Tif wanted to take a trip around the island so we decided to climb aboard our van and see those parts of the island we only go to when we have guests. Besides, gas is now $4.34 here in the islands. We are setting our sights to getting a small gas efficient car for everyday errands but that's material for another post. :-)
Our first stop was to Makapuu point where we could look down to see the Oceanographic Research Center. Somebody told me they do research about sharks down there.
We saw this flower in the parking lot but had no idea what it was.
KC loves flowers. She found these two red flowers that had fallen from a tree and she refused to let go of them. She held them in her fingers until she finally fell asleep.
We stopped at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe to see the Byodo-In Temple. This was our first time seeing it. Tif had heard that Barack Obama had gone to see it when he was here so she wanted to see it, too.
The Byodo-In temple was established on June 7, 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It was built entirely without the use of nails. It is a scale replica of a temple in Uji, Japan that was constructed over 900 years ago.
The Byodo-In is built to represent the mythical phoenix, its wings upheld by pillars of stone. Folklore tells of the phoenix arising from the ashes to reflect the promises of hope and renewal.
KC enjoyed watching the fish in the koi pond and looking at more flowers.
The Bell House, called kanetsu-ki-do contains a five foot high, three ton brass bell called bon-sho (sacred bell. It was cast in Osaka, Japan from a mixture of bronze and tin, by permission from the government of Japan. With Art's help, KC pulled on the rope to ring the bell.
Kualoa Park, north of Kaneohe was a fun stop. We saw a lot of cardinals. These are a bit different from the usual all red type that we used to see in Illinois.
This beautiful egret is also a little different from the usual all white variety we see on the Leeward side of Oahu where we live.
Kualoa Park was beautiful. I'll bet they filmed some of the Lost series in this area.
Driving through Wahiawa, we saw what looked like another brush fire sending up plumes of smoke. At first I thought they were burning sugar cane but the sugar industry is gone from Oahu.
Tif wanted to make a stop at the Dole Pineapple Tourist stop. There was a crowd of Japanese tourists there. My mother unabashedly got right into a mix of young tourists and questioned them on what was popular in Japan for omiyages (gifts). We watched from a distance and was amazed. Whatever made us think she was shy?
After a full day of touring the island, we picked up a carry-out plate meal and headed home for dinner. It was truly a fun and happy day. It's good to have Tif around to force us to stop and have some fun. Jon does the same thing when he's here. In fact, the last time we did this trip was with Jon last year. He says he's coming again next year. Hmmmm.... we may have a smaller, more gas efficient car by then. The Honda Civic or Fit? The Prius? The Scion? Any advice?