Hawaii/South Pacific: Honolulu Day #2

Monday, March 7, 2022

The Dance Band had the evening off so we spent the pre-dinner hour enjoying the warm Sea View deck and watching the gorgeous sunset.

Dinner tonight was at a shared table of four other women. Three of the women we have shared a table before – two sisters from California and a solo traveler from Arizona. The other woman was from Oregon. She is traveling with a group but they didn’t want to eat in the dining room.

I had the shrimp and mango appetizer, the tomato and red bell pepper soup, and the Huli Huli chicken. It is a Hawaiian dish of bar-b-que’d chicken with a pineapple, soy, and ginger glaze. Really enjoyed it.

Chuck had the prime rib. He ordered medium but it looked medium rare. He didn’t finish it. I couldn’t look at it. I think he got one of the sister’s order. She had ordered medium rare and hers looked more cooked than his.

Sharing a table makes for some interesting conversations but your service is based on the slowest eater. They won’t serve the next course until everyone has finished their previous course. We didn’t finish dinner until after 8:00.

There was one show at 8:00 of Polynesian singers and dancers. If you don’t get there early, you are not going to get a seat. We saw the show in 2018 so we didn’t try tonight. We just called it a night. The laundry was back and they had taken our second bag.

One thing we did find out is that someone was taken off the ship by ambulance on Sunday. I hope it is nothing too serious and they were able to rejoin the ship before we set sail at 10:30 tonight.

I had filled out the breakfast card and hung it on our door. The breakfast was delivered promptly at 6:45 this morning. I tipped the delivery guy. You don’t have to but I usually do.

Our tour today was a HAL tour called “Explore and Taste Oahu’s North Shore.” The tour description is:

Enjoy the North Shore led by a guide who will provide interesting and fun information about Hawaii’s birds, plants, geology, geography, and history throughout your adventure.

From the cruise ship pier, you will drive to the Valley of the Temples.

Visit the picturesque Byodo Temple, located at the base of the stunning 2,000-foot lush green cliffs of the Koolau Mountain Range.

Travel north along the scenic shoreline past Chinaman’s Hat and Kahana Bay to Kahuku, home of the North Shore shrimp farms.

Stop for lunch to try some delicious locally-farmed garlic shrimp, fish or a chicken plate.

After lunch, a short drive will bring you to beautiful Sunset Beach, famous for towering surf during the winter months and hosts many international surf contests.

The picturesque Waimea Valley terminates at one of the world’s finest big-wave surfing beaches. Continue on to Haleiwa Beach Park — one of many surf breaks on the North Shore that make up a strip of what many surfers call “the seven-mile miracle”.

Passing through historical Haleiwa Town, watch for extensive views of Hawaii’s last pineapple fields enroute to the Dole Pineapple Plantation for a brief stop before returning directly to the cruise ship pier.

Our tour guide and bus driver was named Kella. He is a native of the North Shore and had a lot of interesting facts about the area as well as some funny family stories. He is one of 14 children and he and his wife have six children.

He said the high cost of living in Hawaii has driven many native-born Hawaiians to the mainland. For example, out of 312 in his high school graduating class, only 8 still remain in Hawaii. He said he and his children would like to move to the mainland but his wife refuses even though gas is $5 per gallon and milk is $11 per gallon.

Our first stop was a cemetery that is the home of the Byoda Temple. I noticed that on many of the graves there were food and beverages. I am used to the tradition of leaving flowers but this tradition was new to me.

The temple area was very tranquil. Chuck and I did make an offering to ring the sacred gong. It is made of brass and is over 6 ft tall and weighs over seven tons. It was cast in Osaka, Japan. The wooden log used to ring the bell is called a shumoku. The tones of the bell are said to clear your mind of negativity and to impart deep peace and bring happiness, blessings, and long life. Were very melodic tones.

They had a number of animals at the temple including several feral cats.

Our next stop was the Kualoa Ranch. It has been the site of over 80 movies for 40 years – most notably the Jurassic Park movies.

We walked across the street to view the ocean and the Chinaman’s Hat. Our guide said that during very low tide you can walk across to the island but you had better bring a surfboard or boogie board because the tide comes in quickly and you can be stranded.

Our third stop was the Polynesian Cultural Center and Market. Most of the stores weren’t open and neither was the Center. When it is open, it offers performances and displays of all types of Polynesians – Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, etc. The Center and much of the land around it is owned by Brigham Young University. The students work at the Center and by the time they graduate, they have worked off their student loans.

Lunch was next at Fumi Shrimp Farm Roadside Café. Had our choice of types of shrimp. I had the regular shrimp and Chuck had the lemon pepper shrimp. They were huge shrimp and very tasty.

We also stopped at a fruit stand but we didn’t buy anything. We were holding out for the last stop – the Dole Plantation and its famous Dole Whip. The visitor center was packed with people and the line to get the whipped ice cream was very long. I thought we wouldn’t make it to the front of the line before we had to be back on the bus. But we were able to get that mouth-watering ice cream with huge chunks of pineapple sprinkled on top.

Dole does not export pineapple here anymore. However, pineapple is still grown for consumption on the islands. I just think the pineapple I have eaten here and on the ship is just so much sweeter and juicier than what we get back home.

On the way back to the port, we passed several North Shore beaches where surfing is king. However, today it was mostly low tide so the waves were not impressive. We saw swimmers and not surfers.

We got back to the ship around 3:00. All in all, it was an okay tour. I wish the waves would have been bigger as I would like to have seen some surfers catch some big waves and we could have skipped the Polynesian Center since it wasn’t open but other than that I am glad we went.

Travel Trivia

Honolulu, (Island of Oahu) Hawaii

The Honolulu Symphony, originally known as The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra was conceived in 1900, making it the second oldest in symphony orchestra in America.

Before Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898, Honolulu was occupied by the Russians, French, and British, on separate occasions.

Honolulu is the only city in the United States that is home to a royal palace.

The Iolani Palace got electric lighting four years before the White House did.

More than 100 beaches surround Honolulu, more than almost any other city in the world.

Honolulu has one of the largest concentrations of Buddhist temples in the Western world, with over 30 of them spread throughout the city.

Waikiki Beach brings in more than 70,000 tourists every single day.

Honolulu translates in English to “sheltered bay.”

Duke Kahanamoku is widely credited with taking surfing from a little-known Hawaiian pastime to an internationally known sport. He grew up in and around Waikiki, learning to surf and swim at Waikiki Beach.

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America Information

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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