Monday, January 25, 2016

7th day of our vacation - 12-22-15

December 22nd, 2015
Still on Oahu

This is the view from our balcony looking towards the left.  If you look towards the right you get a view of the city.  

Another long day as we have been back at our hotel for about an hour.  

This morning we walked down to Tropical Tribe, a Brazilian juice bar I read about online.  I had been missing my fruit at breakfast time and last night announced to Gregg, albeit rather dramatically but with a twinkle in the eye, "Tomorrow I must have fruit!"   Sounds bossy doesn't it?  However, I wanted to start the day on a healthy note.

So, off down the road we went, deciding to walk as it wasn't too far away.  It was just around the corner really, a few blocks. 

At one of the roads we had to cross we stopped at the traffic light, along with several people.  In front of me was a young man with two chihuahuas.  I bent down and petted the one nearest to me.  The sweet thing looked friendly enough but the other was too focused on getting across the street, and I was very focused on the friendly chihuahua.  

Gregg was nudging me and trying to point to something, and it took me a while to register but when I looked up, what he was pointing to was a small green bird on the young man's shoulder.  Honestly, if I had taken just a step it would have bitten me on the nose, we were that close.  I laughed in surprise and the young man turned around and smiled, and then the light changed and we all hurriedly crossed the street and went in different directions.

Added note at 4.10 p.m., - 1-25-16
Dianne over at Schmidleysscribblings has id'd the little bird.  It is a Green Chisel Conure.  How about that?  Thanks Dianne.  And you can read the rest of what Dianne has to say in my comment section.

Onward to Tropical Tribe.  

It is a busy street and there were several tour buses parked outside hotels, with long lines of tourists waiting to hop on.  Sidestepping the tourists we realized it was a little further along than we had thought, but we were glad we walked as there was no way we could have found a parking space close by.

I had read several reviews and everyone said how great it was.  I noted the directions as one reviewer said it was easily missed.  We were to look for a flight of stairs just before you get to McDonalds, and indeed we would have walked passed but fortunately I had read the review.  After finding them we walked down the stairs and found the place immediately on our left.  It was small, what you would call a hole-in-the-wall, but as often happens with these tiny shops, a little jewel of a place.  As if to advertise how healthy it was, a continuous stream of very fit and healthy looking young people walked in after us. 

After looking at the menu on the wall we ordered a concoction of Acai and Guarana Berries (something I had never even heard of before) topped with blueberries and very thinly sliced bananas and strawberries, sprinkled with chia seeds, drizzled with bee pollen and raw honey.  You can look at this link to see their menu and their history hereIt was refreshing and delicious, and I got my fruit for breakfast.  

We sat under the umbrella in the tiny courtyard, with the wind rustling its fronds, and the busy street above us.  We would definitely have missed this place and was glad I had read the directions. From the street it was invisible.

I was a happy camper and Gregg enjoyed his as much as I did, so it was a very pleasant experience for both of us.  (We saw Acai (pronounced ah-SIGH-ee) in other places since, and in my locality they have a mixture of Acai Juice, according to a friend of mine, who bought a bottle at CostCo. I am going to try and find the berry in the form that I had at Tropical Tribe as I would like to duplicate it at home.  It is like having a smoothie in a bowl.  I seem to remember a link to a farm in Florida where it is grown.) 

Walking back to pick up our car we passed the three hula dancer statues again, the ones in front of the Hawaiian Hilton Village Hotel.  

There was a mama duck with a single, very cute and adorable duckling.  

Today, our second destination was the Byodo-In Temple.  On a misty day, with the Ko'olau Mountains as a backdrop, it looks very beautiful.  The Temple is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950 year old Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan.  The Temple and gardens were dedicated in 1968 to 
commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.  You can read more at this link.

The first thing Gregg did was to ring the peace bell as he read it was good luck to do so, and the symbolism being so important.  We both took turns ringing the bell which had the most beautifully melodic sound.  All through our walk we heard people ringing the peace bell.

It is a non-practicing temple and a lot of tourists visit.  We still must show signs of respect as it is still a sacred place, people still do worship and there is a notice to please remove our shoes before entering. The Buddha looks down kindly and, as all denominations are welcome to worship here, I lit an incense stick.  It took me a few tries as the matches blew out - it was extremely windy - but finally I was able to place one with all the others.

This is Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world, as I read at the above link.  It is thought to be the largest figure carved outside of Japan.  It towers more than nine feet and is an original work of art carved by the famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui.  When completed it was covered with cloth and painted with three applications of gold lacquer.  Gold leaf was later applied over the lacquer finish.  Around the Buddha are 52 smaller sculptures depicting Boddhisattvas (englighted beings) floating on clouds, dancing and playing musical instruments.  The hall and all the artistry it reflects are regarded as representing the essence of the culture of the Fujiwara aristocracy.  And again, I read all this information at the above website, where you can read more if interested.

We walked through the temple and explored the grounds, which have areas for meditation.  

There were families with small children feeding the koi, which is allowed as you can purchase small packets of food.  They greedily gobbled up every morsel. 

I saw a koi pushed up and get squeezed out of the water.  It was fascinating to see him wriggle over the top of this mass of hungry fish, before it found a hole and slid back in between them. 

This one seemed to be saying don't forget to feed me too.

They were all fascinating to watch.

