Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

After a vacation, it’s tradition that we list our top 5 things about the trip. We went to Oahu for a quick three-day trip and here’s our Oahu top five:

1) Snorkeling at Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. The ocean is calm in the summer and we got to the cove early enough to get a prime spot on the beach. The snorkeling was fun and being back in the pacific ocean felt fabulous.

2) Spending time with our friends, The Karamaths and The Petersons. Always great to see Army family again.

   Heather, CJ and Hayden

 Jake, Shelley and Hoss

3) Parasailing with Hawaiian Parasail Inc ($62 per person and $30 for their photos) in Waikiki:

4) Paddleboarding in Haleiwa, lots of turtles in the river/bay:

5) Driving along the North Shore ~ checking out all the beaches such as Sunset and Waimea Bay. For a few days, I was no longer a Displaced Beachbum. I will never tire of being on a beautiful beach!

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Hawaii: Smuggled Lava?

A Big Island legend is if you take lava off the island, Pele (the Fire Goddess) will be angry and you’ll have bad luck until you return it. There used to be a display at the Volcanoes National Park Center where letters and returned lava were displayed on a board. People wrote letters begging the park rangers to return the lava so the bad luck would go away. I’m not an overly superstitious person BUT I’ve never been tempted to take lava off the island.

John, on the other hand, always teases me that he’s going to sneak some lava back.

Since we’ve been back from Hawaii, we’ve had a strange week. On Wednesday, I overslept AND had set the alarm incorrectly so poor FG missed her bus, then my mom’s dog died, and Favorite Girl had to go to the emergency room to have x-rays taken after a cheerleading accident. There were other things happening which were just “off”.

I finally called John on Friday from work, when yet another thing went wrong, and asked “This is serious, are you sure you didn’t bring any lava back?”

He promised me he didn’t but did mention the women in front of him getting on the plane had a big chunk of lava. Hmmm…

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Hawaii: Home Again

We’re back in New York. As much as I love to travel, it always feels so good to be back in my own home. And one day, that home will be on the beach!

Even though we had a great flight without delays, I don’t do well on “red-eye” flights and this one was no exception. Thankfully, we’ve got tomorrow off and can recover.

Don’t know if I mentioned that my mom made the trip to Hawaii with us. John has always been her favorite but even more so now ~ not only was he OK with his mother in-law traveling with us but he gave her his upgrade miles so she could sit in First Class and have the extra leg room. That’s why I married the man ~ he’s a great guy!!

We like to list our top favorite things about our vacation and here’s a compilation of our combined top five things we enjoyed during our visit:
1) Horseback Riding in the South Kohala Mountains
2) Snorkeling at the following beaches: Puako, Hapuna, Lapakahi
3) Helicopter Ride over Hilo and the lava flow
4) The Eisenhower House at Kilauea Military Camp
5) THE FOOD ~ we ate a lot!

There’s so much to do on the Big Island so we’ve made a list of what we want to do the NEXT time we visit. Yes, we’re already planning a return visit:
1) Green Sand Beach
2) Black Sand Beach
3) Waipio Valley
4) We’ll stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or in a rental villa. It’s nice to have access to a kitchen
5) Play a round of golf at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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Our Last Full Day of Beach Bumming

We plan to take full advantage of our last full day on the island ~ we have plans to snorkel in at least three different spots ~ Puako, Spencer Park and Lapakahi State Park.  Then this evening we’ll be back for a swim at Hapuna Beach which is where we’re staying:

It’s so convenient staying at a hotel on the beach. Favorite Man spent last evening sitting on the beach under the stars and a full moon. I’m guessing he enjoyed a beer and cigar while there. I stayed in the room because FG was exhausted from all the swimming and walking around we did during the day.

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The sun was shining so we decided to go on a Paniolo Ride yesterday. And am I ever sore today. It’s been many, many years since I trotted on a horse but it was the canter that did me in. Ouch. Other than the pain involved, it was WONDERFUL. We went on the Sunset Ride and got an added bonus of a full moon and a rainbow. Breathtaking.

That’s the joy of the Big Island of Hawaii ~ there’s such a variety of things to do.

Logan is ready to go riding again but I’m headed to the beach to swim with the sea turtles.

Life is good!

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The Big Island of Hawaii is, well… BIG!

That’s what I love about it ~ it’s so diverse.  We began our visit in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It’s located on the Southeast side of the island which is usually damp and chilly.  We’re stayed at the Kilauea Military Camp (KMC) which rents out cottages to military members and their Families.  We splurged and rented the “Eisenhower House.”  President Eisenhower stayed in this cottage in 1946 when he was General Eisenhower. It’s a beautiful house with two bedrooms, dining room, living room, full kitchen and two bathrooms. I could easily live here!

As lovely as the cottage is, the best part is the proximity to Kilauea Volcano and all the sights to see in the Park. There is a lot to see in the Park and I highly recommend the hikes. Makes you feel like you’re on another planet sometimes ~ the vast, empty spaces that have been covered by lava.  Well worth the trip to see it.

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Auf Wiedersehen to Germany

On 19 May, with a heavy heart, I said “Goodbye” to Germany. After living there for 5 years, I knew I would miss the following the most:

* Good friends ~ both German and American.

* The close bonds of the Army family.

* Everyone being OK with having a beer at 9am after a 10k wandertag.

* The autobahn.

* The pristine environment .

* Traveling through Europe without jet-lag.

* Efficient and economical mass transit.

Of course, there is so much more I will miss.

Logan and I flew from Frankfurt to Chicago where we met up with my John. Then it was onto Guam, via a 5-night stay in Honolulu. Since Hawaii is the closest Army post to Guam, John in-processed while we were there. Yeah, I know ~ tough assignment. I was hoping Hawaii would give us a chance to ease into island life but the weather was actually cool and we were so jet-lagged we didn’t know if we were coming or going. We did have a gorgeous room at the Outrigger Reef on Waikiki for three nights and then at the Hale Koa AFRC the last two nights. I highly recommend both when you are in Waikiki.

While in Honolulu, I got the chance to have dinner with one of my favorite couples of all time. They were neighbors of my family when we lived in Puerto Rico many, many years ago. My Dad and Perry were very good friends and my sister and I would babysit for their son, Eric. Ironically, Eric was in town visiting with his wife and HIS son. OK, it did make me feel a little old seeing the “baby” I used to sit for with a son of his own, but hey, I was a young(!) babysitter at the time. Anyway, I can’t say enough about Eric’s parents ~ they are so nice and so interesting to be around. I’ve truly been blessed in all my travels to have met the most wonderful people. The trick is to staying in touch with all of them ~ thankful for all the social media outlets which make it easier and easier.

After departing Honolulu for the 7.5 hour flight, we ended up in Guam still jet-lagged, sleep deprived, and HOT. Getting off the plane in Guam felt like opening an oven at 450 degrees. I have to say the only other time I felt that same sensation was getting off the plane in Memphis, TN ~ in August ~ after traveling in from Jackson, WY.

We were greeted at the airport by John’s entire team from the University of Guam which was so nice of them since it was a Friday night. They made us feel so welcome. Let the new island adventures begin!

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