearl Harbor Day, especially those who had relatives you lost due to these attacks, I would like to thank you for serving your country, or for knowing someone who served during this time. Daily, we lose World War II veterans. Some of those veterans I have had the pleasure of meeting on occasions, and when I see someone wearing a World War II Veteran cap, I give them a hug and say thank you.

Today, I honor all of them by writing a bit about Pearl Harbor Day. On December 7, 1941 at 7:55am, the attack began. East coast time was 12:55pm. I have set my IPhone to alarm me at 12:55pm today. I will share a moment of silence and prayer for the day which “began in infamy.” http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5166

As we make plans to celebrate the holidays, let us remember Pearl Harbor…9-11… and all of the battles the USA sent our precious military to fight for our freedom, including Viet Nam. To our military, I pray for you daily. I thank you for your dedication to America. May we never forget those we’ve lost.

In memory of Pearl Harbor Day I salute and thank all of you. May God bless our country.

DSC_0431-001

DSC_0230-001
The evening sunset in Hawaii

 

 

 

 

Free Writing, Hawaii

Another Gray Day — In My Dreams I Live in Hawaii!


Dearest Readers:

Today is Monday…another day of rain and gray clouds. I am so sick of this rain and the grayness. It is so depressing. Winter is a time where the sun appears to choose to stay within the clouds, instead of beaming with rich colors and warmth. On days like today, I simply want to run away. I spoke to a dear friend earlier. She resides in North Carolina and they are getting ice again. Will this weather EVER improve?

Yes, we have had a few days of sunshine, but not many. Last week I noticed a robin in my back yard. The first sign of spring. My dad and I played a game every year to see who would see the first robin. Usually, he was the winner. He was retired at the time and took his ‘daily strolls’ so he managed to see the robins. I, on the other hand, was practically married to Corporate America, so my days were spent recruiting students, writing speeches and other unpredictable demands of my life in Corporate America. Let’s don’t even discuss weekends. Corporate America demanded ALL of my TIME!

Now, as a writer, I have the time to look for robins and I must say, seeing that beautiful robin in my back yard, directing his look at me sitting by my window, I felt the presence of my dad and I knew, springtime is just around the corner and I want to embrace it tightly! Last week, I planned to work in my yard. To rake the leaves and place them in my compost pile. When I went outside to do that, the lawn was still too wet, so I chose to do some spring cleaning instead. The weekend, it rained. Today, rain again — it is STILL RAINING while I write this. Will it EVER stop? Normally by now in Charleston, SC the azaleas are blooming along with other flowers. This year? Every thing is still soaked, or just beginning to bud. Saturday, when I stripped the beds, I removed my electric blanket. Today, it is 44 degrees at the moment. How I wish I’d left that warm and toasty blanket on my bed. Oh well. I’ll simply have to snuggle up close just to get warm. It has been such a cold winter for us here in Charleston. I’m ready to sell everything and move to a warmer climate — maybe Hawaii!!!

At least a girl can dream, and in my dreams I live in Hawaii and I stroll along on Waikiki Beach daily. Never did I feel threatened or unsafe in Hawaii.

I suppose this gray, wet day is getting the best of me because all I am doing today is rambling. Oops…make that is freewriting instead! Heaven forbid if I rambled! How I wish I was back in Hawaii again! Yes, walking along the streets to International Market Place, dressed in shorts, a T-shirt, my camera and phone nearby.

Oh, how I’d love to get a trip to Hawaii again! The climate is magnificent, and even when it rains, it is only for a short while. Later, the sun comes out, and the day is beautiful! Incidentally, I have photographs to prove it!

Aloha!!!

Hawaii

While the Sun Sets On My Fantastic Trip to Hawaii


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Waikiki Beach

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 – I am happy to report I still have most of my Hawaiian tropical tan. People keep complimenting me and I am so pleased! I do apologize for not completing this saga of my trip to Hawaii until now. Life has really kept me busy lately. Two press trips, three assignments and so much more! The demands of my life appear to intensify with every day.

