Hawai’i – Oahu – Day 6

This was our last day on Oahu.  Best plans do not always go as you want.  We managed to get part way through Foster’s Botanical Garden and then the sky decided to open up.  So much for our walk to the palace and other stops.  This was going to be one of those days, where you just enjoy what you did get to see and relax the rest of the day.

I do not have the names of the plants but they were colorful and interesting.  Enjoy the beauty.day-6-1












Cannon Ball Tree – watch out under this one – flower above – and cannon balls below.







Art work depicting the sandwich islands.

and then we walked by a tiki – (missing its head)


and Buddha –


and we made it to the orchid nursery –













And the rains came.  We made our way out through flooded paths to our ride.

Then it was off to dinner.  It was 40 different food stands where you could choose a wide variety of foods.  I chose a Korean Seafood Pancake.  It was huge and in some parts spicy. Yes those are red peppers.day-6-33 I have had some interesting food items on this trip that I have never eaten before.  Quite an experience.






Hawai’i – Oahu Day 5

Day was a day to take a drive with Carol.  We started out by going to the Dole Plantation.


You first walk into the store – where there are all kinds of goodies.


Bear and Bearbette  found themselves a friend.

And I loved the old cannery labels.

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We elected not to do the big maze.
In 2008, Dole Plantation’s giant Pineapple Garden Maze was declared the world’s largest maze. The maze stretches over three acres and includes nearly two and one-half miles of paths crafted from 14,000 colorful Hawaiian plants. Walk through the flora of the islands as you seek out eight secret stations that each lead you closer to the mystery at the heart of this larger-than-life labyrinth, one of only a handful of permanent botanical mazes in America.

Bear and Bearbette joined us in riding the pineapple express train ride around the property.




We rode by many plants.

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And my favorite – day-5-13

which has the bean – which makes chocolate.

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Well let it not be said that I never let my photo be taken.  How do you like my hula body?


Carol did the pineapple –


and I couldn’t pass up this lil’ cutie –


Well and Bear and Bearbette had to get into the act –


They have a garden there, and we decided to walk through this sampling of colorful plants.





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And the bark of a very colorful tree – Mindanao Gum .


A fountain with lotus flowers and Carol.day-5-37

A signpost to many places


in an area with pineapple plants so you could touch – watch the sharp edges.


And a rooster acting like I have never seen digging in the dirt and pushing a hen around.


We had lunch at the plantation and it was enough food for two.

We then headed for the beach as Carol had not made it to the north shore in a while. We stopped where the Hawaiian Green Sea turtles had come ashore to bask in the sun and rest.

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And the waves were not as high this day – but we did stop at the Bonzai Pipeline so I could say I was there.  Of course there were surfers and a young girl doing cartwheels.









We continued up and around the top of the island coming down to a rock formations called Chinaman’s Hat.


And the turtle (though I think it looks more like an alligator head).


and then to round out our trip – day-5-51

this lovely range behind the Kualoa Ranch.
The valley was sacred to ancient Hawaiians from the 13th to the 18th century, as Chief La’a-mai-kahiki settled there after visiting Kaua’i before returning to Tahiti. It was also the site of the sacred drums of Kapahuʻula and Kaʻahuʻulapunawai as well as the sacred Hill of Kauakahiakahoʻowaha, the key to the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Oahu. As written in the Kumulipo, an ancient Hawaiian genealogical chant, Kualoa is where Papa and Wakea buried their first still born child, Haloa. It is said that the first kalo (taro) plant grew up from where Haloa was buried at Kualoa.
The ranch has been the site of over 50 movies, including Pearl Harbor, King Kong, Jurassic movies, Skull Island, and the tv show Lost.

It was a full day and time to head back to Carol’s cousin’s house.









Hawai’i – Oahu Day 4

Today was a special day for me, as I spent the day visiting with my son, who is stationed on Oahu. (since I didn’t ask his permission, you are not seeing his photo in here).  He took me up the north shore where I got some good shots of surfers and waves.





