Category Archives: Travels and Adventures

Places I’ve gone, people I’ve seen, things I’ve done.

Washington

Vacation time again …

This time to the pacific northwest … Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula.

We spent the first night in the holiday Inn near the airport … We were going to get in a little late and didn’t want to mess with getting the car an finding parking. Just as well too, ad our flight was delayed by two hours. We arrived at the motel around 1am.

The next morning we picked up the car (a nice ford escape, non hybrid) and headed to our first stop in Port Angeles … Colette’s Bed & Breakfast. Continue reading

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Bad Travel Karma

It seems that I’ve got really bad travel karma (see Mauipocolypse and Mauipocolypse 2.0) .

I’m currently sitting at the gate in Orlando airport because my original flight (scheduled for 7:15am) was canceled due to weather in Chicago.   The worst part was the fact I had to wake up at 3:30am for the airport shuttle bus.

After they announced that the flight was canceled, they sent everyone back to get their luggage and then to the ticket counter to get re-booked.

So I got rebooked for a later flight … with a connection through DFW.

Luckily, when I told Ginny about my flight change … she was able to find an earlier direct flight, so I’ll be home in the early afternoon.

Hopefully the weather in Chicago clears up and this flight doesn’t have problems.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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Mauipocolypse 2.0

Ha! I’ll bet you thought the Mauipocolypse odyssey was over?

Not by a long shot!

I’m sure you all heard about the tsunami that hit Hawaii.

Well, this threw the entire air traffic transportation system for a loop … at least in relation to travel to & from the islands.
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Tsunami

Well this is a fine capper for the vacation … at 6am this morning we were woken up to the sound of the Tsunami alert siren.

The earth quake in Chile caused a tsunami wave that’s going to hit the Hawiian islands. Current estimates are that a 6′ to 8′ wave will be here around 11am local time.

We’re currently camped out at the Kiehi Luthern Church parking lot, well away from the shore. Lots of people with the same idea too.

Hopefully our flight won’t be delayed. But, just in case, I’m glad we brought extra supplies.

Kind of blows our original plans for the day … We were going to head to the up country and Halleakela national park, before going to the airport. Looks like were staying put for the time being.

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Honua

Wailea Marriott LuauNo trip to Hawaii would be complete without a Luau … and this trip is no different.

Ginny and I went to see the Wailea Marriott’s Luau titled Honua’ula.

We’ve been to a number of luau’s in the past … some good, some not so good.

We’ve actually been to this Luau in the past … and it’s totally different than before.   Much better and, in my opinion, one of the best we’ve been to.

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Slack Key Guitar

We went to see the Slack Key Guitar concert again … this is a very enjoyable concert series that we’ve been attending for a number of years.

This concert featured ‘Uncle’ Richard Hoopii, who is a a leo kiekie (falsetto) singer.
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So Much Time, So Little To Do

OK, yeah, so I rubbed it in a little when tweeting with my friend Liza the other day.

But it’s really true … Ginny and I have few specific plans … and a lot of time.

We’ve spent a lot of time relaxing, snorkeling, relaxing, driving, relaxing, etc.
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It was worth it!

The arduous journey to Maui was worth it!

The sun is shining, the air is warm & smells of tuberous … I’m slathered with sunscreen … and there’s sand in my shoes.

In a word: Paradise.

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Mauipocolypse

Off we go on another adventure.

Well, ‘adventure’ is a strong word … as we’re going back to Maui … an island we’ve been to a number of times.

None the less … a much needed, and well deserved, vacation.

Unfortunately, the trip didn’t start out that well … a series of very bad airline events gave a somewhat bad flavor to the first day.

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Big Island

Itchy Trigger FishSecond half of the vacation is done … this time it was to the “Big Island” of Hawaii (which is named Hawaii, just to confuse us).

We did get some snorkeling in … but not as much as we would have liked to. Did a bit of exploring, no geocaching, and very little hiking.

The condo we stayed in was not nearly as nice as the one we had on Kauai … it was larger (much larger), but not nearly as nicely maintained.   We asked for a upper level unit … and boy, did we get what we asked for.   The condo’s entrance was on the 2nd floor of the building, but then there was a huge stairway to get to the main living area.   The bedroom was another flight of stairs up.   This unit is *NOT* accessible by people with handicaps.

One other thing of note about the condo … the complex is huge and an incredible maze.   The 2nd night Ginny and I decided to exploring after dark … and got very lost.   I should have brought my GPS.   It wasn’t until the last few days that we actually got a handle on where we were.

We attended a Luau on Thursday … and were very unimpressed.   Ginny did a pretty good write up on it on her blog.   The food was mediocre, performance dry, but my biggest problem was the excessive religious references.

Who hid the pencil urchin?Our snorkel trip was with an outfit called Sea Paradise they weren’t bad.   Not as polished as some of the other places, but they had all the important stuff.   I was a bit disappointed that the catamrain’s mast had been taken down for maintenance, but sailing on those trips is mostly for show.   There were less than 20 people on the cruise and all adults, so we didn’t have to deal with kids running around.   They took us to two snorkel spots (first one was great, 2nd one was so-so).   Got a few pictures.   Since Ginny wanted a reasonably good underwater camera, I got a new one (Canon SD770 IS) and gave her the Canon A75 … unfortunately the A75 developed a glitch that caused the sensor to act weirdly.   I’ll probably have to get her a replacement camera.   The underwater housing is fine, so there’s no need to replace it. We also snorkeled at a beach park … which wasn’t bad, but the water was WAY too shallow for my tastes.

Maybe it’s because it’s winter … but the water on both Kauai and the big island seems very rough.   And the big island doesn’t have a lot of beaches.   We had planned on snorkeling at ‘Two Step’   (named because you get into the water with two steps), but never got around to it.

We had a number of good meals … the food at at Kenichi, which is a sushi / asian fusion restaurant, was good but the service was bad.   I ordered an rice appetizer but didn’t get it until after the main course.       We also ate at Jameson’s By The Sea, which was pretty good.   Good food & service.

We did, however, cook in quite a bit … which may seem an odd thing to do on vacation, but that’s why we like renting condos.   You (usually) get all the facilities you’re used to at home … refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, etc.     The only issues are that a) often you don’t get all the supplies you need.   Things like laundry soap, condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, olive oil, etc), sometimes even dishwasher soap and b) You don’t always get all the appliances you might want.   Things like coffee grinder, rice cooker, etc (actually, lack of a rick cooker in Hawaii is very odd … but we’ve encountered it).

We went out to Volcano National Park on Wednesday … very long drive.   Unforunately the volcano wasn’t flowing.   Apparently the sea vent tends to stop and start.   The best way to be sure you’re going out when it’s flowing is to check the HVO … but we didn’t know about that at the time.   Since it’s such a long drive, on roads that are not well lit, we decided not to go out on Friday (we would have gotten back well after 11pm and our flight was the next day).   We drove around the park a bit, had a very disappointing lunch at the park lodge, did a little bit of hiking, and headed home.

One thing that was a disappointment was that we coudln’t get on one of the ‘eco tours’ to Manaloa for star gazing.   We tried to book one, but they were full until after we left.   Next time we’re going to book that well before we arrive.

As with Kauai, the Big Island wasn’t quite what we were hoping for … but we did enjoy ourselves.   We’ll be back at some point … but, again, probably in the summer instead of winter.

Nest time we’re going to Maui.

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