Sadly, we go home today. Since our flight doesn't leave until 9 o'clock tonight, we decided to take an excursion so we drove down to Lanikai Beach and went swimming. The aqua and warm water reminded us of Cancun, and we just hung out for a little while and relaxed in the sun. Beautiful day and no rain at this time. Two small Mountain islands appear in the bay.
Slept in until like 7:30. I think I heard Linda and Emily up, but when I awoke and got up, they were gone on a walk down the beach. I tried a little snorkeling but my mask was leaking and my fins would not stay on so it didn't last long.
Expecting that Linda and Emily are snorkeling in the ocean with the turtles. This is the life.
So this morning before we made it down to Lanikai Beach, we checked out the assisted living facility across the street from our hotel. It was a beautiful little drive, and we saw a wild pig, one more species to chalk up on our list of a plethora of wildlife.
I called Larona and asked her if she had any ideas where we could keep our luggage until our late flight. She said she would call me right back. In a couple moments, I got another call from a different number. When I answered, a woman identified herself as Larona's mother who lives here in these apartments and cleans the room. She said that no one was coming into the apartment today, so we could use it as long as we wished. She asked us to put some wash in the washer. So it looks like we will be able to spend the day here on the North Shore.
We pretty much did everything we had planned.
Full flights required that I check my bag and Linda's. An hour and 16 min flight time. Had a problem getting the left engine started. Problem resolved. We are taking off.
We saw a turtle this morning on the beach near our apartment. A lady who just moved to Hawaii four months ago came up and explained the rarity of seen a turtle, seals, and sea lions and other wildlife on the beaches.it was great. It soon dragged itself back into the water and began swimming around. It's she'll remained visible the whole time we were there, didn't dive back down to the depths below the waves. Photographic journey
Emily wanted to check out some beaches so we drove up the number and stuff to some of the best, including the following:
Sharks cove snorkeling
Many others without names
We had fish tacos and salad, then on the way home, we stopped at Ted's bakery and had their famous cream pie .. Delicious.
Sky is blue. Sun is out. Perfect day in Hawaii with a nice cool breeze.
We saw what we thought might have seen a distressed turtle on the beach we called the hotline to report it. Turns out is was NOT in distress. We had some Chocolate cream pie for lunch and then we went to Seven brothers for dinner.
Emily wanted to check out some beaches so we drove up the coast and saw a number of them. Certainly some of the best. We also drove around the area.
Sharks cove snorkeling
Sister sky is blue. Sun is out. Perfect day in Hawaii with a nice cold breeze. Photographic journey.
Sitting back on my balcony this morning. It is 4am. Can't sleep exactly, so I got up and did some wash and took a shower. Hoping to see the sun rise, but it is perfectly dark right now. Can't see the ocean, but I can hear it 50 feet from the balcony where I am sitting. A soft breeze is blowing. The constant of the waves provides comfort and sustenance. I am with Linda and Emily. What could be better than this? Today, in a few hours hours going to the Polynesian Cultural Center. The PCC experience will take the whole day. I am anticipating a great time with Emily and Linda. They both love this experience and appreciate the opportunity. I am glad that i can be with them during this special time. Our condo is adequate and comfortable. Perfect? No. But we are settling in. Linda has been reading the guest comments book that she found in the apartment about the owners and guest experiences. The owners live in a different neighborhood here on Oahu. They welcomed us to the apartment and offered to make anything right that is needed. Visitors spoke of the surf, the kind people on the beach, and the turtles swimming in the nearby ocean. Yeah maybe everything isn't perfect (like our last place), but there is much good and superior benefits that we did not have or enjoy in Honolulu as well.
And so it is in our lives, when we see and appreciate our blessings, the tender mercies come more prolifically than ever. Why do I make everything religious? Because everything is religious, and religion is the answer to the challenges of life. In my mind, they are indivisible.
We heard from Melanie and Eric. They accepted the job in San Antonio and are traveling there to find a home.
