“Pic of the Week”, April 14, 2017: King Kamehameha and Iolani Palace, Honolulu

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One of the few highlights of old Hawaii still remaining in Honolulu is Iolani Palace.  The palace was built in the 19th century as the royal residence of the rulers of Hawaii, beginning with King Kamehameha, ending with Queen Lili’uokalani (1893).  The building is known for its Hawaiian renaissance architecture and a quality statue of King Kamehameha which sits by the road in front of the Palace.  The site is now open to the public as a museum.

Of interest, it is the only royal palace in the United States.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, March 31, 2017: Surfing Oahu’s North Shore

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One of the best places to surf in the world is Oahu, especially along it’s North Shore.  The water here is normally rough, with waves of 2 meters being common.  But on rare occasions, when the weather and currents are just right, gigantic waves can form sometimes exceeding 6 – 7 meters tall.  It takes a special breed to face those dangerous giants, but daredevil surfers come from around the world to ride them.

Lots of Hawaiians like to tackle the normal gentler waves of the area, as it was when we’ve visited.  But one day I hope to see those giants…

 

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“Pic of the Week”, March 18, 2017: Old Sugar Mill, Koloa, Kauai

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The history of Hawaii’s development over the past two centuries largely centered around agriculture, especially of sugar cane and pineapple.  Sadly, these crops are not produced much in Hawaii any more (with the exception of sugar cane on Maui and pineapples for local consumption).  But the legacy of the old sugar towns lingers and you can see remnants of them when you travel around the islands, like this abandoned sugar mill in Koloa (near the south shore of Kauai).

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Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Oahu

27 Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki 10-2014

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was one of the first hotels located on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.  The hotel’s beach offers wonderful views of Waikiki and Diamond Head, the island’s extinct, iconic volcanic crater.  It is one of the few ‘older’ places in a city that has exploded with new devlopment in the past half century.

The Royal Hawaiian is known for its bright pink color, hence the nickname, “The Pink Palace of the Pacific”.  Its design has a Moorish influence and the complex sits on 15 acres of land, most of which is a beautiful tropical garden.  The hotel has 400 rooms, each with a balcony, and was built to accommodate the growing number of wealthy American …

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The Dole Plantation, Oahu, Hawaii

Dole Plantation 10-2014 (84)

You’ll find the Dole Plantation on the drive from Honolulu to Hawaii’s North Shore, about 40 minutes north of Waikiki on the Kamehameha Highway.  If you’re staying in Honolulu and want to get “out of the city” for awhile, especially with children, a fun day trip would be to the Dole Plantation, one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations with more than a million visitors a year.

A Brief History of the Pineapple in Hawaii

The pineapple was given its English name because of its resemblance to a pine cone.  Christopher Columbus was the first who brought this plant, native of South America, to Europe.  For centuries pineapple imported to America’s seaside towns was a treat; a fresh pineapple displayed on …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 17, 2015: International Market Place, Honolulu

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I’m saddened to share with you photos of a place that isn’t anymore.  The International Market Place in Honolulu has been torn down to make way for an upscale mega-mall.

Oahu is not my favorite Hawaiian island mostly because it’s dominated by Honolulu, a large busy tropical city similar to many others around the world.  But within this city there was a nice place, a island of shady banyan trees.  Here you could talk to pleasant people running small cart-shops, you could buy inexpensive gifts, or patronize hole-in-the-wall restaurants where you could have a nice meal, or a place to sit, rest, and cool down.

When we visited Honolulu last fall we found the site of the International Market Place boarded up, …

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Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park (The Place of Refuge), Big Island of Hawaii

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Perhaps the best place on the Big Island to enjoy a sunset (from many great possibilities), Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (the Place of Refuge) is a remarkable destination.  This is a National Historic site which should be near the top of things NOT to be missed by anyone visiting the Big Island.

The Pu’uhonua o Honaunau was built by the Hawaiian people as a sanctuary and place of safety.  Any commoner one who had broken one of the many laws (known as kapu) of their society could try to go here to be safe (although people would be trying to stop them as they tried to get to the place of refuge).  No blood could be shed or people arrested …

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A visit to the Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona

08 Greenwell Coffee Plantation

Kona coffee is world famous for its full-bodied, non-bitter, bold flavor.  Hard to put the taste into words, but it’s good coffee!  The micro-climate just south of Kona, around 1000 – 2000 ft above sea level, is perfect for growing coffee beans.  The volcanic soil is fertile, the days sunny and warm, the nights cooler, and with frequent light afternoon showers — exactly what coffee thrives on!

Coffee grows on small trees, generally trimmed to bush size.  It’s a fruit known as a cherry which is red when ripe.   Much smaller than the bing cherries you buy in the store, the pulp of the coffee cherry is scanty but sweet — quite tasty and rich in antioxidants.  Most of the …

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