Saturday, June 16, 2012

Diamond Head Hike and Museum

Yesterday was a full day. We started out by going to Anna Miller's for breakfast. Kate goes there when she is feeling particularly homesick for the "old country" as she likes to refer to home. They serve breakfast all day long so it was definitely a win win for Jeff. Once we were fortified with fuel we headed out to Diamond Head and the hike to the top.

On the way up the crater side we saw this lighthouse.

And a nice gentleman offered to take a picture of all 3 of us together when we were at one of the overlooks.

A shot of the coastline. Isn't it beautiful.

The hardest part of the hike were the steps believe it or not.

This is the final destination of the hike. The top lookout deck.

I saw this kind of bird several times since arriving here and there is a plaque at the bottom of the trail that had pictures and descriptions of the birds of the area and this is a Brazilian Cardinal.

We hit the vending machines for some water once we got back to the start of the trail and headed on to another adventure. We thought about going snorkling but decided it was getting a little later in the day than we needed in order to allow enough time.
Jeff had read about a quilt exhibit of Hawaiian quilts at the Honolulu Museum of Art and suggested that he drop Kate and I off so we could check it out and he would do some exploring of town on his own. Another win win. It was great to share this exhibit with Kate. She saw details that were easily missed and seemed truly interested in learning about the construction and history of this unique style.
The museum, rather unassuming from the front but very unique inside.

Inside there are corridors that encircle inner courtyards with the different rooms holding the exhibits around the outside. Here is one on the courtyards.

This quilt got a lot of discussion by Kate and I. It was one of Kate's favorites.
Here is a detail of the applique stitch called the "chicken foot", Kate was quite impressed with how tiny the stitches were and how it added a lot of detail to the applique. Note also the quilting motif that was named "soda cracker".

Here is another very traditional Hawaiian style quilt. The colors are the traditional red on white with the stylistic applique.

Kate declared this one to be her very favorite. She liked the soft blue-gray color of the applique and the subject matter too, anchors.

Detail of the anchors.

This one was my favorite. The color combination is a bit unusual. The red is the background with a gold as the applique.

We visited the museum gift shop, which for being a museum gift shop, the prices were fairly reasonable. I bought 2 books for the granddaughters and a Hawaiian quilt book along with a watercolor poster.

We then headed back towards Kate's and stopped for Chinese for dinner. We got so much food we will be eating Chinese every night till we leave.

After arriving home, Jeff weed wacked Kate's yard, which took about 10 minutes. Did some tidying and sat down to watch some tv, which never happened, as Kate and I got out our lap tops and delved into Pinterest sharing things we love.

I have been impressed, on this trip, just how big and diverse this big blue and green ball we live on is. When you look out and about from a high vantage point you can get a good perspective of just how grand and amazing this world is and how small you are. It is truly amazing to try to wrap your head around how awesome our heavenly Father is. Just try to imagine knowing who every person is, where they are, what they are doing, and what they are going to do next. We can't even begin to be able to do that even with our most intimate family and friends let alone every person in every house, car, building, park, beach, etc., etc., etc. Yet we are told in the Bible that God even knows how many hairs are on our heads. He knows where every person is, what they are doing, and what they going through. He is everywhere at all times. How amazing is that.

Have a great day and be thankful that you are loved by a mighty God who loves you beyond measure.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A somber day of remembrance...

Yesterday's activities were on the more sobering side. We went to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. It is one of the most visited sites on the island and not one to be rushed through. We were there a total of 4 hours. They have the entire memorial park very well organized and there is no fee for visiting the memorial but I highly recommend you lay out the $7.50 for the audio tour cassette/player. You get a map that points out all the stations were you can listen to the narration of the events of Dec. 7, 1941, done by Jamie Lee Curtis along with interviews of survivors who lived through the day. It was a very moving experience along with learning a lot. Here are some photos. This is a replica of the USS Arizona that was sunk on Dec. 7, 1941. It was so badly damaged that it was not raised from its final resting place at harbor's bottom.
This is a replica of one of the Japanese planes that attacked that day.

What it looked like as the Japanese dropped torpedos into the harbor aimed at our ships that were lined up end to end, and two by two.

A replica of the memorial which was built across the sunken ship. As you walk through the memorial you can look down and see the shadowey image of the ship underneath the water. It is the tomb of 1177 sailors who lost their lives that day or other sailors who have subsequently died and requested to be interred there with their fellow comrades. Two such interments occured as recently as Dec. 2011

Approaching sacred ground.

The wall of names of sailors who died that day on the Arizona.

Leaving the Memorial, a quiet and somber ride.

The stories of the survivors of the attack, of the Japanese who attacked, the civilians and children who lived in fear afterwards, all very moving along with the scenes in their minds that never ever left them through out the rest of their lives. It was not just another day. It was a day that turned so many lives upside down. Another opportunity for us to learn from the past and not take our freedom for granted.