The Polynesian Cultural Center was wonderful. There are many reasons. Their emphasis on the importance of family is refreshing. The way they hand down their stories through dance and song, inspiring. Linda had purchased the Ambassador package, which meant we got preferential treatment and seating at the events, which was nice. We even had a special ticket office that meant that we did not have to wait in line. We were given lkukui leis upon our welcome and introduced to our guide for a day at the PCC. Our guide"s name was Aloni. She had lived in Hawaii her whole life. She was kind and knowledgeable. https://www.polynesia.com/packages/#.Ws0DwGt5mSM
We started with a canoe tour and saw all of the villages from the water. Then we returned to land to continue our introduction to the villages and people of polynesia. Their were ten others in our group. We had great seating at all the shows which were many. The buffet was delightful with salad, fish, pork, chicken, rice, fruit, and a myriad of desserts .. All we could eat. Linda was the first person served at the buffet. There was a luau show at the end of the meal, then we went to the great theater for the Nui
The forever tree at the PCC
Mahanakolhi .. hang loose
Mahalo nui loa .. Thank you very much
Ohana .. We are part of the Hawaiian family
Temple, BYU Hawaii
Two sister missionaries from China
Sunrise 502 sunset tonight not visible clouds; sunrise
Giovanni's Shrimp truck mmmm
Waimea beach park .. mom and Emily scoped out the beach. But it was raining slightly, so I stayed in the car and kept the luggage safe. We went on past Waimea Valley, which we are coming back to on Tuesday. .
I am sitting on my balcony 50 feet from the breaking waves. I am with Linda and Emily. We just arrived to our condo, and we are settling in. Linda has been reading the guest comments book that she found in the apartment about the story of the owners and guest experiences. The owners live in a different neighborhood here on Oahu. They welcomed us to the apartment and offered to make anything right that is needed.Visitors spoke of the surf, the kind people on the beach, and the turtles swimming in the nearby ocean. Yeah maybe everything isn't perfect (like our last place), but there is much good and superior benefits that we did not have or enjoy in Honolulu as well.
And so it is for life. Things don't always go perfectly. This life was not meant for us to experience perfection. That is for the next life. Just because we can't see it now, doesn't mean it does not exist .. Good things come to those who wait. Great things come to those who remain busy. Eternal life comes to those who follow Christ and put their faith in him.
I have this terminology I use, when things are going so well that it is hard to articulate the rapture that one feels. The phrase goes something like this: I have died and gone to heaven. That terminology seems to fit the situation now.
Yesterday was Saturday. We had two items on our todo list:
Swap meet and Pearl harbor. We did them both and had a wonderful time. It was a cloudy day so we were spared from the hot sun rays, which was good. We bought two little bags of fruit to share and eat as we walked around the vendors. (Pineapple and spicy mango)
The stadium is pretty near the Pearl Harbor memorial. So we went there after the swap meet. We secured tickets to the Arizona Memorial and took the walk of memories prior to the film and boat ride that is part of the tour. We must have done it before, but the short movie was interesting and moving. Tears sprang to my eyes as the narrator described the tragedy of that day. I noticed people all around me wiping their eyes. Fantastic tribute. Then we took a. boat ride to the monument. It was fascinating and stands right above the Arizona ship that sank. All but three of the ships (27) attacked and sunk that day were recovered but not the Arizona, the Utah, or the xxx. My favorite phrase describing the memorial that I read during our visit follows:
"The form, wherein the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous on the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory . . . The overall effect is one of serenity." Alfred Preis, architect
How can anyone read those words and not be filled with appreciation and reverence for God's gracious hand and sustaining blessing for us as a country and as individuals in our everyday lives.
Stopped at Costco to get a couple things and some lunch. I have been impressed that during these activities, we saw people of wealth and the poorest of the poor that you can possibly imagine. Nice, young families with faithful, hardworking parents and darling little children. We saw this little old lady in a wheelchair eating some pizza at Costco. She was bent over and frail like Gma at her very worst. I couldn't help but think that God loves all these people because we are all his children. Whether they are wealthy or impoverished is incidental, he knows and loves us all. He has a reward in store for all that will receive it.
We also took a drive down to Waikiki beach to hang out and take in the sun. We parked at the Honolulu zoo. As we arrived, I noticed some beach volleyball, two matches going on side-by-side, so there was never a delay in the action. As soon as one match completed its turn the next match began playing its set, so there was never a lull while referees called timeouts or in between services. It was womens two-person teams, Huskies WA vs Hawaii. The Huskies were leading and got well ahead of Hawaii , but the team from the islands came back and took the match in a dramatic finale.
