Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oahu and Kauai

The city of Honolulu is on the island of Oahu and this was the first stop on our bus tour -- downtown Honolulu and the King Kamehameha Palace.

This is the statue of the king that sits in front of the palace.  He was a very big man.

I was very interested in visiting Honolulu as my father had a post-doc sabbatical there on a Cook fellowship from Yale and worked at the Bishop Museum in the mid 30's.  One of his best known monographs was on the snails of this region.

As children, we had occasional visits from a colleague (Dr. Yoshi Kondo) whom he had met while there.  His wife, Kay, always demonstrated the hula at the shell meetings we used to attend.  Their son ended up going to college in the Philadelphia area (where I am originally from), I suspect that is why they stayed with us.
The next stop was a visit to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  This memorial sits on top of the sunken ship and is very moving.  The short movie that is shown prior to taking the boat out to the memorial gave me a lot more of the context.  We never quite got to WWII in American History when I was in school.  My parents were married two weeks after Pearl Harbor and my father was afraid that he would be drafted again as he had served in WWI and was in the Reserves until the mid 30s.  

There is still an oil slick at the ship's site.

This is a bird's eye view of Honolulu from the Pali outlook.

These beautiful flowering trees were all over Honolulu and our guide said they were an import from the Far East.  They were in beautiful pinks and whites along the streets.  All of the state of Hawaii had beautiful flowers with tons of Birds of Paradise -- one of my very favorites.

A view from the Pali outlook with the city of Honolulu and the ocean in the distance.

We stopped along the way to gaze out at the windward side of Oahu and the rough surf.  At the Pali outlook, the winds had to be 40 mph -- I could barely hold the camera still.

Just another view of the surf,

Still another view.

There were a lot of these Zebra Doves wandering around at Pearl Harbor.  Also there were a lot of white pigeons.

Had to put in a picture of my favorite Bird of Paradise flowers.

The next day we headed to Kauai and the Fern Grotto which used to be the site of many weddings but is now closed to that,

Just another view of the grotto.  We took a river trip to get here (the name of the river escapes me now).  I am afraid I developed a distinct aversion to off key Hawaiian music during this tour!!!

Ginger flowers (not the kind that produces the spice) were everywhere in all different colors.  I especially liked the pink ones,

We also visited Opaakai Falls.  I had a terrible time with the spelling and pronunciation of the Hawaiian names!!  Hopefully there aren't too many spelling errors!

After visiting the four islands, we headed for our return trip to Vancouver BC.  By this time, a large number of people (myself included) had developed a nasty cold which left me with little appetite and a nasty cough.  This was probably a good thing as I managed to lose weight on the cruise and I am sure if I had continued eating like I did the first week, I would have gained ten pounds!!  At least I didn't get the dreaded norovirus athough it was on the ship.  We were not allowed to even touch salt and pepper shakers.  Our silverware and plates were handed to us and food was scooped for us at the buffet lines.  They continuously were scrubbing down everything,  Overall, it was great fun and I got to get a small sample of Hawaii and where I would spend more time (Kauai which is the oldest and I thought the prettiest off the islands).  I really enjoyed the lazy days on the ship reading and playing Bridge with Mary Ellen, Marj and Vicki!

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