Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Day 9 (Jan 19, 2020) – Crystal Symphony – San Diego to Guam – Honolulu, Hawaii

Before we get into our daily set of activities, we wanted to share with you something unique and interesting. As we were wandering around Honolulu, we were walking up Pali Highway and saw a huge horde of people across the street. We wondered what was going on. As we got closer, it was clear that the people were not protesting, but they were standing in a giant line that went from a store front to the corner and back about half way to the next corner. After some research, we learned that it was Asato Family Shop ( that sells homemade sherbet by the pint for $6.99 per pint. We learned that they are open 10-2 on Sundays, which is interesting. But we later found out that it is 10-2 on Sundays is the ONLY time during the week that they are open!! Once a week for 4 hours! People often pre-order their sherbet and pick it up Sunday morning or just show up and buy it. They even have people waiting in line for several hours before they open. Visit their web site and you can learn more. It's quite amazing that a business can survive being open only 4 hours once a week.

Part of the very long line for Asato Family Shop, the nondescript shop is behind the car
Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog posting of our day in Honolulu.

Today was a picture perfect day in Honolulu-the temperature ranged from 72 to 78 degrees, and it was not very humid.  The day began with walking 2 miles on the Promenade Deck, and then a short workout on the upper body strength machines.  We have a self-guided walking tour in Honolulu planned, so we wanted to get an early start on that!

Breakfast was in the Marketplace (Lido Deck Buffet) – the first of the cruise.  We both had a cooked to order omelet and fruit.  Lucky cooked the omelets and they were some of the best we’ve ever had in The Marketplace.  Back to the room to get our gear and set out to walk in Honolulu.

We have been to Honolulu a number of times and been to the usual spots – Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, North Shore, Polynesian Cultural Center, Byodo-In Temple, etc.  Julie had planned a walking tour for our Honolulu stop on January-April 2019 World Cruise.  Unfortunately, we had to cancel that trip at the very, very last minute due to Bob's health issue.  We decided to use the same plan that we would have used a year ago. The only unfortunate thing is that today is Sunday and nearly all of the sights we would have toured were not open today.  We started our walk from Pier 10 (Aloha Tower) where we are docked.

Shoreside view of the Aloha Tower.
We proceeded to walk the about half of a mile to the King Kamehameha Statue. On our way, we saw many typical glass type buildings, but also some interesting architecture such as the post office building.

Kawaiaho Church-this was the first Christian Church in Hawaii, and a service being conducted in Hawaiian was being conducted when we arrived.  It is constructed of 14,000 coral blocks quarried from the reefs around the island.

The Hawaiian Mission Houses-missionaries arrived in 1820 and were well-accepted by the inhabitants.  King Kamehameha III granted the missionaries land to build the church and housing.  They built a complex of dwellings, including a white frame house that was pre-cut in Boston, shipped around Cape Horn and assembled in 1821.

The white frame house from Boston is on the left.
Iolani Palace-the residence of Hawaii's last reigning monarchs, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. Construction was completed in 1882; 11 years later, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown.

On the grounds were some cool trees.

Hawaii State Capitol building was just across the street from the palace.

The Korean and Vietnam Memorials-the name of a lost Hawaiian serviceman is inscribed on each “step”

Washington Place-the former home of Queen Liliuokalani. It's been the official residence of the governor of Hawaii since 1921.

Foster Botanical Garden-this venue was open and we were able to tour the garden featuring 4,000 species. Here are some incredible pictures of the flora in the garden.

Look at the size of this tree! The sap was originally used for Chiclets gum.

The cannonball tree (yes, those pods are the size of cannonballs).

We visited Chinatown - this was a busy place on a Sunday!  With many shopping in the open market. We ended the tour with a visit to the observation deck of the Aloha Tower.

Princess Star in port with us.

Cool view of the Symphony
Our trek covered about 5 miles per Google Maps. 

We returned in time to catch the end of the Tennessee and Kansas City NFL Conference Championship games and all of the Green Bay vs San Francisco game.  They were showing the playoff games in the Hollywood Theater and it was also on the stateroom TVs.  Julie is a Green Bay Packer shareholder, so it’s obvious who we were cheering on!  Alas, the outcome was not what we had hoped for, but it sure looks like the Super Bowl is going to be great game.

Pre-dinner drinks were in the Silk Bar on Deck 11.  The view of Honolulu was magnificent (and our reason for choosing that venue).  Dinner was in the Churrascaria.  It is a Brazilian style steakhouse and seems to be quite controversial with the Crystal regulars.  Some like it, some think it is way too much meat.  We quite enjoy it and think that we have figured out how to eat there.  We both made large salads from the extensive salad bar and then had our meat courses.  Julie had 3 prawns and 1 small beef short rib to taste, while Bob had several of the different meats. We’ve learned which offerings we enjoy and only take those.  Interestingly enough, the woman at the next table was a vegetarian and loves the Churrascaria.  She makes a large salad and then enjoys some of the side dishes.  Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple was our dessert, which we love. No pictures, but here is the menu.

The evening entertainment was Marco Romano, an Italian vocalist who performs musical theater, rock and classic opera.  His voice is fabulous and the genres of music he sings amazing.  After singing some show tunes and opera selections he closed the show with Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”

We walked 25,177 steps, 10.7 miles.

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