2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hawai'i Vacation

April 15, 2017 a group of eight people from Sunscape RV Resort flew to Hawai'i for a cruise around the islands and a stay in Honolulu.  Here we are coming in for a landing on Oahu (pronounced O ah oo).

We spent one night at the Waikiki Beach Marriott.  From our balcony we could see Waikiki Beach.

Looking toward the Ko'olau Range  This mountain range is actually an ancient shield volcano that is one of the oldest parts of Oahu at roughly 2.5 million years old

Oh the Hawaiian language. Composed of only 12 letter, 5 of which are vowels, this Polynesian language takes its name from the island of Hawai'i where it developed.  Paoakalani translates to Royal Perfume.

Honolulu has lots of murals.  Pow Wow Hawaii brings high-profile local, mainland and international artists to a neighborhood called Kakaako each February to produce more murals.

We saw lots of homeless in Honolulu but none begging on the corners.  Instead, volunteers are out begging for the homeless.

Our first view of the Norwegian Cruise Line Pride of America.  It's the largest American-based cruise ship and the one that offers the longest cruise of the Hawaiian islands. 

Time to get off the bus and start the process of boarding the ship.

Long lines coming in from both directions for the first check of our ID's.

Nolan got lei'd.  We had left our bags in our hotel room and they were picked up by the Norwegian crew and delivered to our cabin later.  The big bag arrived first but it took a while for the smaller bag to appear.

Once on board our cabin wasn't ready so we climbed to the highest part of the ship that was open to us to survey our surroundings.

On the deck are partitioned off areas that contain two lounge chairs.  Semi private shaded areas for relaxing.  Across the water is the Sand Island State Recreation Area... sounds like a relaxing place..... or maybe not.  It offers weekends-only shoreline camping within a heavily industrialized area very close to the urban core of Honolulu and the flight path of the Honolulu International Airport. This park is also adjacent to the Sand Island Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) day use riding area.

High rises continue outside of the downtown area all the way to Diamond Head.  Some were quite interesting.

Looking aft.

Upon closer inspection, there were some interesting boats in the harbor.

Tug boats headed in and out to assist large ships.

The refueling ship came alongside to refill the tanks.
As darkness fell, the Pride of America (POA) pushed back from the dock under its own power.  It did a "U" turn in the harbor to get its bow pointed out to sea.

The same dock area handled a lot of freight.

This ship was being unloaded.

Saw a couple crew members playing basketball forward of the housing tower at the rear of the ship.

A sightseeing boat was coming in as we were leaving.  Diamond Head, locally know as Lēʻahi, dominates the point at the end of Waikiki Beach.

There was a light tower at Honolulu Harbor

The first day Nolan noticed that the sign by our cabin door could be changed.  The follow photos show the different phrases.

Our cabin was an interior made up with two twin beds.  These could have been pushed together to create a king and there were two bunks that could have been pulled down.

We had a desk with a stool on one side and a TV, drawers and shelves on the other.  Behind the corner mirror is the restroom.  The other side was a closet and a refrigerator behind the TV.

The shower was quite small and I saw people on the ship that would have had a hard time fitting in it.  I suppose those people had a suite with a larger shower.

Our first towel animal... I think it's a dog 
Day 2:  We had scheduled a Maui Plantation and Iao Valley Tour but when we got our shore excursion ticket, we were notified that the Sugar Museum was being substituted for Iao Valley as there was flooding that had damaged the park.  We were disappointed but agreed to the change.  Later we found out the damage happened on September 13, 2016, before we even booked the tour.   

At least we got to find out the history of sugar cane on Maui.  Alexander and Baldwin are the primary land owners on Maui and are the parent company of Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar.  On January 6, 2016, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. announced that it would be transitioning out of farming sugar and will instead pursue a diversified agricultural model for their 36,000-acre plantation. Sugar operations were phased out by the end of 2016.  

You can always click on the photo to enlarge it for reading.

Some of the signage has not been updated.  The last sentence is wrong.

