Visiting Bishop Museum 

Bishop Museum is an artifact in  itself. Built in 1898, you step back in time when you enter into the main hall. 

The stair case you see here is carved from Koa. Elsewhere it is known as acacia. The Koa was cut down at the property of Princess Pauahi’s estate on the big island of Hawaii. 

The Koa was then sent to Minnesota where it was milled and sent back to Oahu where it was put into the museum. 

            A close up of the finniel carving

Charles Bishop, Pauahi’s husband,chose Minnesota because he felt that the Sweeds who lived in Stillwater Minnesota were the best carpenters. 

It was at the bottom of this stair case that a student taking a private evening tour with her class told me about her experience. 

As the guard turned out the lights they stood there and watched as a lightly scented light assend to the second floor and checked out each exhibit case and then ascended up to the third floor and do the same. It then descended to the first floor and was gone. 

Yes there are many types of artifacts and visitors to the Bishop. You never walk away disappointed. 



Yes this is pretty much how he responds to me when I want to talk to him

How do I find common ground with my  preteen grandson?  For that matter just finding common ground with any of my grand kids has left me wanting.

I don’t want to just be grandma, the old lady that always wants a hug and a kiss. Of course here in Hawaii that is a given. Regardless of age, you would not dare enter a room without giving your kupuna (elder) a hug and a kiss. That type of respect is ingrained from day one.

I want to communicate. I want to discuss, to ignite conversation and encourage my grandchildren to experience life beyond cell phones and games.

Two of my grandsons love photography.  One lives about 20 miles away and I rarely see him. The other, Nico, lives in the same house as I do. Our communication has been limited.  “What’s for dinner?”  “When are we leaving for school?”  “Why did you pick me up so early from school? I was still talking to my friends.”  And last, but certainly not least, “Good night grandma, I love you.”

So Nico gets a Camera for his 12th birthday. He no longer has to take photos with his phone, he now has a DSLR!

Here we go, the common ground! “How would you like to go on some adventures like when you were younger?” I ask him.  Quickly I add, “I mean we can go to different places to take photos.” So far, he has used his cell phone to take photos of buildings as he drives by, photos of feet, close-ups of his dog and things around the house. Fun photos I admit, but his area is limited.

To my great surprise he says, “Yes!”  I suggest a drive to Haleiwa, ( where else?), we can go in the evening and photograph the sunset.  The date is set and surprise again, he reminds me that morning about our plan.

As we get ready to leave he heads out with his camera bag. I start to tell him that I would rather he put his camera around his neck, and he pulls a face on me and starts to get grumpy.  So I let it go.

When we get in the car I tell him to let me know if there is something he wants to photograph along the way. Out comes his phone and before I know it he is deep into YouTube.


Unfortunately his phone arrives with him. Notice his camera is now around his neck. “Sort of late,”  I tell him as people will notice that we put his camera bag in the trunk. “Oh well,” I think to myself, live and learn.


I try to call him over to explain about the two Hawaiian flags. How  the Hawaiians were forced to take down their flag and put up the American flag. He is having none of it.


When we arrive at the beach he wants to know how long are we going to have to wait for the sun to set. I feel like he is the kid in the back seat of the car asking “are we are there yet?” I tell him, “Look around you.  The mountains are behind us and the clouds are setting on them. You can photograph that.” Too late, his phone is back in his hands.

P1010054At last he exchanges his phone for his camera and is starting to take photos. I think to myself had he been dressed all in white he would have blended right in with the windmill farm behind him.


The sun is setting quickly and I’m not sure if he is still taking photos but I don’t want to miss it. This view was worth the hassle, and I marvel at the fact that it is now past 7 pm and the weather is still nice enough to be out in the ocean swimming. I want to tell Nico to try to get some people in his photos but I push that out of my thoughts. He will do what he wants to do.

After the sun has gone down he shows me his photos of the sand, his name in the sand and photos of things around. I did see one really nice sunset photo but he was clicking through his images so quickly that I’m not sure.


I snap one last photo of the sun going down

P1010024I say goodby to the shack and beach where “Bay Watch” was filmed.

Maybe one day he will let me show him how to put his photos onto the computer so that we can see them together. I won’t hold my breath though.

As we head back home I resign myself to the fact that I have once again failed to communicate with him. “Nico, we don’t have to do this anymore I know you did not enjoy it.” But he surprises me and says he really did enjoy it and wants to do another adventure again. Wow! Communication at last.

He pulls out his phone and down the road we go.

