Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"ALOHA" Hawaiian Adventure #2 March 11, 12, 13

PSALM 90:1    Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations,  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 
I will start this blog from our first leg of our trip, March 11, from Rapid City to Denver.  Here is the beautiful view of the Mountains at Denver.  You can see this is through the airplane window, they look amazing, right?

Our second leg of our trip was the longest, 7 hours and most all of the flight was all cloud cover or fog until we started our decent and we broke through the fog,  how very exciting to get my very first view of Hawaii.  We were siting in the center so this is actually what I saw across the isle and out the window.  
Below, I could see the waves in the ocean and the beach. 

  OK, I promise, this is the last picture from the airplane.   I just found it very interesting even if I had no idea what or where these were taken.  

Below are a few pictures of the Honolulu Airport .

We road the hotel van from airport to our Hale Koa Hotel and I snapped a few interesting sights. Above is a big ship or cruse line with the 3  beautiful palm trees.  Did I ever mention that I love palm trees?

Below, i was shocked to see so very many homeless just camped out in parks or along the road way.  Later I heard a tour guide mention there are over 5000 homeless in Honolulu.  So sad!  I heard it is due to the value and expense of renting and utilities sky rocketing and even with a job, most could no longer afford to live in a home.   

Here we are,  my first view of this beautiful Hale Koa Hotel owned by the military.  The two tall towers, one with 12 stories the other with 14 is situated so almost every room has some view of the beautiful blue ocean and Waikiki beach. The 70 acre grounds are kept up so beautiful with 17 caretakers.  


This is our room and the pictures below are our view from the patio. 

The first picture is to the far South, to the right of our patio. 

Below that is to the far North where we could see Mountains and many more Hotels.  Every day we saw dark rain clouds over those Mountains but as much as it looked like rain every morning, it only rained once and just a tiny bit.  

This is the inside of the Hotel,  Everything is open air and there are birds that fly and sit on the furniture and floor.   These are about 30 steps that go down to the Resturant at left, adult swim pool farther to the left and to the big Banyon Tree that was growing there before the Hotel was even built.  The Banyon tree is named "GUS" and is a big part of the Hotel and in the courtyard.    
 This Big Banyon tree has many roots that hang or grow down from the tree. These roots have to be trimmed or they grow into the ground making the tree even bigger and take up more space.  You can see how they are trimmed.   We heard that there is actually a Banyon tree that has taken over a full city block.    I believe it.   This tree is home to many birds and you will learn about some of these birds when i create my  Hawaiian Adventure "BIRDS" blog in the future.

"GUS" the Banyon tree,   you can see the trimmed roots.  They are very strong,
I saw grown men in a wedding party swinging from these hanging roots.  

This is the view from the path that leads to the Barefoot Bar and the Beach. Also not far away from several events. 
Such as the Luau, Mongolian grill meal and other group activities like Wounded Warrior and R&R  etc.  
This tree is nick named lookalike pineapple  because of this weird seed it grows. It is bigger then a softball.  The leaves are very tough and are used for much weaving and crafts. 

  Here I spotted some coconuts way up high in a tree.  They aren't full grown but you can see the face of a monkey or owl as I had always heard they resembled.  I was very surprised that they grew in bunches of about a dozen or more.   

There were very many beautiful flowers on the grownds and also in the whole area and you will be seeing many of these later with my Hawaiian Adventure "FLOWERS" future blog coming soon.

So here we are, my first close up view and touch of the ocean.  It was so blue and spectacular looking. I love listening to the waves as they splash up on the sandy Waikiki beach.  
Below,  This is turning away from the beach toward our Hotel.
 All the blue umbrellas are the tables at the Barefoot Bar.
 They also served food. 

The end of a long day #1 March 11th,  Turning in at 9 PM is like 1 AM South Dakota time.  This was definitely a fun, exciting, full first day with this beautiful evening view from our patio in our room.

Good-morning, Day #2,   Thursday March 12,  We met in the Warrior room for a very nice contenental breakfast and greeting.  It was also to plan our tours and events while we were there. We were also entertained with Hawaiian ukulele music, singing and dancers.  

 This was on our long Waikiki Beach walk  and then down town Honolulu on our way to the famous Rainbow Drive-in for noon lunch.  It was way longer then any of us had anticipated so needless to say, most of us were quite stif and sore not only when we arrived back at the hotel but day #3.   

These are some of the trees we saw on our walk.  Just beautiful. When we got back, we went back beach to watch the big waves and surfers. 

Here we noticed men were trimming bottom branches and taking down the coconuts.  They do this in the parks, cities and walkways so they won't fall on someone, killing or injuring them.
Another large tall hotel, it just demanded a photo. 

Down town Honolulu  

More unique trees and flowers.  

These lighter color leaves almost looked
like GIANT OAK leaves.  

Watching the waves, you can just barely see the surfers. 

This is the large family/children's pool on the hotel 
grounds just in back of the Barefoot Bar.  

Many beautiful healthy orchids in the open air hotel lobby. 
This is for Women Rest Room
This is the Men Rest Room.
This lovely fountain is just to the entrance of the open air Hale Koa Hotel.  At night it has very pretty colored lights. shining on the water. 
Below is the Adult pool and hot tub. I must admit that after a nice meal of ribs in the hotel restaurant,  an hour of relaxing in the hot tub was heavenly.    

Such a lovely setting for the pool and hot tub.
 Now it is closed for 3 months for rebuilding a new and bigger pool-hot tub.

This Shell Ginger plant was growing and blooming just behind the hot tub.

This is as it is opening, notice how it looks like a shell? 
 Then it looks like this picture below.  

Friday Day #3,  March 13th.   We met in the lobby and enjoyed a special "Made in Hawaii from local materials" craft fair in the lobby.    We enjoyed the warm morning air as we walked several blocks to the Eggs 'n Things for a wonderful Breakfast.   We ate a late breakfast since we would not eat again until the 5 PM  at the fantastic Mongolian Grill.  We road a van to the popular tourist shopping store, Hilo Hattie and then to a Big Mall.  

The biggest Hawaiian shirt we had ever seen.

 Just a few pictures from the inside of the 
store so you get the idea. 

This is the big mall. The parking lot and road on one side and very many stores on the other.  

 Jeff was feeding the birds part of his apple turnover, 
 cute little zebra doves and this brave little sparrow. 
More Big Mall.

We found a good sale and actually bought something.

 Friday evening.  the Mongolian Grill


Look at all the food and not the first fly, ant or mosquito.  No bee's either. I did see a couple black honey bees on some flowers.  Lot's of birds singing in the overhead trees.

Look at all that sweet fresh pineapple!

All the foods we had collected fried as we watched on a big round grill.
Another big Hotel right on the beach with a giant tile mosaic.

Day gave way to sunset and sunset gave way to darkness.  It was like a dream watching the sun set over the ocean.  

At 7:30 PM it was completely dark and every Friday evening there was a spectacular display of fireworks. 

Our Friday ended with a BANG!

The pleasant walkway back to the Hale Koa Hotel was lit with these traditional fire torches.  Another day and another fun Hawaiian Adventure.