Key to map in next photo



Sugar cane

Native to the tropical dry forests of Africa, the African Tulip Tree or Flame Tree(Spathodea Campanulata) is a beautiful ornamental tree, but is super-invasive, meaning it takes over whatever it can and crowds out native species. It has the most exquisite and flamboyant red or orange flowers. It also makes big seed pods with thousands of little heart shaped seeds.  We saw these trees all over Hawai'i.

The building housing the museum is formerly the factory superintendent's home.

Once cut the sugar cane was loaded onto trucks using this grabber

The last operating sugar mill on Maui is located across the street from the museum.

During the bus ride to the Maui Plantation we went past a field of sunflowers being grown for biofuel.  The locals had never seen sunflowers before so they were out in the fields checking it out.

All the cars parked along the road presented a hazardous situation.  I wonder how many of the sunflowers were picked and taken home.

The West Maui Mountains.

The Maui Plantation grounds are a tropical paradise.  I once worked as a plant maintenance technician.... a fancy term for someone that takes care of house plants.  I saw many plants I knew but it had been almost 30 years since I had that job so I had a hard time coming up with the names.   And the names I knew were mostly the Latin ones, not the common names. 

I had taken care of some of these tropical plants before but I never knew bromiliads came in so many colors.  The pineapple plant is a type of bromeliad!

In the foreground the red plant is a Ti plant.  I recognized the white and green plant behind but couldn't think of the name.  They called it the Song of India.   Once I got home and looked it up, the name Dracaena reflexa came up and that sounded familiar. 

Just look at how these palms fan out!  I'd never seen anything like this.  They call them Traveler's Palms.


Look at that ring of fruit stems lower on this palm... interesting.
So these are pineapple plants... that's right, pineapples don't grow on trees.  Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the pineapples on their stalks.

Then there's the coconuts in the trees.  We were told that worldwide, 120 people per year die from being hit by a falling coconut.  Look up Death by Coconut on Wikipedia for more interesting information on this topic.

I laughed when I saw these flowers because I finally understood why one of the shirts I order for work comes in a color called heliconia.  These are heliconia plants.  What beautiful flowers!

I'd never heard of jackfruit before

We stopped the tram for a coconut husking demonstration.  This gal struck the coconut on a pick that was mounted to the stump table. 

After getting off the husk, she showed us that all coconuts have a face.

She took a screwdriver and showed us how you could shove it in the "mouth" to penetrate the nut.  There is a ridge that runs along one side and it runs right between the "eyes", which are too hard to puncture.  She drained out the coconut water.  Two hard raps on the side of the coconut had it open.  Coconut milk is made from the ground up fruit on the inside of the nut.  The fruit can be separated from the nut by freezing it for a short time.

Coconuts are self-propogating.


I took care of Norfolk pines once upon a time.  They were introduced to the Hawaiian Island by Captain Cook because they made great ship masts.

Chenille plant

I want to call this a dracaena marginata but I'm not sure it is.  Maybe it's a variegated variety of the hala tree.  More on them later

Ok, I'm no ornithologist but this might be a black-crowned night heron.  Doesn't look like any heron I've ever seen before.

View of the West Maui Mountains from the Maui Plantation gardens.

Another unmarked plant but I think it is a Blue Jade vine.

Closer photos of the blue jade vine flowers.

Heliconia come in many varieties and colors.  These are lobster claw heliconia.

Sighting of our ship in the harbor.

A frog greeted us when we got back to our cabin.  Very interesting how they can make these towel animals.  I wonder if the individual cabin attendants make them or if people are hired specifically to make the 1000+ towel animals needed every day.
Day 3:  Getting onto the whale watching boat at Maalaea Harbor

Wind turbines on western Maui coast

West side of the Western Maui  Mountains

It was late in the season for whale watching and sightings weren't guaranteed.  We were greeted with the unexpected sighting of a mama whale and her jumping calf.  This is the closest I got to getting a photo of the mama and baby whales surfacing.

The mama did one huge jump but the baby was jumping all the time.

When we got back to the ship, a walk along the promenade deck showed us they were getting the tenders ready for use.

