Still Very Hot Traveling East Across Western Arizona

As we were getting ready to leave this morning, our driver's side slide failed to retract; a potentially significant problem as we can't drive anywhere until it can be pulled in!  Fortunately, after reviewing one of our manuals, I remembered I could pull the switch and hit the "reset" button to clear most "faults"

Unfortunately, it didn't work!

Fortunately, I tried again and the problem was solved … at least for today.  it'll be interesting to see if the issue reoccurs tomorrow in Chandler.

When we arrived at our RV park in Quartzsite yesterday, it was well over 100o so we simply hooked up our utilities and hunkered down inside our coach for the rest of the day.  When we woke during a thunder storm at 12:30 AM this morning, I poked my head outside and then checked the temperature … which was reading a balmy 96o  and "feels like 99o

This morning as we got ready to leave, and noticed several

flags waving in a gentle breeze … it was only 89o.

Continuing our drive along I-10 through the desert, where there was one 40-50 mile stretch where it was straight as an arrow, the landcaspe, while barren still had is own unique and unsoiled beauty.

Occasinally punctuted with signs of modern communications infrastructure

and abandoned homes from bygone eras

At the one rest area we stopped at, there were more not-so-subtle warnings about not straying off the concrete walkways.

As we approached Buckeye, about 20 miles west of Phoenix, the desert brown was transformed by fields into oases of green.

Closer into the Phoenix area, Debbie renewed her latest passion for photographing decorative highway sound barriers.

Our campground was a pleasant surprise … brand new.

However, again, temperatures were back over 100o.

This evening, we visited with Jane Johnson, one of Debbie's best friends from our years in Yardley dating back to 1995, and had dnner at Zippos Sports Bar in Chandler.




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June 17 – Norco to Quartzsite Arizona

We got underway, heading East, just before 9:00 the morning.

The landscape can be both desolate and beautiful

One of several passes we climbed through

Patriotic fervor can be found everywhere

This wind farm on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass (through which we passed) in the San Bernadino Mountains … where the winds funnel through …

contains more than 4,000 separate windmills (up from 2,700 when we we last drove through here)

We do not know why there are several types of supports for the turbines

or why some have three vanes and others have just two

and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley.

Miles of apparently planted trees in the Palm Springs area

Trees along I-10 which seem to have been blown over

Others cut off about four feet above the green

Sound barrier

An oasis of green and agriculture

A lazy hitchhiker catching up on his reading

An ocotillo whose green branches indicate recent rainfall

An ocotillo where rains have been absent

Piping water through the mountains

Desert Center's dead palms

and abandoned buildings

As we approached Blythe, California, the landscape became both flatter and greener, as the nearby Colorado River provided a source of water for irrigation.

Colorado River

And then we were in Arizona

The Border Patrol was actively searching through the trunks of two cars

We also got our first sighting of Saguaros

They have a relatively long lifespan, often exceeding 150 years. They may grow their first side arm any time from 75–100 years of age, but some never grow any arms. A saguaro without arms is called a spear. Arms are developed to increase the plant's reproductive capacity, as more apices lead to more flowers and fruit..

The growth rate of saguaros is strongly dependent on precipitation; saguaros in drier western Arizona grow only half as fast as those in and around Tucson. Saguaros grow slowly from seed, never from cuttings, and grow to be over 40 feet in height.  The largest known living saguaro is the Champion Saguaro growing in Maricopa County, Arizona, measuring 45.3 feet high with a girth of 10 feet. The tallest saguaro ever measured was an armless specimen found near Cave Creek, Arizona at 78 feet in height before it was toppled in 1986 by a windstorm.

A saguaro is able to absorb and store considerable amounts of rainwater, visibly expanding in the process, while slowly using the stored water as needed. This characteristic enables the saguaro to survive during periods of drought.

When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.


Finally, we reached our destiation

 where abandoned RVs, aircraft

and busses we'd seen several years ago remain.

At 7:00 PM this evening, the temperature is reading 103o!  Fortunately, our air conditioning is keeping us comfortable.

Tonight, the was again ablaze with color.

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July 16 – Kicking Back in Norco, CA

Today we kicked back and spent a relatively quite day with Russ and Georgina Johnson

Somehow we forgot to get a current picture of the four of us … so substitutiong one from our RV trip to Alaska in 2011

who were gracious enough to let us park our motorhome during the past week.

After lunch Russ and Georgina took us on a tour of their home town of Norco which acccording to city ordinances, the architecture of Norco “shall reflect a desired Western theme,” including qualities “described as rural, informal, traditional, rustic, low-profile and equestrian oriented.. "   Its population as of the 2010 census was to 27,063, up from 24,157 at the 2000 census.

