hawaii: sightseeing Archives

August 12, 2007

my friends from Italy have arrived!

Katia & Guido arrived in Honolulu early yesterday morning. They had a long layover before continuing on to Kona and so we had a few hours to spend together. They kept saying how strange it was to see me here in Hawaii when they are used to always seeing me in Italy with them. I felt the same way. It was strange speaking my not so great Italian and seeing them here in Hawaii but also so wonderful to be together with them again.

I had planned to take them out to breakfast but they already grabbed a quick bite to eat at Starbucks in the airport and were not very hungry. After leaving the airport, I decided to checking out the views from the Pali Lookout. I had not been there for years now and thought it would be a nice place to go to see some wonderful views of Oahu. It was a little fogged in when we arrived. The fog started to lift just as we were about to leave. They were amazed at the beauty of the area and did not imagine so much "green".

Here are a few views of the windward side of Oahu from the Pali:




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August 26, 2007

125th anniversary of 'Iolani Palace

'Iolani Palace is the only official state residence of royalty in the United States. I have been on a tour of the palace once many years ago while on a field trip with three 4th grade classes. The palace is well preserved and quite beautiful both inside and out.

I had planned to take Katia and Guido to the palace while they were here visiting Oahu. Friday, August 17th was Admissions Day. Admissions Day is a state holiday in Hawaii, which is celebrated on the 3rd Friday in August to commemorate the day Hawaii became the 50th state (August 18, 1959). I called the palace that morning to see if it would be open for tours. I was hoping to visit the palace on Friday as the Royal Hawaiian Band plays on the lawn of the palace at noon on Fridays and parking would be free and much easier to find since it was a state holiday. I found out when I called that the palace would be open and that special ceremonies would be taking place at noon as well as an open house of the palace when the ceremonies were completed. I later found out that the special ceremonies were not specifically in honor of the state holiday but were in honor of the 125th anniversary of the 'Iolani Palace.

It turned out to be a perfect day to visit the palace! After a few trips around the block to find a parking spot, luck was on our side. We ended up with a perfect parking spot right in front of the palace! When we arrived, the Royal Hawaiian Band was warming up. The palace was decorated with two flags hanging at the entrance and people were lined up along the driveway waiting for the procession to begin.


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October 1, 2007

a visit to the Byodo-In Temple

One quarter down and three to go. The school year is flying by! I am now on break for a week. Finally, I have some time to catch up on posts from my mini-vacation this past August with my friends from Italy.

One of the places Katia & Guido wanted to visit while spending time here in Hawaii was the Byodo-In Temple. This would be a new place for me to visit also. Thanks to Google, I was able to get directions and opening closing times.

If you are a visitor to Oahu, I highly recommend putting this place on your list of things to do if you live here, you should definitely make time to visit this beautiful, peaceful and serene temple. It was a place I could have spent hours at if I wasn't doing the "around the island" tour.

The Byodo-In Temple is a full-scale replica of the 900-year-old Byodo-in Temple located in Uji in Kyoto, Japan. The Byodo-In Temple here in Hawaii was completed and dedicated in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants. The original temple was built entirely without nails and is said to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. I am not sure if the replica was also built without nails.

Byodo-In Temple Entrance

Phoenix Hall

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October 3, 2007

the legend of Mokoli'i Island

Mokoli’i Island, better known as Chinaman's Hat because of the island's shape, is a famous landmark located off the windward side of Oahu.

There is a Hawaiian legend telling how this island came to be. Madame Pele’s sister, Hi’iaka, the goddess of lightening, defended herself by slaying a giant mo’o or lizard. She cut off the tail and threw it into the ocean. Legend has it that this giant tail of the lizard became Mokoli’i Island.

Pictures taken at Kualoa Beach Park on a windy overcast day:




October 5, 2007

the majestic Ko'olau Mountains

I am in awe every time I am up close to this majestic mountain range.

The first three pictures were taken while at the Byodo-In Temple.




The next two pictures were taken at Kualoa Ranch.



