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Hooded Mergansers

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hawaii.... the last shall be first.....

Bill & I arrived in Honolulu early Monday morning.  Check-in time for our hotel was 3:00 pm so we stashed our luggage in the hotel "closet" and headed out into the city.  Actually, we weren't in Honolulu, but rather in Waikiki.  I don't think I'd know one from the other, but only know that the whole island is only about 30 miles wide by 35 miles long.

We're just getting into the rainy season and a shower had just passed over before our arrival.  But, no rainbow this time.

When we were making our travel plans for the Asian trip I saw that we'd have to pass right by Hawaii to get from Tokyo back to Los Angeles.  (well, sort of, anyway).   As I've written many times, I'm an avid geocacher and in the nearly 10 years we've been looking for those hidden treasures, We've found them in 49 states so far.  So...  my main goal in stopping in Hawaii was to find a cache and complete a find in all 50 states.  We found a virtual cache just across the street from our hotel and a couple of physical caches a few blocks up the street.  YES!  Now I'm ready to see the other sights.

Our son-in-law was stationed here in Honolulu in the mid 1990's, and our daughter worked as a social worker while they lived here.  Our 2 granddaughters attended middle school.  I visited them twice during their 4 year tour of duty and they took me everywhere and showed me so much.  But Bill stayed home both times taking care of our farm, so other than an overnight stop when he was in the military in the early 1960's, he'd never been here.

The easiest way to see a lot of things in a short time is to take tours.  The "hop on/hop off" kind of tours are just perfect for us because we can stop at sites we're interested in and just take a quick look at the rest.

Of course the beaches are the biggest draw for most people.  And beautiful beaches they are.

We took a total of 3 tours in our time here....  one tour took us to Chinatown...
I love the markets...  all the varieties of fruits and vegetables.  And the different fish and cuts of meat are so interesting.  We wondered what those were in the lower right photo...  came to the conclusion that they are Ox Tails, as we see ox tail soup advertised in many of the restaurants.  The lower left photo is a "before and after" photo of our lunch.  Yeah, we were in Hawaii, having lunch in Chinatown, but chose a wonderful Thai restaurant for lunch...  um um!  Love those spicy dishes!

The tour went to the botanical gardens, the palace (the island used to have a king and queen before it became a US state in 1959), museums, the State capital and various other stops.  We had a great time even though it was for only a few hours.

Today we took the tour to Diamond Head State Park....  and walked up to the top of the crater.

It's a .8 mile hike but climbs 560' from the crater floor.  The brochure says to allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the round trip hike.  This is an ancient volcano and the crater would be obvious from the air...  the trail is winding and has a lot of switchbacks.  We wanted to catch the next bus back to town so managed to walk up...  take a lot of photos etc...  and hike back down in 1 hour....  1.6 miles round-trip that was fairly strenuous in places.  Heck, I was puffing like a chimney near the top!  The incline was steep, but it was the tunnel that nearly did me in.  I don't like tunnels or caves, but managed to get through okay.  The view from the top was fantastic!  A whole 360 degree panorama!

We made it back to town and headed to a barbershop where Bill got his beard trimmed.  We haven't been to such places for weeks and while I suppose he could have had it done on the ship they charge outrageous prices for such services.  So...  now he feels better and is ready to finish up this vacation.

We had a very late lunch of Hawaiian chicken and some other regional foods...  and each had a wonderfully cold Longboard draft beer!  That's a local beer and it's very good.

We have seen some new birds...
Red-vented Bulbul
Red crested Cardinal

And...  two very similar birds...

Upper...  Jungle Myna        Lower..... Common Myna

And one last photo....  when I visited my daughter, she took me to "high tea" at a very fancy hotel.  One of those events you dress up and act like a lady...  it was so elegant and so lovely. 
I think this is the hotel we went to....
A very old (1930's?) hotel that sits among some very modern buildings right on the beach.  Isn't it gorgeous?  No tea today, but I sure have some good memories of my visit those several years ago.
Thank you, Donna and Glenn for showing me such a lovely time.

Tomorrow we fly to Los Angeles....  I know... it's Thanksgiving.  Maybe they'll serve turkey on the plane....  doesn't make any difference....  I have so much to be thankful for...  my wonderful family and good friends, our good health, and more than I could ever list here.

I hope y'all have a great day and have many blessings as well.

That's All For today!



10 comments:

  1. We were on the Big Island last week. Love the warm water!

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving Sharon and Bill--let's hope this flight is smoother than the last!

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  3. Thanks for the tour.
    Enjoy your flight and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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  4. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.Have a good flight.

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  5. My wife's grandpa went to Waikiki on his honeymoon with his second wife before it was a state.

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  6. I don't believe I'll ever make it to Hawaii, so I enjoyed your photos a lot.

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  7. A wonderful look at a state that I'll probably never get to. It's so beautiful there! Always love seeing new birds you post.

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  8. Happy Thanksgiving. I really enjoy your posts.

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  9. Congratulations on your geocache. That is quite an accomplishment!

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