As a horse community, there are few sidewalks in the city of Norco; instead there are horse trails

Riders along the edge of Russ' property

and riders can ride to town and tie their horses at the many hitching rails and corrals placed close to businesses.  Politics in Norco also are dominated by concerns about horses and animal-keeping versus suburbanization, a battle that has played out over development in Norco Hills.  In that area, which borders eastern Corona and Riverside, an influx of Orange County commuters are buying homes for $500,000 and up that have few provisions for animal-keeping.  The original spirit of the town's incorporation was to promote "City living in a rural atmosphere."

In 2006, Norco began promoting itself as "Horsetown U.S.A."

and received a federal trademark.  A large cement mural with this logo and reliefs of horses can be seen on the freeway near the I-15 southbound on the ramp at 6th Street.

Norco is also the home of the Norco Animal Rescue Team ('NART") … founded after the October 2003 wildfires that savaged San Bernardino and San Diego Counties. During the fires, Norco citizens banded together to provide a place of refuge for horses and other animals being evacuated from the fire areas. In the aftermath of these fires, the community of Norco recognized a need for an organized group to assist in the evacuation of mainly large animals from floods, fires and other dangers. NART's main purpose is to rescue large animals, mainly horses, from dangerous situations such as being stranded in areas from which they cannot remove themselves, such as canyons or ravines, using the Anderson Sling and a helicopter. Such major rescues have been accomplished twice,and NART has mobilized during every major fire that has hit southern California since 2004.

The largest event highlighting Norco's community and lifestyle is the annual Norco Fair which runs over the Labor Day Weekend, beginning on Thursday evening with the Miss Norco, Horsetown USA Contest and continues until Monday, finishing with a Labor Day Parade down 6th Street.

The lane lines on the route of the parades are painted red, white and blue

Events included at the Fair are the rodeo, rodeo dance, calf dressing competition, pageants, exhibitions, cowboy poker, wild cow milking, snail races, talent show, pet parade, and "Family Fun Day."

Norco's largest event center – George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center

A giant pumpkin over looks the facility

hosts events such as the Norco rodeo and Norco Fair. George Ingalls Equestrian center has covered horse arenas and other amenities.  The center is named after George Alan Ingalls, a Medal of Honor recipient

who made the ultimate sacrifice when he threw himself on a enemy greande to save the lives of his comrades.

The town's western theme carries through to sommerical signs

and even a Big Boy burger joint

added a statue to join in the town's self-proclaimed theme.

Still, however, the private windmill in a resident's front yard seems a bit out-of-place.

Over wine, we watched another spectacular sunset.


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July 15 – Visiting with Dale and Shirley Grinnell

Leaving the Westin, we drove along the shore through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach on our way to Rancho Palos Verde

The views of Santa Catalina from their back yard were totally obscured by a massive fog back

to visit with my former roommate and best friend from Tufts University, Dale, and his wife Shirley,

Debbie and Dale and Shirley Grinnell

whom we'd not seen in nearly forty years!

After a great lunch, Dale took us on a tour of .Rancho Palos Verde, Palos Verde Estates and the Rolling HIlls area

Neptune at the center of Rancho Palos Verde

Looking north toward the Redondo, Hermosa Manhattan Beach areas … a view which can extend to Santa Monica in clear weather

Many of the homes in Palos Verde Estates were amazing … Large (ranging up to 30,000 square feet) and pricey (beginning in the low to mid seven digits)

We passed the reknown Wayfarer Chruch with its glass windows.  Both of the following pitcurtes are from the Interent.

In the rainy early morning hours of November 20, 2011, Palos Verdes residents received a menacing reminder that they live on a bed of geologic activity far beyond their control.  A 600-foot section of Paseo Del Mar in San Pedro below the White Point Nature Preserve suddenly dropped down the cliffside. It was the most damaging landslide on the Peninsula since the 17th and 18th holes fell to the beach in 1999 from what’s now Trump National Golf Club.

Today, that section of earth continues to slide toward the ocean … and road signs alert drivers of the hazard.

This is a story in essence that began 15 million years ago as the Earth entered a period of great volcanic activity. Over the next six million years, massive eruptions occurred over much of the earth’s surface. Where ash fell into the ocean it settled to the sea floor and formed layers.

Under pressure and other sediment those layers turned into clay called bentonite. And as the ocean receded and the continent shifted, the seafloor became the land where the bentonite clays now exist between layers of sedimentary rock that make up the California coast.

In areas such as Palos Verdes where the layers are dipping toward the ocean, these bentonite clays are like the icing of a wedding cake getting chipped away from beneath.

