Here’s something I like about Hawaii: rain need not alter plans. I want to go to the beach and it’s raining—go anyway…it’ll probably let up. I want to go hiking but it’s raining—hike in the rain and admire the clouds scuttling across the mountains. It’s raining at the farmer’s market—the kids can dance under a rainbow. All you need to do is don a hat and maybe bring an umbrella. And you should be wearing at hat anyway, because my shoulders get pink at 8am playing outside with the kids for 20 minutes.
So when I woke up to the sound of rain on the roof June 10, the morning of the King Kamehameha Day Parade, I was unfazed. We drove up the windward side of the mountains on the Pali Highway into thick banks of clouds. On the other side of the tunnels, a light spray of rain sifted down around the car. We couldn’t find a rainbow though. We parked near the ‘Iolani Palace.
King Kamehameha Day was established in 1873 by King Kamehameha V to honor his grandfather, King Kamehameha I, whose brilliant military strategies unified the islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii. In Honolulu, the celebration began June 9 with ropes and ropes of leis draped over the statue of King Kamehameha across from ‘Iolani Palace. We joined the party Saturday for the Floral Parade, which began at the palace in Honolulu and proceeded through Waikiki to Kapi’olani Park. Horses bedecked in flowers, marching bands, police stunt riders—even much-applauded pooper scoopers with each troupe of horses (one princess and her ladies from each island, all in different colors). The park at the end of the parade hosted ukulele players, singers, and festival food near the water. We swung from a banyan tree next to the sand, then walked out onto a pier to look at crabs, which Isaac was not so thrilled about. He requested a ride on Chris’ shoulders to avoid getting pinched. Isaac is good at spotting things; he’d already pointed out a school of humuhumu fish and trumpet fish.
“We don’t mind the rain,” said a ukulele player on stage. “In Hawaii, we call it blessings.”
And since we’d left our umbrellas in the car when we got to the park, we were blessed the whole walk back!