Saturday, February 28, 2009
Hawiian Road Trip - 2nd post
Saturday Morning came way too early after flying all day Friday. We had an early orientation breakfast at Planet Hollywood. Well, let me tell you it was an hour and 1/2 of my trip wasted. The "gentleman" giving the tourist hype was extremely condescending and rude to our group. He treated a group of mainly senior citizens like grade school kids. He was constantly repeating himself and made some very stupid jokes. I really felt sorry for our tour guides because they could not control who was going to be briefing our group that morning. After an hour and a half several of us had enough and we got up and left. Off to do some shopping. Maui Divers was the next stop. It was really interesting to see how the coral is harvested and then shaped into some very beautiful jewelry. After the tour of the factory they take you to the "showroom" of one of a kind pieces. I wish I could have afforded the opal and black coral jewelry, the combination of the two stones was truly spectacular.
We spent about an two hours here then it was off to Hilo Hatties. Another tourist shop to drop your hard earned money. I tried on a lovely dress, but it just didn't fit right so I got out of there without spending a penny. We had one more shopping stop before we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for an Eastern Star meeting that evening.
What a great evening we had tonight. Out of the 40 people who traveled from Maryland and Pennsylvania we had 30 travel to downtown Honolulu to attend Lai-Aloha Chapter's meeting. They greeted us with that famous Hawaiian and Eastern Star hospitality. It was really facinating the differences between between our two states, we all have the same ritual but each has a different interpretation. I really enjoyed the evening and wish I can return one day. Aloha my sisters and brothers and mahalo for a great meeting. If you ever find yourself in the Maryland please join us for a meeting. Our first full day is complete and tomorrow we are up early to begin a tour of the island of Oahu.
Day 2 - Up for breakfast at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel at 6:00 am. The buffet was really good and we all had a hardy breakfast because we didn't know when lunch would be served. We went on a tour of the island with Robert's Tours. Our bus driver was so funny and very informative.
Our first stop was Hanauma Bay Park to view some of the spectacular coast line. Because of our time limits we need to keep moving. 20 minute stop only then back on "Cousin Ted's Bus". We learned what was meant by Hawaiian Time - It means that you'll get there when you get there, so everything is 15 minute Hawaiian time, except when the bus needs to leave a stop. The scenery here was so beautiful.
I wish I could have spent several hours just photography the waves crashing on the rocks. I just love the majesty of the ocean, it's so soothing and spiritually uplifting. Time to get back on the bus to travel off to the next spot. Rounding around the east side of the island we approached some more breath taking beauty. Another 15 Hawaiian minutes and we arrived at Halona Blowhole for an interesting show of nature. The way the rock formed it created a natural hole in the sea wall. When the waves crash at the right angle a mini geyser. It was so cool. Unfortunately the angle of the sun did not allow for any good pictures to show. Back on the bus and off to Pali Pass.
Here was the best spot on the tour. Nuuanu Pali State Park. Here the winds blow. What a blast. (Every pun intended). We took the short walk out to the pass and the wind got stronger the closer we got to the edge of the cliffs. Some of the ladies coming back toward the bus needed help just staying upright. Talk about bad hair day, my goodness. I went to both sides of the lookout to get some great shots of the valley below and I was amazed at the difference from one side of the lookout to the other. This pass was the spot where King Kamehameha I gained control over the Hawaiian Islands by beating and forcing the warriors from Oahu up the pass and over the edge of the cliffs. More that 400 soldiers where driven over the cliffs. It was truly amazing the way nature can instill in people the ideas of spirits or ghosts along these cliffs. When the Japanese Airplanes come to raid and bomb the American Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor many of them came to Pearl through the Pali Pass.
After our stop at the pass, it was time to move on toward lunch and the Dole Pineapple Plantation. In 1991 Dole shut down it's pineapple operations on Oahu, but the fields and plants have been turned into a museum and they are growing pineapples on the island. The root of the pineapple is actually the green top, it's removed from the pineapple, then planted into the ground. It takes about 2 years for a pineapple to mature and what a wonderful, yummy fruit. We stopped here for lunch and I went to get pineapple ice cream for dessert. I couldn't get enough pineapple while I was on the island.
After lunch we started off toward the North Shore and the huge waves found on this part of the island. This part of the island is like being in another world. It's remote, the main road is a two lane road with small towns and loads of beaches located along the road. We made a stop to view the waves, and happened to see a turtle swimming close to the shore. It was really neat, I'm such a sea turtle fan. There such beautiful animals and will be my fun emblem when I become the Worthy Matron of my home chapter in several years. As the day progressed the clouds began to roll in and we had several small showers that day.
Our last stop before we returned to Waikiki was a small Macadamia nut farm where we where able to sample various flavors of that wonderful nut. Carmel coated, plain, roasted, Garlic and Maui Onion flavor. It was all wonderful. We also got to same Kona Coffee while we where at this stop. Soon it was time to board the bus once more for the hour long ride back to the hotel. We arrived around 4:30 that afternoon and had the evening free for dinner. Several of us went to Duke's for dinner. It was the best meal I had in Oahu. I had a Rib-eye and the best cocunut shrimp ever. It was worth the wait. After dinner we make the short walk back to our hotel and off to bed for another early wake up call for our trip to Pearl Harbor.