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Posts tagged ‘Hawaii 2010 Vacation’

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Last Stop of Afternoon Trip Along Southern Kona Coast

This post continues details of our afternoon trip along the southern Kona Coast, which we enjoyed on our eighth day on the island of Hawaii (Monday, May 24th). Our first stop was at St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church in the little village of Honaunau.  Our second (and last) stop was at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, or Place of Refuge at Honaunau as it is translated, preserves the site where Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this sanctuary. The offender would perform a ritual, be absolved by a priest and freed to leave. Defeated warriors and non-combatants could also find refuge here during times of battle.

Reconstructed Hale o Keawe

This Heiau (temple) was originally built by a Kona chief named Kanuha. After the death of Keawe, a great chief of Kona in the mid 16th century, his bones were entombed within the temple. The ali’i (nobility) of Kona continued to be buried here for 250 years.

Dorothy took this picture of Bob and me with three Ki’i (wooden images) that stand watch over the Hale o Keawe.

After walking the grounds of the Place of Refuge, we enjoyed a BBQ at the picnic area as well as the sight of a beautiful sunset.

John grilling chicken; Bob watching

Bob and I
(Note how our hair glows from the setting sun!)

Another gorgeous Hawaiian sunset!

Setting sun

I will close this post with a video that Bob prepared, which showcases some of the things that we saw and did while at the Place of Refuge. The video is a little long, 2 1/2 minutes. In the first minute Bob shows dolphins jumping in the ocean.

Stay tuned! The next several blog posts will provide details and photographs of a two-day tour of the island of Hawaii.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: First Stop of Afternoon Trip Along Southern Kona Coast

On the afternoon of our eighth day in Hawaii (May 24), John and Dorothy took us to the little village of Honaunau along the southern Kona Coast. While in Honaunau, we visited the St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church and the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Today’s blog post provides details and photographs of the St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church.

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, or as it is commonly called “the Painted Church”, is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen.

The exterior of the church is noted for the belfry and the lattice work entry.

Close-up picture of belfry

This is Father Damien De Veuster.
Father Damien won recognition for his ministry to people with leprosy.

Church cemetery
view from front door of church

The Painted Church was built in 1899 by Father John Velghe.

Father Velghe painted the interior of the church.
He had no professional training as an artist.

Note the detail of the vaulted ceiling, as well as the supporting columns. The columns are octagonal and set on square pedestals. They are painted in such a way to resemble marble. Each column is encircled with a painted white ribbon on which are written the mottoes, in Hawaiian, of St. Benedict’s medal.

The side walls contain six paintings.

This painting was entitled “Hell”.

This painting was entitled
“Symbolic of a good Death Rays of Hope shining in the Dark Cell”.

This painting was entitled
“Cain and Abel (and Eve trying to revive him)”.

This painting was entitled
“Appearance of the Cross to St. Francis”.

This painting was entitled
“Temptation of Jesus”.

This painting was entitled
“The Handwriting on the Wall”.

If you would like to read more about the Painted Church, you may do so by clicking here.

My next blog post about our Hawaiian vacation will provide details and photographs of our visit to the Place of Refuge.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Another Day in Kona

On our seventh day in Hawaii (May 23), Bob and I spent a couple hours exploring downtown Kona. When John took Dorothy to work, he dropped off Bob and me at the Kailua Pier. As we had done two days earlier, we walked a little more than a mile along Alii Drive before calling John to come pick us up.

Ahu’ena Heiau

I posted a photograph of the Ahu’ena Heiau in my previous Kona post. This photograph, though, is a closer view of the temple. Ahu’ena Heiau was King Kamehameha’s personal temple. It was here that he spent his later years until his death in 1819.

Ahu’ena Heiau ki”i akua

This is the tallest ki’i akua (statue of a god) at the Ahu’ena Heiau. The bird on top of the statue is a golden plover. This bird may have guided the first Polynesians to Hawaii.

Kona is home to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

Mokuaikaua Church

This was the first Christian church built in the islands, in 1820. The present building dates from 1837. The church is built of lava rock and crushed coral.

Mokuaikaua Church

Gecko at Kona Inn Shopping Village

We saw geckos everywhere.

Gecko at Kona Inn Shopping Village

Gecko on Tree

There is a web cam at the Kona Inn Shopping Village. You can call your friends, while standing or sitting in front of the web cam, and wave to them while you are saying hello from Hawaii. We telephoned Bob’s daughter Stacey, our sister-in-law Judy, and our friend Bob B.

