Monday, July 20, 2009

Wake Up

I recently was called to be our ward's music director for church (go ahead and laugh; I realize it's a funny thought. A funny sight, too, I'm sure). Yesterday, while leading the sacrament hymn, I had to look down a lot, because I didn't know the song, and it was 2/2 time, so I was a bit confused. Apparently, to Waimea sitting in the front row off to the side, it looked like my eyes were closed when looking down. Evan said that every time I looked down, Waimea would shout out, "Wake up, wake up." And then would stop whenever I looked up.

At least she's paying attention.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rest of the Hawaii Trip

Anyone who reads this blog is probably tired of reading about Hawaii. I don't blame you; I tired of posting my Hawaii trip. Not to worry, I'm almost done.

I spent my last two weeks trying to fill my days with trips to the beach, hikes, spending time with my best friend Brookie (we even had a sleepover, just like the old days), and exploring parts of the island that I haven't ever been to before. One such place was Diamond Head. It's one of the biggest tourist hikes, because it is situated near Waikiki, and overlooks Waikiki (which is why I've never done it). Beautiful view, but very hot, and no waterfall reward at the end.

On Memorial Day we took advantage of my brother's few days off from med school and did two hikes in one day. The first was to Goat Island, this dinky little island just off the shore in my hometown. The way to get there is to hike across the coral reef at low tide. This is a hike that I've done many times before, but I never get tired of doing it. And this time I saw the largest sea urchin ever. The pictures does not do it justice, but it was huge.

Here's Goat Island, looking back toward Laie:

The other hike we did was up Kahana Valley. Again, another hike I've never done. But this one I will gladly do again. I wish I had pictures, but don't. The valley was beautiful, we were able to hike through a bamboo forest (one of the coolest things ever), and there was a "pool" at the end to swim in. I have a love/fear relationship with these "pools" and waterfalls at the end of hikes. I love the water, and I love cooling down at the end of the hike, but I also have an irrational fear of deep and/or murky water, so sometimes I get freaked out swimming in these. And I was a little freaked this time, but still jumped in. Definitely worth it.

Spencer and Waimea had a blast playing in the hose and rain on Mummi and Pappa's driveway:

I love this kid!! Definitely my water boy.

We took a trip to the Honolulu Zoo. It's not a very spectacular zoo, but for $8 and free admission for kids, it's a steal. And they've made many many many improvements to it since the last time I went.

Waimea playing dress-up with Aunt Andrea's hats:

Last trip to the beach (a Sunday, so we couldn't actually get in the water)

Yep, I miss the beach. Jersey beaches do not compare.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Big Island Trip

Our second week in Hawaii was spent on the Big Island. We left the kids behind for three days to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary. But then the entire family showed up for Jeremy's wedding. Here are some highlights of our trip:

First we stopped at Ka Lae, the southernmost point in the US. The currents (and winds) are so strong--you can actually see the current moving (it's very different than seeing waves). Very dangerous for swimming--the currents go straight down to Antartica.

This is the actual "point":

Near South Point is a beach you can hike to that has green sand. It's the only place you'll find green sand. And it was, surprisingly, actually green.

More of the green sand beach (which doesn't look so green in the pictures):

The next day we went to Volcano National Park. We spent the entire day there, going on many hikes, including across one of the former craters of Kilauea. We saw some volcanic activity in the current crater, some neat steam vent, smelled a lot of sulpur, saw some ancient Hawaiian heiroglyphics, and then hiked to where the lava flowed over the road. We thought it was pretty neat:

We also hiked through a lava tube:

Saw a lava arch:

And that evening we went back to the crater to see if we could see any glowing where we only saw smoke earlier. VERY creepy, but neat. We wanted to hike out to the current lava flow, but found it would take us an hour an a half drive to get there. Maybe next time.

A sunset view from Saddle Road:

We spent Wednesday hiking down to Waipi'o Valley, and driving the Hamakua coast, looking at waterfalls. Waipi'o Valley is nearly inaccessible. There's a one-lane, winding road that is on a 25% grade. Yes, you read that correctly: 25% grade. The only way to get down into the valley is either by using a 4-wheel drive vehicle (which we definitely did not have) or by walking down. Most tourists just view it from a distance. Not us. We hiked down. This picture does not do the 25% grade or the valley any justice. It was quite the climb down and up--the entire time going down we wished we were going up, and vice versa.

Here's what happens when you try to drive down the road into the valley without a 4-wheel drive:

This is the waterfall that can be seen from the valley. I can't remember the name or the height, but it was a substantial drop. They used to be twin falls, but a sugar cane company somehow damned (sp?) the other one.

The Waipi'o Valley black sand beach:

Another view:

Some more pictures of other hikes we took and places we went:

Spencer's lifeguard stand at "his" beach.