Chinese New Year 2016 in Honolulu-The Year of The Monkey


I Had such a wonderful day in China Town today. It was the celebration of Chinese New Year. The year of the Monkey. My grandson Nico’s year.

It has been at least 40 years since I attended the last one. Same old, same old. “Oh I so want to go down and see the celebration” but I just always put it off.

Not this year. My family was going down and I was invited too so I went! Here is the proof in photos.

IMG_4308Some of my family



IMG_4251These three are my favorite. There were so many of these toys, tee shirts and food lining the streets. We strolled all morning and spent lots of money.

IMG_4315I could not figure out what this was and I had a hard time understanding the Chinese man’s accent. He was patient and kept repeating until I figured it out. Red Dates!

IMG_4301So hard to choose. All was freshly cooked and smelled so good.

IMG_4312One of my favorites. Char Siu. Bought to take home

IMG_4310Can you tell we are in China Town?

IMG_4316This is one of the most popular bakeries in China Town. You have to get to it early or this is what happens.

Odds and Ends Along the Way

chinese New Year 2016 - 60




chinese New Year 2016 - 62

A tip of the hat to my dear friend

chinese New Year 2016 - 61My daughter couldn’t resist all of the colorful cartoon items Inside the bookstore

IMG_4276At last what looked to be an authentic Item. When I went to check to see how much it was I was told it was being used by the fortune teller and not for sale. Sigh.

IMG_4300Guan Yin Goddess of Mercy. There is a wonderful blog that tells you all about her at

IMG_4282And what is Chinese New Years without a Lion Dance. Here the lion hesitates. Should he enter the smoke?

IMG_4285But then his companion catches up to him and says, don’t worry little buddy I’ve got your back

IMG_4283And little buddy feels brave and stands tall and into the smoke he goes

IMG_4264These are other members who also participate in making the lion dance. They all wait their turn as the dancers change out quite frequently

chinese New Year 2016 - 44Here you can see them changing out. Notice the woman with the blue arm sticking out towards the green lion. She is offering him money for good luck. This is also how the club makes their money.

IMG_4294Oh the lion is so happy to have been fed.

IMG_4274So my daughter feeds the lion too. We can all use a bit of luck.

IMG_0391And I can use all the luck I can get.

IMG_4333Then these little lions came along. I could not resist following them as they would stop and wag their tail end.

IMG_4339The little lion makes it up the stairs and heads to this woman who definitely wants good luck for her business. See all those red papers on her desk? She has been feeding many lions and she must be feeding them well as the lions don’t give those papers to just anyone.

IMG_4342And there he is giving her another good luck paper

IMG_4330And these are the little children who are dancing that lion. They start from a very,very young age.

So what a wonderful day I had. I loved the banging, drumming and all of the commotion. I watched the smiles on all of the old Chinese people’s faces and wondered just what memories were going through their minds. For me I loved seeing all the different nationalities co-mingling. I thought what a wonderful island this is that we all celebrate and enjoy each others differences. That is why I can honesty say “Hawaii No ka oi.” (Hawaii is the best)

Where’s the Pig or What You Might or Most Likely Not See While Hiking on Oahu.

IMG_6419Koolau Range

Entering the mountains here on Oahu makes me feel immediately at peace. In the past I would go with friends on pig hunts but knew in my heart they would not catch anything. For one thing they always left to late and you had to be in the mountains at the crack of dawn to catch anything worth while. The last thing I wanted to see was a pig getting killed.

DSCN1534 A pig hunter heading down the road with his wild boar trophy on his truck

While hiking I would hear rustling in the bushes. This was most likely a sign of pigs. But I never saw one. But while driving through a rural neighborhood I saw one out on the road checking his mail. At least that is what it looked like as he headed towards a mailbox.

While walking my dog at dusk I could see another dog walking towards us. But his feet seemed so dainty and he seemed so light on them. It turned out to be a young pig taking a walk down the street. He saw us coming towards him and he took off. I’d never seen anything walk so fast in high heels as this little guy. Well once again that is how it looked as his little porky toes click, clacked down the street. But no, I never saw one in the mountain.

As it is I don’t have to go into the mountains to see pigs as they seem to be all around me. I would have to say here though. They are destructive. They tear up all of the native forest and root into the forest floor. So pig hunting is necessary to try to keep the population down and of course for luaus.

