Blogs from Oahu, Hawaii, United States, North America

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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 6th 2019

This morning we’ve booked a tour to Pearl Harbour. Issy’s still feeling a bit jetlagged, so Scott and I set off and leave her to rest up. The Pearl Harbour visitors’ centre includes a museum which gives extensive background to the events of 7 December 1941, a date which is clearly firmly imprinted in the American psyche. It seems scarcely credible in these days of satellites that a fleet of six massive Japanese aircraft carriers was able to make its way thousands of kilometres across the Pacific without anyone noticing. We’re told that around 40 percent of Hawaiian residents at the time were of Japanese ancestry, and the military was far more worried about sabotage than an air attack. In order to reduce the potential damage from sabotage, the US fighter planes were kept in rows ... read more
List of Victims, USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbour
USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbour
Scott and Issy, Waikiki Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 5th 2019

The breakfast area at the hotel is massive and full of hungry guests. My confidence in the food isn’t helped by the dispenser of hand sanitiser I’m urged to use as I queue for an omelette. I ask for one with lot. In most places we’ve been to on our travels this would get me a few tiny pieces of ham, plus lots of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and a bit of cheese. We’re clearly not in Europe any more, and I watch on in horror as large handfuls of sausage meat and bacon are piled into the frying pan. The egg is almost an afterthought, and vegetables, well .... Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse a large glob of some orange shredded substance which is probably supposed to imitate cheese is thrown on ... read more
Waikiki Beach.  The bird was so still I started to think it was part of the statue.
Wedding on Waikiki Beach
Watching the sunset, Waikiki Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki September 4th 2019

We’re definitely still in Canada. It’s twenty one degrees outside and the hotel receptionist and a Canadian guest are complaining about the “boiling” heat. We head out for a farewell breakfast with Emma and Michael. We’ve noticed that they seem to go for large food servings here in Canada. I’m not that hungry so I try to order the smallest item on the menu, which I hope is a fried egg on a small piece of toast. It comes out as two fried eggs surrounded by a sea of fried potatoes, a bunch of grapes, half a pineapple, and a piece of rockmelon. There’s no room on the plate for the two large pieces of toast drowned in butter, so that lot comes out separately. At least some of it’s healthy, and if it has to ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki August 22nd 2019

Fiji was my dream location; the paradise I used to imagine being in when I needed extra motivation to get me through a rough day at the office.. And so I was quite excited as we boarded the Fiji Airways flight at Brisbane.. Senan was also very excited, as we were going 'in a BROWN plane Mammy' (just goes to show that somewhere along the line adulthood increases our threshold for what gets us excited!) The flight from Brisbane to Fiji was uneventful. Three and a half hours feels a bit like a hop, skip and a jump in comparison to some other routes we've done. Senan is so enamoured with flying now that he is the model passenger. He has the routine down pat: 'passports and suitcase to the man, passports to the lady, other ... read more
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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu June 28th 2019

Hurricane preparation announcements have been broadcast on the radio ads frequently reminding all on the Hawaiian Islands that hurricane season is looming. Here on Oahu the weather has been hot, humid and stormy this week. Plenty of rain, flash floods, thunder and lightning. Today I was in Manoa buying some fresh fruit and vegetables from the Thursday farmers market held in front of the post office. I also ducked in to the post office to mail out a birthday gift to my daughter in Alaska. Next stop was Safeway for a few essentials. The talk of the town was humidity. This evening as I am checking my weather app I see that as of 8:25 pm it is currently 86 degrees with 85% humidity. That is a pretty high number for many to continue to work ... read more
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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu April 6th 2019

Aloha from Oahu Hawaii. Our ship arrived in Honolulu about 7:00 this morning. David was up earlier than that to prepare for his excursion this morning. So he was dressed and fed by the time we arrived in port. Unfortunately it still was not light enough to get a good view of Waikiki or Diamondhead while we were sailing into port. But David was down in the Atrium when they approved everyone to depart the ship. His excursion was supposed to meet at 7:20 inside the cruise terminal and he got on the first bus to leave. Today’s excursion was to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. The most well know item is the Arizona Memorial, but it includes a lot more. We only went to two places but spend half a ... read more
Arizona Memorial
USS Bowfin
Entryway to the Missouri

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu February 10th 2019

Who would ever think that a little bakery in Hilo, Hawaii would become world famous? Certainly not Robert Taira, back in the 1950s, in Hilo. Sometime in the 1960's, they moved to Honolulu, and changed their name from Robert's Bakery to King's Hawaiian. By the 1980s, they grossed over $20 million, and moved to Torrance, CA. Robert Taira was the son of Japanese immigrants. He opened hi first bakeshop in 1950s in Hilo, after graduating first in his baking class. "The first round, soft loaves of Original Recipe King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread were made here. The loaves rarely ever made it home before being devoured, and a local traditional island favorite was born." When we first started visiting the islands, King's was hard to find. Then it popularity spread across the islands. Soon, the Southern California ... read more
Now a branch in SoCal too!
Great for tailgating too!

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu February 9th 2019

I often thought Alaska was #50, and Hawaii was #49, but it is the other way around. Hawaii is our fiftieth and final state, as of August 21, 1959; and prior to that, it was a territory since 1900. Also, the population of Hawaii remains fairly constant at around 1.5 million people. And despite a total area of only 10,931 square miles, Hawaii ranks only 13th in U.S. population density. Nearly 900,000 live on Oahu's 600 square miles. The median age here is only 38.5 years, with only slightly more males than females. Racially diverse, Hawaii is 38% Asian, 25% Caucasian, two or more races 23.8%, only 10.2% Native Islander, African American only 1.8%, and 1% other. But remarkably, 63% of residents are Christian, 10% non-Christian, and 26% unaffiliated. I would have expected a bigger Buddhist ... read more
The UH Manoa campus
Iz (need not say more)
Love the island sunsets!

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki February 8th 2019

Can you believe that we are four of about 8.5 million annual visitors to the Hawaiian Islands each year? And we spent $15.2 billion, or what amounts to $197 per day, per PERSON!!! Such is the cost of paradise. When we first started visiting Hawaii in the 70s and 80s, most of the tourists were from Japan. But the collapse of the yen and the weak Japanese economy translates to more Chinese and Koreans visiting now. The average Japanese tourist (read that as honeymooners) stays an average of only 5 days. Tourists from the other Asian countries stay an average of 9.5 days, and spend 25% more! Canada, China and Australia now constitute the fastest growing tourist numbers. Fewer cruise ships stop in Hawaii now as well. But for those of us from California, and western ... read more
The colors of Aloha
Aloha red
Lush and green

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu February 6th 2019

I must tell you that I am very picky when it comes to Hawaiian music. I was never a fan of Don Ho and his Tiny Bubbles. I also remember being entertained by Hilo Hattie on the Harry Owens and the Royal Hawaiians on TV back in the 50s. Through adulthood, I have just lost interest in Hawaiian music, save for the occasional hula at a wedding or party. In the 90s, I learned of the great IZ*, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, who died an early death but made a huge impact with his falsetto Hawaiian singing. I do like the ukulele virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro, though it is hardly traditional. But what do I really know about its roots and meaning? From the experts: Music and rhythm have played central roles within the Native Hawaiian culture. From the ... read more
Iz is the legend!
Jake, ukulele virtuoso
Harry Owens




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