Thursday, July 30, 2015

Well Hello Paradise

It’s no secret that Dustin travels and he has traveled to and experienced many unique places. His most recent trip was to Hawaii but this time, thanks to accumulated airline miles, I was able to go too! The boys stayed with both sets of Grandparents to be indulged and spoiled and thanks to this they didn’t seem to miss us too much. In fact I’m pretty sure we missed them much more than they missed us! Dustin was scheduled to be there for two weeks and I flew out to join him making a total of ten days for us to enjoy the island. There are ton of pictures in those post, none of which I have edited, but even if I did they still don’t do the place justice!

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Our hotel was right across from the beach and so during the day while Dustin worked I enjoyed reading books straight through with no distractions. By the beach of course and just relaxing. While this was really a work trip for Dustin it was a vacation for me.


And although I enjoyed the much needed and desired alone time the real fun began once Dustin was off work when we took off to experience all the beauty Hawaii had to offer. And it was beautiful! I was told by a few they felt Hawaii was a bit overrated but after our trip I can’t say I share the same opinion. The island paradise is as gorgeous as the many others proclaim with the right combination of majestic mountains and beautiful beaches. I hope we have the opportunity to go back one day! There is so much to see there but we did get to see quite a bit.

We hiked up Diamond Head, a mountain with a curvy trail and a tunnel which you traveled to the mountain peak to take in the view of the island.


The views did not disappoint.

The real mountaintop experience though was the day we climbed up Koko Head and I mean climbed. Koko Head is a mountain that at one time had a tram car go up and down. It is no longer in use but locals and tourists can climb up the railway, 1,000 steps, to take in the tremendous view from the top.


They advise you to bring water, wear sneakers and take your time up the mountain. Dustin and I naively arrived wearing flip-flops and carrying no water bottles but we did take our time up the mountain! It was incredibly steep especially at the top where if felt as though it was completely vertical. It took us about an hour to climb up and we definitely took more than ten breaks. It was exhausting and many times we asked each other why had we decided to venture up and was the view really worth it?


It was. I don’t know this for a fact but Koko Head has to be one of the highest peaks you can access. It was certainly higher than Diamond Head and the views were more gorgeous than the last. Again, pictures do not do this place justice.


My face was all red not because of sunburn but because of the exertion of the climb but once we could breathe again we both agreed the view was worth the hike!

Another wonderful view we were able to take in was on a day we decided to drive around the island. Dustin followed the map on his phone but after some time of driving we found ourselves turning on to a dirt road. Due to a mix up at the car rental place and being told to pick whatever car he wanted we were driving around in a Jeep Wrangler. Because of this we decided to go for it and made our way down the no longer paved path.


The end result was the road was washed out further along, this we discovered after asking locals, but before we turned around we got out and walked along the volcanic rock and took in the beauty of the place.


It was breathtaking.

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I have no idea where we were but it was spectacular!

A few other things we did while there. Dustin snorkeled in Hanauma Bay, since I don’t know how to swim, I stayed on the beach and watched but he said he saw quite a few really cool fish!

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We saw pineapples growing at the Dole Plantation. And by the way, fresh pineapple is the best you have ever tasted!


I did not realize that they grew out of the bush like they did and so it was quite neat to see a real pineapple plant. While there we also acquired pearls from oysters we picked out. Dustin was in search of a black pearl and was told to pick a larger oyster, I was in search of a pink pearl and I was told to pick a smaller oyster.


Turns out they were right and we each found the pearl we were hoping for!

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One evening we dressed up and set out for a sunset dinner cruise.


We enjoyed the dinner and the sunset but most of all we enjoyed the company.

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On the day we left we drove over to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.


We also drove to Pearl Harbor. We didn’t have time to take the tour but we were able to see the USS Arizona’s floating memorial and Ford Island from a distance. You can not help but be silenced and in reverence and in awe when you visit these type of sites. Nothing brings the about the harsh reality of the sacrifice men and women have made for our freedom like being in a place where men have given their life and are buried. It is sobering and a fresh reminder to never take for granted what so many have died for.


We saw so much in Hawaii but our favorite thing we did was the Polynesian Culture Center. The Polynesian Culture Center was a place where you were able to learn about the culture and history of the island and listen as the locals shared their heritage. We didn’t take many pictures as we were taking it all in. There were culture presentations where the natives in their native attire performed their songs and dances that have been passed down from generation to generation. This was their way of ensuring their history was passed on.


The place, which was very pretty, was made up of mini versions of various islands and all of the performers were actually from the island they worked in. Many of the performers were also students from the University of Hawaii who were studying History or various other areas along that line and so they were very enthused about everything they shared.


Our evening ended with a show performed by everyone who worked at the center and was a performance of native dance and song. It was very well done and enjoyable but before we experienced that we ate at a luau.


At a luau they serve a pig which has been cooked all day in an underground pit. This particular pig was covered in green banana leaves which must be green as this meant they were full of moisture and make the meat very tender. When they uncovered the pit the leaves were brown showing that the moisture had settled into the meat. It was definitely tender and very good! While eating we watched various performances put on by the workers.


We had an awesome time experiencing everything Hawaii had to offer and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be able to go with Dustin. One day when the boys are old enough to enjoy it I hope we can all go back as a family and experience it together.


Because as wonderful as Hawaii was we were very glad to be reunited with our baby boys who we missed so very, very much!


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