This unknown flower bloomed near the door of our rental house.
There was no one to ask its name but every morning it was a little different, a new bloom or a new red point. There is just something about it that gives me pleasure and peace. Does anyone know this flower?
Hawaii Kai and Koko Crater from Makapu'u Point Trail
The simple crossing of a pass at Makapu'u beach changes the landscape from lush tropical plants to a drier look filled cacti, palm trees and succulents. There is less wind so the lava-rock tide pools are more accessible.
One morning when the parents were sleeping late, we took Clio to introduce her to tide pools, plumaria blossoms and cactus gardens.
Bob and Clio tide-pool walking near Sandy Beach
After collecting ocean-polished bottle glass, coral pieces and shell fragments, we drove a mile further to Koko Crater Botanic gardens. Though several books had commented that after 30 years of work, the gardens still have a primitive look to them. I loved this crater when we lived there in the late 1970's and I love it now. The plantings have grown and matured. There is a dedicated cactus garden, plumaria orchard and a section of viney trees. The paths are natural, not paved, but they are wide and smoothe enough for wheel-chair access.
The plumaria orchards were the biggest surprise. They are large trees and we could just reach the lower branches. Plumaria flowers are the most common ones used in lei's for greeting people upon airport arrival and for honoring and thanking those in the community.
Clio picked up a blossom and carried it through the gardens, back to the house and kept it in a glass until it had turned brown.
Below is a photo of Clio and Bob. He squatted down to show her something at her level, but she squatted down also. I just happened to catch it on my digital cam.
Byodo In, showpiece of Valley of Temples near Kaneohe
I remember visiting this place before but I didn't remember the pervasive sense of peace and wonder that surrounds the building, gardens and ponds. No longer a "believer" in supernatural intervention, I am perhaps more open to appreciation of a place that exudes calm and quiet beauty--from this magnificent replica of a Buddhist temple in Kyoto Japan to the simple bamboo forest on the outskirts of the property.
Surrounding the temple structure housing the gigantic Buddha were streams and ponds were many light-reflecting streams and ponds containing hundreds of Koi. You can see some koi in this photo of the open part of the temple. A local author and World War 2 expert was signing the 4 volumes of his books and Bob stopped to chat with him. They can just barely be seen on the near corner of the temple.
Book-signing at the Byodo In
When one crosses the bridge the first thing you hear is the deep melodious tone of the giant gong. It is so large that it is struck by swing an 8-foot tree truck into it. The grounds are spectacular. From meandering stream with two black swans to a small gift shop in the corner, everything is peaceful.
Only one swan made the photo
Until Hawaii I had never actually seen a bamboo forest other than in a tropical atrium of a botanical garden. They are not majestic or sturdy and grounded. They are spindly and green and somewhat fragile in the wind--but I absolutely love walking around and near these bamboo outcroppings.
One thing we learned about the Hawaiian Islands when we lived there in the last 1970's was that each island has a leeward and a windward side. The windward side is more humid and sometimes windier but it is also where one finds lush green growth year round as well as tropical forests that can be seen from this lookout on the Pali Highway. We were staying about 10 miles to the right of this photo--in Waimanalo.
The Ko'olau mountains from our waimanalo front porch
When we lived in Hawaii we lived on the leeward side as that just happened to be where we found a house to rent. It was interesting to see and feel the difference. The difference was more than the climate. It was also that Waimanalo was more of a small town with fewer tourists and more people who greeted each other by name in Mel's Market where "our" neighborshop shopped for staples and quick meals.
Waimanalo Beach at 8:00 a.m--almost deserted.
When we lived here, I never visited this beach. It was a well-kept secret from tourists and short-term residents--and for good reason--as it is absolutely gorgeous and nearly private. It is kid-friendly and boasts spectacular sunrises. Unfortunately we, being on vacation time, never woke early enough to see one.
The houses here are more modest but equally well-kept and funtional. I came away with a great love for "Nalo."
....definitely was not easy. We planned to stay overnight in Los Angeles so that we could personally meet Fran, a fellow member of an online list, whom I've known as a cyber friend since 1998. That part worked great. We had a wonderful meal and a delightful visit. We left the restaurant fairly early so that we could get enough sleep before catching a 5:30 a.m. shuttle to the airport for our flight to Honolulu.
The uncooperative weather in the midwest delayed flights into L.A. which resulted in an oversold situation on the next two flights to Honolulu. A friend sent me this prose poem by Naomi Shihab Nye and challenged me to put my own saga on paper.
This is what I wrote--with abject apologies to Naomi Shihab Nye:
Eleven hours in LAX,
March 1, 2007
Three flights of people, two scheduled for yesterday
And one for today,
All with tickets to Honolulu from L.A,
Waiting to see who and how many can board
This early-morning flight
And who must wait until 8 o’clock tonight.
While two agents processed tickets,
Another made an announcement:
“Any confirmed seat-holder who gives up a seat
Will receive $400, a ticket to San Francisco on American
And a seat on Delta’s San Fran flight to Honolulu.
They will arrive at 10:25 tonight--Hawaiian time.”
Twelve people volunteered.
“Today’s final flight from L.A. to Honolulu is now filled.
The next flight leaves tomorrow morning.”
Immediately the 10 or 12 stranded non-revs
gather to commiserate—and to plan.
With cell phones and lap-tops busy,
Information is exchanged.
We call Southwest, USAir, Alaska Air,
American and United.
Who flies to San Fran?
Does Delta still have space if we get there?
Dave, parent of a Delta employee, and his wife Pam tell us,
“We’re going to Maui and there’s room for 65 more
on the 5 o’clock flight, arriving at 9:30 Hawaii time.”
Al and Betty from Edmonton decide to stay
in L.A. another day.
The Pakistani couple tells Jeannene about a
Northwest flight from Maui to Honolulu ,
the last one of the day, leaving at 11:45,
But the news arrives just after she had hit “send”
on a non-refundable reservation for an overpriced room
almost an hour from Maui airport.
The family gathers, confers, and concurs:
we’ll take the Northwest flight
And cross our fingers that my lawyer son
In his most persuasive voice
Can convince the hotel manager
To refund the reservation.
He flashes “thumbs up.”
We are going to Maui!
I call the car rental company we’d gotten through Hotwire.
They say they can’t hold the car that long and, besides,
They close at 1:00 a.m.I call Hotwire.
They say, “No problem! The reservation was prepaid.
They’ll hold it for 24 hours,
but we have no control over their closing time.”
We arrived in Honolulu at 12:40 a.m. grateful
that our luggage arrived on the flight we missed.
Bob and Dane ran to get the car.
Jeannene, Clio and I ran to get the luggage.
We decided by cell-phone where to meet.
We loaded the car and got out directions
Hoping our memories from 20 years ago
Would get us over the Pali Highway at night.
We drove into the driveway of our vacation house at 2 a.m.
The owners, knowing our plight,
Left us Hawaiian Guava drinks,
And for breakfast:
Kona coffee, maple syrup
And Macadamia nut pancake mix.
--The Aloha Spirit in action--.
Written March 12, 2007
Needless to say, the next morning we were thrilled to see