This adventure happened last fall, but because of some computer glitches, etc., I am not getting it up until now … I hope (unless the computer glitches again).
Last October my friend Cindy and I headed up to Maine to do some in-depth exploring and to speak at a conference. We wanted to head up the East side of the state, but after you get so far, there aren’t many famous landmarks to visit.
But we were determined and wanted some fun on the journey. One of us (I truly can’t remember which one) found this solar system model. The catch was, it was to scale so you had to find the different planets over a distance of forty miles. We did have a map or sort of a map guiding us to the next planet and how far it would be … but some of them weren’t that easy to find … especially when they moved from the hotel parking lot to the gas station next door. (Don’t remember reading about that in my science books.)
The first one is on displayed at the visitor center in Houlton – which is Pluto, which I know is no longer considered a planet, but so be it.
The picture isn’t good because this one is behind glass and indoors. But now the fun began
I think this was our favorite.
Saturn was also rather impressive.
We knew our last find – the sun would be at the University of Maine, Presque Isle and truly expected to see something magnificent – since this was to scale. We walked around the building a few times, not thinking it would be open on a Sunday night.
But it was open and we walked in – no one was in sight – past classrooms and computers and trophy cases.
Where was this sun that HAD to be massive?
Well – not quite. Actually it was part of the railing – sort of anti-climatic.
But the evening was perfect weather-wise and we agreed we had never been on a planet hunt before.
I was home from Hawaii for three days before Sue and I left for the East Coast a road trip over familiar territory. Our first stop was near Sugar Creek, Ohio. One of the touristy things we saw advertised was a giant cuckoo clock.
Early the next morning we drove through beautiful country looking for the town Sugar Creek and the clock. The day was covered in fog with drizzly rain and few people were walking around the streets … except for a couple who were also waiting for the clock to cuckoo.
The clock was okay. I did live near Frankenmuth for four years and just a few miles away from the Glockenspiel Tower – so, well ….
If you’re somewhere in the area and seeing the world’s largest cuckoo clock is on your bucket list or todo list, then this is what you’re looking for.
Afterwards, we did wander down the street and enjoy pastries from an Amish bakery and had a great conversation with the baker herself.
So a good start, but not overly memorable, start to the day.
I knew a little about Pearl Harbor. Like when it happened. What happened. Where it happened. But most of my World War II reading has been from the Jewish perspective, so I found visiting Pearl Harbor to be sobering and fascinating.
The two museum complexes are detailed and interesting – and give a detailed view of what happened when. After going through the museums, I felt like I had a good understanding of the event – including the fact that the planes were picked up on radar, but when reported by the servicemen who saw them on the screen, were ignored by their commanders. (Has to be a devotional there somewhere.)
At this point, you cannot go on to the memorial itself because of an oil leak (think I have that right), but you can take a boat ride around the memorial. (The brown structure in front is part of the sunken Arizona. The memorial will be open again in March.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of blog posts about places I’ve visited while speaking at conferences. And I always feel kind of funny because I talk about the scenery, but not the people. That’s because it’s hard to talk about the people. I don’t have permission to post their pictures, and I don’t want to break any confidences by talking about questions they asked or challenges they have in their ministry.
And part of this trip was ministry.
The conference was at Calvary chapel, Pearl Harbor, a fairly large church located in a strip mall. I met so many friendly leaders.
And the music during the opening was appropriately Hawaiian! Such fun.
The next morning we were able to attend the service at Hawaii Kai. (I love saying Hawaii Kai!) Good service and more friendly people.
In fact, afterwards, one of the men took us out to lunch at the Maona Cafe – a popular breakfast place in Hawaii Kai. He told us that there is always a wait. I had a super delicious strawberry waffle and good conversation.
That afternoon we visited two Awana clubs in two different areas and once again, I had the opportunity to meet great people. (I took a lot of pictures but can’t post them because of privacy restrictions.)
But here is the Game Square for one of the churches.
One night we drove through Wakiki – which is a part of Honolulu best known for its beaches. But Wakiki is also an area of city lights, upscale stores – think Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The night we drove through the area, the roads were semi-empty because some of them were blocked off for a festival. However, the sidewalks were packed with people. I mean, we kind of wondered how they could walk there were so many of them. You can’t really tell from the video because a lot of the people were back off the sidewalks a little – but one corner must’ve had 500 people standing on it.
I didn’t get a great picture since I took it out of the car window at night – but the red and blue building is the Aloha Tower which is actually a lighthouse that can be seen 15 miles from shore, an iconic symbol of Hawaii.
Some people say that like the Statue of Liberty welcomes people on the East Coast, so the Aloha Tower welcomes people into Hawaii.
The tower was built in 1926 and up into the 60s was the tallest building on the islands. Now, it is being redeveloped by the Hawaii Pacific University as a residence hall.
(Ok, interesting sidenote – Honolulu ranks seventh as US cities with most high rises.)
During World War II, the military protected the tower and in fact, painted it in camouflage colors and turned off the light so it could not be seen. Finally, in the late 40s it was sandblasted back to its original color.