Monday, July 18, 2011


On our last day in Hawaii, we didn't have to get to the airport until about 6 pm, so we spent the morning by the pool, then went into Honolulu. It was raining off and on, and kind of humid, so we tried to find something to do indoors. We ended up at the Aloha Tower, which was cool for a while. I don't really know what this tower is for, but it overlooked the harbor and looks pretty. Also, there is a mildly decrepit outdoor mall at the base which was interesting to wander around for a while.
When you get inside the base of the tower, there is a free elevator to the top of the tower, so we went to the top. The tower is situated on the northwest side of Honolulu, not too far from the airport, so on one side you can see Waikiki, one side is downtown Honolulu, one side is the harbor, and the other side is Sand Island. This is the harbor as seen through the "A" of Aloha.
This is a working harbor, so this is a view of Sand Island, with a ship being towed out to the channel.
One of the things I REALLY wanted to see was the statue of King Kamehameha that stands in front of Ali'Iolani Hale (today, Hawaii's Supreme Court). When we got there, we only had 6 minutes of street parking, so we made it the fastest tour EVER. This was shot from across the street. When I go back to Oahu, this area will be one of the things I spend a whole day doing.
Across the street from the statue is Iolani Palace, the former palace of the Hawaiian kings (and queens). This is the plaque on the front of the gate. The inscription is the state motto of Hawaii and reads "ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono," which means "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
This is the palace itself, which looked really cool. Again, we had no time (down to 3 minutes by this point), so we just took some quick pictures of the outside. The cool thing about it being kind of late was that there was no one on the grounds.
We had only about one minute left when I looked over and saw this really cool building (summer house?) over on the lawn of the palace. I don't really know what it is, but it looks really awesome, and I think the juxtaposition between the delicacy of the palace and the hard modern building behind it is really cool.
We ended our day at the airport, where Hawaii sent us off with a beautiful, intensely colored rainbow arching over downtown.  
 Aahhhh...Hawaii, how I miss you.....

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