Friday, February 5, 2016
As predicted the flight home was pretty wretched. I don't know why I can't sleep on planes anymore, but I think I literally got about 30 minutes of sleep. When we got home I was completely wiped out, said hello to the pups and collapsed in bed for about 3 hours!! I didn't even unpack, that's how tired I was. I'm only just now starting to feel back to normal. Everything is unpacked, mounds of laundry are waiting to be washed, I spent a horrendous amount of money at the commissary today so we have food to eat and I'm trying to catch up on my emails and crew business. John and I are starting up Operation Healthy Train... a week of eating whatever we wanted and only minimal working out has taken it's toll... I guess it's back to reality!
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
We fly out tonight at 640pm and then land at 1100am tomorrow morning. It's going to be long and painful!! We tried to upgrade to first class, but they were all sold out! We did hit the beach this morning. John got to do a little boogie boarding, I sat in a chair and totally burned the shit out of my legs. I put sunscreen on my shoulders, face, chest and back, but I never really think about my legs. STUPID! They are pretty damn burned and sore! A little Advil and hopefully I'll be okay.
Finished up our shopping and headed back to the hotel for a shower and a final drink on the beach. This has been just about the perfect vacation. The perfect combination of busy days and relaxing days. We've had perfect weather, beautiful scenery and lots of good food. I am ready to get back to my house, my puppies, Zack and my stuff, but this has been a nice interlude and a great way to celebrate our anniversary!
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Another really great day. Although 4:00am is still EARLY!!! Hopped on a plane and headed over to the Big Island of Hawaii. First thing we did was an amazing black sand beach. What I didn't realize was that the black sand also has beautiful little green bits of peridot in it as well.
We saw sea turtles, a whale and other potential husband candidates, this is truly the land of the man bun, for Brenna. Then we headed to a waterfall park, that while the waterfall was nice it was no Niagra falls! :o) I definitely give it bonus points for the surrounding scenery though.
What was truly amazing and possible my favorite part of the trip so far as this extraordinary Banyan tree. Over 250 years old. The Banyans are amazing things, they have these aerial roots that once they hit the ground they begin a new tree. So this tree, was the most enormous thing I've ever seen. So many roots that it made a complete circle, so when you stood in the center of it, it was awe-inspiring. I found it to be a very spiritual thing. I wish there had been some way to take a picture that could capture how amazing it was.
Then we headed to the Volcanos National Park.
Sadly, you don't get to see the actual lava, it's too dangerous to get close because of the poisonous gases...whatever... but you can see all the resulting steam that comes out of the vents, which is still pretty cool.
The lava fields are pretty impressive as well. It's amazing how light the rocks are.
This is a tree impression.. I think it was the Ohia tree that is so strong the lava will flow around it and it stays intact and makes these impressions.
Nature always finds a way. Solid lava fields and things still find a way to grow. Pretty amazing.
You can sort of see how the lava flowed down the hill.
These are the lava tubes that let the lava flow out into the ocean. The land that we're standing on is brand new land, created as the lava flowed down and cooled. We stayed until it got dark and were able to see the glow of the lava as the sun went down. I wish I could think of some different adjectives besides awesome and amazing. But those seem to fit the best.
Flew home late at night, landed exhausted and ready for bed! Sadly, tomorrow we leave, but not until late in the afternoon, so we're planning on hitting the beach and finishing up our shopping. I had hoped to be able to say that I actually came to Hawaii and never put a bathing suit on! But, it looks like John would like to boogie board, so I'll throw a bathing suit on and see what happens.
P.S. Happy 25th anniversary. A pretty great way to celebrate!
Monday, February 1, 2016
Really good day today!! We got up had a really nice breakfast in the hotel. Then we got a cab and went up to Diamond Head State Park.
It was supposed to be a pretty strenuous hike, but while there were a couple steep stairs to navigate it really wasn't so difficult. There were quite a few people, so there was plenty of time to rest. It was a beautiful day and really quite enjoyable.
