If at all possible you need to come here Dori! We come once or twice a year and stay about 3-4 weeks each time.
When we get off the plane it is like we are home.
I have never been here for Thanksgiving but we were in Okinawa once for Thanksgiving and then flew here the next day and then got home on Christmas eve. We almost didn't make it to Florida for Christmas!
Hi Henry. I understand how it it to have extra time and yet not be able to get to your pictures or scrap stuff. When that happens, my mind just flies with ideas that I can't do so I try to jot them down. Maybe you could take a class at the scrapbook store and make a few finished pages, just ready to pop in photos. I realize that would only take a few hours per class but it may give you a scrap connection.... have fun and keep checking in.
Great ideas Wilbur but when we went to the scrapbook store yesterday - it was closed! Bummer!
I had planned to take a digi class in Florida when we were home but I'm trying to work it out now where I can take them by phone and email and tutorials. Don't know if it will work - I have photoshop already and I want to learn digi for when I'm on the road and then I can do paper and trimmer layouts when I'm home.
We will be here until mid-November. Then my husband is coming out of retirement for 6 months which I thought I would never see happening! There are 30 Special Forces Guys & Seals hired to escort prisoners from California to a work camp in Nevada and he has agreed to help. Should be interesting but will leave me in a hotel room in Nevada about 12 hours a day by myself so I'm going to try to learn digi while he is working.
We will get home at the end of December and then we are leaving on a second honeymoon on January 3rd to celebrate our 5th anniversary. This one is a 113 day world cruise!
I will have my computer and with a lot of sea days I will do some digi layouts if I can learn how while we are in Nevada.
I was just on Oahu for the last couple of days. We flew into Honolulu Wednesday in the middle of the thunderstorm. It cleared where we were by that evening, so we had a nice time walking around. Thursday and Friday were visiting with my family there, and we flew back early Saturday. We didn't have much time for anything else. I actually brought some Snap pages, but only got as far as the first page which I stared in Kona (we flew into Kona first). I've always loved Oahu, but now I'm in love with the big island. Now we're back on the mainland.
If you mean touristy places on the Big Island I love the Ocean Riders seahorse farm although too expensive to do more than once.
I love going to Volcanoes National Park - that is always interesting.
We have a few restaurants in Kona and Hilo that we like, drawing a blank what they are now.
There is a great Scrapbook store on the Big Island. I think its called Island Scrapbooking.
I had a favorite scrapbook store here in Oahu and they are closed! And the scrapbook section of the big craft store on base has scaled way back!
Its going to be hard to go from Hawaii to Nevada but I have plenty to do while I'm chilling in the room. I am going to be tutored on photoshop for scrapbooking and that should keep me pretty busy all day. I've learned there are 3 scrapbook stores in the area and will try to check those out.
Still not definite yet that we are going to Nevada. We will know on Sunday and if so, we fly there on Monday. Then we will get home a few days, maybe a week before we leave for our next cruise!
Edited by Henri Jean on 11-12-13 11:34 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
Oooh....the seahorse farm looks pretty cool. I had to google it. I'm making a list in the back of my BI scrapbook of places that we want to see next time. So many places, not enough time.
We loved Volcano's Nat'l Park. I can't recall the restaurants we ate at. None were really outstanding, but we did like a little place in Waikoloa called Island Lava Java. Incredible hamburgers.
Have you gone to the Iolani Palace on Oahu? I love that tour. Last Friday we strolled the zoo. I love that zoo, but it's not quite as nice as when I was a kid. It was still a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Pricey, though, but animal food isn't cheap. Our hotel was across from the zoo and we could hear the critters. It was pretty neat.
We didn't have time for the scrapbook stores. That would have been nice, though. One of them, I think from the BI, used to come to the scrapbook expo. They had some great and unique stuff.
I love the seahorse farm - but pricey! The guides are all marine biologist students and very knowledgeable about the seahorses and conservation. You really get educated! At the end you put your hands in the water and a seahorse wraps his tail around your finger in the water. Very cool!
Volcanoes National Park is definitely worth doing - especially if something is going on. last time it was put out a lot of steam that was bright red at night but now lava flowing. We would like to take a military hop back if we hear it is actually flowing - then I want to take a helicopter ride over.
