A Travellerspoint blog

Coldest Morning in Hawaii Yet!

27 °C

It was 62.2* in E's room this morning!! And her room is upstairs and she had her window closed. I was a frozen icicle with my open window when I woke up! So we all wore jeans and hoodies this morning, trying not to be too cold. LOL!!!

Today I mailed my Christmas packages to the mainland... so Mom, Dad and Di, be on the lookout. They went priority mail, so if you don't see them by December 22 or so... let me know! OH, and Dad & Sylvia? Please let Grandma know that all 3 of her Christmas cards arrived here on December 13th (Tuesday)! She asked to know when they arrived. Oh, and also tell her I finally took E to get her school portrait taken, and we get to go pick up the whole package on December 20th... so her prints will be along shortly after Christmas.

Today was the kids last day of school until January 11th! No more getting up early for what seems like a long time. It's Winter Break for them, on this year-round school calendar.

Here are a few more pictures... the first two taken the afternoon that C left.

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Here's N playing with Kane:

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And lastly... my latest cross stitch project. It's a Mirabilia pattern called "Fairy Flora". It has a lot of beads on it... I don't think they come across that well in the picture, but they make it look very sparkly and 3-D.

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Posted by Brazen 18:35 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Iraq Deployment Begins

sunny 29 °C

I didn't want to look at these pictures for a day or two, but I also don't want to get behind more than I am already. I have a few Thanksgiving pictures that I never shared, too.

So we'll start there, with Thanksgiving, during which we also celebrated C's birthday. I'd never made the full meal before, and in fact never really made much of any Thanksgiving food before! So I wasn't sure how the turkey would turn out, if I could get all the food on the table with it all still being hot, without burning or forgetting anything.

It all turned out really great! I'm so glad, too! Here are a few pictures from the feast.

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The kids helped out with some of the cooking and preparations. Our table isn't big enough for any extra decorations, so E couldn't be creative with festive decorations like she gets to be at Grammy's house - we left the leaf out of our dining table here to make room for the big chest that Jack made for Chris.

After the meal was finally over, I got to go lay on the couch and rest while C and the kids cleaned up everything and put the leftovers away! Now THAT made it all worthwhile. =o)
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Two days ago, December 8, 2005 we had to drop C off to catch the bus to Iraq, so to speak. We didn't have to take him far, only on base where he works. From there they all got on busses and were driven down to the Air Force base here on the island where they caught planes out.

We started out by taking some pictures here at the house before we left....

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Those are the new cammi's, by the way, for anyone who's interested. The Army no longer wears the camoflage with the big green, black and brown splotches.

So we got over to the base around 8:45pm and we got to hang around with C in the parking lot for a couple of hours. The kids were literally begging to go home and go to bed by 11pm, so that's when we left.

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The kids and I took turn taking pictures in the parking lot.

So now we're starting Day 2 here (it's 9am for me still, right now).

Mom, you'll laugh to hear that I bought myself the latest issue of Games magazine, and I can still rock my way through it! I can't believe they're still publishing that thing! Great magazine, tho. I remember I was like 12, when I found that first issue at a campground somewhere. What a find.

I've been a cross stitching fool, too. I have 3 WIPs (Works In Progress) going, too. I will have a 4th after Christmas because I bought a pattern and special fabric for it to wrap and give to E as a present... I'll tell her I'm making it for her to have when it's finished. The design is called "Enchanted Mermaid" and it's gorgeous!!! Very shimmery and sparkly with beads and glitter thread used on it.

I'll have to put pictures of up the cross stitching's I'm doing... keep the progress going on here too.

Oh, and I had to order regular telephone service for the house too. It's digital phone service, which I'm not sure is a great thing because when the power goes out, the phone goes out. But I'll still have the cell phones too, so I guess it'll be fine. But the kids' schools won't call long distance phone numbers, so when they need me they won't call my cell... they call my neighbor. And we also heard something about C needing a local Hawaii phone number to call us at home from Iraq... I don't really understand it, but I guess they have some phone connection they call the base here, and can patch calls thru to other local numbers for free....? I don't really know, but I'm getting the phone just to be safe.

So on December 20th I will have a real phone again. And the package we get is unlimited free calling to the mainland... so I won't have to worry about using minutes and all that mess. So weird... no long distance charges AND no overages on minutes. Will be cool.