In the case of the White Point landslide, unusual amounts of groundwater saturated the bentonite layers, which together with coastal erosion and gravity caused the slide. It’s the bentonite clay that acts as the “slip plane” for almost every major landslide that occurs on the Peninsula, said Bob Douglas, professor emeritus of geology at USC.

“Along the cliff you often see this whole gradation, which is mostly clay with some volcanic ash,” Douglas said. “The PV peninsula is just a large chunk of the earth’s crust that’s been moved around. It was probably located much further south than it is now.”

Normally buried pipes lie beside the highway to prevent breaking

Our final stop was at the Point Ferman Lighthouse.

Point Vicente Lighthouse was built in 1926 on the Palos Verdes PEninsula. The light source was dimmed during World War II to avoid aiding the enemy. It was automated in 1971 by the U.S. Coast Guard. The original third order Fresnel lens still revolves in the lantern room. In 2015, the Coast Guard announced its intention to install an LED light with a 14 nm range, replacing the current light and lens.

While the tour of the aera was interesting, the day was specail and will be remembered for the chance to visit with Dale and Shirley.

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July 14 – Back to the Mainland

We didn't sleep well last night as we seemingly knew we had to be up by 4:30 AM to finish packing, grab some coffee and meet our shuttle to LAX for our 8:59 flight back to LA.  Arriving at the airport as early as we did gave us the for more java and a quick breakfast egg muffin.

Our flight departed on time … was completely uneventful … and arrived in Los Angeles about 30 minutes early.  Of course and early landing often means your arrival gate is still taken up by another plane which had not departed.  Such was the case today.

We retrieved our baggage, caught a shuttle back to the Westin where we'd left our Jeep and planned to stay tonight.  Once there and checked in, it was off to the bar for wine and dinner. 

Tonight, we took one last look out of our hotel window before going to bed.


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July 13 – A Circle Island Tour of Oahu

I had originally contemplated renting a car and taking a drive around the perimeter of Oahu.  Upon further review and conversation with Debbie, we decided to sign up for a professonal tour company (Hoku Luxury TOurs) … a small one of only twenty people … and were glad we made that choice.

After being picked up just a block form our hotel,

we bypassed Pearl Harbor (which Debbie and I havd visited before), Pearl CIty, with a few murals,

and Waipuha where the urban scenery quickly disappeared.

In Wahaiiawa, passed Wheeler FIeld and the Schofiled Barracks, now a joint military base, but in 1941 a target of Japanese bombers

Waianae Mountain Range to our west

Main entrance to the base

Our first scheduled stop was at the Dole Plantation, which is today a grower and packager of pineapples and a toursit center to provide an education about growing pineapples.

By way of background,

The company traces its origin to the 1851 establishment of Castler & Sooke by missionaries Samuel Northrup Castle and Amos Starr Cooke.. Castle & Cooke rapidly became one of the largest companies in Hawaii, investing in shipping, railroad construction, sugar production and seafood packing.

The other half of Dole's corporate heritage, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, was founded in 1901 by James Dole, who opened his first pineapple plantation in the central plateau of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Sanford Dole, the cousin of James, had been president of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 after the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and first governor of the Territory of Hawaii until 1903.  The annexation of Hawaii to the United States made selling agricultural products to the mainland much more profitable, since they would never be subject to import tariffs.

In 1932, Castle & Cooke purchased a 21% interest in the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. In the 1960s, Castle & Cooke acquired the remainder of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company and the Standard Fruit Company.  In 1976, it acquired Bud Antle Inc., a California-based lettuce and celery farmer; it was renamed Dole Fresh Vegetables in 1989.  The company was renamed "The Dole Food Company, Inc" in 1991.  Castle & Cooke Inc, a real estate company. Dole's Wailua Sugar Mill closed in 1996.  Dole acquired Coastal Berry in 2004 and Sunnyridge Farms in 2011 to enter the berry business.

Dole operates plantations in Hawaii, throughout Central and South America, and the Asian-Pacific region.

Our tour of, and train ride

through the plantaion was interesting and, in some places beautiful.




