|The only Royal Palace in the U.S.A.!|
Iolani Palace was built in 1882 in the so-called 'American Florentine' mode, or so the chirpy and ever-so helpful docent enthused, minding me to slip my feet into those grotesque shoe-cover thingamajigs that are seemingly made from gathered, blue dryer sheets.
|A well-turned (albeit pasty-white) ankle!|
They're quite flattering, if not a tad hazardous, worn over flip-flops, don't you think? Though the aforementioned docent was not at all amused that I audaciously snapped a pic of my foot, as photography is strictly verboten at Iolani Palace, --yes, even outside on the entrance portico, I was informed between tisk, tisks. "Sir, please put your camera in your pocket for the duration of the tour. Thank you."
My poor BFF and Hawaiian host, Michael, nearly had an aneurism when forced to don the decidedly non-hypoallergenic footwear, obviously worn by hundreds if not thousands of previous tourists. (Michael has developed the most curious case of germ-o-phobia since last I saw him, several years ago)! If the foot-covers weren't bad enough, when my friend realized he would have to wear an earpiece, plucked from a basket of discarded, previously-worn headsets, he was positively panic-stricken! "I hope they disinfected these," he rued. I pad, pad, padded past him to the Grand Entrance, eyes rolling. Of course I couldn't help pointing out the innumerable maladies and skin-conditions that were no doubt assaulting our defenseless feet. I simply LOVE to tease Michael about his obsessive/compulsive disorders!
We entered the Palace and found ourselves in an elegantly-appointed Center Hall. The Hall was dominated by a sweeping, grand staircase carved from exotic koa wood. With its flanking torchbearer-statues, the imposing stair took my breath away! It totally reminded me of the staircase in Gone With the Wind, the one where Rhett Butler whisks Scarlet up to to the boudoir and the one where Miss Scarlet collapses after Rhett says, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"
On the walls of the Entrance Hall hung gilt-framed, oil portraits of Hawaiian Royalty wearing stuffy, Victorian garb. Precious porcelain object d'art, gifts from the Crowned Heads of Europe and Asia, were placed into arched recesses along the walls. In spite of all the Gilded-Age Splendor, the Hall had a light-and-airy feeling. One could easily imagine the tropical, Trade Wind breezes wafting through open doors and windows.
The Throne Room stretches the entire length of the Palace. Here, formal ceremonies were held, along with parties and balls. Iolani Palace is noteworthy for having electric lights ages before they were installed in The White House or Buckingham Palace. Modern conveniences such as telephones and private baths made Iolani Palace a comfortable home for the Hawaiian Royals and their guests.
|The throwns have a decidedly ecclesiastical/Gothic air.|
Here, the Dining Room (above) is set for an intimate dinner party. The recording guided us through the arched doors you see along the back wall, leading to butler's pantries with huge dumbwaiters to whisk food up from the kitchens located in the basement below. (Or at least the recordings guided Yours Truly, as my companion Michael had completely abandoned his headset after vainly trying to hold then a safely-deemed distance from his ears)! lol!
|The King's Library|
bedrooms. (Above) In the back corner of the room you can walk into one of the Palace Towers, a must-have feature for any royal residence! A two-tiered loggia, or lanai, as they say in Hawaii, surrounds the Palace on all sides, and every room opens to them. --Lux! Most of the Palace furnishings were unceremoniously auctioned off when the monarchy was disbanded. (Guess that's why this room is so sparse). Today, researchers troll the internet in search of all the lost plunder in an ongoing effort to replenish Iolani Palace to its former sumptuousness.
These chairs (pictured above) are part of a suite recently reinstalled in the second floor Music Room. (Which was my favorite room in the Palace). Both Queen Liliʻuokalani.and King Kalākaua were highly-educated, world-travelers who wrote scores of music in both Western and Traditional Hawaiian styles.
The stately, near life-size portrait (above) of Queen Liliʻuokalani. She was imprisoned in one of the Palace bedrooms after the monarchy was overthrown. My friend Michael insists that the overthrow was lead by greedy missionaries-turned-businessmen, though this tidbit of information was conspicuously glossed over in the recorded tour! The Queen spent much of her imprisonment toiling over a large 'crazy-quilt' conjured from the silken scraps of her former ballgowns. The quilt was on display in the very sparsely-furnished room of her confinement..
On this rather forlorn note, we shuffled out of Iolani Palace, stripped ourselves of germ-laden accoutrements and thus ended a highly educational and enjoyable excursion, a diverting afternoon which I hope you enjoyed nearly as much as
|Last photo taken: BFF Michael & NEW PUPPY! YAY!|
...Whist away, a plethora of packages were delivered to my doorstep, containing miniature goodies for Merriman Park. I had planned on snapping a series of pics of them for your enjoyment, but my camera seems to be --out of order! Upon inspection, the camera issued a small dune of beach sand from its innards and appears to be hopelessly and utterly broken...so it may be a while before you see another post from the likes of Yours Truly! And just after I figured out how to take non-blurry photos, too! (Must be those accursed Hawaiian Volcano Gods)...Oh, well! In the meantime, I look very forward to catching up this week with with all my fellow miniaturist Followers!