Friday, September 29, 2017

Family Vacation (October 1993): Hawaii

October 14, 1993 (Thursday):         (San Francisco, Honolulu, Laie)

Sam was very nervous to ride on an airplane. Julia Haws picked us up about 7:45 a.m. to drive us to Ontario Airport. Fortunately, she drove fast and we got there about 8:20 a.m. Judy, Rachael and Sam were on one side of the aisle (Rachael with the window) and Sam and I on another side (Sam with the window). Once we finally got into the air, Sam seemed much relieved. It was not as scary as he had imagined. We had a nice view of Cucamonga Peak, Mount Baldy and Mount Baden-Powell as we flew along the Los Angeles side of the San Gabriel Mountains. Later, we got views of Mount Whitney and the Sierras as we flew to San Francisco.

In San Francisco we walked through airport shops to kill two hours (we all shared one large chocolate TCBY yogurt).

The airplane to Honolulu was jammed. We all had separate seats, but we were able to arrange it so that Judy sat with Andrew and Rachael and me with Sam. The airplane movie was an “R” (Indecent Proposal) so we did not have it as a diversion. Both Sam and Andrew were very antsy. I had Andrew for the last hour of the flight and was glad Judy’d had to deal with him earlier. He was all over the place.

In Honolulu, Dad met us at the airport with leis (shell leis for Sam and Andrew). We picked up our van from Budget Rent-A-Car and followed Dad toward Pali Hwy. It was a freaky experience for me. I’d lived here for 10 months, 17 years ago, but really could not recognize much. Even the drive up Pali Hwy was foreign to me. We stopped by the old mission home – now Queen Emma’s Nursery. They had built on another building and kids and cars were all around. I’d have loved to seen it inside again. It didn’t have the same warmth or beauty.

We then stopped at the Pali Lookout and viewed Kaneohe and the distant drive toward Laie (Chinaman’s Hat in the distance). Dad stopped in Kaneohe and bought some teriyaki chicken, steak and ribs from a take-out that Matt discovered. We stopped at another store and Dad bought a rubber raft and oars (for use on our walk over to Goat Island). Judy couldn’t stay awake the rest of the way to Laie. In Laie, we learned that Layne had been up and about, but that they had found some damage in other tissue (lymph nodes) and so he will have to go through chemotherapy.

We ate a marvelous meal (the food Dad purchased, plus rice and salad and guava/cherry juice). The house is two stories, Mom’s and Dad’s room being the top south portion and the guest room the north portion. The guest room has two beds and a small bathroom with a sink. Dad’s room has two double beds, a large bathroom and large walk around space. The bottom level has a large bathroom with a shower, a t.v./family room with cable and a VCR, a dining room and kitchen.

Mom has six pictures on the dining room walls, all framed with brown frames and blue mats. They are colorful pictures of paintings with a Polynesian theme. She got the pictures from a calendar. They are very nice and perfect for the setting. Several of Mom’s dolls are in the dining room, one of a young woman in a white dress (wedding gown?) holding a blue flower. She has long blonde hair and a pendent around her neck. The other is of an older woman kneeling near a basket with gray hair wrapped in a bun and a long shell necklace. The basket has three fish. The hands are very detailed, to the point of showing the veins on the backs.

The carpet is a very spartan brown outdoor carpet, but you quickly discover why. Lots of sand and dirt get tracked around and nothing ever dries out. The beach is about 40 yards (the water itself) from the house. A little channel (muliwai) goes up past the side of the house that gets water during rains or high waves. There is a small gazebo with a pointed roof and open construction.

We discovered numerous geckos crawling around in the open carport (which includes a couch), mostly around the lights where they wait for insects. We also caught several toads, which tend to discharge all of their body fluids when you pick them up.

October 15,1993 (Friday):                (Pounders, Goat Island)

We slept in the visitor’s bedroom. Sam and Andrew in one double bed, Rachael on a futon on the floor and Judy and I in the other double bed. We had the sliding door open toward the ocean and the constant sound of waves lapping or pounding against the beach (heavier toward morning) was with us all night. I awoke at 2:45 (my body still running three hours ahead of schedule) and dozed off and on until 5:30 or so when I had to split Sam and Andrew up (me crawling in with Andrew and Sam with Judy). Judy and Rachael went out for a walk at 6:00 a.m. The sun started rising in the east conveying many shades of color as the rays glissaded through the clouds. I took several photos of sunrise (marveling at our tremendous accommodations right on the ocean).

Dad, Sam and I walked along the beach about 6:30, first toward Hauula, then toward Pounders. We stopped several fiddler crabs and ran across a mangy old hound with salt and sand eyelashes, he looked like a flea bagged old timer. I followed a little trail over the point to view Pounders. Later in the morning, we walked down Kam Hwy to Pounders. There we all went in the surf and each had an encounter with Portuguese man o’ war. They left red rashes with little white welts. I got one stuck on my left shoulder and chest and still feel my chest this evening (around 9:00 p.m.). We all body surfed some small waves, except Andrew who gained some courage, first refusing to go in the water, then cautiously going out more and more as the morning progressed. On the way home from Pounders we saw several anoles (chameleons) on large green leaves off the side of the road. I tried to catch one but missed.

Earlier in the morning I caught a fairly good sized gecko at the north side of the house and brought it in for photos. I let it loose on the dining room wall and it went behind a picture.

Dad and I went to Food Towne in Laie to buy fried chicken, a large sandwich, Hawaiian potato salad and guava mixed drinks (with strawberry, passion fruit and orange). We all hopped in the Ford Van and drove to a park near Kahuku. There we got out a rubber boat and pumped it up for our trip across the narrow channel to Goat Island. We put the cooler with food, my camera (in a plastic bag) and Sam and Andrew in the boat and started off. We reached points in the channel where the waves were above our heads and we had to jump up. The boat, as long as we kept it headed into the wave, would roll with it and Sam and Andrew got a great ride. At times we would get waves coming in from two directions. I was holding to the front of the boat and Judy and Rachael to the sides. We finally got to the other side, quite relieved. I was concerned we would get out in the middle and the bottom of the ocean would drop off.