Red Pineapple


Bananas (Dole is one of the two largest producers of bananas in the world)


Never did get an answer to what these were


Koa Tree – used throughout the Capitol Building

Avodado Trees

Sugar Cane

Coconut Palm


The plant is indigenous to South America and is said to originate from the area between southern Brazil and Paraguay; however, little is known about the origin of the domesticated pineapple (Pickersgill, 1976). The natives of southern Brazil and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout South America, and it eventually reached the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, where it was cultivated by the Mayas and the Aztecs. Columbus encountered the pineapple in 1493 on the leeward island of Guadeloupe. He called it piña de Indes, meaning "pine of the Indians", and brought it back with him to Spain, thus making the pineapple the first bromeliad to be introduced by humans outside of the New WorldThe Spanish introduced it into the Philippines, Hawaii (introduced in early 19th century, first commercial plantation 1886), Zimababwe and Guam. The fruit is said to have been first introduced in Hawaii when a Spanish ship brought it there in the 1500s.

John Kidwell is credited with the introduction of the pineapple industry to Hawaii; large-scale pineapple cultivation by US companies began in the early 1900s.  Among the most famous and influential pineapple industrialists was James Dole, who moved to Hawaii in 1899 and started a pineapple plantation in 1900.

Pineapple plants are placed in the ground by hand; and an experienced worker can plant between 6,000 and 10,000 plants per day.  The plants take approximalely 18-24 months to product fruit.  They will be productive for 5 to 7 years after which their fields are plowed under and lay fallow for another year before thsoe fields can be replanted.

Cacao (from which chocolate is produced

Norfolk Pines

Tanada Reservoir


Macadamian Nut Tree

Red Ti Leaf



Pineapple Ice Cream – INCREDIBLE!

Debbie finds a pearl in an oyster shell

Very tired visitor

Clouds shroud the high summits of the Waianae Mountains

Large pineapple fields

Norfolk Pines used as a wind break around coffee plants

Continuing north we arrived in

a surf-dominated town on the northwest coast of Oahu,.

Paddle Boarders

Unfortunately July is probably the worst month to visit Oau if looking for big waves … which do not occur until late in the year.


Truning northeast along the Waimea Valley

There are roosters and hens everywhere

FOR SALE – Any takers?

Lunch anyone – Shrimp is their specialty?

Shrimp Farming

Typical home for former farm worker

Our next stop was at the Marriott for lunch

We are now paralleling the Koolau Mountains

 and a tour through "typpical" villages found within the Polynesian Triangle.

generally defined as Polynesia is generally defined as the islands within the Ploynesian Triangle, although there are some islands that are inhabited by Ploynesian people situated outside the Polynesian Triangle.  Geographically, the Polynesian Triangle is drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The other main island groups located within the Polynesian Triangle are Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tuvatu, Tokelau, Niue, Eallis and Futuna and French Polynesia.

We continued around the furtherst north point on Oahu, presently the location of the Turtle Bay Resort

San Joachim Catholic Church

Recognize this scene?

Some of the scenes from "Jurassic World" were shot here

Fishing hook


  Next stop …

King Kamehameha (1758 – 1819) was the king of all of the Hawaiian Islands. Kamehameha's mother was Kekuiapoiwa, daughter of a Kona chief. His father was Keoua, chief of Kohala. But in order to be the king, he had to battle for his place as a monarch. On May 1975, he battled King Kalanikupule for his rule of Oahu. He was a leader that changed the history of Hawaii. He united Hawaii under one monarchy. King Kamehameha made Hawaii a better place because he always put his people first.

he Battle of Nu’uanu took place on Oahu, Hawaii. It was a Battle between King Kamehameha, and Kalanikupule, the King of Oahu. They fought over the island of Oahu.The Battle of Nu'uanu took place on the Nu'uanu Pali in May, 1795. This battle took place because it was the war to unify the Hawaiian Islands. The last major Hawaiian battle that occurred united the island tribes under one monarch, King Kamehameha from the the Big Island of Hawaii. The Battle of Nuʻuanu began when Kamehameha's army landed on the southeastern portion of Oahu. Splitting his army into two, Kamehameha sent one half of his army around the crater and the other straight to Kalanikupule. Kalanikupule and Kaiana, the leaders were wounded, Kaiana fatally. With its leadership in chaos, the Oahu army slowly fell back north through the Nuʻuanu Valley to the cliffs at Nuu’anu Pali. Caught between the Hawaiian Army and a 1000-foot drop, over 400 Oahu warriors had to make a choice, jump or get pushed over the edge of the Pali. In 1898 construction workers working on the Pali road discovered 800 skulls which were believed to be the remains of the warriors that fell to their deaths from the cliff above.


 Flanking the the overlook are two steep peaks, each signed to forbid people form climbing

However, not everyone pays attention.

A traditional Hawaiian kiss involved touching noses and forheads and breathing on each other

Makapuu Point Lighthouse (the tour didn't have time for the mile-plus walk to the lighthouse)

Hanola Blowhole

Mongoose are a weasel-like animal native to India. Sugar plantations first introduced the species to Hawaii in 1883 to control rats in cane fields. The mongoose didn't control rats as planned but instead preyed on turtle eggs and birds.  Further, the rats were nocternal and mongoose active during the days.