Then we talked to a man that was walking two beautiful Beagles where we should eat. He was a local and had several good ideas. we chose Lulus. It was a delightful upstairs restaurant with open air windows and a band playing the blues. Linda got Mahi-Mahi (dolphin), emily chose steak, and I had clam chowder and a large mozzarella, tomato salad with balsamic reduction. It was delightful.
We spent our final night in our lovely little place in Honolulu. Sunday we are headed up to our apartment on the north shore by Laie.
When we did wake up, we enjoyed a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and yogurt...all purchased by mom.
Then we gathered our things and drove to Hanauma Bay.
Snorkeling and sun bathing
When we hiked Manoa falls the man of the entry said it was muddy and less we park the car and start working at the trail it was wet. We hiked to the top and saw the waterfall. It was spectacular. Linda and Emily wanted me to take her picture so I sent my water bottle down on the wooden bench and Emily handed me her camera. Certainly it slipped and it was just about to fall out of my hand. I barely cottage and was much relieved that I didn't fall to the ground and get broken. I took the picture and we began our dissent. It was a little slippery or going down, But we made it. As the parking lot came interview Linda asked me where is the backpack that you had? And we said were you trying a water bottle or something? That's when I realize that I had left my water bottle at the top so I decided to hike back up to the Falls and we can set up to go with me and we hiked top speed. When you're when we arrived at the top, the water bottle was still there and I was very happy. We descended lickety-split and that was that.
Walked around Waikiki Beach and got Pina colada with Emily.
Dukes for dinner. We sat on the lanai under grass-covered terrace to the beach. The view was spectacular, the atmosphere was just the way I remembered it. Steven loved this place as a boy. Eating there brought back so many special memories.
We had our first full day in Hawaii today.
Started off with going and getting our car from the car rental. Called an uber driver to take us. He picked us up at our apartment and drove to the rental car place. Then we drove up the west side of the island to a beach. We had never been on that side of the island, so it was a new experience. We followed Emily's directions until we found xxx beach with surfers and swimmers. It wasn't too crowded and it turned to be a good time. We had breakfast at a farm to table restaurant. There was a 45 min wait, but the food was delightful.
Then we drove to Matsumoto Shave Ice. We got it line and waited for the delicious treat. while we were waiting, we started talking to the couple standing next to us. It turns out they came down here to stay at their timeshare, without their kids, who were all grown up. They began asking Emily questions. We kept talking, and it turns out they are from Highland, Utah just a couple blocks north of us. Amazing. We did not get their names, but they were a delightful couple. At that point our shaved ice was ready, and we never saw them again. We walked around the town and visited many stores.
We continued driving down to Honolulu. Had dinner at a Hawaiian joint and now we are vegging at the apartment.
So we are in Honolulu Hawaii tonight 4/4. The flight was fine. From SLC to LAX, we sat in different locations, and the 1 1/2 hr flight was uneventful. When we got to LAX, a airport worker asked us if we wanted to sit in the emergency aisle, and we could all sit together. That was a tender mercy. We sat altogether in Zone 1 with leg room and to spare. Read about Stevens and Ryan Europe trip while we flew to Hawaii. The flight left a bit late, so when we got to Honolulu, our complimentary shuttle was not running and the rental car place was closed, so we called über. A nice driver by the name of Sain picked us up. His day job is in the military, and he has been doing Uber driving for 6 months. Great schedule , extra money, and he meets tons of interesting people. He has been in Hawaii since 2007. He took us to our room on 184 East Hind Drive. We figured out how to unlock the door after several attempts and then we got into the room. Our beds were made with a box of Hawaiian chocolates, cold water bottles were in the fridge, along with cold slices of fresh pineapple .. Mmmm. What a happy surprise. We ate and visited, but everyone was tired so soon we all fell asleep.
Tomorrow we plan to get our car, drive up the west side of the island, and perhaps do the waterfall hike. Friday Hanauma Bay. Saturday swap meet and Pearl Harbor. Sunday is when we change apartments to Laie.
I am exhausted. Mahalo.
The term "Mahalo" is a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, or respect. Some sources support that the meanings "thanks" and "gratitude" were appended to the word following contact with Westerners. While the word mahalo means all these things, gratitude is foremost in our minds for the generous and lovely Hawaiians.