Towel rabbit

Day 4:  We arrived in Hilo on the Big Island.  We had scheduled a helicopter ride over the Kilauea Volcano but rain clouds and poor visibility resulted in the ride being cancelled.   We decided to go ride the Hoppa On Hoppa Off bus around to the area sights.   First stop - Rainbow Falls.

When you look at photos of Rainbow Falls online, they have only about half the water falling as we saw this rainy day.  Yes it was raining and I worked hard not to get drops on the camera lens.

We climbed up to the upper lookout.  Just look at those huge pothos climbing the tree!  Sunscape has a pothos in the Welcome Center. 

Next stop on the bus tour was a stop at Hilo's statue to King Kamehameha.  King Kamehameha I was the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  He united the islands.

Interesting pedestrian bridge in the park where the statue was located.

The beach?? at Reeds Bay Beach Park was covered in broken corals.  This park is along Banyan tree drive where celebrities and big wigs have planted banyan trees through the years.  

Nolan modeling his rain poncho by a big Banyan tree

You can barely see the POA through the rain

Other side of the Banyan tree... oops the camera lens is fogging. 

Palms along Banyan Tree Drive.

Saffron finch
Turtle sighting at Richardson Black Sand Beach Park

The turtle didn't move so we wondered if it was even alive.

The black sand beach looked like mud.

Interesting leaning tree at the bus stop.

Looks like a pig to me.

The evenings entertainment was a sail by the spot where lava from Kilauea Volcano pours into the ocean.

We were a mile from it so it was very difficult to get a photo while the ship was moving with the waves.

Day 5: POA anchored in Kona Harbor.

UFO on the water

Water driveway to Paul Allen's home, billionaire owner of a few sports teams.

Time to look beneath the waves.  We're going down in the Atlantis submarine.

One last look at the beauty of Kona Harbor before we sink beneath the surface.

Can't remember how many people got on the ship but it was tight quarters.  Our seat was actually not in place until after the ladder was raised.

We could have purchased a brochure that pictured all the fish we might see but they had these displays on the sub. 

Figures this one's name is rubbed off the chart.  As we descended, colors disappeared from my shirt.  Most of the red was gone from the light after 10 feet. Some of the orange was gone. Less of the yellow is lost. At 25' most of the orange is gone. At 35' most of the yellow is gone. This continues through the spectrum until all that is left is violet light and that fades out after hundreds of feet. At the bottom of a 1000' tank of water there would be little or no light.  We only went down to 105'.

Maybe a Pinktailed Triggerfish....maybe

Troop transport on the bottom purposely sunk in Kona Harbor

Ay Captain.. looks like a skeleton on the yardarm!  Yes a fake skeleton was strapped to the wreck.

Local divers dressed the skeleton for every holiday but that ended when some kids started crying because Santa Claus was dead.

I did some research when posting this photo and found out it is a WWII Landing Craft called the Predator.
The Firestone Garden... tires are used as bumpers and they fall off all the time.  We saw lots of them.

The depth gauge at the lowest point we went.  The pilot set the sub on the bay floor for a short time.

The other wreck we encountered was a sailboat.  The story we were told is that a couple had retired and purchased the vessel.  After traveling to the islands the husband was called back to the mainland.

While he was gone, the wife saw a termite and decided she would smoke them out but ended up burning the boat down.  Truth is the sailboat is called the Naked Lady and she was purposely sunk, along with the Predator, as something for the sub tourists to look at.

Blowing the air tanks as we rise.

Waving goodbye to the sub captain and crew.

Towel rabbit

Day 6: We took an all day shore excursion around the island of Kaua'i, the oldest and most northerly of the Hawaiian Islands. 

First stop was at the Wailua River boat dock.

Here we boarded one of the Smith's Boats vessels.  To say they are unique is an understatement.  The founder, Walter Smith Sr, invented these ingenious rear-engine vessels.  I'll have better photos of them later.

Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) from Wailua River Marina.

Kayakers on the Wailua River, Hawai'i's only navigable river. 