Downtown Kona conversation

Bob is talking with either Judy or Bob B. We didn’t reach Stacey on the telephone. Neither Judy or Bob B. were near a computer, so no one saw us in Hawaii back on the mainland.

What was I doing while Bob was on the telephone? Taking pictures, of course! There were several Hibiscus plants nearby and a bird wandered by.

Yellow Hibiscus

Yellow Hibiscus

Pink Hibiscus

Zebra Dove

From the Kona inn Shopping Village we continued our walk along Alii Drive. We wandered through the Farmers Market.

Kona Farmers Market

Silk Leis at the Farmers Market

Just a few steps from the Farmers Market we saw these two colorful birds in a field.

Java Sparrow

Saffron Finch

John picked us up around 3:30 PM, and we returned to the condominium. With the exception of picking up Dorothy after work (6:00 PM), we spent rest of the day at the condo. We ate dinner and watched the final episode of “Lost”.

I’ll take you on another day trip in my next Hawaiian blog post.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Day Trip to Mauna Kea

The weather looked promising on our sixth day in Hawaii (May 22), so we decided to take a day trip to Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is one of five volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. Mauna Kea is the tallest of the five volcanoes. With Mauna Kea’s peak reaching a lofty 13,796 feet above sea level, we wanted the sky to be as clear as possible BELOW the mountain peak!

We departed Kona at 9:00 AM en route Mauna Kea.

After about a 30-minute drive, we stopped briefly on Rt. 190 so that I could take this picture of the Hualalai Lava Flow of 1800.

Hualalai Lava Flow of 1800

The lava flow extends all the way to the ocean.

One of the roads on which we traveled was called Saddle Road.

Saddle Road

The road looks a bit like a roller coaster, doesn’t it?

The road to the Mauna Kea summit is about 15 miles long. It branches north from Saddle Road. The Mauna Kea summit road is paved for the first six miles, to the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station. The visitor information station is located 9,300 feet above sea level.

The Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea is dedicated to the late Ellison Onizuka,
a local astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger accident.

At the visitor information station we watched a short movie about Mauna Kea and changed into warmer clothes. When we left Kona it was 80 degrees. The temperature at the visitor information station was 50 degrees. It would be even colder when we reached the summit.

After hanging around the visitor information station for at least 30 minutes, as it is recommended in order to adjust to the change in altitude, we began our climb to the Mauna Kea summit. Beyond the visitor information station, the Mauna Kea summit road becomes steep and unpaved for about five miles. The remaining four miles approaching the summit are paved and not as steep.

Climbing the last 4 miles of roadway to Mauna Kea summit
If you look closely above the near rock pile towards the top of the photograph,
you will see the roadway that we still need to climb.

This was the view as we approached the Mauna Kea summit.

We parked near where the road reached its highest elevation at 13,780 feet. We had a beautiful view from Mauna Kea. We could see the ocean, other mountains, and observatory equipment. The Mauna Kea summit area is popular with astronomers worldwide, mainly for its clear and thin air and minimal light pollution.

Bob, with Nasa Infrared Telescope Facility in background

UK Infrared Telescope

If you look closely to the right and center edge of this photograph, you can see the trail leading to Pu’u Wekiu–the highest point, at 13,796 feet, on Mauna Kea.

Pu’u Wekiu

Bob and Dorothy hiked the trail to the top of Pu’u Wekiu.

Bob and Dorothy at top of Pu’u Wekiu
Dorothy is photographing the summit marker

Leaving Mauna Kea summit we stopped once again at the visitor information station.

Descending Mauna Kea summit
Approaching Visitor Information Station (visible in the distance)

We ate lunch (Subway subs) and went on a short walk through a Silversword enclosure area, while at the visitor information station.

This is a Silversword.

Bob and Dorothy in the Silversword enclosure area

Bob and I in the Silversword enclosure area

We returned to Kona around 3:30 PM. Here is a map showing our Kona-Mauna Kea summit road trip. We returned to Kona the same route that we traveled to Mauna Kea.

 

Later that day Dorothy and I went to St. Peter’s Catholic Church, known locally as the “Little Blue Church”, and took pictures of the sunset. The church is located in Kahaluu, a short distance south of Kona.

Little Blue Church

Kahaluu Sunset

As I was taking photographs of the sunset, I noticed a Japanese fellow taking photographs with a big camera. As Dorothy and I were leaving, we talked briefly with this young man. The Japanese fellow is a Pentax employee. He was in Hawaii for four days taking photographs for a catalog that will showcase photographs taken with the new Pentax 40 megapixel camera (645D, I believe). We shared photographs that we had just taken. The Japanese fellow said that my photographs were good. I told him that his photographs were way beyond AWESOME!