We finished up our evening by driving to the west side of the island to watch the sun set. It ended up being very overcast and raining again, although not where we were, so it wasn't the spectacular sunset we were hoping for, none the less it was stunning.

The palm trees illuminated along the walk. Beautiful.

We saw pictures of sailors on liberty on Dec. 6, 1941. They were at a concert enjoying liberty, with no idea what they would face early the next morning. For me enjoying the company of DH and DD while watching the sunset over the pacific brought this home to me. We do not know what difficulties we might face tomorrow, or even in the next hour. Along the walls of the Rememberance Circle at the memorial were different quotes, I would like to share one. Evidently Eleanor Roosevelt kept this prayer in her wallet all through out the war.

Dear Lord,
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

We are still losing soldiers daily. Are we asking ourselves, am I worth dying for? Is the life I am living, the choices I am making daily, worth someone else dying for today?

I pray that you have a wonderful day, safe in the protective hands of your heavenly Father and the creator of this entire world and may your choices glorify Him today for if they do, then any soldier that might die today in the line of duty will not have died in vain.
PS. The palm tree impersonator is a cell phone tower.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How many different water sports are there???

Yesterday's adventure was all about seeing every kind of water sport you can possibly do. We went to Waikiki Beach and began at one end of the beach and walked to the other end enjoying the sand between our toes, the warm sun on our backs and the cool ocean breeze that cooled us off. Doesn't it sound so romantic? Well, the sand began to chaffe the feet in our sandals and it is definetly a hard work out for the legs to walk in sand, the sun was more than warm unless you were able to find a little shade along the way and the breeze at times was a bit chilling. Even so, by the time we made it to the pier at the end of our walk we (I) was drenched in sweat and ready for something cold and refreshing. It wasn't even 11:00 yet so we sat down at a table outside Cold Stone to wait for them to open. I got a Peanut Butter Cup Perfection in a waffle bowl and water and Jeff got a Creme de Menthe milk shake. We sat for about a half an hour enjoying the sweetness before heading on out again. Let me show you some photos of all the water sports and beaches. They have really beautiful parks too. This photo shows part of the miles of beaches.

Here is a really cool old tree along the way right on the edge of the beach. I love how they honored all these old trees when building the hotels and shops.

Here are a few pics taken while walking through the parks. This beautiful man made waterfall, with gorgeous landscaping.
This giant tree that is over a century old and home to a lot of pigeons. Lots of nooks and cranies to build nests and hide out in.

We came across this adorable statue of a boy surfing with a seal beside him surfing the wave each looking at each other.

Okay, on to the different water sports we saw being enjoyed. First of all we couldn't get a picture of the parasailers as they were too far away but that is one, also we did not see anyone out on jetski's but they are available for rent. They were probably out there were the parasailers were.

Closer to the beach were lots of things going on, of course you had lots of children running and playing, building sand castles. One little girl with floaties on her arms no more than 5, hands on her hips, yelling up 5-6 stories to 2 girls on a hotel balcony, asking them if they were going to be coming down, she yelled to them they better get down there then she trudged on up the beach a ways. It reminded me of Kate at that age when she wickedly smiled up at me, crouched down, ready to jump into the Stoneboro lake on the fish side. I have that photo of her in my bedroom and it makes me smile everytime I look at it. To think she is all grown up and living such an adventurous life here in Hawaii. I digress. Back to the water sports. I would like to give this one a try while here. Stand up paddle board. This guy was awesome. He made it look so easy. I did watch a woman the day before give it a try. It was her first time and she didn't have any problem so I am thinking I will see how I do.
Of course you can't be in Hawaii and not see some surfers. These guys and gals were just heading out to give it a go.

We watched some boagie boarders and got this great shot.

This was the oddest water activity that we saw. It is a giant tricycle like paddle boat, for a lack of a better name. Doesn't that look like a lot of fun?
Here are a couple more ways to enjoy the water without getting wet.

I hope you have enjoyed all the photos of how to enjoy a day at the beach. Lots to do and enjoy. I saw several things that I want to try out. But for yesterday we just swam in the ocean and laid in the sun after our walk along the beach. What a glorious day.

Hope you have a great day and remember to be thankful for the sunshine in your life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesdays happenings...

Yesterday, while Kate was at work, Jeff and I started our day with some sea glass collecting. We headed out to the beach just a few minutes drive from Kate's and braved the incoming tide to get some beauties.

Once we got home, we washed the sand off and examined our finds.

After collecting our sea glass and getting soaked by the incoming tide, we headed up north to the Dole Plantation.

First we took the pineapple express ride that gave us the history of how the pineapple came to Hawaii and how it is grown. Did you know that it takes 20 months to grow a pineapple and then another 15 before you get a second one.
This building is the "marketplace". Lots of souviners to be had, cafes, and pineapple cutting demonstration. I tried a pineapple smoothie. Refreshing. After cooling off inside and making some purchases we headed back outside to walk through the gardens. Beautiful. Need I say more. They have an extensive hibiscus garden, I think I got pictures of every variety. Here are a couple of my favorites.

