Pearl Harbor from Tom’s perspective…He took great photos!…A year ago…The tail end of the Great Migration…

USS Missouri as taken from the launch on the way to World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

After a fitful night of coughing, at 6:00 am yesterday morning, I decided I was unable to join Tom in the tour of Pearl Harbor. Unable to recover the portion of the fee for my attendance, I resigned myself that taking care of my health and avoiding getting others sick was more important than $89.

This is the remains of Gun Turret #3 above the water of the sunken memorial of the USS Arizona.

Disappointed, I awoke Tom in plenty of time for him to get out the door by 6:40 am for his 6:55 pick up next door at the Waikiki Aston Hotel, a less than five-minute walk from our hotel. He loaded up the cloth bag we purchase in Kenya, with the newer camera and an extra battery, his binoculars, and sunglasses.

Memorial plaque to the shipmates of the USS Arizona.

Tom has had little interest in taking photos these past few years. When he’s had to do it, he has, as in an excellent job at Pearl harbor, taking over 100 photos many of which we’ll share over the next few days.

While on the National Monument, from the opposite side, including memorials/markings for other ships that were moored during the attacks. The USS Missouri is at a distance.

With over 1.5 million websites with historical data dedicated to the tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we’ve gleaned a few facts to share with our readers. If you’re seeking additional information, if you’ll type “Pearl Harbor” into any search engine, you could easily spend years reading the most pertinent information.

From the launch, on the way to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

To avoid redundancy, today we’re sharing information from from this specific link. We’ve used quotation marks to indicate their content which includes two photos. (The remaining photos presented both today and tomorrow in our posts, were taken by Tom on Monday’s tour of the historic site).

Inside the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument above the sunken USS Arizona, where visitors gathered to read the memorials and take photos.
“5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time (12:55 p.m. EST) on December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter planes attacked the U.S. Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, launching one of the deadliest attacks in American history. The assault, which lasted less than two hours, claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people, wounded 1,000 more, and damaged or destroyed 18 American ships and nearly 300 airplanes. Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers. As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of this “date which will live in infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it on December 8, 1941, explore five little-known facts about the USS Arizona and the attack that plunged America into war.