Except for the outer edges of the island, there are no trespassing signs because the island is a bird sanctuary. In fact, I ran across a bird resting in a hole, a dark bird with a long bill that was beautiful. I got within a foot or two and it stayed there, a very protective mother.

There is a beautiful cove protected on three sides by the island. It might be any lagoon on a deserted desert island. Beautiful blue, aqua water, no waves, sandy bottom. We spent some time eating lunch and swimming in the lagoon. Dad and the kids were out swimming and eventually we took out the boat which Sam and Andrew enjoyed. Toward the north end of the island the waves were crashing against the rocks and tide pools were protected between the main part of the island and the north facing rocks.

While Dad was sitting on some tree roots, exposed above the sand, we discovered three or four little striped lizards which I photographed. They may be skinks. I’m not sure. Rachael found a sea cucumber in a tide pool and showed us the mouth and excretory system, knowledge gleaned from her Catalina trip.

On the way back across the channel we let Rachael negotiate it on her own and Judy and I handled the boat. We had an easier time keeping it from getting swamped, but Rachael got frustrated and scared and Judy eventually went back to help her. I guess her knee started giving her problems. Dad has an oar in each hand and carefully plodded along across. On the shore again I photographed a beautiful pair of cardinals, red heads and white and gray bodies.

For dinner at 5:30, Dad took us to Ahi’s in Kahuku where we all had shrimp. Dad with cocktail sauce, me with a batter and the rest scampi (sautéed in butter and garlic). The best part of the evening was a Hawaiian singing along with his guitar. He played the Hawaiian wedding song and best of all, a song about grandpas, an old country/western song.

About 8:00 p.m. or so, Judy and I went for a walk along the beach and discovered hundreds of crabs running.

October 16, 1993 (Saturday):          (Sunset, Waimea Bay, Pearl Harbor)

I woke up at 2:00 a.m. again, but managed to get back to sleep, off and on, until 5:30. Around 6:30, Sam, Andrew, Dad and I went for a walk/jog along the beach. It started to rain fairly hard. I captured a fiddler crab on the beach by picking it up from the back side, one finger underneath and one finger on top. The crab didn’t struggle at all once I picked it up.

We got a fairly late start (about 9:30), and drove the north shore. North of Sunset Beach we stopped at a fruit stand. With the car running, I got out and purchased a coconut (the lady chopped off the top and we put in two straws and the kids sucked the milk out), a lilikoi or passion fruit which was cut in half with large seeds (it was a bit bitter), a guava (which was purple inside and more sweet, but still not great), some sugar cane (gumming the cane gave a sweet flavor, particularly for Rachael) and some papaya (cut and in a bag for $1.00, a great buy).

In Sunset, Dad stopped us at a bakery and bought us each an apple turnover which was frosted a bit on the outside, very crumbly and good. We stopped along the road to watch surfers at Bonzai Pipeline. The surf was small, but it was fun to watch them deal with what little there was.

We drove up a steep hill to a point overlooking Waimea Bay. It was an ancient heiau or Hawaiian Temple (Puuomahuka Heiau). It was rimmed by lava rocks and in many spots had food offerings placed along the rocks. Toward the top end (the east) was a rounded pyramid of rocks which I guess serves as the holy of holies. It had quite a bit of food stacked on it. The food included luncheon meat and at least one package of lunchable munchables, interesting food for the spirits or gods. The view of Waimea Bay was spectacular.

We drove to Haleiwa and stopped in a little shopping mall. Sam was anxious to spend his money, but couldn’t find anything he wanted. There was a specialty food store with great guava/mango jam. Past Haleiwa, we stopped at the Dole Pineapple factory. This was after passing great fields of sugarcane (which apparently is a dying industry in the islands) and then of pineapple. The plant was very commercialized, but we were surprised by the exhibit of different types of pineapple from around the world (Viet Nam, the Philippines, Colombia, Brazil, etc.). The plants and fruit varied significantly. Inside was a pineapple dispenser serving free pineapple. We purchased three bowls of soft pineapple ice-cream, but it wasn’t a big hit., everyone is feeling stuffed from all we’ve been eating.

We drove by Schofield Barracks and then down to Pearl Harbor to the Arizona Memorial. It was a great memorial with a film of the Japanese bombing and then a boat trip, led by naval personnel, to the memorial. We got out of the boat and could see sections of the sunken ship that lie under the memorial. A new wall (built in 1984) commemorates the names of all of the dead in the Arizona. One thing that struck me was that the Japanese had many other targets as well, Schofield Barracks, Kaneohe Bay and others. Only the Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma were put completely out of commission. The battle of Midway, then, was the turning point of the war where the aircraft carrier Nimitz and others won a decisive victory over the Japanese. A question I’d often wondered was why the 1,700 + men were left on the Arizona instead of being removed? The ranger indicated (the exhibit is run by the U.S. National Park Service) that there were over 1 million pounds of fuel and one million pounds of ammunition on board that were directly hit by a 1,600 pound bomb. The bomb pierced the ship and went down six or seven levels before exploding and igniting a massive inferno. The bodies were in pieces or non-existent.

Dad paid our way into the U.S. Bowfin exhibit, a memorial of the submarine warfare. The exhibit had photos of the early submarines on up to the present Trident submarine. Most impressive was the tour of the Bowfin. With a little radio, we self toured the submarine starting with the torpedo room (where men used to sleep between the torpedoes), then the sleeping quarters (people stacked three deep in very tight quarters), eating room, control rooms and out back onto the deck. I hadn’t realized they also had conventional guns on top and were able to come to the top and shoot down small boats without using torpedoes. Andrew got anxious inside. We believe he may be a little claustrophobic like I am. He definitely wanted to get out. The tour furthered my belief that I would have a difficult time with the close spaces on a submarine. It is sobering to think of the technology and the money spent on all of these war machines.

