LW's birthday was this week. In lieu of a birthday cake, I got her an Edible Bouquet, and it was a big hit.
This is the small size Berry Chocolate Bouquet with Dipped Bananas and Half-Dipped Daisies.
We had some friends in town visiting from the mainland and were doing touristy things with them mostly. Thursday we took them on the COMPACFLT Remembrance Tour.
LW took this great shot at the ARIZONA Memorial - oil from the ARIZONA mixed with flower blossoms from some wreath or memorial tribute. The tour guide said the wreck continues to leak something like 9 quarts of oil per day, and they call them "The Tears of the ARIZONA."
Here I am looking at the colorful tropical fish and coral on the starboard side of the ARIZONA.
Friday night we had a great farewell dinner for our visiting friends at KoKo's restaurant in the Hale Koa hotel. If you're in the military and looking for someplace to eat in Waikiki, I highly recommend KoKo's. The food is excellent and the prices are significantly lower than any of the other places you could try going on the beach in Waikiki. We almost forgot that they shoot fireworks from the beach in Waikiki on Friday nights. We were in the car driving toward home, but got to watch them from the car.
Saturday night, we had a great time at the Submarine Birthday Ball out at the Turtle Bay Resort. LW and I left the boys at home with Grammy around 2 p.m. to head up there to the very northern tip of the island, expecting to encounter some traffic along the North Shore.
It was pretty weird pulling out of the driveway with no little boys in the car with us. It was also sorta sad that the boys didn't seem disappointed we were leaving without them, but then again Grammy did promise them ice cream.
We did encounter some traffic on the North Shore, but we got to the hotel around 3 p.m. and had time for me to use the gym at the resort while LW tried to take a nap. We didn't want to go to the cocktail hour before the ball and start drinking on an empty stomach, so we had some fries and some banana cheesecake from the Palm Terrace restaurant in the lobby and it was AWESOME.
We had a pretty good turn-out at the ball. Most of our wardroom was there.
In case you aren't familiar with submarine birthday ball traditions, there is always a competition for the best table centerpiece. Our centerpiece theme was the MSP Mart. As the shipyard boat in decom, we have become the spare-parts source for every other 688 Class submarine in the fleet. We had the flashing blue light to draw everyone's attention to our big Blue Light Special sale. We had some valves and switches (with Danger Tags still attached), some nuts and bolts (with a QA tag attached), various tools, the sink from the XO's stateroom. I tried to bring the door to the XO's stateroom, but it was too heavy and too cumbersome. Our centerpiece ended up being too big to fit on one of our tables, so it ended up being a side-piece on a separate table in the corner instead.
Yes, that's the commode from the CO/XO Head on the boat. The A-Gangers rigged it for the Enlisted ball the night before with a fan and some brown streamers. The fan is blowing the brown streamers up out of the ball valve, and if you pull the flushing handle, it sounds an air horn. One of the RC-Div (Reactor Controls Division) guys made the "Rx Low Fuel" alarm (Rx = abbreviation for Reactor - ours is very nearly "out of gas"), complete with the red flashing lights and alarm bell that went off when we flipped a switch in the back. (See it lit up in red in our wardroom photo up above). Being the environmentally-concerned people that we are, we thought we should recycle as much of the boat as possible, so we brought a jug of "Used Hydraulic Fluid" (Captain Morgan's), a sample bottle of "Controlled Pure Water" (Vodka), and "DI Water" (Gin) among other things.
It worked out really well for us considering the prices they were charging at the cash bar. Mixed drinks were $8.75 for a six-ounce glass with about 5 ounces of ice. For $3 at the bar I could get one third of a can of soda poured into a glass full of ice, so I decided to go up to the vending machine by our hotel room and got the entire can of soda for $1.50 (STILL an outrageous amount of money for a can of soda, but half as expensive for three times as much soda).
I don't know which was funnier...
(A) The fact that the Chop thought he would find a date for the Sub Ball on Craigslist.
(B) The fact that there REALLY WERE listings for sub ball dates on Craigslist (both M4W and W4M).
Poor Chop though, his date backed out on him because she didn't realize it was the same night as some Earth Day concert going on down in Waikiki.
LW and I felt pretty old when we found out one of the JO's wives didn't know the words to the song 867-5309.
Of course, we had to have the traditional blunoz self-portrait at the ball. This one was actually taken by LW, but I was proud of her for upholding the tradition. :-) I couldn't have done a better job myself.
I drank a lot of water and took some motrin before going to bed last night. I felt fine this morning (hangover wise), but my arms and back are really sore. LW says it's from too much dancing, but I don't buy that. In spite of the fact the hotel "blinds" (if you could call them that) could not hold back the morning sunlight, LW and I enjoyed sleeping in until 8:30.
We had planned on relaxing by the pool this morning, but it was just way too windy. We had a light breakfast in the lobby and wandered around the hotel a bit. Then we got showered and checked out. We avoided North Shore traffic and drove home via the windward side.
We stopped to have lunch at the infamous Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, and it was really good stuff. The story about them in the Oahu Revealed book is pretty funny. It's hard to believe that little truck is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their menu is pretty simple. $12 gets you a plate with 12 shrimp and two scoops of white rice, and you choose between scampi (heavy garlic), spicy, or lemon-butter. LW and I shared one plate of the scampi, and it was really good. Note: You can get their hot sauce on the side to dip the shrimp in. I'm not sure I would want an entire PLATE of the shrimp drenched in that hot sauce.
I hope you all had a good weekend! I suppose I should go do something productive now.