3372289796_2c776f7d98_bSo this is the closest I’ve been to a pig even though it’s not alive. This is a pig being dressed for a luau. They will put the hot stones inside of the cuts in the body and then lay him onto hot stones in the ground after he has been wrapped  and then buried with dirt. Can anyone say Kalua Pig?

Kissing Paradise Goodby-Waikiki on the Fourth of July

Every year my son has a 4th of July picnic in Waikiki. It is my favorite ritual. In order to get a decent spot he has in the past arrived the night before to save a place. I would join him around 5 AM so that I could, one, find parking and two, sit and drink coffee while the sun came up. It was a wonderful event.

Last year he was told by the city that they were no longer allowing people to stay overnight and that you had to wait until 5 AM to get into the park.

I did not know this but still planned on my 5 AM arrival. Well due to a new alarm clock that I was not sure how to set I kept waking up to make sure I had not over slept. By 2 AM I was exhausted and thought the heck with it I’ll just sleep and hope it would go off.

Just as I drifted off Max decided he wanted to sleep on the bed and jumped up and plopped his furry body right in front of my face. He refused to get off the bed. After fighting with him for 20 minutes I finely got back to sleep but not for long as he started to bark at the person delivering the paper. It was now 3 AM and I gave up.

I got up packed up all my things, made coffee, got ready and i was out the door at 3:30. I was in Waikiki in 20 minutes. What would normally take 40 minutes during the day in regular traffic was a breeze on a holiday.

And a good thing it was fast. When I arrived there was not one parking space in the whole street along Waikiki beach. When I arrived at the park there were only 5 spaces left. Where I was always able to park right next to our spot, there were cars lining the area. What’s more I could not see my son. I drove way down from our usual space and took the first space I saw.

In the past there was never any tents set up. Now they were everywhere. The rule that only one person could sleep over and only in a sleeping bag to save a space had been totally ignored! I phoned my son, he was just driving down and I told him to hurry as the spaces were almost gone. He was upset when he arrived. People were sleeping everywhere.

Four in the morning and you can just see tents set up to the right But at this time there are so many people down here that I don’t want to venture to the bench to drink coffee as I might stumble over someone.

The Dawn is breaking and the only peaceful place is on the beach it’s self. The lifeguard post is still quiet and unmanned.

Looking toward Waikiki the Natatorium lights have just come on in the bathrooms

A few people enter into the water at around 6:30

Looking through the Natatorium window as the sun rises over the mountains

It’s around 7 now and people are starting to arrive to swim. The sun is just starting to rise by Diamond Head

This is looking into the park and you are able to get an idea of how many people have arrived at the park. It is getting so crowded that there will soon be tents on tents.

My son starts to set up. He and I are the only ones there at this time. He is a bit fuzzy from having put in a full day of construction the day before and was up a 3 AM to start loading and getting ice. He was not able to get the spot he usually got as there were already three tents set up there.The photo is a bit fuzzy because, well, I was a bit fuzzy too.

You can see all the cars parked along the park. I was parked way past those cars getting one  of the last few stalls left.

All of the tents are starting to appear

This canoe appeared early in the AM and sat for hours right in the middle of the only place left for kids to play. When we inquired as to who it belonged to, nobody laid claim.  So we put it on the side and the kids got on with their day.

I’m not sure if this guy didn’t want to deal with the crowds on the beach that were now gathering or he couldn’t swim. I guess he was practicing as he and the boat soon disappeared.

This was a party of Marines who had a huge elaborate set up down from us. I found this surprising as the military has private access to some of the best beaches on the island. Nice beaches for locals are so overcrowded I find it hard to understand why they would want to set up and fight the crowds on this beach.

And this was the “Chef.” Boy did his ribs look good. And those are two chickens he has in there also. I asked him how in the world did he get that huge set up down there. Of course he pointed to all the strong Marines standing by waiting. They really know how to party.

As the day got brighter and more and more people arrived, illegal tents with BBQ’s started to take over the beach. And it was still before 9 AM!

My son and I looked around, both of us tired. I had not enjoyed my coffee ritual and we were crowded in between too many tents with strangers kids wandering into our area. What there was of it. Our families arrived and started to settle in. I looked at all the tents around us.

There were a few of the older families that once had picnicked here. It was more younger people and military. Things were again changing in these islands. I told my son that I don’t think I will be coming again. If I had not been harassed by Max and left the house so early I would not have found parking. The thought of getting up at that hour next year just to get a space no longer held any charm to me.

I am sorry for the local families that are slowly loosing all their wonderful picnic areas. Yes indeed. We can kiss paradise good-by.