Hola & Aloha

Posts tagged “vacation

The Barwalk

Have you seen the movie Giant? If so, you might recognize this painting. 😉
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From the Menger we went to a bar named Moses Rose’s, after the only man who chose to leave the besieged Alamo and on our way there we passed the Emily Morgan another historic hotel named after a figure critical to the Texas Revolution.
From there we headed to the Buckhorn Saloon which was established by 17 year old Albert Friedrich in 1881.
We ended our tour at a well known downtown establishment that holds a special place in my heart because my parents went on a date here. 😉
I always learn something new from Emzy, having someone who cares deeply about the city show off and discuss the history of some of its oldest gems, is truly an enchanting experience; I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone interested in learning more about the city, tourist or native. (As I mentioned previously you can find more information on booking a tour at http://www.sabarwlk.com.) On the way back to our car we passed by the Alamo again and another beautiful building downtown the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse into some of the beauty that is San Antonio.
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Country roads, take me home…

I can almost taste the funnel cakes, corndogs and cotton candy… Mmm…
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Country roads, take me home…

The 2013 Grand Feature Parade at The Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins, WV.


























Five Years Ago Today ❤

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.
Breakfast view May 16th ❤
It was but we surfed it anyway and then played at the beach in front of the hotel.
WaterCam May 16th ❤
Sooo…. you go down this trail and come out…
Down the trail May 16th ❤
here… WHOA! Waimea Bay!
Whoa! May 16th ❤
These dudes were worried about the “Lil’ Brah” going in.
Lil' Brah May 16th ❤Body Surfin' May 16th ❤
YES!!! … Oh! Maybe not…
Yes! May 16th ❤Maybe not May 16th ❤
They to see when the wave is coming in and then the juuuuump…
Checking it out May 16th ❤Going for it May 16th ❤Wave watcher May 16th ❤Splash May 16th ❤
You have to love girl power!
Girl Power May 16th ❤Nice! May 16th ❤Skimboarding May 16th ❤
It works better with out the shirt … lol!
Again May 16th ❤
A quiet day at Waimea.
Wave mouth May 16th ❤Crash May 16th ❤
Back up the trail and the view from mid-way up the trail.
Up trail May 16th ❤Trial view May 16th ❤
The view from the top.
Rock line May 16th ❤
Waimea from the car…
Waimea  Bay May 16th ❤
on the way to Sunset Beach.
Sunset Beach May 16th ❤
Proper May 16th ❤Aloha May 16th ❤
We enjoyed a great dinner at Duke’s Waikiki…
Duke's May 16th ❤May 16th ❤
said Aloha to Diamondhead and The Moana Surfrider and headed to the airport.
Aloha Diamondhead May 16th ❤

Five Years Ago Today ❤

Good Morning Diamondhead!
Diamondhead May 15th ❤
Not nearly as big as Lahaina’s Banyan Tree but still impressive!
Banyan Tree May 15th ❤
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.
Intl Marketplace May 15th ❤
Today, we are headed out to the North Shore, Baby!
North Shore May 15th ❤Hale'iwa May 15th ❤
This is called, “A Lesson in Patience”.
Patience May 15th ❤
After spending a few hours there we went over to Ehukai Beach Park, aka the one… the only… the very quiet 😉 Bonzai Pipeline!
Ehukai Beach Park May 15th ❤Quiet May 15th ❤
Pipe May 15th ❤
The Blues May 15th ❤
Bonzai Pipeline May 15th ❤RIP Ronnie Burns May 15th ❤
Learned a new word on this trip… Vog!
The Vog May 15th ❤
While not a whole lot of respiratory fun, the vog does make for some very cool pictures.
Mountains in the Vog May 15th ❤
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.
Commute May 15th ❤
Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu, these are a must for me… heeheehee! I can’t wait to go check out the new one in Waikiki!
HRC Honolulu May 15th ❤
I bow down to the gods of surf!
Pray for Surf May 15th ❤
The view from our room at night.
Nite Y'all May 15th ❤

Five Years Ago Today ❤

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.
Noooo... May 14th ❤
It was hard to believe we were leaving.
Leaving Maui May 14th ❤
Out of the places I have traveled, only Maui had made me want to leave Texas.
Don't want to May 14th ❤
Aloha Maui ❤
Aloha Maui May 14th ❤
Hey, I’ve been here before, only for an hour or so on the way to Maui.
Aloha O’ahu!
O'ahu May 14th ❤
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.
Surfrider May 14th ❤
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.
Nalu May 14th ❤
The from our living room windows.
Lanai View May 14th ❤Cont Lani View May 14th ❤
They aren’t kidding when they call it a Westin Heavenly Bed! I’ve never slept so good.
Bedroom May 14th ❤
The Lanai.
Peering out May 14th ❤Relaxation May 14th ❤
I could see the Royal Hawaiian Princess looking down from the Lanai.
Royal Hawaiian Princess May 14th ❤
THIS magnificent view was straight off the front of our Lanai.
Waikiki May 14th ❤
Have I mentioned I love Hawaii?
Chocolate May 14th ❤
We spent a good portion of the day on in The Banyan Court…
Banyan Court May 14th ❤
and lovin’ Waikiki!
Diamond Head May 14th ❤

