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Honolulu, Oahu, Hawai’i

Sunday, Oct 8, 2017 – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawai’i, USA

Hawai’i Cruise 2017

I go to the Explorations Cafe this morning for a cappuccino, muesli, and blueberry cake, and then I disembark the ship early. I walk a few blocks to Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, however I really have to screw up my courage to walk through this park, since there are so many homeless people camped out. The shoreline is beautiful, and when I get to Panic Point, I’m rewarded with a beautiful view of the Honolulu boat basin, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head in the distance (see above banner image). A local guy tells me the park will be closed this evening at 10PM by the city until further notice while they evict the squatters and clean up the park. I see the eviction signs as I leave the park and head back along Ala Moana Boulevard to the ship, which is only a few blocks away.

My lei floating in Honolulu harbour
My lei floating in Honolulu harbour

I have brunch in the Lido after returning to the ship, and then go for a swim in the Sea View Pool. I buy a dozen beer from the bar on my way back to my cabin, since they are selling some pretty good beer from Alaska 2 for 1, although at $6/bottle, it is still expensive! I toss the lei I received upon landing in Hilo into the harbour. It floats, which tradition tells us means I will return to Hawai’i some day – a pretty sure thing!

Melanzane Ripiene - eggplant roulade - Canaletto
Melanzane Ripiene – eggplant roulade – Canaletto

My friends and I have dinner at Canaletto Italian restaurant aboard ship this evening. I have the Melanzane Ripiene – eggplant roulade as a starter, and Banzino al Fiere – grilled Sea Bass as a main course.My friends share some antipasto and Mozzarella Bufala – buffalo mozzarella with salad for starters, and Costoletto alla Griglia – lamb cutlets and arugula salad. They also have a carafe of Montepulciano D’Abbruzzio.

After dinner, I go to see the main stage show : This is Hawaii – a show troupe from Maui. It is a pretty good modern song and dance showcase of the islands.

Monday, Oct 9, 2017 – Honolulu

Throne Room in the Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii
Throne Room in the Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii

This morning, we walk the few blocks to see the Iolani Palace, which is quite spectacular inside. Last time I cruised to Honolulu, the palace was closed because it was a Sunday, so I”m glad I have lots of time to see it this time. We also walk around in the vicinity, seeing the outside of the State Legislature, the Mission Houses and Kawaiahao Church.

We are beat by the time we return to the ship just before noon. The heat and humidity are building, so I am glad for the air conditioning aboard ship. I’m turning into quite the wimp! My friends and I have a beer before we go to the main dining room for dinner. It is Canadian Thanksgiving today, so we order turkey dinner and pumpkin pie along with our other Canadian table mates from Quadra Island, West Vancouver, and Brandon, Manitoba.

We don’t leave port until late this evening, bound for Maui.

Slide show of Honolulu (2010-2017)

Oahu photo galleries

Honolulu
52 photos
Bridged office tower
Bridged office tower
Aloha Tower after dark
Aloha Tower after dark
Maunalani Heights
Maunalani Heights
Diamond Head tunnel and the Moon above the crate rim
Diamond Head tunnel and the Moon above the crate rim
Diamond Head crater
Diamond Head crater
Beach, coral, snorkelers
Beach, coral, snorkelers
White succulent in seed
White succulent in seed
Koko Head shoreline
Koko Head shoreline
Approaching Honolulu harbour in the early morning
Approaching Honolulu harbour in the early morning
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Mission Houses from S. King St.
Mission Houses from S. King St.
Hand water pump on the Mission Houses grounds
Hand water pump on the Mission Houses grounds
Kawaiahao Church and clock tower
Kawaiahao Church and clock tower
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Paintings of Hawaiian royalty nside the church sanctuary
Paintings of Hawaiian royalty nside the church sanctuary
Kawaiaha'o Pool in front of Kawaiahao Church
Kawaiaha’o Pool in front of Kawaiahao Church
Kawaiaha'o Pool
Kawaiaha’o Pool
King Lunalilo monument
King Lunalilo monument
Royal crest of King Lunalilo
Royal crest of King Lunalilo
Fan Palms in the garden
Fan Palms in the garden
State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building
State of Hawaii bronze crest in front of the State Capitol Building
State of Hawaii bronze crest in front of the State Capitol Building
School kids crossing the street on a field trip
School kids crossing the street on a field trip
Royal Crest on the gate of the Iolani Palace
Royal Crest on the gate of the Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace Bandstand
Iolani Palace Bandstand
Front of the Iolani Palace
Front of the Iolani Palace
Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower
Luxury yacht Méduse
Luxury yacht Méduse
Nā Kūpuna Makamae Senior Center
Nā Kūpuna Makamae Senior Center
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Point Panic Water Warriors memorial
Point Panic Water Warriors memorial
Sand Island with the reef behind
Sand Island with the reef behind
East side of the palace
East side of the palace
Lamps standard and front of the palace
Lamps standard and front of the palace
Grand staircase
Grand staircase
Etched glass panes in the outside doors depicting the Royal Hawaiian crest
Etched glass panes in the outside doors depicting the Royal Hawaiian crest
Dining room
Dining room
Crowns and settee and thrones in the throne room
Crowns and settee and thrones in the throne room
The grand staircase
The grand staircase
The King's bedroom
The King’s bedroom
An inlaid carved table in the King's bedroom
An inlaid carved table in the King’s bedroom
The King's library
The King’s library
The King's library
The King’s library
Bath, basin and toilet
Bath, basin and toilet
The music room
The music room
Roses in an ornate vase
Roses in an ornate vase
The palace kitchen
The palace kitchen
The Eurodam visible at the end of Punchbowl Road
The Eurodam visible at the end of Punchbowl Road
My lei floating on Honolulu Harbour
My lei floating on Honolulu Harbour
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon

Hilo, Hawai’i

October 20-24, 2009 – Hilo, the Big Island of Hawaii

Hilo is on the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. which is the wet side of the island. Although the temperatures are nice and warm, it rains in Hilo virtually every day, and the area has the tropical vegetation to prove it. Hilo is a contrast to Kailua-Kona on the other side of the Big Island, since it is less tourist-oriented, giving the visitor a glimpse of the Old Hawaii.

Kilauea Volcano is less than one hour’s drive south from Hilo, so I made several trips to see the sights in Volcanoes National Park and nearby areas in my rental car.

The North Coast of the Big Island is rugged, tropical, and mostly inaccessible, however the road along the coastline north from Hilo provides easy access to some of the gulches and valleys, rivers and streams, spectacular waterfalls, and of course the coastline itself before the road veers off to Waimea. Stopping along the way will provide you with a glimpse of how Hawaiians live day-to-day.

The Imiloa Astronomy Center is located in Hilo, and presents astronomy to visitors using interactive displays, a planetarium, special exhibits, and ties astronomy to Hawaiian customs and culture. Imiloa is run by the University of Hawaii on behalf of the big multi-national observatories located atop Mauna Kea. Worth a half day visit. Admission charged.

Hilo Bay & the shoreline along Kalanianaole Avenue presents fascinating vistas of the geography surrounding Hilo, so it is a good idea for visitors to familiarize themselves with the bay and the Pacific Ocean beyond. There are numerous civic parks along Kalanianaole Avenue, and all are only a few minutes drive from anywhere in Hilo. Tidal ponds provide safe and easy access for everyone to play in the ocean, while just a few metres away are rocks and surf to challenge even the most capable swimmers and surfers. Coconut Island, Banyan Drive and Liluokalani Gardens are all interesting destinations worth spending some time at…in fact, take a picnic lunch (“sack lunch” in Hawaiian), and plan to spend the day exploring Hilo Bay.

Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots Pools are both located right in Hilo on the Wailuku River, which flows into Hilo Bay. Although not as spectacular as other falls and rivers you might find on the Big Island, they are easy to get to, and certainly worth a look.

Despite being an amateur astronomer, I didn’t manage to visit the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. It is a fairly easy drive from Hilo, and offers free nightly star gazing from this station located at the 9,500′ level on Mauna Kea. Please note, the big observatories are not located here – they are near the summit at the 14,500′ level! If you plan to go to the Visitor Centre, take a winter coat and check their website to ensure the weather will be clear. It may be raining in Hilo, but it could easily be clear on the mountain (or vice versa). I did visit the top of Mauna Kea and the observatories a few years later in 2014.


JoeTourist: Hilo &emdash; Breakfast at the B&BOctober 20-23, 2009 – I stayed at the Old Hawaiian Bed & Breakfast for four nights. The place is situated in a nice part of town near the Wailuku River, and is owned and operated by Lory & Stewart Hunter. Lory’s superb breakfasts are served on the lanai (patio), and include fresh fruit smoothies, fresh baked pastries, cooked eggs, tropical fruit cocktail, and of course, Kona coffee. There are three rooms to choose from, and all guests share access to the large lanai, telephone, fridge, microwave, and high speed wireless Internet. There are no televisions in the rooms, so bring a notebook computer if watching videos or the news is important to you. JoeTourist recommended.