Dorothy snapped this photograph of the Japanese fellow and me.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: A Day in Kona

Dorothy was scheduled to work on our fifth day (May 21st) in Hawaii. As we had done on past days when Dorothy had to work, we stayed close to home. Because Bob and I had not yet visited downtown Kona, we asked John to drop us off at the Kailua Pier when he took Dorothy to work. We strolled along Alii Drive, which begins at Kailua Pier. Sights along Alii Drive include:

Ahu’ena Heiau
‘Ahu’ena Heiau was King Kamehameha’s personal temple.
It was here that he spent his later years until his death in 1819.

 

Mokuaikaua Church
This was the first Christian church built in the islands, in 1820.
The present building dates from 1837.
The church is built of lava rock and crushed coral.

Hulihe’e Palace
This palace was built in 1838.
Vacationing Hawaiian royalty stayed here until 1914.
The palace is now a museum.

We enjoyed window shopping at the wide variety of shops and restaurants along Alii Drive.

Kona Marketplace

Kona Inn Shopping Village

Coconut Grove Market Place
ABC Stores, LuLu’s and Bongo Ben’s

 

The ocean provided endless entertainment and viewing enjoyment for us.

Stand up Paddling is a popular activity.

Ocean waves rolling in

Some of the waves appeared huge,
especially when taken from a low position!

Fisherman, using net, hoping to catch yellow tang fish.

Yellow Tang Fish

Looking across Oneo Bay to Royal Kona Resort

We admired two murals that we saw during our walk. Both murals were near the Hale Halawai Beach Park.


The bird on the far right is cut off because there was a homeless man sleeping on the concrete slab. I didn’t want him in my photograph.

Dorothy suggested that we visit Royal Kona Resort, if time permitted. She said it was a good place to rest, especially if we wanted to try and walk the 2 miles from Kailua Pier, where John had dropped us off, back to the condominium. The entrance was great, all open air including the lobby. We walked past the check-in desk to an open-air, oceanfront bar. Near the bar were inviting, comfortable sofas and chairs, from which we could view the ocean in comfort.

Royal Kona Resort view from lounge chairs

As we were leaving Royal Kona Resort a taxi pulled up at the hotel entrance. A man, carrying a single suitcase, got out of the taxi. He asked us where to go to check in, assuming we were staying at the hotel. Without a hint of hesitation, I pointed behind us and told him that the lobby was straight ahead, not inside the hotel but in the open air.

Even after resting at Royal Kona Resort, I was not able to walk to the condominium. My knee was hurting. I thought it wise not to overdo it. We did, however, walk a little over a mile from Kailua Pier before telephoning John to come pick us up.

John picked us up across from Honl’s Beach.

We picked up Dorothy at work at 3:00 PM. We were 30 minutes late. After carrying out several bags and a cooler containing picnic supplies, John closed the door behind him. It was then that John realized that he had locked his keys inside the condominium. We had to break into the condominium in order to retrieve the keys! You’ll understand if I don’t show you how we broke into the condominium 🙂

The four of us went to Kona Brewing Company. The boys sat at the bar; Dorothy and I sat at a table behind them. After Dorothy had downed one beer and I had two root beers, we went to the Kona International Market and browsed the shops. The boys stayed at the bar. After we were done window shopping (around 5:00 PM), Dorothy and I returned to the Kona Brewing Company to pick up the boys.

Entrance to Kona Brewing Company

Bob and John came out of the brewery soon after we returned.

John and Bob stopped at the growler shack to buy a growler to go.

Bob and John were quite happy to have spent a couple hours in the brewery.

We all went to the Old Kona Airport beach park for a picnic (hamburgers, corn on the cob, and potatoes) and to watch the sunset. There wasn’t much of a sunset, but the picnic fare was delicious. We enjoyed watching the surf as well.

We got some good beer!

Cheers!

Stay tuned for more posts on our Hawaiian vacation.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Last Stop of Kohala Day Trip

This post continues details of our driving tour of Kohala, which we enjoyed on our fourth day on the island of Hawaii (Thursday, May 20th). Our first stop was at Manini’owali Beach. Our second stop was in Kawaihae at the Pu’Ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. Our third stop was at Lapakahi State Historical Park. Our fourth stop was at King Kamehameha’s birthplace. Our fifth stop was at the Pololu Valley Lookout. Our sixth stop was in Kapaau. Our seventh (and last) stop was in Waimea.