Five Years Ago Today ❤

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.
Old Lahaina Courthouse May 13th ❤
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.
Makena Cove May 13th ❤
Secret Beach May 13th ❤
May 13th ❤
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.
Sonz May 13th ❤
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.
Surprise May 13th ❤Email May 13th ❤
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.
Announcement May 13th ❤
❤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!
Just Maui'd May 13th ❤

Five Years Ago Today ❤

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.
Feast at Lele May 12th ❤
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.
Hawaiian Dancers May 12th ❤
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.
Hawaiian Dancer May 12th ❤Rythm 12th ❤
Sunset dancers May 12th ❤
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.
Still dancing May 12th ❤Sunset Luau May 12th ❤
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.
Tahitian dancer May 12th ❤Selena? May 12th ❤
Tahiti May 12th ❤
From Samoa our fourth course was Supasui, Grilled Steak Palusami, Breadfruit with Taro Leaf and Coconut Cream, Shrimp and Avocado with Lilikoi.
Samoan dancers May 12th ❤
Our FIFTH and final course, DESSERTS 😀 Caramel Macadamia Nut Tart topped with Fruited Coconut Pudding (Haupia) and Hawaiian Chocolate Truffles.
Fire dancer May 12th ❤
Fire May 12th ❤Fire dude May 12th ❤
Fire circles May 12th ❤Gettin' hot May 12th ❤
One of the beautiful dancers posed for a photo with Jack on our way out.
Leaving the luau May 12th ❤
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.
Lei's May 12th ❤

Five Years Ago Today ❤

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?
Houseboat? May 12th ❤
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.
Ma'alaea May 12th ❤
As we leave Mala’aea I can see both West Maui and South Maui growing smaller.
Leaving Ma'alaea May 12th ❤South Maui May 12th ❤
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.
Kaho'olawe May 12th ❤
We have arrived at Molokini Crater, this popular dive and snorkel spot is a crescent-shaped partially submerged volcanic crater.
Molokini Crater May 12th ❤
♪♫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♪♫
Darling it's better, down where it's wetter... May 12th ❤
La Perouse Bay is visible as we leave Molokini.
La Perouse Bay May 12th ❤Leaving Molokini May 12th ❤
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!)
Sweetheart Rock Lana'i May 12th ❤
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? 😉
Secret Dive Spot May 12th ❤
This is a large resort off the coast of Lana’i and the area we snorkel in.
Lana'i resort May 12th ❤Snorkeling Lana'i May 12th ❤
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.
Far Pali May 12th ❤Close Pali May 12th ❤
Look some friends (Spinner Dolphins) came out to escort us back to Maui.
New dudes May 12th ❤
Our entourage May 12th ❤Flipper May 12th ❤
Swimmie May 12th ❤Day job May 12th ❤
Fun fun fun May 12th ❤
West Maui Mountains
West Maui May 12th ❤
Distance May 12th ❤
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.
Baby whale May 12th ❤

Short Sweet Sunday

Enjoying the Sunrise =)

Riverwalk at Christmas III

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.
Christmas Courthouse
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.
San Antonio Culture
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.
Tunnel of Love
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.
Oldest Tree
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.
Street View
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.
Bridge View
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.

Riverwalk at Christmas II

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.
Magical Night
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.
Casa Rio
Here we are approaching the bend before the Arneson River Theater which can also be entered from historic La Villita.
Almost to the Arneson
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.
Lit 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.
Sugarplum Alley
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.
Above the Treetops
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.
Navarro St.
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.

Riverwalk at Christmas I

It has been quite a while since my last post and this post comes late, these pictures were taken at Christmastime and the reason it has taken me so long to post them is that I have returned to school and have been swamped with homework. However, over the course of Spring Break I took the time to edit these pictures so that I could post them. I hope you enjoy the magical beauty of the San Antonio Riverwalk during the holiday season; on our Rio San Antonio Cruise.
We began by the bridge that many tourists ask about, if they’ve seen the Selena movie; this is the one that Jennifer Lopez sat on and was kissed by the actor who was playing Chris Perez.
Selena's Bridge
There are actually a few of these bridges on the Riverwalk and this is the second one we passed. This is the first year that the city converted to LED lights and while I do miss the old lights, the reflections that the new lights cast on the water are amazing.
Second Bridge
One of the great things about the Riverwalk is that there is no shortage of eating establishments, they have something for everyone’s palate and you can enjoy the beauty of the season while sitting riverside while you dine.
River Dining
The building on the left is the Hilton Palacio del Rio, it was built for the Hemisphere World’s Fair in 1968 and is a modular building; meaning that each room was built and furnished independently and they were all helicoptered into form the building.
Palacio del Rio
The Marriott Riverwalk although a much newer building is just as impressive as it looms over the River and can be seen from several vantage point.
Marriot Riverwalk
This mosaic has been a part of the Riverwalk longer than I have been alive but has been named for Lila Cockrell, one of the city’s longest standing and most beloved Mayors.
Lila Cockrell Theatre
Most of the trees that are lite and line the river are Bald Cyprus and they are huge, climbing incredibly high into the air.
Bald Cyprus
The last picture of this post is of the Marriott again, I loved they way the lite the outside of the building creating blocks of color.
Color Blocks
Join me again later this week for more shots of our Winter Wonderland.