the day before my brother’s birthday. cold and sunny.

more hawaii photos. i feel like i’ve been posting so many of them, but i’m not even finished with the second full day there in hawaii.

we last went to the foster botannical garden, and then drove through honolulu and went to downtown and stopped at the Iolani Palace and here it is.

iolani palace

this is what the guidebook says about the palace. “Iolani means “bird of heaven”in Hawaiian. it’s the only royal residence on American soil. Built for King Kalakaua in 1882, this stunning Renaissance-style mansion served as a royal residence until Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in 1893. Later the ill-starred monarch was imprisoned here; eventually, after Hawaii became a territory of the US, the place was used as the capitol building.”

Hmm, imprisoning the queen in her own palace. i believe she was overthrown by a revolt of white businessmen, the guys who wanted a better deal for their pineapple and sugar plantations. i might have this wrong, but i know there’s some truth in it.

we didn’t go inside the palace because it was closed and we didn’t want to anyway. here, across the street, is a statue of King Kamehameha Statue and I hope you appreciate all the intricate typing i’m doing here as i have to write down all these crazy hawaiian names.


he was the first king of hawaii. the history of hawaii is interesting, as i recall, although i don’t recall it very well because i read a lot of it on the plane going home and that was the middle of the night. i’d LIKE to read more about it and there’s nothing stopping me except for my pure grace laziness. basically what i remember about hawaii is the native people got screwed by us somehow, which isn’t surprising, now is it?

after all that history, we stopped at a GIGANTIC MALL called Ala Moana because there are millions and millions of slick magazines full of ads for all things hawaiian to buy, and i kept seeing ads for a place called HILO HATTIE; they have them on all the islands, maybe not the very small ones. but anyway this Hilo Hattie was in this RIDICULOUSLY LARGE MALL and we went there and bought many hawaiian things like some cool candles. lots and lots of stuff. it was weird, though, buying souvenirs at the mall.

after that we drove to waikiki, which is just a continuation of honolulu and it was around five in the evening and the traffic was terrible and soon there were many many tall hotels and store after fancy store and this was waikiki and i HATED it.

I’m reading the hawaii guidebook as i type this, and this is kind of bad because i keep reading about these places where we didn’t go. but at this point in our day – after driving on the pali highway to honolulu, getting lost, going the pearl harbor, the botanical garden, driving around a lot more, going to the mall – i was tired. i even drank a coffee sample at the Hilo Hattie. kevin found hawaiian coffee to be DELICIOUS and SUPERB and he bought quite a bit of it to take back with him.

i found that it tasted like coffee.

anyway, waikiki is where all the tourism began in hawaii, and it’s going strong. i wanted to go to the Sheraton Moana Surfrider resort, built in 1901, because it was Waikiki’s first resort and because the book claimed that they have the best mai tais anywhere.

but first, we had to park. there was no parking anywhere around at all. i didn’t want to pay to park because WE WERE NOT IN LA.

so we drove past all the hotels and shops and were cruising along by the park by the ocean and we finally found parking and i doubted that we could walk all the way back to the main drag, but kevin said “let’s try,” so we did.

here’s one photo of the beach, and it’s deceptive because there were lots and lots of people around even though the sun was going to set soon. lots and lots of people.


here’s another one that kevin made look like there weren’t people around at all. but they were everywhere, trust me.


as we walked towards the hotel, we passed a restaurant called cheeseburger in paradise. i hope you can see the sign here.


we finally made it to the hotel (not really a bad walk) and it was lovely and they had a front porch with big white rocking chairs and the lobby was very fancy and old. out back was the lovely outdoor bar, with a steel band playing. and even though like i said, the sun was going to set soon, we found pretty good seats and could look out at the surfers and the cruise ship and the sailboats going by. there’s also a large banyan tree where robert louis stevenson used to write.

we ordered the mai tais and they were pretty good, although actually the best mai tai i had was at the airport bar in oahu on the day we left (eventually i’ll have a picture of that but that’s the very last picture i think so it’ll be a while).


we got to keep the plastic souvenir glasses. the drinks were expensive, but they could have been worse, especially considering we were in one of the fanciest hotels in the most expensive part of hawaii and the SUN WAS SETTING.

let’s have a photo of that.


a nice way to end the day.


more right there in the bar. but i feel that by now you might not have made it this far, so i’ll save it till tomorrow, or at least later tonight.


why, again, didn’t we stay in hawaii? grace