Yesterday I took a mild, pleasant excursion billed as "Panoramic Hilo" - nothing to exclaim about. Today I took one entitled natural "Highlights of Hawaii" and it was outstanding. Our guide told us about the flora and fauna of the island and how it all got there: by Wind, Water and Wings, later arrivals called Canoe additions. She showed us the efforts being made to preserve the island and its contents, especially the water, on which everything is dependent.
I took more pictures: one of the beach where one of he most famous love scenes in movies took place (remember From Here to Eternity?)and the view from some high place or other. I promise I will sit down soon and try to send along some pictures. I'm so busy trying to lock pictures and memories in my mind that I resent the time it takes to activate the iPad and aim it. I saw some red-crested birds I was told are cardinals, different from ours, smaller and quite charming. By the time I got the iPad aimed, they were gone.
We're back in the United States; Hawaii became the 50th state in 1970, I think it was. This afternoon there is a special excursion to the Missouri, where WWII ended with official signatures. That ship is connected by a bridge to the memorial of the sunken Arizona. I'm not going, not because I don't care but because I'm an aging Canadian and I have different memories of that war. I visited the Arizona when I was in Hawaii in 1977 and I realized then that it's a shrine for Americans, as well it should be. I respect that, but it's not mine.
What belongs to everyone, however, can be found everywhere, including Hawaii. Yesterday there were more and longer line-ups at Walmart than for any ship excursion. Walmart co-operated, too. I was told that the store was running a shuttle bus between it and the ship, for shoppers' convenience.
Travel is so broadening.