Thursday, January 23, 2014



I'm back from 2 amazing weeks in Hawaii!  As you may have figured out by now, I'm not much of a photographer but I'll add a few pix to this post to give you an idea.  Of course, Hawaii was incredibly beautiful as I had known from pictures I'd seen my entire life. But in reality, it was so much more.

We had a little balcony off our room and had coffee there in the morning. We left the sliding door open so we could enjoy the sounds of the birds and feel the ever present gentle breezes.  Temps were perfect--68 to 83 F or so every day, even when we had a few rain showers.  We spent the entire time on Oahu and when I return, which I'm determined to do, I'd like to explore the other islands as well.

On one of our first days there, we hiked to the top of Diamond Head and took this photo from the look out up there. Simply amazing!

I've been trying to decide on the best things of the trip and it's really hard!  I loved the day we spent on the water with Captain Bob and the crew, turtle watching, messing around on what they said was the world's largest sandbar, and snorkeling on a huge and beautiful coral reef.  We had grilled burgers with the usual fixin's on board for lunch--Delicious!

I also enjoyed walking the beaches on the North Shore, watching the surfers and savoring Matsumoto's shave ice after we'd had the most amazing Thai food lunch at Opal Thai.  It was just like the food we'd loved in Thailand when we were there over 35 years ago. If you look at this photo with a magnifying glass, you can see a half dozen surfers off this North Shore beach, out where the waves turn white and foamy.

On the last day, which was my birthday, we spent hours at the USS Arizona memorial, which was truly moving.  Later, we went to the Punch Bowl cemetery where many of those killed on Dec. 7, 1941, have been buried.

Then we went on an adventure!  Since I was driving and Don had control of the gps, I took off in the direction I thought I wanted to go, and soon enough we were at Kaneohe. Don asked the gps to find us a restaurant and he selected a Thai one in the town.  We never found the Thai restaurant but we did find a Viet Namese restaurant where we had my birthday dinner.  My husband loves to talk with people so after we were seated, he starts chatting with the Viet Namese owner of the place. I couldn't believe it--turns out that the guy's family provided services (laundry, cleaning, etc) to the American GIs at the base where Don was stationed for his first tour in Viet Nam! Talk about your small world! We let the owner choose our food for dinner and it was soooooo delicious!  I have no idea what the dishes were called so probably won't be able to get the same here at home, but it was a truly divine meal--just what I deserved on my birthday. ;~)

On the last  day in Hawaii, I started getting a sore throat which has developed into the "MOTHER OF ALL HEAD COLDS"  Don't stand too close to you computer device or you may catch the same cold.
 I feel like the female version of this poor guy.     

Hope you're all healthy and getting on with what life is handing you. As for me, I still have to unpack my house from the big move on 12/30. (I told Don that if I ever mention moving house again, he's to hit me over the head with a 2x4 until I get some sense back. LOL)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I can't begin to say how happy I am to be on my way to 2 weeks of vacation with my loved one of the past 42 years--to the beaches of Hawaii!

Don and I had planned to get married in Hawaii back in 1971 when he took his R&R from his tour in Viet Nam.  I'd wanted to go to Hawaii since I was a teen and saw Elvis in "Blue Hawaii" and I'd also had  a great desire to learn how to surf, based on all those Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon beach movies.

Alas, my trip to the land of black sand beaches and luaus has been delayed these 42 years.  I've never been on a surf board (and with my arthritic knees, I doubt that I ever will now) and we married in Duluth, MN instead of Honolulu. Don returned home from the war earlier than expected and got a medical discharge from the Air Force.  Then came college, kids and careers, and our traveling days were put on hold for many years.

So finally, we are on that long delayed trip, and wouldn't you know, things are already going wrong.  As I was  pulling out of the driveway to head to Mpls, I caught the front fender of the car on a snow drift and tore it all apart.  Don couldn't fix it right then and we didn't want to risk driving it the way it was, so I heaved all the bags into the pickup and we bumped along to the city. When we got to the hotel, I found out that the free airport shuttle service they offer isn't free if you don't book directly with the hotel. Whoever heard of that! I swear I never saw it on the website when I made the reservation.  Oh well, I'm not going to let that keep me from my trip.  We're going to head out to get some dinner in a few minutes.  Let's hope nothing more goes wrong.  After how hard we've worked this past month we really, really need this vacation!  I can't wait to get there tomorrow!