Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aloha ‘Oe

I've been back from Hawaii for almost a week, and I've been chomping at the bit to put up some pictures, but, hey!, it takes a few days to recover the house from being gone for a week!  Just today, I've finally caught up on just about everything so I now feel like we're back to normal, and my vacation feels like it happened a month ago!!

Okay, first we flew into Kauai. 

Isn't that gorgeous?  I read that you can only see 20% of the island by car.  As you can imagine, the airport was very small, and I could feel the humidity as soon as we left the airplane.  Since we were unable to leave the airport, I was glad that our layover was short.

Here we are in Oahu!  Melissa greeted us with leis, as is customary.


We stopped at the Dole Plantation (I’ve been there on a quite a few field trips, and I still don’t like pineapple!), and as you can imagine, they had pineapple-flavored everything…but my dad couldn’t find fresh pineapple juice anywhere!  Doesn’t sound so awful to me, but…

100_3596 Forgive me if this is common knowledge, but I didn’t know that pineapples grew out of the top of the plants; I thought they were underground.

100_3609 We stopped at lots of different beaches and lookout points, but I’m not going to name them all.  Here are just a few pretty views:

100_3617100_3757 100_3777100_3781DSC01622 The above picture is at Shark’s Cove, a great snorkeling place.  We went back the next day with dad’s underwater camera.  We saw tons of fish and other sea life, and we even saw a sea turtle!  We got so close but were just out of reach!

PICT0016PICT0008 PICT0010PICT0015When we went to Bellows to swim and do some boogie-boarding, we saw a rather large, dark creature not too far from us.  When we saw a fin, we thought it would be wise to get out of the water!  Everyone on the beach was somewhat nervous (no hysteria, but a healthy dose of concern!), and when the lifeguard said it was a manta ray and had moved on, we all went back in.  Dad and I thought we saw it again later, but my mom and Melissa were on the shore and said it was a turtle.  All those years we lived in Hawaii, we never saw anything in the ocean, so that day was quite the adventure!

We spent a day at Pearl Harbor.  I was surprised that there was so much there.  Dad and I went on the Bowfin (a submarine), and we all took a ferry out to the Arizona Memorial.  We also saw the Utah and Oklahoma Memorials, and we drove onto Ford Island to tour the Missouri- the last battle ship made and where the end of WWII occurred when Japan signed the papers.  I took a ton of pictures there, but I’m not going to put them up here.  Sorry.

Other pictures I’m not going to post, but still enjoyed taking, are: my old house, the school I went to from 4th-6th grade, the church, my K5 classroom at the church where my sis-in-law now teaches (they even have the same table at which I sat!), the sidewalk where I broke my tooth, the street where my brother ran over my sister with his bicycle, etc.  You get the idea…nostalgic pictures

Let’s see…oh, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was a great experience.  You visit the different ‘islands,’ and they each have their own activities: spear-throwing, hula, coconut leaf-weaving, etc.  They put on a luau at night, and then we watched a live show that was pretty neat.

Tuesday was my parents anniversary (my birthday was 4 days later), and my brother, by proxy (Melissa), treated us to a nice dinner at the Top of Waikiki.  It’s a revolving restaurant, and you get some beautiful views of Waikiki.  DSC01650

 Here are a few fun facts (say that five times fast) about Hawaii, just in case you ever make it out there:  hula dancers never wore grass skirts (those are from Tahiti and Fiji), Waikiki is not a city (just a part of Honolulu- like the Bronx in New York City), and if you’re in the mood for a good burger, find Pizza Bob’s.

100_3619 Wednesday was spent packing, cleaning, mailing a couple packages (cheaper than checking a suitcase!), last-minute shopping, mailing another package (hee hee), and one last dinner with the four of us.  A nice red-eye flight, a dead car battery in Phoenix, and a nap in the car on the way to Tucson brought us home! 

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