We slapped together some turkey sandwiches in the car, enjoyed some dried pineapple and macadamia nuts and headed toward the Like Like Hwy over the Koolau Range. Past Kaneohe, we stopped at a factory outlet for muu muu’s (moo-oo-moo-oos) and Judy and Rachael purchased similar items. I really like them. They are casual and feminine.

I had a major headache that was not totally blunted by several Tylenol and started feeling nauseous. I went to bed about 7:00 p.m.

October 17, 1993 (Sunday):             (Laie, Hauula)

I woke up at 3:00 a.m., and rolled out of bed about 3:20. I went downstairs and wrote the Saturday entry in this journal. This house in Laie is really incredible. Dad says that the ground itself would sell for over $1,500,000.

Around 5:00, I went on a walk down Kam Hwy, past Pounders, past the Polynesian Cultural Center (P.C.C.) and left on the road past BYU- Hawaii Campus, married student housing and to the temple. It is beautifully illuminated at night. Before leaving around 5:00, Sam came downstairs to write in his journal. When I returned from my walk, about 6:08, Sam was watching t.v. and Judy was reading “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water” by Michael Dorris.

We went to Mom and Dad’s ward in Hauula for Church.

Dad and Judy cooked a marvelous turkey, with mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, Stove-Top stuffing, salad (with artichoke hearts, avocados, fake crab, kidney beans, tomato, etc.).

I went out on the beach for about an hour with the kids for a walk. We did finger writing in the sand. Sam stomped on a beached man o’ war and went howling back to the house with pain (I couldn’t feel sorry for him because he did it intentionally).

October 18, 1993 (Monday):            (Makapuu, Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay, Polynesian Cultural Center)

Dad had to go to work, so we were on our own this morning. We packed sandwich fixings, stopped by Foodland in Laie for two 2 litre bottles of soda pop (Diet Sprite and Squirt) and headed for a new (to us) part of the island.

Around Kaneohe, the map and what we were seeing didn’t correspond to each other. So we started driving through Kailua, then eventually drove out toward the mountain and found the road to Waimanalo. Judy stopped the van to purchase some roadside corn on the cob ($4.00 for 14 small ears). Eventually we passed Sea Life Park and drove in to Makapuu. Signs warned of the dangerous surf and that, in combination with a great number of body surfers in the water and smallness of the beach led us to continue on.

We pulled over at Sandy Beach and watched the waves from the car. There were some very good sets (probably two feet). Again, it was crowded, signs warned against the pounding of the waves and we decided to go on.

We stopped at the pullout to Blow Hole and found a row of t-shirt purveyors. Everyone got one. Sam and Andrew got “Jurassic Surf” shirts, a take-off on the very popular Jurassic Park movie.

Then to Hanauma Bay. From the parking lot above, the coral is distinctly visible below. At the bottom, the sand is very course and the weather was maybe the hottest we have experienced so far (we all got sun burned a little uncomfortably). As a side light, the water (ocean) her is much warmer than California. Here, there is hardly any uncomfortable ness in initially getting in to the water. In California, you agonize over every step. Eventually you may get comfortable, but only after being in awhile. In San Simeon, further north, I never did get comfortable. California also has wider sand beaches. Here the beaches tend to be quite shallow.

We all spent time snorkeling among the coral. I used my swimming goggles and a stand-alone snorkel. Unlike my previous trip there, I went all the way out past the main reef into deeper water. The number of fish dropped off dramatically past the reef. They obviously like the reef. The numbers and types of fish were incredible, although I don’t know the names. Black ones with a rounded orange spot back near the tail, multi-hued blue with UCLA yellow – should be called the Bruin fish. Many shades of red, yellow (with stripes and dots),white, puffer fish. Sam and Andrew discovered some sea cucumbers and sea urchins. Judy exclaimed that this was “the neatest thing I have ever done.” She was fascinated that we could get so close to the fish and at their numbers and variety and color. Rachael managed to touch a puffer and got it to puff up. Sam claimed to have seen two eels over next to the cliff at waters edge.

After leaving, we drove through very slow construction over to Honolulu and up Like Like Hwy back to Laie. Dad had a memo for us letting us know he had tickets waiting for us for the Polynesian Cultural Center. We didn’t get there until about 4:20, way too late to take in what we’d have liked. Rachael got to test some balls (two) attached to chords with instruction from a Maorie (New Zealander). His face was painted with lines, no shirt, a light brown skin and a skirt with bead runners. Most shocking is the British type accent. Then we went to Fiji and learned how to play music with bamboo pieces (knocking them on the ground). At 5:00, we were at the Samoa exhibit for 40 minutes and enjoyed their head person (who turned out to be the star of the evening show – the fire dancer). He would pick on Japanese tourists and ask them to come up. They recognized and made fun of those with anniversaries, honeymoons (“I’ll bet you’re tired”). One Japanese fellow was pulled from the crowd and asked to take his shirt off. They then put a grass necklace on him and had him engage in a crazy series of running, shouting, sticking out his tongue, passing a coconut back and forth like a football and teasing him about kissing the Samoan leader on the cheek. Eventually they rewarded him with a very nice grass hat decorated with hibiscus (red flowers). They also had a Samoan that inched up a very tall palm tree to throw down coconuts (the tree must have been 50 feet high).