I will remember Lava Java - that sounds interesting.
Every time we go it seems I get more pictures of 'Iolani Palace - love that place. And the building across the street with the King Kamehameha statue is the building and statue they show on Hawaii 5-0 as their headquarters.
The water department is the building they show for the medical examiners office.
I've never gone through the palace. I guess I should some time!
We went to the Hononlulu Zoo yesterday. Very small and needs updating badly but the animals were awesome - really enjoyed it. We took out time and took a lot of pictures and still covered it in less than 4 hours! And that was really taking our time.
I got the best orangutan pictures ever yesterday. Those are usually so hard to get. They had given each of the orangutans a medium sized pumpkin and the female sat on the ground with the pumpkin in her lap just kind of holding it. She was completely still I snapped it just as she looked at me. I love that picture.
Unfortunately my camera equipment is not sophisticated enough to do justice to that kind of shot. It was a national geographic pose and shot with cheap equipment. When I saw it last night and could visualize what it would have been with good equipment I wanted to go out and spend thousands on camera equipment but I don't know how to use good equipment and I can't carry it around - my point and shoot is heavy and cumbersome enough!
How much is the zoo? We are retired military so it was only $8.00 each. I didn't think that was bad at all!
We were here last week - wish we could have met somewhere!
The Big Island has the best scrapbook store - love it! The one on Oahu is closed now. The one on the base is just a small section of a craft store now. They have an okay selection. I was disappointed to see the big store close (it was really a good one) and the scrapbook section shrink so much at the store on base.
We went to Kualoa Ranch yesterday - that was worth doing. We had pictures taken by the big log that the people hid behind in Jurassic Park when they first saw the dinosaurs. We also saw the bunker used in Pearl Harbor (also used in Hawaii 5-0 and lots of other movies and tv shows). All over the ranch are signs marking what movie or tv show was filmed there.
I loved the big Godzilla footprints from that movie. However the big footprints used to be 10 feet deep, now they are about 2 feet deep, maybe 3.
Cows roam all around the area at night and they don't see well in the dark and kept falling in the giant footprints. They found dead or injured cows most morning so they filled them so they are shallow enough that the cows won't fall in and get hurt.
One of my favorite things on Oahu is the taking down of the Hawaiian flag and the drill routine at King's Village. Most night it just two of the drill team but a couple times a week it is the full team and wow! They used to compete internationally and every year took home the trophy for best drill team in the world. They are not allowed to compete anymore because no one else could win. Now they only do exhibitions.
There is a King's Guard museum there and they can tell you what nights have the full drill team.
So much to do here.
We will know on Monday if we are going to Nevada and if so there is a flight that afternoon we will try to catch if we go to Nevada.
Otherwise we will probably try to go to San Diego for a day or two and then go home.
We only had a few hours at Volocano's, but we made a decent dent. We walked through the Thurston Lava Tube, did a short hike to the rim (well, really a view of the rim) of a crater, and then basically drove down Crater Rim Rd to the end. We made a few stops along the way. The highlights were at the end where we saw the Holei Sea Arch (gorgeous) and where lava closed down the road (fun). On our way out we saw the lava glow at night from the Jagger Museum. It was rainy and made for a misty glow, but that was OK. It was eerie how warm it was. The day before we did a helicopter ride over the volcanos and could see the flames. Spewing would have been awesome!
We paid $14 for the zoo. Kama'aina was $8, same as military. I think we covered it in 4 hours or less, too. We ate at two places near there, LuLu's and The Tiki Grill. Tiki Grill was great. LuLu's was meh.
I haven't heard of Kualoa ranch. It sounds interesting. When were on Oahu, we saw a video about how often Kauai has been used for filming and there are a few tours there to see the filming sites. A lot of Jurassic Park was filmed there, too.
Iolani Palace is definitely worth an inside visit. They have a lot of the original furniture and the tour guides were very informative when we went. I got a kick out of walking through the rooms that royalty once lived in. The grounds are beautiful.
Our overall stay in Oahu was a blip. 2 days were spent with family, but the first evening was just DH and I, which is what I wanted. I wanted to show him my fav Waikiki spots. Unfortunately my energy level exceeded his, so we only saw a few things. I would have loved to have stayed longer on Oahu, but the primary purpose was visiting family. This was our first Oahu trip where we didn't have down time.
