Enjoy planetarium shows and landscape tours while exploring the fascinating Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii.
There were more people booked for this excursion than the tour bus would hold and I ended up in a seven person over-sized mini-van with the overflow. "Auntie Karen" a mid-westerner who has lived on the big Island many years and married a Japanese-Hawaiian, was our tour guide. Not of Polynesian/Hawaiian descent herself, but a typical Hawaiian nonetheless. Driving out of the gridlock of the harbor area she told us about Ohana (family), and how every adult is Auntie or Uncle to small children. She also had good knowledge of the tsunamis that had changed the Hilo area over the years but admitted she lacked for statistics.
Our first stop at the Big Island Candies was basically a shopping stop. In spite of being told that this is the "only place you can get these" there is a second Big Island Candies store in the Ala Moana Center on Oahu.
Lots of tasty samples (don't miss the coffee) but other than some beautiful packages for Japanese style gift giving I felt shortbread just wouldn't scream "Hawaii!" to the folks back home.
Traveling along Banyan Drive we were given a short history lesson and saw trees planted by various luminaries. A quick stop at the shore demonstrated the "mud" was actually very fine black volcanic sand. Off to Rainbow Falls for a photo op of the falls and a lovely garden setting. Auntie Karen, hula enthusiast, showed us how to use ti leaves to make a grass skirt.
We were ushered rapidly through the Imiloa center and only given about 15 minutes to go back and look more closely at the displays before the start of the planetarium show. The presenter was a young woman involved in the research from data collected by the radio-telescope array and the show ranged from basic ("here is Orion") to a demonstration of recent space debris data in 3D addressing objects in low-, mid-level and geosynchronous orbit which was more than a little mind-blowing.
Recommended with the caveat that if the Astronomy Center is your main goal you will feel rushed to get through all the exhibits.
Welcome to Cruise Critic; we're happy you decided to register to become a Cruise Critic Member.
Important: Do Not Use Your REAL NAME as your USER NAME
Important: Please disable your email verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Please add @cruisecritic.com to your email safelist.
Please respect that this is a MODERATED community for people who absolutely LOVE cruise travel or want to learn about cruise travel.
Registration to Cruise Critic's Cruise Community is free! We require that you use a valid e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail asking you to verify your e-mail address before you are allowed to login and post on the boards. Again, please disable your spamblocking or verification software so that you receive our activation e-mail. Also, as a member of Cruise Critic you will receive copies of our weekly newsletter plus our "Cruise Sails" and one "Member Offer" mailing. Should you not want to continue to receive these e-mailings, simply unsubscribe by following the directions in the newsletter. By agreeing to become a member, you are agreeing to receipt of our newsletters.
Additionally, we do insist that you abide by the rules and policies detailed at this link: Community Guidelines.
This is a moderated Community. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Web site and do not wish to be bound by them, please do not use this Web site or continue the registration process. Cruise Critic reserves the right to remove any content in its sole discretion. Additionally, if you violate our Community Guidelines you may lose your posting privileges -- permanently -- without warning. By continuing the registration you are agreeing to the terms
These are moderated message boards. What this means is that we do our best to remove all objectionable messages from the boards. It also means that you cannot say whatever you'd like on the forums. If you are looking for an "anything goes" setting, Cruise Critic might not be the place for you. Understand, too, that our community is comprised of folks who LOVE to cruise. It therefore stands to reason that they will have a favorite cruise line or port of call -- in other words, they are "fans" and will sometimes take offense when a brand new member has arrived on the scene to bash a cruise line.
Keep in mind that we do not prescreen posts so there may be a period of time when an inappropriate post is visible. Please use the Report A Post icon located in the UPPER right hand corner of each posting if you wish to report a violation of our Community Guidelines. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of Cruise Critic Message Board Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.
By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, are in violation of our Community Guidelines or otherwise violative of any laws.
Cruise Critic reserves to right to remove, edit, move or close any thread (discussion) for any reason from the forums without warning. or notification to the Community. Additionally, we also reserve the right to deny posting privileges to any member at our sole discretion.
You hereby grant Cruise Critic the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in our message board community (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.
Our mission is to provide a haven on the Internet free of harassment and advertising for our community members' enjoyment. Any company or person(s) that interfere with that mission risk losing their posting privileges.
If you have any questions about how our community is moderated, please address them to our Community Manager via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not post on the boards.