We hustled over to dinner and had a mediocre buffet consisting of fried (baked)chicken, fried white fish, sweet and sour pork, potato salad, rice, regular salad, soft drinks and guava cake. Sam and Andrew did have fun mixing drinks (fruit punch with Sprite, etc.). Then to the IMAX Theater to see a film on Polynesia. The screen was something like 60 feet wide and 60 feet tall and the film was directed by Keith Merrill. The opening scene, some islanders leaving an island on a boat, was filmed at the beach opposite Goat Island. Another wedding scene appeared to be filmed at Kahana Bay. The most beautiful scenes were those in New Zealand with a back-drop of tall snowy mountains and spectacular helicopter footage of flying over passes with incredible drop-offs. It made me want to go to New Zealand. One shot, in particular, of a very, very steep waterfall, was spectacular.

The evening show started at 7:30 and went to about 9:15. Dad got us great seats about eight rows back and on the second section in. By far the most spectacular part of the show was our Samoan friend doing his fire dance. He threw his burning spear high into the air and at one point threw it into the distance (pitch black) only to be caught by another Samoan standing above. Later, on several occasions, he caught flaming spears thrown down to him. He also juggled and rotated two flaming spears (both ends ignited) at once and was exhausted at the end. Another funny and dramatic scene was that of Samoans with flaming mats doing their antics of dancing over and sitting on the fire. They pushed each other, etc., in some very cute scenes.

We returned from the show exhausted and happy from a wonderful day. In the end, this day replaced the Goat Island day as the kids most favorite.

October 19, 1993 (Tuesday):            (Honolulu Zoo, Laie)

The kids finally had some break downs and we struggled with tantrums, etc. most of the morning. We tried to arrange our trip to the Big Island and ended up not getting off until about 12:30.

We drove to the Honolulu Zoo in Kapiolani Park off of Waikiki Beach. It obviously does not have a lot of money. We have enjoyed visiting zoos as a family. We have previously been to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake, Moonridge Zoo in Big Bear, the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Los Angeles Zoo, Denver Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, Sonora Desert Zoo in Tucson, Rio Grande (?) Zoo in Albuquerque and maybe others I can’t recall. They do have a very nice Savannah exhibit with very natural settings. In particular, we had a great view of a male and female lion jostling each other on a wooded hill. They also had a small, but nice, reptile house. Their southwest desert exhibit had spiny lizards, an alligator lizard, collared lizards, chuckwallas, desert iguanas and leopard lizards (which we didn’t see). They had a mother cheetah and four adolescents (born in April) and maybe my favorite, some secretary birds on an open savannah. They were framed by a backdrop of the skyline of Waikiki, along with impala and some other large birds. The secretary birds are very large, maybe three feet tall and run rapidly and kill snakes and rodents by stomping on them. In the gift shop, we purchased an on/off switch plate with a gecko (carved in wood) which was very cute (it is now the light plate in our home entry way at the beginning of the hall).

We then drove down Ala Wai Street to the Hawaiian Hilton and down Kalakaua Avenue through Waikiki and got Judy and Rachael excited to shop there. We then circled around again to Ala Moana Shopping Center for macadamia nut and white chocolate cookies from Mrs. Field’s and a dozen donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts (they aren’t as good here – the cream is too thick and not as sweet).

We followed Ala Moana further to meet up with the freeway to the airport. There we picked up Mom, arriving after visiting Layne in Provo. Layne is still in the hospital, but progressing (cancer operation – removal of portions of his stomach and esophagus).

Dad showed me his office at Hawaii Reserves and introduced me to Lucky Fonoimoana (?) and others. It was nice to see where he works and meet some of the people he works with. We located our tickets to the Big Island (we finally found someone in Laie Travel that located Norris, our agent, who bought the tickets there).

Rachael attended mutual with Sister Jasmine (baked cookies for someone that is sick) and found a pen pal.

October 20, 1993 (Wednesday):      (Hilo, Volcanoes National Park)

Judy and I left Laie about 6:40 in the van and drove to the airport. We arrived about 8:00 (for a 9:00 flight). Judy got a window seat behind the left wing and got fantastic views of Oahu (Hanauma Bay), Molokai and Maui. We landed in Hilo, got our car from Dollar-Rent-A-Car, then realized we couldn’t drive the car on Hwy 20 (over the center of the island). We returned the car and were told we couldn’t get a refund, but to check with the travel agent. I called Laie Travel and they checked and informed me no refund was allowed. We called Harper’s, apparently the only rental place that rents autos that can go up Hwy 20 and other dirt roads and reserved a car.

We drove toward Volcanoes National Park and stopped at Subway for lunch. Then approximately 29 miles later, we briefly viewed the visitor center and started the Crater Rim Drive. We stopped at Steaming Bluff and had a view into the crater. Steam was venting near the rim as well as back toward the hwy. We briefly viewed Kilauea Overlook and drove to Halemaumau Overlook. I believe that is where I saw red molten lava on our trip in July 1975 in the bottom of the crater. Halemaumau Crater is now covered with dark lava, but the map shows its last activity as being in 1974 (the year before I arrived).

We then went to Turston Lava Tube and walked through lush ferns and greenery to a large tunnel – in places 12 or 14 feet high – for about 50 yards. Across the street we took the Kilauea Iki Trail down the mountain through lush ferns and other growth to Kilauea Iki Crater. It doesn’t have the same effect as it would if there was still molten lava. There have been more recent flows – but it takes three hours round trip to go down the Chain of Craters Road to view it. The Black Sands of Kalapana Beach was covered by a flow in 1992 (I believe).

On the way back to Hilo we stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory about three miles off of Hwy 11. We drove through acres and acres of macadamia nut trees. We viewed the making of chocolate clusters. First a machine daps a chocolate spot. Then workers insert a nut on each dap. Then a machine coats each nut with chocolate and it goes through a section to dry and then the chocolate covered nuts are inserted in plastic trays by hand and then another person places a box lid on each pack. We also saw the machine which whacks the nuts (300 pounds of pressure – the hardest nuts to crack), then sorters, then the making of butter brickle. We purchased a bunch of truffles and chocolate boxes, had a chocolate macadamia nut ice cream cone each and one white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.

