so, we’re spoiled. seriously … we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth! completely surrounded by lush greenery, turquoise blue-green waters, cotton-candy cloud-filled skies and ideal weather. and we are usually too caught up in our daily crazies to take the scenic road home … or to kailua for that matter. a couple of weekends ago, as we were making our way to the windward side of the island (over the mountains and through the tunnel from town to kailua), we were coming upon the pali lookout. i realized that shortstack had never actually been to the pali lookout. now, this little boy – although not born in hawai’i, has been raised here and this is definitely home! he’s a local boy through and through. and we haven’t been doing a very good job of taking him to explore the history and beauty in his backyard (we’re remedying that, i promise – including a family annual pass to the Bishop Musem – will be sharing more soon, i promise!).
the pali lookout is a significant landmark in the history of Hawai’i … now, i’m no historian, but i’ll do my best here to sum it all up. the nu’uanu pali (cliff) had, for years, been one of the most traversable connecting thoroughfares between the windward and leeward sides of o’ahu. because of that, it was a key geographical location on o’ahu. it was to become the site of a significant and history-altering battles in the formation of hawai’i as a kingdom. after conquering maui and moloka’i, Kamehameha I moved on to o’ahu. fierce battles ensued, and the last major stand of O’ahu’s military leader – Kalanikupule – and his forces occurred on the pali of nu’uanu. many of the o’ahu warriors were driven off the pali to their deaths, and Kamehameha I succeeded in conquering o’ahu and therefore uniting all of the major islands of hawai’i under his rule. stories abound of ghosts and spirits lingering in the pali area. when you visit the lookout point, you feel the power of the wind that is funneled through the mountain pass and your eyes soak in the gorgeousness of the windward side of o’ahu laid out before you; but, if you quiet yourself and close your eyes, i swear – you will hear the voices and moans of the warriors who fought fiercely in the tunnels of hawaiian history.