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Monday, April 30, 2018

Next Trip - May 20 - Greece - Germany - Denmark - England

This is the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.
I took this picture in 2013. 

The last time we were to Greece - in 2013 - we spent the whole trip in Athens. We simple loved it. Athens is the cradle of Democracy. The Parthenon - above - was completed in 438 BC.

This time we will be in the city of Chania on the island of Crete. Lulu has a conference to attend there. She has rented a house that we will share with 5 other librarians. I will spend the week on a rented scooter - seeing as much as I can.

Our whole trip to Europe will be 10 weeks. After Greece is Germany. Lulu is working for the State of Germany at a college in Darmstadt - near Frankfort. We will be there a month. Our friends Jan and Marylou will visit us there. While Lulu works - I will escort the two ladies around Germany.

Next it is on to Denmark for a week in Copenhagen. Our son and his family will visit us there.

We end the excursion with a month in London where Lulu teaches a course at the FSU Study Center. We will be staying at our old London apartment there -

We will return home to Tallahassee on August 5th.

Our Roadtrek will sit home alone for 10 weeks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Monday - Snorkel Catamaran Cruise Off Waikiki Beach

Diamond Head Volcano from our boat

View from our condo - the boat is where we snorkeled

It is Tuesday morning and I am typing this at our airport gate. It is 10 AM - and we leave here at 11 AM. Monday we went on a catamaran cruise to go snorkeling in Turtle Valley. Lulu wanted this badly - but all boats were already booked online. I suggested that we just show up at 3 PM and take our chances. We went to the marina and waited boat side. At 3 PM - we were in luck and we hopped on without paying. The guy said we could pay later. 

The weather was perfect - maybe 80 - a mild breeze - partly cloudy skies. The catamaran was very stable - we rode outside and got some nice pictures. Once we got to Turtle Valley - we all wore masks - snorkels - fins - and vests. As much as I wanted to - I did not take my iPhone in the water. It is supposed to be waterproof - but I was afraid of dropping it into the 20 foot deep waters. 

Lulu loved this. We saw thousands of fish - and about 8 giant turtles. We were just off the coast of where our condo was. 

The boat has 31 passengers - the captain said that 20 is ideal - but the boat owner likes to take 30. After we came back - I ran to get the cash - $65 each. If I did it again - I would have been better prepared - maybe with a plastic camera bag or a GoPro camera. You are not supposed ot touch the turtles - but they were within 3 feet of me. There were lots of colored fish - most of them were shorter than a foot. We did not see any dolphins - sharks - whales - or barracudas.

We were very close to surfers that just paddle out there on their boards. I would suggest that as a cheaper way to visit these turtles.

We also shopped a little in Ala Moana Mall - had lunch there. We ended our evening about 9 PM with a visit to the International Marketplace. We had a chance to sit in the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X. The dealer is in the Marketplace. 

Jet Lag - it is ironic that we are now adjusted to the times zone. We went to bed at 9 PM last night and woke to the alarm at 6 AM. Now we fly Tuesday from 11 AM to 6 AM - Honolulu to Los Angeles to Orlando. Then we drive home to Tallahassee. 

I have been retired 15 years - this was a vacation from a vacation. We go to Europe May 22 to Aug 5. Greece - Germany - Denmark - England. 

The pink hotel is the Royal Hawaiian
The low white hotel is the Moana Surfrider.
We stayed there last trip.
The low white hotel is the oldest

The Royal Hawaiian is so pretty and peaceful

Diamond Head and paddle boards

Two boats were at Turtle Valley

The clouds come from the windward side

Waikiki Condos

Canoe racing is a big deal in Hawaii

These clouds disappears as they come over mountain

We are about 1 mile off shore

The color striped building is Hawaii Hilton Village.
They set off fireworks every Friday.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Three Hawaiian Queens' Houses

Queen Emma's House

Queen Lili's House

Queen Lulu's House

It is Monday morning - our last full day in Hawaii. We have never recovered from jet lag - we were up at 4 AM and are wide awake. Today we plan to take a Snorkel Cruise - you sail on a catamaran - up and down the Waikiki Coast - then you jump over the side with snorkels and look at fish. I do not plan to take the chance to use my iPhone 7 underwater.

