In my effort to suck all the aloha out of this place my new mission is to fully explore the history of the island. Procrastination much? I’ve been reading historical fiction and fallen head over heels in love with the ali’i. (Hawaiian high Chiefs or royalty) Naturally, I had to make a trip to Iolani Palace.
My friend Jen is possibly as sad as I am to have a PCS date looming. We picked a Friday and ventured out to walk on the same grounds as King Kalakaua and his sister, Queen Lilioukalani. As Arleigh would say, we were clearly having a fan girl moment. After reading about the parties and balls held at the palace I ached to walk up the front steps.
One of my first thoughts is that the palace doesn’t seem so grand according the east coast mansion standards. My experience of mansions is limited to the Biltmore though so what do I know?
The architecture is nothing short of amazing. The palace has undergone some pretty extensive restoration. After the monarchy was overthrown, everything on the inside was sold off and sadly it was used as government offices. As we walked through old pictures and saw attached trailers and dividers my heart hurt. It all seemed so disrespectful.
We saw a quilt that Queen Lilioukalani stitched during her house arrest. Crazy quilts were the fashion of the day but I heard a rumor once that Liliuokalani loved them because they represented her life. There were good pieces and bad pieces but far more good than bad.
The Throne room is where I knew I missed my calling. Sitting between 2 grand thrones you’ll see the puloulou, consisting of a gold sphere atop a 7-foot spiral, ivory tusk from a narwhal whale.
We also got to see Queen Liliuokalani’s butterfly pin. She purchased it in Europe. I don’t remember how many diamonds that butterfly had but I do remember that the wings fluttered as she walked. I desperately want a butterfly pin like that now.
It was a good day! Thanks for tagging along with me Jen. Now we’re off to find the next historic adventure before I lose my aloha.