Our destination was Kauai's famous fern grotto.

The Fern Grotto.  Lots of weddings are held here.

The grotto is a cave of lush ferns growing on the cave walls as a result of moisture seeping from the irrigation of sugarcane growing on the cliff plateau. When the sugar industry had their last days, the ferns began to die off until restoration efforts returned moisture to the area. Hurricane Iniki and a severe flood in 2006 also reeked havoc upon the cave

Found some kukui nuts growing at the grotto.
Kukui nut lei I made during one of the lei making classes during the cruise.

So here's that interesting boat.  See how the motor is in a separate boat that is attached to the passenger section?

Fern Grotto boat dock

Our tour route.  We started at Nawiliwili Harbor, where the POA was docked to our first stop at the Fern Grotto on the Wailua River.  Next stop Opaekaa Falls.

Opaekaa Falls

Hala tree growing at the rest stop.  Although the fruit kinda look like pineapple, this isn't a pineapple tree because no such thing exists.
Fruit of the hala tree.

We walked across a road, read this sign then looked up...

where we were overlooking a section of the Wailua River that we had just navigated in a boat.

Crossing back over the road, this sign gave me a chuckle.

Next stop, Spouting Horn Park.

A shelf of lava extends out over the water.  When the waves come in, water is forced up through the holes to create geysers.  The story goes that the blowhole pictured above was enlarge by a local sugar cane grower so that the water would no longer spout up high when the waves came in.  Whatever the case, the water would just fill the hole then drain back out.   
This blowhole had water spouting up a good twenty feet but the waves must not have been right for the 50' it can supposedly rise.

The ever present chickens roam the park that is circled by vendors.

My favorite part was where the waves crashed onto the rocks.

I saw more chickens on Kaua'i than any of the other islands.

Kauai Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji (Buddist Temple) in Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Statue to Captain Cook in Hanapepe.  Wikipedia tells me that Captain Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy.  Cook made detailed maps of  Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Island, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.  Cook was attacked and killed while attempting to kidnap the native chief of Hawaii during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779.

Waimea Canyon, commonly called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Waimea Canyon is 10 miles long, a mile wide and more than 3,500 feet deep.  I was hoping for more sunshine so we could see the colors but it was a very cloudy day in the mountains.  Click on the photo to enlarge it.  Can you see the double waterfalls?

I had to zoom in to see that there were two and didn't know it until I looked at the photos.

Just as the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon, the Waimea River continues to flow through the canyon collecting the red soil and depositing them in the ocean.  I read on one site that the red runoff can be seen by satellites.   Waimea actually means red waters.

This rooster was a real poser.

I saw something on a ridge and wondered what it was so I zoomed in.  That almost looks like someone carved a face but I couldn't tell if it was natural or man-made.

I zoomed out a little so you could see ....

how far away I really was from this "face".


The cocks were hanging out by the men's restroom...  LOL

So we headed back down the mountain.  Beach along Waimea Bay at Waimea 

A pupu factory... Ok, so pupu is really appetizers.  You might order a pupu platter which would consist of an assortment of small meat and seafood appetizers.  

Back in our room a towel elephant awaited our return.

Looking at the shore from the ship, you can see just how serious  Hawaiian's are about their solar panels.  Too bad Arizona doesn't utilize this resource like Hawaii.

This harbor demonstrated the manuverability of the POA.  The ship was pulled in facing land with the dock to the starboard side.  This is the view is the view to port.  The ship pushed away from the dock and turned within the harbor to head back out.  Amazing!

Towel seal

What the promenade deck looked like with the tenders and lifeboats stowed overhead.

Powering around the island of Kauai to get to the Na Pali coast.

Since we had an interior room, we headed off to our friend's cabin to get a good look of the coast.  While we were waiting for it to appear through the fog, we shot some photos of other friends on their verandah.

Their balcony rooms were much bigger than ours.  We didn't have a couch.

Their cabin steward had made different animals for them.  This is their pool towel made into a snake.

And a washcloth mouse.