My last day in Hawaii was July 12. Phil had to work that morning so I caught a ride with him to the airport, arriving at 9:30am. My flight did not leave until 12:30. I stood in the line awaiting check-in for over 45 minutes. Not a soul was at the desk. I told myself not to get frustrated because I fully believe if the airline personnel pick up on any arrogance, then, they will retaliate. Who can blame them? They must deal with difficult, rude passengers, deadlines and much more. I try my best to always be pleasant to them and I smile. When I checked in, I greeted the assistant with kindness and a smile even though I was just a bit tired of standing. She wished me a good flight. Easy enough!

I was so sad to leave. Reflecting on my seven days in Honolulu, I must say, this trip has given me a new lease on life. Losing my sweet, precious Prince Marmaduke Shamus in the late spring, so unexpectedly left me empty. For weeks, I could not do anything with the exception of crying. Phil had to practically force me to go to karaoke on Wednesday nights. Gone was the normal smile on my face. Several people asked me what was going on and when I replied that I had lost a close family member, my special beautiful giant schnauzer, I would get strange looks from them. I suppose they have never adopted a rescue animal. Never have I felt so unconditionally loved, but I knew I had to move on, and that was so difficult.

Sunset at Waikiki Beach

The trip to Honolulu refreshed me and on this, the morning I had to leave, I wanted to run away. Maybe I could hide in one of the caves, or on Diamond Head. Maybe I could just climb to the top of a mountain and claim my stakes on the territory. Of course, that was not a realistic thought. If I ran away, just how would I shower, do my hair and makeup and how I would be able to be the real person I am. I suppose I could learn to become a hermit – on top of the mountains of Hawaii, with the beautiful turquoise waters, the refreshing morning rains, and who could resist the smell of plumeria? Humph. Maybe I should stay!

Paradise Cove

Like all things in life, all good things must come to an end. I was thankful I had packed everything the night before. While waiting for my flight, I jotted notes, recalling the culture, the delicious, aromatic scent of plumeria, the gusting fresh air, and wind, the beautiful view of the oceans, and I missed seeing the whales I failed to see, so while scribbling my thoughts I have decided that I simply must come back to Hawaii. I am hopeful Phil will be sent back to Hawaii for work, and I suppose I will just have to buy a ticket, just to keep him company!

REMINISCING ABOUT PARADISE

My last full day in Hawaii I enjoyed the pool again while chatting with strangers nearby. The early morning rain felt delicious on my skin and by 10:00, the sun beamed from the heavens. I relaxed at the pool for a while, then dressed and walked to International Market Place. Much to my surprise, the merchants remembered me and what I was interested in buying. I bartered with one merchant, a tiny Vietnamese woman. She had a gorgeous silver necklace with pearls and matching earrings. When I asked the price she replied, “$250.” I gently placed the necklace aside and walked away. She followed me. “How much you willing to pay,” she said in broken English. “Necklace was only one; a lady from Hawaii made it. I let you have it for better price, if you like.” I’m certain she could see that ‘I liked the necklace.’ In fact, I loved it, but $250 was more than I was willing to pay, even if the gorgeous necklace was one-of-a-kind.

“I let you have for $140.”

“No can do.”

“What you willing to pay?”

“$125.00, including the earrings.”

The woman rolled her eyes as I walked away. “OK. You drive hard bargain but I let you have and I give you earrings. I can see you like and will wear.”

“For $125.”

I suppose you know, I simply could not resist and I have the gorgeous necklace in my jewelry box. Maybe I’ll wear it tonight!

After making my purchase, I walked around the shops, looking around and admiring all the unique items. Gorgeous Hawaiian dresses, with Made in Hawaii tags. Beautiful jewelry that isn’t found anywhere else. I suppose I could continue describing all that I admired, but when you go to Hawaii, you simply must go to International Market Place!