February 12, 2008

field trip day today

My class along with two Kindergarten classes went on a field trip today to Ke Ala - The Learning Center, or what we still call "Makaha Farms" (the name has changed a few times). It takes about an hour to get there, with views of the ocean once we reach the Leeward Coast area. Every time we go on this field trip, it brings back memories of my first year living in Hawaii, when I worked out on the coast. I really enjoy the drive with all the memories along the way.

We participate in two activities on this field trip and then have lunch.

The plant unit is my favorite activity. The children learn about various plants, what they need to live and grow, and how to respect the land. They also have an opportunity to taste a few types of fruit, plant something (today we planted lettuce), and pick something (again lettuce).

The animal unit is probably the children's favorite activity. The animals sometimes change depending on the year. This year they were able to see ducks, geese, goats, chickens, a turkey, a rabbit, fish, and turtles. They fed the goats and ducks/geese and touched the rabbit and the chicken. The guide also caught some fish in a net for the children to see and there is a bee apiary on the farm, which we only had a few minutes to visit since it was almost lunch time..

Here are a few photos from the trip. The first one is my favorite.


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April 1, 2008

7 wonders of Hawaii (3 so far)

arthed.jpgThe Star Bulletin is doing a week long piece on the 7 wonders of Hawaii. I must have been day dreaming because I missed both the chance to send in suggestions and the chance to vote. There were even restaurant gift certificates involved!

On August 13, 2007, everyone was invited to send in 3 suggestions for the 7 wonders of Hawaii. The article stated that in October the voting would begin. In typical Hawaiian Time fashion, ballots were posted with 25 available choices on February 3rd, 2008.

Of the 25 choices, I have personally been to or have seen all but: *the fishponds at Kalahuipuaa, *Iao Needle, *the Keck twin, Gemini and Subaru Observatories, *Mount Waialeale, *Pi'ilani Heiau, and *the Red Hill Underground Storage Tanks. With that in mind, my vote for the 7 wonders of Hawaii would be (in no particular order): Kilauaea Volcano, Hanauama Bay, Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Molokai Ocean Cliffs, Haleakala, and the Haiku Stairs (Iolani Palace would be my runner up vote).

Today (the first I have heard about this 7 wonders concept) the 3rd wonder was announced. The Star Bulletin plans to announce the 7 wonders one by one in 7 consecutive days. So here are the first 3 of the 7 wonders of Hawaii. I am linking each photo to the article.


I have been very fortunate to visit Kilauea Volcano twice, once with an old boyfriend when the lava was going into the ocean and once on a 3 day field trip with a group of 4th graders. I have just one piece of advice...DON"T take any lava rocks from the Volcano area and don't take any of the black sand or you WILL have bad luck!! Kilauea Volcano is definitely one of the 7 wonders of Hawaii.

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April 2, 2008

the fourth wonder


(the 4th Wonder photos are linked to the original Star Bulletin article)



I have visited Haleakala only once. My aunt, uncle, some friends, and I arrived at the summit very early in the morning to watch the sun rise. It was CHILLY (really really really cold)!! The wind was blowing and both locals and tourists alike were all bundled up. If you go, bring warm clothes. The sunrise was beautiful. I even saw the green flash. After watching the sun rise, we had a great time hiking in the crater. You most likely will not need warm clothes if you go hiking. For more information on hiking in the crater, visit the Haleakala National Park Hiking Page. Haleakala is very unique. It is another one of my choices for the 7 wonders of Hawaii.

(Check out my previous post if you missed the first 3 wonders)

To see videos of the sun rise, click on the pink link...

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April 5, 2008

last three wonders of Hawaii


(the 5th, 6th, & 7th Wonder photo are each linked to the original Star Bulletin article)


Iolani Palace, which opened in 1882, is the only official state residence of royalty in the United States. The fact I found most interesting when taking a tour was that both electricity and telephones were installed in the palace before both the White House and Buckingham Palace had electricity and telephones. This was my runner up choice for the 7 wonders of Hawaii.

