Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 7 & 8 - Vacation is over. Boo.

I've been delaying writing this post for a few days.  I think maybe it's because I'm in denial that my vacation is really over.  

I suppose it's time to finish this story though, and share the rest of my pictures with you.

The view from our balcony just never got old. I think we were supposed to have a "mountain view" villa (which probably would have been more like a parking ramp or a street), but good ol' father in law was able to upgrade us to an ocean view at the last minute during check in.  I don't think I really would have minded looking at the land instead of the water, but I'm sure grateful that I got to look at this instead.  There was quite a bit of ocean traffic in the port beyond the lagoon, which kind of made us feel right at home.  There were bigger ships that came in here though, because they didn't have the narrow and shallow locks to fit through that the salties do that we see come into Duluth.

Nate was able to find info on the biggest sailboat that was docked in the marina near our resort.  Apparently it's owned by someone from Sydney and costs upwards of $50 mil.  Pocket change to some, I suppose.  

The slugs and snails along my morning walk were pretty big.  This was the only one I saw with a snail shell on him, and I'd estimate him (her??) to be about 3-4 inches long.  He (she?) was pretty cute, but the others that were just slugs sliming their way across my walking path were kind of annoying because I didn't want to step on any of them! 

Our last full day in paradise was spent not doing much of anything.  I hope the rest of the folks in my family didn't mind that, because it was sure my happy place.  

There were things on the island that I didn't get to do that I had wanted to, but it didn't seem to fit into the schedule.  I guess we'll have to go back!  Swimming in the "quiet pool" was very nice though, and just my pace. 

Morgan wanted me to take a picture that looked like she was eating my toe.  Silly girl.

Pina Colada poolside?  Don't mind if I do!

The kids finally got their shave ice, too.  Good thing they didn't discover how much they liked it on the first day, or I think we would have bought them out.

After the morning spent by the pool, and a quick lunch up in the room, we headed up the shore just a bit to a different beach known for its sea turtles!  I'm so glad we went here.  This was something SO COOL to see out in the wild!

They were huge!  I thought they were just rocks at first, and then they started moving!

There were kind of a lot of people there though, and kids that were chasing the turtles around, which was kinda sad.  If I were a sea turtle, I wouldn't want to be chased by kids.  No thank you.

Back to the room for one final sunset.  

Nope, never gets old.

Good on you, Hawaii.  You know how to do sunsets.

Also, thank you for saving this weather for the day we had to leave you.  It made it just a smidge easier to get on that plane.

We landed back in Minneapolis at about 5:30 AM, and it was COLD.  Not -30 in January cold, but it was still much colder than we'd seen for the past week.  I wanted to turn right around and go back.

We drove the 2.5 hours north to get home, and it was even colder, and snowier.  I guess I was hoping for a miracle and that somehow all of the snow would be gone when we pulled into the driveway.  No such luck.  How am I supposed to keep my tan from fading if my new deck is still covered in snow?

One of my friends recently posted on Facebook about how she's more focused on spending her money on experiences now instead of things.  What good advice.  I'm going to try to shift my thinking to this.  Who needs more things to clutter up your house anyway?  The memories we made on this trip were worth every penny.  My kids are going to be gone out of the house before I know it, and they won't be able to travel with us as much.  

We need to plan more trips right now.  Like for tomorrow.  Especially since I'm sitting here on my lunch break on the second day back to work, dreading when the clock will strike one and I have to deal with orders and emails and salespeople and customers.  For another 20 minutes I'll just dream about being back on my beach or by the quiet pool.

We had a great visit, Hawaii.  Mahalo!  We will hopefully be back someday!



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day 6 - Pearl Harbor and North Shore

Nate and I went to Pearl Harbor when we visited Hawaii on our honeymoon, but I knew I had to bring the kids.  

Such an important part of American history!

The grounds are very pretty, but you can't help but notice that somber feeling spread over every square inch.

So many good people died right here on these very grounds and in this very water I'm seeing in front of me. 

USS Battleship Missouri and the Arizona memorial. 

USNS Henry J Kaiser was parked alongside our ferry shuttle route out to the Arizona.  It is a replenishment oiler that refuels other ships.

Looking down through the floor of the memorial building to the sunken Arizona.


That's all I can really say.

The park ranger said that just about a month ago, they were able to exhume a body of an unknown soldier that died on that day and was buried in the local cemetery.  With modern advancements, they were able to identify the body with DNA and ship the remains back to the family! 

Flags were being flown at half mast due to the recent bombings in Brussels.  When I travelled to Ireland, Paris was attacked and now Brussels.  Maybe I shouldn't travel.  Boo.

It is estimated that the Arizona continues to leak two gallons of oil into the water per day. There was 1.5 million gallons of oil on board the day it was hit, as it had been refueled the day before.  There are approximately a half million gallons left in it today.  

The USS Bowfin Submarine is open for tours as a memorial for the submarines lost during WWII also.

Torpedoes on display...

Kaiten which is a human torpedo also on display.  I cannot imagine the person that would give up their life, sit inside of this vessel in the pitch black, and destroy something/someone in the name of war.  Unimaginable.  

After a sombering morning, we headed north to visit the Dole Plantation and have some Dole Whip. Oh my yum. 

She opted for some fresh pineapple instead, and I guess I can't blame her, but I think I'm happy with my choice of the other.

Eucalyptus trees line the parking lot, but we didn't see any koalas. Hehe.

A little further north and we hit the North Shore!  We were looking for Jack, Kate, and the rest of the Lost crew since this is where they filmed, but no luck.

Really stunning. A bit different than the North Shore back home that I'm used to though. 

I can't get over the color of the ocean. I love it. 

This is known as Chinaman's Hat Island.  Fitting name, I'd say.

Stunning mountains.

Really beautiful scenery.

Back at the resort we had a little downtime for my dorky son to pose for a picture while playing skipbo...  Hey, if you are gonna pose like that for me, you should expect the picture to make the blog.  

And then we hit Monkeypod for dinner, also at the recommendation of Missy and her daughter Katie.  

Good thing we don't have such yummy restaurants at home.  Or maybe I should say it's a good thing we don't eat out so much at home.  I found out that pork tacos and garlic fries are delicious though.

A nice little view of the Ko Olina Country Club right out the window from our table, where your standard round of golf goes for the bargain rate of $210.  Sorry kids, maybe next time, when you are paying.  

Andy also seemed to enjoy the magnetic silverware.  I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to keep your teenagers occupied.

The sadness is already creeping in, as we only have one more full day before we fly back on Friday.  I have loved every part of this trip, and I'm not ready for it to be over.  I could really become a professional beach bum.  Too bad everything is so darn expensive here.

We don't have much planned for our last day, which is just how I like it.

(Sorry if you are reading along real time.  If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a little behind on posts.  I'll catch up soon.)