“ODE TO JOY” BY HAWAII SYMPHONY: SPIRITUAL CLIMAX OF 2016

HAWAII SYMPHONY’S “ODE TO JOY:” SPIRITUAL CLIMAX OF 2016

Wow. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the year-ending concert by Hawaii Symphony which featured Beethoven’s 9th symphony – Ode to Joy. And not just at the end. All four movements were masterfully played.

One could not have wished for a more perfect climax to an exciting year. I had to sleep on it in order to climb down emotionally enough from last night so as to be able to write about it.

It was the first time that I have had a chance to see a female conductor in action. And boy, was she ever terrific. She conducted not just with her arms, she put her whole body and soul into it.

No wonder JoAnn Falletta has a list of credits as long as my arm. But I did not know that beforehand (see http://www.joannfalletta.com/ for her bio).

At the end of last night’s performance, the audience was positively ecstatic. You’d think you were at a sporting event judging by the cheering and applause.

I’ll probably write more after I get back home to Maui this evening. Meanwhile, happy New Year to those of you in Australia, Asia and the eastern time zone!

ABOUT BEETHOVEN’S 9th SYMPHONY

Ludwig van Beethoven was almost completely deaf when he composed his ninth symphony. The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (also known as “the Choral” and “Ode to Joy”), is Beethoven’s final complete symphony. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works in classical music.

Beethoven’s deafness created one of the most touching stories in music. When the symphony was completed, he remained facing the orchestra and could not hear the thunderous applause of the audience for his new symphony. Caroline Unger, thimg_1575e mezzo-soprano soloist, had to tap the deaf composer’s arm and have him turn around so that he could see how the crowd’s response. Many of those in attendance, including Miss Unger, had tears in their eyes when they realized the extent of Beethoven’s deafness.

It was first performed on May 7, 1824 at the Kaerntnertor Theater in Vienna.The theater no longer exists. Today, on the site of the old theater is the Hotel Sacher, right behind the Vienna State Opera House. Without knowing this historical tidbit until just now, it is interesting Elizabeth and I were drawn to Hotel Sacher and went there for meals and deserts every day during our May 2014 visit to Vienna. Like the famous Sachertorte (cake see – https://goo.gl/kFIUYm).

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GREETINGS FROM ATOP DIAMONDHEAD SUMMIT

Attending the year-end Hawaii symphony concert was the main reason I flew to Honolulu for a day and a half visit. But not the only one.

When I got to Honolulu on Friday morning, the weather was wet and drizzly. My tentative plan was to drive out to the Pipeline, Oahu’s notorious surfing spot on its north shore. But as I headed out in that direction, drizzle and low clouds that were practically touching the ground dissuaded me from it.

So I turned around and drove in the opposite direction. And decided to try to climb Diamondback. By the time I made it to the world famous volcano that seems to grace every postcard of Honolulu, the rain had abated to just a light drizzle. Which actually made the hike quite enjoyable and easier than on my two previous climbs.

So here are some shots from the summit.

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By the time I made it there, even the drizzle had stopped. But the clouds were still there, providing an unusual backdrop to the usually sunny Waikiki beaches.

Here are some more scenes from the Diamondhead hike. You can see how low the clouds were from this panorama shot.

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WALK ON WAIKIKI BEACH

After a short nap, I went back out and walked on Waikiki beach. I don’t think I have ever seen it looking so gloomy. Yet the weather did not deter the tourists for doing what they came to Hawaii to do – lie, surf, sail or frolic on the beach. 🙂

I first went to my favorite hotel – the Royal Hawaiian.  When it was build in 1927, it was the tallest structure on Waikiki. Now it looks like a midget compared to the hotel skyscrapers around it. Yet it still has that old world Art Deco charm. I just love it. I could not imagine a visit to Honolulu without stopping by at the Royal Hawaiian.

This time, as I bonus I got to see it decked out in Christmas decorations. Which included this amazing gingerbread model of the hotel itself.

Right next door lies one of those hotel skyscrapers – the Sheraton, which now also manages the Royal Hawaiian.

