The 2013 Grand Feature Parade at The Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins, WV.
Our plane was supposed to leave at 10 pm but it was delayed in Los Angeles, we didn’t leave Honolulu airport until 3 am, but that was ok because they fixed the plane and we got to Las Vegas safely. Because of the delays we wound up hopscotching our way home, in Vegas we had a long layover so we tried to catch some Zzz’s. Then it was,
Say goodbye to “The Burque” (as my relatives that live there call it).
Hello / Goodbye El Paso.
After 22 hours in airports and on planes, I am home and I still miss Maui.
The day after I got home, I found this video online and it had a great way of describing my emotions. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey and here’s to all of us finding our forever! ❤
Aloha Kakahiaka or Good Morning, I was learning because the Surfrider changes out the elevator mats according to time of day! 😉
This was our breakfast view from The Veranda, looks pretty quiet.
It was but we surfed it anyway and then played at the beach in front of the hotel.
Sooo…. you go down this trail and come out…
here… WHOA! Waimea Bay!
These dudes were worried about the “Lil’ Brah” going in.
YES!!! … Oh! Maybe not…
They to see when the wave is coming in and then the juuuuump…
You have to love girl power!
It works better with out the shirt … lol!
A quiet day at Waimea.
Back up the trail and the view from mid-way up the trail.
The view from the top.
Waimea from the car…
on the way to Sunset Beach.
We enjoyed a great dinner at Duke’s Waikiki…
said Aloha to Diamondhead and The Moana Surfrider and headed to the airport.
Good Morning Diamondhead!
Not nearly as big as Lahaina’s Banyan Tree but still impressive!
Across from the Surfrider is the International Marketplace, both it and Waikiki Town Center are built on land that was owned by Queen Emma Kaleleonalani, a humanitarian beloved by her people. She joined her husband King Kamehameha IV in a personal crusade to stem the decline of native Hawaiians.
Today, we are headed out to the North Shore, Baby!
This is called, “A Lesson in Patience”.
After spending a few hours there we went over to Ehukai Beach Park, aka the one… the only… the very quiet 😉 Bonzai Pipeline!
Learned a new word on this trip… Vog!
While not a whole lot of respiratory fun, the vog does make for some very cool pictures.
Driving back in five o’clock traffic I can’t help but think, this is a pretty sweet view if you’re stuck in traffic.
Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu, these are a must for me… heeheehee! I can’t wait to go check out the new one in Waikiki!
I bow down to the gods of surf!
The view from our room at night.
I hope y’all didn’t think we were done! We just got married there is a honeymoon to be had! 😉
It broke my heart to leave Maui.
It was hard to believe we were leaving.
Out of the places I have traveled, only Maui had made me want to leave Texas.
Aloha Maui ❤
Hey, I’ve been here before, only for an hour or so on the way to Maui.
Since it was out Honeymoon I spent more than I would normally spend on a hotel. I wanted to stay somewhere that had history, it was a toss-up between The Royal Hawaiian Princess of the Westin Moana Surfrider and The First Lady of Waikiki won.
When I reserved the room the online questionnaire asked if there was anything special about our visit. I indicated we had never been to O’ahu and that we were going to stay there for our honey moon. The front desk asked us to wait for a few minutes while they finished with our suite, I replied that I didn’t think I’d booked a suite and they said they had upgraded us! WOOHOO! The Bell Captain came forward and said he wanted to take us to our room, when we got into the elevator he pushed the button with the PH on it! They upgraded us to The Nalu Suite 2109, he explained that the only other one like it, is the one the owner stays in right next to it! I don’t normally post pictures of the interior of a hotel room but THIS was off the hook!
Our living area.
The from our living room windows.
They aren’t kidding when they call it a Westin Heavenly Bed! I’ve never slept so good.
I could see the Royal Hawaiian Princess looking down from the Lanai.
THIS magnificent view was straight off the front of our Lanai.
Have I mentioned I love Hawaii?
We spent a good portion of the day on in The Banyan Court…
and lovin’ Waikiki!
My maternal grandparents eloped, my parents eloped too; I have always been adamant that I would not get married in a courthouse, my fear was if I did, my daughter (should I have one), would elope as well. I did not break the cycle but I would not have wanted to be married any other way. ❤
This is The Old Lahaina Courthouse, isn’t it cute? It was built-in 1859, during the reign of Kamehameha the VI.
