I went to a conference in Hawai'i last month. Here is the first batch of photos from that trip. I'll be adding more pictures as I get time. Click on a picture to enlarge.
The first leg of my trip was an America West flight to Los Angeles. America West shares the same terminal as British Airways and our gate was right next to the Concorde Room. The Concorde recently made its last flight.
I was momentarily panicked in Los Angeles when there was no mention of my flight on America West's departure monitor. Then I realized my flight to Honolulu was on Hawaiian Air. As I walked to another terminal I took a quick photo of what I think is a restaurant.
The flight arrived in Honolulu in the late afternoon. The shuttle to the hotel seemed to take almost as long as the flight. It took over an hour to get from the airport to Waikiki.
I woke up early Sunday morning and rented a bicycle to explore the town. The bike pedals kept slipping because many of the gear teeth were worn down, bent, or just plain missing. The ride was so unpleasant that I stopped to turn around and get another bike. As I did, I noticed a woman standing in a row of bushes intently looking at something behind the bushes. I took a peek and saw this giraffe and zebra. I was next to the zoo!
After switching to an ill-fitting, but functional, bike (I still can't believe the bike guy insisted the first bike was "brand new") I rode back past the zoo and beyond along the road that encircles Diamond Head. The lighthouse is at the high point of the road, which is only about a third of the way up the hill (you can get to the peak from a road on the land side). I turned around here to head back to Honolulu.
For some reason, there was an old pay phone in the bushes along the side of the road.
I liked the surfer graffiti on this garbage can. Just down the road from the pay phone.
At the bottom of the hill I take this photo of Diamond Head. Note all the dead-appearing trees. This is the dry, leeward side of the mountain. I also check my map to plot out my route. When I look down at the map I notice that my front tire is flat! I've run over about a dozen really sharp thorns. I walk the two miles back to the bike rental place and decide that bicycling isn't in the cards for today. Later in the week I take a walk along the street I would have rode. I find all sorts of interesting restaurants that I would have preferred to the pricey tourist places in Waikiki if I had only known about them earlier. Sigh.
After the ill-fated bicycling attempt I go back to the hotel, shower, and decide to head downtown on the bus. The bus was very slow. Here is a group of five Japanese tourists who were evidently suffering from jet-lag.
Queen Emma was the wife of King Kamehameha IV. Miss Emma is my niece. As far as I know they are not related.
There's a great statue of King Kamehameha I near the State Capitol in Honolulu. Kamehameha I was the king who united the Hawaiian islands. He and his descendents ruled the kingdom for over a century. Unfortunately, the King had his back to the sun and I couldn't get a good head-on photo of him.
These next few photos were almost all taken between my hotel and the conference hotel in Waikiki. Waikiki itself is rather boring. There's a lot of hotels, tourists, and expensive shops. This New York-themed store window is in a closed-down branch of a Famous Ray's Pizza shop. Famous Ray's is all over Manhattan. Their fame derives from the awfulness of their pizza.
Some of the tourist brochures claimed that the Diamond Head crater is the most photographed landmark in the world. Here's it is seen from the Sheraton Waikiki.
Kalakaua Ave is the main street through Waikiki. Street performers, psychics, and musicians lined the street. You could get your picture taken holding one or more parrots.
The only "action" photo from the conference. Kristina discussing her research with another conference attendee.
Statue of Olympic gold medal swimmer and surfing champion Duke Kahanamoku at Kuhio Beach. I read somewhere that the placement of this statue was controversial because Duke has his back to the ocean. A real surfer would never turn his back to the waves.
It appears that Santa Claus arrives at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center carried along by nine dolphins.
Many of the restaurants near the hotels employed plastic food to advertise their selections. This is a tasty looking filet mignon, don't you think?
The conference started on Monday. By Wednesday things were getting excrutiatingly boring in the exhibit hall. I started taking photos to amuse myself. Here I'm looking directly up at a giant chandelier. It was large enough, probaby 10-12 feet in diameter, that I couldn't fit it all on the photograph.
Green Sea Turtles were a recurring motif at the Sheraton Waikiki. There was a floral display in the shape of a turtle, in front of the building, several turtle sculptures in the building, and the carpeting in the ballroom where the conference was held had turtles as well.
I stayed at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in Waikiki. The elevators had these little quilts that would be changed throughout the day ("good morning", "good afternoon", "good evening"). The hotel is located on the site of the former royal estate where
Looking east from my hotel room.