That was the first hotel at which I stayed on my first visit to Hawaii 30 years ago. Its lobby was also looking very festive. You can also see from its beach the view of the Diamondhead which I had climbed a few hours before.

But my favorite view was this model who posed next to a giant sand castle display in the hotel lobby. 🙂 She was actually posing for her “sugar daddy.” I think I overheard them speaking Russian. Which stood out in a hotel lobby where 90% of faces and conversations were Japanese.

WAIKIKI BEACH SUNSET SILHOUETTES

Late this afternoon, I walked back to Waikiki beach to see if the sun would grace us with its appearance at least at the end of the day.

Turns out – not really. But not for a lack of trying.

Normally, this late i the day there would have been a symphony of colors here on the beach. But not today.

Which was actually a silver lining. Literally. 🙂 For, it gave me a chance to shoot this photo essay of Waikiki beach silhouettes.

I was sitting on a bench and drinking my coffee. And people were walking by, back and forth, back and forth… as the sun was struggling to break through the clouds.

As a result, these pictures almost look like B&W photos. Do you have a favorite?

VISIT TO TRUMP TOWER, STREET MARKET

On my way back to my hotel, I stopped at the Trump Tower for a nature call.  So I texted a friend:

“By the way, I just used the restroom in the Trump tower.   For free. One of the new taxpayer perks, I hear.” 🙂

Farther down Waikiki, a street market had just opened (after 4PM). And it was bustling. They even had Elvis helping create a festive atmosphere. 🙂

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Saturday, Dec 31, 2016

WAIKIKI BEACH: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!

The morning of my second day in Honolulu was filled with sparkling sunshine. By the time I made it back to Waikiki beach, a little after 9 AM, all sorts of usual activities were already under way.

What a difference a day makes! It’s hard to believe this is the same beach photographed from the same spots as the shots I took yesterday. It looked like God has decided to give Honolulu beautiful year-end weather. Take a look…

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KAILUA BEACH, WAIMANALO BAY AND KAPUU BEACH

After a nice Waikiki beach walk, I checked out of my hotel and pointed my car northward – toward Kailua on the windward Oahu coast. I did it with some trepidation for two reasons.

First, rainy clouds were still enveloping the high peaks of the Pali, the mountains that run like a spine parallel to the north shore of Oahu. Second, Kailua is where Obama is supposed to be vacationing. And the last thing I wanted was to run into him and his entourage or get delayed in traffic because of all his security.

But because the Kailua beach is one of the nicest beaches on Oahu, I decided to go there anyway.

As it turns out, my worries were unfounded. After driving through the drizzle at the top of the mountain range, the weather was mostly sunny over the ocean on the other side. As for Obama, there was no sign of him. So it was all good.

And this is what I saw on the beach…

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From Kailua, I continued on to the northeast corner of Oahu. From our previous visits there, I knew there would be probably a good view of the Makapuu beach from the lookout of the same name. It was very windy there so I did not hang around for too long. But here’s a panorama shot I took from the lookout.

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UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY: BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS DECOR IN DOWNTOWN HONOLULU

By the time I reentered Honolulu from the east, I thought I was done with my sightseeing. And then I took a “wrong” exit from the H1 freeway. Which turned out to be a perfect entrance into the enchanted world of Christmas in downtown Honolulu.

As I made the left turn from Punchbowl on King Street, I was stunned to see giant figures depicting Christmas scenes in front of the state and city buildings. So I quickly swung left again and ended up right at the entrance of a free public car park.  My spirit guides had it all laid out for me like a red carpet. I just had to walk on it.

And then I actually walk back along King Street admiring the spirit of Christmas in Honolulu on this New Year’s Eve of 2016.  I also marveled at it was all open to the public as our country used to be in the old days – no security screening, no cameras, just JOY OF CHRISTMAS.

Here’s a short video I shot inside the Honolulu City Hall:

Here are also some still shots now of a display of holiday spirit as magnificent as I have ever seen anywhere in the world.

(By the way, these are not inflatable figures. They are permanent sculptures.)