I did not get married there!!! I worked with a wedding coordinator online, we decided we were going to get married in South Maui; however, the previous weekend at the Hyatt there were weddings everywhere: the Great Lawn, the waterfall, the gazebo and the beach. Jack and I began to ask the locals if we should move our ceremony to West Maui, everyone responded the same way, they asked where we currently were going to be married and then they all recommended we stay with our original location. It was probably an hour drive to get there but when you live in Texas an hour drive is next door, so that wasn’t a problem; when it got scary, was when the road dropped down to one lane and the edge of the road was on my side. Passing oncoming traffic was very precarious. We pulled up to a wall, that is overgrown with vegetation and my initial thought was, “Uh-oh, what did I do?”; then I walked through the opening and knew THIS was where we were meant to be married! We were Maui’d in Makena Cove (Secret Beach), in a traditional Hawaiian Ceremony by Rev. Alalani Hill.
We dined at Sonz at the Hyatt Regency Ka’anapali after the ceremony, yes, that’s where we were staying but I did look into several places and it was highly recommended. It was an excellent choice, the wait staff was amazing, because it was not busy they really went out of their way to make everything very special.
You did catch that I said we eloped, right? Five years ago today smart phones were not as popular as they are now and I personally did not buy my first iPhone until the month after we got back. So these are the pictures that our family and friends back home woke up to in their email in boxes.
I must say we do have really great senses of humor but I was surprised at how many people thought we were kidding, so what if we had already been together for thirteen years and engaged for eight! I always said I wanted a long engagement. 😀
This is the picture that went out with the formal announcement when we got home.
❤At this point I would like to thank Sheree Giegling, she made it all happen and is by far an excellent wedding coordinator. I contacted her two weeks before the date and she managed everything so that we had a perfect day, she even managed to pull off getting the “mainland” flowers I wanted for my bouquet. 😉 The day before the wedding she called and asked what I was doing, when I replied, “I am about to snorkel off the coast of Lana’i”, she cracked up laughing and said I was the calmest bride she ever worked with. I had complete faith in her and for good reason too, it was the perfect day.
❤I would also like to thank Rev. Alalani Hill for falling in love with us, the way we did with her; we will always treasure your words and you have truly touched our soul.
❤Last but not least, to the woman who stopped us in the hallway of the Hyatt, asked if we were getting married, if my Mom was there and when I replied that she was not said, “Well come here and give me a hug! You need a hug from a Mom on your wedding day!” When I told my mother she wept tears of happiness, said your actions meant the world to her and because of how much they meant should she ever get the opportunity to she will do the same. Thank you!
After a fun-filled day in the sun we a wonderful sunset dinner on Front Street in Lahaina at The Feast at Lele. Lele is the ancient name for Lahaina; the Maui Royal Family would entertain and feast at this same beach, which has a spectacular sunset view.
The Feast at Lele features dancers, music and traditional dishes of four of the cultures of the Polynesian Triangle. Many people advised us to go hungry because it is a great deal of food and they were right it is a great deal of DELICIOUS food. As appetizers we were served: Banana, Taro and Sweet Potato Chips with a Tropical Ginger and Ogo Seaweed Salsa.
Our first course was from Hawaii; with Imu Roasted Kalua Pig, Pohole Ferns and Heart of Palm salad, Fresh Island Fish with Mango Sauce and Poi.
From Aotearoa (New Zealand) our second course was Sea Bean Duck Salad with Poha Berry Dressing, Kuku Patties, Maori Fishcake with Mussels, Salmon and Scallops, Harore Kumara, Roasted Mushrooms, Sweet Potato and Garlic.
Our third course was from Tahiti; it was Fafa Steamed Chicken and Taro Leaf in Coconut Milk, E-iaota, Poissen Cru Scallops on the Shell and Baked Scallops.
From Samoa our fourth course was Supasui, Grilled Steak Palusami, Breadfruit with Taro Leaf and Coconut Cream, Shrimp and Avocado with Lilikoi.
Our FIFTH and final course, DESSERTS 😀 Caramel Macadamia Nut Tart topped with Fruited Coconut Pudding (Haupia) and Hawaiian Chocolate Truffles.
One of the beautiful dancers posed for a photo with Jack on our way out.
When I got back to the resort that night I was amused by the collection of our leis, today was an AMAZING day but I happen to know that tomorrow will be one of the best days of my life.
