Friday, April 1, 2011

Love, laughter, luaus and leis

Dear probably thought I had decided to stay in Hawaii!  It has been nearly a month since I "blogged" (did you know this word is a blending of the words web log??  Can be a noun or a verb...sorry wise old Wikipedia helped me with this one).  Anyway, life has been happening and it has been good.  March was highlighted with Jim returning home from Kamchatka and our trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 25th!  (our son also went on a missions trip during spring break which has its own stories to tell and of which we are very blessed by his involvement!)  God is good all the time and this trip to Hawaii was really a gift from Him.  Through a friend of Jim's, we were able to stay in a beautiful time-share and we also had mileage tickets stored up, so our actual flight was $10 each!

We loved, laughed, attended our first luau - wearing a lei - and had some interesting adventures.  I decided before leaving that unless there are adventures in our lives, we have no stories to tell.  This comes from always praying for safety when we travel and my husband responding with "if we always have safe, noneventful travel, where is the room for adventure?"  Okay, so now I pray for safe, adventurous travel :)

I won't share all but a few of those "adventures"  beginning with discovering at 11:00 p.m. the night before our very early flight the next day that all the Hawaii airports were closed due to tsunami warnings.  We looked at each other in disbelief.  My mother had called a few days earlier to tell me a volcano on one of the islands was erupting and shooting lava 65 feet into the air.  Now our hearts were indeed grieving over the devastation in Japan, make no mistake, but when you are about to leave on your incredible celebration of 25 years - these events were a little over the top!  Adventures indeed!!  In a nutshell, our flight did leave on time and we made it to Kauai (although all the between island flights in Honolulu were either cancelled or delayed due to the tsunami warnings).  Thank God, there wasn't the devastation that could have been in the islands, although a couple were hit but not catastrophically.  Kauai escaped any damage.

We were greeted in this island paradise by it's #1 occupant.....which a friend told me before were everywhere...

A native told us they have no predators and there is really no where to is an island :)   

We went snorkeling (which we absolutely love!)  The incredible creativity of God in the beauty and variety of fish always blows me out of the water (sorry for the pun :)  Several beaches were excellent for this and we had so much fun, one beach you didn't even need the mask/fins as the fish were swimming in about 3-1/2 feet of water and were visible just standing there.  We opted to go on an official snorkeling tour which was 5 hours long, included lunch and took us up the Na Pali coast (west coast of island) which is only accessible by boat, helicopter or very long hikes from the north).  We booked the tour through a recommendation of a friend and the website looked great!  However, adventure #2 awaited us when we arrived @ the location:

Check in desk.....

not really, but it was standing next to the "office"

We wondered if we were in the right place...we were! This particular tour does not provide all the "trimmings" the others in the area do and it does cost less.
In all fairness, we had a great time, the captain and his assistant were wonderful, food was delicious and the group we were with (14 others..all one family....came along with the idea of scattering ashes of a deceased loved one...on a very windy day....Adventure #3 didn't take place as the captain did not like the idea ).  But we did see porpoises swimming right along side the boat (sorry no photos of boat....we'll leave that to your imagination :); whales jumping, turtles swimming, and incredible scenery of the Na Pali coast

This Hawaiian island is known as the Garden Island and is absolutely gorgeous!  We marveled at God's beauty and creation continuously.  I have so many photos I want to share and not enough time or space.  Just imagine PARADISE and you come pretty close!

And I got to spend a week in paradise with my man of 25 years:

So, after indulging in sunshine, beaches, pineapple, papayas, macadamia nuts. poi and kalua pig....we are back home.  Tanned and ready to go the next 25 years (wish our tans would last that long!)  Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving to God and others who made this incredible trip possible.  

Now as we head into Spring and this Oregon rain stops (we pay a price for the beauty we have here!)....we anticipate watching His beauty unfold all around us and continually look forward to being with family and friends and the next "adventure" that keeps those stories coming!  Love and blessings to you today!


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