Entries Tagged as 'Nature/Scenic Sites'

Finding Links in the Island Chain

The composition of our chain of islands has a perceived yet invisible strand that holds us together. Okay, I’m not much on the topography of the ocean floor. While there may be years of lava flows keeping us tight, the strand I’m referring to is the cultural and emotional strand shared by island residents — no matter which island they’re living on. For the most part, we love our environment, we love our weather and we love our ocean and its wealth of sea dwelling creatures.

A few weeks back, my mother and I took a little whale sighting cruise. We didn’t see any. We were given tickets for a return engagement because of it. With tax time and other responsibilities, we never made it to that free repeat cruise we were promised. So, I went looking for other options. I thought about the submarine ride they have somewhere near Waikiki but Mom is claustrophobic so that wouldn’t be good. There are other sea-going vessels but they’re not all wheelchair accessible. I’m still looking.

In the mean time, I want to share something they have on Maui that I’m wishing we had on Oahu. I will confess at this point that, while we were on that little cruise on Oahu, I couldn’t help but say things to myself like, “I wish we were on Maui; we would be seeing whales if we were on Maui!”

Pride of Maui Whale Watching

There is this business on Maui that has a variety of activities that it offers. A catamaran with “unobstructed, panoramic viewing” sounds good to me! The difference? They’ve taken it a few steps beyond. They’re not just into whale watching, they’re covering all of the ocean basics with a hands-on approach. They’re not just riding on the water, they’re going in the water. Pride of Maui sounds like a great idea if you want to snorkel Maui!

Pride of Maui includes Molokini crater in its list of activities.  I caught myself comparing Maui’s Molokini crater with Oahu’s Hanauma Bay — without the locked gates and restricted parking. I’m being a little tough on Hanauma Bay and I need to remind people that I’m here on Oahu, not over there on Maui. Who knows what’s going on back on Maui’s shore. Perhaps Maui residents can fill us in on this little tidbit.

In Oahu’s (Honolulu’s) defense, the City and County of Honolulu, as irritating as it is, aims only to protect Hanauma Bay from a variety of threats to its health and preservation. Those threats weren’t there thirty-five or forty years ago. We had free reign back then.

National Geographic green sea turtleOne of the things that caught my attention with this venue of Maui snorkeling was their inclusion of snorkeling at “Turtle Town” on their list of activities. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. No, Pride of Maui didn’t make it up — it’s an actual area on Maui, or rather, along the shoreline of Maui where the turtles hang out.

As paranoid as I am about preservation, I was happy to find that I didn’t have to look too far to be sure that Pride of Maui is paranoid about it too. The warning is right on their site:

“The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are a protected species. Close encounters are sometimes initiated by the turtles. We respect their space and have discovered that by swimming calmly and respectfully, they will often swim closer to get a look at you.”

“Touching, chasing, or riding the turtles is unlawful and strictly prohibited.”

Thank you for that, Pride of Maui. I appreciate it when the tourist/business industry takes these things seriously! Mahalo to National Geographic for that honu picture!

I was happy to hear on one of the news channels recently that the Hawaiian sea turtle, honu, has recovered, for the most part, quite nicely. The comment made was that, what they thought would take 100 years to restore, has taken only 30. They’re still protected but at least we can see that our preservation efforts are not in vain. Perhaps sometime in our lifetime we will hear the same about our humpback whales!

The beauty of our natural environment extends from the tropical rain forests to the deep, life-sustaining oceans. The islands share these things in common and are linked by these cultural and emotional threads. We’re all working on preserving the environment along with the language and culture that makes Hawaii who and what we are! Island businesses are contributing to our ability to learn and share these things with each other and with our visitors.

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The Good the Bad and the Ugly

There’s nothing that ignites a keyboard better than things that ruffle your feathers, make your hair stand up or just plain make you furious!

The Good…

…started out bad. The State of Hawaii’s Department of Health actually had the audacity to try to push through a Bill that would allow any moron to put tattoos on people without being licensed and without having any sanitary procedures or other requirements in place. What?!? What were they thinking?!?