There were some pretty good waves.





Yes he is in there.


We then went to Waimea Falls Park and walked the trails back to the waterfall. We parked on the side with the beach and walked across the road and back into the park. It was about a mile and a half before we got to the entrance.  Got my exercise this day.

There were lots of plants to see.




And there were exhibits of Hawaiian structures.  This is a Hale Aina, which is the designated eating house for women and young boys that had not yet been admitted into the Hale Mua.  Men were known to have done the cooking for the Hale Aina, yet only certain foods could be eaten by women.  Under the Kapu system, there were many rules and regulations on the preparation and eating of food.

Hawaiians embraced the kapu system as a way of maintaining balance with the supernatural, the physical environment, with others and within themselves.  Hawaiians had a keen understanding of the obligations required of both men and women to keep this balance.  The kapu system itself is often called the ‘ai kapu (‘ai means “to eat”).  This shows us the belief that certain foods were observed to have a particular purpose.

Traditional foods eaten by women and children in the Hale ‘Aina included most fish and vegetable foods such as ‘uala (sweet potato), ‘uhi (yam) and Kalo (taro).  Some of the foods that were kapu to women included pua’a (pig), niu (coconut) and Kumu (redfish). However poi (from taro) was the staple food and was enjoyed by the entire ‘ohana (men, women and children).


And finally the falls.  There was a nice pool at the base where you could swim.


Finally, a dramatic tree – the monkey pod.


and when we walked out of the falls park and back to his car, we drove up the coast to more beachs – ending just shy of where the Bonzai Pipeline park.  day-4-18


And I saw this surfer with his own drone filming his rides.

And one last – see how many waves looking down the beach –


Now while I was off visiting, Carol and her cousin took Bear and Bearbette out.



And they had a nice dinner.



Hawai’i – Oahu – Day 3 afternoon

It has been a busy morning and now we are off and over the mountain.

First stop Nu’uanu Pali Lookout.  Here Carol, Bear and Bearbette posed for a photo.




Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is located on a section of the windward cliff of the Ko’olau mountain.  It has a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oahu with views of Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe Bay, and Kailua.  Dramatic view.  Normally it is very windy up at this lookout, but not today.  Almost no wind at all.

The Nuʻuanu Pali was the site of the Battle of Nu’uanu, one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history, in which Kamehameha I conquered the island of Oʻahu, bringing it under his rule. In 1795 Kamehameha I sailed from his home island of Hawai’i with an army of 10,000 warriors, including a handful of non-Hawaiian foreigners. After conquering the islands of Maui and Moloka’i, he moved on to Oʻahu. The pivotal battle for the island occurred in Nuʻuanu Valley, where the defenders of Oʻahu, led by Kalanikūpule, were driven back up into the valley where they were trapped above the cliff. More than 400 of Kalanikūpule’s soldiers were driven off the edge of the 1,000-foot cliff to their deaths.

In 1845 the first road was built over the Nuʻuanu Pali, to connect Windward Oʻahu with Honolulu. In 1898, as this road was developed into a highway, workers found 800 human skulls—believed to be the remains of the warriors who fell to their deaths from the cliff above.


This tree has a very unusual trunk. It was as we walked out from the lookout.

From here, we drove to the Valley of the Temples.  Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is a memorial park located on the windward (eastern) side at the foot of the Ko’olau mountains, near the town of Kane’ohe. The park features a 1968 replica of the 11th-century Phoenix Hall of the Byodo-In Buddhist temple complex in Uji, Japan. Inside the main part of the temple is a 9 feet (2.7 m) Amida Buddha statue sitting on a gold lotus leaf.


I could not pass up taking the photo while this young lady from Japan was getting ready for her selfie.



From the back of the temple.


And the side – notice the turtles on the rock.

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And here is the statue of Buddha.

Carol spent some time getting photos of some of the flowers around the complex.day-3b-5 day-3b-7 day-3b-9 day-3b-14 day-3b-11

And I took some photos of a few of the cats around the temple.

day-3b-17 day-3b-15 this cat was watching diligently in its hunt mode looking on behind the tree.day-3b-12

And there were a couple of Black Swans that were given to the Temple by Japan.


