Sunrise Illuminating Maui


Approaching harbor in Kahului, clouds rest on the vibrant green mountain sides. This side of Maui has about 130 inches of rain annually near the shore and over 200 inches of rain in the mountains.


This side of the Maui is very green, also guaranteed to be wet and rainy much of the time. (The western, dry side of the island gets less than 20 inches of rain per year.)


Pulling into the harbor just before sunrise. As the sun crests the peak on the opposite side of the harbor, the greens are bathed in sunlight, the mountain’s shape and texture become visible.


Approaching Maui


The sea, the skies, the clouds, awaiting sunrise…


A view to cherish.


Approaching Maui.


Haleakala Volcano shrouded in clouds.


Haleakala National Park is an hour’s drive southwest of Kahului and is home of Haleakala Volcano. Amazing place, sacred place to generations of native Hawaiians.

Haleakala National Park stretches along the southern and eastern coast of Maui. As the tallest peak on the island, Haleakala rises over 10,000 feet and it can be seen from almost anywhere on the island. The Hawaiian legend of Maui the Demigod, one of the greatest cultural gods of Hawaii, tells of him standing on the peak of Haleakala and lassoing the sun as it crossed the sky so that the sun would slow its descent and make the day last longer.

The sunrise did peek through the clouds that shrouded Haleakala as we pulled towards port. That evening, we saw the sunset from the summit of the volcano, the clouds parted just in time to let the light stream through (in a post soon to come…)

Walking Waikīkī – Art is Everywhere


Walking the streets of a major city (or truly, almost anywhere) there are opportunities to see art of all sorts — commissioned sculptures, carvings and paintings at restaurants and other establishments, even street art, dusty with footprints. In the rush to get from here to there, it’s easy to pass and not see the interesting, the unusual, that which adds a bit of beauty, novelty, or unexpected information to your day.

I walked along the shore of the Pacific Ocean from Waikīkī to Diamond Head and had opportunity to see a variety of sculptures, mosaics, wood carvings, murals, even stencil art on the sidewalks. Not all of the art I stopped to see was museum quality art, but every piece added flavor and dimension to my visit, offering a perspective of the city through a different lens.


The above sculpture – photographed on my way to Diamond Head, mid morning, without leis adorning the surfer and seal, and photographed again on my return, mid afternoon, adorned with the traditional leis. As a first time visitor to Hawaii, I remained fascinated at the frequency I saw leis used as a gesture of welcome – and not only to tourists as would be expected. Leis on business people, on people relaxing on the beach, and (photo proof) on sculptures.

The seal and surfer sculpture, titled Makua and Kila, is set into a rocky fountain on the beach promenade. It’s based on a children’s story by author Fred Van Dyke and weaves traditional Hawaiian values of respect for family and respect for the ocean into the story of friendship. (artist Holly Young)

Surf Board Inofrmation Plaque

Perhaps signage doesn’t qualify as art for many people, but when the sign includes a surf board, photography prints, and typography it goes on my list of that which is “interesting, unusual,  adds a bit of beauty, novelty, or unexpected information” to my day. Upon reading a short list of facts about surfing I learned more than if I hadn’t read the list. Obviously.

Did you know that Mark Twain tried surfing on his visit to the Hawaiian islands in 1866 – unsuccessfully? Or that by the 1900s surfing had nearly died out, partly because of opposition from missionaries who thought time should be spent in more upstanding activities? That Waikīkī means “spouting water”? Or that the longest ride on the surf was by Duke Kahanamoku in 1917 who caught a 35″ wave and rode it 1 1/4 miles to shore? (He was an Olympic champion and the “father of surfing…”)

That’s what the sign says.


The statue of Mahatma Gandhi is located in Kapiolani Park in front of the Honolulu Zoo. It has a checkered past — or at least the donor of the statue has a checkered past — but the statue of Gandhi does catch your attention, located in the midst statues of Hawaiian kings, surfers, and dolphins.


Here’s a more typical statue,  a preaching Saint Augustine standing near the church entrance that bears a longer name, St. Augustine by the Sea Catholic Church.

Incredibly, a (long) search through the halls of Google turned up exactly nothing about this specific statue. So…


And then the less serious, but equally fun art — the wooden carving and another lei.


And the hula dancer stenciled on the sidewalk and up a set of steps. I call it bread crumb art.

Follow the hula dancer and find breakfast!

Still in Honolulu – Exploring the Banyan Tree


This towering banyan tree, complete with benches around its circumference, is located outside the Honolulu Zoo. I spent some quiet time bench sitting and people watching on a stroll from Waikiki to Diamond Head.

The banyan tree is a common botanical feature of Hawaii even though it is not native to the islands. Their canopies are vast, the larger ones spreading up to a hundred and fifty feet across.


Banyan trees are characterized by their prop roots that grow to support the expansive limbs. Trees spread laterally and can cover wide areas. I love the look of the roots as they drip towards the earth, seeking a firm footing.


The trees are native to the tropics and subtropics and were brought to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1800s by missionaries from India.


Amazing roots. They can eventually become as large as the original trunk. And they make perfect roosts for the local birds and greats nooks for a game of hide and seek.



Honolulu – Change is in the Air


Sailboats and Surfers on Golden Seas

Mark Twain is famously quoted as saying “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait five minutes.” I imagine this would be true in most of the United States, but I didn’t expect it to be quite so true in Hawaii. Hawaii, to this Midwestern born and raised woman’s way of thinking, meant sunshine. And true, I was blessed with sunny skies much of the time I was traveling the islands.


Setting Sun

Bright skies, glowing sunsets sliding below glowing horizons.



After the Sunset

And circus colored remnants once the sun had set.


Honolulu Gray Skies

But just as often I could turn around and see the nearby mountains cloaked in gray. I’d be walking along the streets under sunny skies, wondering where I’d misplaced my sunglasses, and then the sun would disappear above the clouds. I no longer needed sunglasses. Instead I needed an umbrella.


Catch a Rainbow

And I really didn’t need an umbrella for long, only an awning to shelter from the rain. Within minutes, the skies lightened and the famous Hawaii rainbow appeared.


Rainbow Reward

Five minutes was plenty of time for a change. Rain. Sun. Windy. Calm. Or a rainbow as reward.