Stopping for a cup of coffee, I watched the people, finding them unique. Only once did I notice a young guy with clothing much too big for him, revealing the classic underwear of this style. I wanted to tell him to pull his pants up since they were dragging the ground, but since I was alone, I decided it was in my best interest not to say a word. There are lots of elderly couples walking around, without walkers, canes, or anything to indicate disabilities. I’ve seen one man (yes, according to his body, he was an older guy) wearing a speedo. The garment really did not flatter him at all, even though he had a six-pack abdomen and a nice golden tan. Although he’s athletic, his slow walk, and balding head gives his age away. There is another lady walking around, dressed in a bikini. Let’s just say, she was in her 70’s and did not have the body to wear a bikini. She pushed a cart. Her chest was drooping, almost to her knees and the bikini bottom was just a bit too small for her. I laughed, remembering how I’ve seen some of these people on the beaches of Sullivan’s Island, but this was Hawaii – Paradise! I kept looking at this woman as she carefully sifted through trash receptacles. When she found something interesting, she carefully looked around, as if to see if someone was watching her. When she thought no eyes were upon her, she quickly stashed the garbage items in a Wal-Mart bag. Each time, she nodded, bowed her head, and mumbled thank you. This interesting character still had the grace to be appreciative of the treasures she was finding. I was curious as to what she found, but I didn’t dare inquire. Nor did I take a photograph of her. I suppose it is true, what is junk or trash to someone is a treasure to someone else. Yes, you meet and see all kinds in Hawaii and every place, when you have the time to sit and relax and people watch. I made a note to remember this woman and to use her character in a story. She fascinated me. I was curious as to what had made her this way. Was she homeless? Did no one else care about her?

A few moments later, a maintenance worker opened the trash receptacle, to empty it. Only a few pieces of trash did he find. He scratched his head and moved on. I suppose he was curious as to why the container had so little. People are so interesting!

Finishing the last sip of coffee, I decide it is time to journey back to the hotel room. Before exiting International Market Place, I throw a kiss to say “Aloha.” Just how long will it be before I shop here again? That’s truly a great question. I truly hate to leave Hawaii.

The Tradition of the Blowing of the  Conch Shell – Waikiki Beach

Before going back to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, I use the cross walk and walk over to Waikiki Beach, to say goodbye, until we meet again. There are several benches along the sidewalk, so I sit down, open my journal, and jot notes. The wind is gusting now as a beach hat flies by me and flops down on my bench. I anticipate someone will claim it, but so far, no one appears to want it. Suppose this could be a great toy for my new giant schnauzer, Prince Midnight Shadow. According to my dog sitter, he really needs to calm down a bit. Silly guy, in July he was so new to our household he didn’t know the rules. When I return home, I’ll start the discipline and training schedule. This hat could be something fun for him to play with since he loves to destroy all the toys!

Hula Dancing – Waikiki Beach

At 5 o’clock, I rush back to Waikiki Beach. The concierge said there was a hula show today. At sunset, the torches are lit, a conch shell is blown, and the hula show begins. Phil arrives and we stand, admiring the great atmosphere and show. I take an abundance of photographs, only to stop when my digital camera smart card is full. Rats. I wanted to take some more. Wouldn’t you know it…my last chance to capture sunset shots of Waikiki Beach and my smart card is full. I have several in my camera bag – in the hotel room. Duh!

Today is truly my last day in Honolulu. Tomorrow I’ll board the plane and return home. I truly have enjoyed the culture, music, conch shell chimes, the food and fish, fruit; especially the pineapple slices on iced tea, and the people. Such a fascinating place to fall in love again. Maybe that is what is happening to me here in Hawaii. I am falling in love again – with myself.

I’ve noticed that many of the residential homes in Honolulu have solar panels and it is such a beautiful, almost heavenly place. People appear not to rush around on the sidewalks and the lack of cell phones attached to ears truly intrigues me. I do know cell phones work here because I’ve phoned several friends back in the states, just to say, “Aloha!” I must say, some of the most interesting people I’ve met are Hawaiian natives.

The native women are small, with dark, exotic looks nice bodies and small chests. The men are well-built – even in middle age they still have the bodies of surfers and their graying hair simply adds to their demeanor. I suppose I could describe many of these men as “good eye candy” as the cliché describes. Don’t think I took any photographs of this eye candy. I saw one stunning ‘older woman’ and I hate that expression. She was one of the performers at the Hula show. Her hair was snow-white. Cheek bones high and her body was still all in the right places. She walked, danced, and moved with graceful beauty.

Hawaii has so many tropical trees they appear to touch the skyline. Some of these tropical trees appear to grow sideways, making them interesting tree sculptures. Walking around, I smell the aromatic scent of plumeria. I simply must find a cologne containing plumeria. I will never forget that delicious aroma!

Honolulu and Waikiki Beach is truly a walker’s paradise. I will miss these pleasant walks. Never did I break a sweat. The humidity level is low and with the trade winds blowing, it is so refreshing just to walk around, watch people, shop, and enjoy the view. On many occasions when walking, I’ve glanced down at the crosswalks to see definitions of “Aloha” or other Hawaiian words on the sidewalks. What a great idea.