Somebody decided that it was okay to loosen the rules on the Tattoo industry because we hadn’t had any disease outbreaks from tattooing. Hello?!? No, duh! That’s because those regulations were in place to protect the consumers and the public at large! They can’t be that dumb!

Associated Press Writer, Mark Niesse, has a nice write up about the issue. There is also a quote contained in that piece from Anna Paige. Ms. Paige was a spokesperson for the Artists on a news clip that I saw a few days ago. She gets it, the other artists get it, what’s wrong with everyone else? How did it even get this far? Senator Rosalyn Baker said that the Bill, “needs more work before becoming a law.” I’ll say! Is that ever an understatement!
This is a much bigger issue than people seem to realize. These are needles we’re talking about. Hello?!? Think about it, friends, family members and anyone who comes in contact with those seeking and acquiring tattoos are at risk by this kind of deregulation. I’m sorry, I just cannot believe that the Board of Health would have even considered such a thing! It’s just so damn irresponsible!

Anyway, that stupid Bill was killed by the Senate yesterday after the Tattoo artists themselves made a stink about it on Monday. I heard about it on Friday and I went ballistic! Then I saw a news clip where several tattoo companies had gotten together to share their concerns. So, I waited. Their businesses and their clients both need protection from this kind of legislative nonsense!

I will restate, once again, that the image of the Tattoo industry, one that seems to be held by the general populace, is not necessarily an accurate one. This is a wonderful example — it was the artists themselves who yelled about this crazy idea and I say “hats off” and a huge “Mahalo!” to Honolulu’s Tattoo Artists! Thanks gang, for keeping us safe! You stood up, you came forward and you made a good thing happen!

So, what’s Bad?

The weather. Well, not really… Kilauea is bad. Our friends and families on the Big Island of Hawaii are choking on the sulphuric fumes from the volcano, Volcano National Park has been closed yet again, and the American Red Cross is standing by in case there is a need to evacuate some people.

Meanwhile, Oahu residents are suffering from extreme headaches, nasal problems and throat irritation. We can only venture a guess as to how they are feeling on the Big Island. So, while Kilauea is just being a volcano and doing what they do, we’re just breathing some bad air. It has not become a medical issue, yet.

Ugly!

There was a meeting Monday night (last Monday) about the rail system. Did you know about it? Yeah, I didn’t either. But, there was a notice about it from the City and County of Honolulu’s News and Events email. The notice said that, “Monday’s meeting on rail transit will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Radford High School.” When did I get the email? At 8:51 p.m. Monday evening –twenty or so minutes after the meeting was over. Yes, I confirmed it; it was this past Monday night.

Is the Mayor trying to avoid confrontation? Perhaps. I will talk more about my thoughts on TheRail later, I promise. It has become an even bigger issue than simply transportation.

Was this late notice intentional? Maybe, maybe not. At the very least it was negligent and it sure looked ugly. Even more flagrant is the other part of that notice. The rest of the notice is all about the curbside recycling program. There will be meetings for that all over Oahu. There’s even a schedule for those meetings. But, there’s no schedule for rail meetings. Looks very sneaky. Ugly.

Smooth Sailing on the Star of Honolulu

Star of Honolulu LogoParadise Cruise, Ltd. has a lovely little cruise ship that changes its mission during the year and at different times of the day.

I couldn’t resist getting this “picture of a picture” since it was a nice capture of the whole boat. This photo looks like it was taken some time back but I’m really not sure. The picture looks old, but the boat itself actually looks a lot brighter than the picture portrays it to be.

Star of Honolulu from Brochure

We happened to be passing this boat the other day while we were at Aloha Tower looking for something good to eat. My mother was very attracted to the hula dancing that was going on as people were either getting on or off of the boat. I’m not sure which. Mom decided that she really wanted to go on this boat.

I checked in with their little business office and saw that they were in the middle of a season of whale watching cruises. Hmmm… that sounded like something I could get into! So, we signed up and a few weeks later, off we went to see whales! Of course I had to make them tell me all about how careful they are to avoid striking any of these giant mammals. I was satisfied with the description of their procedures that they shared.