IOLANI PALACE: REMINDER OF SAD HAWAIIAN HISTORY

As I walked onto the beautiful grounds of Iolani Palace, the former royal Hawaiian residence, dotted with huge Monkey Pod trees, I was reminded of its sad history.

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On Jan 17, 1893, United States government overthrew the Hawaiian monarch Queen Liliuokalani at gunpoint, cowardly hiding behind a group of American sugar planters under Sanford Ballard Dole. The coup occurred with the foreknowledge of John L. Stevens, the U.S. minister to Hawaii, and 300 U.S. Marines from the U.S. cruiser Boston were called to Hawaii, allegedly to protect American lives (for more click here – https://goo.gl/CxZGoE).

And the coup was proclaimed right here, at the Aliiolani Palace, right across King Street from the royal residence at Iolani Palace.

Every time I think about it, I hang my head low in shame.

“These are hallowed grounds for Native Hawaiians,” I was thinking, “and it is a park of shame for the rest of us Americans.”

Which is why I fly the old Royal Hawaiian flag in front my Rainbow Shower home. And do ceremony of atonement and contrition at that spot every Jan 17 when I am in residence at the Rainbow Shower. It is my way of showing respect for the Native Hawaiians, and apologizing for the crime the US government committed against them almost 124 years ago.

Here are now photos of Iolani Palace. For more on that, including our visit inside the royal palace in May 2011, click on… https://goo.gl/AeOiwA.

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ALA MOANA HULA DANCERS

My final stop before going to the airport was at the Ala Moana mall. I figured they might have some holiday shows there. And sure enough, a group of Hawaiian women were performing hula dances just as I got there.

And that’s all she wrote from this trip to Honolulu.

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TOPLESS STREET WALKER IN DOWNTOWN HONOLULU

I almost forgot about this little tidbit. As I was driving from the Honolulu City Hall on King Street toward Ala Moana, I was stopped at a red light. My mind was still on the marvelous Christmas display I had just seen, and on the Hawaiian history that unfolded at Iolani Palace 124 years ago.

Suddenly I noticed a woman on a sidewalk who looked like a Native Hawaiian. She took off the pink rag she wore as her top and entered the crosswalk right in front of me topless. She seemed completely casual about that and took her time putting her hands to cover her breasts, like this woman in a file photo from NYC.

Unfortunately, the light changed to green before I had a chance to get my camera ready to shoot. Which is why I have to use this file photos to give you an idea of what I saw.

What do you suppose that was all about? An exhibitionist? And activist like these women in NYC and DC?

The Hawaiian woman, though, did not look like she cared if anybody stared. She walked topless across one of the busiest streets in Honolulu as if that’s the most natural thing to do.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM HAWAII!

Which Hawaii? The sunny or the rainy one?

Turns out – BOTH. On the same day. 🙂

Beautiful day in Oahu, flash flood at the Rainbow Shower in Maui

What a way to end the year. The same day could not have looked any more different between Oahu and Maui than this Christmas Eve.

FLOODING IN MAUI

My foot bridge is gone – for the third and probably final time. I could not even see anywhere its big and heavy (200 pounds) boards. The big bridge has been damaged but is still standing.

So as most things in life, the “good” often comes with the “bad.” So I wish you all a happy new year from both sunshine and rain in the same day.

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Epilogue of Saturday’s flash flood

BRIDGE REPAIRS DONE!

Finally the sun came out today and I was able to do some repairs and clean up after the flash flood on Saturday.

After about two hours work, and 2 1/2 pounds of lost weight, I was covered in mud head to toe. But the job was done and both bridges repaired.

My wonderful Japanese neighbors, Yumi and Taka, had found my foot bridge on their property and hauled it back into place before even started my work.

Of course, I thank them profusely as I never expected them to. I was just about to go hunt for downstream when they texted me that they had found the bridge and brought it back.

You can also see in the middle shot the two plants – money plant and red T-plant – which I have now put to mark the Music Crystal Transceivers despacho (buried underneath). Both were uprooted by the flood and deposited at this spot.

