Wakiki

One night we drove through Wakiki – which is a part of Honolulu best known for its beaches. But Wakiki is also an area of city lights, upscale stores – think Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

The night we drove through the area, the roads were semi-empty because some of them were blocked off for a festival. However, the sidewalks were packed with people. I mean, we kind of wondered how they could walk there were so many of them. You can’t really tell from the video because a lot of the people were back off the sidewalks a little – but one corner must’ve had 500 people standing on it.

I didn’t get a great picture since I took it out of the car window at night – but the red and blue building is the Aloha Tower which is actually a lighthouse that can be seen 15 miles from shore, an iconic symbol of Hawaii.

Some people say that like the Statue of Liberty welcomes people on the East Coast, so the Aloha Tower welcomes people into Hawaii.

The tower was built in 1926 and up into the 60s was the tallest building on the islands. Now, it is being redeveloped by the Hawaii Pacific University as a residence hall.

(Ok, interesting sidenote – Honolulu ranks seventh as US cities with most high rises.)

During World War II, the military protected the tower and in fact, painted it in camouflage colors and turned off the light so it could not be seen. Finally, in the late 40s it was sandblasted back to its original color.

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Three More Real Birds and a Fake

Three more alien birds I saw in Hawaii.

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The Pacific golden plover – known mostly for being able to fly the 4,500 miles nonstop to Alaska in 3-4 days. He is also from South Asia as are many of the birds I saw in Hawaii.
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This is a chestnut munia and at one time was the national bird of the Philippines. The bird also lives in Bangladesh, China, India and many other places.
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This cute guy is the java sparrow or Java finch. Sometimes it is a cage bird. And is from Java and Bali.

Ok, so a week in Hawaii and saw not one native bird. The one we probably had the best chance of seeing was the Nene or Hawaiian goose, but alas …

But when Tom and Marti took me to Pearl Harbor, we did see a stuffed one in the gift shop – so Tom held it up so I could take a picture. Best I could do :(.DSC_0966.jpeg

 

Monkey Pods

One of the iconic trees in the Hawaii landscape, is the monkey pod tree. The branches stretch forever (so it seems).

But remember how I’ve been saying that I’m only seeing alien birds? Well, some people are saying that monkey pod trees are alien (or invasive) plants and even though they’ve been there years and years and years … some are making an effort to get rid of them. Honolulu itself is saying “no more invasive plants.” However, no one is cutting them down, just not replacing ones that die. Other people see them vital to Hawaii’s scenery and don’t want them touched.

I have no idea. I am just the messenger of something I’ve read in several places.

For now, they’re happily growing on the Hawaiian Islands

Here is one we saw. Even before I knew anything about the monkey pod tree, this tree(s) caught my attention and I took its picture.

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The night we went over to the resort area, we ate a very cool restaurant called the Monkey Pod Kitchen. We ate on the patio as spotted doves danced around our feet and looked for handouts.

And we ate watermelon pizza. Truly. The pizza was good! I’d get it again!

Try it!

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The Resort

I remember attending a conference at DisneyWorld. The shuttle picked us up at the airport and took us right to our hotel complex. We never saw anything outside of the magical world of Mickey. Since I had been to Florida (and DisneyWorld) before, that was fine for the conference visit, but kind of limiting to someone who hadn’t been to the South.

You can do the same in Oahu. A shuttle will pick you up at the airport and deliver you to the Disney (and other hotels in the resort area) and then take you back when your stay is over.

One night we went over to the resort area and walked down to the beach. Although the resort areas are closed off  to the public – the beach is public and they have a path that you can follow to the public area.

And then we waited for another beautiful sunset.

 

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Pretty beaches

 

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The Disney Resort
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The resort –
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Sunset

But more important is the view out to sea …

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Don’t know who these people are, but they sure got cool wedding photos.

 

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A beautiful ending.