Today will actually contain two posts, this is because it was a very busy day with a whole lot of fun packed in. 🙂
As we headed out, I saw this and thought does this give new meaning to the term house boat?
It was an early windy morning in Ma’alaea and we are going snorkeling at Molokini Crater and off the coast of Lana’i with the Pacific Whale Foundation.
As we leave Mala’aea I can see both West Maui and South Maui growing smaller.
Kaho’olawe was established in the 1830’s as a penal colony by Kamehamahea I, after the “Great Mahele” ranchers allowed sheep and goats to consume all the vegetation; an effort was made to bring back the vegetation until the attack on Pearl Harbor, after which it was designated for target practice by the government. It was not until 1990 that it was returned to Hawai’i, after such long-term contamination it was declared unsafe and uninhabitable; at this time preservationists are working diligently to remove anything that has not exploded, re-vegetate and rejuvenate the land.
We have arrived at Molokini Crater, this popular dive and snorkel spot is a crescent-shaped partially submerged volcanic crater.
♪♫Up on the shore they work all day,
Out in the sun they slave away,
While we devotin’,
Full time to floatin’,
Under the Sea♪♫
La Perouse Bay is visible as we leave Molokini.
Sweetheart Rock, legend has is that a Princess from Maui was captured by a Warrior from Lana’i, she was so beautiful he did not want other men to see her so he hid her in a sea cave close to the rock. One day a storm came, although he rushed back to the cave, she drowned. Brokenhearted he climbed the rock, buried her and leapt to his death. (This is a legend, so please don’t try to climb the rock!)
This rock formation marks a well-known dive spot off Lana’i, our tour guide said if you are in the “know” you would recognize the rock; I wonder if she means First Cathedral? 😉
This is a large resort off the coast of Lana’i and the area we snorkel in.
It’s funny how the pali don’t really look that high from far away but when you get up close you realize they are monstrous.
Look some friends (Spinner Dolphins) came out to escort us back to Maui.
West Maui Mountains
Our Captain must have been Ishmael, his crew thought he was crazy when he turned off the engines because he saw whale-sign in the water. I’m glad he did because if not I would not have gotten this very cool shot of a baby whale breaching.
Today we go to Lahaina Town, I read that their Banyan Tree is one of the oldest in the United States but nothing prepared me for how big this tree is. It is an Indian Banyan that was planted in 1873 by Sheriff William Owen Smith, it takes up most of the block.
What a wonderful way to browse the local artist’s wares than under the shade of a huge tree. Jack is getting restless and wants to go surfing. 😉
This sign made me smile and giggle.
The next two photos were taken by Ric Larsen, who while talking to us, told us to keep and eye out for his son’s Westley and Granger who at the time were up and coming surfers. 😉
This is Gene our Royal Hawaiian Surf Guide knocking off… I think.
THIS was going on in the background while we were surfing, that tail slap usually means, going to be under for a long time.
I always visit the Hard Rock Cafe’s when I travel, I love to check out the memorabilia, I must agree the Lahaina Hard Rock is Mai Tai Kool!
This Houli!!! HAha! 😀 Jack and King Kamehameha I
Kamehameha I, a warrior chief became “Lord Over the Hawaiian Islands”, after his victory at the battle of Nu’uanu in O’ahu. After his death his remains were secreted to a place unknown and his mana (life force) continues to watch over Hawai’i.
Not a whole lot to say except, “Le Sigh”.
There really is no better way to spend an afternoon than under palm fronds…
in a hammock.
Heaven, I’m in heaven ♪ ♫
This was the amazing view we had while we ate breakfast!
Since we had already set up some activities for the next couple of days, we decided to do what you do on vacation, relax and roam around the resort. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Ka’anapali, which is definitely a fun place to stay. I got much more of a kick out of this cool swinging bridge that goes over the pool, than Jack did… heeheehee!
There were so many beautiful pieces of art everywhere, since the resort is quite large and there are so many pieces; it’s a wonderful museum to wander at your leisure. Oh look! It is me! 😉
We decided a beach stroll, sounded perfect.
I fell in love with this little HonuDragon.
Black Rock Ka’anapali
Outside of Whaler’s Village, wondering which way the wind blows.
This really is paradise!
We found all sorts of treasures while exploring the Hyatt.
This beautiful woman was how I knew which hall led to our room.
Does anyone ever get tired of these sunsets?!?
Well, I’ve never really been a morning person, always much more of a night owl but when there is a FIVE hour time difference; it is surprisingly easy to wake at daybreak.