Dining Level, 2nd Floor

The boat was comfortably full of people and the seating on the level where lunch was provided was actually very comfortable. I will say that the food, while alright, wasn’t the delicious spread I was hoping for based on the price we paid for this cruise. Even the kama’aina rates were still kind of steep, I thought.

Close to Shore and Downtown Honolulu

This was kind of neat — being able to see Honolulu from a different angle. It was nice to see it from a vantage point that doesn’t happen very often.

Bar Tender

Of course it’s always important to have drinks, alcoholic and otherwise, available to passengers. You had to pay extra for them though. A soda was $3 and a margarita was $6. The bar tender was young, cute and very professional. I asked her if she went to bar-tending school and she said that, yes, she had. I smiled and teasingly asked if she went to the one on Beretania Street. Uh, she said, “Yes, that’s the one.” I was kidding! But, sure enough. 🙂

Farther Away from Shore

Here’s a clue as to just how insular I am — at one point when we were far enough out and the view looked similar to the one above, I suddenly had a very strong feeling of melancholy. I had an unexpected pang of anxiety and longing for them to “take me home.” It didn’t last long but it was a little weird for that fleeting moment. As if Honolulu wouldn’t survive without me being on shore. Tsk!

That stupidity being said, the water out there was so blue and so inviting! I swear if I didn’t have to worry about my camera and my cell phone… and my mother’s nerves… I really wanted to be swimming in that water! I don’t think the staff of the Star of Honolulu would have appreciated it if I had decided to take a swim on their time.

Matson Ship and Containers

I just had to get the above shot! Remember this story about my attitude problem with the guards near the Department of Homeland Security? The one where they wouldn’t let me get a picture of the Matson containers? I got a picture from the other side of that scene. So, I got my way, eventually.

Impromptu Entertainment

At the end of the cruise, while passengers were waiting to disembark, the guitar player who has been serenading people had two of the servers start dancing hula. They were very good! Maybe not dressed appropriately for hula, but good nonetheless. It did explain why some of their name tags had the word “Performer” written on them. Nice touch guys!

All in all, the cruise was quite nice. The water was soft and it felt almost like a large hammock. An interesting thing to point out was that while out and away from the shore, it was actually very cool. It was almost cold enough to wear a sweater. One of the girls said it would feel very hot once we reached shore. She was right. Once we got off the boat, the weather was sticky and humid.

Many of the cruises offered on this ship are seasonal. The one we were on, the whale watching cruise, was just that. You might be wondering why there are no pictures of whales. Well, we didn’t see any. The agreement that the Star of Honolulu made with the passengers of this cruise was that the passengers would all go again for free if they didn’t see any whales.

All Aboard the Star of Honolulu

We’ll take the journey once more before whale season is over. This time, we’ll eat before we board. It will be nice to ride the boat one more time and enjoy the sleepy sway of the ocean beneath. Maybe then I’ll have pictures of whales to share!

Star of Honolulu
Honolulu Harbor, Pier 8
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 983-7827

Waikiki Aquarium: a World All Its Own!

Entrance to Waikiki Aquarium

From a quiet, simple entrance to a fascinating world on the inside.

World's largest clam

One of the first things you run into is their pièce de résistance… this huge clam! Periodically weighed, this darling is about two or three feet across and probably weighs just over 160 lbs or so.

Little jelly fish

There’s also these cute little floating button-like jellyfish. With all the fish in the sea, we can’t forget the jellies.

Beautiful jelly fish

Although the thought of jelly fish is usually accompanied by a painful, stinging memory (for me anyway), they are still beautiful to behold. I remember how beautiful that blue bubble was as it floated on top of the water next to me. “Wow, that’s neat,” I thought.

Then suddenly…

“Eeeekkk! My leg, my leg!” Oh the pain of it all! Lifeguards suggest meat tenderizer. I don’t remember what they used that day. I was only 7 or 8 years old, I think. I never forgot it. But, aren’t they beautiful? In the aquarium. Not next to you in the water.