I guess that's about it. I need to wrap all the Christmas gifts that are getting mailed out to the mainland so I can send them pretty soon. I'm doing all the kids stuff while they're in school.

Alright, well... I'm outtie then. I guess I'll be using this diary as a way to keep C up-to-date on us, too. =o)

Posted by Brazen 10:54 Archived in USA Comments (2)

24-Hour Pre-Deployment Hawaiian Honeymoon

sunny 28 °C

We're back from our Waikiki get-away vacation! It was sooo nice! I made reservations for us at the Hale Koa Hotel (http://www.halekoa.com) which is a military only resort right on the beach at Waikiki. Military members get amazing rates for everything here... rooms, restaurants and shopping in the PX right on the premesis!

But before I get ahead of myself.....

We left home around 10:30am Friday morning. Our first stop was a visit to the "Punchbowl Cemetary" just above Waikiki. It is really the National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific. In ancient times the Hawaiians buried their royalty here; now it is the final resting grounds of those military members who sacrificed their lives in the Pacific.

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It is a very somber area with a lot to read and learn. You drive into this old crater and at the far end is a giant statue of Columbia holding a laurel branch. In between you and her are the graves of over 44,000 men and women. In addition to the graves there are over 28,000 names carved into marble walls. These represent those "whose earthly resting place is known only to God".

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One stone we found belongs to a Marine who had his hands on the famous flag pole being raised at Iwo Jima!

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Just after leaving the Punchbowl Cemetary, we took a 10-mile drive up Tantalus Drive and Round Top Road. It winds and switchbacks thru forest and straight up a mountain to the 1,610 foot level. You eventually come to the Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside and if you stay to the left and walk 100 yards out, you come to THIS view:

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(I am saving other sweeping view pictures for later views, as I am limited in my photo sharing space)

After all the driving and scenic viewing, we found a cross stitching store that I'd wanted to visit. Was a cute, very full little place! Very different from the spacious shops in Charleston!

Finally we headed to the hotel to check in around 2:30pm. Here's a shot of it from the beach:

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We spent time lazing beside the pool, too. We tried our first Mai Tai too, as I'd heard they were the BEST there. I took 2 sips and that was enough rum for me! C had to finish it. LOL But it's cool to have tried one, anyway.

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And this is the view from our lanai (patio/porch/balcony).

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After an afternoon of relaxing, I was anxious to get out on the beach for my first Hawaiian sunset! I took a LOT of pictures during the whole event, but these are my favorites:

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I love my camera!!!

Going to have a few of those enlarged and framed, I think. =o)

Saturday morning we went to breakfast at a beachside restaurant at the hotel. Went for a quick walk up the beach walk to the Hawaiian Hilton Hotel for this shot:

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I've been wanting to take that picture for a while, now.

Then we went to Diamond Head for some late morning hiking. It's an old crater created somewhere around 300,000 to 400,000 years ago. They charge $5 per car and the rest of the hike is free. It's 1 1/4 miles round trip, and it's mostly straight up. LOL!! You ascend 560 feet as you climb.

This is a view of it (thru the haze) from a distance.

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As you climb, there are overlook stopping points. And thank god, too! My legs needed the breaks! Taking scenic vista shots gives a great excuse to stop. =o)

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Here you can see a portion of the trail... climbing... UP!

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A lighthouse... I love this view of it - how often can you get so far above a lighthouse and shoot from that angle?

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There is the summit, finally!!! It was so fun getting there! You climb up LONG flights of steep steps, go thru tunnels, and go up thru bunkers on spiral stairways.

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The view is FABULOUS!

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As usual, I took MANY MORE PHOTOS than I can share here in this diary! I haven't updated my Yahoo Photos album lately, so I just uploaded 182 pictures to it.

To see the rest of the pictures from all of our adventures, visit the photo album at (Look in "Hawaii 4" for the newest pictures): http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bikergirl_brazen/my_photos

Posted by Brazen 10:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Ko'Olina Lagoons & Barber's Point, Hawaii

sunny

A quick note about the women's Roxy Pro surfing championship pictures... I have a LOT of them to share, but I'm almost out of photo space for the month of November, so I'm going to wait and share those in early December. I used up a lot of space putting up the men's surfing pics.