And there were what seemed like hundreds of Koi.


As you walk around the temple there is a smaller Buddha set in a nature setting, with a small waterfall nearby making a quiet place for mediation.


The Bell House contains a five foot high, three ton brass bell, called bon-sho (sacred bell), cast in Osaka, Japan, from a mixture of bronze and tin. It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In.  It is revered for its distinctive shape, and the tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace, cleansing the mind of evil and temptation.

The resonant sound of the bon-sho creates an atmosphere of tranquility for meditation that travels for some distance. A soft wooden log called the “shu-moku” is used to strike the bell.

Ringing the bell will purify the mind of evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life.

Here is Carol ringing the bell.



And as we walked out from the bell, this was the view of the temple.


But not to be undone by all the beauty.  I got to see my first Mongoose.  I was told it is a baby, but I don’t care – I saw one and it saw me.

Hi Mongoose – day-3b-25







Hawai’i – Pearl Harbor – Day 3 morning

We started our day with a trip over to Pearl Harbor – at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, home of the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri.

day-3-40 day-3-41This has changed so much since I took my father here over 25 years ago.  The USS Missouri was not here nor was the USS Bowfin.

As soon as you enter the park, you can see the USS Bowfin off to the right. You can get tickets to go on board, but we didn’t do this.  The USS Bowfin (SS/AGSS-287) is a Balao class submarine, which was commissioned in 1942 and deactivated for the last time in 1971.  day-3-1

You can walk through two exhibits The Road to War  and The Attack, which contain personal memorabilia, dramatic photographs, artifacts of the battle, as well as other exhibits.

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This is Sadako’s Cranes.  A young school girl, Sadako Sasaki, was a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) from the Hiroshima attack, who in 1955 was diagnosed with leukemia.  At the hospital she practiced origami, believing the legend which grants one who folds a thousand paper cranes long life, good luck or recovery from illness. Before passing away in October, 1955, she folded over 1300 origami cranes, often from medicine wrappers.  The Saski family shared Sadako’s cranes, and her message of hope across the world.

The bell from the Arizona –


The Arizona’s bell guided the crew back to the ship through thick fog.  Paul Stillwell explained, “From time to time a man on board the Arizona would strike the hull’s number – first three gongs and then nine – to serve as a homing beacon for her boats.” This bell was recovered from the ship after the attack.  A similar bell removed from the ship a year earlier resides at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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We then watched the video of history of the attack on Pearl Harbor before boarding a water transport to the USS Arizona Memorial.


The Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri along with the tower for the air base.




The Arizona Memorial as we approached. To the right is the actual mooring pier for the USS Arizona. Notice the seven (7) windows on the side of the Memorial which are there to indicate the day of the attack.


The forward gun turret.


Part of the deck from the Arizona below the water.


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The shrine at the far end is a marble wall that bears the names of all those killed on the Arizona, protected behind velvet ropes. To the left of the main wall is a small plaque which bears the names of thirty or so crew members who survived the 1941 sinking. Any surviving crew members of the Arizona (or their families on their behalf) can have their ashes interred within the wreck, by U.S. Navy divers.

Oil leaking from the sunken battleship can still be seen rising from the wreckage to the water’s surface,  sometimes referred to as “the tears of the Arizona” or “black tears.” Concerns have been expressed that the continued deterioration of the Arizona’s bulkheads and oil tanks from saltwater corrosion could pose a significant environmental threat from a rupture, resulting in a significant release of oil.  The National Park Service states it has an ongoing program that closely monitors the submerged vessel’s condition.


Looking down towards the back of the ship and seeing the oil seeping out.


The USS Missouri as seen from the water transport to the Arizona Memorial. We then sailed back to the Memorial Park.  We walked around all the different displays which pointed out where all the ships were during that fateful day and then we caught the bus to take us to the USS Missouri.


