Christmas in Kapolei Hawaii

The flowers are as close to Hawaii as the Christmas trees got

It seems I just posted a blog about Christmas in Waikiki 2010. I got up to get a cup of coffee and sat down and low and behold it is Christmas 2011.

Since I covered Waikiki I thought I would look elsewhere for a Hawaiian Christmas.  I headed out to Kapolei, just west of where I live.

English: Photo of Kapolei City Center taken 11...

Kapolei from Wikipedia

Kapolei is a new town that has popped up to add to the traffic stream in what used to be a quiet, small, and kind of boring part of Oahu. Now it is pock-marked with shopping malls, hardware warehouses that you need a car to get around in and to put the stamp of approval on it all, a Wal-Mart that is a block long, is now being completed.

So I thought I would check out there city hall Christmas lights. Actually I was hoping for something unique only to Hawaii on display but found only a few things.

Well for sure Coconut trees are certainly part of Hawaii

A ukulele and a uli uli ( rattle with feathers used by hula dancers)

A pahu drum ( the real drum is made from the trunk of a coconut tree and the top is covered with shark skin)

Ipu Heke (gourd drum)in the back of the uli uli

And this is what the instruments looked like as part of the Christmas display

Here are a few drawings by the local school kids depicting their view of what a Hawaiian Christmas is like.Now these look more like the blog I wrote about last Christmas on taking a Staycation in Hawaii

In case I don’t get another Christmas blog posted I will end this post with this photo. A very Mele Kalikimaka to all of you until I post again

Getting What You Want For Christmas

My computer is allergic to milkshakes. It went from computer to compuker in a matter of minutes. It refused to talk to me and would only spit up dots. It had lost all it’s letters. My fault. I was upset because I did not read the fine print on a warranty for my pocket camera I ordered from Amazon. It was supposed to cost $6.00. The postage turned out to be $20.00.

After reading the bill I went in to a rage and pulled  my milkshake off the table and it dropped out of my hand and on to my computer. Yes, I know. Don’t have any liquids  anywhere near your computer. But like many who have gone before me I thought I was invincible.

So what could I do? I calmed down after an hour or two and a night of no sleep. Went to see my friend who repairs computers and found out that I could replace the keyboard and all would be fine.

The next few days I thought about it. How much could I accomplish if I had no computer at all? It turned out I had a lot of time on my hands. Enough time to do more photography, sewing and gardening and yes, cleaning the house, cooking and dog care.

As I took out my new camera to experiment with it, suddenly a light went on in my head. Where was I going to put all the photos? Both my cameras are digital and I like to manipulate the end product on my computer!

So I bought myself a very nice Christmas present. Yes, a new computer. I must admit I never thought buying myself something for Christmas would be so rewarding. I was actually gitty about it. How is that? I knew what the present was but getting something that I really want and a camera to boot was almost euphoric.

I found myself so happy with my present that I’ve actually been thinking what will I get myself next Christmas?  Oh the possibilities.

But I have to say, getting what you want for Christmas is priceless. At least until the bill arrives in January.

I am including the photos I took of the gingerbread house that was built at the Princess Kaiulani hotel. I know it is late and just about out of season but, hey, my computer was sick. This is more a village then a house and quite elaborate.

You can click on the photo if you want a closer look at this village. It is not a likeness of Honolulu that I could tell but it does have some of Hawaii’s buildings.

 

Just think, no one will ever eat any of these houses though they are all made of gingerbread.

Iolani Palace

This is a likeness of the only palace in the United States. It was where the Americans imprisoned the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. Queen Liliuokalani.

 

 

 

It’s always snowing on the other side of the fence

Well, we have rain, at last. Lots and lots and I’m loving it because now I don’t have to stand outside and water everyday for 30 minutes. But alas, it is not snowing.

My friend Annelies sent me some photos of her area in Holland. The last time I was there it only snowed enough to hit the ground and melt. I was so disappointed. But this year it is covering everything and I’m sitting in the rain.

Oh well, I guess if I lived in it I would not be as happy to see it but I sure did enjoy the photos. So I’ve decided to share them with you for those of you who would like to have a white Christmas, here it is. (double click on photos if you would like a closer look)

I love the windmill peeking out in back

 

 

I’d love to be sitting with a bright red snow suit under this tree.

Thank you for sending me these photos Annelies. I hope to make it back one year for the snow and those winter markets. Those were the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas at the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki

December in Waikiki

The rain is shining  the leaves with small crystal drops. The temperiture is probably down in the low 60’s and I’m sitting in my yard with my sweat jacket and shorts on. Ka Mea is wrapped in a blanket and Max has his fur to keep him warm. After all he is a sheep dog and Quite comfortable in this cooler climate.

It was uncomfortably warm last week when I went to Waikiki to take these photos. More of a typical winter day. So I continue on with Christmas in Paradise and how some of the hotels put on their displays or lack there of.

The Moana Hotel

The Moana Surfrider and the Royal Hawaiian are really the only two hotels that have any beauty to them from the outside. They are the oldest hotels in Waikiki also and were built before the cement jungle set in.