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April 30, 2008

field trip to Kualoa Ranch tomorrow

Tomorrow we are going to Kualoa Ranch. You may recognize the area from films and TV shows. Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Godzilla, 50 First Dates, Tears of the Sun, Fantasy Island, ER, and Lost have all been filmed here.

We will be visiting the fish ponds first. We will throw nets in the water and catch little shrimp (and then throw them back). Then we will go to the ranch to feed the cows, horses, sheep, etc.

I am hoping for nice weather. The past two times we have gone it was raining or rained the day before. It can get pretty muddy. I am hoping for a sunny day tomorrow.

I love the views on the way to the ranch. This area of the island is so beautiful. Although I mostly take photos of my students when on field trips, I try to sneak in a few other shots when I have the chance. These photos were taken at the fish pond area during last year's field trip:




June 8, 2008

photos of the drive from Kaneohe over the H3

I drove over the H3 to Kaneohe Friday afternoon for an acupuncture treatment. The drive over the H3 is one of the most beautiful drives on Oahu. I made an album with a few photos I took from the drive back to share with everyone.

**DISCLAIMER - All but the first 2 photos were taken on my dashboard through my not so clean windshield while driving. Although they are not the best photos, they will give you an idea of the views when driving over the H3.

The first two were taken outside the office where I had my acupuncture treatment. The second two were taken on the drive up the street. The next 7 were taken while driving on the H3 towards the tunnel. The last photo is a close up of the Koolau mountains above the tunnel. If you ever visit Oahu, this is one drive you should try
not to miss.

H3 drive from Kaneohe

This is my team color "green" post. GO Celtics!!

November 29, 2008

"metal"~ PhotoHunt


For this week's theme, I decided on posting photos of the the sacred bell, also known as the peace bell. The peace bell is located on the grounds of the Byodo-in Temple in the Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe (Oahu, Hawaii). This five-foot, three-ton peace bell is customarily rung before entering the temple. It is said that ringing the bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life. Ringing the bell is also said to send out a sound of calm and peace.



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December 13, 2008

"favorite"~ PhotoHunt


My all time favorite trip was a sailing trip to Molokai, Labor Day weekend, 1996. The night before this trip, I had dinner with some friends. While having dinner, they mentioned that there 13 people going on their yearly sailing trip to Molokai., which they joked was an unlucky number. They asked me to join them to make it a lucky 14. I was thrilled! My favorite place in the world is to be on a boat and three whole days sailing was a dream come true. Little did I realize just how breathtaking the views would be on this trip.

Early Saturday morning, we left Oahu and sailed to Molokai. On Sunday, we sailed over to Lanai, did some snorkeling, and then sailed over to Maui for the afternoon. Monday morning, we sailed around the North Shore (or what locals call "the Back Side") of Molokai. This side is not accessible except by boat. At the far end is of the North Shore is Kalauapapa, which is only accessible by plane, boat, and mule. After a day of gazing at incredible sea cliffs, many of which are the highest in the world, and swimming up onto a beach by an incredible waterfall, we sailed back home to Oahu.

*I took these photos with a point & shoot film camera. The negatives were pretty old when I scanned them in a few years ago. They don't do justice to the beauty of this island. I only wish I had a good digital camera when I went on this trip.

My friend's boat, the Kahala Kai, which is anchored nearby the house where we stayed on Molokai. Maui is in the background.

Delicioius fish for dinner Saturday night. The fish was caught Saturday afternoon, spear fishing off of Lanai.

First views heading towards the North Shore of Molokai.

The first of many incredible waterfalls on the North Shore of Molokai. The ocean was the most beautiful shade of blue. Unfortunately it does not show up correctly on this photo.

Continue reading ""favorite"~ PhotoHunt" »

December 24, 2008

mele kalikimaka





Happy Holidays everyone!!

I took these photos on Monday at Honolulu Hale (Honolulu's City Hall).

To see more photos of Honolulu Hale, as well as photos of the Kamehameha Statue and Iolani Palace, click on...