(l to r – female and male Red-brested or Brazilian Cardnials

Wiamanalo Beach Bay

Backside of Diamond Head

Tunnel leading to the Diamond Head caldera

Recall that on January 13, 2018, a false  ballistic missle alert was issued via the Emergency Alert System over television, radio, and cellphones in the U.S. and State of Hawaii. The alert stated that there was an incoming ballistic missile threat to Hawaii, advised residents to seek shelter, and concluded "This is not a drill". The message was sent at 8:07 AM local time. However, no  civil defense outdoor warning sirens were authorized or sounded by the state.

A second message, sent 38 minutes later, described the first as a "false alarm". State officials blamed a miscommunication during a drill at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency for the first message.   The delay on the false alarm message was allegedly due to an individual who couldn't remember his password.

View from the Kahala Lookout, just outside the tunnel leading to the Diamond Head caldera

Ever see a BLUE stop sign?

It directs pedestrans to STOP for cars

While waiting for a table for dinner we took a walk and ran into a group of Hari Krishna

and watched a group of hula dancers on a large sidewalk television.

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July 12 – Time to Relax

As we've been on a bit of a hectic pace the past several days and are scheduled for an "Circle the Island" [of Oahu] tour tomorrow, we opted for a day of doing very little.  After breakfast at Cheeseburger in Paradise just a few blocks away we corssed the street and sat "watchin' the sun bake; all of those tourists covered with oil" along a section of Waikiki Beach.

Watching the waves,

dozens of surfers of all skill levels,


inquisitive brids,

and planes taking off from Honolulu International

was enjoyable and extremely restful.

The beach is also people watching utopia. 

However, there aer some people who need to reconsider their beachwear!

We spent much of the afternoon at the hotel's pool, just below our room … interrupted by a refreshing dip.

After dinner at Lulus at the hotel, we took a walk through a park along the waterfront.

The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial is a war memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, built in the form of an ocean water public swimming pool. The natatorium was built as living memorial dedicated to "the men and women who served during the Great War" (World War I)

As was the case this morning, observing people going about their lives is always fascinating.

While tonight's sunset was a non-event, there was an afterglow between some of the cumulus clouds.

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July 11 (PM) – Hawaii State Capitol – City’s Murals

Our next stop was Hawaii's State Capitol … one architectually very different from any of the other 44 we've visited.

East Facade

West Facade

State Seal

The seat of Hawaii’s state governmen, its principal tenants are the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as all legislative offices and the Legislative Reference Bureau.  The State Senate is composed of twenty-five members and the House of Representatives of fifty-one members.  

Hawaii State Capitol was commissioned and dedicated by the second Governor of Hawaii.  It opened on March 15, 1969, replacing the former statehouse, the Iolani Palace.

Queen Liliʻuokalani Statue

in the Capitol Mall between the capitol building and Iolani Palace was dedicated on April 10, 1982.  Several other capitol building monuments decorate the statehouse grounds.  The Beretania Street entrance features the Liberty Bell,

a gift of the President and U.S. Congress to the Territory of Hawaii in 1950 as a symbol of freedom and democracy. One of the more prominent monuments on the statehouse grounds is the statue of Father Damien,

a tribute to the Roman Catholic priest who died in 1869 after sixteen years of serving over 7,200 patients afflicted with leprosy.   His feast Day is celebrated on May 10. In Hawaiʻi, it is celebrated on the day of his death, April 15.

The Eternal Flame on Beretania Street

is a metal sculptured torch that burns endlessly as a tribute to all men and women from Hawaii who served with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy in the major and minor conflicts in which the United States was engaged.  Likewise, the Korean-Vietnam War Memorial

pays tribute to service members who died in those conflicts.  Dedicated on July 24, 1994 by the state’s fifth Governor of Hawaii, the monument consists of 768 black marble pedestals engraved with the names of and 312 service members of the Vietnam War.  A larger marble slab bears a Hawaiian language inscription of remembrance.

Across the street is another memorial to the Hawaiians who were killed during World War II.

Architecturally, the capitol an American adaptation of the Hakonya style termed “Hawaiian international architecture".  Unlike other state capitols modeled after the  U.S. Capitol, the Hawaii State Capitol's distinct architectural features symbolize various natural aspects of Hawaii. Among them:

  • The building is surrounded by a reflecting pool, symbolizing the Pacific Ocean;.

