August 1982 Linda and Billy went to Hawaii to celebrate their friends, Jean and Frank Lange's, tenth wedding anniversary. They brought with them credentials and engaged a minister for a wedding on Maui's Kaannipoli beach Sunday morning. Jean and Frank did not know until they were also on the beach that they were best man and bridesmaid. Frank, believing it to be a joke, insisted on seeing the minister's credentials while Jean cried.
Wilma and I had been planning a Hawaiian trip of our own. Now we had a tri-fold purpose in going. Tommy Gerety, Wilma's grandson, was stationed at the marine barracks on Oahu. Therefore, Oahu would be the arrival point. We wrote Tommy of our plans and the day of arrival. He in turn promised to see us the following day at our hotel. We wanted to visit the very spot on Kaannipoli Beach where the wedding took place - and of course we wanted to see this island paradise.
We left JFK to change at O'hare in Chicago. Another change at San Francisco embarked us on six more flight hours to Oahu. Twelve hours can be a very tiring day, but upon landing, the welcoming display for visitors revives one's vitality. The men are greeted by a beautiful native girl in a grass skirt who places a lei of flowers around their neck. A kiss on the cheek stirs the male imagination.
The women are greeted by a male model from the native playgirl magazine. First a lei, then the cheek kiss. In one minute he accomplishes more than I have in ten years. Women are so vain! Everyone had their picture taken with this bronze god and goddess of Hawaii.
The second day was spent in the enjoyable company of a United States Marine. Tom had so much to show us and so little time to do it. The shopping mall in Honolulu was three stories high - the highest I've ever seen. While on Oahu we swam at Wakaki beach in the shadows of the Diamond head volcano.
The next day a tour guide showed us the route of the Japanese surprise attack. We could mentally recreate the scene and noise from the guide's description. We saw the Arizona Memorial and the Punch Bowl where thousands of American boys are buried. In the Punch Bowl is a wall showing the course and progress of the Pacific war, all in mosaic tile - a beautiful piece of art.
We boarded a motor launch in Pearl Harbor and cruised to the memorial. Stepping from the motor launch to the Arizona Memorial I felt a spooky hallowed feeling, knowing 2000 sailors are still down there onboard and the danger of bringing them up, outweighs the excavation efforts. Fuel oil is still surfacing from the ship. Acetylene torches cause explosions and fire which is a hazard to the divers.
There seemed to be as many interested oriental people at the site as there were visitors from the states.
Kauai was well worth another four days. I felt this small island was the most beautiful of all, if such a thing is possible. At the north end, an ancient ten mile footpath prevents auto travel completely around the island. We walked two miles along the stones traveled on by the original natives. The path crossed a strong mountain stream with a guide rope to keep people from being swept down to the ocean. A beach at the bottom had a sign, warning visitors not to venture into the ocean because of the strong currents that could carry you around the island forever.
The greatest amount of rainfall in the world happens on Kauai - 400 inches per year. I counted 25 waterfalls flowing down the mountain which I first thought were cement highways. It took binoculars to prove it was water.
A television show called Fantasy Island featured a waterfall from Kauai. We saw that waterfall while on a chopper tour of the island. Shortly after the chopper left the falls area a Canadian tourist, attempting to cross at the top of the falls, slipped and died in the plunge. Warning signs are prevalent.
Maui held much interest for me due to Linda's marriage as did Hana, being Charles Lindbergh's home and burial place.The Maui Sheraton became our home for the last week. The establishment immediately sent us a complimentary pineapple cut for consumption, but put back together so the slicing was invisible - quite clever!
We walked the beach to the described spot where the marriage took place. It gave the feeling of having been there before. The Island of Molokai (the leper colony) could be seen in the far distance across the water. Evenings were dedicated to dinner cruises and dancing. However, it takes a sober person to dance on a small yacht and rough water. The lighted shoreline at night was camera food. I danced with some of the single ladies and was given a complimentary gift from the skipper for adding to everyone's pleasure.
The trip to Hana is over a very winding road with a precarious drop off to the ocean hundreds of feet below. Yes, There are guard rails that might save a bicycle. However I wouldn't want to be the person to test them. From the town of Hana to the seven pools there are no guard rails. Visitors drive at there own risk. When Lindbergh lived there he probably used a plane as much as possible. Its a long drive by car.
Lindbergh's grave is not deep. The island is mostly lava rock although a biographer writes of his supervising the digging of his own grave when he knew he had cancer. The grave site is piled a foot high with sea washed stones, half the size of a bowling ball, and a plaque with an inscription from the PSALM139 of David, "If I take the wings of morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea."
Since we were there, I am told, no one is allowed to the site without a guide because indiscriminate persons have been stealing the stones as souvenirs.
Five years later we went back to Hawaii to celebrate Linda and Bills fifth anniversary. Kieran my second grandchild, Linda's first daughter was now three years old. Breanna, the third grandchild, had the honor of conception in Hawaii. Nine months later she was born on the anniversary date of Hawaiian annexation. She was born in the family GMC van enroute to the hospital on a snoopy bean bag. Kieran who was strapped in the front seat said, "I can hear it crying". The State Police gave them an escort to the hospital where the staff was waiting outside to cut the umbilical cord.
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