|Hawaii Diary 2000|
The balance of our day was a good example of how the best laid plans often go astray. While we had originally planned visits to downtown Honolulu and Tantalus` as well as the Manoa Valley, we soon realized that our agenda was much too filled. Of course, we did little to help our plans when we spent over an hour at Hilo Hattie's on the Nimitz Highway.
Hilo Hattie is a major business in Hawaii and this is clearly appreciated by many other Hawaiian businesses, which offer sharp discounts to Hilo Hattie patrons with the use of coupons obtained at checkout. Hilo Hattie features some of the best in Hawaiian wear for men, women and keiki (children). A visit to the main store in Honolulu, where many of the clothing is actually manufactured before your eyes, is another must see when visiting O`ahu.
From Hilo Hattie we ventured downtown to the Aloha Tower area where we parked. Parking is very reasonable on Saturdays. For $2.00 you can park all day and explore the waterfront and even walk a few short blocks to the historic areas on Honolulu.
As Seen From the Top of the Aloha Tower
Photo by John Fischer
We had never been to the top of Aloha Tower before. On each of our prior visits the tower had been closed. A short elevator ride takes you to the top of the tower from which you can view the harbor and downtown areas from above.
From Aloha Tower we walked to the `Iolani Palace and on to the State Capitol a few steps away. Saturday marked Capitol Days in Honolulu where many of the public buildings were open free of charge.
State Legislature Chamber
Hawaii State Capitol, Honolulu
Photo by John Fischer
We were lucky to hook onto a guided tour of the State Capitol which took us to the both chambers of the State Legislature as well as to the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii.
Following our tour we wandered through the `Iolani Palace grounds were we caught the end of a free open-air slack key guitar concert by George Kuo.
Despite a very busy day, we were back at our hotel by 4:00 p.m,. where I still had time to take a swim in the water off of San Souci Beach ,which Mark Twain considered to be the best beach in Hawaii. The water was warm and a welcome relief after a lot of walking all day long.
The salt content of the Pacific becomes very evident when you swim in the waters of Hawaii. Even those of us that usually do not float very well find that we can just lay back and rise to the surface without any effort at all.
We were fortunate to hook up with Kathy Durham, our former local Hawaii/Honolulu band Brian, our former Lawyers Guide, for dinner back at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. Drinks and dinner at Gordon Biersch placed us right alongside Honolulu harbor, where we were able to catch the USS Independence begin its week-long cruise of the islands of Hawaii.
Tomorrow we're off driving the Windward and North Shore areas of O`ahu. Kathy helped us draw up an itinerary for our drive which promises to keep us very busy all day. Join us tomorrow to see how we made out.