Green color comes from algae and other material on the bottom of the shallow pool

From the time the Capitol was completed in 1969, the reflecting pool has had a persistent algae  growth problem, due partly to the fact the pool is fed with brackish water from on-site wells.  Attempts by the state to fix the problem included introducing tilapia fish into the pool and installing an ozone treatment system.  The state currently has the pool lining scrubbed manually with enzymes added to the water to combat growth.  Some Capitol regulars say the algae growth has come to represent the pollution of the Pacific Ocean, in an ironic twist of the original symbolic meaning of the pool.

Water pours from hybiscus (state flower) fountains

  • The two legislative chambers are cone-shaped, symbolizing Volcanoes that formed the Hawaiian Islands;
  • The columns around the perimeter of the building have shapes resembling royal palms trees;
  • There are eight columns in four rows at either side of the building, representing the eight main islands of Hawaii; sets of eight items appear in other places inside and along the outside of the building;
  • Lying in the floor of the atrium courtyard is "Aquarius", a 36-fot moasic made of over 600,000 Italian smalti (tiles). 

The Capitol is built with an open-air design, allowing sun, wind, and rain to enter; the central atrium opens to the sky and rainbows can sometimes be seen inside the building when it rains; and

Four kukui nut trees are a numerical reference to the four main counties in the State of Hawaii. Sets of four items appear in many other places in the building.

When standing in the center of the structure, the chandeliers from both legislative chambers, which represent the sun and moon, can be seen through the glass walls, while the area that is normally reserved for a rotunda in most capitol buildings is left open to the sky.  It is said that the sky is Hawaii's capitol dome.

Governor's Office

Note the height of the doors (throughout the capitol) – suggested by Jackie Kennedy Onasis

Hoe canoe paddle

Lieutenant Governor's Office

Unfortunately, both the  Legislative Chambers were closed for cleaning and the lights turned off.  The best we could do was try to photograph them throught a dirty window and pull up a photo from the Internet.  This is too bad as the Senate chmber is filled with the cool colors from the ocean, sand and sky.  Hanging from the center is the "Moon" light sculpture.  Wired with a color-changing sequence, the sculpture glows with different hues behind the polished aluminum and 630 nauticlus shells.  On the sloped, cureved wall is an abstract mural tapestry woven with wool knots on linen warps and measures close to 40-feet.

Senate Chamber

Internet photo

Thru-the-window photo

The Hosue of Representatives Chamber is decorated with warm earthytones and aonother tapestry to complement the room's color scheme,  The "Sun" is made with 132 gold-plated copper and brass orbs which emit prisms that cast pale rainbows on the ceiling.

House Chamber

Internet photo

Thru-the-window photo

We were intrigued by the state's flag.

Adopted December 29, 1845, the state flag of Hawaii has the Union Jack of the United Kingdom at the canton. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes (from top to bottom: white, red, blue, white, red, blue, white, red) symbolizing the eight inhabited islands (Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Kahoolawe, Lānai, Maui, Molokai and Niihau). Flag of Hawaii is a deliberate hybrid of British flag and American flag to showcase the roles played by Great Britain and United States in the history of Hawaii.

The State Supreme Court is located across the street from the Iolani Palace in the Kamehameha V Judicial Center.

The statue ourside the center is that of King Kamahameha I.

It was disappointing to see that some of the palms on the center's lawn and nearby mailboxes had fallen victim to irresponsible people with knives and spray paint.

Across the street is the historic Kawaiaha'o Church.

At one time the national church of the Hawaiian Kingdom and chapel of the royal family, the church is popularly known as Hawaiʻi's Westminstery Abbry. The name comes from the Hawaiian noun phrase Ka wai a Haʻo (the water of Haʻo), because its location was that of a spring and freshwater pool in the care of a High Chieftess Haʻo.

Today, Kawaiahaʻo continues to use the Hawaiian language for parts of the service. It is one of the oldest standing Christian places of worship in Hawaiʻi, although four thatched churches stood at or near the present site before construction of the stone church.

On the church grounds is a mausolum In which the remains of William Charles Lunalilo,

the kingdom’s sixth monarch, are interred.  When King Kamehameha V died without naming a successor, Lunalilo was “elected” by a popular vote of the people.  His investure was held at the church.  However, he reigned for only one year, dying in 1874 at the age of 39.  His last wish was to be laid ot rest near “his people”, the reason his tomb stands at the entrance to Kawaiaha’o Church.

As in other cities, some of the building artecture is pretty interesting.