We checked in at the Hilo Hawaiian, walked to Harper’s to pick up our Isuzu four wheel drive and drove to Leungs, a Chinese chop suey joint recommended by the lady at Harpers. It was cafeteria style, but had wonderful roast duck, shrimp in black bean sauce and Leung chicken (a roast chicken in vegetables). The duck was fantastic.

October 21, 1993 (Thursday):                     (Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kaumana Cave, Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, Panaewa Rainforest Zoo)

Our room at the Hilo Hawaiian, along Banyan Drive in Hilo was very nice. The bay is beautiful with Liliuokalani Park at one end and a little island connected by a bridge with many fishermen along the shore. The bay has a rock barrier set way out (to protect against waves?).  We saw an old newspaper clipping which showed a terrible tsunami that hit Hilo in 1946 and did an incredible amount of damage.

I awoke at 4:00 and eventually turned on the light in the bathroom to read. I was anxious to get moving because I knew we could do both Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa (a 10 mile hike) and hit some of the sights in Hilo, but we would need to get moving. I did a bad job of communicating it to Judy and she was upset that I’d woken her up so early. We did eventually get going and left the hotel about 6:10 a.m.

We took our rented Isuzu vehicle up the Saddle Road. It was quite windy, but not so bad that I can understand why they won’t let rented vehicles go on it. We got some good views of Mauna Kea with the observatories on top, but it didn’t look like it was over 13,000 feet tall. It probably isn’t as impressive as the California or Colorado 13,000 footers because it is so massive and gradual. You don’t have the jagged edges and sheer drops. The Saddle Road near the turnoff was about 6,700 feet. As we went up the hill the vegetation got green and apparently is owned by Parker Ranch. There were numerous cows. As we got higher there started to be Mauna Kea Silverswords, long, tall, grayish green plants. At a little over 9,000 feet, we passed Hale Pohaku, which looks like lodging for the scientists that man the observatories. There the road turns to gravel and a sign says to switch to four wheel drive. We could easily have done it in two wheel, but Judy insisted on putting it into four. The road was quite steep in places and we had to be in first gear on a number of occasions. At about 11,000 feet was a beautiful paved road, much better than anything below (probably the best road on the island). We surmised that it must be good for snow removal purposes (ease for plows to clear it – although they have got to be great plows to clear that steep road). We eventually saw the observatories – there must have been six or eight, one under construction. The literature states that scientists from the U.S., France, Britain and other countries work there. The road turned to the east, our right and we followed it up to the highest observatory, run by the University of Hawaii (I tried to go in but the door was locked).

I looked around to try and determine where the peak was. It appeared to be a little peak to the east of the UH observatory. On closer inspection I could see a trail leading from the road down to a saddle and up the side. It also looked like there was a little monument. I asked Judy if she wanted to go up with me. She said she did, but bundled up in several layers of sweaters and a jacket. The weather was cool and very windy. A good chill with a bite to it. It was cold if you stayed still, but bearable if you were moving. It only took about 10 minutes to get there. The view toward Hilo was blocked by clouds. We could see the weather station at 11,000+ feet on Mauna Loa. Judy pointed out the Geodetic Survey marker which identified the elevation as 13,796 feet, which is the summit of Mauna Kea. Judy was quite cold, and had a bad headache. She won’t admit it, but I think she had altitude sickness. She improved greatly as we came down the mountain.

We got back in the vehicle, put it in second gear and let the gears brake us. On the way down, we saw two large Parker Ranch tankers letting water rush into the gutter on the side of the street. I couldn’t figure out why they were doing it. Then I noticed the gutter water went into an aqueduct under the road into a large man made pond lined with black plastic held down by old auto tires. They were obviously filling the pond with water for the cattle.

Judy stated she wasn’t going to the top of Mauna Loa, but I wanted to drive up as far as we could, if nothing else, for a view of Mauna Kea. I took the dirt road directly across from the Mauna Kea turnoff and quickly got into some climbing up a hill that was more than I wanted with a rental vehicle. I put the vehicle in low gear four wheel to go back down. After looking at the map again, it was apparent the Mauna Loa road turned off shortly before the Mauna Kea road. So we drove east and found it. The road snaked through lava flows and was very twisty and windy. We ran across beautiful orange vegetation, some bottle brush trees. We ran through several sections of pahoehoe (flowing lava that hardened). We finally got to the atmospheric weather station that was about 16 or 18 miles from the Saddle Road. A gravel (lava) road continued on and a trail marker indicated the summit was another six miles. Judy wanted to turn back. She was feeling the effects of Dramamine, carsickness and wanted me to slow down. I did stop for some pictures of pahoehoe and grabbed three samples. I enjoyed the drive through the lava fields of Mauna Loa more than the Crater Rim Drive. There was a greater variety of lava and far fewer people.

Near Hilo, we stopped briefly at Kaumana Cave (a lava tube cave). Judy stayed in the car. It was larger than Thurston Lava Tube, with very lush vegetation in the portion where we went down in. However, a flashlight was needed to go in any distance, so I quickly turned around and headed back to the car. A few miles further we turned off to Rainbow Falls. It was a small parking lot with an overlook of an incredibly beautiful waterfall on the Wailoa River. The vegetation around the waterfall was lush and the pool at the bottom was begging for someone to swim in it (although I don’t believe it would be legal to do so). A short hike allowed one to view the falls from the top (but Judy stopped me from venturing off the trail for a good view). As I look at the map as I write this, I see several other falls upstream we should have visited (Peepee Falls and Waiole Falls).