Okay, I don’t remember all the types of jellies and it’s the box jellyfish, the ones that show up after the full moon, that will render you a blubbering crybaby, or maybe worse (I’ll talk about them in a later post). All of that aside, I will avoid them now just because they left me with that painful memory.

Those box jellyfish are to the unsuspecting swimmer, just as the vixen-variety of human female is to the male gender — alluring, intoxicating, seductive… ZAP! Suddenly painful, bewildering and cruel! But, aren’t they beautiful?Sea Horse

Sorry, that just seemed like the perfect analogy. Now every male surfer who reads this will start comparing his x-girlfriend(s) to jellyfish! Oh well.

The sea horse is always a fascination. I guess the need to keep them in the low lighting is why we see little of them, aside from what’s on the National Geographic Channel.

There are so many beautiful fish and varieties of plant life to see as you walk through the Aquarium. Visitors can certainly feed off of the excitement of the children who go to the aquarium with their families. Their excitement is fun to watch and very contagious.

I mention this because, much like I was, the kids were dumb-struck at first and then full of excitement at the sight of these beauties that followed just around the corner.

Sharks!

I was so excited when I saw them! These are black-tip reef sharks. Man?! Man? is the Hawaiian word for shark.

Sharks swim by spectators

They’re oblivious to us — calm, serene and oblivious. They just swim by. They must be so used to it after all this time. But, when I got my camera home and downloaded these pictures, I literally gasped for breath. “OMG! Look at them! They’re… right there! So close!”

That Close

That close… so close they went out of focus. Unfortunately, these were taken with my old camera — I actually took these back in March of last year. I just never got around to sharing them.

You know, many of us wonder what on earth is wrong with those people who go into the water with these cartilaginous creatures! (They have not bones, only cartilage; that makes them sound even creepier doesn’t it?) Why would they want to go down in those cages? I get it! I want to go there too!

I want to have that experience! I told my husband that, for Christmas, I wanted to go on the shark adventure they offer on the North Shore of Oahu. He thinks I have forgotten about it. I haven’t. You guys will be the first to know about it, trust me! I promise to share that story right after it happens! I don’t think I’ll be able to contain myself anyway.

Shark Science

Then comes the thirst for knowledge and the desire to understand them better. Taking a closer look, Waikiki Aquarium has not failed us in this area. These are actual displays and there is a lot of texts that accompany them. The lighting is wonderful for the viewers… just not the greatest for my poor old Kodak at the time.

Understanding the Shark

Understanding them from a zoological standpoint is necessary so we understand the need to protect them.

More Sharks

Overwhelmed by their quiet majesty, I loitered near them longer than I did anything else at the Aquarium. Their subtle power, and their environmental necessity, commands our respect and asserts the need for preservation.

They are one of the ?aum?kua (gods or deified ancestors) for many of the Hawaiian people. This is another reason we should care for their environment and protect them — for their historical value! That wouldn’t work would it? Well, maybe if we take only some of the breeds of shark, like the reef sharks, and protect them! Sigh.

Monk Seal

No, he’s not dead… he’s just fat and lazy. He’s basking in th sun and relaxing. The scars on this guy may be ones he received from one of our species of shark. However, it’s more likely that these scars were the result of trying to break free from fishing lines, netting and the like. Much like Sea Life Park has done for some of their residents, I think this guy is a lucky resident saved and adopted by the Aquarium.

Another clam outside in the sunlight

There is another clam out in the sunlight that shares its space with these beautiful coral. Those are natural colors — they are living and growing and nobody painted them or added food coloring. 🙂

Our ecosystem is so fragile and so many groups are engaged in the preservation of this underwater world. It’s an ongoing struggle but so very worth it! A trip to the Waikiki Aquarium is so very worth it as well!

Is it Waxing or Waning?