Honolulu CIty Hall

After having lunch, we wandered to and then through a five or six block area … previously, primarily a warehouse district … where the results of the city's invitation to many known and unknown artists are on display.  While many are "named", we will make no attempt to label any of these works of "art (very different from the building murals found throughout Philadelphia) which are, in many cases, extremely colorful




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July 11 (AM) – Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii

We have found that the city buses are clearly the best, and most economical (just $5.50 for an all-day pass) way to travel around Honolulu.

Our first destination was the Iolani Palace …

represents a time in Hawaiian history when King Kalakaua

and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani,

walked the halls and ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii.  

The cornerstone for Iolani Palace was laid on December 31,1879 with full Masonic rites and completed in 1882.  The Palace halls contain beautiful memories of grand balls and hula performances, as well as painful ones of Liliuokalani’s imprisonment and eventual overthrow.  Since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy, the Palace has undergone many changes as it once served as the Capitol for almost 80 years and was later vacated and restored to its original grandeur in the 1970s.

However, during the period from shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor until August of 1944, the Queen’s bedroom served as the headquarters for the U.S. military’s headquarters for martial law for the Philippines.

­­Queen Liliuokalani succeeded her brother upon his death on January 20, 1891. She was determined to strengthen the political power of the Hawaiian monarchy. Her attempts to affect change caused great opposition from the Committee of Safety, who later orchestrated the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the establishment of a provisional government with support of the American Minister to Hawaii.

Following the overthrow of the monarchy, Iolani Palace became the government headquarters for the Provisional Government. Following the overthrow, most of the palace’s original furnishings were sold at public auction and personal belongings were returned to the royal family. In the decades that followed, it also served as the government capitol building for the Republic, Territory, and eventually, State of Hawaii.

The Palace had both electricity and indoor plumbing well before the White House.

First Floor Hallway

Etched  Glass Windows

Grand Staircase to Second Floor Living Quarters


Blue Room

Dining Room


Music Room

Edison Music Box


Throne Room

Second Floor Hallway

Original Table

Yin and Yang

Sky Light

King's Bedroom

The King was a very private individual and even had covers installed over his key holes to prevent snoopers from observing or seeing him … throughout the palace

King's Connecting Office

Had three internal connections only

Queen's Bedroom Suite

Pavillion – where King Kalakaua held is Coronation

Armory – Situated on the Palace Grounds




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July 10 – Wandering Through the Waikiki Area

When we walked out on our patio this morning we observed an unusual sight.  While we've heard of elephants and other animals seemingly mouring over their dead, we were amazed to watch two birds curiously standing sentinel over a bird which had apparently died over night.

Other brids we saw today included doves

some mostly white, which we'd never seen before,

a few ducks

and a red-chested or Brazilian Cardinal

During our walk, we picked up some interesting tidits about the Island of Oahu.

  • Oahu Name Means – The Gathering Place
  • Capital – Honolulu
  • Population- 991,788 and counting
  • Area – 597 square miles
  • Island Flower – llima
  • Highest Peak – Mt. Ka’ala (4.025’)

As we visited the U.S. Military Cenetery known as the "Punch Bowl", DIamond Head and Pearl Harbor, incuding a trip aboard the USS Arizona memorial (presently closed for maintenance), we do not plan to spend any time at these places. 

A little research about the island: 

The 304-year-old Kingdom of O‘ahu was once ruled by the most ancient ali'lin all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of O‘ahu was Ma'lilkakahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generation of monarchs. Kualiʻi was the first of the war like kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783 King of Maui, conquered O‘ahu and deposed the reigning family and then made another son, king of Oʻahu.  "Kamehameha the Great" would conquer in the mountain Kalanikūpule's force in the Battle of Nu'uanu. Kamehameha founded the Kindom of Hawaii with the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. Hawaii would not be unified until the islands of Kauai and Ni'ihau surrendered under in 1810.  Kamahameha III moved his capital from Maui to Honolulu. Oʻahu in 1845. The Iolani Palace, which we'll be visiting tomorrow, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.

Oʻahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19,1778 during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS DIscovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oʻahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779 when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (Island of Hawaii) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific. With the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands came the introduction of disease, mosquitos and aggressive foreign animals. Although indirect, the simple exposure to these foreign species caused permanent damage to the Native Hawaiian people and environment.

In more recent history, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on Oahu on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 and brought the United States into World War II.  The surprise attack was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy and its defending Army and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone). At the time, Hawaii was not yet a state, which did not happen until 1959.

As was the case with our dinner last night, we had breakfast in an open-air restaurant where views of the waters off Waikiki were all around us.

The Place of Living Remembrance – While the Arizona Memorial and Punch Bowl Military Cemetery honor fallen military heroes, this memorial was constructed to honor and proovide a final resting place for Native Hawaiians, the remains of many which have been unearthed during redevelopment projects on Oahu.