By the way, the erosion around the foot bridge has been so bad that the far end of it hanging onto what’s left of the riverbank by fingernails. I shored it up some more today with two long steel rods which I drove into the ground to support the bricks.
But as I said to Yumi and Taka after I was done, the next flood, if there is one (hope not), will be the end of the bridge.
“After that, I’ll cut it up for firewood,” I told them. They both laughed.

THE END. (I hope).

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UPDATE JAN 6, 2017

MORE “FARMER’S YOGA” AT THE RAINBOW SHOWER, GLEAMING ANUENUE (horse)

We have have had three consecutive days without rain! Which is a real blessing after suffering a two-year El Niño and scores of flash floods.

So yesterday, I put on my grubbies, grabbed my chainsaw and other tools, and headed down to the jungle at the bottom of the Rainbow Shower gulch to clear some large fallen trees.

The heavy and constant rains have made the tree crowns top heavy. And so they have eventually collapsed creating an impassable wall wooden wall.

I cannot remember how many times I have had to do that in the last 8 years. Probably several dozen jungle clearing efforts like that.
 

It took me a little over two hours of heavy chainsaw work to open up a path through the jungle. I worked in rubber boots because the ground was still muddy. Good news: Down 2.2 pounds at the end.

After I cleaned up, I drove on to Kihei and treated myself to a slice of delicious Maui Pie.

I know, driving 25 miles for a piece of pie may sound a bit excessive. But so was the chainsaw work I did. I had to cut most of the time by holding the chainsaw above my shoulders. And I’ve had rotator cuff surgeries on both shoulders a few years back (sports injuries – tennis, hiking, etc.).
 
Besides, I drive an electric car and have solar electricity. It’s not like I am wasting energy frivolously. And the pie was delicious, as usual. Mountain berry flavor. 🙂 Yum!

Anyway, this is what the jungle looks like now.

GLEAMING ANUENUE

Today I also polished our Anuenue bronze sculpture which has been relaxing on our front lawn for almost 8 years now. His name means “rainbow” in Hawaiian – appropriate for a guardian of the Rainbow Shower (name of my property).

Anuenue actually hails from Thailand. I had him first shipped to my home in Arizona back in 2006, and then on to Hawaii when I moved here in early 2009. So this horse is a world traveler even though he has been sedentary for the last 8 years. 🙂

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ALOHA FROM MAUI!

Just a quick post to let everyone know I got back home to the Rainbow Shower in Maui on time. The flight from Phoenix was longer than expected – 6.5 hrs. Which is like going from London to New York. But all’s well that ends well.

Better than well. Look at the gorgeous sunset that welcomed me home.

Actually, half an hour earlier, I did not think we would have a sunset. The sky was gray and the sun was hiding somewhere far away. Lo and behold…

Thank you, Inti Taiti (Father Sun) and my beloved Santa Tierras of the Rainbow Shower (feminine land spirits, the fairies).

Oh, I was also welcomed by a new hand of bananas, some which are ready to eat right now.

But in that same area, I also found a toppled banana tree and a broken flood light (which is mounted to the corner of the house). Go figure…

Guess we just have to take the good with the bad and make it all better. 🙂

UPDATE DEC 11, 2016

Crystals Music Despacho Activation #2

MAUI CRYSTAL TRANSCEIVERS ACTIVATED, BURIED ON SACRED GROUND UNDER CHRISTMAS BERRY TREE – PART 2

Okay, so back to where we started this morning – the music crystal activation. It was lovely and emotional ceremony. As I had done in Arizona, I placed the crystals on my Clavinova and played some sweet tunes for the Santa Tierras of the Rainbow Shower (land spirits, the fairies). It was mostly various Mozart pieces, like Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Turkish March and Symphony #40, plus my latest creation – Memories of the Alhambra and Anahata (see http://wp.me/p1jFeo-28I).

The idea is that the crystals will act as fairy transceivers and will recognize my music from now on no matter where in the world I may play it.

Then I repeated the same thing on my Steinway concert grand. Not the same music, of course. Just the process of embedding it into the crystals.

