Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In Closing

I found Hawaii to be an interesting place. Honolulu is a cosmopolitan city that has cost of living and traffic issues, not unlike the Bay Area. The cost of everything is high, almost everything except for pineapple is brought over by ship.
The weather is tremendous. I can really see never wearing long pants again. The people I taked to were friendly, however toursim is the number one industry of Hawaii so it pays to be nice to the tourists.
Sandra and I had a relaxing time. It was worth the trip.


Here's a blurry picture of the resort. The pool and hot tub is where the huts are and the ocean is just in back of that.

More Canyon

Here I am at the Canyon.

More at the Canyon

Here's Sandra at the overlook.

Sandra and I

Another Canyon Shot

Here's a picture looking down the canyon towards the ocean. Though it is really green in the canyon, there were signs on the way up with Smokey Bear warning about fire. I figured the land was too green to burn, but who knew?

Back to Hawaii

Sandra and I took a day to drive to the other side of the island and take a look at Waimea Canyon. This is called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" and it is quite scenic. In the upper middle of the picture you can just barely make out a waterfall.

Another baby shot

Here I am holding the baby.

More Baby

Another pic of the sleepy baby.

An Interruption

We interrupt the Hawaii blog to let all of you know that Sandra and I are grandparents of the blurry baby you see to your right.

Our daughter in law Elvia grunted out the 8 pound, 21 inch Cecilia on Monday the 21st. We had an accident in Hawaii with the camera and it looks like it has gone to camera heaven.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Another Fern Grotto shot

Sandra and I at the Fern Grotto. I had left my digital camera in the room when we went to the Arizona so I bought a disposible. The prints turned out good, but the digital version are not up to par. Later in the blog I'll have a few pics with the digital camera and they should be better.

Fern Grotto

Here's a pic of the Fern Grotto. I can't remember the name of the river, but it is the only one you can navigate on. We rode the Smith Family boat upriver for a bit, got off at the dock, then wandered through the jungle to get to the grotto.
A grotto is a shallow cave. You can walk right inside the grotto. There was a stream that acted as a waterfall coming off the front of the grotto.
On the boat ride, we got to get up and do the hula with the pretty hula dancers. We also heard Sandra's favorite song, "Going to a Hukala."

Sandra and the lighthouse.


Here's a pic of a scenic overlook on Kauai

On to Kauai

After our time on Oahu, we took the jump to Kauai. Kauai is called the "Garden Isle" and they're not kidding. The windward side of the island was jungle. And green as green could be. We stayed on the "Coconut Coast" part of the isle. Our resort was right on the beach, and what was cool about it was we could swim in the pool or sit in the hot tub and still see and hear the ocean.
As on Oahu, it rained every day. But only for a few minutes, though Sandra overheard someone talking about how it had rained all of the previous week.
Oh, and the roosters and chickens are everywhere. We heard that they were all let loose about 15 years ago when the big cyclone roared through and pretty much tore things up on Kauai. No matter where we were, there were the roosters.
We rented a car and drove up to the north shore of the island, around Princeville. On the way, we stopped at a lighthouse. On the way there, we saw the police working speed control in a school zone. We drove out to the lighthouse and on the way back I suspected the police were still there.
Well, I was correct. And I got my up close and personal visit from the Kauai police when they popped out of the trees, pointed at me and pulled me over for going 29 in a 15.
Now I'll admit if I really was speeding, but there's just no way I was. Nevertheless, the radar gun was showing 29, and it was a 15 mph zone. Uh oh.
What struck me as odd was that I got the lecture, but not the ticket. He had me dead to rights. I'm a tourist that isn't going to come back and fight the ticket, I'm caught on radar, and I'm doing almost twice the speed limit. In what turned out to be my lucky day, I was let off with a warning. Whew!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sea Turtles

Here we are at Turtle Beach on the north shore of Oahu. The rock looking beasts are sea turtles. We also saw them swimming in the ocean and poking thier heads up out of the water and looking at us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Page 2

After the Arizona, we drove to the windward side of Oahu through some green, lush scenery. I was impressed with how abrupt the mountians rise up, almost a sheer face. I remember hearing about the Hawaii weather, that if you didn't like it wait 5 mintues and it would change. Sandra and I got rain off and on. In fact, it rained every day of the trip, just not for very long.
We ended up at the Polynesian Cultural Center. They charged $36 a piece to get in, ouch! And, though they don't tell you this up front, they're run by the Mormon Church.
The PCC has outside displays on the different cultures in the South Pacific. We saw dancing and listened to music. One of the outside shows had dancing from Fiji, Micronesia, and other places. Each culture had dancers represented on rafts that floated onto a little lake and performed in front of the guests who were on both sides of the lake.
We also watch an IMAX movie on coral reefs of the South Pacific.
Once done at the PCC, we drove back to the leeward side of the island, fought the everpresent traffic and ended up back on Wakiki.

The next day we drove to Hilo Hatties. HH sells Aloha shirts and all things Hawaiian. I bought yet another shirt to add to my collection, though I resisted buying about 10 more at the International Marketplace in Wakiki.
Then it was over the hill and on to North Shore. We were hoping to see the big waves at the Banzai Pipeline, but the waves were pretty calm. We did a bit of swimming and snorkeling. I even gave it a try and looked at a couple of yellow fish feeding on the rocks.
We looked around some and headed back for home.

Hawaii Page 1

Here I am on the Arizona Memorial

We got in the plane on Sunday AM the 6th. We used some of my late brother's frequent flyer miles and upgraded from Coach to First Class. First Class is the only way to fly, though it'll be a cold day in hell before I ever pay full fare in First Class. 5 and a half hours later, we're in the 80 degree/75% humidity day and it was great! Now I see why so many people go to Hawaii in the wintertime.

We stayed in Wakiki about two blocks from the famous beach. I was kind of surprised that the beach itself is so shallow. It is very long, but only about 40 feet from the ocean to the grass and buildings. The water was warm, certainly warmer than swimming out in the ocean in Northern California.

The day after we arrived we got in the car and took a drive to the USS Arizona Memorial. I never realized unitl I got there that from overhead you can see the outline of the ship. Of course you can you big dummy! I don't know why it didn't occur to me in the first place.

Anyway, you look around the displays a bit until your number is called and you see a movie, then you take the boat out to the monument, which is built over the wreckage of the Arizona without touching it. This is also where I came close to taking someone out. Sandra and I were in line for the boat ride back to the shore and we saw a Japanese tourist walk to the side and spit off the side right where the ship is.

Now, recall that there's 1500+ sailors and marines entoumbed in the Arizona. This ass spit on the grave of these heros. Both Sandra and I had to take a breath or three and not end up in jail on vacation.