Monday, May 04, 2009

Prayers, please for Dean

Dear Readers - I am asking for your prayers for Dean, who is finishing up school in northern California. He is having computer issues and has a ton of writing and revisions to do in order to complete this semester. Thank you.

On the third full day in Honolulu, Mel and I decided to ride the bus to 'Iolani Palace and Chinatown. The decision to take the city bus was a good one - it was 1) inexpensive and 2) great way to see the city.

The bus was one dollar and with transfer, that is all we paid for our transportation from Waikiki to Chinatown and back down to Waikiki.

We got off the bus close to the palace and walked several blocks into China Town. We saw a bakery and decided to cross the street and go in for some breakfast. I had a lovely cream bun and Mel had a pineapple pastry. The coffee was good and strong and as we sat eating and enjoying the ambiance, one of the other diners came up to us and told us that she had seen us jay walk across the street into the bakery. She told us that there was a lot of police presence and that we should be careful or else we would end up with a jay walking ticket over one hundred dollars each!

We were grateful for that tip and as we exited the bakery, we kept to the sidewalk until we reached an intersection with a cross walk

We found a wonderful market in Chinatown and enjoyed looking at all the fresh fruit and vegetables. There were live fish and the prices on them were most excellent. There were stores that sold odds and ends and a lot of things I had not seen since living in Japan - surprising how the memory of 45 (and more) years ago can spring up again!

After walking around Chinatown, we went to the Palace. It is the only royal residence in the United States and it has a fascinating history. Mel and I took the audio guided tour and had a great lesson in the history of the state of Hawaii. There is much that is not written in our text books - or perhaps, I did not read it in my text books; regarding Hawaii. 

After finishing up at the palace, we caught the bus back to Waikiki. The afternoon was spent tidying up and packing for our trip back to the mainland...not an activity I enjoy.

We had a beautiful dinner at the Azure restaurant at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The food was out of this world - the Cesaer's Salad was wrapped in rice wraps and the presentation was beautiful. I enjoyed the ginger steamed opakapaka - what a great dish! Mel had mahi mahi and that was delicious, as well. We had a bottle of Merlot to accompany our meal and finished off with a
 banana split in honor of our anniversary! Raymond, our server shared that he had been to the fish market the Saturday before and it sounded fascinating. Raymond, like many others on the islands, had come for a little while and ended up staying for decades. Raymond kindly took this photo of us. 

After dinner we went and sat in the rocking chairs that overlook the Mai Tai bar and talked to two gentlemen. One was a fire fighter during the day, and sang and played in the band at night. After their break, we listened to them sing and play for a while before heading upstairs to a beautifully turned down room.

I have such fond memories of this Hawaiian vacation and am looking forward to returning to the land of such warmth and hospitality that is Hawaii. 

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