From Kapaau we turned onto Route 250 (Kohala Mountain Road) and followed it to Waimea. Where we entered the roadway our elevation was approximately 6,000 feet. By the time we reached Waimea we had descended to an elevation of approximately 2,500 feet.

Waimea, as seen from Kohala Mountain Road

Waimea is the largest town in the interior of the island of Hawaii. It is the center for ranching and paniolo (cowboy) culture. The Parker Ranch, located in Waimea, is one of the oldest ranches in the United States, as well as among the largest in the nation.

In Waimea we had beer (soft drink for me) and pupus (appetizers) at Taco Tako Tacaria. The food was okay; however, the service was great. The waitress noticed that both Bob and John wore microbrewery apparel and gave us $4.00 off our order. We were not aware of this promotion. The appetizer we ordered was supposed to come with chicken. The cook forgot to add the chicken. The waitress brought over the chicken in a separate bowl and gave us another $2.00 off our meal for our inconvenience.

After eating we stopped at church row and took pictures of green and yellow churches.

Ke Ola Mau Loa Church

Imiola Congregational Church

We pulled into the parking lot of a shopping center.

Can you tell from this sign that we are in cowboy country?

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I took this picture of a Hawaiian cowboy statue.

Statue of paniolo Ikua Purdy roping a bull

We traveled up the road a short distance and turned around. I took a picture of this Hawaiian boot statue the first time we passed by; however, it was blurry. John was nice enough to ride by the boot one more time.

Hawaiian Paniolo Boot

This concludes our day trip of the Kohala region. Stay tuned, though; lots more details and photographs about our Hawaiian vacation still to come!

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Sixth Stop of Kohala Day Trip

This post continues details of our driving tour of Kohala, which we enjoyed on our fourth day on the island of Hawaii (Thursday, May 20th). Our first stop was at Manini’owali Beach. Our second stop was in Kawaihae at the Pu’Ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. Our third stop was at Lapakahi State Historical Park. Our fourth stop was at King Kamehameha’s birthplace. Our fifth stop was at the Pololu Valley Lookout. Our sixth stop was in Kapaau.

It would be difficult to miss Kapaau’s main point of interest — the King Kamehameha Statue. The statue towers over Route 270.

King Kamehameha Statue

The King Kamehameha statue has an interesting history. According to a Wikipedia article, the statue had its origins in 1878 when Walter M. Gibson, a member of the Hawaiian government at the time, wanted to commemorate the 100 year discovery of Hawaii by Captain Cook. The legislature appropriated $10,000 for the project and made Gibson the director of the project. Gibson contacted Thomas R. Gould a Boston sculptor living abroad in Florence, Italy to create the statue. In 1883 the statue was placed aboard a ship and headed for Hawaii. In the proximity of Falkland Islands the ship wrecked and with it the statue. The Hawaiians, however, had insured the statue for $12,000 and Gould rushed to complete a second. Before the second statue could be sent the original was recovered by some Falkland Islanders. They sold the statue to the captain of the wrecked ship for $500. The captain, in turn, sold the statue to Gibson for $875. The statue that stands in Kapaau is the original statue. The re-ordered statue stands in front of Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii.

My sister-in-law emailed a photograph to us a week ago. Dorothy and John returned to Kapaau on June 12th. Kamehameha Day is celebrated on June 11th. On that day the King Kamehameha statue is draped in lei.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dorothy took this picture of the King Kamehameha statue. The statue is draped in lei on Kamehameha Day, which is celebrated on June 11th.

After photographing the King Kamehameha statue, we walked across the street to an ice cream store. We sat outside the store and enjoyed various flavors of ice cream.

Ice Cream Store

After eating our ice cream, we drove a short distance farther on Route 270 to the picturesque St. Augustine Church.

St. Augustine Church

I don’t convert many photographs to black and white; however, this photograph seemed to lend itself to the conversion quite well.

This walkway led to the church’s front door.

Isn’t the red door pretty?

I walked inside the church.

This photograph of the church’s interior was captured without flash. To do so I raised the ISO to 1600.  I like how the light is streaming through the slightly ajar door and how well the stained glass windows show up.

After exiting, I walked completely around the church. The enclosed cemetery plot, with the side of the church as a background, attracted me.

Enclosed Cemetery Plot

This beautiful stained glass window was to the right of the windows in the photograph shown above.

Next stop: Waimea

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