Makua and Kila,

Waikiki Circle Hotel

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana 'Ole (1871-1922)

Decorative waterfall

Ferry of some sort.  If you look carefully, you can spot a surfer sitting on her board and parasailer

 Indian Banyan Tree

Surfing Legend and Olympian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (1890-1968)

Even in this paradise, homelessness remains a problem.

Aside from carrying their surf boards, there are other popular ways of moving them around.

The building architectur of many of Waikiki's hotels and banks is worth noting.

See the window washers?

There is a section of Honolulu where there are many building murals, some done by world reknown artists.  ALthough we only caught a glimpse of them during our shuttle from the airport to our hotel, we did discover a few others today.

Even the sidewalk trash recepitcles are decorated.

We stopped by to watch a free, outdoor Hula class

and look who got caught up in the swing of it!

The Brothers in Valor Memorial

The Brothers in Valor Memorial at Fort DeRussy, Oahu, commemorates the heroic lives of thousands of Japanese-Americans who served in the U.S. Military in World War II; veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.

Nearby we watched an adept city worker as he trimmed the palms in a park.

The Hawk that Soars with the Wind

The Voice of the Wind

Rising WInd

The Hawk Soars

Hawaiian Village Decorative Waterfalls

Life finds a way, even in a hunk of lava

A bus with a "whale of a tale"

We next stopped at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii which is housed inside Battery Randolph, a former coastal artillery battery, located a Fort DeRussy Military Reservation. The museum's collection contains some World War II armor pieces,

Pre-fabricated pillbox.  In the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor these were installed to protect U.S. airfields, other military installations and beaches around Oahu.  Once burried, the two-man crew entered through a narrow culvert pipe at the base and operated machine guns from inside.

Monarchy Cannon – One of twelve guns placed on the Punchbowl crater by the Hawaiian monarchy beginning in 1831 to defend Honolulu and first salutees.

U.S. 105mm Howitzer M3.  It came about as the need for armor to support airborne troops.  The M3 was creatd by shortening the barrel of the 105mm and mooutingit on a modified frame of a 75mm carriage.  It had an effective range of 8,295 yards.

Japanese Type 1. light-weight and mobile gun used by anti-tank units.  It fired a 3 lb. shell whichcould penetrate 3" of armor up to 500 years.

U.S. M-24 Light-weight Tank.  Used for scouting and reconnaissance in the late days of World War II.  It munted a 75mm main gun and three machine guns behine 1" of armor. The 18 ton tank with a crew of three could reach speeds of up to 35 MPH.

Jampanese light tank operated by a crew of three.- equipped with one 37mm gun and two 7mm machine guns.  Protected by only ½" of armor.  It has a six-cylindar, 110 hp air-cooled engine.  It has a speed of 30 MPH and a range of 90-100 miles

an  Ah01 Cobra Helicopter,

Speed  –  219 MPH

Weight  –  9.000 lbs.

Range  –  360 miles

Service Ceiling  –  11,400 feet

Hover Ceiling  –  9,000 feet

Armament –  varied with modifications

  • 7.62 mm multi-gum, multi-gun in the pod
  • 40 mm renade launcher
  • 2.75" rocket pods on stores pylons
  • 8 TOW antitank missles

and small arms indoors, as well as the battery itself.

14" Disappearing Rifle

The battery's main guns were scrapped prior to the inception of the museum.

Museum exhibits cover the military history of pre-Imperial Hawaii and the post-annexation history of  U.S. Army warfare in the Pacific hemisphere including World War II, Vietnam, and Korea.  The museum also includes a "Gallery of Heroes" honoring recipients of the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

ON the way back to our hotel, we took the "beach" route … other than having to detour around the Sheraton … where we had some great views of Diamond Head.

While it may seem boring, we again ate lunch over looking Waikiki Beach.

In several of the parks we passed through we noticed that one side of many of the palms was peppered with a great many holes.

From some reserch, this has been caused by an infestation of the coconut rhinoceros beetle.  At two and a half inches long and sporting large horns on the front of its head, the coconut rhinoceros beetle is a remarkable-looking creature, but this lumbering giant of an insect is also a devastating pest of coconut and palm trees.  Following its arrival on Palau in 1942, this critter from Southeast Asia quickly spread widely, wiping out 50 percent of the palms in the archipelago.

All around us were flowers … although mostly the yellow hibiscus (Hawaii's state flower),

the plumera (often used to make fresh leis),

and the multi-colored blossoms of the yellow poinciana tree.



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