Our last night in Hawaii we decided to make it a special night by walking in the downtown area. We had dinner at Seafood Village. I ordered Manchurian Mahi Mahi. It was so delicious. There is something special about the fish in Honolulu – it is so fresh and tender, combined with the fruit salsa and you truly have a delicious, mouth-watering meal. After dinner, we continue walking towards the street vendors and characters. Gosh, there are so many. We passed by a group of people standing around listening to two young boys singing. They were truly drawing a crowd and were most talented. I can’t recall the song they sang, but I do believe it was a Michael Jackson tune. The character I’ve mentioned before, the street vendor dressed and wrapped in newspaper was out. Placed by his foot was a tip jar. Elvis was out again – that is – a Japanese, or Polynesian Elvis. I waited a few minutes to listen to him, but he did not sing. He was more interested in watching the bikini chicks strolling by. I suppose you could say, He was a typical “Girl watcher” Elvis. Not far from him was a mime. I think I could easily love living in Hawaii!

RETURNING HOME

On the flight home, tears dripped from my face as I realized my dream week was ending. In less than 24 hours, I would be home, back to reality. The flight home was long, a night flight from Los Angeles. Tip to all frequent flyers – when you are flying and change planes, you will need to reenter the terminal and go through all of the security devices once again. While I understand it is to protect the safety of all passengers, it really does take away from the fun of flying. Trust me, flying isn’t fun anymore! Reluctantly, at LAX I inquire about how I might find United Airlines terminal. A young girl with punk rock hair, nose rings, and an attitude glares at me when I ask her. “Do you think it’s my job to know everything here?” She screams.

“Obviously someone has burst your bubble today. Have a great day.” I rush away from her. I continue a journey I’m not certain is taking me anywhere I need to be but I glance up to see an Information Booth. There I am told to exit the building. Take a bus and go to another gate. I follow the suggestions and about fifteen minutes later, I stand at United Airlines. By now, I am so tired I simply want to curl up somewhere and sleep, but I never sleep while traveling. I have to be in control and know what’s going on.

The next flight is to Charlotte, NC, scheduled to arrive at 9:15am. On the plane, people settle in to their seats, tucking themselves in for the night flight. Two hours in to the flight and I listen to many people snoring and mumbling in their sleep, but sleep does not come to me. I have a window seat and watch the night display of falling stars, in the distance, I see a stunning show of lightning, but it is so far away I am not frightened. The lady sitting two seats from me is sound asleep now. Behind me, the two soldiers headed home after wars are snoring. I don’t dare ask them to stop. Besides, I cannot sleep. I watch the dark, midnight skyline fade into shades of gray, as the morning sun rises. I reach to get my sunshades. I will arrive home in Charleston at 10:45. I plan to play with the pups and take a nap. I’m exhausted yet so energized while thinking of my dream vacation to Hawaii. I will miss the morning sunrises and misting showers of delicate rain drops, along with the stunning sunsets of Paradise Cove and Waikiki Beach. I will miss the pleasant people of all lifestyles that I met. The couples celebrating their 50th anniversary. The military. The culture. Hula dancers and music. I will miss admiring the gorgeous surfers and men, and believe me, there are many exquisite men in Honolulu. The blowing of the conch shell. Blowing Rock. Diamond Head. The coastal highway and the spectacular views. The sweet-smelling scent of plumeria. Walking along Waikiki Beach. Hula dancing. The culture and language, and so much more. I think I left a piece of my heart and soul in Hawaii, as the trade winds blew, my scent followed, but like all things in life, I must get back to reality. I miss you, Hawaii! For now, “ALOHA” until we meet again!

 Paradise Cove Luau

 Photography Credit: Barbie Perkins-Cooper

Hawaii, Travel Writing

Welcome to Hawaii – Day Five and Beyond – Hawaii Is Like A Dream Come True!


Monday, August 20, 2012 – Sorry for the delay in sharing my astonishing dreams about Hawaii. I’ve been just a bit busy lately with several assignments to do, rehearsals for a show at the Charleston Elks Lodge, more assignments – unexpected, but so welcome, and of course, getting all the photographs I took of Hawaii printed. I had over 503++ photographs to print and I must say, my new camera certainly performed well. When Phil looked at some of the photographs, he actually complimented my photography skills. How nice!

