April 22, 2018

Sharon and I popped over to Oahu for a three night stay here at the Moana Surfrider with a lovely view of Diamond Head...
...and home to the Japanese brides who flood here to be married.
We especially like the Surfrider because of the evening entertainment... the Banyon Court where every night we have music and dancing.
Trevor and Beth came by on this first night to enjoy the entertainment and visit for a while. So nice of them to take the time!
April 23

Hanauma Bay! For years I've had this place on my mind to visit again.

"In 1967 it was set apart by the State division of Fish and Game as a Marine Protected Area, a term used generically to describe any marine area that had some or all of its resources protected. In Hanauma Bay's case everything became protected, from the fish to the reef, to the sand itself."
It's changed like everything else, controlled entry, required watching of a conservation film, and enforcing of the rules such as no chumming the water!

I was in my suit, gear in hand, just as the skies opened with a giant downpour. I decided to go out anyway and by the time I got my fins on it had stopped.
I didn't go beyond the break and I didn't catch up with any schools of fish. Also I didn't find any distinguishable coral it all looking a little like rubbed-down rocks.
I did get pictures of fish as they left the frame.
Haleiwa, a small, charming, and historic town and an especially popular bridge.
If anyone wants to build something new in this town they have to make it look like all the historic buildings. I should have taken a picture of the McDonalds...
The now-legendary Matsumoto Shave Ice, what all those people in the open plaza are eating.
Back at the Moana Surfrider, our favorites so far!
April 24

At 7am(!) we met up with Trevor, Beth, Christa, Charis, and Janice at The Bankers Club courtesy of and thanks to Trevor who is a member. You can't just walk in there, oh no. It's on the 30th floor of the First Hawaiian Bank building and it was splendid.

(internet pic)
Look what Charis did! Thank you Charis! I forgot to take any pictures At All so she did this for me on the following day. Good job sweetie!

Beth, Trevor, Christa, Janice, Charis

Charis took the pictures.
Then Sharon and I did a walking tour of downtown Honolulu and enjoyed many of the historic buildings.

This is the Alexander & Baldwin Building. Beth loaned us a great walking tour booklet with wonderful introductions to the architecture, put out by the Honolulu chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

I'm not going to copy all this excellent information because google will give you more if you ask.
This is the Aliíolani Hale, 'whose Hawaiian name means 'House of Heavenly Chiefs' was renamed the Judiciary Building by US Federal agents after annexation in 1898.'

We also walked around the State Capitol which is an odd duck of a building without a front door or any reception area.
Kawaiahoa Church, 'the most important building of the Missionary Period.'

I also particularly wanted to visit the Mission Houses preserved nearby with a highly regarded library that features prominently in Sarah Vowel's Unfamiliar Fishes that, yes, I am reading again this year because I can't not.
After the walk-about I went to T&B's house to admire the remodel that is in progress and Sharon went shopping.

In the late afternoon Sharon and I stopped by the O Bar at the Alohilani Resort. All that blue is indeed the front glass of a giant aquarium (or multiple aquariums?) with so many fish but unfortunately there was also live entertainment that was so loud. So so loud. It's definitely worth a look though!

(internet pic)
We finished the day back where we had begun, at the Moana Surfrider and our last happy hour hula show. Three nights, three different trios, and each of them a delight.
April 25

We're leaving this afternoon and I wanted to take this chance to swim at Waikiki Beach in the quiet calm of early morning. That's the Surfrider in the middle and in the middle of that, under all the trees is where we enjoy the Happy Hour Hula Shows.

I brought my underwater camera in with me which had the upside of taking pictures which I totally enjoy and the downside of making it more trouble to swim, which I also totally enjoy.
It's ok, I could take pictures and swim, just not as 'fluidly' as I might without a camera.

Oh look, Diamond Head!
There are surfers along the break that you can't see so... I got closer and zoomed the camera. Not great but totally fun for me!

Aloha Honolulu, we took a farewell spin around the town on the sea side of Diamond Head...
...up to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific where there was an ANZAC ceremony going on...
...and we took a tour of Queen Emma's Summer Palace with a lovely guide.
There they also host a large quilting community who meet every week...
...and Weddings! That's the bride and groom seated wrapped in a ceremonial cloth with a man and woman seated behind them and the ladies standing are going to sprinkle something over their heads, or that's what I'm supposing.

Mahalo Oahu, it was Swell!

July 3, 2013

Sharon and I left Kauai and came to Oahu for a few nights to enjoy the family and holiday fireworks. Aloha Honolulu and the Moana Surfrider which means Aloha Japanese brides.
Waikiki Beach, gotta love it. You and everybody else of course.
Our favorite Waikiki spot, early evening under the Banyan tree at the Surfrider to enjoy the music, the hula, and...
...relatives! and their friends!

From the upper left, Sharon, Christa, Beth, Charis, Trevor then Janice, Yvette, Winfred. Unfortunately Caleb couldn't make it because he was sick.