At the end, I wrapped up the crystals in beautiful rainbow color Mestana (shaman’s sacred cloth in Quechua, the Inca language), and then trundled off down to the gulch, spade in hand, to bury them under the Christmas Berry tree which sits between the Anahata-Huaca-Ahu sacred place, the Rainbow Shower creek, and the footbridge which I built some 6 years ago.

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UPDATE DEC 13, 2016

FIRST DAY OF “FARMER’S YOGA” TAKES AN UNEXPECTED TURN

This was my first day of what I have been calling for years my “farmer’s yoga” at the Rainbow Shower. Except that after I had been guiding by the spirit last summer to give up regular maintenance and turn it over to professional landscapers, my farmer’s yoga now consists only of clean up and beautification.

Today, it was 90% clean up and 10% beautification. But the latter yields an unexpected discovery to do with my Music Crystal Transceivers.

You can see above what the Panax trees looked like when I arrived back home. They shot up in height at least 2 feet. So today lopped off the tops of about a dozen and a half plants and transplanted them elsewhere to thicken the green fence. You can see on the right what they looked like after this part of my farmer’s yoga.

Then as I was carrying about a dozen or so leftover saplings to plant them along our western property boundary, something pulled me like a magnet toward the spot where two days ago I had buried my Music Crystal Transceivers as a despacho for the Rainbow Shower Santa Tierras. So I planted one of the Panax saplings right there, sort of to mark the spot the way people sometimes plant trees, shrubs or flowers around the graves of their loved ones.

On the way back up, I also spotted three Starfruit still hanging 0n the tree which bears their name.

“That will be part of my tomorrow’s breakfast,” I said to myself as I picked them off the tree.

The middle shot shows all four now thriving fruit trees I planted in 2009 that line our Orchard Rd.

 

 

 

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

Is Already Causing Flash Floods at Rainbow Shower
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Just last night, after I completed my evening rounds of the Rainbow Shower, Elizabeth asked me, “how is it?”

“As perfect as can be,” I replied. “Wish I could freeze it like this.”

I had been working like a slave for three days this week to bring the four Rainbow Shower lawns into perfection, along with the shrubs, tree and other decorative plants on our property.

“But I know that’s wishful thinking,” I added.

We did not have to wait long to prove me right. As soon as I awoke this morning, hearing the roar of our creek, some 70 feet in elevation down in the gulch from our home, I knew we were experiencing another flash flood.

So I grabbed my umbrella (to protect the camera lens from rain), and walked down there. Butt naked. No sense in getting my clothes soaked. And not even birds are out and about in this kind of weather.

Here’s a 1.5 minute video clip I brought back:

FLASH FLOOD NUMBER…? [DARBY IS COMING]

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You will hear me conclude the broadcast by saying, “this is not the end.”

At the time, our internet was out. So I had no idea that this was not even a beginning. All this rain was just a forefront the tropical storm Darby is sending our way, I found out when the internet was restored. Packing winds of 50 to 65 mph, the eye of Darby is expected pass over the Big Island this afternoon, over Maui tonight, and exit the Hawaiian chain of islands over Kauai on Sunday night.

So “we ain’t seen nothing yet,” as my intuition suggested when I saw the flash flood down in the gulch this morning.

Here are some still pictures, too…

Here’s a weather report about Darby – for those of my FB friends who live in Hawaii:

TROPICAL STORM DARBY WILL CONTINUE TOWARD THE BIG ISLAND THIS MORNING. THE CENTER OF DARBY IS APPROACHING THE BIG ISLAND AND WILL PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… THE BIG ISLAND TODAY. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY… WITH THE CENTER OF DARBY EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… MAUI COUNTY TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. THEN… THE CENTER OF DARBY OF EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… OAHU LATE ON SUNDAY AND PASS VERY NEAR KAUAI COUNTY SUNDAY NIGHT. RAIN AND WIND WILL INCREASE WELL AHEAD OF THE CENTER AS IT MOVES ACROSS HAWAII.

