#ThursdayDoors: Aloha

I’ve just returned from almost a month in Hawaii.  I didn’t intend to stay that long but my grandson was (as they say) on “Hawaiian time.” Finally on March 21st his chubby little cheeks emerged, followed by an equally chubby little body and thank goodness, he was healthy. So I waited until my grandmotherly advice caused my son-in-law’s face to twitch uncontrollably and then left on the next available red-eye.

In Hawaii many of the hotels, government buildings, and even hospitals have open air reception areas and atriums. They have no front doors.  Evidently the craze currently circling the planet thanks to Norm Frampton and the #ThursdayDoors peep-and-tellers hasn’t yet reached the Hawaiian Islands!

Above is the entry to the Hawaiian state capitol.  If you walk through these columns the legislative chambers are to the right and the government offices to the left.  If you look up through the sky light in the atrium, this is what you’ll see:

In front of the capitol is a statue of Father Damien, the patron saint of the Hawaiian Islands.

Religion has played a controversial role in paradise.  Before the missionaries arrived, the islands were ruled by warrior kings who often had several wives (some of them sisters) and maintained order via ancient superstitions and myths. The missionaries brought changes that benefitted the poor but they also brought sickness and doors.

Behind the state capitol is Iolani Palace.This palace was built around 1882 under the direction of King Kalakaua who felt he needed digs worthy of his lofty position.  At that time, many of Hawaiian’s royals were anxious to be accepted by their European counterparts thus Kalakaua’s palace could easily be at home in London or Paris.  Except for the banyan and palm trees on the front lawn, of course.

Ironically Iolani Palace would serve as a prison for the last member of the royal family to have any political power, Queen Lili’oukalani. She was no match for power hungry American businessmen who had the implicit support of the US government.

The doors to Iolani Palace were almost impossible to photograph from the bottom of the staircase on a hot day, but they seem like sad doors to me.

Happily we were also in Honolulu during the festival of Prince Kuhio, the last royal member of Congress and the founder of many civic organizations dedicated to preserving Hawaiian Culture.

More pictures to come. Aloha!

33 thoughts on “#ThursdayDoors: Aloha

  1. Congratulations on the new grandson! Sadly for you, you are so far away now.

    I had to smile at your consternation with Hawaiian doors – or their lack there of 🙂
    As much as I love Hawaii, doors are not one of their priorities 😉

    1. It’s hard being so far away but his folks will be moving back to the continental US soon. Doors interfere with the trade winds which really do cool down the islands.

  2. Congrats on the new family member. It’s nice you were able to be there and to hang around until he decided to make his grand entrance. And hey, there are worse thing in life than a month in Hawaii, right?
    I love the shot of the palace 🙂

  3. I have to ask, what happens to those open areas when it rains (especially the building with the open skylight)? Does it mean they need to remove all electrical equipment at the end of every evening and/or when it rains? Maybe, it never rains?

    Congratulations on the arrival of your Grandson.

  4. When it rains in Hawaii it’s like taking a shower. The skylight at the Capitol was over an atrium where, at the time we were there, high school kids were learning all about government. The rooms where people actually do business are air-conditioned and enclosed! Our bottom floor of our hotel was completely open but faced the southeast tip of the island and the weather generally comes from the north and west. Buildings might not have traditional entry doors but they do have roofs. so it’s not as wild and hairy as you might think!

  5. Congratulations on your new grand baby, Jan.

    Hawaii is one of my favorite states. Iolani Palace is madly haunted, as is the Bishop Museum.

    One of my best friends in college was from Hawaii. His father was the manager of Volcano House. Each week they had to make an offering of rum and cigarettes to Pele at the lip of the caldera. The manager after him didn’t want to follow the protocol and Volcano House burned to the ground.

    Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks Jenn. We heard that docents in the museum have reported smelling cigar smoke. Apparently Queen Lil had a thing for cigars! We didn’t actually go in though – we had to get back to the hospital! Happy Weekend to you as well!

  6. Yeah! Congratulations to all involved for the new little bundle of joy. And imagine that, a land with no doors! 😮 Who’d figure! But I guess it has everything else though… so it’s still a go when chance arises.

  7. Warmest congratulations, Jan, on your blessed event – grandma : )) Much
    health & joy to the baby & new parents too!

  8. The Iolani Palace is beautiful but I agree, Jan, those doors are just sad looking! The open air entry ways should count as “doors” but I wouldn’t presume to give a true edict on the subject. 😉

  9. Nice post and photos; you got the history correct too! I was home (Honolulu) in February and captured many photos like yours which I have yet to post. The Hawaiian studies were just taking on more importance about the time I graduated from the UH and I had to learn why there was a movement to form a separate Hawaiian government like the native American Indians on the mainland. Looking forward to see what other images you found.

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