We returned the Isuzu to Harper’s and drove our Dollar Dodge on the road toward Honokaa, our destination, Akaka Falls. This turned out to be the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. A circular walk meanders through streams and incredibly lush vegetation. Bamboo areas, and clumps of exotic flowers with beauty that would have made any floral arrangement proud. Here my lack of knowledge of flowers doesn’t allow me to do any descriptions even partial justice. Akaka Falls itself was steep and the setting beautiful, but probably not as pretty a waterfall as Rainbow Falls (although many feet taller). I could spend a day at Akaka with a camera, just shooting flower pictures and scenery shots.

 On the way back to Hilo we took the four mile Pepeekeo Scenic drive which contained some incredible lush tropical beauty and one spectacular overlook of a rocky cliff lined shore line. There is a Hawaii Botanical Garden en route which would likely be worth a stop and visit, but at the time we didn’t have the time or inclination (we figured that after Akaka Falls, it would be an anti-climax).

We drove to the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo outside Hilo (toward Volcano National Park) that was free and better kept than the Honolulu Zoo. Several exhibits were closed (under repair), but we got a great view of a tiger rolling in the green grass. The axis deer had four or five bucks with antlers bigger than any I’ve seen in any other zoo. Anteaters, a tapir, Hawaiian owl and hawk, several types of lemurs and monkeys basically rounded out the zoo. It was small, but a very worthwhile visit. It reminds me that I need to make a list of the Zoos we’ve visited.

We stopped at a mall and spent time viewing inside and then at Hilo Hattie’s (primarily an aloha shirt store). Then back to Leung’s for another very nice meal. I reordered the roast duck that was just as good as the night before, as well as a sampling of lemon chicken and egg foo yung. Judy had sweet and sour pork that was good, but not as good as the duck by any stretch of the palate.

 We drove to the little island near Liluokalani Gardens while Judy read and I cleaned the car of rubbish and found my contact lens (which I lost taking out my contacts in the car outside Leung’s). I said a little prayer and immediately found the contact lens (I’d looked for ten minutes before going into the restaurant earlier). We returned the car to Dollar and got a shuttle bus back to the airport. I would like to return to the Big Island someday and see some of the many things we didn’t on this trip. Take the Chain of Craters Road, go to Kahena Black Sands Beach, to Waipio Valley, the whole leeward side of the island and to hike to the summit of Mauna Loa.

From the air we could see lights on Maui and of course Oahu as we landed. We paid $16.00 for our parking (two days at $8.00 each) and drove back to Laie over Like Like Hwy. I got an appreciation for the crowd that attends the PCC as we passed bus after bus after bus coming back the other way.

October 22, 1993 (Friday):               (Bishop Museum, Honolulu)

We got moving slowly this morning, sitting around, sleeping in, etc. We didn’t leave the house until 10:30 or 11:00 and headed toward Honolulu. We went down Pali Hwy and stopped at the Boy Scout Office on Paiwa Road just south of the old Mission Home. We drove down to School Street and headed west toward the Bishop Museum. We stopped at a grocery store, purchased some food and then ate a picnic lunch on the Bishop Museum grass consisting of carrot sticks, cantaloupe and honey dew melon slices, Triscuit crackers and cheese spread and shrimp chips.

I was shocked to find admission was $7.99 for adults and $6.99 for the children. It turned out to be much too much for what was there. We went to the main building which housed the Hawaiian collection and it had interesting items, but much of it was just not interesting for the kids. They did have an amber collection (tree sap entrapping insects of the past) which has particularly current interest because of the Jurassic Park movie (DNA removed from dinosaur blood found in a mosquito entrapped in amber was used to recreate the dinosaurs). They had feather capes and headdresses that were fun. I was disappointed that they didn’t have more in the way of shell or animal collections and all we saw was a very small Hawaiian shell exhibit, nothing on the local birds or animals). They had a special bicycle and water exhibit and I learned that an area of the Koolau Range (between Kahana Bay and Hauula) gets 300 inches of rainfall per year. They also had an exhibit of 85-degree temperatures (you put your hand in a hole) in Honolulu (wet and muggy), Minneapolis (more dry) and San Diego (with a wind). It demonstrated how much hotter the wetness makes you feel and how much cooler the wind makes you feel.

We drove to Honolulu Zoo for Mom to buy a gecko light switch covering (like we bought a few days earlier). They were out, they get them from a place in Kauai, which gets them from Thailand). The traffic was horrendous and it took us forever to get over to Ala Moana Shopping center. Dad, the boys and I were going to go back to the Waikiki Aquarium, but packed it in figuring we would spend the whole time waiting in traffic. The women shopped by themselves and Dad treated the boys to an ice cream cone at Hagen Daas (Belgium chocolate – Yum!!) and a strawberry drink at Orange Julius. I ended up getting two Cecelio and Kapono cassette tapes which the lady discounted to me from $9.99 each to $6.99. It was a very nice gesture.

It took 35 minutes to get back on the freeway. There was at least one set of green lights where we didn’t even move. Once on Pali Hwy we picked up steam. We stopped at L&L Barbeque for more chicken, ribs and steak and came back home to enjoy another great meal (with guava orange drink). We have had some tremendously good food on the trip; my waistline is letting me know too!).

October 23, 1993 (Saturday):          (Hawaii Temple, Beach)

Judy, Dad and I attended the 7:30 session at the Hawaii Temple. I took out my endowments there in May 1976, 17 ½ years ago, with Mom and Dad and many missionaries (I believe I went to two sessions). The temple has been remodeled; it was live sessions back then. We went into ordinance room three with beautiful mountain west scenes on the walls (a cougar, some bears, several different scenes of wolves). Dad knew many people, including the temple president. The session was very small, maybe 30 or 40 people. There were a couple of times during the session that my emotions welled up inside me as I though of Dad beside me and the wonderful part he has played in my life. In the Celestial Room, Dad showed us two ornate pink vases that were given to the Church by Queen Liliuokalani, somehow one of the Clissolds had gotten a hold of them and donated them to the Church. They were enclosed in glass, standing on a table, separated from each other by a beautiful china depiction of the savior with his apostles in a boat, the tempest raging.