I love the beach so the first thing I did was run out to the water.
Look it is a relative of my little buddies back home but this lil’ dude is a bit bigger than the Texas Ghost Crabs. No, I did not try to touch him.
I am sitting on a palm stump right in front of our room, ours is the third lanai back on the ground level.
When I see this picture looking out over Lana’i, I can still feel the crispness of that morning’s breeze.
As much as I didn’t want to tear myself away, there were errands to be run. While we were in a small business park, I noticed there was a board shaper in one of the bays, I stuck my head in explained I was from Texas and had only seen this done in videos. Sooo… Bob “Ole” Olson, showed us around and even showed off some of his most coveted pieces.
After that we were headed to Kehei, so as we drove along Honoapiilani Highway Molokini Crater was visible.
Whoa! Hey! I thought this was a dormant volcano… nah, it’s just the smoke from the burning of sugarcane fields.
Ok, so I really am bummed that this picture came out blurry but it was taken out of the window of a moving vehicle. Why, a mall sign you’re asking? In hispanic culture there is the “Cucuy”, a boogie man of sorts that children are teased about. For example, if you misbehave the Cucuy will get you. Kukui (a nut) and Cucuy are pronounced the same, so when we passed this I was amused to think the Cucuy has his own mall and theaters.
You can barely see the wind turbines on the ridge as we head back to West Maui.
The bird on the right was dreadfully ashamed of the raucous behavior of its mate on the left.
So did I mention our resort had birds?
He’s looking at you thinking, “Yes, we are birds!”
As I admired the setting sun, I found myself enchanted by the constant sound of the wind in the palms.
Five years ago today I woke up before the sun in San Antonio, Texas and was on the tarmac by the time it was rising. Our plane accelerated, the front wheel left the ground, then it came back down and they turned around! I thought, “I’d BETTER NOT die before I get there!” Thirty minutes later we were airborne…
When the sun had been up for a while I look out my window and what should I see but The Grand Canyon.
Hello Las Vegas
Goodbye Las Vegas
I have wanted to visit this place since the sixth grade!
Aloha Maui! ❤❤❤
Lei’d as soon as we got to the resort.
The view of the setting sun from our Lanai
I have long felt like I have been neglecting this blog, it is much more to me than simply Short Sweet Sundays and iPhone Fridays. So I’m going to commit to doing something I have wanted to do for a few years now. I am going to take you on an adventure with me, starting tomorrow we will relive my life from five years ago until the 17th of May. In doing so we will visit a place I’d actually hoped to be at during this time; but more importantly, this adventure will allow me to share with you where the inspiration for this blog came from. I don’t want to say too much more because what’s a little adventure with out mystery? 😉
Snoozing under a Cypress
In 1983 the San Antonio City Council ordained that the original name of “Japanese Tea Garden” be restored to the site.
In consideration of the number of Japanese-Americans who fought honorably on the side of the United States during World War II.
The Japanese Tea Garden is a beloved San Antonio place, for nearly a century it has been an oasis for visitors from around the world.
Described by “Architectural Record” as, “A remarkable adaptation of design to existing conditions”, the garden is a registered Texas Historic Landmark and listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
The Japanese Tea Garden’s timeless beauty will continue to enchant visitors for generations.
*The above picture was taken as an homage to my Mom who brought me here in the mid-eighties to photograph the garden, a similar picture taken by her hangs in the hallway of my house. The following shot is my favorite of this series, my husband helped me climb to a spot where I was able to shoot the garden from overhead and catch the San Antonio Skyline in the distance.
The Jingu family remained in the home until shortly after the December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor Incident.
The resulting general fear and resentment by the American public caused the Jingu family to be removed from the garden and its name was changed to “Chinese Tea Garden”.
It was at this time that the Chinese-style entry was added bearing the inscription “Chinese Tea Garden”, this oriental-design, cement sculpted entry was purportedly designed by Maximo Cortez and constructed by Dionico Rodriguez.
Mr. Rodriguez was a Mexican National who is credited with a number of cement structures in San Antonio.
He kept his techniques secret, working always in a tent using tools he made on site, from tin, wood, et cetera; his process consisted of a metal rod base on which he developed three-dimensional designs with layers of especially prepared cement.
He did not divulge either his process of cement sculpture or his process of coloring the cement layers.