This tree is in the main lobby right as you walk in. It did not seem to have a Hawaiian theme to it. I went in surch of more Holiday decorations but only found a Palm tree.

This was their Hawaiian theme. A palm tree Christmas tree.

As I searched around for more Christmas decorations this is what I saw. A closet where they hang the leis to greet the guest. Hopefully they are from the islands but most of the orchids now used in leis come from Thailand . (http://www.amysorchids.com/) The flowers are to expensive here. But somehow that just does not seem right to me. Plumeria leis which have a wonderful scent to them grow so easily here and really seem more Hawaiian would make a nice alternative and support the local growers. Why do they use orchids?

But then I guess orchids are synonymous with Hawaii too. But none of it is Hawaiian anyway. You might want to try a Maile lei or for your head put on a Haku. Now those are Hawaiian. Maile Lei or Haku Head Bands

And once again I find the obligatory Hawaiian real or fake artifacts on display in the Moana’s lobby. I tried to find the information on what they had here but I must have missed it. From appearances it looks like a gourd, an Umeke and a piece of Kapa. If you want to know all about these items you should try to take a trip to the Bishop Museum where they have many on display and tell you all about their uses and how they were made. An Umeke is a bowl that is made of wood and Kapa is the cloth that the Hawaiians made from the bark of trees. Gourds were more commonly used by the everyday Hawaiian for carrying things in or maybe for bowls for food or to eat out of. The umeke would more likely be used by the upper class or Alii.

 

If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Moana this is a fine way to spend a winters day thinking about all your pals back home fighting the elements as you dream away in the 80 degree weather.

As we leave the Moana Hotel I head down Kalakaua Ave. This is the main drag in Waikiki and is more what Waikiki looks like. No ocean view, all the Palms and beaches have  been dug up to put in imported trees and brick sidewalks to try to fancy up the place and detract from all the cement buildings  that surround you. However their still is the nice weather.

My next post will be at the Princess Kaiulani where they put up a huge display of gingerbread. I think it is time I get back to posting about the museum. Very little Christmas there but lots of the real thing as far as Hawaii goes.

 

Fido Gives Back To The Economy And Other Foupaws

Homeless are starting to take over Waikiki Parks

 

In today’s economy I think there are some things that one should not brag about or admit too.

1.What extravagant gift you are going to give to somebody.

The Topic on the talk radio I was listening to was, what gifts to give in today’s economy. The first thing the guest speaker said was, he had best get something that will sparkle even though his wife has lots of items in their deposit box at the bank.

That comment incited the host to mention the look on his wife’s face when she saw the new car he had bought her for Christmas is still the topic in their house to this day,

Meanwhile I’m figuratively sticking my finger down my throat and saying to the radio, come on guys people are worried about where their next meal will come from and you guys are bragging about your pay checks. What kind of gift suggestions are those?

Then they suddenly came back to reality as if they remembered what the show was supposed to be about. What were the gift suggestions? Wine. What would be the best wine to give as gifts.

If I had had a gun I would have shot my radio. This is a political commentator who is supposed to be in touch with the world. But at that point I was not sure what world he he was in touch with.

2.What trappings you buy for your dog.

Then the other morning I’m sitting and reading the paper and see this article heading “Owners don’t skip on presents for Fido.” And there is a photo of this little dog wearing a crystal Necklace and a Couture dog gown.

They go on to talk about a dog who has 150 collars and leashes, 200 Couture dresses, 300 bow and on and on. This dog even has a pink mink made by Saks Fifth Ave. (Owners Don’t Skimp On Presents For Fido)

What kind of stupid, disgusting person would admit to spending that kind of money on a dog when so many people are hurting right now?

It’s a good thing  they extended the tax break to the rich again or these poor dogs might be reduced to their own fur and bowls of silver instead of gold.

3.How you choose your charities

Here in Hawaii we have lots of homeless living on the beaches. Yes we have the derelicts who would rather drink and do drugs as homeless but we also have married couples who work and have kids, old people who can’t afford a house on their social security and single parents just trying to get by while unable to find any better job then McDonald’s.

They struggle day to day trying to keep it together along with those who are disabled or kids who go to a schools that have no cafeteria and the only place to sit down and eat is on the ground or in the bathrooms. Yes, in the bathroom. They have to share text books and often times can’t even afford rubber slippers and come to school with them taped altogether.

Yes, these are a few of the problems just here in Hawaii and I am not even touching on the others states. So you can imagine what I felt when I was listening to a guest on public radio talk about how she chooses to put her money from her organization to helping people in other countries.

When the host asked her why doesn’t she give to those in need in the United States? The guest stated that her money went a lot further in other countries so she feels she would rather put it towards somewhere that can get more bang for the buck so to speak

What a sad state of affairs we have gotten ourselves into when our country has not only outsourced all of it’s jobs but now they are outsourcing their charities too! What ever happened to “Charity begins at home?”

Insensitive  people with pampered pets while children tape their shoes together and people who brag while others go without need a reality check. If you want to wallow in your wealth keep it to yourself. Don’t brag about it. You don’t have to prove to us how useless you are, we already know that. The only thing I have to say to them is, bah humbug!