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Ko'Olina Lagoons is another piece of paradise! There are 4 lagoons down on the very southwestern tip of the island, and everywhere you look is an amazing photo opportunity!

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This is the ideal place to go for worry-free beach time. No crashing waves, no surf to knock the kids around. People with babies can go here for easy splashing around. It's a very gradual increase in the depth of the water.... no sudden drop offs.

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They are man-made lagoons and have surf-breaks that buffer all the power of the ocean. It's surrounded by magnificent resort hotels and a golf course. And entrance to the lagoons is free!

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Isn't that beautiful!?

We also went to Barber's Point yesterday. I had expected a more family-friendly beach here, but it was actually a solid, rocky shoreline. We have to wear shoes to walk along it.

But it was worthwhile in two respects: I can say I've been there now, in my mission to visit every place, beach and sight on the whole island... and there's a lighthouse there!

I don't know what the name of the lighthouse is, as it's unlabeled in my map book... so I'll just call it the Barber's Point Lighthouse. =o)

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The boys...
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Posted by Brazen 14:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing!

sunny 30 °C

Days like today were what I'd dreamed of before moving to Hawaii. The kids were at school, C was at work, and it was Day 2 of the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition!

Being from Michigan and other non-surfing states, I had no idea how one of these events worked. It was amazingly well run and organized considering how many surfers there were to get thru.

So... on with the event report!

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a 3-part surfing event that runs from November 12 to nearly Christmas time. The 3 jewels of the crown are won at each of the 3 events: The OP Hawaii Pro, the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing and the grand finale event, Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters! Each of the events last roughly 2 weeks or so... just depends on how the waves behave whether or not they surf on any given day.

So event #1: The OP Hawaii Pro began officially on November 12th, but they didn't start the surfing until yesterday because the waves were non-existant. Today they were at 10-12 feet! The water temperature was 79* and the air temp was 86*.

I parked on the street just a ways from the beach, and as I was walking in, this was my first great view!
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I took a lot of pictures of the signs and painted murals because I think they're so cool!
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The crowd was really not bad! Hard to estimate how many people were there because we were free to sit anywhere we wanted, or wander freely as things were happening. Somewhere around 100 I'd guess while I was there... maybe 150.

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Sitting on beach level doesn't give the greatest views... so all of the announcers, tv cameras, etc sit up in elevated tents! There were 6 or 7 of these across the beach, set up for different reasons. Vendors selling event shirts and posters, surfers area, announcers, etc. Here's one:
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Ok, so they have 4 guys out surfing at one time... called a heat. Each guy wore a white, yellow, blue or red rash guard shirt, and during the competition they were largely referred to as the red surfer or the blue surfer. Each heat lasted something like 20 or 30 minutes. One heat would end with the sounding of a horn, and 10 seconds later, they'd sound the horn again signifying the start of the next heat.

Here's a picture of one set of guys paddling out in preparation for their heat:

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I happened to be sitting where they did interviews after each heat was over, so I took pictures of several of the guys, tho I have no idea who they are. Well... one is Jamie O'Brien who is the reigning champion. He won his heat today, too. LOL

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And now... finally for the action shots! My new camera (well the one I bought last Spring!) did pretty great for this sort of thing! The distance was pretty considerable... the big waves were far out and I was sitting a good way up the beach!

The best pictures would be taken from in the water, out where they are, but since I'm not allowed anywhere near there.... I had to settle from working from the beach. And I was straight in front of them, not off to an angle, so you can't see the big barrel, tube-like waves, like you can in a magazine.

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Whew!!! If it gives you any idea of how many pictures I took today.... I stayed until the batteries in my camera died. =o) I am sharing 38 pics here. I haven't been posting much, so I have the space.

There were surfers from all over the world: Spain, Brazil, Australia and local boys from Hawaii! The whole thing was really great, and it's so close to our house! Only about 5 miles away! And what's maybe the best is that it's all free! Free parking, free entry in, and they gave away free souveineers: posters, a nice program and Vans stickers.

I will go back tomorrow in hopes of seeing some of the Women's Roxy Pro competition.

Here are a couple of scenic shots I thought were really beautiful:

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I just LOVE crashing wave pictures!

Posted by Brazen 18:25 Archived in USA Comments (3)

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