It was quiet and peaceful last night. A warm cup of coffee and a relaxing morning before driving on the Likelike to Honolulu to meet up with Girasoli, our friend from Slow Travel. Traffic was light on Sunday and it took us only about 30 minutes to drive to the Foster Botanical Garden.
Foster was one of the main sights G wanted to see. Several years ago we had a long layover in Honolulu on a return flight from Auckland. We took the bus from the airport to Foster and G really liked it. It is a botanical garden with lot of trees and plants collected from the tropical areas of the world.
It is easy to find near the intersection of the Pali Highway and H1. We missed the small sign that designating the parking for visitors. We did not know yet to look for the Kamehameha sign which are located at all the sights. We circled around and pulled into to the parking lot and rendezvous with Girasoli.
We spent a lovely peaceful morning touring the garden with G educating us about the plants. There were displays of orchids, bromeliads, palms, prehistoric cycads and many exceptional tall trees. My favorite trees were the rainbow eucalyptus which Girasoli had photographed on her blog and the Canonball tree. The Canonball tree was so unusal with the large balls and branches spiraling up the trunk. There were signs at the bottom warning people of falling canonballs. They did look dangerous.
After the tour, we drove over to the main downtown Honolulu are and parked near the Iolani Palace. We walked around to Honolulu Hale to see the Christmas decorations, the Kawaiaha'o church and the Kamehameha statue.. I still have not gotten used to seeing Christmas decorations in the tropics even if Santa is in shorts.
I especially loved the Kawaiaha'o church. We were lucky and it was open so we could walk in and see the interior.
It was time for lunch and we went to Kaka'ako Kitchen for a great plate lunch. I had the Kalbi ribs since I had been smelling the sweet BBQ and G and Girasoli had the Ahi wraps. All was tasty and a good value.
It was time to say 'Good-bye' to Girasoli. The afternoon had passed quickly. Before we left she showed us the way to get to Nature Center above Makiki neighborhood where there was good hiking right almost in downtown Honolulu. We're going to definitely try to make it back for the hike.
On the way back to the windward side, we drove along the Pali Highway and stopped at the overlook. The clouds had gathered and darkened along the green cliffs and there were spots of bright sun. It was beautiful even on a day without the sunny vista. We went into Kauilau to get some 'slippers' (thongs) and drove around near Lanikai beach before returning.
The sun had set but it was still light as we sat and enjoyed a beer on the deck. Another great day in Paradise.
Cannonball tree blossom