From a sign nearby, "The reflection pond surrounding the temple is the shape of the Chinese character Shin or Kokoro meaning 'spirit'.  The pond contains hundreds of koi fish (also known as carp).  These large colorful koi can live to be over 100 years old and symbolize love, power, perseverance and longevity.  

and then goes on to say that "the temple grounds are also home to wild peacocks, black swans, turtles, frogs and other animals.  

It should be noted that the black swans are a gift from Australia brought to the park, and  voluntarily chose to make a home on the grounds - a testament to the park's natural beauty."

There were three black swans that we could see swimming in the pond.  How I love black swans.  I so rarely get this opportunity.

I didn't see the peacocks today.  They are wild and there is a sign to ask visitors to show caution. 
They were around as Gregg saw them when we first arrived.  The last time we were here I remember a peacock getting very agitated looking at its reflection in the gift shop window.  They were also displaying their fans of beautiful feathers and calling with high pitched screeches.

It rained heavily at one point and we made our way to the benches outside the gift shop.  The shop was crowded with people seeking shelter, and we were lucky to get these dry seats under the overhang of the roof.  Three chickens joined us.  They had the most interesting hair-do's and dare I say it?  Their roots were showing.

It became obvious that they didn't enjoy getting wet as they hurried towards us...

and didn't seem to mind us as long as we didn't make any sudden moves or get too close.  We were close enough as we had a shower of water every time they shook their bodies. The two males were the ones with the spiky 'hair', which got really spiky with the rain.  

They clucked noisily and just like a dog, occasionally shook their feathers very hard.  As soon as the rain stopped they left, and so did we.

The Byodo-in Temple is in a cemetery called Valley of the Temples.  There are not only Buddhists here but other denominations.  We passed a Catholic Church shortly after entering.  The Byodo-in Temple is one of my favorite places to visit.

When we exited we drove across the street and had lunch at McDonalds.  Fair's fair, I got my fruit for breakfast so Gregg got his Big Mac for lunch and yes we are both having a chuckle.  We like to tease each other and very often have a good laugh at ourselves.  Self-deprecating humor is a fun part of our marriage, and we try never take each other too seriously.

Next we drove to the Bernice Pauhai Bishop Museum, a lovely old building full of interesting artifacts and history on Hawaii.  We learn about the Hawaiian Royal Family.....below is a portrait of King Kamehamha the Great.....

Hawaiian culture.....

and we caught a great exhibit of the world famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku, which began on August 9th, 2015 and lasts until February 28th, 2016.  I am very glad we were there to see it. His is the statue on Waikiki that we wanted to go to before.   I will share more photos from that exhibit when I do another post on the museum.

There is a reconstruction of a Hawaiian village from long ago on the ground floor.  

and a life-sized whale hanging from the ceiling, with other marine life on display. 

Because I have been having trouble with my foot, and as it was towards the end of a very long day, I could only manage the first floor and we couldn't  find an elevator.  The other two will have to wait.  I wish we could have stayed longer but we called it a day.  My sails were sagging and yet I still wanted to continue on, the museum was so very interesting.  However, Gregg knows me better than I know myself and said no, it was time to go back to the hotel.

When we finally arrived we made our way to what was becoming our nightly stop in the small store and picked up sandwiches.  I had the egg salad and Gregg ham and cheese.  A big bottle of water, a couple of yogurts and granola bars.

It certainly felt good to get back to our room and lie down.

We have been in Hawaii for almost week now.  In four days we fly to Kauai.

If you missed the previous posts and would like to read them, you can click on the links below.


  1. Good morning, Denise. Another great trip report. Sounds like you had a full day starting with the yummy fruit. The Temple is beautiful. I like the fish, chickens and the black swan. Great post and photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  2. there is so much there to see. i had to laugh that you focused on chihuahuas and a parrot when all that exotic Hawaii was at your feet. i would to. love all the things you saw and would snap myself silly. those are some really ugly chickens..

  3. The delicious fruit was a good start to your day. The setting for the temple with those mountains as a backdrop is perfect. It sounds like a good day as you visited a beautiful garden, saw different creatures along the way and went into a fascinating museum - the kind of day I would enjoy.

  4. wonderful photos denise...your fruit looks delicious and i love that shot under the umbrella! i bet you are wishing you were there right now! how much snow did you end up with?

  5. The temple is remarkable! Terrific shots, Denise.

  6. Lovely photos, Denise, what a great trip! Thank you so much for sharing, your posts always bring me a smile and touch my heart.

  7. what a fun filled, action packed post. i LOVE seeing the black swans!!!!

    yummy looking fruit!!!

  8. All looks so lovely ! Great post and photos . Thanks for sharing , Have a good week !

  9. I love the Byodo-in Temple. Fell in love with Japanese art and artifacts when we lived there in the 1960s. Still love it today.

    The little bird on the mans shoulder is a Green-chisel Conure. I have one named Sweetpea, and she's a jewel. The natives in SAmerica call them "fire tail" because they have the most beautiful tails you ever saw. All red feathers. I love to watch Sweetpea preen.

    Many lovely photos, hope you had fun!

  10. Hello Denise!:)Starting with the fresh fruit breakfast, I enjoyed your detailed account of your day out.Lovely photos of the temple, and sea view!:)

  11. You sure had an interesting much to see and learn. The place where you got your morning fruit sounds like a wonderful little place...

  12. GREAT report on the temple! Yes, everyone LOVES Duke! <3

  13. Those chicken hairdos had me in stitches. I love your sense of humour...still got some English left in you. All the places you visit sound great. So much to see and do.


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