My husband has hiked all over volcanoes but my knees are not great and I can't do any hiking. We went to the observation point for the rim which was awesome - took pictures of the red glow at night and the next day we went back and got the day pictures of the steam. When we were there at night the rangers told us we would be moved quickly if it started spewing stuff because we could be in danger if it did.
Would love to take a helicopter ride over the volcano but I know we will only do that once so I want to wait for lava flow! Bill says when it flows again we will get on a military hop quickly to Oahu and then fly commercial to the Big Island to see it. It always lasts for a little while when it flows.
We did not eat at the zoo. We were with friends and we had gone to Uncle's for lunch. (Natalie and I really liked our food but the guys weren't that impressed.) Great atmosphere though and I really wanted to go there so I'm glad we did.
We were stuffed by the time we got to the zoo.
$14.00 is not a bad price for a zoo. I think San Diego zoo is $40 or $45 - I don't remember and we've seen them all over the world for over $40.
Jusrassic Park was supposed to have been completely filmed on another island but the day they were shooting one of the early scenes where the people first see the dinosaurs and run hide behind a tree trunk that had fall over - they said that was the only part actually filmed in Oahu. I knew all the waterfall scenes were filmed on another island but I thought more was filmed in Oahu. We were able to get off the bus and have pictures taken by the tree stump - it has a big Jurassic Park sign in front of it.
Kauloa Ranch also has horse trails and horses, atv's for touring and they have a jungle tour. I think they have garden and fishpond tours also. You can buy a package price and do any 4 things but we just bought the movie tour.
We will have to go through the palace next time. I see it all the time, have taken pictures and scrapped it several times but just didn't go inside. Now it is on my list. We always have a list of what we want to do when we go back.
Our situation is the opposite - my husband has the energy and can go on forever but my knees give out and I have to limit walking quite a bit. Stairs and terrain with slopes kill me!
We found an interesting place we passed hundreds of times today but for the first time there was a marker sign. We just though it was all sugarcane fields.
A dirt road was marked - I walked back there for a while and found an early birthing place for earliest royalty - the wives of chiefs.
There was a heiou there too but it is gone now - they said it was destroyed when sweet potatoes and yams were planted many years ago. Even those are gone and it is sugar cane now.
But the birthing rocks are there. There were 3 people there praying loudly to the gods in Hawaiian but they did not appear to be Hawaiian, they looked clearly Japanese which was odd to me. People had left food and leis and flowers all over the stones and apparently the heiou had been very close and it is where the earliest Hawaiians worshiped the Gods. So strange that the practice is still going on today.
What an awesome heiau to stumble over! I've heard about that place, but have never been. I'm not surprised about the practice still going on, though. My cousins are Hawaiian/Chinese/Caucassi on. They look completely Hawaiian and speak Hawaiian, too. They've told me about the various practices and beliefs that are still held throughout the islands. We were supposed to go see an attraction on one visit (it might have been that heiau), but it was kapu (taboo) to visit that day, so we passed. My cousin took us up to Pali Pass (amazing views) one day and told us all about the beliefs held by the Hawaiians in that place. His grandfather still held those beliefs until he passed. Some were crazy.
We visited two heiaus on the Big Island. Very interesting places. We tried to see a third, but it required a long drive over an unpaved road. We opted out of the car rental insurance, so we passed on that experience!
I would save the helicopter ride for when the volcanos are spewing, too. We saw some great stuff, though, but would do it again if there was spewing. Now I'm wishing that we had stopped at the Jagger museum during the day, too, to see the steam up close. But we didn't have enough time for that. We did find some fun steam vents, though.
We stayed on the Kona side, so it was a looooong drive to the park. We couldn't find saddle road on the way back, so ended up circling the island in pouring-down rain. We went back to the Hilo side the following day to see falls and other stuff. We found Saddle Road that night because I was determined. I would have thought Saddle Road would be easy to find, but nope. My cousins laughed at me when I told them about trying to find the road. We had to go through 4 or 5 Hawaiian-named roads to find Saddle Road. That's easy IF the roads are marked and IF you are familiar with the language. I was ok enough with the language, but the roads weren't marked. Through process of elimination we finally turned down an unmarked road that looked like an alley. After driving 4 blocks we were able to determine that it was the right road. My cousins laughed because they knew that alley. I was determined to find it on that second night, though. No way was I making that drive around the island again!
