Technically, I could have updated this blog while there since the apartment we stayed in had internet and Dan had his laptop, but I was on vacation. So I didn’t. But now I’m back and can post lots of trip stuff! So here it goes!
We flew over on the 11th and immediately preceded to relax that night and the next day. There was beach time and food but pretty much the most adventurous we got that first day was walking to the grocery store and then walking on the beach. So yeah, pretty much awesome-ness.
Eventually (on the second full day there), we decided to be a bit more active and went out for a long walk around Kapiolani Park (our apartment was just a few blocks from it). First we hit Queen Kapololani’s Garden but it was a little only okay (they were doing some landscaping there and a lot of stuff wasn't blooming (October, go figure) but there still were some pretty flowers) so after a short stop there, we continued on our trek.
We ended up stumbling across the Diamond Head Community Gardens. Which, OMG, so awesome. I’ve never actually seen a community garden though I’ve read about them and thought the idea was neat. But in practice? It leads to a tight (slightly cluttered) mix of a huge variety of plants – both decorative and edible – which is simply gorgeous.
We spent a lot longer in this garden and I took a lot of pictures. It was just way too cool. I want to move to Hawaii and into that neighborhood just so I can wander that garden regularly.
Eventually we meandered on and went to the small but interesting Waikiki Farmers’ Market.
Unfortunately, we had just been to the grocery store the day before to stock the apartment so we passed on picking up some of the interesting produce on offer. Which now makes me sad. There were some short, fat, pale Ice Cream Bananas that just looked funky and the seller's description sounded so interesting! (We tried to hit the market again the next Wednesday, but sadly we started out too late and missed it. No Ice Cream Bananas for me.)
Next on our walking tour was Waikiki Aquarium.
It’s small, but so awesome. I’m a big ole dork when it comes to aquariums and coral and WA has lots of both.
Yeah, I took a lot of pictures there, too. So. Cool.
Actually, I took a lot of pictures everywhere, not just the aquarium. I took over 900 pictures. Yeah, 900. I managed to whittle them down to the best 550+ to keep, selected 119 of those to put on Flickr, and then 32 of those that I’m sharing here. So yeah, this? Highly edited trip info. And considering that about half of the days there were Beach Days where I didn’t really bring out the camera (too often), yeah, lots of pictures taken everywhere.
I even took some pictures while shopping. Well, not shopping at the local grocery store (I waited until I got back to the apartment to take those food pictures) but I did when we went to Don Quijote, the Japanese discount department store.
Mostly because it was so cool that they had so much Japanese foodstuff on the shelves. One whole side of a row was ready-to-drink teas and coffees.
And another one, which was way cool, with all the bagged and loose teas. They even had Maeda-en teas, which was so fun because normally I have to order from Maeda-en online to get any of their tasty teas!
Of course, Don Quijote wasn’t the only place that had lots of Japanese tea. Shirokiya (a Japanese department store in Ala Moana Center) had a long row of loose teas and the tea store Lupicia (also in Ala Moana Center) naturally had a ton of tea (you know, being a tea store). So I might have bought about nine packages of tea while in Hawaii. Which might be somewhere around a pound and a half of tea.
Ahem. Anyway – pictures! We also hit downtown Honolulu, where I (unsurprisingly) took lots of pictures.
By the way, that darker building with the pointy top that is poking out behind the other buildings? That was where I worked during the summer of 2000. Ah, memories!
Mostly I took lots of pictures downtown because there were lots of things to see. Such as:
The Hawaii State Capitol
St. Andrew’s Church
We also did the palace tour which was pretty cool – I wish I could have taken pictures of the insanely decorated door hinges, giant pocket doors and nifty folding shutters, but sadly no photography was allowed and for some odd reason, they just don’t sell postcards of door hinges.
King William Charles Lunalilo Mausoleum
Of course, downtown didn’t have all the nifty stuff. After all, Oahu is an island. And I did spend a lot of time on the beach…
Known as Great Stone Church, it’s actually made of coral reef.
Just throwing that out there.
Kapiolani Beach Park in front of Diamond Head
Kuhio Beach Park
This is a distant view of our beach of choice for the trip, mostly because our apartment was half a block back from the rightmost tower of the Hyatt.
That’s right, our apartment was half a block back from the beach. In fact, this was the view from our lanai.
Which meant I made a lot of trips out to the lanai (both with and without my camera) which had one big negative. The lanai was dirty, so my feet? Pretty much always looked like this.
But you know, that’s the price I’ll pay for being able to see this every evening.
Of course, one other apartment negative (perhaps the only apartment negative) - the bed frame stuck out a bit past the foot of the mattress, which led to both Dan and I whacking our knees many (many) times when walking around the bed. So yeah, I still have bruises.
But on to prettier, non-hurty things, which Hawaii is covered in – like flowers! Is it surprising that I can say that I took a lot of flower pictures?
Anyone know what these are? They were everywhere and I loved them but since they were in trees, I was never able to get a good, close shot of them. Sadness.
ETA: Never mind, I figured it out - it is a Shower Tree!
One other thing about Hawaii that I love (besides the weather, the beaches, the flowers, the tea...) is the prevalence of Japanese things, especially food. Dan and I went out to eat a couple of nights, but most nights, we’d pick up something from the grocery store (usually sashimi), the ABC Store (soba or onigiri) or from Shirokiya’s obento section.
Or how about these? I have no idea what it is, but the resulting fruit(?) was really awesome looking.
And, yes, this means I took food pictures, too.
Whew! So that’s pretty much our trip in a (relatively small) nutshell. (Yes, this post is long but please remember – this is only 32 pictures of over 900. So yeah. Nutshell.)
ABC Store Soba
ABC Store Sea Kelp Onigiri
Mini-sardine from Shirokiya Snack Mix
So was it awesome?
You know, I don’t think that question actually requires an answer!
These pictures and around 100 more are here on Flickr. And since I finally remembered how to do it, the rest of the 550+ are here.