Trevor and Winfred are long time friends from high school. Winfred and Yvette left their three teenage kids with Grandpa and came to Hawaii for a couple of weeks with the Browns.
July 4

Stars and Stripes Forever!
We are staying at the Hawaii Prince hotel with the best possible view of the fireworks.
Right in front of our faces.
Everyone gathered except Caleb sadly being still sick. Ten People total. The Browns brought a Full On picnic dinner which we ate here in this hotel room, and we watched the fireworks, and played games to wait for the traffic to abate.

Thank you guys, it was GREAT!

Everyone was so kind as I was Sick Like Dog. Same Old Same Old. I need not go on. But for the record:

An allergy update:
2013 July Kauai/Honolulu
2012 June in MN; November baaad at home
2011 March in MN; November after W's wedding
2010 February; June (both mild)
2009 December at home
2007 November during the fires
2006 March just back from Hawaii
2005 April; June; October; (now that was a bad year!)
July 5

We spent a lovely long day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We just did a day tour and skipped the luau. Their luau is pretty fun, but big, expensive, and very show biz.

I was impressed and surprisingly delighted with all they had for the day. It was extremely entertaining with a very little bit of education along the "maybe this is true? I'll have to check it out" lines.
The Polynesian Cultural Center includes Fiji and some other maps do too and many maps, such as this one, don't. Wiki says Fiji is in Melanesia but they do the cool hip-shaking dances so we'll let that pass.

I'm going to pick a few pictures and say that should you find yourself in Oahu you could consider enjoying the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Each country put on a show and we went to all of them, each different and every one fun.
This guy was Vegas worthy and we laughed out loud...
...which left us no time for any of the myriad arts and crafts projects that were put on by each country.
Don't forget, this is an Amusement Park, so don't be expecting Margaret Mead... but you'll get some idea of geography you probably don't remember, and some feeling for the differences among the islands. I'd even go again.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a fully supported venture of the Mormon Church meant to support the education of the performers at the Brigham Young University–Hawaii. You can even have a free tour to see the Laie Hawaii Temple and the Visitors Center of the LDS Church.

What this means is that everyone who works here is SO FRIENDLY. It's practically weird at first, but you get used to it.

April 20-22, 2012

Arriving in the evening to enjoy the sunset from Trevor and Beth's living room windows.
Here's another one, Diamond Head to our left, Waikiki straight ahead, and downtown Honolulu to our right.

Beth had put together a delightful picnic dinner at the beach after which we visited for a while and then retired to my room despite that my sister (ok, the real grandmother here) thinks it's her room. I understand that other people think it's their room too. And I let them think that.
Morning of the 21st, the Browns getting their cars in and out of the driveway takes both skill and patience.
The front lanai at the Moana Surfrider on Waikiki where we will return for the hula show in the early evening, but first...
We ate a huge and scrumptious brunch at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel and Hau Tree Lanai. We ate and then camped out at their restaurant making it (and their bathroom) home base for our snorkel outing at Waikiki.

Janice (Beth's mom), Trevor, Caleb, Charis. Inset: me, Amy (T&B's pal from law school), Beth. Christa was studying at the restaurant and Sharon took the picture.

It was a total 100% blast AND there were great showers just outside the restaurant.

Later we went back to the Surfrider to enjoy the music and hula show that we appreciate so much.
Trevor and Amy met us at the Surfrider and then Amy went to the airport to return home to D.C.. (Way fuzzy! Why? No idea.)
Turning around from the hula show, facing the sea.
I like it here!
Morning of the 22nd, Beth fed us handsomely all weekend long.
We went out to the Bishop Museum in the morning and it was just as interesting as it was the first time.
We watched them make a volcano.
We had many special times with the kids. We got to play cards with Charis, just us while everyone else was out.

When we arrived Charis was playing the piano sooo well. She's coming with Lona and Hartley to Cynthia's wedding so we'll get to have more time for fun.
Caleb was assigned as my personal guide and protector during our snorkel outing.

Trevor: 'Caleb, you're with Granty.' Me: 'Trevor, really, I'm fine.' Trevor: 'Caleb, you're with Granty.' I only put up one small fuss because actually it was nice, Caleb is a delightful guide and protector.

I asked Trevor (a very sporty and competitive guy) if there was any sport at which he could still beat Caleb. Trevor thought that perhaps in wrestling due to his 50 pound advantage but he wasn't anxious to risk injury finding out.
...and Christa set aside a nice chunk of time out of her busy-24/7 life for a quiet visit.

In less than two weeks Christa, who got into every college she applied to, will be making her final choice.

It was fun!
Caleb and Charis were playing in separate Lacrosse games on Sunday afternoon so before we left we were able to catch a few minutes of both games.

This is the field and that's Diamond Head. Mighty nice! Aloha family and thanks for all your hospitality.

May 2-4 2011

I left Kaua'i under sunny skies and landed in Honolulu under sunny skies. I took the bus to Trevor's office and upon my arrival there the clouds thickened and a giGANtic thunder and lightning storm broke.

There was a total power failure in all of Trevor and Beth's neighborhood. We were all having nothing but fun. When the power came back within an hour all the kids groaned with disappointment.
May 3

The front hedge at the Brown's. Gotta have at least one hibiscus picture from Hawai'i.
I walked from the house, past Diamond Head, and the length of Waikiki Beach. I like Honolulu and I like Waikiki. I just do.

