Saturday, January 3, 2009

Big Island of Hawaii

We made it to the Big Island Vacation House! It has it's own website at, very cool house. It has awesome views and is just a big great house. The kids love it because they have their own rooms and a bathroom. It is definitely different here from Oahu, it is more remote where we are staying. There are two main large "cities" they are Hilo and Kona or Kailua-Kona. We are approximately 35 mi. south of Kona, but it is a curvy narrow road, and then after you get off the hwy, about 20 more minutes down to the house. We don't have broadband access here, only dial up so the pictures take up a lot of time to load. We are loving this place also, we have hiked to beaches and the volcano's recent lava flow. We hiked through a lava tube, went to the volcano winery, and ate lunch at the Lava Rock Cafe. Madi and I also tanned at the house's private beach, when we got too hot we rinsed off in the outdoor shower. Pictures coming soon...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hauula Loop Trail Hike and Luau

Happy New Year! It is 12:17 am here, which means it is 4:17 am there and people are still popping fireworks! There is so much smoke in the air it looks like it is raining! The different fireworks all around us make this feel like a warzone. Some of them are REALLY loud! The kids are upset and sleepy, but oh well, I am getting caught up. Today we hiked a trail here in Hauula. It took a couple of hours and was pretty steep and tricky because of the recent rain. The views from the top were worth it though, one of those is now the Love that view picture. This evening we went to the Polynesian Culture Center for a luau and show. The PCC is very neat, it has miniature villages of different polynesian people groups, Samoan, Tahitian, Fiji ?, Hawaiian, New Zealanders. Each group teaches about their culture and there are actual students from these areas working at the Center. The luau was fun, but my sister Molly's Kahlua Pig and Rice is MUCH better than what they served here. They had a show after the meal that was awesome! It had all different dances, including hula done by two "grandmothers", samoan fire dancers, it was great! This is our last night in Oahu, we leave in the morning for the big island Hawaii. We have definitely enjoyed Oahu and would definitely come back here in the future. We do really enjoy staying in a home instead of a hotel, and the North Shore is a great place to visit.

Dec. 30, 2008

Carey and Madi were very proud of their sand art, especially when other people came to take pictures of it! They did a great job. That beach was Ala Moana beach park in Honolulu. It is about 10 blocks from Waikiki and a calmer place to hang out. Before Ala Moana, we stopped at Holona Bay Beach. This beach was in the movie "From Here to Eternity". It is more secluded and we had to hike down to it. The water is way too rough to actually get in there, but there was a cool cave and the kids climbed on the rocks. We also went to Chinatown and out to dinner last night. It was a long fun day, especially when I didn't have to cook when we got back!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Beach Day

Today we woke up to bright sunshine! This was very nice since we have had on and off sprinkling and partly cloudy skies most days. We headed to the beach. Today we went to a place called "Chinaman's Hat" and Makua Bay Beach. You can tell by the back ground of the picture of Madi on Mason's shoulders, why it is called the Chinaman's Hat. That is what it is shaped like. While we were there a couple that had just gotten married came to take their post wedding pictures. It was very beautiful! It was amazing this morning that we were standing on the beach in the surf in the sunshine and behind us, the mountains were covered in thick clouds and dark skies. We traveled from there all the way around the island to the "dry" side, to insure our chances for sunshine. We went to Makua Bay Beach. The kids were excited about the big waves for boogie boarding. After some time, they got some healthy fear of the big waves after a little time out in them. But all in all it was fun and they were safe, so don't worry Mimi! The views at Makua Beach were gorgeous. Everytime we go to a different place we are amazed by all the beauty. Driving back this afternoon we saw another huge rainbow while driving through a lush green valley, headed toward a sparkling blue ocean. We were all singing "God with us" by Mercy Me, and realized that with all that beauty around what else can you do but praise God for the beauty He created. Enjoy the photos.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day

Today we went to Pearl Harbor. We had no real idea of what to expect, but it exceeded our expectations. You have to stand in line and get tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial, then come back when it is time for your tour. So, we had time to go and see the USS Missouri in the meantime. This was really cool, in case you don't know, this is where the peace treaty was signed with Japan. This ship was also used in Operation Iraqi Freedom, so there were modern things in the ship and lots of really cool things to look at. It's been raining on and off since we have been here and it started raining really hard just as we were finishing the "Mighty Mo" tour. From there we returned to the Arizona Memorial Visitors Center. They show you a documentary film of the Pearl Harbor attack before you are ferried out into the harbor to the memorial. Being the family cry baby, I had to wipe away tears before boarding the ferry. The trip to the memorial is very solemn. It brings out all that patriotism and thankfulness for our military. I think anyone under 30 should be required to go watch the movie, then go to the memorial and look at the names on the wall. You can still see oil slowly bubbling up from the ships hull. Mason took a picture of that, isn't it amazing, oil bubbling up for over 60 years? What a huge ship. Our next stop was the USS Bowfin submarine and museum. This was awesome!! We all decided that there must be a maximum size allowance for submarine duty. It is really tight quarters! There were lots of cool dials, switches, levers, wheels, just general gadgets, all around. This eventually left me quoting Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October. You know, "Aim 43 degrees south, prepare to dive, load torpedoes," just silly stuff like that...meanwhile Carey was making sonar sounds and spotting things on the "sonar", the other visitors thought we were crazy. The kids laid on the bunks, sat at the desks, talked on the phone/radio, oh wait, that was me and Carey! Anyway, it was a great day, Mason was even smiling, mainly when he was laughing at me. The day ended with Shaved Ice from Matsumoto's in Haleiwa and crab hunting in the dark across the street from the house. Madi prayed as we left Pearl Harbor, thanking God for those that gave their lives for others in Pearl Harbor and for those still fighting today. We should all echo that prayer and remember the ultimate sacrifice that God made when He gave His Son for us, while we were just us not deserving a single thing. His grace, greater than all our sins.

What is at the end of the rainbow? Hawaii

I couldn't resist it! I took these rainbow pictures today. And, yes, they all ended in Hawaii...Also, if you click on the cloudy picture and zoom in, you will see at least three waterfalls coming down the mountains...This is what the locals have to look forward to after a rainy morning. Okay, it is late, goodnight.

Day Three- Diamond Head Crater and Waikiki

Even though this day began early and without coffee, it was awesome! First we drove from the North Shore towards Honolulu and searched for a gas station that was open. As a result of the power outage, many of the stations still were not open and we needed gas. We drove through Waikiki and up to the Diamond Head State Recreation Area. We hiked up the Diamond Head Crater. This is a landmark in the Waikiki area and has awesome views from up there. The beach was next on our list. We headed for Waikiki. This is definitely a more "touristy" area than what Carey and I usually like, but it was sunny and warm, and the kids loved it. We got some great pictures both at Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. We decided to drive back a different route and came across a much "wilder" area than we had seen. The new "love that view" picture to the right is from here. This area is near Makupu Point, there is a light house there and some very rugged cliffs with awesome waves. So enjoy the pictures, we are enjoying taking them.