The views from the Pali and the Pali lookout are amazing!
The heiau where we were yesterday has been destroyed - in fact yams and sweet potatoes were planted over it many years ago and now it is all sugar cane fields over it. The part that is referred to as the birthing rocks are all that remains although I do not understand the concept of giving birth there on those rocks! Its the last place I would want to give birth!
We didn't visit any heiaus when we were on the Big Island either times - maybe next time we need to explore them.
We have seen several heiaus on Oahu, one very cool on is actually on Bellows which is one of the military recreational sites. A sign posted by the short trail to the heiau - "No trespassing, Do Not Enter." The sign below that says, "Foot traffic only".
We stayed on the Hilo side both times we were there but it was still a good drive to volcanoes. Since saddle road is now a smooth highway its easier to get from one side of the road to the other. Bill said in the past when he rented a car he was always told he could not take it on saddle - that was such a rough road. It would tear up a car. Now its easy driving.
Not so easy when you used to have to go all the way around the island to get from Hilo to Kona.
I can't laugh because you couldn't find it because I probably couldn't either. When driving on saddle - it just looks like the surface of the moon to me on both sides! At least you finally found it!
I have no idea what Saddle looks like on either side. It was DARK!! So dark. And rainy. Hilo was quite the rain-fest! Actually, we saw Saddle Rd from the air. I remember telling my DH that it reminded me of Mono Lake, which has a very moonscape-type appearance.
The drive around the island was beautiful. Our GPS took us from Kona to Volcanos via the south side of the island. I'm so glad. It was beautiful. The north side and the Kohala coast were awesome, too.
We stopped at the Black Sand Beach and saw the turtles! That was awesome. We stopped for lunch at a bakery near there that was wonderful. Their claim to fame is that they are the southern most bakery in the U.S. As a testimony to how laid-back that island is, we were at the register ordering lunch when there was a loud explosion outside (probably a backfire from a car). All, and I mean ALL, of the employees ran outside to see what was going on, LOL! The customers were all looking at each other, just hanging out, waiting for them to return, LOL! They had a great little gift shop there, samples of incredible sweet bread that they make on-site, and a lovely, shaded outdoor tropical garden set up with tables.
I don't recall hearing about the Christopher Columbus statue, but we did find the original King Kamehameha statue. The one in Honolulu is not the original! It was a fun thing to stumble over.
The story about the original King Kamehameha statue (and I might mess this up a bit) is that it was ordered from France (or Italy?) and the ship carrying it sunk on the way over. Insurance covered the loss and a new one was ordered (the one in Oahu). The original one showed up in someone's warehouse years later where it was recognized, cleaned up and shipped to HI.
I have never seen a turtle in Oahu but, in addition to the ones we saw on the Black Sand beach, I saw one in the lagoon at the hotel we were staying at. It was quite exciting to see him swim by. I eventually caught up with him while snorkeling and swam with him for a while. That was an awesome experience! It was a great lagoon because it opened up to the sea. Fish and turtles were free to swim in and out. I first came up on the turtle face-to-face. We both stopped suddenly, shocked by seeing each other, LOL!! He paused a bit, then swam around me and I followed him.
San Diego sounds better than Washington this time of year. Brrr in WA, LOL! Enjoy your flight back and I hope you get the one you want.
Edited by Luvmyfam on 11-20-13 07:56 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
My husband was scuba diving and came up on a huge sea turtle. He swam over to it and got on its back and rode it for a while and said the turtle didn't seem to care.
Then it went straight down and he hung on. It went to a huge conch and bit right through the shell to get to the creature inside. Bill said pieces of conch shell were flying everywhere.
While the turtle was busy munching he decided it was a good time to turn loose and make an exit.
Thank you for the info on the King Kamehameha statue info. I had no idea!
We are in North Carolina tonight. This afternoon in Washington my husband was comfortable in a t-shirt but I wore my hoodie. It wasn't bad at all, not at all what I expected. I expected bitter cold and it was just fall weather. I was pleasantly surprised!