Celebration at Hulihe’e Palace for King Kamehameha Day

Hulihe'e Palace

After the King Kamehaha parade in Kailua-Kona on Saturday, the celebration continued at Hulihe’e Palace in historic Kailua Village. The palace was the summer home of Queen Emma. Many years ago my husband and I toured the palace, a must-see historic preservation site in town. These guys, I believe, are re-enacting the Royal Order of King Kamehameha I. The uniter of the Hawaiian islands.

The men are wearing a malo, a loin cloth. Hawaiians are not as hung up about their bodies or exposure as we are on the mainland.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day in Kona 2018

The Hula performance was mesmerizing. It takes years to become proficient in hula, which tells stories of the people, life on Hawaii and respects the gods, ali’i (chiefs) and aina (land).

Here is a video I shot that is 44 seconds of music and hula before some clueless guy wandered directly in front of us.

Hulihe'e Palace

Many vendors lined the perimeter of Hulihe’e Palace selling hand-made goods, food, beverages and this particular vendor was a big hit serving coconut water. He brought piles of coconuts still attached to each other, swung that machete to cut off the tops and sold them. I am not a big fan of coconut water; it is very bland to me.

During my trip to Vanuatu and the village of Tanoliu four years ago, my hostess, Lietau, had her son sprint up a coconut tree in 10 seconds to throw down coconuts. He cut the tops off, and I sat on a blanket with the family drinking coconut water. Afterwards, we scooped out the flesh using part of the top as a spoon. They do the same thing on Hawaii Island. To me, it is pretty tasteless, but if I was really hungry and that’s all I had, I would eat it and not complain.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

Erin, pictured here drinking the water of a large coconut, handed each of us her coconut so we could feel how heavy it was. Much heavier than it looks, especially when it’s full of water. Erin will be teaching second grade in the fall.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

Linda, pictured here, lives down the street from me and hails from the Sacramento area. She was scooping scented salts in a rainbow of colors and sniffing them. Which lured me over there, and I ended up buying 6 bags of salts. You can set them in small bowls around your house to perfume the air or drop in bath water.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

This guy showed us his adorable Yorkie, which is 5 months old. Time for doggie kisses. Laura ended up nabbing this guy as a client because she is a dog groomer. She has her elevator speech down pat. First she approached the potential client to tell him how cute his dog is, and she meant it. Then she casually dropped into the conversation she grooms dogs like this, and before you know it, she got his phone number. That’s a smart woman who should go into real estate.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

The steeple of the Mokuaikaua Church was visible from the Hulihe’e Palace, and it looked like it was about to rain, but it did not rain.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

Here my friend, Linda, on the left, and Laura, the best dog groomer in Kailua-Kona on the right, checked out the activity on the horizon.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

This is the view that captured our attention. Many regatta races were happening at the Kailua pier.

Hulihe'e Palace celebration King Kamehameha Day

Back at the lava wall to the Hulihe’e Palace, I captured a couple of Hawaiians dressed in ancient attire. Such sweet, kind people, and their compassion rubs off on you. Absolutely infectious. I have noticed that when I am in Hawaii, I am a much nicer person than I have any right, probably, to be.

During our walk to Hulihe’e Palace, Linda noticed an abandoned purse sitting in an alcove of lava. It seemed full of stuff. I picked it up and walked into the restaurant, up to the guy at the cash register. He tried not to take the bag, but I forced it upon him. Explained it was left on the lava wall and he needed to safeguard it. Didn’t give him a choice, really.

Then, when I walked back outside on the deck of the restaurant, in a commanding voice I announced: if anybody comes looking for a missing bag, it is inside the restaurant. Didn’t even think about it when I did it. It just needed to be done. See what I mean? I’m a nicer person than I know myself to be. This is what Hawaii does to you.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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