Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Island tour

My wonderful and beloved niece, LB and her splendid husband, DM, took us on a private guided tour of the island. It was FABULOUS!!

They picked us up at the condo and took us first to Queen Emma's Palace, home of the wife of the third King Kamehameha. She was elegant, beautiful and refined. The home was a gift of a family friend who had it built in Boston, disassembled, shipped round the horn, and re-assembled on a beautiful site in the hills above the bustling town of Honolulu. It's a splendid Victorian home, built, as was common in the tropics, with the kitchen in a seperate building. And it's just STUFFED with artifacts. King Kamehameha and Queen Emma were recognized as royalty by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, by the crowned heads of Euroe, by the emperor of China . . One of the gifts sent for the birth of their son was a charming porcelain bath for an infant. and omigad the magnificent furniture built with the tropical wood! The baby's cradle looks like a small boat afloat on the ocean of dreams. They didn't allow photos inside or you could be blown away as well.

HEre are DM and LB on the front porch.

And here's LB, with the one photo they allowed, sitting and playing on Queen Emma's piano.

I kept falling into fascinations with the fibers of the era - tappa cloth made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree, a broiderie anglaise lace fan, the pandanus mat floor coverings. Everyone was very patient and long-suffering as I quizzed the docent about this and that, and dawdled long over the fragile antique quilts.

The grounds are so beautiful! People from the neighborhood often come here for picnics. Imagine a picnic in the shade of those welcoming trees, with a cool tradewind blowing all summer long. The house was superbly sited for breezes during the torrid summers.

And then we followed "the old road," which was originally laid out by a drunken snake with a pronounced limp. The road was narrow and twisting and went plunging through overgrown green green tunnels of tropical trees, until at last, we emerged into the light and the wind at the Pali. This is a famous battle site where King Kamehameha the first vanquished the last of his opponents in his push to unite all the Hawaiian Islands under his dominion. Push is a good word to use here, actually. They were literally forced over the edge of the cliffs.

There are legends that the winds blasting up the cliff face can be so strong at time that they can carry away small children. We encountered only a light breeze.

Then we went down the windward side of the island to visit a friend of DM and LB's who was camping at one of their favorite beaches.

We couldn't see him anywhere around when we pulled in. I was admiring his sleeping arrangements when LB said, "Is he in there?" Yes, he was having a bit of a nap in his hammock, with a towel thrown over his face to keep the flies away. It was perfect napping weather, and his campsite was clear at the end of the road, isolated, quiet, and heavenly.

The campsite were in a small forest of Norfolk Pines. Lovely sandy soil, filtered shade, and gentle shushings and sighing with every whisper of wind.

The beach was - oh, I don't have superlatives enough to tell you how perfect it was. Fine white sand, practically deserted, gentle waves - I wanted to move in right then. However, it happened to be located on an Airforce Base and was opened to the locals only on weekends. During the week, the Marines practice shore assaults and who knows what else. DH found a bullet casing. I'm surprised the place isn't hip deep in discarded brass.

All too soon we had to leave. WE had platelunch at Keneke's. I wish I could have eaten twice as much! While we were there, a pack of young Australian men showed up. Evidently the monster waves on the North Shore haave brought fool-hardy adrenalin junkies to test their mettle against 40 ft faces. There is an international surfing tournament that happens only when the waves are big enough. It's called the Big Eddie after a legendary surfer who used to ride the big ones. So besides the middle-aged haole tourists, and the many, many Japanese tourists, the island is also crammed with wild-eyed madmen (and women) here to go up against the wort that nature can throw at them. Traffic is insane.

We progressed on to the blowhole. It's a sea cave with a top vent which errupts water when the waves hit it right. I have a perfect genius for snapping the picture just AFTER the the desired event.

But lingering in the spray after the blow, is a sweet and promising rainbow. More fun and games tomorrow.


  • At 11:09 AM , Blogger Kate said...

    Oh, wow! I feel like I'm on your vacation with you, it's a nice reprieve from the nasty cold wetness we've had here recently. It's so beautiful down there, maybe I'll get to visit one day, too.
    As for the fabric you offered me, I'll take anything you feel like getting rid of! The walls and everything are institutional white, and the carpet is a sort of light brownish, almost like a latte. The couch is tan/blue/white with a touch of orange, so it'll go with just about anything.

  • At 9:14 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Wild eyed Australian men? Oooooo... the best kind! Damn, honey-- you're making me want to go to the beach-do you know it's about to SNOW here? I've never been so enamored of crystal blue water and fine white sandy beaches...

  • At 9:58 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    It's always better when you explore with the natives. I want MamaMia's hubby to get stationed in Hawaii so we can go visit that beach, maybe even during the week!

  • At 7:58 AM , Blogger Alwen said...

    Mmmm, sunshine and green stuff! A nice break from the 30 F and snow I'm having, with freezing rain in the forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday!

    (Verification word: lubleda, what Zeus did!)


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