We planned to do the Sacred Falls hike near Hauula, but the rain came pouring down. Following our temple session, we drove by a home in Laie advertising “Kalua Pig” for $5.00 per pound. We stopped but were informed it would be another hour; they were still shredding the pig. We continued on to the bookstore at BYU-H in the Aloha Center in my search for a t-shirt. I ended up getting two: one with long sleeves that was of very high quality (but 30% off).

We backtracked to get kalua pig, two pounds for $10.00. To fill out our now intended luau, we dropped Judy off at home and Dad and I drove to the market in Hauula where we got Cherry/Guava juice (my favorite), poi (in a one pound plastic container) and lomi lomi salmon.

Our intended hike to Sacred Falls washed away in an incessant rainstorm, so we had no plans for the remainder of the day. We ended up watching BYU come back but lose to Fresno State in football on the tube (48-45), then ate our feast. Poi was not a hit, but everyone tried it. Dad informed us that poi is now scarce and costs just under $3.00 a pound. It must be grown in marshland (the taro root) and it is very expensive land for agricultural purposes. Judy and I both liked the salmon (raw) in its spicy concoction of tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.

I’d decided to go to Pounders in the rain, but all the kids wanted to come along. Because of the potential for trashing the car (mud, sand) and not being able to keep towels brought along dry, we went behind the house to swim. The waves were bigger than usual. Andrew, Rachael and Sam have all become pretty fearless in the waves, particularly Andrew, a reversal of his fearful demeanor even being near water when we arrived.

I want to mention briefly our fun with the geckos. When I woke up early this morning, I encountered one on the bathroom door downstairs. I trapped him several times on the door jam before letting him get away. Another time, Dad had one trapped in the kitchen near the south window seal – scampering on the back metal of the stove. One I caught the first morning there was let loose on the dining room wall and scampered behind a framed picture on the wall. A few days later Andrew caught a very small gecko in the house on the stairs. I reflect back 17 ½ years ago to our home on Pali Hwy where Mom let me catch them out-of-doors and release them inside. What amazing tolerance from a mother.

October 24, 1993 (Sunday):             (BYU- Hawaii Campus)

I woke up early and went for a drive stopping briefly at Laie Point (several fisherman had lines in the water) and Hukilau , then out to Kahuku and back (listening to Cecelio and Kapono in the tape deck).

We went to church again at the Hauula Ward and Mom prepared a nice meal afterward of left over turkey and stuffing mixed as a casserole with cranberry sauce on the side.

We drove over to BYU-H campus and Dad gave us the story of George Q. Cannon visiting the islands as a missionary. Starting at the David O. McKay building we viewed the mural of the dedication of the islands for missionary work at Pacific Heights (near the site of the Aiea Ward?). We walked to Hale Pukuniahe (Cannon Hall, or big gun that shoots fire), Hale Nalimanui (named after the woman that took George Q. Cannon in as a boarder and heard him talk to the savior in the cane field as he’d prayed to know whether to follow the mission president to the Society Islands or stay and preach to the Hawaiian (Sandwich Island) natives, the George Quayle Cannon Activity Center and then the Lorenzo Snow Administration Center (he talked of Lorenzo snow nearly drowning off Lahaina on the way to Lanai on the way to excommunicate Walter Murray Gibson). Finally, we talked of the outside mural at the McKay building where David O. McKay and Hugh Cannon were at Laie School and McKay prophesied that a school would be built there and result in millions of people coming to visit which has been literally fulfilled (the PCC has had over 20 million visitors in the last 30 years).

October 25, 1993 (Monday):            (Honolulu, LAX, Ontario)

We left the house at 6:15 a.m. after goodbyes to Mom and Dad (and a breakfast of muffins, milk and guava juice).

We all sat in the middle of the DC-10 on our United flight to Los Angeles. It had five middle seats and two seats on each of the window aisles (nine seats total on each row). The movie was another “R” with Whoopie Goldberg and Ted Danson, so we passed on it. Sam caught up on his homework on the plane and I read a portion of a book Judy read on the trip about Columbus.

At LAX we waited for 1 ½ to 2 hours and took a small commuter plane to Ontario, a flight that took 15 or 20 minutes. It was fun because we each had a window (only two seats per row, each with a window) and we flew at 6,000 feet with wonderful views of the lights below.

Afton Dinwiddie was waiting for us at the airport for the ride home. We made it about 7:30, tired and filled with gratitude for a wonderful vacation.


A few days after getting back, we wrote a letter to Mom and Dad thanking them for all they did for us on the trip. We mentioned that we were struggling with Rachael and Sam before leaving; each seemed to be pulling away from us. The trip seemed to help our relationships. We reflected on the memories of our trip to Hawaii:

Guava juice in its various mixtures (particularly cherry/guava);
Toads hopping around on the grass at night (even in rainstorms);
Geckos in the carport at night and sometimes inside in the kitchen or around the doorjambs (can you believe having a Grandma that allows them in the house!);
            Warm tropical ocean water that you can enter without tensing your muscles in anticipation of shock;
            Bare feet sifting through fine, soft, sand, all alone on a half-mile of beach;
            Kalua pig – fat, but good and juicy, a taste unlike that of any other;
            Poi, George Q. Cannon was right, it tastes like wallpaper paste, but at least we can say we tried it;
            Lomi lomi salmon, it may be raw but it is still very good;
            Banana trees in the front yard;
            Coconuts in the front yard (even if the rats do like them too);
             Portuguese man-of-war, you cannot know joy without experiencing pain;
            Cecilio and Kapono (they have accompanied me back and forth to work the last several days);
            Aloha shirts and lava lavas (they are a great get-up for Halloween and an excuse to go without shoes for a day at work);
            Muu muus (what better way to celebrate the evening after a big meal);
             The sound of waves lapping against the shoreline at night with the sliding door open;
            Sunrise through the east facing windows:
            The muliwai in a rainstorm;
            Steep cliffs with green foliage on them;
            The thrill of walking through the ocean (or being in a boat) to Goat Island;
            Hearing about our heritage through our  Grandpa;
            Appreciating the significance of our heritage through the actions of others (the buildings and murals at BYU-H);
            A wonderful Father’s blessing at the hands of a loving and worthy Father (and the remembrance of a similar blessing 17 years previous on Pali Highway before embarking for my mission);
            Stringy, celery-like sugarcane (and the fact that they can make C&H sugar from such inauspicious beginnings);
            Passion fruit (its much better in juice when the bitter seeds are removed);
            Guava (is also better as juice);
            Fresh pineapple (it is better as fruit than as juice);
            Star fruit (thumbs up according to Rachael and thumbs down according to Sam);
            Attending the Hawaii Temple and reliving my initial endowment ceremony 17 years previous;
            Sitting in the Hawaii Temple next to my Dad and appreciating the many things he has done for me through the course of my life;
            Watching others address my Dad in the Temple and Mom and Dad elsewhere and appreciate the impact that they have had in the Hawaiian Islands;
            Solitaire on the computer (more addicting than caffeine and gambling);
            Hanauma Bay, what Judy described as one of the most incredible experiences of her life (these large colorful fish swimming so unafraid, so close);
            Walks with Judy on the beach at night (something I always dreamed of doing with my wife someday, 17 years earlier);
            Crabs scurrying along the beach;
            The submarine (I’m glad I never had to ride one);
            Haagen Daas (Belgian chocolate ice cream);
            L & L Barbeque (it’s good we don’t have it her or I’d be the first Inland Empire sumo wrestler);
            Teriyaki steak;
            Teriyaki chicken;
             Teriyaki ribs (each deserves a separate mention);
            Air conditioning (downstairs is heavenly on a muggy afternoon);
            Missing the BYU/Notre Dame football game (after a 14-68 loss to UCLA just one week previous, my body could not have withstood the emotion);
            Witnessing an almost Jim McMahon like almost comeback by BYU against Fresno State;
            Free pineapple juice at the Dole pineapple plantation;
            Sugar can fields as far as the eye could see past Haleiwa;
            Guava and passion fruit jelly and peanut butter sandwiches;
            Shrimp (shwimp to Andrew) at Ahi’s;
            The grandpa country western song sung by a Hawaiian at Ahi’s;
            Swimming with Grandpa at Goat Island;
            Impressing Grandma with swimming and bodysurfing skills while Mom and Dad were on the Big Island;
            Time alone (especially stories) with Grandma;
            Sea cucumber at Goat Island;
            Red-headed and gray-bodied cardinals;
            Myna birds;
            Grandma’s pancakes;
            Grandma’s pickled onions and bread and butter pickles;
            Roast turkey and masked potatoes on Sunday afternoon and turkey and stuffing casserole on another Sunday afternoon;
            Grandma’s dolls;
            Being met by Grandpa with leis at Honolulu airport;
            Picnic lunch at Goat Island;
            The view from Pali Lookout;
            Standing on top of Mauna Kea in a stiff breeze;
            Driving through miles of lava flows (especially pahoehoe)on Mauna Loa;
            Eating roast duck with Judy at Leung’s in Hilo;
            Akaka Falls and its surroundings (the prettiest place on earth so far);
            Two mongooses (mongeese?) on the road near Panaewa Zoo;
            The book about Chinaman’s Hat;
            Fire dancers tossing flaming spears at the PCC;
            Samoans teasing the Japanese at the PCC;
Maoris, tongues hanging out with scowling faces, at the PCC;
            Halved pineapple bowl with pineapple pieces topped by guava sherbet at the PCC;
            The sacrifice of thousands of young men at Pearl Harbor;
            That others (instead of us) experienced helicopter rescue at Sacred Falls;
            Andrew eating ice cream at Ahi’s with his chopsticks;
            Sam’s desperate need to spend his money immediately;
            Queen Liliuokalani’s vases in the temple’s celestial room;
            The Hawaii Temple viewed from Kam Highway down the palm tree lined street;
            The ocean viewed from the Temple down the palm tree lined street;
            Red and yellow feathered capes and hats in the Bishop Museum;
            Feeling the difference humidity and breeze make in the feel of 85 degree weather (in the Water Exhibit at Bishop Museum);
            Meeting Dad’s cohorts at Hawaii Reserves and being compared to Matt;
            Touring the back roads (shrimp ponds and chicken ranch) of Laie and learning about the environmental challenges facing Dad’s successor;
            A pen pal for Rachael and warm, welcoming Beehive “sisters”;
            Macadamia nuts and dried pineapple;
            Rachael and sea snails;
            Sticky white rice and cabbage in teriyaki sauce;
             The Framed calendar pictures on the dining room wall (that capture the simplicity and beauty of the islands);
            Mom’s landscaping touches in the yard;
            Liquid sunshine;
            Weather that will change in a minute if you don’t like it;
            Suntans in October;
            Having Mom and Dad (Grandma and Grandpa) all to ourselves;
            Viewing the islands form a low flying airplane;
            Bugs and predatory toads that flavored Mom’s, Judy’s and Andrew’s visit to the Kahuku Hospital emergency room;

            Bodysurfing at Pounders.

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten so many of these details. What a fun write-up. This was our first really big travel adventure with the kids. I especially like the details you included about your wonderful parents.