Friday, February 27, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015 – Honolulu, Hawaii – Sunny – 80F

It’s a beautiful day on the island of Oahu…

The last time we were in Honolulu it was Sunday and the entire city was closed.  I thought things would be better today since it is a Monday.  Only problem:  Today is Martin Luther King Day and lots of shops are closed.  Bad timing two cruises in a row. 

I had a different kind of breakfast today – a veggie omelet with a little jalapeno – a bit tangy but very good.  Of course, the excellent biscuits make everything better.

After breakfast, I spent a little time in the International Café – with my usual iced decaf mocha latte in hand.  We have all day here in Honolulu so there is no rush to get going.

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Since we are docked near the Aloha Tower pier, our plan is to walk around Chinatown (we figured some shops would be open here) and downtown Honolulu (right next to Chinatown). 

Chinatown was teeming with folks today – probably off for the holiday and some from the ship. 

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Main Pedestrian Walkway – Chinatown

We picked up a few trinkets from the shops and then headed to the downtown area – actually the business district.  The entrance to Chinatown, which we saw on the way out, is guarded by a pair of mythical creatures (lions, maybe). 

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Chinatown Gate

The downtown area has some very interesting sculpture installations.  One involved an archway and some children and included on cute live woman from Chicago.

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Ellen and the Sculpture

I also saw what I am sure was a radar evading car – I think it was a modified 350Z.  It was covered in a flat type of black paint, which might have had some stealthy properties.  The surfaces were rounded.  I’ve never seen anything like this – if it wasn’t stealth, it sure looked like it could be.  I regret that I didn’t take a picture of the car.  It was cool…

Surprisingly, we knew our way around the area and easily found the Iolani Palace.  This is the only royal palace in the United States.  Before going around the front of the palace, I stopped to get a picture of the statue commemorating the last Hawaiian Monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani.  She was not treated well by the Unites States (a coup, imprisonment and house arrest) and a statue hardly makes up for what she went through.


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Queen Liliʻuokalani – last monarch of Hawaii

The Iolani Palace looked a little more run down that the last time we saw it and there was some renovation going on.  The best shots are from the edge of the driveway and when there are few random people about.  I got lucky.

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Iolani Palace

Across the street from the Iolani Palace sits the statue of King Kamehameha I (similar to the one in Hilo).  The statue is on the lawn of the Aliʻiōlani Hale, home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court.

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King Kamehameha I

We returned to the ship to eat lunch in the Horizon Court.  The visibility from the ship’s decks was endless and I was able to get some great pictures of Honolulu (all directions) including the iconic Diamond Head.  Diamond Head is a volcanic cone and gets it name from British Sailors, who mistakenly thought that calcite crystals found nearby were diamonds.  Otherwise, the volcano would be known as Calcite Head.

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Aloha Tower

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Honolulu Harbor

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Diamond Head

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Downtown Honolulu

Our afternoon plan involved going to Waikiki Beach via the Hilo Hattie Free Shuttle.  To do that, you first have to go to Hilo Hattie and spend a little time there (to shop, of course).  This time, we did something different – we sat down with a sales person and all made bracelets from shells.  It was fun.

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Making Bracelets at Hilo Hattie

From the shop, the shuttle took us to Waikiki Beach.  Once there, we decided that it was too hot and we had too little time to do much.  So we stayed on the bus and went back to the pier.

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Waikiki Beach Drive by

Before dinner, we sat on the back deck and did some reading.  But we were also treated to a terrific sunset.  The best picture that day was that of a plane taking off from Honolulu Airport passing over the setting Sun.

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Sunset in the Pacific

Tonight we had dinner in the Capri Dining Room – I had the Mahi Mahi (Hawaii of course) and pasta with broccoli and cream.  

As is generally the case, the ship brings on some local talent for Showtime. The last few times, we have seen a Hula Show put on by a local school (they were pretty good).  This time, we have the Nahoku Award (the local Grammies?) winning,  “Maunalua and their Lovely Hula Ladies”.  The show had a country western sound to it but the hula dancing was entertaining.

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Maunalua and their Lovely Hula Ladies 

A long but fun day in Honolulu…

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