Quarter MoonWe’ll all know now! Look at what we’ve got over on the right margin! This has got to be my favorite widget! People are looking at this and saying, “So what?” This will show us how close we are to the full moon and we can watch it as it gets bigger (waxing) or as it gets smaller (waning). It’s cool to see how accurate this thing is when it looks just like that in the night sky! So far so good! It looks very accurate tonight!

It’s interesting to learn that although the sun is much larger and should have a greater pull on our atmosphere, the moon is closer and actually has a more direct impact on our tides and a lot of things we never even think about.

People are still saying, “So what?!?” Well, let’s see… shall we go swimming 8 or 10 days after the full moon? Best avoid the south (Diamond Head) and west (Makaha) shores of Oahu! The box jellyfish may be floating around all over the place. If you have not been stung by one, trust me, you don’t want to be. Even worse, you don’t want to find out that you’re allergic to them! I’m not making this up. Don’t believe me? See for yourself! I would imagine the same thing happens, not just in Hawaii, but where ever the jellies go swimming!

Okay, so we’ll go fishing instead. If you’re a fisherman, this may prove more important to you than you think!

Salt-water anglers argue that tides have a greater influence on fish feeding habits than the moon itself. It must be understood that the tides are governed by the phases and transit of the moon. Certain marine phenomena occur with precise regularity during the lunar month and solar/lunar cycle.”

We already discovered that with the jellyfish. Mahalo to King’s Outdoor World for that educational tidbit!

Don’t like the water very much? Rather be planting a garden? Guess what? Some people even do Gardening by the Moon!

Still not impressed? Ever ask anyone about when customers are obnoxious? Ever wonder why people are “all” driving so crazy on any given day for no particular reason? Ever ask your local telephone company when the crank calls happen most? I know that some staff at Hawaiian Telcom will cringe if you remind them that the next day is a full moon. That is when the most complaints and crank calls happen!

It makes sense if you think about it — we humans are mostly water according the US Geological Survey which says that, “Up to 60 percent of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70 percent water, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water.” Well, um, if the moon can control how water behaves, and since we’re mostly water… I would say that we are definitely susceptible to the pull of good old Mr. Moon. I know he pulls on my strings every now and then, or at least that’s who I like to blame it on!

Just for the record, the moon is currently waxing. In case I’ve got you interested now, we will be admiring a full moon on September 26th. I don’t need to tell you, you can just check out our new addition on the right!

Honolulu is for the Birds!

I’m still looking for this crazy white bird. Manu-o-ku (which is a white fairy tern), now recognized as Honolulu’s official bird, is still hiding from my camera. The Star Bulletin’s photographer found one for their story released back in April. I guess I need to cross the street because they aren’t hanging out by Iolani Palace. Maybe I will find one eventually.

Until then, I found these guys! I had to do some searching for what they’re called because they are the cutest darn things. The official title for these birds is Grey Java Sparrow.

Grey Java Sparrow Adults

They are also sometimes referred to as the Java Rice Bird, Java Temple Bird or Paddy Bird. Paddy bird refers to rice paddies. They like rice… uh, so do the rest of us in Hawaii! You can read more about them here. This is what they sound like. They look like a cross between a parakeet and a finch, but, their color is different from both of these other birds.

Group of baby Java Sparrows

These are their babies learning how to forage in the grass for food. They haven’t developed much color yet except for their telltale pink-orange beaks. They’re so tiny they disappear in the grass in some spots. Their are two adults with each gang of little ones and those are, presumably, their parents. Judging by the size of this little troop, their nest must have escaped any pesky over-sized geckos!

Grey Java Sparrow

They look almost fake or like they’re made of plastic. They let me get pretty close but they had to give me that side glance to be sure I wasn’t getting too close.

Pair of baby grey java sparrows

They are cute as heck! These tiny finch-like babies sit in pairs on trees with only wispy branches. There are four or five sets at a time snuggled in pairs on the same branch but spaced about a foot apart. No, I’m not a bird watcher. I just want to get a picture of my official city bird. But, in the meantime, I couldn’t resist these cuties.

Dolphins Take Over at Sea Life Park!

