- hike Diamond Head Crater
- crawl through Honolulu traffic
- get to Iolani Palace too late for guided tour, decide to do audio tour later
- walk to Chinatown for lunch at Little Village Noodle House (seafood with fried noodles and dan dan mein)
- a bit of shopping
- back to Iolani Palace for the audio tour, which was interesting and thought-provoking
- drive up to Tantalus and Round Top Road for view of Honolulu and harbors from on high
- eventually get back to freeway, take H1/H3 to Kaneohe
- leftovers for dinner
We did the speed hike up and down Diamond Head Crater, making it from parking lot to top and back in about 1:15. The hike was a lot of switchbacks, two sets of stairs, a tunnel, and a walk around the precipice. There were a lot of people; the hike reminded me of Half Dome with the steady stream of people in both directions. The view was very nice, and the crater itself was very impressive.
It took us almost an hour to drive through Honolulu to Iolani Palace, which meant we arrived too late for our guided tour. But this worked out as we realized we could do the audio tour (just as good, and at your own pace). So, we walked down to Chinatown (maybe 1/2 mile).
In Chinatown we had lunch at Little Village Noodle House, where we had a nice Seafood with Fried Noodles and a tasty Dan Dan Mein (not as good as Jing Jing, but good in its own way). We also did a little Chinatown browsing before heading back.
The tour through Iolani Palace was very interesting. There is a lot of complicated history involving intriguing characters that makes up the events of the end of the Hawaiian monarchy. I started going on alternate history brain tangents, wondering if there was some way that Hawaii could have remained an independent republic (either alone or in alliance with other South Pacific nations) and what that would have meant for the development of US history especially during the World Wars.
We took a drive up into the Honolulu hills, on Round Top Road and Tantalus road. It was a tight, windy road with houses set on it all of them with killer view. It was very similar to driving in the Santa Cruz hills. Unfortunately, about 3/4 the way into the loop drive the road was closed to we had to backtrack and went in some odd directions (my odd directions) before finding our way back to the freeway and Kane'ohe.
Tomorrow we hang out with college pal MC and go with his family to their cabin in the Wane'ohe mountains. It should be nice and great scenery (if the weather clears up).