Hawaii '05
Journal notes #5

Cherry Blossom Day at Waimea and the Parker Ranch

Saturday, February 5th - Waimea (aka Kameula) celebrated it's annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Our first visit to it 3 years ago had convinced us that this isn't something to be missed. Click here to see our visit in '02.

The Japanese Cherry Trees were in full bloom and the day was BEAUTIFUL and sunny. Waimea is often cloudy and delightfully cool with the mist from
Mauna Kea. Today in the warm and sunny weather, the majestic mountain was covered with deep snow down to a level we had not seen. Many of the observatories were clear. What a treat to enjoy snow from this warm 83 degree perspective !

Since last visit, the town has grown remarkably, as has the celebration. It was centered in a park beside the Buddhists
Hongwanji mission temple, which hosts an open house and events like origami and cooking demonstrations.

We enjoyed the temple, a Japanese Bento lunch and the farmers market. From there we went to the new Civic center / shopping area designed with the Parker Ranch motif and attractions. Here were outdoor musical performances, huge indoor plant demonstration and sales - so many exotic and wondrous fruiting and flowering plants to admire and to learn about !

Surrounding the area were scores of food and craft tents. The event drew thousands of people.

Just outside of town is the headquarters for the
world famous Parker Ranch (
over 175,000 acres)
. Today, the young cowgirls and cowboys were competing in riding and roping events. It was a photographers dream ! Thankfully the battery on my new camera held up.
 ( my trusty little Pentax Optio had failed to survive a swim in the Pacific on the fishing trip)

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