He spoke no English and a few co-workers learned by observation only, he is credited with having created various other sculptures throughout the United States in addition to those in the San Antonio area.
Normally I am the writer of what is posted with my pictures but sometime someone else has said it best. For this series of posts what is written is actually what is posted on the plaques outside of the San Antonio Japanese Tea Gardens affectionately known to locals as Sunken Gardens.
The idea of a Japanese Tea Garden was conceived by city parks commissioner Ray Lambert in the early 1900’s in an effort to beautify the rock quarries which had earlier been abandoned by the San Antonio Portland cement company.
Artist Jingu had recently arrived in San Antonio with his family, had been employed by the US Army and was selling his watercolor paintings part-time at a shop in downtown San Antonio.The Japanese Tea Garden was completed and christened in 1919, having been constructed with prison labor and both corporate and both corporate and individual donations. Commissioner Lambert had given particular effort to achieving true Japanese design and had imported numerous plants from gardens existing in Japan.
A house was constructed on the site using rocks from the old quarry and the Jingu family was moved into the house to act as overseers for the facility.In 1926 the Jingus opened a tea house in the upper level of their home. Before his death in 1936, Mr Jingu had become nationally recognized for his knowledge of teas.
Enjoying the Sunrise =)
Howdy and welcome back as we finish out our Rio San Antonio boat cruise on the Riverwalk. The is the Westin Riverwalk and while it is one of the newer hotels on the Riverwalk it blends right in because the historical society provides guidelines that new construction must adhere to, in order to maintain the ambiance of the river. This hotel has a pool on a third floor balcony that looks out over the river, you are able to see the edge of the balcony jutting out just pass the trees lite in gold.
As we cruise along the river you can see the Bexar County Courthouse, it is the largest and oldest continuously operated historic courthouse in Texas. Made of native Texan granite and red sandstone, it is of the Romanesque Revival style.
Mixing the old with the new, throughout several places in San Antonio, there are various reminders of the history of San Antonio, I liked the way this bust was lite by the new LED river lights.
I had never noticed this tunnel before but I enjoyed how vibrantly the red tile was reflecting the light. The floor must be red tile as well because I noticed that it appears that the woman is floating.
Much of the Riverwalk was built during the work projects and there are still many places where you can see the prevalent Deco styling of that era.
The big tree in the forefront of the picture that is lite in green is the oldest tree on the Riverwalk, the light around it was actually changing colors but I happened to catch it while it was green.
As I was leaving the Riverwalk I turned to take a picture from one of the stairwells, to give you a sense of what it is like to ascend or descend to the river; although there are many people it is easy to stand or sit and take in the beauty of the river.
This last shot was taken from one of the street level bridges, living here it is easy to forget how incredible some of these views are and looking at this makes me grateful to live in a city that cares so much about aesthetic value.
I hope you enjoyed our holiday cruise as much as I did and soon I hope to post more shots of some of our beautiful city.
Welcome back to our boat tour of the San Antonio Riverwalk. Christmas is always one of my favorite times of year because I like all things sparkly and shiny, so I loved the way the Riverwalk looked and as a San Antonio native it is always awesome to hear the “OOO”‘s and “Ah”‘s of the tourists visiting our beautiful city. The Riverwalk while always alluring is simply magical during it’s Christmas transformation.
Coming underneath yet another bridge we can see the restaurant Casa Rio, while I have not had dinner there it has long been a resident of the Riverwalk and what a gorgeous view to have while you are eating; needless to say I have added dinner there during the next holiday season to my to-do list.
Here we are approaching the bend before the Arneson River Theater which can also be entered from historic La Villita.
This picture gives you a sense of how many trees they have put lights on, there are some turns on the River where it looks like a lite forest.
In some ways it reminds of a the Sugarplum Fairies as I think they would probably live in a place that looked magical like this.
The Tower Life building which opened in 1929 is both a landmark and historic building in Downtown San Antonio, it can be seen from many places in the city and is the only San Antonio building to boast gargoyles on the corners of its sides which makes it a favorite of mine.
Here we are almost upon one of the street level bridges, I am always in awe of how tall the trees are above street level.
As we pass under the Navarro Street bridge one can see the height of these trees, while they are rooted on the walkways of the Riverwalk these giants climb high enough into the air that their beauty can be appreciated even while driving or walking through downtown San Antonio.
On Friday I will post the final shots from this journey, I hope that you will join me one last time on this holiday cruise.