Thursday, January 04, 2007

Aloha... and so glad to be HOME!

Our family's Christmas gift this year was a biggie -- 8 days in Hawaii! We last took a "real" vacation in 1996. It's not easy to make all the arrangements to get away from the farm, but this year is Lydia's senior year in high school, so a family vacation has become a sort of "now or never" thing. I'm so glad we decided on Now!

These photos are all from my digital camera. I also shot 7 rolls of film with my 35mm too, which I am now waiting to get back from the developer. Talk about anticipation! I'll post some of those another time if any of them turn out.

Christmas in Hawaii is a long step away from our traditions! We spent Christmas Eve in Waikiki beach and simply basked in the warm tropical breezes when we weren't body surfing in the waves. I took along a big fat book and actually found some time to read it!

This fellow was selling surfing lessons on our beach. He seemed to be doing good business too. I HAD to have a photo of him, because I will probably never see anybody like him on Christmas Eve ever again, LOL. The pigeon was just a lucky bit of good timing.

Our hotel room was nice, though small for 4 people. We all spent a lot of time on our little balcony just looking and looking. We could see a little slice of the ocean to the left, a big swath of *very* upscale shopping directly in front, and to the right was a residential area that swept up the side of a mountain. It was particularly impressive at night, when everything was lit up for the evening.

I still say the Christmas lights felt weird. I know they celebrate Christmas in Hawaii too, but it should be cold when the lights go up. I guess my world is a little small...

My favorite day was when we took a guided kayak tour. It was BIG fun, even though Jake and I capsized our kayak 3 times. We got the hang of it in the end though.

It took a little over an hour to paddle out to our first stop, the little island in the photo below. It has been set aside as a bird sanctuary, but all the birds are away this time of year. Our guide explained the geological history of the islands, and pointed out some of the things in the tide pools one wouldn't ordinarily notice, this little sea urchin for one...

Our next stop was back to another beach on Oahu for some snorkling. OH! How I WISH I had a camera capable of going in the water! I saw puffer fish, angel fish, parrot fish, clown fish, and TURTLES. I loved the turtles. No eels or sharks though. It would have been so cool to see some of those, but I didn't dare swim out too far. Isn't that water beautiful? So very different from the grey and choppy surface of the Pacific here on the coast of Oregon.

I'm throwing in one last photo for Lydia's sake. We had lunch at Planet Hollywood one day, and she was thrilled to death to see this sign on the wall and so of course I had to take her picture in front of it. My dear daughter is a HUGE fan of dinosaurs in general and the "Jurassic Park" movies in particular. (Her nickname at school is "Dino Girl", if that tells you anything, LOL!)

It's not the best photo I have ever taken, but she is very happy with it and wants a big printout for her scrapbook. Sigh... On the other hand, it's not often this easy to thrill a teenager, so I guess I should be happy!


Jacque Uetz said...

Judi, I really enjoyed reading about your vacation/ photo's. I hope the others pic's turn out..Great way to spend the holidays..I have always wanted to do something special like this for Christmas!!!

Judi W. said...

Great photos! A vacation to remember! Thanks for sharing.

Kai said...

Ooooooooh! Your trip sounds SO exciting &, at the same time, relaxing! What a beautiful Christmas with your family - & in such a beautiful place! I am looking forward to seeing the REST of your photos!!! Judi,I'm really glad you all got to have this vacation! You deserved it!