Pink plumeria 

 Plumeria with a fragrance that lingers!

   

The night was quiet except for the palms that softly ‘rattled’ in the warm breeze. The trees were just a silhouette against the dark sky and their fronds danced across the face of the moon which was all I could see while floating on my back in the pool. This is one of the lasting impressions I have of our three week Hawaiian get-away a couple of months ago.  

 

 

Tropical night 

Tropical evenings enjoyed from our lanai in Kauai

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The incessant gray, overcast skies of late have nudged my thoughts back to many magical moments there with my sweetheart – which were some of the best! Our visit to four islands provided us with priceless memories and pleasures that I am really missing right now. In ‘aloha land’ we could savor the juicy sweetness of fresh pineapple on our lanai every morning, see flowering trees & shrubs everywhere, indulge ourselves with a plethora of exotic flowers very inexpensively, feel the warm trade winds caress our skin, watch exotic sea life and swim with sea turtles and tropical fish, marvel at a stunning Cattleya orchid growing on a tree trunk, go from dessert to green rolling hills in 60 seconds, wake up to the sound of effervescent bird songs and the shushing of waves on the shore, be lulled to sleep by that same shushing through just a screen door, hear the soft ‘chirps’ from geckos nearby, linger on the lanai to catch the scent of plumeria blossoms in the night air, pluck a plumeria flower off a tree and tuck it behind my ear, fly over lava flow and feel the heat below, chase sand crabs into their wee holes on the beach,  finally outsmart one, bask in the warmth of an ocean that’s the color of topaz and azure blue,  pretend that the sunlight dancing on waves are sparkling diamonds, and gaze at clouds on the horizon while sitting on a beach or lanai to witness the sun sinking into the ‘edge of the sea!  

 

 

Purple bougainvillea

Bougainvillea bushes grow anywhere and EVERYWHERE  in oodles of different colors!

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Green sea turtle

   The endangered green sea turtle

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Waimea

Wiamea’s ranch country on the Big Island

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Cattleya orchids

Stunning Cattleya orchids!

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Ocean moments

Beach moments by a blue topaz lagoon with my head in the clouds!

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Kaanapali sunset

Sunset moments in Maui

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Experiences that made our adventure – and my milestone birthday celebration – especially memorable included a two hour helicopter flight over the Big Island on a perfectly clear day. What we saw that morning was a feast for the eyes and the mental images will be forever locked in our minds, even grander than the photographs that were taken of Kilauea’s lava flow and the sheer rock face and waterfalls of the ‘keyhole’. Eating white pineapple for the first time gave our taste buds quite a rush, and the sweetbreads at the southern most bakery in the USA were most delectable – yum! Our visit to the National Botanical Garden near Hilo was one of my personal favorites and I was a very snap happy shutter bug, much to the chagrin of my hubby who was waaaay ahead of me on many a path through the ‘garden of eden’ that day. And of course my birthday dinner at Huggo’s in Kona was totally delicious, and I felt so happy and content on that evening by the sea with my lover and best friend. 

 

 

 Big Island helicopter adventure

 Big Island helicopter adventure with our awesome pilot Jesse!

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Lava flow

Lava flow from Kilauea – ‘ribbons’ of red winding towards the sea to make the Big Island even bigger!

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Helicopter flight - the 'keyhole'

Flying inside the ‘keyhole’ with water falls on every side – WOW!

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On the island of Kauai, a five hour boat trip to the Na Pali coast topped the list of highlights for us there. The antics of the ‘crazy’ flying fish were quite amusing, and the pods of Spinner dolphins that kept perfect time with the speed of the boat were exhilerating, while hubby captured them through a lens as they playfully cut through the waves at the bow and below us. Some showed us their underbellies that turn pink as a sign of happiness – and oh they were happy! More tropical gardens, beaches and spectacular vistas were around every turn on our road trips.  We wrapped up our stay on the ‘garden isle with an excellent luau and another crack at eating poi which remains the same as we remembered it from luaus past – tasteless! 

 

 

 Boat excursion to Na Pali coast

 Boat excursion to the Na Pali coast on an exhilerating morning!

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Spinner dolphins at play

Pod of very happy Spinner dolphins at play!

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 Kilauea Lighthouse

 One of many scenic stops – the Kilauea Lighthouse in the distance is at the northern most point of  Hawaii’s main island chain

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Large Protea - a taste of the exotic

Large Protea – a bit of the exotic!

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Maui was our final ‘hop’ and memories from our honeymoon there thirteen years ago came flooding back as we reacquainted ourselves with our surroundings, including the small town of Lahaina. The once-upon-a-time whaling village is much busier now, but is still an inviting place to stroll along the sea wall and enjoy the sights during the day, or a romantic sunset at the end of it.  The big’ol banyan tree is standing as proud as ever and provides a massive 2/3 of an acre roost for Myna birds. We stood under the tree at dusk and listened in amazement to this incredible cacophony of sound from the canopy above as an army of birds vied for a favorite branch to perch on for the night – every night! 

 

 

Butterfly on bougainvillea bush

Butterfly beauty on a bougainvillea bush

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Large succulent in botanical garden

 Just ‘hangin’ loose’ with a ‘ginormous’ succulent 

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Lush kitty in Maui

We stopped at a winery and look what we found (ha ha). Notice the kitty’s ‘smile’?

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Maui road trip yuccas

 Hmmm! How am I gonna get up there? 

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Kaanapali-poolside moment

Pool side moments – ahhh,relaxation in paradise!

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Lahaina banyan tree

Lahaina’s big’ol banyan tree. And that’s just the main trunk!

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Maui road trip with my Honey 

 Weeee! A spectacular vista of azure blue!

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White hibiscus

Hawaii native & endangered species – white hibiscus

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We actually started our vacation on Oahu for a short stay, but took the time to visit the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor to ponder & reflect. Although I’d been there twice before, I again experienced the awe at what lay beneath my feet and the unbelievably close proximity to shore where history unfolded on that fateful December morning in 1941.  A hike to the top of Diamond Head was a first for me, with an impressive panoramic view of the surrounding Pacific and the city of Honolulu as our reward. We noted that the Pink Palace (Royal Hawaiian hotel) along Waikiki beach is now just a pink ‘speck’ in the center of the concrete maze, but it still looks as regal as it did from Hawaii past.

 

 Honolulu city vista

City view from the top of Diamond Head in Honolulu. Can you find the pink ‘speck’  on the shore line? That’s the original Royal Hawaiian Hotel!

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The unique qualities we discovered on each of the islands were only enhanced by the power, greatness, and treasures of the Pacific ocean that surrounds them.  Yet hubby and I both fell  in love with the Big Island’s diverse landscapes, while Kona town really captured our hearts with it’s laid back atmosphere and friendly charm – inviting us back there in a heartbeat!  But for now, Aloha sweet paradise!

 

Just a few more photos to tell the rest of our memorable Aloha story!

 

 Zebra dove

A zebra dove who visited our lanai one morning

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Sunset in Mauai-1

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Periwinkle blue flowering tree

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Lahaina sunset

Lahaina at dusk

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Last evening in paradise

Soon to bid farewell to a place we love!

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Kona sunset

CHEERS!

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1 Comment

  1. Doris on November 28, 2009 at 6:20 am

    What a wonderful trip!