Waikiki, in the heart of Honolulu, is the tourist mecca of Hawaii; an especially popular destination for Japanese and Koreans. Our hotel was on the western end of Waikiki Beach which gave us a nice view of the extinct volcano known as Diamond Head. Waikiki, like Galt Ocean Mile and Miami Beach in Florida, is … Continue reading

Hawaii Three-0

We’re in Honolulu for our 30th anniversary, starting our journey home in the morning Earlier in the day, we stopped at the Top of Waikiki restaurant to make reservations for dinner. The hostess wasn’t very amused when she asked me for a name for the reservation and I said, “Ulmer. Book ’em Danno.” Anyway, the … Continue reading

Top of Waikiki

We’re in Honolulu now, walking around Waikiki. That looks like a cool restaurant up there… …appropriately named, Top of Waikiki. Here’s the view from up top, looking toward the ocean: And now we have reservations for our anniversary-eve dinner.

Rodeo Drive

We stopped for a hamburger at the small village of Kahuku on the northern end of the island and while we were eating, I heard a tentative voice behind me say, “Mr. Ulmer? Is that you?” Imagine my surprise when I turned around to see Kyle’s good friend, Alex Thommes, standing there, behind me! It … Continue reading


This morning, we drove up the windward coast of Oahu. About a third of the way to the far north end, we stopped at the Byodo-In Temple, a Japanese Buddhist temple built in 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It was just like being in Japan. The entire temple was built without … Continue reading

Can You Canoe?

Yesterday afternoon we drove to Kona and checked into Marriott’s King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel for our last two nights on the Big Island. After we got ourselves settled, we walked along the waterfront where a couple outrigger canoe teams were practicing on Kamakahonu Bay. That’s our hotel in the background of the first photo; … Continue reading

Saddle Up

Our trip to the Waipi‘o Valley yesterday was our main stop on a drive to see the two northern volcanos, Kohala and Mauna Kea. Starting from Volcano Village, we first drove through Hilo where we stopped to look at the statue of Hawaii’s great King, Kamehameha I. Kamehameha the Great (b.1758-d.1819) was King of the … Continue reading


The ancient Hawaiians lived within a fuedal system, something like the way people lived in medieval England. They had kings, lords, knights and peasants (although the Hawaiians had different names for these castes) and the Hawaiian kings also claimed to derive their power to rule from the gods. And like in europe in the Middle … Continue reading