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February 4, 2009

photos from Kewalo Basin

I decided to skip Super Bowl this year and head into town, figuring that just about everyone else on the island would be watching the Super Bowl. I am not a huge football fan. The Super Bowl to me means baseball season is almost here! I did record the pre game ceremonies to see Faith & Jennifer sing and also the fantastic half-time show, but missed most of the commercials and only caught a little bit of the game.

It ended up being the perfect day to be out and about. Gorgeous weather, no traffic, and ample parking, something unheard of on a Sunday. Before doing some errands, I stopped at the Kewalo Basin, a commercial boat harbor, to take some photos for a possible future PhotoHunt post. Below are a some of the photos I took on Sunday.

View of the boat harbor:

View of Diamond Head from the little park near the ocean:

View of the west end of Ala Moana Beach Park and Diamond Head:

I am guessing this is part of a shipwreck?? I didn't notice the bird until I got home
and transferred my photos to my computer. Can you spot it?

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March 24, 2009

photos of the Makiki Forest Recreation Area

This morning I had an appointment in town (Honolulu). I ended up getting into town much earlier than I anticipated due to very little traffic. I had about thirty minutes to kill. I decided to head up to the Makiki Forest Recreation Area or as many know it, the Hawaii Nature Center. It is only a 5 minute drive from the craziness of traffic, high rises, and noise of the city.

I am always amazed at how peaceful this place can be. I haven't been up there in a quite a while. The gravel parking lot has moved down to the bottom of the road. They have knocked down the old Nature Center (a great place to go on a field trip or to take kids to on the weekends) and built a new one. There are two hiking trails I used to hike quite a bit that start by the Nature Center.

I love walking around in this forest area. The smell of eucalyptus is in the air. Birds are chirping, the brook is babbling ( the Kanealole Stream), and the leaves of the trees are rustling in the wind. Oh and every once and a while you will hear a few chickens and roosters and if you are lucky, you will see a few hanging out.

Here are some of the photos I took today. The photos are of my walk from the parking lot to the beginning of the trail head. I did not hike today but hope to go back next week with a friend if the weather cooperates and do the Makiki Valley Loop Trail - the Kanealole Trail, the Makiki Valley Trail, and the Maunalaha Trail (all of which connect at one point to make the loop).




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April 11, 2009

"triangle"~ PhotoHunt


The mausoleum of King William Charles Lunalilo located on the grounds of the
Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu, Hawaii.




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April 14, 2009

yearly field trip to Kualoa Ranch

Every year we go to Kualoa Ranch with Kindergarten. We participate in two activities. Half of our group goes to the Aquaculture Fish Ponds, the other half goes to the Ranch, and then we switch at 10:30. At noon everyone eats lunch together at the Ranch.

This year because of bus problem (the drivers/not the equipment), we only got to visit the Aquaculture Fish Ponds.






November 14, 2010

a visit to the Lyon Arboretum

The Lyon Arboretum is the only university botanical garden located in a tropical rainforest in the U.S. I visited this beautiful botanical garden yesterday for the first time. I went with a friend to explore and take photos.

The Lyon Arboretum is located at the very end of Manoa Road. It was quite an adventure getting there. As you reach the end of the road, your driving skills will be tested as you come upon a few very narrow hairpin turns. The signs warning of falling branches also made me a little nervous. Fortunately my car made it there fully intact.

Once you arrive, you are greeted with this magnificent view.

There are a few trails on the lower grounds and many more trails that go up into the mountains. We decided to stay on the lower grounds. The first trail we took led us to the Hawaiian Ethnobotanical Garden. Not far from the start of this trail, we noticed a guy hanging from a rope climbing a huge tree.

We walked over to investigate. When we reached the small group of people nearby, I heard my name called. I was shocked! The person turned out to be someone I taught with at my former school. She asked me if I was still in Hawaii. At first, I wondered if that was a trick question. I replied, "Yes, I am in Hawaii". Turns out for some reason she thought I moved to the mainland instead of just transferring to another school on Oahu. Small world!

View of taro plants by the tree climbing activity:

More photos from our walk:




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