This is one variety of pineapple that they grow.

Another unusual site was this tree bark, or lack thereof, but check out the unusual colors on this tree. I couldn't find a tag that identified what type of tree this is but isn't it funky?
Check out this waterfall and the water lilies. Another one of my favorites.

Once we left Dole Plantation we headed on to the North Shore, stopping at the North Shore Market Place in Haleiwa and had lunch at a Mexican Restaurant. Once we ate, Jeff enjoyed some leisure time sitting outside, people watching while I visited a couple art galleries and a little boutique where I purchased a sarong. We then headed on down the road and stopped at a beach that wasn't too crowded, cooled off and enjoyed the sun for a while. We then packed up and headed back to Kate's and arrived just minutes before she got home from work.

We hung out, relaxing, Kate made some yummy guacomole and we watched The Big Bang Theory. We kept on eye on the sky, as it was looking like rain, trying to decide if we should go to another of Kate's favorite beaches to watch the sun set. We decided to go even if it rained it would be fun to go check out the activities. It did start to pour while we were waiting for the sun to set, fortunately we were under shelter at a Tiki Bar. Some of the customers there were not as fortunate as us and the rain poured off the umbrellas right onto their plates of food and them. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the sun set due to the heavy cloud cover. That's alright as we enjoyed the hotel's next door rendition of a luau. It was a nice walk too. It was an enjoyable evening. We came back home and began to watch Casablanca. I say "began to" as I fell asleep before Ilsa showed up at Rick's gin joint and woke up when Jeff said we needed to go to bed as Kate had to get up early to go to work. I don't really know what time that was but I didn't miss a wink making the transition from couch to bed.

Remember the couple getting wedding photos taken I mentioned in yesterday's post. Aren't they adorable?

Today, we are still discussing our plans. We might go hike the trail at Diamond Head, Kate says there are lots of flora and fauna to snap pictures of or we might go to Waikiki and check out all the "touristy" type things. I will let you know later which we decided on. (Or it could be something totally different.)

Have a great day and Aloha.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Highlights of our first day in Hawaii...

It was great spending time yesterday exploring the island with DD. We started out planning to go to her favorite beach to collect some sea glass unfortunately we got there too late as the tide was already coming in and covering the rocks where the sea glass gets trapped. We will have to go much earlier in the day to get some but never fail we will get there.

Before I regale you with more lovely photos of the island let me show you more of Kate's beautiful home. I promised you photos of her courtyard. I think the way these town houses are laid out is ingenious. The main street view of the residence is all fronts of the units, what I mean is no garage doors or weird spaces. You drive to the back of the units and there are all the garage entrances all lined up. Once you park and exit the garage into what we would expect to be right into the house you have this little courtyard between the garage and house. What a wonderful outdoor space to relax in and be able to enjoy a little gardening or sunbathing while relaxing.

Kate found a wine barrel at the local home improvement store and planted some tomatoes, basil, parsley, and dill. She also has some lovely potted flowers around her container garden. I was able to go out and pick some dill and parsley when we were making lunch yesteday to add to our dish.

Here is a photo of the tree she saved from the black flies that I mentioned yesterday. She said there were only 3 leaves on it when she moved in last year and look at it now. It is beautiful. Aren't the blooms incredible. I will be using this photo to create a wall quilt of the blooms, look at the luminocity there. Love it. This might have to be one of my next projects.

As you enter her house from the back this is what you see. The kitchen, dining room and living room is all open. She has said she is enjoying a very minimal approach to her decorating this time around. Very calming and relaxing.

I got a photo of Kate and Jeff as they were about to get into the rental car. LOL. We were leaving one of the beaches.

We drove around the island to get a feel for the place since Kate has to work most of the rest of the week, she is going to try to get Friday off, so that we could find our way around.

Highlights of the day,
1. beautiful scenery
2. beautiful beaches
3. watching some parasailers
4. nearly getting my toes pecked by a chicken at one of the scenic overlooks
5. having lunch at The Grove, very healthy menu, very expensive
6. swimming in the Pacific
7. more beautiful scenery
8. seeing a couple getting wedding photos taken on the beach
9. trying to find our way to the USS Arizona, too many people, will go back another time. It was a holiday yesterday.
10. sharing many stories of adventures and childhood memories.

Today we plan to go to the Dole Plantation. This is something that Kate has already done so she won't feel as though she is missing much. I wish she had vacation to take but we will be able to do lots in the evenings with her. I would also like to try to get to the beach for some sea glass gathering this morning.

Have a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy the photos and recaps of our day.

Be kind to someone today as you don't know what kinds of troubles or worries they are facing.