1. Twenty-three sets of brothers died aboard the USS Arizona.
There were 37 confirmed pairs or trios of brothers assigned to the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. Of these 77 men, 62 were killed, and 23 sets of brothers died. Only one full set of brothers, Kenneth and Russell Warriner, survived the attack; Kenneth was away at flight school in San Diego on that day and Russell was badly wounded but recovered. Both members of the ship’s only father-and-son pair, Thomas Augusta Free and his son William Thomas Free were killed in action.
Though family members often served on the same ship before World War II, U.S. officials attempted to discourage the practice after Pearl Harbor. However, no official regulations were established, and by the end of the war hundreds of brothers had fought—and died¬—together. The five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa, for instance, jointly enlisted after learning that a friend, Bill Ball, had died aboard the USS Arizona; Their only condition upon enlistment was that they be assigned to the same ship. In November 1942, all five siblings were killed in action when their light cruiser, the USS Juneau, was sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
2. The USS Arizona’s entire band was lost in the attack.
Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers and eventually sank. Among the 1,177 crewmen killed were all 21 members of the Arizona’s band, known as U.S. Navy Band Unit (NBU) 22. Most of its members were up on deck preparing to play music for the daily flag-raising ceremony when the attack began. They instantly moved to man their battle positions beneath the ship’s gun turret. At no other time in American history has an entire military band died in action.
The night before the attack, NBU 22 had attended the latest round of the annual “Battle of Music” competition between military bands from U.S. ships based at Pearl Harbor. Contrary to some reports, NBU 22 did not perform, having already qualified for the finals set to be held on December 20, 1941. Following the assault, the unit was unanimously declared the winner of that year’s contest, and the award was permanently renamed the USS Arizona Band Trophy.
3. Fuel continues to leak from the USS Arizona’s wreckage.
On December 6, 1941, the USS Arizona took on a full load of fuel—nearly 1.5 million gallons—in preparation for its scheduled trip to the mainland later that month. The next day, much of it fed the explosion and subsequent fires that destroyed the ship following its attack by Japanese bombers. However, despite the raging fire and ravages of time, some 500,000 gallons are still slowly seeping out of the ship’s submerged wreckage: Nearly 70 years after its demise, the USS Arizona continues to spill up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor each day. In the mid-1990s, environmental concerns led the National Park Service to commission a series of site studies to determine the long-term effects of the oil leakage.
Some scientists have warned of a possible “catastrophic” eruption of oil from the wreckage, which they believe would cause extensive damage to the Hawaiian shoreline and disrupt U.S. naval functions in the area. The NPS and other governmental agencies continue to monitor the deterioration of the wreck site but are reluctant to perform extensive repairs or modifications due to the Arizona’s role as a “war grave.” In fact, the oil that often coats the surface of the water surrounding the ship has added an emotional gravity for many who visit the memorial and is sometimes referred to as the “tears of the Arizona,” or “black tears.”
4. Some former crewmembers have chosen the USS Arizona as their final resting place.
The bonds between the crewmembers of the USS Arizona have lasted far beyond the ship’s loss on December 7, 1941. Since 1982, the U.S. Navy has allowed survivors of the USS Arizona to be interred in the ship’s wreckage upon their deaths. Following a full military funeral at the Arizona memorial, the cremated remains are placed in an urn and then deposited by divers beneath one of the Arizona’s gun turrets. To date, more than 30 Arizona crewmen who survived Pearl Harbor have chosen the ship as their final resting place. Crewmembers who served on the ship prior to the attack may have their ashes scattered above the wreck site, and those who served on other vessels stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, may have their ashes scattered above their former ships. As of November 2011, only 18 of the 355 crewmen who survived the bombing of the USS Arizona are known to be alive.

5. A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site, thanks in part to Elvis Presley.

After the USS Arizona sank, its superstructure and main armament were salvaged and reused to support the war effort, leaving its hull, two gun turrets and the remains of more than 1,000 crewmen submerged in less than 40 feet of water. In 1949 the Pacific War Memorial Commission was established to create a permanent tribute to those who had lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor, but it wasn’t until 1958 that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to create a national memorial. The funds to build it came from both the public sector and private donors, including one unlikely source. In March 1961, entertainer Elvis Presley, who had recently finished a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Block Arena that raised over $50,000—more than 10 percent of the USS Arizona Memorial’s final cost. The monument was officially dedicated on May 30, 1962, and attracts more than 1 million visitors each year.”
This is the entrance and exit to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, closed off while tourists were inside the building. (Good photo, Tom!)

Tom explained the details of the tour with me which consisted of:
1.  An 90 minute period to tour on his own to see the vast displays on the USS Arizona Memorial located at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, National Park Service

Gangways the visitors walked to get to and from the USS Missouri.

2.  Next, he was directed to another building where a theater was located to see a documentary as to the history of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Three navy sailors aboard the launch assisted in transporting the tourists to and from USS Arizona.

3.  After the movie, the tourists exited to a launch waiting to transport tourists to the site of the sunken USS Arizona. No photos were allowed from exiting the launch until entering the memorial in order to expedite the flow of tourists. Once inside the memorial, there were no restrictions on photos.

Oil continues to leak from the USS Arizona, 73 years later. See item #3 for details on the leak in the above “5 Facts About Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.”

4.  Returning to the launch, after a five-minute boat ride they were back at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Tom walked the grounds and spotted this anti-aircraft platform.

5.  Tourists were allowed to freely roam the grounds to see other buildings, the Bowfin submarine, visit the shops and visitors centers. With time at a premium, the tour of the Bowfin wasn’t included.