This statue was erected only in 1999, the 100th anniversary of the princess's death. Ka'iulani would have become the next Hawai'ian queen had not the monarchy been overthrown and annexed by the United States.
If you go to Waikiki you are bound to shop at an ABC Store. Waikiki is small, maybe 50 square blocks. Within those blocks there are 37 ABC Stores.
There were beautiful sunsets almost every evening. Here's one from Kuhio Beach.
For some reason this plastic plant and screen were placed in front of the exit doors in the conference ballroom. Are they there to hide the exit in case of emergency? To beautify the dull room? Hard to tell.
Now, let's do some touring...
A group of conference attendees caught an early Saturday morning flight to the Big Island for a tour of Kilauea. The tour was led by Professor Peter Mouginis-Mark, of the University of Hawai'i, who is describing our itinerary on this model of the island at the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park visitor's center.
Our first view of the caldera. The crater in the distance is Halemaumau.
Meaningless sign at the USGS Hawai'i Volcano Observatory's Jaggar Museum, next to the rim of the caldera.
This sign was located near Halemaumau, because...
... There is still a lot of activity in and near the crater. The volcano emits lots of sulfur, in the form of sulfur dioxide. You could see the sulfur accumulating behind rocks (rocks that were tossed out of the crater in the 1924 eruption, by the way), and you could certainly smell sulfur in the air. The sulfer makes for a concentrated acid rain, which is one reason why there is little plant life near the caldera.
Halema'uma'u is the sacred home of Pele, Hawai'ian Goddess of Fire. The flowers and fruits in the foreground are offerings to the goddess. The last eruption within the crater was in 1982. You can see that the steep walls have begun to collapse into the crater in the background.
Kilauea sits within the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. It is unlawful to remove objects from national parks. In addition, it is said that removing what is rightfully Pele's angers the goddess and bad luck will befall you. Nonetheless, people do take pieces of lava. Here I am returning lava to the crater that a friend removed.
Walking back to the tour van I noticed all these rocks in the parking lot. Apparently, a number of visitors were returning rocks, or thought better of removing them.
There was a spectacular eruption of Kilauea in November 1959. The lava fountained up to 580m high. Eventually a large cinder cone formed, burying or burning most of the vegetation. We walked along Devastation Trail from the rain forest into the dead zone. Scientists are monitoring the vegetation as it regrows. The trail is promoted as a potential film location.
The Ohi'a tree is one of the first to recolonize fresh lava.
The lava is very brittle. Stepping on it made it crack. Here you can see two layers of pahoehoe flow.
There are two types of lava at Kilauea. Aa, on the left, and pahoehoe, on the right. Chemically the lava is the same, but aa lava is thicker and rougher. Pahoehoe lava tends to flow in thin (a couple of inches) sheets, while aa flows may be a several feet thick.
As the lava on top of the flow cools and hardens, it is gets pushed by the molten lava below into rope-like rolls. Here's an instance where the rolls were swirled around.
Cross-section of pahoehoe. The different layers are from succeeding advances of lava, typically within minutes of each other.
There were lots of warning signs at Kilauea.
About the only disappoint on our field trip was that we didn't get to see active lava flow. There was lava to see, but the round-trip hike would have taken several hours.
This was one of the earth cracks the sign warned us about. It is about ten feet high. More dangerous were the cracks that were ten feet deep.
Here I am in a no parking zone. This lava flow near the coast occurred last Spring (April 2003) and covered Chain o' Craters Rd.
You couldn't drive any further than this on Chain o' Craters Rd. (Actually, this was a half-mile walk from where you weren't allowed to drive any further).
An arch that's not long for this world.
After driving down to the coast, we went back up the mountain to the rainforest.
From the rainforest we walked through a portion of the Thurston lava tube. Lava can travel many miles underground through these lava tubes. There is a lighted trail through a small portion of the Thurston tube.
Because my flight didn't leave until that night I had one day to explore O'ahu. I started with a trip to Leonard's, a Portuguese bakery just outside of Waikiki. Leonard's specializes in malasadas, which are like jelly donuts without the jelly. I didn't know that when I asked for one. After I asked the woman behind the counter turned around and walked into the back of the bakery. I was pleasantly surprised to find out why - malasadas are served fresh out of the fryer. Incredibly delicious! There's no photo because I inhaled it.
A nice view off the southeast tip of O'ahu.
The Ko'olau Range is really dramatic looking. As you can tell, I'm now on the rainy side of the island.