This was a day to celebrate Lupe’s birthday, but it did not start off well. We first had to make a visit to Urgent Care. While Lupe visited with the doctor we visited Island Snow Shaved Ice, just next door to urgent care. This is where I found out I love Hawaiian shaved ice. What is Hawaiian shaved ice? With special ice shaving machines, ice blocks or ice cubes are shaved very fine, which results in a light and fluffy product. Traditional snow cones are crushed, coarse ice, which retain a lot of water in the ice, and makes the product dense and heavy, allowing the syrups to drain quickly to the bottom of the cup. Hawaiian Snow syrups are formulated specifically for shave ice, and when combined with finely shaved ice, the syrups do not drain to the bottom of the cup. Shave ice is the sweet staple of …
We arrived at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center operated by the National Park Service. It was free to the public with a museum with exhibits about the attack. On the center’s grounds, along the shoreline, are exhibits and a Remembrance Circle. The Circle pays tribute to the men, women and children, both military and civilian, who were killed because of the December 7, 1941. In the center of the grounds is directional sign: Crossroads of the Pacific. Before boarding the boat for the short trip to the Memorial, a 23 minute documentary film depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor was presented. The shuttle boat passes the sites of other ships sunk or damaged in the attack. During the ride a narrative audiotape related what happened on the morning of the attack. The memorial is in the form of a bridge floating above the ship and accommodated 200 people. The 184 foot …
Our day started at the Honolulu Museum of Art, the orientation center for Shangri La tours. Shangri La is an estate own by Doris Duke, who at 12 inherited about $100 million dollars. In the 1930s, during her around the world honeymoon, she purchased the five acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head now known as Shangri La. We drove the 15 minute trip from the Museum to the house, entered the gates, went down the long, sloping driveway into a simple courtyard with a huge banyan tree. The front door weighing 64 pounds, made in Egypt in 1900, was our first close look of Islamic art. Its geometric patterns, scrolling arabesques and calligraphy exemplified the type of art preserved the house. Although the decor in most of the rooms of the house sticks to one country of origin, the foyer was the only room that combined many different …
We stopped in at Tropical Farms, located on Kamehameha Highway with the Pacific Ocean on the backside of the building. This is a touristy shop but it was worth the time to stop. We sampled great coffee and macadamia nut tastings to help us decide which product to buy. There were also free macadamia nuts that you crack yourself with a rock on a tree stump. We sat outdoors for awhile enjoying the scenery. This woman was working on something but can’t remember what it was. . . should have made notes! Turtle Beach, also known as Laniakea Beach, is a well-known surfing spot on Oahu’s North Shore. The best thing about the beach is the green sea turtles, also know as Honu. The turtles are protested by the Endangered Species Act and have experienced a significant increase in their numbers since being protected. Information sheets are posted for the …
We were told to be sure to check out “Gus” the huge Banyan tree on the beach side of the hotel. We had seen Banyan trees as we traveled the island but none as large as “Gus.” The courtyard between the two main buildings were beautiful. Our first visit to Waikiki Beach we had drinks at Hawaiian Hilton Hotel and Hale Koa Hotel. We had Mai Tais ($15) at each hotel but the ones at the Hilton were our favorite. I tried the Dano, a frozen drink named after the charactor from Hawaii 5-0. It was pretty good too. We had lunch which included an island favorite, Hawaiian Loco Moco. It was a wonderful dish layered with white rice, a burger patty two fried eggs topped with Maui onion pan gravy. After lunch, we spent time on the world famous Waikiki Beach. We met Jeri, a very ice local, who …
In October we were off with the Rotchfords to Hawaii to visit with their daughter and her family, Carmen, Jamie, Ian and Connor. Steve and I flew to Dallas, where we met up the Fred and Lupe. Fred had arranged for us to fly first class. In Dallas we waited in the American Airlines Admirals Club, were we had complimentary juice, coffee, soft drinks, herbal tea and light snacks. They also had a cash bar. Once we boarded the plane, the flight attendant offered us mimosa, champagne, coffee, tea or soda as our per-departure beverage. We enjoyed a couple of mimosas as the other passengers boarded. A ramekin full of hot tropical nut mix was delivered to us, as soon as we were in the air. The mix as so good we had to have a second ramekin. Our first course for dinner was a salad with cabbage & carrots …
Fred and Lupe came to celebrate our 43rd anniversary and my 63rd birthday. We went to STIX, out at Legends, to have a Hibachi dinner. Habachi is always fun with the chef’s quick-handed, knife wielding of the flaming teppanyaki grill. The meat, vegetable and seafood dishes are cooked on a high heat, melt cooking plate. The chef made a volcano with onions and oil, then light it. A huge flame and steam rose from the onions. He then separated the onions to make a train. As he cooked, he stopped to throw shrimp into the air for us to catch with our mouth. Rice and veggies are cookie on the cooking plate and served with the meat dishes along with onion soup and ginger salad. After dinner we went to Crancer’s, a Leavenworth event center, to listen to some jazz music by Everette DeVan, Matt Hopper and Dionne Jeroue. As …
Helona Blowhole is a fun spectacle on Oahu, Hawaii off of Hanauma Bay, is created by water being forced through a lava tube and into the air. On windy days when the tide is high, the ocean breeze sends the waves rolling on to the shore where the rock formation then shoots sea spray high into the air through the tube like a geyser. It is not always at its best every day though. The blowhole is most active when the tide is high and the winds are strong. This is a big tourist spot in Hawaii. People come from all over to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the beach at the cove, When the wave conditions are right, water can shoot up to 30 feet! After the lava tube explodes, the water recedes as the waves rush away from the shore. Save Save
When we first reached the Helona Blowhole area we stopped at an overlook area thinking that this was where the blowhole was located. We soon realized it was not. It was a place to look at the coast line. People come from all over to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the beach at the cove, Save
After a morning in Nawiliwili Kauai, we headed back to the ship for a relaxing afternoon. The ship was hosting a sail away barbecue pool party, as we sailed out of Kauai, we went poolside and enjoyed the live music from the ships band “The Wave.” After awhile we moved from a table to the lounge chairs and the pool. We had a great waitress, who keep our drinks full, even when we were in the pool. No need to get out and go to the bar, she was right there checking on us, calling us by our names. Like I said she was REALLY GOOD! The guys gave her a huge tip for her hard work. After “The Wave” finished Toby Beau took the stage to do a tribute to Jimmy buffet. It was a great relaxing afternoon drink, music and a “Cheeseburger in Paradise”  in “Margaritaville.”      …
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