Friday, February 27, 2009

Because it's so cold outside, cold no longer adequately describes it

Reminisce with me, of palm trees and sun, sea breezes and waves?

I miss this place. Especially the pool that is located directly behind the lobby. The lobby with no walls or doors. The airport was the same way. Unfathomable for us, who reside in the Arctic.

Beach in front of our hotel. Or lava rock meets crashing waves. Whatever you want to call it.

Lounging. Oh how I miss the lounging in the hot sun.

We took a trip south to visit one of the most active volcanoes in the world. This is the crater of the volcano. It is not currently erupting from here but it wasn't so long ago that it was and it is still steaming. Very cool to see but we were glad to be miles from the lava flows.

Below is what's called a lava tube. Basically it's a pipe, made out of lava, through which lava flowed. This is in the middle of a rain forest so it's likely been millions of years since any lava flowed here. Nature is amazing. Period.

Downtown Kona, a really neat old building. No plaque to detail what it may have once been used for.

Here, our weather vanes usually have a chicken or rooster on them, in Hawaii, it's a dude navigating a canoe. Very neat.

The crew, right before we left the hotel for good. Don't we look like we had a terrible time?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vanity? No, more like insanity.

Just in case my last post had you thinking, wow, that girl is V-A-I-N. Here I am to show you that to live in the quasi Arctic, you have to check your vanity at the door or risk loosing appendages.

Daily, in fact multiple times a day, I can be seen trudging through the Arctic drifts, fashionably attired in what I like to call, Arctic Haute Couture.

I know you might be laughing about the shades but don't. Snow as far as the eye can see plus bright sunshine equals snow glare. It won't warm you up a sniff due the Arctic gale force winds but it will burn your retinas right though. Shades are not optional.

And to complete the look, you must have these very stylish, trendy and so 2009 boots. I know, I know, you all want some. Who wouldn't?

All this is necessary for walking the Arctic Runway.

(picture taken at my parent's acreage, the winter scenery in the city consists of 4 foot tall snow banks and road covered in salt and sand. Trust me, this is much more pleasant to look at)

Hopefully that clears up any misconception about my vanity ;-)


Friday, February 20, 2009

Tubal Tales

Remember this friend of mine? The one of the we can't stop laughing long enough to get a photo taken:

Cheryl and her husband, Tim, have been struggling with infertility for quite some time and yesterday! She started a blog about their journey through IVF. She is funny, candid and a beautiful girl, inside and out.

Oh and her, her husband, and their son, Cole have the most amazing blue eyes you will ever see!

Follow their journey on their site Tubal Tales?

I hope you will show her some of the same love and support you have all shown me. So many people struggle with infertility, and I am so glad that she is going to share their adventures.

May there be another blue eyed cherub in their house very soon!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

In his previous life....

A couple of days ago, I finished cleaning up lunch and asked Kamden where his brother was. He's in my room, was his reply.

Thinking that was strange I went to investigate.

Curled up in the sunbeam he was.

In his last life, I think he was a cat.

Really, who wouldn't want to be? Eating, sleeping in sunbeams and having someone else to clean your toilet. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Hawaii, The Big Island Part II

Just a few more pictures to share....I am not very inspired for prose today as you will notice. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

I love that shot. I love sunsets. I don't care if some people down play sunset photos because they are "easy to capture". I disagree, I still think this shot needs work but that doesn't mean I don't love it. It's a memory for me.

Jay and I headed out, just two of us, for a sunset dinner cruise. The food was spectacular and we got to see a manta ray. They are huge and amazingly graceful creatures. We had a good time though this prairie girl didn't have her sea legs and the trip back was a bit green.

This is a temple used by King Kamehameha the Great to pray to his gods and seek advice. The ancient Hawaiian religion was done in by his son as were the silly laws that didn't allow men to eat with women nor women to eat such things as bananas. Are you kidding me? Bananas? I am going to eat one right now. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

You might think my kids are a little frightened of the ocean based on these shots. Don't worry, they were just running toward the food.
Dainty eaters aren't they?

Who's going to comment on his hat? Hmmm, who will it be? It's an elephant people, an elephant!

And this sign made me laugh a little. Not the no trespassing one, the one on the tree. No arking. My question is, can I be held accountable for doing it, if I don't know what it is?


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hawaii, The Big Island

Okay, I am finally getting around to this. Some people are so impatient... kidding! The jet lag from the four hour time difference is killing me slowly. I think a trip to Europe is out of the question, I would be incoherent for the first 8 days of the trip and then about the same amount of time upon arriving home.

On January 29th at approximately 3 AM our time (11 PM Kona time), we landed in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. What I remember most is the warmth, the fabulous warmth and humidity that greeted us on the tarmac. And I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn't miss it horribly right now (blows on fingers to avoid numbness).

