Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Arrival on Oahu

While you are standing in the endless security checkpoint lines at the airport — you keep telling yourself, "In a few hours I'll be in Hawaii and all this hassle will be forgotten." When you hear the TSA agent say for the hundredth time, "No liquids except amounts less than 3.4 ounces (why 3.4 and not 3.5 or 3.75 or 4.0?) and they must be in a clear plastic quart-sized bag" — you tell yourself, "In a few hours the only liquids I'll care about are the ocean and my favorite beverage". When you have to remove your shoes, your belt, all metal objects, your computer from its case — you tell yourself, "In a few hours, I will be in Paradise and can voluntarily strip down to my swimsuit and relax on the beach. And then when the baby begins crying on the airplane and a ignites a chain reaction among the three babies in our section erupting into a totally annoying chorus — you tell yourself "Sure glad I brought those earplugs."

Ah, the joys of travel in a post-9/11 world.

Another small surprise — Hawaiian changed its schedule out of Phoenix and now departs at 8:15 which is about three hours earlier than their old schedule. Unfortunately, our condo did not have our room ready — with the old schedule, it was always ready when we arrived. So, Mizuki decided to get her hair cut at a Japanese Beauty Salon at the Hawaiian Prince Hotel — and suggested that I have a massage while I waited. Ah, this business travel is getting better and better. So I indulged with a Yamano Signature Massage combining Shiatsu and Swedish styles "creating the ultimate feeling of relaxation". Can't argue with that!

On Sunday, I began working — taking photos at `Iolani Palace, which is the only royal palace on U.S. territory (answer to previous trivia question). From their official website, "`Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom's last two monarchs -- King Kalakaua, who built the Palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili`uokalani. During the monarchy period, the Palace was the center of social and political activity in the Kingdom of Hawai`i.

"Though its grandeur was neglected after the overthrow of the monarchy, restoration began in the 1970s through efforts of concerned individuals. Restoration and preservation continues, and, as a result, today's visitors to this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu enjoy one of the most precise historic restorations and learn much about Hawaiian history and heritage."

Of course there may be some of you thinking that this building looks somehow familiar. Well, if you ever watched the old television series Hawaii 5-0, `Iolani Palace was depicted as containing the offices of the fictional investigation team headed by Steve McGarrett. The palace is too valuable to allow a film company to use it for real — the interior shots were all done in a separate studio. You can still hear the echoes — "Book'em Dano!"

You can see the obvious influences of the European monarchies in the details of the design. The Hawai`ian monarchs appeared to be so much in favor of adopting the ways of the "civilized world".

There was so much more that I shot today but it's getting late — and you're probably getting bored, so I'll close. Besides I have to get up early again tomorrow to work.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com