We watched as the crew as they lowered the life boats down to tender us to the shore. We picked up tender tickets and was off to Kailua-Kona was the first royal capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. There were historical landmarks within walking distance of the pier including a Heiau (temple), the first Christian church in Hawaii and a summer palace. A painter was doing a landscape of these in the distance. The water was so clear you could see the bottom with many rocks. Back from Hattie’s we stopped in at Splashers Grill for drinks and apps, before heading back to the tenders. Out in the bay the Atlantis Submarine, a 48 passenger submarine, was docked. The sub was featured in National Geographic television specials. We hopped on a shuttle to Hilo Hattie’s, the store of Hawaii. They carry a wide selection of Hawaii attire. We wore are …
At the Big Island Candy Factory we were met at the door by a super friendly staff member, who immediately offered fresh sweets and coffee! The facility is clean and modern with large windows through which we observed staff creating a variety of hand-made chocolate treats. The Thomas A. Jaggar Museum is a museum on volcanology with displays of equipment used by scientists in the past to study the volcano, working seismographs, and an exhibit of clothing and gear from scientists who got a bit too close to lava. The overlook, outside the building, offers an incredible view of the main crater, Halema’uma’u. Along the rim there were interpretive displays about Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. We were hoping to see the lava but they keep you a safe distance from it. In May 2018 the facility was closed and the property evacuated due to collapse explosions …
The 318-foot-long Olowalu Tunnel on the Honoapiilani Highway along Maui’s southwest coast west of Maalaea Harbor was built in 1951. It is the oldest highway tunnel in Hawaii. On the mauka (inland) side of each portal is wire netting to keep rocks from falling onto the roadway. Mai’Poin’a ‘oe Ia’u Beach Park is a quiet beach located in North Kihei, on South Central Maui. The narrow beach runs a mile and is an extension of Maalaea Beach and Sugar Beach. Water is typically calm in the mornings making it excellent for swimming. In the afternoons, it can get quite windy making Mai’Poin’a a popular spot for wind surfing. Ukumehame Beach Park is located near the 12 mile marker along the Honoapiilani Highway. The park takes its name from the huge valley which can be seen directly behind it which carves a spectacular “V” in the West Maui Mountains. These dangerous …
As we docked in Maui, the sun was coming up with dense cloud cover. As it began to peeked through a hole in the clouds, it was as if it was burning a hole in the clouds. Finally, the sun won and the sky opened up to a bright sunny day. The Coast Guard came along side the ship to come aboard to complete the paper work necessary for us to leave the ship. With all the paper work done, we got off the ship and had our ship photos taken. Along Maui’s rugged eastern coastline is the peaceful town of Hana, considered one of the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontiers. The legendary road to Hana is only 52 miles from Kahului. The road was so narrow that many times it was a one-lane road (even though it went 2 ways) with a mountain on one side and a sheer drop …
A cruise was a great way to see the best of the main islands: Maui, Hilo Kona and Nawiliwili. The itinerary provided over nights in several of the ports, so there was plenty of time to get out and enjoy the islands without having to rush back to the ship. We arrived early, 11:30, so check-in was quick. We filled out our forms, had our photos made and received our room keys. We were given leis (Lupe & mine were purple & white flowers and Steve & Fred’s were shells) and had our photo taken with hula dancers. We were given fresh coconut and cups of cold water, while we watched a hula dance and information about Hawaiian customs. We boarded the ship and headed to Skyline, one of the dining restaurants. Afterwards, we explored the ship and had drinks. Finally, we got into our cabin where we had chocolate …
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 …
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