Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 1, 2010

We celebrated New Year’s by walking to the top of Diamond Head. It wasn’t too bad a slog, and the views from the top were staggering. The view is so wide we could see the curvature of the earth.
Driving down Diamond Head Road, we saw more closely-packed expensive houses behind ornate gates. There are no easements between the homes – they called it “zero lot lines”. I can’t get over how cool the houses are. It’s almost like being in a Scandinavian country, with pretty chalets nestled into the hillsides. But here, the “chalets” are all different styles, and the hillsides are covered in jungles. Some of the homes remind me of expensive houses in South Florida, but there is a much wider variety of styles, and the zero lot line situation creates a sense of coziness. It also forces the builders to be creative, so the architecture of the homes is very interesting.

We spent a couple of hours at the Honolulu Zoo. I think it’s the best zoo I’ve been to. It’s small, but you can get really close to the animals. There were lots of beautiful exotic birds, and the plants and flowers were almost as interesting as the animals.

Later in the evening, we went shopping in downtown Waikiki. There are lots of expensive shops, like Prada and Lois Vuitton, interspersed with inexpensive, tourist-oriented shops. We bought lots of clothes in the International Marketplace.

99 of the 217 steps leading to the top of Diamond Head

Honolulu from Diamond Head

Honolulu Zoo

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