Let me start by saying Hawaii was wonderful! Victor has been there since February 7 and comes back April 1st. I just got back from visiting him for 10 glorious days. No kids + no responsibilities = My first REAL VACATION! For those of you on facebook there is really not too many pictures here that I didn't already post. For those of you who are seeing these for the first time... hope you enjoy.
Victor had a car when I got there so on my first day I hung out at the beach or walked around Waikiki until he got off work and then we drove around to enjoy some picturesque views.
The picture at the top of these two was the view from our window of all the boats waiting out the tsunami at sea and the bottom shows that there were still a few sleeping it off the next morning.
My second night in Hawaii was also the night of the tsunami of 2011! The first siren went off about 9:45 pm. We had no idea what it was, at first, I thought it was a really loud car alarm or something. Victor jokingly said "maybe it's a tsunami..." . Then we turned on the tv. Yep... tsunami. The alarms continued every hour until around 3:00 am. The 6 foot plus swells were expected to start hitting the island at 3:20 am. They evacuated the bottom 3 or 4 floors in the hotel but we were told to stay put on the 19th floor. I have to admit that I was a little freaked out by that point. We considered moving inland somewhere but decided to just wait it out. Of course Victor had the camera ready and was on the deck waiting to take pictures! We finally fell aspleep around 4:30 am when there was still no major activity. By 7:30 that morning the news was that it was being downsized to a tsunami advisory. The advisory was to stay off the beach a little while longer. I'm not sure all those people I saw basking in the sun that morning got the memo. Oahu came out pretty much untouched. I heard just a few boats that stayed in the harbor got a little crunched. The Big Island and Maui were not as lucky but the damage was minimal compared to what they were expecting. I know a lot of people were praying for us and we really appreciated it. Now, getting that out of the way at the beginning of my trip made the rest of it that much sweeter so lets continue........
The Arizona Memorial
Kind of an emotional roller coaster being there. I wanted to sit down and cry for all those people who died that day and also get up and cheer for all those who survived and fought back however they could. Still get choked up when I think about it.
The Dole Plantation
We had a great time touring the plantation on the Pineapple Express. We also went thru the pineapple maze. They have little symbols placed throughout the maze for you to try and find. It took us 2 1/2 hours to find them and get out.
The North Shore at sunset
How cute are we!?
North Shore whale sightings. The pictures on the right are just close ups of the other two so they are not as clear. I think Victor got some good pics here.
Another highlight of our trip was going to the Polynesian Cultural Center. If you have never been there, that is how everyone will greet you the whole time you are there.The top left picture is of one of the Samoans that was doing demonstrations. I can't remember his name but he was hilarious. He also performed in the night show as the main fire dancer. We also got a picture of a coconut picking demo and a really cool palm tree that grew over the river and then turned around to go back. We had to get a picture here because... Elvis really was here!!!
We had to get a picture with our tour guide from Thailand before heading to the Luau. I have no idea how to spell his name but he said it was pronouned like cliche but with an f sound intead of cl. The food was great even that piece of raw tuna I'm about to eat tasted good. I just couldn't get past the texture of raw fish.
We also hiked to the top of Diamond Head. You get a really good view of the island from up there. Here are a few of them and one of me relaxing at the bottom.
The Pali Highway lookout also has some pretty views. It was very windy the day we were there. I also hade to get a picture of our little KIA. I thought this was the perfect car for running around the island in.
I'll just call this one "Little pieces of Hawaii"
The Punchbowl Memorial is another cool place to see and learn more about the war in the Pacific.
We had some fun going to the Bishop's Museum. They had a fun science building where you could watch a volcanoe erupt and make your own lave flow as well as walk thru an underwater world. They also had a fun Dinosaur exihibit where all the dinosaurs moved and roared. Another building holds artifacts from the islands history. There was a lot to see.
We took a submarine tour of some man made reefs just off Waikiki beach. They have an airplaine, two ships and some other metal structures they have dropped to encourage reef growth. We even saw a sting ray but couldn't get a clear picture of him.
Mmmmm..... the farmers market. Lots of food. I tried a fresh coconut. I'm not a big fan of the water inside the coconut which is different than coconut milk. Victor's face says it all. However, as you can see, I really enjoyed eating the coconut meat.
Laie, Hawaii Temple
Here are a few tidbits... every friday they shot off fireworks just outside the hotel. The harbor is the harbor that Gilligan left from for his "three hour tour", The rainbow is what greeted me my first morning in Hawaii. We stayed at the Ilikai Hotel which is featured in the opening credits of the original Hawaii Five 0 tv series. At the time I don't think any of these other hotels were there. It's the hotel in the middle of the picture. I had a great time. We took soooo many pictures that I had to pick and choose and then clump them together in order to blog them. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Van Gieson and Grandma and Granddaddy Starnes for coming to Maine to watch my kids so I could go. And thanks to Victor who invited to me come and do nothing but shop, eat and bask in the sun while he still had to go to work everyday.