Tom took this photo from the deck of the USS Missouri illustrating the USS Arizona memorial.

At this point, they returned to the bus for the 15-minute ride to the battleship USS Missouri. No photos were allowed from the bus upon entering the naval base until exiting the bus. They boarded the ship with the option of joining a tour (every 10 minutes) or exploring on a self-tour. Tom explained how he was able to imagine how life is lived in the tight quarters of a battleship.

Standing on the shore at the Pacific Historic Parks, Tom took this photo of the Bowfin submarine.

Tomorrow, we’ll share photos and videos of the USS Missouri and how it has been used over the years in movies, videos, and promotions.

Please check back tomorrow for Tom’s remaining photos of his Pearl Harbor tour.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, October 14, 2013:

Anderson, our safari guide, drove us a long way to Tanzania to see the tail end of the Great Migration, our original intent in going to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. When we’d missed the migration of over two million wildebeest by over a week, this day trip was our only alternative. Once we arrived, the flies were so bad after the dung millions of wildebeest littered the plains, we weren’t disappointed we missed the migration. The flies we flying in our mouths, noses, and eyes. For details of the wild ride to Tanzania, please click here.

Walking the streets of Paris…Five miles/eight kilometers of blissful sightseeing with aching feet and never ending smiles…Lots of photos!

It was exciting to walk along the banks of the River Seine for over an hour on our long walk through the city.
The most romantic city in the world, Paris obviously inspired a romantic person to have this signposted, “Will you marry me, Diane?” We hope she said yes!

With multiple events, we’ve booked through Viator occurring over the next few weeks, the reputable online booking agency with customer reviews, we feel confident that we’ll have covered the main sights in Paris. The rest we’ll visit on our own either on foot, by bus or train.

Many houseboats are used as permanent homes docked along the shores of the River Seine.
This huge boat was filled with tourists on a tour of the River Seine.

The events range from as little as US $56, EU $42 per person, upwards to hundreds of dollars/euros per event.  With our budget in mind and the high cost of dining in Paris, we’ll attempt to see the other sights on our own.

Surely, our readers will tire of photos of the Eiffel Tower but we aren’t quite done with them yet. It’s quite a sight.
We spotted several merry-go-rounds along the walk.

If our future walks are at all comparable to yesterday’s we probably won’t miss much. We walked over five miles/eight kilometers by the time we returned to our hotel. I think that the last time we walked that far was when we did Petra in Jordan in May 2013, although the hills in Paris are at a minimum.

To the right in this photo is the City of Architecture and Heritage. On the left is the Palais de Chaillot.
Beautiful sculptures in the City of Architecture and Heritage.

Surprisingly, neither of us is any worse for the wear and we’re off again today in another direction. We have no doubt that we’ll have seen quite of bit of the city streets of Paris, as per our intentions in our remaining two weeks. 

Tom took this photo from the steps of the City of Architecture and Heritage.
Tom on the steps of the City of Architecture and Heritage.

At the end of the day, we were decided to walk to a nearby restaurant for 8:00 pm dinner rather than dress up and take a cab. The less cab fare we pay, the more we can pay for venues when cab fare is no bargain in Paris as has been the case in many other places we’ve visited. 

Another photo of the museum at the City of Architecture and Heritage.
The massive buildings drew a considerable crowd. However, through our entire walk, we never felt overcrowded.

As for dining going forward, we’ve begun to book restaurants on TripAdvisor highest rated list. Next Wednesday, we’ve booked t#2 on the list of 12,500 restaurants when the #1 highest rated restaurants show a cost of no less than US $400, EU $298 per person for dinner. We’ll pass on that one.

This building reminded me of an area in Minneapolis, Minnesota called “The Wedge.”
We stumbled upon the famous Peninsula Hotel where the basic room is US $1500 per night, EU $1117.

That type of expenditure doesn’t fit into our budget nor do we feel disappointed we can’t try it. We’ve had our share of fine dining and aren’t disappointed to try midrange restaurants. 