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DARBY STORM UPDATE 2

July 23, 2016 1:15PM

SO FAR, SO GOOD… THE BRIDGES ARE STILL STANDING

Just got back up to the house after revisiting the gulch. And I am pleased to report that both of our bridges are still standing.

The foot bridge tarp has been ripped by the power of water. But it’s nothing major. I even crossed the foot bridge onto the other side to inspect the irrigation and drainage work I did there back in the spring. And the water is flowing normally through that new ditch into the main creek.

So, so far so good. But the worst is yet to come, probably this evening and overnight when the eye of Darby is supposed to pass over or near Maui.

Stand by for that…

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DARBY STORM UPDATE 3

July 24, 2016 8:147 AM

SERENITY NEAR THE EYE OF THE STORM

 

What a difference 24 hours can make. Yesterday at this time, our creek in the Rainbow Shower gulch was raging and flooding over our bridges (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-2QQ). This morning by contrast is wonderfully calm and serene. Hardly any wind. Plenty of moisture in the air. But our creek is back in its normal riverbed, happily running down the slopes of Haleakala.

Who would suspect then that the eye of the tropical storm Darby that caused all this upheaval in the last few days is about AS CLOSE TO US AS IT WILL BE.  Take a look at the radar and satellite maps I have just updated.

Only 50 miles or so to the southwest of us, the Eye of Darby is churning its way across the Pacific in the northwesterly direction toward Kauai.

So how can things be so calm here at the Rainbow Shower?

It is all because of Haleakala. The giant 10,000-ft volcano on whose northern slopes our property lies is acting like a giant windshield between us and Darby. So Darby’s winds and rain and spinning from the south around Haleakala – toward Hana in the east and Kihei in the west. This is leaving us in a safe cocoon of Haleakala’s wind shadow at the normally windy northern coast of Maui.

Our usual trade winds come from the northeast. Which is why north is called the Windward coast in Hawaiian islands. But not today. Today, we are experiencing a sort of a “pole reversal.”  The normally dry (and touristy) south and west coasts are getting pelted with rain and buffeted by wind, while we are enjoying a peaceful and serene Sunday morning.

OAHU OPERA WEEKEND: “MAGIC FLUTE” AND LOVELY BEACHES

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MAGIC AND BEACHES HAWAIIAN-STYLE

Mozart’s opera “Magic Flute” was the main reason for our weekend trip to Oahu. And it was a fabulous experience (see “MAGIC FLUTE:” AN ASCENSION STORY WRITTEN OVER TWO CENTURIES AGO – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-1rn).

But before and after the opera we also had fun doing other things. Like walking and frolicking on Oahu’s beaches.

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon on Kailua beach on windward shore of Oahu. On Sunday morning, we did something similar on Waikiki beach in Honolulu.

Here are some photo memories we brought home from this delightful weekend…

Kailua Beach – Saturday afternoon

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Waikiki Beach – Sunday morning

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Elizabeth is not much of a beach person. But this Sunday, she spent nearly an hour frolicking on Waikiki. Which is very unusual for her.

It reminded me of another day earlier this year when she did something similar at Castle Beach in Western Australia (see Feb 20, 2015 – FAREWELL: DAY OF BEAUTIFUL BEACHES).

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Opera and Dinner at “Hy’s” – Sunday evening

After the opera, we went to dinner to our favorite restaurant – “Hy’s” – where we usually celebrate our anniversaries every year. This time, however, we went there “just because.” And had a great time as usual.

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OAHU WEEKEND: OPERA, PRINCE KUHIO FESTIVAL, “ANNIVERSARY II” DINNER

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Our trips to Oahu are always a mixture of arts and sights. This weekend was no exception.  Except in one respect.  It rained almost all the time. Which is unusual for Honolulu, especially the Waikiki part where our hotel was.

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Nevertheless, we were able to catch some sunshine and even a lovely sunset from our hotel room.

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On Friday night, we saw an opera – “Siren Song” – in an unusual new setting – in the industrial part of Old Honolulu, close to the harbor. Undaunted, Elizabeth stole the show with her outfit and harvested many compliments, both from other attendees and the opera staff.