Sign at entrance to Sea Life ParkSea Life Park is one of Hawaii’s star visitor attractions. Everyone loves the wildlife from the sea! It had been years since the last time I was there. As much as I hate to admit it, I have to say that when we visited the Park about a year ago, I left the Park just a little disappointed.

The shows were very much geared to the visiting tourists, which is to be expected, but even more so to the little kids. Are those things important? Yes, of course they are! But the bulk of the crowd, while tourists, were at an age where a little more educational brain stimulation could have been thrown in and was definitely in order!

Sea Life Park has changed things a bit since then and they have added things to the park that were never there before. These additions may be because they were purchased not too long ago by Dolphin Discovery, an organization that has six different ocean parks across the country, one of which is now Sea Life Park.

NOTE: Before I continue I need to point out that the trainers will NEVER reprimand or punish these animals in any way. These are wild animals and they are given all of the respect that they are due. So, when a trick doesn’t work, you try it again. If the show fails, you move on and try to work on it for the next time.

Dolphin dances across the water

Continuing on, out of all the marine animals I think dolphins are the biggest crowd pleasers. They can dance across the pool for us…

Three dolphins showing off

…they can leap into the air to please an audience (or just because they want some free fish for doing, on cue, what comes naturally). I swear, Sea Life Park has the best back drop for photo taking!

Dolphin foot push, I like toss better

They can also toss you across the pool if you ask them to!

But, you know, the best pictures and the funniest videos are taken when kids or pets are misbehaving. When the atmosphere is charged with excitement and expectation, these charming creatures catch the excitement bug too! After all, it’s THEIR show! They ARE the show! Well, they took over and stole the show from the trainers one day while we were there on a return visit.

Kids are always the most naughty when they’re together and want to play. Apparently the dolphins are the same way! By being rascals and flipping a fin or two at the trainers they decided to not let themselves be separated from the next group of performers but to join them instead! While the trainers kept trying to separate them, the show host / announcer found himself in the position of educating the crowd and even taking questions to stall for time.

Five dolphins showing off

Great! So everybody gets into the act. Crowd involvement and spectator engagement! What a novel idea! I think it works better to have these attention seekers shock the crowd while having a conversation with the audience instead of just talking at them. These rascals were obeying the commands to get their fish, they just didn’t want to be separated — no way, no how! Not one, not two and not even three — five of these aquatic brats in the air at once!

After the show was over I couldn’t wait to talk to the young trainers (who were about to be reprimanded) and tell them that it was the best show I had seen and to let them know that, “the next time the dolphins decide to misbehave, I’m there!” I also thanked them for sharing some knowledge with us this time and we let them how much better it was this time than it had been a year or so before.

Their supervisor person (or possibly their professor since the trainers may have been graduate students in oceanography or something) then said to them, “See, after all the work you’ve been doing…” Ahem.

Kekaimalu performing for the crowd

Aside from all that, there is the wolphin, Kekaimalu. She is half bottle nose dolphin and half false killer whale and she pulls characteristics from both sides. Her weight is in between that of a bottle nose and a false killer whale, her color is a nice charcoal-gray combination of the dolphin’s gray and the false killer whale’s black. Even Kekaimalu’s tooth count is in the middle. Bottle nose dolphins have 88 teeth while false killer whales have 44; Kekaimalu has 66 teeth! Even her facial features are a clear combination of the bottle nose of the dolphin and the rounder, less-protruding profile of the false killer whale. Kekaimalu is also, if I’m not mistaken, the middle culprit in our photo of five rascals above. She may have been the ring leader for all I know!

Wolphin and parents, from Wikipedia

Kekaimalu was not supposed to be born. The photo above was “borrowed” from Wikipedia and shows Kekaimalu as a youngster with her parents. She is also not supposed to be able to reproduce. Surprise! Kekaimalu has had three babies. Only one is still living but that surviving daughter and Kekaimalu both live at Sea Life Park and are the only wolphins in captivity. Kekaimalu is 21 years old this year. Hopefully she will live the normal lifespan of the bottle nose which is between 40 and 50 years.