Additional events that have kept me busy lately:

A few weeks ago I was selected as a ‘qualifier’ for the Lowcountry Karaoke Idol Contest in Charleston. For this part of the competition I sang, “At Last.” The club finals for Manhattan’s Bar & Grill were Friday, August 17, 2012. I’ve practiced my song [“I Who Have Nothing”] to make certain I knew it and could hit the notes. Piece of cake! Tom Jones is one of my favorites and I sing his songs all the time! At the competition, I was as calm as a cucumber, but I did check out the competition! Four guys, three girls will compete, and I knew one of them! I was a bit concerned because she and I are great friends and I will do nothing to jeopardize our friendship! After all, great friends (especially women!) are so hard to find. The clock was ticking…10pm and the competition begins! I listened and watched the singers, paying attention to see if they were getting into the performance. Many of them looked at the monitor – silly, don’t you know you are SUPPOSED to lose points IF you look at the monitor! Several singers were not too bad! Finally, my name was called. I grabbed the microphone, and turned away from the monitor! I confess, when I’m singing, it is a performance and I am totally focused on what I am doing. I did not notice if I had the attention of the crowd or not. I just belted out my tune, moving and grooving with the audience. Much to my surprise, I was selected for second place. The score was 66-64 and if the first place finalist is unable to represent Manhattan’s for the City Finals, then I will perform. C’est la vie! Story of my life! I suppose second place isn’t too bad – after all, it’s karaoke – except I love performing!!!

An additional surprise occurred while jet lag was refusing to leave me. Early one morning, I checked e-mail, receiving an invitation to attend a press trip to Aruba. I read the itinerary and invitation well, letting it rest on my desk while I debated about it. The press trip was less than two weeks away. Not enough time for me to query publications about story ideas. Since I’ve never been to Aruba, I declined the invitation, requesting a rain check. My rule is to at least have query letters out to publications before attending a trip. Gosh, how I wanted to go!

BACK TO HAWAII

Waikiki Beach

Today, our discussions will include additional events on Phil’s birthday – July 8, 2012 — evening events, walking to International Market Place, along with the characters we met, the street performers, and other interesting characters.

We had a nice day traveling around Honolulu, admiring the breathtaking beauty and views, the coastal highway, searching for whales, which we never found, and the amazement of Blow Hole. How I wanted to sneak a rock, shell, or something unique that I could stash in my suitcase, but I was fearful that I would get caught, so when I found something, I simply let it slip through my hands. No lava rocks to take home. No sea shells. Nothing from within the lava foundations, the sea, or within the depth of the ocean. After all, I remember that silly form I signed before departing the American Airlines plane to enter beautiful Hawaii. I suppose I am just a bit too honest for my own good. If someone asked me if I am carrying something I shouldn’t, my eyes would give me away. I suppose I will never be a good liar! Besides, according to some of the legends of Hawaii, if you remove a lava rock, you are destined for bad luck – and I’ve had more than my share of bad life in my lifetime!

Breathtaking View along the Coastal Highways

Lava rocks and the mountains are truly amazing to look at while riding along the coast. To the left, your eyes admire the unique shape of the mountains. To the right, your eyes stare at the glittering iridescent blue ocean, the white caps slapping gently on the beaches and coastline. While I’ve always had an incredible passion for oceans, nothing compares or equals the turquoise waters I admire as we travel along the coast. I pinch myself. Please God, if I’m dreaming, never let this dream end.

A few hours later we head back to the hotel. We are tired now, ready to relax and walk along Kalakaua Avenue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyyHaVPWj0k  The sun is setting now as we walk. I am amazed at the wide sidewalks on Waikiki Beach. There are hundreds of people walking, but no one bumps into Phil or me and no one has a cell phone glued to their ears. In Charleston, people appear not to be able to walk unless a cell phone dangles from their ears, and they shout their supposedly private conversations into their phones, so the entire world can hear the latest one-sided gossip. Who cares!