Security was tight outside the Peninsula Hotel where dignitaries had gathered for a conference. Later, their motorcade drove past us as we continued on our walk.
Our walk down the road as we approached the Arc de Triomphe.

Other highly rated restaurants will suffice as we work our way down the list. Of course, most of the highly rated restaurants require a taxi ride when the city is 40.7 square miles, 105 kilometers. 

The Arc de Triomphe was a busy location filled with cars and tourists.
The Arc de Triomphe is located in the center of a roundabout. The traffic zips around so quickly that multiple underground walkways were installed to allow tourist access to the monument.

As for yesterday, we decided to try the walk to the Arc de Triomphe which was over 2 miles, 3.22 km one way from our hotel. Sidetracking considerably on the return walk to avoid retracing our steps, we had no doubt we walked the over five miles/eight km when all was said and done.

This building was at the corner of Place Charles de Gaulle which is the meeting point of 12 straight avenues.
Midway through our walk, we stopped for beverages. Tom had a non-specialty beer and I had bottled water. Total cost EU $14, US $18.80
Walking the streets of Paris is heavenly. Every street offers a new and exciting array of charming architecture in offices, homes, apartments, condos, historic buildings, shops, and restaurants. 
From our vantage point, we couldn’t see the name of this church but we were fascinated with its architecture. Please comment if you know the name and we’ll post it.
The Flame of Liberty we passed on our walk. Behind it is the tunnel in which Princess Diana was killed on August 30, 1997.

We took photos of the names of restaurants we’ll return to after checking their prices, menus, and reviews online. Some are casual brasseries and others were more upscale dining establishments. Dining in Paris is one of the major attractions.

The Eiffel Tower as we approached from the opposite side from Thursday night.
A center view looking up from below the Eiffel Tower.

As for the Arc de Triomphe, it was exciting to see and to take photos. As a high school student, some 50 years ago (ugh) I studied French for four years, all of which lay dormant in my brain all these years.

As we neared our hotel, I shot this photo looking up of the Eiffel Tower.

Having learned during those four years about many of the historical sights to see, finally being here is refreshing. Oddly, I’ve been able to remember much of the language which I learned so long ago which serves us well as we make or way around, reading signs, menus, and in light conversation. For me, this proves that what we learned as young students may serve us well later in life.

The receipt from last night’s dinner in Euros totaled US $50.35. Notice the cost of the food and drinks was EU $25.90, US $34.78, the remainder was VAT and city taxes and service charge. It’s obvious that taxes greatly contribute to the high cost of meals in Paris.
As always , we take a photo of a pharmacy wherever we travel.

Each day we’ll take more photos than we can possibly post but, we’ll share the highlights and links of everywhere we’ve visited including sightseeing, dining, and general points of interest.

Many delis and bakeries line the boulevards.
Bins of delectable appearing treats in a Middle Eastern candy shop.

Right now, we’re sitting in the hotel lobby once again as we write today’s post. The ceiling in our bathroom is leaking for the second day in a row which was supposedly repaired while we were out yesterday. 

We always chuckle when we see these tiny cars throughout the world able to park in the tiniest of spaces.

During the night, I heard the “drip drip” once again. This morning I hurriedly showered in the slippery-floored shower, anxious to get dressed and out of the tiny room. Tom did the same. 

Flowers growing at the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Hopefully, the dripping will be repaired by the time we return late in the day. It’s a nice hotel, rated a four-star, so we didn’t expect this type of issue. We shall see how this turns out.

After dinner, we visited a local market to purchase nuts for snacking.

See you tomorrow with many more photos of Paris! Thank you to all of our loyal readers for sharing our world travels with us. It means the world to us!

Photo from one year ago today, August 2, 2013:

A year ago, we posted a story about the maintenance of our teeth while traveling by using these excellent interdental toothpicks. For details from that date, please click here.