Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Big Island

Next stop was the town of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai'i. I went on a tour called the Land of Frozen Fire. It was pretty neat. The best thing about it was that there were only 6 of us on the tour (not counting the guide). Our first stop was Lava Tree State Park. It was a place where a bunch of trees were hit by a lava flow. It is a little complicated and I am not sure if I really understand what happened here but it was really pretty there.

We stopped at this hot spring where there is swimming. It was really neat and reminded me in a way of Glenwood Springs. It's not as fancy with the big swimming pool and everything. But there water is heated because it flows right next to the molten lava, the water is about 90 degrees. It think it is really neat how the pool and the ocean just flow together.

Our next stop was MacKenzie State Recreation Area. It was really pretty. I could spend hours there. It is right on the coast and you are at the top of these beautiful lava cliffs, with the waves crashing below. There are no rails so you are able to see it pretty close (at least as close as you feel comfortable). I was maybe a foot and a half from the edge.. it was amazing.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back to Hawai'i

*** Before I get back to my trip, I thought I would give a quick update on my cousin. She is doing well, I went over yesterday after work and helped her finish up packing. We will start actually moving her out tomorrow afternoon. Don't know how much longer she plans on staying in the apartment, although she has to be out by Thursday. Continue to pray for her, as she has a long rough road ahead of her.***

Alright, where was I? Oh, yes... Kaua'i day 2... My favorite day on that island. I went tubing...The company that did the excursion was Kaua'i Backcountry Adventure. It was so much fun. You tube down these old irrigation ditches that were hand dug in the late 1800's. The 5 tunnels you go through are also dug by hand (no explosives). The ditches bring the water down from Mt. Wai'ale'ale, to the sugar cane fields. It was fun, and I would love to do it again.

Here I am decked out in my stylish helmet complete with flashlight.

One of our guides could have easily been my cousin C's long lost brother. He looked like him and also had the as sense of humor as him. I have to share this with you... The Hawaiian word for appetizer is pupu, the word for beef is pipi, and the word for chicken is moa. So you can have a pipi pupu, and then moa pupu. I am seriously wondering if there is some relation there, it's scary... Here is a picture of him... (he's the one on sitting up on the beam).

After we got out of the water, we went to a little picnic area where we had a snack and there was a little swimming hole we could get in if we wanted to. It was pretty.

We sailed out of Kaua'i early that afternoon. We sailed past the Napali coast (the north shore of Kaua'i). It is absolutely gorgeous.

While we were sailing along the coast, they told us to keep an eye out for whales as they had spotted a couple out ahead of us. (I was there right at the end of the migration period for the humpback whales). Unfortunately, I did not spot any, but I hope to go over there again so I could see some.

Well, that is all for Kaua'i. I will continue with it soon (possibly tomorrow)... Next stop, Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Quick Detour ...

I need to make a short detour from reliving my vacation. Although I would much rather stay on the vacation subject. This last week has been a little tough and I need to ask for some prayer. First off, my cousin A... her boyfriend was arrested Monday night for domestic violence. A is doing ok and the baby is safe. J is still in jail, and the earliest he will probably be able to get out is May 29. And I am not sure he will get out then. Please pray for A, that she will stay strong and resist any urges she may have to go back to him (as many domestic violence victims do). Pray that she will see that she can raise that beautiful little girl of hers without him. That she will lean on the family for support.

Also, please pray for my grandfather. We just found out that he has bladder cancer, and according to what my parents told me, it is aggressive. Pray that the treatments the doctors have put together will work, that God will work a miracle. It seems as though I have a lot of people in my life lately who are dying or getting sick. We tragically lost our children's ministry director at our church to a massive heart attack, 2 coworkers are very ill with cancer (neither are doing well at all and I would not be surprised if they did not make it through the year), my grandfather on my mom's side (actually my mom's step-dad) has cancer and I am not sure how he has been doing, but the last I heard, it was not good. I am almost afraid to ask. And now my dad's dad... this is the hardest one of all. I have been very lucky that I still have all my grandparents. And now I have 2, who are very ill.

So pray for these things. Hopefully I can continue my revisit to my vacation either this weekend or early next week. I will probably be helping my cousin pack up and move out of her apartment for at least part of the weekend.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Kaua'i Day 1 April 30th

Sorry it took me a few days to get to continue on my trip. I have been exhausted all week, never thought jetlag would knock me out this bad, especially when it is only a 4 hour difference.

Our first stop was on the island of Kaua'i, the Garden Isle. It is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and has no live volcano on it. The wettest spot in the world is here on the island, on Mt. Wai'ale'ale, this stop receives between 450 and 500 inches of rain a year.

We were lucky enough to spend about 2 days on the island.
The first day, I took a trip to Waimea Canyon. It is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It does resemble the Grand Canyon but it's not as big. It was really pretty though.

On our way back from the canyon, we stopped at the shore where there were some blowholes, where the sea is pushed up through lava tubes. It really is pretty.

We spotted a sea turtle popping his head up in the surf, but I didn't get any pictures of him. At the spot with blowholes, I was able to get a picture that shows you how many chickens run wild on the island. When Hurricaine Iniki came through the islands in 1992, it destroyed a chicken farm on Kaua'i releasing the chickens which have run wild since.

We made a couple other stops along the way, and then back to the ship. Ready for day 2 in Kaua'i.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Honolulu April 28th and 29th

Okay, so I didn't get into Honolulu until about 8:30 on Saturday night but I was traveling a good share of the day so I am going to count it. I got in, rented my car and made my way to the hotel. I stayed at the Aqua Palms and Spa. It is not on the beach but it is definately within walking distance. Parking was $15 a day so I would probably not suggest it if you will have a car and stay there for an extended period of time, but the room rate that I got (AAA rate) was really great, at lesst than $100, you can't ask for much more in Honolulu. I had a great nights sleep (thanks to a really comfy bed) and when I got up I stepped out onto the balcony and much to my surprise, I was able to see both Diamond Head and the beach.

I took my time getting ready and then headed out to Pearl Harbor. At the USS Arizona memorial, they had a small museum and gift shop. You then go in and see a short film about the history of Pearl Harbor and the attack on December 7th. Then you take the shuttle boat out to the memorial. It is really pretty and calm out there, even with all the people.

I then headed off to the ship to set sail for the rest of the islands. They had a sailing away party with Hula dancers and music and also leis and a barbecue on the pool deck.

We said Aloha to Honolulu about 8:00 and headed off for Kaua'i. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Made it Home...

Well, after a very long night of traveling, I finally made it back to Denver about 11:30 am on Monday. It is now almost 1am on Tuesday, and I just now got my pictures loaded onto the computer. I would try to get a post started but I have to be up for work... not looking forward to it and I will have my pictures from my waterproof cameras when I get a chance to sit down to do a post tomorrow night. It might take me a couple days to get it all out but I will do my best. Until then... Aloha.