INTERNATIONAL MARKET PLACE

International Market Place is only a three block walk from our hotel. Dressed in shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt, with my Shape-Ups on my feet, I am ready for the business of shopping. I admit it. I hate shopping. Rarely do I find anything I want and I am a bargain hunter. Working in retail establishments for many years, I know how much items are marked up for profit, so I tell myself to look for bargains, or appear not to love an item too much. I want to barter!

While walking I notice the designer shops. Many of them I’ve never heard of. I live on a budget so these shops look wonderful and oh so tempting, but I would probably be flabbergasted by the price tags. I choose not to go inside.

We approach the entrance of International Market Place. Merchants are everywhere. Pleasant to the shoppers, the culture of Hawaii has taught the merchants how to charm and approach them. They nod their heads to everyone, speaking to a few, probably in hopes of making a big sale. I stop at several jewelry booths. OK, I admit it…I am a jewelry fanatic! I admire the coral, shells, the beautiful lei’s. All the jewelry is so beautiful. I honestly do not know where to start!

International Market Place has changed dramatically since I visited it during our R&R. There are many specialty shops now. No matter what you are looking for in Hawaii, you will find it along Kalakaua Avenue. One thing to remember is to ask for a better price at the Market Place. Almost every merchant I approached was willing to negotiate with me. There was one shop where the shopkeeper said, “If you don’t like that price on the sticker, you will not find a better price around Kalakaua Avenue.” I left her shop without purchasing anything.

I can truly say, International Market Place is one of my favorite places to shop, because I can negotiate. After all, my trip to Hawaii was planned in less than twenty-four hours and I had no time to get to the bank for additional funds. Thank goodness. I could’ve spent a small fortune.

A wood carving artist at International Market Place

Headed back to Hyatt Regency Waikiki, the street vendors and entertainers are out. I snap a few shots of an Elvis wanna be, a man dressed in newspaper, another guy dressed in gold lame, and an interesting floral archway where a woman was inside with only her beautiful face exposed.

Only one of the many interesting street performers in Honolulu

By now the streets are filled with pedestrians. Much to my surprise, everyone moves without pushing or shoving, and everyone uses crosswalks. While we walked across the street onto an area filled with additional hotels, we stop at a park, pet a dog and decide we will cross the street in the middle of the roadway. A police officer sees us standing along the middle of the sidewalk. I reach for Phil’s hand as cars rush by. I have a phobia of crossing busy streets, reminding Phil he must hold my hand tightly if we cross here. [I was hit by a drunk driver when I was nine-years-old, suffering a severe concussion.] I’ve never been able to cross busy streets without shaking since then.

The police officer has stopped, watching us. “That’s not a cross walk,” he shouts in our direction. I jerk my hand from Phil. “We can’t cross here. There must be a cross walk somewhere.”

We thank the police officer and move towards the traffic light. After we cross, the police officer nods to us. No doubt he was ready and waiting to give us a jaywalking ticket, but we followed his advice. After all, I really did not want to spend a night in the jail! Can you imagine – Phil and I arrested for jaywalking and spending the night in a jail? How dreadful!

After we get back to the hotel, we hop in the car headed to Ala Moana Shopping Center.

ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER

Years ago, we spent lots of money at Ala Moana Shopping Center. We were so young and carefree and our time in Hawaii was ticking away quickly. In two days, he would catch a flight back to Vietnam. When a lovely lady at the hotel we stayed at suggested shopping at Ala Moana, we spent a day there, looking at shops, admiring all the merchandise. Phil found a double-breasted jacket [yes, they were the style back then]. I took him inside, and we bought it. I didn’t care if he didn’t get to wear it very much. He wanted it. Money wasn’t an object. I wanted his memories of our first trip to Hawaii – our honeymoon – to be something to remember!

Now, Ala Moana Shopping Center is filled with all sorts of specialty shops and restaurants. Many of these shops are designer shops. If you are looking for something unique and special, Ala Moana is the place to find it! http://www.alamoanacenter.com/Center-Information/Hours-Directions.aspx I found three pairs of shoes. Just how I would get them home was a concern, but I could not pass them up! Shoes are my weakness!

Exhausted from a full day, we decided to dine at Blazin Steaks http://www.blazinwaikiki.com/ After dinner, we rush back to our room to watch a movie. My time in Hawaii is slowly ticking away and I am so sad to see it ending. Please, if I am dreaming, Never let me awaken from this dream!

Aloha!