A statue of Admiral Nimitz at the entrance to the ship with an impressive walkway of flags.


On the dock next to the USS Missouri is a life-sized version of the famous statue – Unconditional Surrender – by Seward Johnson.  It depicts a scene from a photo taken in New York City on Aug 14, 1945, the day Japanese surrendered and World War II ended.   day-3-21



It was unusual view for me, since we have a copy of the statue which is 26 feet tall in Sarasota, FL.  I never knew she was holding roses.

We then went on board this impressive ship that was so instrumental in the ending of the war.

USS Missouri (BB-63) (“Mighty Mo” or “Big Mo“) is a United States Navy Iowa class battleship and was the third ship of the U.S. Navy to be named in honor of the US state of Missouri. Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States and was best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.

Missouri was ordered in 1940 and commissioned in June 1944. In the Pacific Theater of World War II she fought in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and shelled the Japanese home islands, and she fought in the  Korean War from 1950 to 1953.

This is the ship where the Japanese signed the agreement to surrender.


Here is the spot where the table with the agreement of surrender was signed.





Carol on the bow.


One of the front guns near the bow.


What makes her so impressive is the nine 16 inch 50 cal Mark 7 guns which could fire  2,700 lb (1,200 kg) armor-piercing shells some 20 mi (32.2 km). Her secondary battery consisted of twenty 5 in 38 cal guns in twin turrets, with a range of about 10 mi (16 km).



One of the shells for those big guns.


So you can see the size – here is Carol standing beneath the front guns.



And there were guns on the back of this ship as well –


And the smaller shells


The Missouri fired 289 shells into Iraq during the Persian Gulf War – Desert Shield – Desert Storm.

The Missouri is currently undergoing a number of renovations including fixing the teak decking. They have set off some of the officer cabins, mess hall, and other rooms  for the public to get a feel as to how the members of the ship lived during their sailings.


And one last look at the front of this important ship.


And the final view of the Arizona Memorial from the USS Missouri.

There is more to see at this Memorial Park including an airfield and some planes.  This is definitely a place you need to visit.

More to see this afternoon, but in another post.

Hawai’i – Oahu – Day 2

We started our day by driving up Tantalus Drive  on Oahu which is a very curvy road with many switchbacks. Tantalus Lookout offers panoramic views over Honolulu and Waikiki Beach.




Even Bear and Bearbette got up early to catch the sunrise view, though Bearbette was still sleepy.


And this being the year of the Rooster, they have been following us everywhere – even up on this road.  day-2-4

After the sunrise, we headed over to Punchbowl Crater.  This is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  day-2-5 It serves as a memorial to honor those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces, and those who have given their lives in doing so.  The cemetery was dedicated in 1949 and holds approximately 53,000 World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, and Vietnam War veterans and their dependents. The cemetery now almost exclusively accepts cremated remains for above-ground interment of ashes only. Initially the graves were marked with white wooden crosses and stars of David, but those were only to be temporary.  Despite the Army’s efforts to notify the public that they were only temporary, there was a public outcry when they were replaced in 1951 with permanent granite markers.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was the first such cemetery to install Bicentennial Medal of Honor headstones, the medal insignia being defined in gold leaf. In 1976, a total of 23 of these were placed on the graves of medal recipients, all but one of whom were killed in action.

In 2001, about 70 generic “Unknown” markers for the graves of men known to have died during the attack on Pearl Harbor were replaced with markers that included USS Arizona after it was determined they perished on this vessel. In addition, new information that identified grave locations of 175 men whose graves were previously marked as “Unknown” resulted in the installation of new markers in late 2002.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific contains a “Memorial Walk” that is lined with a variety of memorial markers from various organizations and governments that honor America’s veterans. Here are a few of them.

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The Honolulu Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery is “to honor the sacrifices and achievements of American Armed Forces in the Pacific during World War II and in the Korean War”. The memorial was later expanded in 1980 to include the Vietnam War. The names of 28,788 military personnel who are missing in action or were lost or buried at sea in the Pacific during these conflicts are listed on marble slabs in ten Courts of the Missing which flank the Memorial’s grand stone staircase. The courts are divided up by the branch of service.