View of the crater as you hiked up.
The views really were stunning at the top, you could see almost 360 degrees around the island. Well worth the time. Afterwards we sat at the bottom and had a shaved ice and watched all the people for quite a while. The best. Afterwards we took a cab back to Waikiki beach to get some lunch and do some shopping. Lots of souvenirs to buy... John had his heart set on finding some fresh Poke for lunch. It's fresh, raw Ahi tuna, I guess he read about it on line.
The good news is we got some banging souvenirs and John found his Poke. I must admit, it was delicious despite all my doubts. He was very happy, we found a lovely little park right in the middle of the shopping district to sit and eat. Quite nice.
We finished out the evening with some tasty drinks at the beach side bar doing some more people watching. A really good day!
Tomorrow - 4:40am pickup, headed to the Big Island for the day and volcanos!
Sunday, January 31, 2016
On tap today.... Pearl Harbor and then the Big Kahuna Luau. The morning started very early 5:30am, but they have a Starbucks in the lobby, so we got a little coffee and a delicious Macadamia Nut muffin, so I was pretty happy. Our Tour Guide Charlie was beyond fabulous. He was a fount of knowledge about Pearl Harbor and the war. So many interesting tidbits, also a lifelong Hawaiian resident, so plenty of details about Hawaii as well.
The Arizona Memorial was very moving, hard not to get teary-eyed about everything. I guess I didn't realize that the memorial sits over the actual sunken ship with the entombed bodies of over 900 sailors. So, hard to imagine that kind of loss.
After the Arizona we went and toured the USS Missouri. Again very cool and impressive. So much to look at and absorb. After the Missouri, we got a little tour of the city and saw the Iolani Palace, the only palace on America soil, statue of King Kamehameha in front of the Hawaiian courthouse. Then we headed back to the hotel for a nap and my first beach run!!
I went 2.5 miles, it was really nice to run along the beach. I didn't run in the sand, to hard to do, but there was a pretty decent walkway. Good people watching and beautiful scenery. I guess in this instance it was better at the beach.
The Big Kahuna Luau finished out the evening. Again our Tour Guide was amazing! The Luau was pretty good, the food was really good - but honestly just not my thing. Hanging around "having fun" with a bunch of strangers... I don't know.. it was okay. More fun was taking pictures of the beautiful boys and sending Brenna potential husband choices! The scenery again was just stunning and the sunset beautiful as well. Hawaiian is so beautiful it's almost seems fake.
Tomorrow is a relax, on our own day. I think we're going to hike Diamond Head Volcanic Cone, try a dinner place that our tour guide recommended. Maybe do some shopping...
Saturday, January 30, 2016
No fiery crash, but one hellaciously LONG ASS plane trip. Fortunately John and I both had aside seats, so at least we could get up and walk around as needed. The trip to Dallas was uneventful, the trip to Honolulu was also pretty uneventful, did I mention it was a LONG ASS plane trip. It was also an old plane, so no in seat TV, no really bennies..
I read my book, all my magazines, played a few games on my phone, ate all my snacks, walked around and stretched. What I didn't do is sleep very much. I used to be able to sleep anywhere any time. I don't have any trouble falling asleep, but I can't stay asleep - my shoulders ache, my neck aches etc....
The view down into the courtyard of the hotel.
They have a beautiful Banyan tree in the courtyard and their pidgeons are pure white. It's lovely.
I did get leid at the hotel, and unfortunately for John he had nothing to do with it! :o) The view from our balcony was not too shabby. The Hale Koa is a lovely hotel, the rooms are pretty standard (we had 2 double beds, which was delightful for me) but the grounds are really beautiful. All sorts of eating places, bars and even a PX with very reasonably priced souvenirs! Their very own beach front and grassy picnic area, pretty much anything you might need. We got here, showered had a little Mongolian BBQ and a drink at the bar and have pretty much collapsed in bed. Early pick up tomorrow - 5:40 am to go see Pearl Harbor.