We were greeted by the welcoming committee. I am just super glad his boss, Mr. Scorpion was out sick.

We woke up very early the next morning (can you tell we adjusted well to the time change?) and after futile attempts by all four of us to go back to sleep, we got up to check out our resort. We were greeted with sights like this:

Our hotel condo was ocean front and we had a gorgeous view of the "beach" area from both our balcony and the pool area. I use the word beach loosely because Big Hawaii is essentially a very large pile of volcanic rock. The beach was no exception. There was no swimming in that area for us as the waves grew larger with each passing day. It was a favourite spot for surfers and wake boarders so we enjoyed watching them risk their lives. Waves + sharp rocks = no swimming for us Canadians!

The boys were delighted, they know a good thing when they see it.

Jack is as mesmerized by the surf as I am. I can stare at it for hours, watching the wave come in, following the path of the water as it trails back over the rocks into the sea only the be passed by the next wave. The ocean is perpetual motion, an endless dance, a tireless journey. It amazes me each and every time I have the priveledge of gazing upon it's beauty.

And also? Loud. I love it but at night, after a bit, I had to shut the lanai doors for some good old fashioned prairie silence. If only I could turn off the prairie wind we get here.

This was a family trip. Extended family. My parents (aka Grams and Pop) joined us, just like last year. But this year, my brother, Trevor, his wife Nicole and their kidlets also joined us.

It. Was. Fabulous. The weather could not have been more perfect and we all have the tans to prove it.

Now, the scenery on Big Hawaii is quite varied. At our resort, there are palm trees, many flowering bushes and plants plus lush green grass. Drive up the road out of Kailua-Kona and you see this:

Barren lava fields as far as the eye can see. The island is young geographically speaking, and the lava in many places has yet to sprout any growth. And yes, I was told, it is extremely fertile. Now seeing this, it's hard to believe that anything that barren can grow anything. But it can and it does. In fact we saw a rain forest that developed at the base of the active volcano. It's amazing. Simply amazing and unlike anything we had ever seen.

This is what we spent a good portion of the time doing:

The boys swimming abilities are now multiplied by about 10. It appears that we may have spawned fish, not children. I might have seen the beginnings of gills on the sides of their necks by the end of the vacation.

Jumping was, by far, Kamden's favourite pastime. Over and over. And he could even swim to the edge in the deep end by the end of the week. Of course, that was after Pop had to jump in fully clothed near the beginning of the week to save him after he ventured too far into the deep end. Thank goodness for my dad!

Of course we hit a luau, you know the saying, when in Rome do as the Romans? Well in Hawaii, the Hawaiian's luau. We got all dolled up and headed out.

Taken by Kamden, from the ground up. The first two shots contained only our midsections.

Jack is so co-operative for photos, wouldn't' you say?

Mmmm, those Mai Tai's are good. Jack, that's mine too, give it back!

Gorgeous hula dancer. Her beauty was striking, I had to get a photo of her. I kinda wish I was Hawaiian so I could look like her!

To hit a beach that was sans sharp rocks and giant size waves, we drove about an hour north to Anaehoomalu Bay ( or A Bay since it's six syllables! You know how the English butcher French and Spanish? Add Hawaiian to the list. The pronunciations are impossible for a Canadian gal like me).

This is a lagoon behind the beach that was used in ancient times to keep fish for the Ali'i or chiefs. Normal people could not consume the fish. If they did, bye bye people. This was one of the rules in a system that was in place as late as the 1820's. The history of the islands is fascinating. The king who united the Hawaiian islands lived on Big Hawaii in the 1800's on the very spot we enjoyed the luau. King Kamehameha the Great. Say that three times fast and I guarantee you are not pronouncing it correctly. Not that I could tell you how to pronounce it correctly, mind you.

Hawaiian Hibiscus. I was fascinated by the trees and bushes that look so normal and then whamo, they bloom extraordinary flowers. Only in the tropics.

And I don't know about you but I find this ridiculous. Seriously, you need to carve your name on the leaves of a defenseless plant. What did the plant ever do to you? Vandalism, tropics style. Though somehow I doubt it was the locals who did most of it.

Cute gecko that wreaked havoc as it scampered across the windshield of Trev and Nicole's van as they drove to A-Bay. Feisty little fellow he was.

Wave jumping! Our timing was spectacular, no? Cheryl, I am humbled by your amazing shots, these are the best we could do!

Jay and Jack were a bit better at it.

That's a wrap for today. I have over 500 photos to weed through and I am sure you all will be sick of my pictures for the love of all things already very soon!

There will be more to come, I promise. Till next time folks!