Hello my friends! I want to take a second to welcome new visitors and welcome back to ol’ readers…
I am off in Hawaii on holiday and have a special guest writer this week!
I am so very happy to introduce a friend of mine, who is gracious enough to share a taste of her experiences in Hawaii!
Debbie Leonardt… a really great new friend, an amazing photographer (like my header??…That is her pic!) .. I am thankful to have ‘met’ her…
Close your eyes after your visit here and imagine… Hawaii…
Good day! I am honoured to have been asked to be a “guest blogger” whilst Twila is vacationing in “paradise”.
Firstly, I am a 52 year old grain farm wife, mother of 3 sons, aged 32, 22, 17. Grandmother of two little girls.
Twila and I had a mutual “friend” and through my cousin we connected recently through Facebook and wonderful long “letter” messages. I feel somewhat lazy reading her blogs but have definitely been there-done that but not for a few years. Hats off to her.
Soooo – in honour of Twila’s vacation I will write about some of our adventures on the Island of Oahu.
Have been there 4 times – twice with kids, once with another couple, and once as a couple. Will be trying out the island of Maui in about 2 months time.
Where to begin…how’s about the first steps off the airplane. What you have to understand is that I am a homebody, totally and completely, my paradise has always been here and I am very content to remain here. Having grown up in the city I truly cannot get enough of country living even after 25 years of it. Finding out the Hawaii was a place that gave me the “home” feeling was quite a surprise.
So here we are – in Honolulu after a very long flight – as you depart the plane you are graced with an open air hallway and the first glimmer of palm trees is there, the first breath of soft sultry tropical air fills your nostrils and ooolala you will not forget ever. A convertible or sunroof is a must because the perfumed aroma of the pulmeria needs to be captured as often as you can, it is truly heavenly.
The first sighting of Waikiki and the famous pink hotel which used to be the tallest building in the area will have your heart pumping for more.
I remember well our first catamaran ride, we dumped our bags at the hotel and raced for the beach, no thoughts to rest or food after a very long flight. Hopped aboard and instantly indulged in extremely delicious fruity cocktails – non-alcoholic for the boys. The highlight was to be swimming with the sea turtles once you were out far enough onto the sparkling blue ocean. The catamaran is a comfortable ride but being on water there is, of course, some movement. Not that far out Son #1 raced for the boat’s edge and almost made it. Empty stomach + fruity cocktails + rocking = tumbling tummy which equals well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty…or pleasant to listen to. The crew came with a big mop and pail of water and in true sea fashion – swabbed the deck. Yuck. The hurling continued. Hubby shook his head wondering why this child got sick so easily. The boat stopped, the passengers prepared to jump into the water, hubby all excited and all of a sudden #2 “hubby” of our family joined #1 and two were hurling. I am a non-swimmer so Son #2 swam with strangers as I gazed over at the dolphins in the distance and sincerely hoped I would not be next to join the duo.
The nature tours are fabulous, we were shown places by our guide that he explored as a young man – where he and his friends had dived off cliffs in pools of water, secret pathways in the woods with hang-me down twiney-vines not unlike that which Tarzan & his sidekick Jane swung on. Saw waterfalls and streams with luscious growth along the sides, bamboo forests, and I was comforted in knowing that Hawaii has no poisonous snakes on it. (I have a very large phobia.) Planes are checked and rechecked when they come from other countries. There may be rats in the densest of the bamboo forests and the odd wild boar and kangaroo. The latter because many many years ago a circus came to Hawaii and the kangaroo cage broke open and they escaped and multiplied in small numbers.
Hawaii’s wildlife includes mongooses which are strange flat critters that are about as comfortable as our local gophers. Nothing to be frightened of. Many colourful birds and graceful white egrets everywhere.
My favourite place to go on Oahu was the Macademia Nut Farm where you could sample just about any flavour but the best part was definitely the tour….a native of Samoa named Chief Sielu was our tour guide on a rickety old bus and could that man entertain, and no doubt, he was a stand up comedian as well. Besides laughter it was educational, you saw places of astonishing beauty where 50 First Dates was filmed, From Here to Eternity, and Fantasy Island, too. You sampled produce and were given a “luau” type performance mid-way. Something I would not miss.
We preferred to leave the Waikiki area each day packing snacks and hung out on local beaches learning about the area from a non-tourist point of view. We found an awesome beach that went on for miles and the sand was as fine as flour. At the far end there was an army base (which are plentiful) and we saw tanks going back and forth and where they practiced their manoeuvours on the beach at dusk. We learned where the best shrimp shacks were from local firefighters. The people of Hawaii that are not in the tourist industry are very interested in our lifestyle, our snow, as interested as we are in them. There is something very laid back about them that we could learn from. And I must say that I enjoyed the “natives” and learning from them more than anything the tourist industry could offer except – going on The Missouri at the Pearl Harbour site. Now again, something I would recommend, I could have camped over. The structure of that ship was amazing, steel at its finest, now if they offered an overnighter on there I would have been first in line.
Hawaii to me is a place of relaxation, if you make it so, we were always busy on our first 3 trips but the last one slowed down to really see nature and the beauty of the island and I would say the highlights of that trip for me were the long walks on the beach, the sunsets, the whales in the distance and the flora. I truly am blessed to have been able to vacation there.