The port side got to see the coast first but the ship turned and headed back the other way so we could get a look too.  The fog was dense so it was hard to see. 

Finally the fog let up a little but I can't imagine how pretty the coast would be with the sun shining on it.

There's a smaller island, which we couldn't see, somewhere off the coast of Kauai.

Enjoying our friend's balcony 

Day 7:  We departed the ship in the morning.  Instead of waiting for our rooms to be ready at the hotel, five of us headed out to hike up Diamond Head.  We took a taxi to the inside of the crater.

That's where we are going!

And we're off to the top!

You can see there's a crowd at the top.

Nolan and Robyn on one of the many switchbacks.

Still headed up.

Three layers of hikers

A lot of the trail was very uneven and we even had to skirt some puddles.

See the hole in the crater wall?  Well that's the start of a long, dark, narrow tunnel that follows a steep set of stairs.

We took a rest before attempting the steps.  As we rested, we thought we saw some people we knew on the trail below. 

Yep, that's our friends taking a rest.

Did I also mention the tunnel had a low ceiling in some places?

I made it to the end of the tunnel!
But the next part is 99 steep steps!

Then we did a short tunnel which lead to a spiral staircase to the

Observation Station.  From the park brochure: With its panoramic view from Koko Head to Wai'anae, the summit of Diamond Head was an ideal site for the coastal defense of O'ahu.  In 1904, Diamond Head was purchased by the Federal government and designated for military use.  Fortification began in 1908 with the construction of gun emplacements and an entry tunnel through the north wall of the crater from Fort Ruger known as the Kapaula Tunnel.

Getting to the exterior necessitated an undignified crouch or a crawl.

Once out we weren't at the top but we were starting to get the view.  We continued to the top

The concrete pad people are standing on is actually outside the fence.

Diamond Head Light


We made it to the top!

Time for the descent.

Koko Head

The park headquarters is in the bowl of the crater.  Cars enter through the tunnel in the opposite crater wall.

What it looked like without zooming in

Looking across the crater, you can see how Honolulu creeps up the slops of the Ko'olau Range.

Now that looks like a steep road!

Resting at the end of a long hike.

Our room still wasn't ready when we got back to the hotel so we headed off to the snack bar for a bite to eat.  Saw this amazing grove of hala trees so Nolan had to pose.

We stayed three nights at the Hale Koa, a military hotel on Waikiki Beach.

Our room was spacious and had a balcony.

The following photos are from the Hale Koa grounds.

Friends posing in the hala tree grove

The lobby is open to the elements on each side.

The drive circled this pergola covered water feature

From the water feature looking across the drive to the lobby

Looking from the water feature out to the city

This large banyan tree was on the opposite side of the lobby at the start of the gardens.

Looking from the lobby to the start of the gardens 

Our first full day in Honolulu we took a tour of the city and out to Pearl Harbor.  Here we are at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific aka Punchbowl Cemetery.  Besides being the final resting place of 34,000, it serves as a memorial to honor those men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and those who have given their lives in doing so.

Yes it was a rainy day and we didn't get out of the bus so this is the only photo I got of  the Honolulu Memorial that was erected in 1964 to honor the sacrifices and achievements of American Armed Forces in the Pacific during World War II and in the Korean War. In 1980 the memorial was expanded 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 weather had cleared by the time we got to Pearl Harbor.



There was information on each of the 52 lost submarines.  Their life spans were incredibly short.

I could see the Arizona Memorial from the submarine memorial


The ship in the background is the USS Missouri, upon whose deck the Allies accepted the surrender of the Japanese to end World War II.  The superstructure is undergoing renovation and is wrapped in white plastic.

There were two building full of information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the events leading up to it.



I saw this bird when I was walking between museums.  It's a common myna.

We took the ferry out to the USS Arizona Memorial.  This was the mooring for the USS Nevada

This graphic shows the portions of the Arizona that show when the tides are out.

The funnel (smokestack) was the only thing out of the water whe we were there.

This is a photo of a urn containing the ashes of an Arizona survivor being returned to the Arizona. 

The USS Missouri.