We fly home Tuesday morning at 10 AM - we are hoping for a bump. We arrive in Orlando at 6 AM - and then must drive to Tallahassee for 5 hours.

Hawaii Sunday - Aloha Tower - Queen Lili's Home - Visit Winding Down

Washington Place - home of Queen Lili

Once a booming shopping mall -
now Hawaiian Pacific University

On Sunday - we could already feel our trip winding down - and the melancholy that comes with it. Lulu went to the Aloha Bowl swap meet without me  - I walked 3.3 miles downtown to Washington Place and the Capitol. 

Washington Place was the home of Queen Lili - both before and after she was queen. She was only queen two years - when factions from the USA pulled a coup on her. She was put in prison for a short time and then they released her. She lived within the shadow of the old Iolani Palace which became the Capitol of the country - then the territory - then the state. She lived for 24 years after she was deposed from the throne. She had followers and was considered royalty by the people until her death. 

Mainly - Hawaii became a US territory to protect the money and interest of the Dole Family and other American money men. It was done by force - with the support of US military - although no shots were fired. 

I have learned so much about Hawaiian history on this trip - and I love it now even more. Queen Emma - Queen Lili - and now my Queen Lulu has been offered professorships over here many times. I am a chicken not to take it - I am guessing she would. 

We ended Sunday with a beautiful sunset on Waikiki Beach by our condo. We are so relaxed that neither of us was carrying our iPhone or cameras. We were dressed in tee shirts- bathing suits - rubber sandals - carrying two towels and enough cash to get a quart of milk for Monday breakfast. 

Queen Lili wrote "Aloha Oe"
a goodbye to the old Hawaii

A flame to Hawaiian warriors 

The new state capitol

Father Damien tended the lepers

Liberty Bell given to Hawaii in 1950

Modern parking meters in Chinatown

We had lunch in Chinatown

I did not buy anything -
just a colorful picture

Aloha Tower at Honolulu  Harbor -
In 1900 all visitors came thru here.
I love going up there. 
Honolulu Harbor from the tower. 

Barge in tow to other island

Our Mazda from Aloha Tower

This was a mall - now a college

Hawaii Pacific in the mall on the harbor.
I stopped our Mazda right in middle of street.

Monday morning sunrise from our back porch

Waikiki Health Clinic from our room.
I went their once with inner ear infection.
They also serve Waikiki night ladies.
Note palm tree coming out of other tree

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Thing Are Good Back Home

We are on a vacation from a vacation. My friends JP and George keep an eye on things back home,

My camper sits behind the garage - feeling jilted. Darling Be Home Soon.

It looks like the weather in Tallahassee is good.

Thursday - We Visited Queen Emma's Summer Palace - We Also Had Car Trouble

Queen Emma's Summer Place

Lulu Shivers at Pali Outlook
pre-car trouble

Thursday - we drove up into the mountains to Queen Emma's Summer Palace. It is certainly very nice - but cottage would be a better description. 


Queen Emma was the wife of King Kamemehaha III. After her husband died - she ran to be monarch - but lost to David Kalakua. After the election loss - there were riots. She lived many years as a shadow monarch. One of the reasons she lost was that she had caucasian blood. She was well-educated and a good friend of Queen Victoria of England. they had a lot in common - losing a husband and a child. 

The mountains of Oahu are 4000 feet high - and there is a dramatic cooling effect in the summer. She accepted royal foreign visitors - she even put an addition on her palace for the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Admission was $8 - the house is wooden - and imported from England. It has very high 15-foot ceilings - great for handing heat - breeze - and ventilation. All windows are doors - covered by shutters inside and out. 

After the visit - we drove up to the Pali Outlook - the site of constant high winds. It is the site of a major battle where King Kamhameha I defeated another faction and finally united the islands. It was very misty and windy there. 

Our luck - our Kia with 28,000 miles on it would not start. I was lucky to find someone with jumper cables. We called Hertz - they said bring it in - and they would give us a brand new car. They gave us a choice - we chose a Mazda with 1000 miles on it. 

Columns and high porch

Prince Albert Edward's crib

Queen's bed

Hawaii High Award

She added this room for
Duke of Edinburgh

Symbol of Hospitality

Duke of Edinburgh room

Pali Outlook

Pali Outlook - Battle Scene

Getting our new Hertz Maxda