Saturday, October 15, 2016

Honolulu Museum of Art & Shangri-La House.

Today I finally was able to visit Doris Duke's Shangri-La house here on Oahu...and wow, I was blown away! Not only with how amazingly beautiful the house was but how hands-on and down-to-earth the "richest girl in the world" was! Her house on it's annual restoration and only opened to the public again on October 4 and the personal tour guides sold out fast...and today was the earliest that I could make a reservation for my friend and I. And, goodness, I was so glad that I did. I was a little bit worried because the weather did not look to promising, but I dressed to get wet in-case it did continue to rain.

Our tour time was 9am...and we had to be there at 8:45am. So we left at 8 to be there early. We did get there early so we were able to grab some of our favorite cookies that the Honolulu Museum of Arts. We took a short bus ride to Ms. Duke's house...and one the ride over, they played a short film about the "richest girl in the world." She became the tobacco heiress at the age of 12. When she got married, she went on her honeymoon around the world and that was when she fell in-love with Islamic art. On her way home from their honeymoon, they stopped by Hawai'i where they fell in-love with this place and decided make a home here. And that is where we get the Shangri-La home of Doris Duke.

We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside of her house, however we were able to take pictures when we were outside. Although we weren't able to take pictures of the inside when you experience something that beautiful, it is something hard to forget. I loved that she didn't care...if she wanted it, she had to have it and so she bought it. Her house looked super comfy, yet elegant and well put together. I loved how she was super hands-on with everything. She knew what she wanted and so she did it.


This is the front door. I was actually really shocked when I saw the front door. Looking at it, you couldn't even dream of how the inside was. She actually wanted REAL camels, but then the ones that she was planning on bringing over got sick and so when she came back to Hawai'i, she got these two at a department store! I think they work well. :)

Like I mentioned, we weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside of the house. I can't even decide which room was my favorite room! Each room was different and it showed just how much she didn't care what the world said about what went and what didn't go...if she wanted it, she did it. And I think that she did make it work out. I think one of my top favorite rooms was what I like to call the dining room. It had a low table and you sat on little stools that were about a foot off the ground...and above the table was this amazingly ginormous chandelier! It was GORGEOUS! At first there was salt water tanks that were built into the wall, but then she decided to change that out and put some intricate Islamic tile art. And it was a gorgeous room. Another thing that I loved about this room was that when it was weather permitting, she could press a button...and [get this!!] the walls would go down facing the ocean so that you can get the ocean breeze!! Forget just opening the window! Just lower the WHOLE WALL! That was pretty cool! Another room that was like that was what i liked to call the living room. Another gorgeous room with super interesting decor...and another wall that would go down into the basement at the push of a button so that you can get the fresh air. Amazing...!


Going back to the dining room, it lead out to a lanai..and since we were able to stop outside, we were able to take this picture. This was the kind of tile and decor that the house was filled with. So gorgeous! I wouldn't mind eating out here everyday! Rain or shine...and this was my most favorite place in the whole house! Because check out her view!


Yep! This was her view from her lanai! No wonder she wanted a wall that was able to go down so that she can get the breeze from this! I would love it here...!! She was also rich enough to build her own boat harbor. She had property in Kailua...and so she talk to someone (I'm not too sure who...but someone who had a say in whether or not she could!), and she traded her property in Kailua for the permit to build her own boat harbor. And the cool part is I pass that Kailua property that she traded everyday! It is now what we call the Kailua Beach Park! How cool is that?!


And there is part of her boat harbor with a rock pier. You can't really see it from this picture...but at the end of the pier, it looks like there is a place that is flat that you can just sit...and I would LOVE to have a place like that! I would go there all the time! How peaceful is that! You can see Diamond Head in the far right corner. And since all the beaches are public...you can actually swim here! :)


And here is the rock stairway down to the ocean. I would love to have something like that. I don't care what the house would be like...as long as I had something like this, I would be SO happy! :) The water is so beautiful and clear and it didn't look to bad out there. Yep, this was my favorite place on Doris Duke's estate.


This outside place also over looks the ocean. And she also build a sunning area for herself on top of the roof. :)


This over looks her pool, which is is 17 feet deep! Wow! And something our docent told us was that she would swim laps twice a day with all her dogs. Guess how many dogs she had?! NINETEEN! She had NINETEEN dogs! And they all would swim with her twice a day! :) And that building you see in the back is what she liked to call her "playhouse." That's cool. :)


This is a picture of her personal garden that leads to her marble made room. I have to say that this was another room that I really loved. It looked real spacious and even though it didn't have any of her personal things anymore....I can just imagine how it would have looked. The bathroom was plain...but it had amazing acoustics! I couldn't help but to sing a few notes to see how it sounded...and yes, I can just imagine her singing in there as she took a bath...the acoustics was amazing. :)

I was really sad to leave, but I know that I'd come back. Plus, the docent mentioned that they do night tours...because everything looks different when it's night out and the lights were on! And that is something that I would LOVE to see! There are a lot of stained-glass, chandeliers, and Islamic lamps decorating the whole place! Can you just imagine the beauty of it!

When we got back to the museum, my friend and I decided to have another one of their delicious chocolate chip cookies and their flavored sodas. My friend got the berry/vanilla soda. I had originally asked asked for berry/lavender soda...but was given a lavender/vanilla soda...but I said that it was okay. It was still yummy. It was two flavors that I wouldn't normally put together...but it went down tasting like lavender and had an after taste of vanilla. The fans were giving to us for free from the Shangri-la house. That was one thing about Doris's house, she didn't have any fans...and so the rooms could get stuffy in them. No wonder she had a several of her rooms where she can roll down the walls!

I love Honolulu Museum of Art because there is always something new that we can see! So we took some time to go around some of the exhibits that we wanted to see. My favorite piece this time was in the Pop Art exhibit. 



This piece was huge, but I wouldn't mind something like that in my home! I love the textures! And just the color! You can't really see it, but he does use one accent color...and it just says so much. I love this piece!

It was a beautiful day; a gorgeous day spent exploring with a friend. And I will end this with a quote I saw at the museum that I fell in-love with.