I found an interesting tidbit of information while I was doing a little research about these guys. Even though dolphins are surrounded by water the salt-water environment of the ocean is more like a desert for them. They can’t drink that salt water because their bodies would use even more water trying to desalinate what they drink. Their water comes from the foods they eat and from the internal process of metabolizing fat. So, even though Kekaimalu is now 21 and can now drink legally, it would only dehydrate her if she tried.

There are several more animal attractions at Sea Life Park but the dolphins did so well that day that they deserve all the glory in this post. We will talk about Sea Life Park and its other residents again soon, I promise! Thank you, Sea Life Park, for the improvements and for a great show, and thank you, Kekaimalu and the gang, for all of these Kodak moments!

Full Moon Over Honolulu

People always talk about sunrises and sunsets. Nobody ever talks about moonrises. Let me tell you, they’re gorgeous! Catch them at the right moment and they’ll make you catch your breath. The only thing more beautiful than a Honolulu sunset is the rising of a Blue Moon over Honolulu.

Nobody seemed to be able to agree which month was the Blue Moon month, May or June. Some calendars said that May 31st was a full moon while others said the full moon fell on June 1st. While the astrologers are busy disagreeing, we’ll just enjoy them.

Full Moon Over Honolulu

It wasn’t raining so I’m not sure why it looked so cloudy; perhaps it was vog (volcano fog) from the Big Island. Whatever the cause, I think it added to the beauty of the moon as it kept peeking through.

Blue moon or not, this one at the tail end of June was a beauty. For us lunar-tics, these natural wonders can make an otherwise stressful day pale in comparison. Perhaps it’s nature’s way of saying every thing’s alright. Works for me! The camera lens seemed to enjoy it too!

It’s Carnival Time In Cybertown!

Carnival ClownAnother week, another Carnival! Isn’t it great to not have to drive or look for parking when attending the Carnival of Cities?!?

Homespun Honolulu has joined in the fun once again and has very good company. Here is the list in the same order provided by our Carnival Host and DC Traveler, Jon. A blogger from the b5media family of blogs.

This non-American Life is a great title for a blog! Along with this great title, here’s a great tradition from Vienna — Vienna – Kaffee-und-Kuchen. It’s like the tradition of the Mexican siesta but this afternoon rest period comes with food!

A little historic journey through Honolulu’s past can be found at the Hawaii Maritime Center article. By the way, I’m reading that book about the Falls of Clyde. I’ll keep you guys posted!

For the next stop at this week’s Carnival, we move from as far West in America as you can get, to as far East in America as you can get! We move from Honolulu to New York! It sounds like there will be dancing in the streets of New York on May 19th! Visit this blog and you can find out all about the 2007 Dance Parade in New York.

Texas draws us back from the East. Jami’s neighbors live in gingerbread houses! Well, at least it looks like it, in the Monte Vista area of San Antonio. A real fairytale neighborhood!

Ruth, another b5media blogger, says to everyone, “Let’s Visit Asia” and in the process, she shares a post about the new Westin Hotel in China. Fancy!

For this Carnival of Cities we are really into history. I always like to make pit stops at Wicked Winter. Jaz (those are his initials, cool huh?) tells us all about the history and the Circle of the Montague Avenue area in North Charleston, South Carolina.

John at A DC Birding Blog has a really cool blog. What a tremendous amount of information about wild birds! I’m impressed! John is kind enough in this post to let everyone know where to go look as a carnival prize for travelers!

Eric, at What’s Up Arlington, writes about cool event, Artomatic, that has a variety of art to appeal to a wider audience, and, it’s open late! Here’s something to do in the evening besides the overdone dinner and a movie thing.

David at Brisbane is Home, tell us all about Brisbane’s 2007 Jazz Festival. Tons of links, photos and stories to share! David loves to share photos and his Home Turf has a personality all its own!

