My Hawaiian Adventure


Hilo, itself, hadn’t changed much since we lived there 40 years ago. Walking along downtown I was reminded that we were all in tsunami territory. There was a terrible tsunami in 1946 that totally wiped out Hilo and Lau pahoehoe (which we’ll go to next). One of the reasons for being hit so hard was the bay in Hilo. It channeled the wave to become narrower and higher.
I recalled years ago when we lived in Hawaii, we were in the downtown bay area (which does not have a lot of buildings) and the tsunami-warning horns blared. I didn’t know what to do and the kids kept running around. A uniformed man came and told us that in was just a warning, but if it had been real, we’d all have died because we didn’t head for high land.
We ate at a place called “Lucy’s Taqueria” and had Mexican food. I had the hugest burrito I’ve ever seen. We went to a market and bought a coconut which we split open and had some coconut water.

Liliokaloni Park

Aiden, Diana & Jason under the Banyan Tree

On our way to Liliuokalani Park, we drove on Banyan Drive and saw lots of huge banyan trees. I recalled how in the summer when we lived in Hawaii, The Hilo Community Players (performing since 1938) always had a play in the park. I especially remember the year they did “Midsummer’s Dream” under the Banyan Trees and it really was a treat. We took the kids, too—no wonder our kids are theater crazy!

This is a Japanese-style park and quite different from most American parks. Wikipedia says of this park: “Much of the park now consists of Edo-style Japanese gardens, built 1917-1919, and said to be the largest Japanese park outside Japan.” It is in downtown Hilo, and truly fun to explore.

Liliokaloni Park

Blink and you may think you’re in Japan as you stroll through peaceful Liliuokalani Gardens, named after Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Located on Hilo’s Banyan Drive, this authentic, 24.67-acre park is very beautiful.

The park is an Oriental treasure so different from most of today’s parks This garden was dedicated in 1917 as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants who worked in the island of Hawaii’s sugar cane fields.

Jason, Aiden & Diana at Liliokaloni Park
Marlowe and Sarah 2005

This beautifully landscaped park features arching bridges over fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas, Japanese stone lanterns and a teahouse. Views of Hilo Bay and Mokuola (Coconut Island) enhance this peaceful setting.
Here are pictures of Liliokaloni Park in 1978, Marlowe with his daughter visiting Liliokaloni Park in 2005.
The park is an Oriental treasure so different from most of today’s parks.

Above are pictures of Jason, Aiden & Diana in Liliokaloni Park in 2020, and Marlowe with his daughter visiting Liliokaloni Park in 2005. Below is a photo of Athena in the park in 1978.

Rainbow Falls

The Rainbow Falls in Hilo is a broad waterfall in the Wailuku river and it is conveniently located within Hilo town. It cascades over a lava cave that according to legends is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon.

Depending on the amount of rainfall upstream in the preceding days the falls can be either roaring or they can be reduced to a trickle.

Aiden at Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls at flood stage during a cyclone 1979

In the Hawaiian language, the rainbow falls are called “rainbow [seen in] water”, or Waiānuenue.
While we lived in Hilo, a cyclone hit and Rainbow Falls flooded, and we lost part of our roof.

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