Oahu Stories and Tips

Another Fine Mix

The Bishop Museum Photo, Oahu, Hawaii

On one day we did a combination of old and new experiences. (They were all new to Marilyn.) To start we arrived at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum just as they were opening, at 9:00 am. There is a lot to offer here and I do believe we could have stayed till closing at 5:00 pm. Admission was $20 for Adults, $17 for seniors and $15 for children 4-12. The building is at 1525 Bernice Street and was a little tricky for us to find even though we had been here before. I suspect our rented Garmin took us on an indirect root. Bernice Pauahi was the last remaining heir to the Kamehameha the Great. Besides an impressive portfolio of real estate holdings, she also inherited precious Ali’i possessions such as feathered capes and helmets, koa woodcarvings and calabashes, kahili and canoes. With the help of her astute haole husband Charles Reed Bishop, her estate founded The Kamehameha Schools as well as the Bishop Museum. Our favorite part of the museum is the Hawaiian Hall. This dark and imposing building is arranged with a two-story atrium. Besides the fabulous collection of Polynesian and Hawaiian artifacts in glass cases lining the walls, the center atrium is an exhibit, too. On the lower level are a grass shack and several Ki’i statues. Suspended above and viewable at eye-level from the second floor is a whale skeleton, and a dugout outrigger canoe. My favorite exhibit is the poi pounders. Bill’s favorites are the weapons rigged with sharp teeth. If you have the chance to eavesdrop on a docent-conducted tour for school children, you will learn a lot. We visited two rooms we had not seen before. The Kahili Room displays many of these tall, feather ornamented wood poles. Odd looking until you realize their use. When Ali’i moved about servants carried these poles on either side of the royalty. Crowds could see them in the distance and take appropriate action. In ancient times if a commoner committed a kapu by stepping on an Ali’i shadow, they could be punished with death. A little severe, so you can see the value of the Kahili warning system. After the kapu system was eliminated the Kahilis remained as a sign that royalty was present, often found flanking the throne or the coffin. The other room we visited is on the mezzanine and is a gallery. Portraits, landscapes, sculpture and carvings are displayed here. We paid our respects to Bernice. There are other parts to the museum that we didn’t cover such as a Science Hall and a Planetarium. We had lunch at Café Pulama. They do not serve the frou-frou food often associated with museums. I had kalua pork; Bill and Marilyn had sun dried tomato wraps. Lunch for two with one drink and no tip was $22.25. The café was not well organized and service was not at it’s best that day. If you are leaving for the day, find another place. We browsed the gift shop. So tempting to buy those gorgeous coffee table books, but books weigh a lot. I bought tea towels instead.

Now for a change of pace: attention quilters and seamstresses….next stop was at The Fabric Mart. This was an easy find located on 1631 Kalakaua Ave (the same street our hotel is on but not on Waikiki). They have a large parking lot adjacent to the building so we didn’t have to search for a spot along the curb on that major artery. Bill is a good shopper but not in fabric stores. He found a ledge to perch on near the window where he could watch the traffic. (It’s a guy thing.) Marilyn followed me around and became my bolt carrier. The price per yard here is much lower than at my home stores. And the variety…oh, wow! I found three fabrics to take home. They have since been made into two blouses and a jumper. I have also shopped at their store in Kaneohe on the Windward side of Oahu.

We had been out from home for a week, so it was time to do laundry. Our hotel had a laundry service where you pay per item, but no guest laundry. I located a place Waikiki Laundromat on Kuhio Ave. Marilyn and I packed up our duds into our rolling suitcases and walked the five or six blocks. Love that spinner suitcase. This place is coin operated so plan on bringing lots of coins or small currency for the change machine. It was clean and the machines in good repair. What it doesn’t have is air conditioning and rest rooms. The heat was oppressive. I think if I do this again, I will sneak into the garage level laundry at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel, even if I’m not staying there. It is closer and cooler.

Bill and I went for a walk in search of supper. As we were walking down Kalakaua a sidewalk barker talked us into checking out the menu for Eggs ‘n Things. Usually we ignore these guys but eggs sounded pretty good. Located at 2464 Kalakaua Ave this place is open 6:00 am to 2:00pm and 4:00pm to 10:00 pm. Standing on the street you look over the menu and place your order before going up the stairs. At the top of the stairs we paid the cashier and were assigned a table. Take out is available also. The menu is very breakfasty oriented, but there were some meat and potatoes offerings. I know I had Spam and something. Bill had coconut syrup and something. We ate in, enjoyed the view of Waikiki Beach and also enjoyed the tasty meal. Our meal for two with beverages and tip was $20.84. We would return here despite the annoying barker out front.

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