My impression of Kathryn over at San Fran Voice is that she is somewhat of a risk taker. I, of course, mean that in the most positive way! She has no problem stepping outside that societal box and I commend her for this! At this Carnival, she shares great information about, as our host puts it, Finding Love and More on Craigslist. You go girl! You gotta love San Francisco for being creative and brave… Kathryn is quite at home right where she is! Read her About page too!

Steve at Silicon Valley Real Estate Blog tells us about a taking a Walking Tour of Santana Row. You guys have got to see this cool place and the human-sized chess board! Aside from that, a chance to visit a place where the Internet gurus hang out is always an enticement for me! Ya think there’s any of their “stuff” available through osmosis?

We have another b5media blogger, Mary Jo, at The Seattle Traveler! Mary Jo writes about Chicks in the City. Look at those legs! Look at that chest! Man, these chicks look great, especially if you’re a raccoon! Okay, okay, so it’s about raising chickens for fresh eggs in Seattle, not sex in the city. But, what a looker! Mary Jo put up a great-looking photo!

At The Digerati Life by Silicon Valley Blogger asks, “Should you Quit School Because You’re Brilliant?” Good question. What if you only THINK you’re brilliant? How brave are you? Braver than I!

Carole at The San Diego Beat educates us on the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo and then shows us how San Diego doesn’t care when they celebrate it, as long as they do! Cinco de Mayo, San Diego Style shares a nice pictorial story with this week’s Carnival goers! In fact, now I know that Taco Bell is where I’m going for lunch!

Riversider at Save The Ribble says, “Dammit, no Dams!” We get to read about the banding together of citizens to protect the beauty and functionality of their environment in this post about a Barrage (dam) across the Rabble River in England.

At The Picket Line by David, has done a book review for us on the Underground Economy of the Poor in Chicago. Sounds like interesting reading! There is a link to Amazon where the book is available. Hmmm… one to get you thinking for sure. Chicago may not be the only one.

Last but certainly not least is the post from our Carnival Host! Jon, from The DC Traveler, tells us about this really cool artistic event about making a mini-film based on a single line of text or dialogue. This is to be done in just 48 hours as part of the 48-HourFilm Project in Washington, DC.

It’s another Carnival alright, and man what a Carnival it is! Behave yourselves and have fun! Well… why don’t you just have fun!

Just Beyond Hanauma Bay

The point at Makapu’u is the most east-facing part of the island of Oahu. The surf coSandy Beachming from the west will hit along that shore first and then flow to either side around the island. Perhaps this is why Sandy Beach is a favorite surfing spot — it’s just around the bend from Makapu’u.

I finally found the entrance to the two-mile hike to the top of Makapu’u point that people keep talking about. I have also heard that, along with the wonderful views at the top of this thing, there are old abandoned bunkers left from World War II. I haven’t seen it yet, but I promise you guys that I will. I will tell you all about it and bring you pictures to go with it!

What I am very familiar with, and what scared me as a child, are the  sheer cliffs along the road that leads to Sandy Beach and Makapu’u Point. It is especially threatening at night, but daylight provides the visual for us here! It doesn’t scare me anymore because now I’m the driver. It scares my mother though… of course it might be my driving that scares her.

 

The Stuff Romance Novels are Made Of

Those cliffs remind me of the covers of some Harlequin romances  and of the old-time TV show, Dark Shadows. There was always that girl standing on the edge of the cliff with her hair and romantic, white dress blowing in the wind. Standing oh so precariously near the edge waiting to fall to her demise on the jagged rocks and rough surf below. Has he left her? Has she lost him to death or to another woman? Will he come to her in the cold night air? Will he push her over the edge? In reality, there are no such romantic tales to be told. Shucks! But, it’s still a lovely setting for first dates and a great backdrop for wedding photos.

Many people are drawn to this area. Tourists riding on tour buses and driven around in limousines frequent this area. Local residents go here to surf, to run, to bicycle and to just hang out. Even the street bikers are drawn here on their motorcycle runs. There’s a sense of freedom without being too far away from the city. There’s surf crashing against the rocks, great views and a little bit of romance and thrill to come so close to the edge of those sheer cliffs.