The Royal Hawaiian had recently undergone a cosmetic refurbishment so I went to check it out.
It was pretty cool, but still... favorite is the Moana Surfrider. I probably won't get to enjoy any of their hula shows this trip but they're still doing them every night at 6pm for one of the best sundowners in town.

They specialize in Japanese weddings and it is so utterly entertaining to watch them come and go in their knock-me-over-with-a-feather outfits.
One of the reasons Waikiki is so legendary - the surf. Everyone can surf at Waikiki, and they do.
May 4

I went into the office downtown this morning with Trevor. In the office building coffee shop we shared a delicious Island breakfast of corned beef hash topped by eggs over easy with a side of spam fried rice. It was delicious!

The clouds were too low and the rain was coming down, too much to see the great views out the windows at the office but by the time I was on the streets where I walked and travelled by bus...
...all was well.

Can't miss the Iolani Palace. Sharon and I took the tour here two years ago and I recommend it highly
The Hawaiian flag features the Union Jack because of Hawaii's early relationship with Great Britain.

I've been obsessing over Hawaiian history since I read Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes. It's the best book I've read in recent memory. It was really really good. If you have the least interest in Hawaii you could check out the Amazon reviews to see if this book might suit you.
Everybody wants their picture made with King Kamahamaha the Great.
Because of Unfamiliar Fishes I wanted to see the Bishop Museum, a place I had not visited before, known for "the world's largest collection of Polynesian cultural and scientific artifacts" and where Sarah Vowell spent a nice chunk of time.

Charles Reed Bishop built this first structure in 1898 in honor of his late wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, to house the family's heirlooms. They call the style 'Richardsonian Romanesque architecture'. I've only got a side shot, not the elegant front. I don't know what I've forgotten until it's too late!
Here's a bit of the inside. It's quite dramatic.
'They' kept adding buildings to the complex, expanding the public offerings and the research facilities. I haven't figured out yet who 'they' are.
Our afternoon's adventure: getting Beth a new phone. The last mishap for her old phone involving a pair of jeans and the toilet, was indeed the last.
The view from the shopping center parking lot. ALOHA!

March 2007 afternoon of the 29th to late on the 30th

I flew from Kauai (MAHALO Sharon!) to Honolulu for the chance to spend a few hours with the TB-CCC Browns, and took a taxi to Trevor's office in downtown.

Here is his new priceless art work. (ok, so that's Charis and she is a priceless work of art but she doesn't spend the Whole day standing there casting adorning looks upon her father.)
Beth and kids were all there within minutes of my arrival and we took off for our expedition to the Maritime Museum.

On the way we had to have fun too - so first we fed the fish off the retaining wall and then Caleb demonstrated the technique used by rats to find their way onboard ships.
And here is Christa, a symphony in lavender. You know we share our birthdays (June 19-20) and this is going to be a great year for both of us. Christa will join the ranks of teenagers and I will join the ranks of people 'in their 60s.' I'm quite sure we will both have plenty-good fun!
Here's a scene in the Maritime Museum. The focus of the museum is Hawaiian/Polynesian navigation arts. There is an extended feature on whaling around the world and the contributions of the Hawaiian sailors.
Back up at Trevor's office we enjoyed this view out the window, leaving Honolulu harbor...
...and this view of 'the paperclip buildings', nicely blurred by the window.
Man At Work. Maybe I missed someone, but from what I can remember, Every man in this office, was wearing an aloha shirt. They still do wear suits to court but otherwise it's all aloha all the time.
The next morning Beth took us all to the museum associated with the Honolulu Academy of Art. We had a fantastic time. The kids were a pleasure to have along.

First, lunch at the Museum cafe where the kids got to fool around in the plaza and where these works towered over us. They are maybe eight feet tall(7) - let's just say they towered over me - and are made entirely of glazed clay.
One of the courtyards with the kids back there by the fountain. I photoshopped this one big-time to try and get that arty- quick-sketch feel. If I could draw I would draw it like this.
The opposite courtyard is also very wonderful. This is some like the Moorish fountains I've seem elsewhere but instead of the a straight channel for the runoff, the channel has a river feel and a kind of question mark towards the end that creates eddies in the flow. It is very cool.
This vase reminded the kids of a story they had read. I forget the details now of the story or why this picture is funny, but it is funny even without know the story.

The guard stopped by with the 'no photo' finger wag so we didn't do any in this room.

The museum is quite charming, small in scale (hardly any guards-hardly any visitors) but the collection is impressive in variety and in that the works are displayed with taste and in support of the educational purpose of institution.
I didn't take any more pictures except I just hadd'a have this guy. There was a room full of Buddhas and the audio self-walking tour told interesting stories about many of them.

We enjoyed this room particularly and especially that we all tried to take the positions of the Buddhas.
In the entry plaza we find a statue of Penelope and certain of her admirers.
From their front porch, sunset over Waikiki.

We ate a yummy dinner, played a hilarious and competitive(!) round of Catch Phrase and then it was time for me to go! Wow-EE time flies and my long-awaited visit to New Zealand is about to begin.
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