Memorial Day at Punchbowl Cemetery

I visited Punchbowl cemetery to attend a funeral.  It was only a few days after Memorial day. As we headed to Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery the driver and I discussed how the children of Hawaii during school would gather and make plumeria leis for all of the graves. No grave was to be left un-draped.

This year, though, was different. The children were out of school already for the summer so that would mean that only volunteers would be left to make the needed 50,000 leis. We wondered if there would still be leis.

IMG_1171Plumeria flowers growing on one of my plumeria trees. I’ve been talking to it quite a bit and it must like my voice as it’s been blooming lots of bouquets  even though this particular tree is in a small pot and barely any soil. (I keep saying I’m going to get soil but alas things keep distracting me)

IMG_1157As we arrived at Punchbowl I could see plumerias but they were still on the tree as you can see. There were flags on every grave but there were no leis that I could tell.

IMG_1158

Here you can see Old Glory flying over some more graves and they too had no leis. Since I was not really that familiar with the lei tradition I still felt sad as I looked at the flags waving. But this being Hawaii and has a tradition of beautiful exotic flowers I took a closer look at the graves that had been decorated by loved ones.

IMG_1163Though there was not a plumeria lei here I think that these ginger and anthurium flowers would make any spirit feel lifted. They definitely say Hawaii.IMG_1164But as it happened I did find a plumeria lei that had been placed on a grave. Some loved one mad sure the tradition was carried on, at least for this soldier.

IMG_1159As I looked on and on at the thousands of flags waving in a cemetery that is now so full it can’t take anymore dead, I could only wonder. When will the day come that we will not grieve over the loss of our precious loved ones because man just can’t get along. Please tell me. When will we see those plow sheers.

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.