“Lady in Red,” I told Elizabeth, “That would be my caption for you tonight.”  And here’s why… “LADY IN RED – by Chris De Burgh.”

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PRINCE KUHIO ART FESTIVAL

Oahu weekend

On Saturday, we had intended to go to the Valley of the Temples on the windward side of Oahu.  We tried to run, er.. drive, around the dark clouds that were gathering over the mountains by driving along the east coast of Oahu toward Waimanolo.  But there was no way of getting around the rain.

Eventually, we gave up that idea when we got to Kailua and returned back to Honolulu.  By that stage, there was some misting in the city, too. But it least it was not raining heavily as on the windward shore.

Kapiolani Park

The Prince Kuhio Art Festival was the principal reason for this weekend. So we were relieved to find its venue – the Kapiolani Park between the Diamondhead and Waikiki – relatively dry. Elizabeth loves those kinds of events and went to the various tents and exhibits like ducks to water.

I, on the other hand, just meandered around, taking pictures and making videos here and there. So here they are, first the photos…

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After a while, I also went for a swim on the Waikiki beach, right here… It was my first ocean swim since the Day of the Beaches in WA.IMG_3642

Meanwhile, back on the Grandstand stage, several Hula groups were performing a medley of songs and dances dubbed a “journey through the islands.”  Here’s a brief video clip from that, as well as our dinner at HY’s later that evening.

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“ANNIVERSARY II” DINNER AT HY’S

Ever since our chance discovering of the HY’s steakhouse in Dec 2008, we have been coming back to it once a year to celebrate our anniversaries. Alas, this year, we did that in Western Australia where we were on Feb 14.

IMG_3643So when I made our reservation at Hy’s for Mar 28, I lied. I told them it was our anniversary. Just to keep up with the tradition, even if a few weeks late. 🙂

Anyway, we had a marvelous time there, as usual. Here are some photos. You can also see a film clip above of our waiter preparing our traditional anniversary dessert – Cherries Jubilee – and watch it go up in flames. 🙂

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And now, here’s our “official” anniversary photo, taken and printed for us by the HY’s staff:Hy's dinner Mar-28-2015

MORNING AFTER

Next morning, a mixture of rain and sunshine continued. Which allowed us to catch this rainbow outside our hotel window for the first time on Oahu:

IMG_3654 And then, after  a short walk on the Waikiki beach and the local small boat harbor, it was time to go back to the airport. IMG_3656

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And now, here’s again the “LADY IN RED” with a rainbow (Kauai) shawl… on our new bridge (mockup).

Lady in Red on New Bridge

 

OAHU 2014 OPERATIC WEEKEND: HAWAIIAN OLYMPICS, BEACHES, ANNIVERSARY & MORE…

Hawaii Theater Opera Weekend title

This was to be our Oahu operatic weekend and our fifth anniversary celebration all in one. But our Jan 11-13 to Hawaii’s most populated island turned out to be a lot more.

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Here are our travelogues – in video and photo formats…

Oahu 2014 Day 1: Makahiki (“Hawaiian Olympics”) at Turtle Bay

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The following day, Jan 12, we went exploring the northeast part of Oahu…

Exploring NE Oahu 2014 – Day 2: Makapu’u Beach & Waikiki

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Oahu Prince Hotel 2014 Elevator Arpeggio Rides

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And now, here are some other still shots…

DAY 1 – JAN 11, 2014 – THE PIPELINE (a world-famous surfing spot)

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DAY 1 – JAN 11, 2014 – MAKAHIKI (at Turtle Bay)

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DAY 1 – JAN 11, 2014 – SHRIMP LUNCH

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DAY 2 – JAN 12, 2014 – EXPLORING NORTHEAST OAHU

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DAY 2 – JAN 12, 2014 – BACK IN HONOLULU – WAIKIKI BEACH

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DAY 2 – JAN 12, 2014 – OPERATIC CONCERT, ANNIVERSARY DINNER

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