At the top of the staircase in the Court of Honor is a statue of Lady Columbia, also known as Lady Liberty, or Justice. Here she is reported to represent all grieving mothers. She stands on the bow of a ship holding a laurel branch. The inscription below the statue, taken from Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Mrs. Bixby, reads:

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The memorial contains a small chapel and tribute to the various battles fought in the Pacific.
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Here is just one of the murals  – day-2-13
day-2-15a Inset in the bronze grille-work in the chapel are fifty eight colored glass cabochons. The cabochons depict seven different symbols; a burning torch, the Hand of God, a Hero, a Holy Dove, a Lamb, Liberty, and a Shofar ( an ancient musical horn made from a ram’s horn.)
Lastly is the flag poles made to look like they are from a ship’s mast.
Above the memorial walk is an overlook of the city.  Here I was able to see the State Capital Building with its unique architecture.

After reviewing the different murals from the action in the Pacific, and paying our respects to all those brave souls, it was time to move on.

We drove from here down by Waikiki.   We started over by the Honolulu Zoo and walked back on Kuhio Beach Park.  We first encountered a very rare and elusive “Phone Booth”.  We found two of them – so maybe their will be little phone booths popping up elsewhere in the future…..day-2-23

And what would a Hawaiian Beach be, without a coconut palm tree.


Outside of the walkout – is a statue of Makua and Kila. day-2-24

This is based on a children’s story by Fred Van Dyke honoring the Hawaiian values of love and respect for the family and the ocean.

We walked out to take in the view –


Waikiki means spouting water.  Where the famous beach area is now, was once a marsh with lots of streams coming down to the ocean. The walkout was actually placed on top of the mouth of an old stream the Kuckaunahi.  Waikiki has been a popular surfing spot from the beginning.  But by the 1900, surfing has nearly died out in Hawai’i because of the missionary opposition to the sport because it took people away from worship and other religious obligations.  Waves on Waikiki vary in height from 2 to 8 feet and have on a rare occasion reached 35 feet.  A ride can last a hundred yards or so.  The longest ride took place in 1917 when Duke Paoa Kahanamoku caught a 35 ft wave and rode it to shore, a distance of a mile and a quarter.


Duke was a full blooded Hawaiian.  He was an Olympic athletic swimmer, who between 1912 and 1932 won three gold, two silver, and a bronze in four Olympics.   He is known for introducing surfing to the eastern seaboard of the United States, Australia, and Europe.  He also was a hero, by saving eight lives from a capsized launch in Corona del Mar, California, using his surf board. He also went on to be a movie star.  He was the ambassador of Aloha for Hawai’i since 1912.



Diamond Head off in the distance.



Carol sitting by a fountain near the beach.


A walkway between the shops and hotels to the beach is lined with surf boards.


Carol with Bear and Bearbette and a Hawaiian bear.













Hawai’i – Day 1

I arrived in Los Angles, California and met up with Carol.  Then we relaxed a bit before the next mornings’ flight.


First Stop LAX. Going to get to our airline and stopped to take a couple of photos.  The Theme Building, an iconic restaurant at LAX at sunrise.  Though closed now it was dedicated back in 1961.


Sunrise over a parking structure at LAX.  No, I didn’t enhance the colors.


Bear and Bearbette starting the day with some egg whites, spinach and potatoes.  Going to be on the plane for a while, so need to eat right.

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Ahh, Bear and Beabette made it to the gate.


After a few hours of flying, arrived at Honolulu Airport and saw Maui, the demigod frpm the movie Moana on the side of a Hawaiian Airlines plane.

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Then it was time for some personal business while I took some photos of statues and flowers.


Sorry for the delay in posting – where we were staying, we didn’t have access to the internet.  Now I will be trying to catch up while we are also out taking in the sites on the Big Island.
More to come.