Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I feel like I spent most of my Saturday and Sunday in the kitchen. In no particular order over the course of 48 hours I made banana bread, lemon bars, potato salad, baked beans, black bean corn salsa, lasagna and garlic bread. I think I might need to fast for a couple of days to get back to feeling normal.

Zac spent the morning of the 4th golfing over at Kaneohe on the Marine Corps base with a couple of his friends. I took the opportunity to read for awhile and then do some of the aforementioned cooking. We spent the rest of the day eating and suffering through food comas. One of Zac's friends is on a ship that is in town for RIMPAC. Zac came up with the cool idea of going over to his friend's ship to watch the Pearl Harbor fireworks. I love fireworks, and I think the ships are cool, so I was pretty excited to go.

Back in day, when Paul was on the Port Royal, my sister and I came out to Hawaii to visit him. I remember that he took us on a tour of the ship, but I honestly don't remember much about it. It was big and confusing. Truthfully, I didn't have the interest in navy ships back then that I do now. I have a much better frame of reference to understand what things are on a ship now. My knowledge is still limited, though.

Zac's friend is on a frigate. The Port Royal is a cruiser. A cruiser is much bigger than a frigate. Zac's friend also said (half-jokingly) that a cruiser is modern and a frigate is straight out of the early 1980s. It was good that the Port Royal happened to be "parked" right next to Zac's friend's ship. It made the difference in size really stand out. That's not to say a frigate is small - it is still a pretty big boat in my estimation.

We sat out on the forecastle (a.k.a. fo'c'sle) on the ship and watched a pretty awesome fireworks display. The coolest feat of pyrotechnic engineering? Fireworks that spelled out U, S, and then A. They did that a couple of times. It was impressive. I don't know how they can get the pattern to make the shape of a letter A. I also don't know how they get those smiley face fireworks to explode correctly. Boggles the mind. But it's not for me to understand, just to enjoy.

It looks like I might be able to go back to his friend's ship tomorrow for a daytime tour, which would rock. I did get to briefly see the inside of the ship tonight, but I think it would be cool to be able to ask more questions. (I was like a little kid today - "What's this?" "What does this do?" "How does this work?" "Why do . . .?") I can't fathom the idea of spending months at a time on a ship. I asked his friend (who also used to be on the Port Royal) if the frigate got tossed around a lot more than the cruiser in rough seas. He answered with an emphatic, "yes". I got a little queasy just thinking about it. I was definitely not cut out to be a sailor.

I hope you all had a great 4th of July. I hope you spent at least some of it with family or friends, enjoying the American life that we all are lucky enough to have. Our country isn't perfect, but it's a pretty darn good place to be. Sitting on a US Navy Ship in Pearl Harbor tonight was the perfect reminder of that.

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