My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

Welcome to Hilo - Banyan Drive

Banyan Drive - Lined with Banyan Trees (street my hotel is on)

Banyan Tree roots

Each tree was planted by a famous person who vacationed here

Old town Hilo (not the traffic signals - one is hanging on...

Buddist Temple I passed on my walk

Traditional Hilo houses

Ice breathing dragon

The sign for the door seems to say it all - RELAX...

Hilo is on "the big island". My hotel in Hilo is on Banyan Drive, where most of the hotels are located. Banyan Drive is lined with Banyan tress which create a nice shady canopy to walk under. Most of the trees were planted by celebrities and small signs mark who planted the tree as a sapling and when. The tradition began in 1933. Cecil B. DeMille and his wife both planted a tree near my hotel. A couple of hotels down I found one planted by Babe Ruth. Others to have planted trees I did not see were: Richard Nixon (as a Senator in 1952) and Pat Nixon (in 1972), Amelia Earhart, Louis Armstrong. Some trees have been lost in tsunamis and tidal waves but 50 trees still survive.

Banyan trees are a variety of fig tree. They start as epiphyte (plant growing on another plant) when its seeds germinate in the cracks of the host tree. As the seeds germinate they send roots down toward the ground and may grow around the host tree. Banyan trees are also known as "strangler figs". The last picture of this group is a good example of how many plants grow into one structure. If one dies the rest still live and anchor the tree.

I have also included here some of the pictures I took on my walk into Hilo. Hilo Town was all closed up on Sunday so I didn't get to look in the shops. One of the pictures shows how they have constructed traffic lights over the sidewalks - I don't know if this is due to sight distance or glare behind the signal but I thought this was an interesting solution.

I saw a lot of what I think of as "plantation" houses.

I passed an ice plant that had this "ice breathing dragon" as I was ending my walk. By that time I would have been happy to be standing under it when it dumped.

The last picture here is the "do not disturb" sign for the door.

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