The U.S. flag flying above the Arizona Memorial

Getting back on the ferry

Looking back at the memorial

We got back on the bus and continued out tour of Honolulu.  This is the state capitol building.  This is where the legislative and executive branches work.   

The statue is of Father Damien, a Roman Catholic priest who died in 1869 after sixteen years of serving patients afflicted with leprosy. 

The disc is the seal of the state of Hawaii. 

This building is unlike most other state capitol buildings with many architectural features that symbolize Hawaii.   The reflecting pool that surrounds the building symbolizes the Pacific Ocean.  The legislative chambers are cone-shaped and represent the volcanoes that formed the islands.
You can see the eight columns resemble palm trees and represent the eight main islands of Hawaii.  According to Wikipedia, "
  • The Capitol is built with an open-air design, allowing sun, wind, and rain to enter; the central atrium opens to the sky and rainbows can sometimes be seen inside the building when it rains.
  • Four kukui nut trees are a numerical reference to the four main counties in the State of Hawaii. Sets of four items appear in many other places in the building.
  • When standing in the center of the structure, the chandeliers from both legislative chambers, which represent the sun and moon, can be seen through the glass walls, while the area that is normally reserved for a rotunda in most capitol buildings is left open to the sky. It is said that the sky is Hawaii's capitol dome."

  • ʻIolani Barracks, or hale koa (house [of] warriors) in Hawaiian, was built in 1870.  It is located adjacent to ʻIolani Palace in downtown Honolulu and housed about 80 members of the monarch's Royal Guard the overthrow of the Monarchy in 1893

    Side view of the ʻIolani Palace

    The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning with Kamehameha III in 1845 and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani  in 1893.

    Statue of King Kamehameha I that you see in the intro to Hawaii 5-0.

    Back at the Hale Koa we took a walk along Waikiki Beach

    The beach surrounded this lagoon where children could swim safely and learn paddle boarding.

    Little crabs running everywhere at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor

    Just look at the whale tail protruding from the roof of this bus

    Day two in Honolulu was the day we boarded a bus for a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  We saw this mural at one of the pickup locations.

    Passing over the Ko'olau Range on H3, this staircase up the mountain was pointed out to us. Haʻikū Stairs is a steel staircase made up of 4000 steps that ascends a ridge up from the Valley of Haiku near Kaneohe. The steps were so the military could access a radio station antennae 2000 ft up on the mountain. It's a $5,000 fine if you are found climbing them.  We saw the cops watching a group come down the stairs.  Whoops!

    Mokolii, aka Chinaman's Hat Island

    A clearer and closer view.

    The Polynesian Cultural Center is really just a Polynesian-themed theme park located in Laie, on the northern shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It has areas representing eight different Polynesian cultures.   It is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and occupies 42 acres by nearby Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

    First we took a canoe ride on the lagoon to the opposite side of the park. 

    Most of the center's approximately 1,300 employees are students at BYU Hawaii.  Yes the park is a commercial venture but the profits fund various scholarship programs at the college. Students may work up to 20 hours per week during school terms and 40 hours during breaks.


    Watch out for falling coconuts.  Yes they can kill.  A few deaths occur every year around the world from falling coconuts.

    Another posing bird

    In each of the eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various dances and crafts from the represented Polynesian culture. 

    I believe this is Tonga

    Next we were off to Aotearoa aka New Zealand

    Although this is a welcoming performance, the dancers do their best to look fierce.

    One of the highlights of the day is the Canoe Pageant.  Performers from each of the eight cultures ride or dance on the canoes.  As you can see, the canoes are the passenger canoes we rode in earlier, covered with a platform.



    All part of the performance, I know but the guys rocked the canoe so violently that the poler fell off.  All you can see is his foot sticking up in the air
    With this canoe from Fiji, you can really see that the performers aren't usually from the culture they are representing.


    The Hawai'ian canoe


    The only male on the Tahitian canoe was the poler.

    Then we sat down for the luau

    Some of the pork for the meal was cooked in the ground, supposedly.  I say that because there was another luau immediately following ours and there was only one cooking pit. 

