I spent my day off walking. What a surprise. We drove down to the Hawaii State Library and parked our scooters at the bike rack next to some homeless guys. Two scooters chained together and to a bike rack made them a bit tricky to wander off with. I felt fairly confident about leaving them, but I’m always nervous when I come back that they won’t be there anymore.
We started our downtown walking tour by cutting through the palace grounds. It really is a beautiful place. I love ancient looking trees. There are about a dozen banyans grouped together on one side. I often wish they could tell their story.
The state capitol is unimpressive when you drive past it. It’s square and gray and almost stark. But once I had a chance to look at it up close, I was much more impressed. There is a pool surrounding the buildings on both sides. The columns around the building resemble palm trees. There is a large open space inside between the two houses with a mosaic on the floor and a beautiful open roof.
As we continued our walk past old and new structures downtown, we discovered we were hungry. We also discovered that every single business of every type is closed on the weekends. Even though we could smell bread baking, we couldn’t buy any food. Luckily, we met a man called Avu, who owns Good and Healthy Cafe on Merchant St. It’s a little Lebanese lunch spot. He invited us inside when we told him we were looking for some lunch. He said he could make us anything, even though he was closed. Not wanting to trouble him and not wanting to confess I don’t actually like Lebanese food, we asked for some hummus and pita. He heated the pita bread on the skillet, and we each got a plate of the best hummus I’ve ever eaten. It was smooth and lemony, topped with lovely extra virgin olive oil. I wish I could have eaten a whole bucket of it. Avu shared stories of his travels with us as we ate. And when we were finished, he refused to take payment. If you are downtown, please visit Avu’s restaurant. He prepares all his food with great care. It’s a family run business, and you won’t be disappointed.
We also saw this old church which was made entirely of coral. We wanted to go inside, but just as we got to the top of the stairs, we realized there was a wedding going on inside and made a quick escape.
Our final stop was a detour to the harbor. We may have gotten a tiny bit lost and a lot bit hot on the way. But we eventually found some pretty cool fish for Geoff to feed. I am so glad that we took this opportunity to see the historic sights. It’s not always easy to find the time to see things in your own city. Especially when you work seven days a week.