Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back at Work

I am back at work now. Actually I've been back for a week. It has actually been a light week since most I have been waiting for most of my textbook adoption to come in.

One more week until the kids come and Christian starts school. A Senior -- it is going to be a big year for him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Leaving Hawaii

We were sad to leave Hawaii. We wondered around the World Marketplace and surrounding area Monday morning. Then we went back to the hotel for about a half hour before we left for the airport.
Christian relaxing away the time.
We took a limo ride back to the airport. It wasn't much more than another ride so why not?

We were finally at the airport and ready to go back home :( We had had a vacation to remember.

Driving Around Hawaii

On Sunday we rented a car and drove around the island. First we planned on going to church. Unfortunately, it took over an hour to get the car so we only got to 20 minutes of church.

This is the church we attended. It was beautiful. It is called a tabernacle. It had a courtyard full of flowers. The chapel had four doors on each side and one more in the back.
We stopped at the Dole Plantation.

Here are baby pineapples. They were tiny.

I never knew that pineapples were different colors -- here are some red ones.

The Dole Plantation boasts of the world's largest maze in 2001 (don't know if one has beat it yet). Christian wanted to go in. There were eight booths that you find and copy the design in the booth on your paper. It was difficult, even with the map showing where the booths were. We were in there an hour. Unfortunately, we were having so much fun we forgot to take pictures of it :)

We took the train ride at the plantation. At the turn around point they had a garden with the plants in the shape of a pineapple.

These are chocolate pods. I that it was interesting. Didn't know they got so big.
After the Dole Plantation we continued driving around the island. We stopped at Waimea Valley where they was suppose to be a waterfall. It was about a half hour gentle hike up to the waterfall. Here are some pictures from the hike.

There was a peacock just sitting on the fence by the enterance.

I had to take a picture of the river -- it reminded me of Arizona rivers. No water!

Check out the roots growing down from the tree. The bigger one has reached the ground and grown into the ground.

I've heard of vines growing in trees, but not plants. I can't tell how these plants grow in the tree without the roots being in the ground. Any suggestions on how it does it?

Look closely at the picture above. Do you see the brown rocks all over the grass? They aren't rocks - they are tiny birds. We saw them all over the place. I didn't realize that they were birds until a couple of them flew to another part of the grass.

Here is the waterfall. The lifeguards said that it wasn't very big right now - they hadn't had any rain in three months. I guess that is their defination of a drought. They said that the waterfall is generally a lot bigger.

Christian was getting tired of posing for pictures by this time.

There were a lot of beautiful flowers all over the place. I just had to take pictures of some of them.

Look at these vines! I couldn't believe the curtain of vines hanging down from the tree branch.

Right before we finished our hike back down, we saw this mother peacock with her three baby peacocks. The mother kept digging at the ground. She was finding food for her babies.

These balls of something on the tree were very weird. I wish I knew what they were.
After Waimea Valley we went to the temple. I was surprised to find the Visitor Center open.

There were beautiful flowers planted along the pond in front of the temple.

This is the Christus in the Visitor's Center.

Look under the tree and you will see a strip of beach. It is only about 5 feet of beach. That is normal for most of the beaches in Hawaii.

This is Turtle Island. Gillian's Island was filmed on it. It is also the place where one of the bases is located that was bombed along with Pearl Harbor.

I know this picture is a little blurry - Christian took it from the moving car. Look at the deep ridges in the mountains. During the rainy season those ridges are waterfalls -- all of them. I would love to see that!

Pearl Harbor

On our first day in Hawaii we went to Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri.

I love this picture of the Arizona monument from the bow of the USS Missouri.
This is the spot where they signed the treaty for the end of WWII.

Leis are placed at the Arizona memorial. One interesting thing is that some of the survivors choose to be buried at the Arizona memorial with their shipmates.

This is the flag flying above the memorial.

This is the monument at Punchbowl national cemetary. People can only drive through, you can't get out anymore.

This is a tomb for an unknown soldier. All the tombstones are flat like this one.
This is the view of Wakiki from the top of the Punchbowl.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Polynesian Cultural Center

On Friday we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. The guide on the bus was great. He showed us a lot of places that were used in favorite one was Turtle Island where they shot Gillian's Island. Once we got to the Polynesian Cultural Center we went to the villages...New Zealand first. We played some games before the performances started.

Here is the stick game. Christian wanted to make a haku face for the picture.
Christian liked this game. Another guy would call out front, back, left, or right and we would go that direction without stepping on the sticks. The first guy to step wrong or on the sticks lost. I did fine during the practice, but when we started the game I lost on the second call.

This was the Samoan performer. He kept posing during his presentation. Here he is making fire.

This is a New Zealand performer doing the poi balls. When Christian was trying the pois earlier, he showed him some tricks as well. Another performer said that I should perform with them since I did them so well.

Fiji dancers
Christian is playing a Fiji drum. It was interesting to keep changing the beat between four rhythms.
Before the canoe pageant these students came by selling ice cream. Christian and I played war while waiting for the pageant to start.
New Zealand canoe
Samoa canoe

Tahati canoe

In Tonga it was a lot of fun. The guys on the drums were hilarious.

Christian loved watching the Tahitian dances - especially the fast hip shaking lady dances:) I learned how to do the dance
and Christian video taped it (but I can't get it to load, I'll try again later). During the video Christian did a typical guy thing. When it came to the part where we were suppose to move out hips very fast, Christian put the camera on the instructor so he could see her hips instead of mine. Then he panned back to me. Hilarious:)
Here Christian is trying to learn a Tahatian dance.

Christian got a tattoo at one of the villages. Here he is showing it off.
Here we are ready for our luau. I was excited to attend one -- it is one of the things I wanted to do.
They are unwrapping the pig. They wrapped it in banana leafs, burlap bags, and then plastic. The men who unwrap the pig are generally considered very brave as the heat is unreal. We could even feel it away from the pit. You can see the steam rising up.
Here is the pig before they carved it.

The purple roll is a taro roll. It's actually pretty good. I liked them. They are a sweet roll kind of like a potato roll.Christian and I both had a smoothie. Mine was strawberry and his was pina colada. They were served in these cool hollowed out pineapples.

After the luau we went to the Horizons show. It was spectacular. We show a lot of dances, but since we weren't able to use a flash I didn't get many pictures.
The Tongans were great with their drums. They were going soooo fast.
The fire dancers were amazing!!! Again, I couldn't get the video to load. I'll try again another time.