In order to avoid the traffic, we left home at 9:00 this morning and headed toward Waikiki to pick up Art's friend from his E.P.A. days, Ray and his wife, Rose. Did we avoid the bumper to bumper chaos? Nope! The traffic was still awful! We found out later in the evening that it was because the University of Hawaii has begun the school year.
Once into Waikiki we got caught up in the one-way streets and took a little more time driving around in circles until we could pick Ray and Rose up near their hotel.
We made our way to the Iolani Palace. The guided tour costs $20.00 a person, $15.00 for Kamaainas (locals). We had to put cloth booties over our shoes and put away our cameras, gum, candy, etc. once we entered this door. We also had to turn off our cellphones.
Our docent was wonderful and made history come alive for us. We enjoyed the tour very much. The Iolani Palace was built in 1882 by King Kalaukaua and is the only royal palace in the United States.
We saw the Royal Hawaiian Band practicing outside the palace.
Across the street at Ali'iolani Hale (Hawaii State Supreme Court) we could see the gold leafed statue of King Kamehameha I.
On the other side of the Iolani Palace is the State Capital.
We drove to our home and grabbed a quick lunch. Time was limited because they needed to be back at their hotel by 3:00.
After lunch, Ray was able to see Art's renovation progress at our home. We hurried as much as we could, and headed out to Waipahu for Plantation Village. We began to see that there wasn't enough time so we stopped at the Filipino Community Center instead since both Ray and Rose were born in the Philippines.
Back on the road we headed back to Waikiki and got there in time for Ray and Rose to freshen up for their evening engagement.
We got back on the highway and came to a traffic standstill. It was like a giant, endless parking lot. Holey Moley! We inched our way through town and made it home exhausted.
It's going to be an early evening for us. As tiring as it was, we sure did have a lovely time with Ray and Rose. I can't believe we only managed to tour the Iolani Palace. I guess we won't go into the tour guiding business any time soon.