Hawaii, E Ku’u Aloha

(Not a Richard Armitage post. One of my “obsessions” is Hawaii!)

A long long time ago I went on my first trip to Hawaii. My cousin loved the beach and when we were planning a trip she suggested we go to Hawaii. I told her that I was not interested in travelling all the way from New York to Hawaii if she was going to sit on the beach and not go see anything. She promised she wouldn’t. So of course, she did. We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach (the pink hotel on the picture above) and once we got there, my cousin stayed there. I, on the other hand, explored the island.

This was the first time I went off on my own somewhere. I was only in my early 20’s. I had always been afraid to do things on my own, and insisted on having a companion before I went anywhere or did anything. But somehow, Hawaii gave me courage. I took the bus to downtown Honolulu. I went to the shopping  mall. I saw the government offices, which interested me because everyone was so casually dressed, unlike NYC. I went to Pearl Harbor.


This is the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. The ship was sunk during the Japanese attack on the harbor, which started the American entry into WW II. When I was there the memorial wasn’t quite as developed as it is now. Even so, it was very moving. There are still men buried under it in the ship.

When I think about Hawaii now, it seems unbelievable to me that I was able to go there not once, but THREE times! I couldn’t afford to go there today. Everything has gotten so much more expensive. Or maybe it’s just that I have other priorities today than I did when I was 25. I still think about it all the time, though.

The second time I went to Hawaii I went to the island of Kaui. It was amazing. We stayed at the Coco Palms hotel, which was where they filmed Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii. Sadly, that hotel is gone. It was destroyed by a hurricane. It was a beautiful place.

coco palms 1          coco palms 2

While we were on Kauai, we went to a local bar where people hung out and danced the hula, and listened to Hawaiian music. I think it might have been the place in the George Clooney movie, The Descendants.

kauai bar

Anyway, I have very fond memories of Kauai.

kauai grand canyonsWaimeia Canyon

The second time I went to Hawaii we also went to Waikiki as well as Kauai. We stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki

sheraton waikiki            The Sheraton Waikiki, right next to the pink Royal Hawaiian.

The third time I went to Hawaii, I stayed on Waikiki beach again. We stayed at the Moana Surfrider Motel, home to a famous banyan tree.

banyan tree

From Wikipedia: “In the center of the Moana courtyard stands a large banyan tree. The Indian banyan tree was planted in 1904 by Jared Smith, Director of the Department of Agriculture Experiment Station. When planted the tree was nearly seven feet tall and about seven years old. It now stands 75 feet high and spans 150 feet across the courtyard.”


The Moana Surfrider Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Oh my. I am suffering some severe longing to go back to Hawaii now!


Not me, but someone else also longing to go to Hawaii!


A Mai Tai drink. Another reason I loved Hawaii! 😀

Aside from the lovely hotels, beautiful beaches and tasty drinks and food, the reason I love Hawaii is that the light is so beautiful there. It is something hard to describe, but the way the sun shines on the islands just makes you feel like you are in paradise. Add to that the smells of flowers which grow freely everywhere –

hibiscus flowerHibiscus




And the famous Hawaiian Lei – flowers strung on a string to be worn around your neck.

Another thing I love about Hawaii is Hawaiian music. The Hawaiians invented the ukulele and the slack-key guitar. Keola Beamer is one of the masters of slack-key.

Ukulele music – the famous “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” cover by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

And I couldn’t do a post about Hawaii without mentioning my guy, Jay Larrin, who sang for many years at the Sheraton Waikiki lounge. I just love him – he’s a beautiful person.

So “hang loose” hang loose


and “suck ’em up” – Hawaii is paradise!



From New York City. Anglophile, theater-goer, love books, music and LIFE.
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8 Responses to Hawaii, E Ku’u Aloha

  1. guylty says:

    You being paid by the Hawaiian tourist board *ggg*???
    Sounds great – I’d love to go.

  2. Having been twice, I have some amazing and beautiful memories of Hawaii – and one of them a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. The experience was one that may or may not be common, but my visit affected me to the point where images of the ship still haunt me. Prior to going, the very sight of these images – that of the overheard outline of the ghostly ship – would bring on a sort of vertigo. On the visit, which was something I felt both reluctant and compelled to do at the time, was both uncomfortable and moving in a way that is difficult to explain. The very moment that I stepped on to the boat, the vertigo returned, and along with it a low, non-violent, but consistent, feeling of nausea. It must have been on my face, because upon exiting the ferry, and the moment I entered the ship, a seasoned guide took one look at me and said “Don’t worry, the tour is only 15 minutes.” That feeling did not stop until I was off that boat. And to this day, the images are still difficult to look at.

    I realize that this is certainly not a beautiful memory of Hawaii, as you have beautifully done here, but it was one I wanted to share, so I hope you don’t mind. Hawaii is just such a beautiful place, that it deserves to have all forms of lovely things said about it: Snorkeling and fish watching in Hanauma Bay, hiking to see waterfalls or volcanic activity on the Big Island, watching the sunset and visiting giant Banyon Trees in Maui, giant cave excursions in Kauai, and water so soft and warm that you feel as if in a bath.

    But I still highly recommended the Memorial, and certainly the entirety of Hawaii, as unique and wonderful places to visit. The the former is a must in terms of an educational experience, for anyone who has yet to go.

    • Marie Astra says:

      Thanks for the comment, Crystal. I know exactly what you mean about the memorial. I found it very haunting as well. It’s so REAL, if you know what I mean. It’s not a just a museum. I haven’t been to the 9/11 museum at the World Trade Center yet, but I imagine it will be the same kind of experience. Hawaii is so worth going to see for all kinds of reasons, as you say!

  3. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 95: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

  4. Pingback: 12 Things You Wish Were Still Around In Hawaii. « Keitochan Says:

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