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.



Three More Real Birds and a Fake

Three more alien birds I saw in Hawaii.

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.
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.
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


Shrimp Trucks

One of the places a visitor to Hawaii must stop is a shrimp truck on the North Shore. They have a reputation for great, locally caught shrimp.

Deciding what to eat.
A place to sit in the comfort of Hawaiian breezes.
My dinner.


That says it all. (I wonder if customers forgetting their cars is something that happens a lot.)
And then the cats show up for their handouts.

Traveling the North Shore

After stopping at the Dole Plantation, we drove along the North Shore. The best way for me to describe the ride is – the scenery was exactly as I imagined Hawaii scenery to be … blue sky, endless sparkling water, rocky shorelines that fade into sandy beaches.

Better yet – here’s a few (yes, just a few) of the pictures I took.

On the way to the shore … not absolutely 100% sure, but I think we are still passing the Dole plantation and these are pineapple plants. When I  zoomed in, they looked like pineapple. (Willing to be corrected.)


Hmm … words to describe God’s beautiful creation: serene, breathtaking, sparkling.
Again, breathtaking.
Does anything get more Hawaiian-looking than this?




Not a sign I see too often in Illinois.

A Yellow Post

Two more pictures from the Dole Plantation –

A yellow hibiscus. Of course, we think of hibiscus when we think of Hawaii and the Dole Plantation had many planted on the grounds (along with other flowers.)

So pretty.

I also mentioned in my last post that we enjoyed Dole Whip.

Dole Whip is what you eat if you’re on the Dole Plantation, but also what you eat if you’re at Disneyland (so I’ve been told). The first place serving it at Disneyland was the Tiki Room which was sponsored by … Dole.

Dole.com even has a recipe for their whip. Let’s just say it’s pineapple and sugar and banana and coconut milk whipped into an ice cream consistency.

Most people get the pineapple whip, but I read it comes in six flavors. Tangy and sweet.

But enough of that. Just sitting in the sunshine at the Dole Plantation … enjoying our whip.


Ok, I might as well post the picture of the common myna bird here, too. This bird is an alien spieces from guess where? Yep! Southeast Asia and has the distinction of being of the list of the world’s worse invasive species so we won’t talk about it any more than this.


The Dole Plantation

We headed up the North Shore of Oahu and stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. The Plantation has several activities, but we chose to enjoy the garden, see some of the many pineapple plants, and then enjoyed some Dole Whip.

So as I was walking through the parking lot, I had an interesting thought. You know how when you do the license plate game, you always have trouble getting Hawaii? I remember the first time I found an Hawaii plate. We were camping at Crater Lake and Dad and I were walking through the campsites and I saw an Hawaii car. I was maybe 10 or so and very excited. Dad walked up to the family who owned the car and we talked to them for awhile. Well, if you’re playing the game in Hawaii – it’s hard to find anything BUT Hawaii plates – though we did see one car from Ohio.

Back to the Dole Plantation.


The place was definitely colorful!


Notice the varied colors of the pineapples.
DSC_0516 2
Liked the purple on this one.


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Chocolate trees! What’s better than that?
More colors!
And still more …
More birds:this is a Japanese white eye.(メジロ, 白) However, although I distinctly saw his white-rimmed eye, he hid when I took his picture. Like all the new birds I have posted – this one is an alien species to Hawaii. He comes from (drumroll) Japan!
And another bird who is not supposed to be in Hawaii – but came over from Southeast Asia – the red-vented bulbul. He’s especially not liked because the bulbuls ruin fruit crops so I don’t think the Dole Plantation is the best place for it to hang out, but he was hanging.
Remember I said that Hawaii has a smell? Well, Hawaii also has a sound. Wherever you go, and whatever time of day it is, you hear the background cooing of the zebra dove. And yes, they, too, are supposed to be over there in Southeast Asia. Let’s just say that many made the trip to Hawaii – they are everywhere!