    Presentation of the royal court

    Quite an outfit.

    They had everyone having an anniversary during April go up on stage.  We didn't tell them ours was coming up in a few days.  LOL

    Our friend's anniversaries aren't in April but the whole trip was to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversaries of these two couples

    After the luau we caught another island presentation where three guys climbed a palm tree.

    Once they were all up the tree, they pretended that the guy on top was going to jump from that tree to a nearby one... didn't happen.

    The island presentations ended at 5 p.m. but the Hā: Breath of Life show at 7 pm.  We wondered the park and took photos of the various cultures represented.

    Red-crested cardinal

      There are male and female versions of the Hala Tree. The fronds of each have long bent leaves and the female produces an 8 inch pineapple looking fruit in the center of the fronds.
    The Hawaiians used the entire tree in a variety of ways. The leaves were woven into hats, mats, and roofing materials. The segments of the fruit were used as paint brushes and for food. Leis have been made with the individual sections of the fruit and the wood of the tree has been used to create water pipes, posts and calabashes. The pollen of the sweet smelling male Hala flower (Hinano) was used to preserve feathers and leis.

    How ancient Polynesians managed to navigate between the islands.




    We saw a lot of trees wrapped in palm frond.  Don't know the reason.  Maybe to keep people from climbing them.




    Oh got distracted by a red-headed Cardinal... only problem was the camera focus on the edge of the roof instead of the cardinal.  Bummers.

    I found some displays that gave more information on each culture.  Click to enlarge for reading

    Statue of Hamana Kalili of Laie, HI.  You've see the shaka gesture he is making.  Well local lore credits the gesture to him.  He lost the three middle fingers of his right hand while working at a sugar mill. Later he guarded the sugar train, and his all-clear wave of thumb and pinkie is said to have evolved into the shaka.

    The shaka is a friendly gesture  often associated with Hawaii and surfing.

    This VW was in a shop at the center. 

    Next we were on to the evening show.

    Our last day in Hawaii we did a bus trip to the North Shore.  We stopped at the Dole Plantation.  Nothing more than a store.

    I had wanted to see some of these trees while we were in Hawaii but thought it wasn't going to happen.  These are Rainbow Eucalyptus

    Peel off a piece of bark and you get a different color.

    Pineapple field

    Sea turtle resting on the beach at Hale'iwa Beach Park.

    Doing our best shakas

    Sunset Beach Park favorite surfing spot on the North Shore of Oahu
    One of those wild chickens with it's chicken nuggets following along

    Stopped at a produce stand.  It's just a little different from what we are used to as they have apple bananas, coconut, pineapple, mangos and other tropical fruits and nuts.

    Does this look familiar?  Probably not from this shot but the Ka’a’awa Valley on Oahu, was the filming location in Jurassic Park where Alan Grant and the kids find themselves in the path of a herd of Gallimimus fleeing from the T Rex. This valley is park of Kualoa Ranch.

    We stopped at the Kualoa Ranch Gift Shop/Café for lunch

    There were some baby mongoose scampering around and this one trying to take a nap... not to successfully once the tourists found him.

    We stopped again at the Macadamia Nut Outlet.  Just another place to shop but the scenery was nice.

    View behind the nut outlet.

    Interesting how the flowers are along the branches instead of at the end.

    Red ginger

    Looks like the flowers have flowers.

    Poi Factory.  We didn't even try poi

    A local landmark, the Hygienic Store in Kahaluu, HI began life as the company store of the Hygienic Dairy.   
    Our last stop of the day was the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout along H3.  A Pali is Hawaiian for a steep slope or cliff.  This lookout is known for its winds.  Well the wind was blowing and it was raining so please excuse the poor quality of the photos. 

    The Pali Lookout is the site of the Battle of Nuuanu, where in 1795 King Kamehameha I won the battle that finally united Oahu under his rule. This fierce battle claimed the lives of hundreds of soldiers’, many of whom were forced off of the Pali’s sheer cliffs.

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