Beauty, Cultures, food, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, holidays, home, Music, Parenting, Religion, travel

Wow, What a Reunion!

Just arrived back from a great family reunion, except for one grandson (me crying!) We took the I-80 from Salt Lake City, Utah to Reno, Nevada. We didn’t intend to drive in a caravan, but it ended up that three cars drove pretty close together all along the way. We Marco Polo’d as we drove (it is an app that you can record live to your party and receive live messages back -kind of like a walkie talkie, but with video). It is great because you keep abreast of where everyone is, can tell jokes, and warn of police cars, etc. One of our newest driver permit holders was driving the car we were following, so that was pretty exciting!!

Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe

A side note: I-80 Interstate freeway goes all the way from San Francisco, California east to Teaneck, New Jersey (just outside of New York City).

Another car came from Arizona with the rest of the gang except for one grandson (me crying, again), but with an additional boyfriend (yeah!). Our destination goal had been predetermined by our youngest son who had served his mission in the Las Vegas West Mission, which included Reno, part of California, and down to Vegas. I-80 is pretty exciting (not!) except you get to see part of the Bonneville Salt Flats, which are dried up desert lakes that cover 30000 acres. They were pretty amazing!

Bonneville Salt Flats



Once we got past that it was miles and miles of I-80 (about 7 hours worth from SLC) with several hungry kids and technological gadgets and chargers. The time just flew by! haha. A few pitstops later, we finally made it to Reno to a very nice hotel which was welcomed by all.

As if we weren’t tired from a day of driving, we all headed for the local movie theater to watch Spider-Man: Far from Home, and since we missed our dinner meal we ate plenty of popcorn!

The next day was very exciting as we headed for Lake Tahoe. The altitude of Lake Tahoe is 6225 feet above sea level and Salt Lake City’s altitude is 4226. Needless to say, it was an uphill climb most of the way. But, it was all worth it to see this magnificent lake. We ended up at Sand Harbor and some of our party rented canoes and set sail!

While the rest of us enjoyed the sunshine, cool water, and took in the beautiful scenery, the men were busy BBQ’ing our lunch. Yum!!

Liana checking on our lunch – thanks guys!!

Some of the gang that went to see the rocks on the other side of the bay.
After lunch, we took a hike to the other side of the bay. Wow – What a site!

Since this is getting pretty long, l will continue with day two of our trip on the next post. Here is more about Lake Tahoe:

Hawaii, travel

Free or Inexpensive Sights to See in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands offer much for the sight seeker. The island of Oahu, on which I live, boasts many gorgeous beaches and lush dense mountains.

There are many educational and fun things you can do in Hawaii that are inexpensive or totally free. We are all looking for a great deal. Whenever I have visitors from the mainland, I tell them about the sites they can see without spending too much in the Hawaiian Islands. This is not a comprehensive list, but it includes some of my personal favorites.

http://elayne001.hubpages.com/hub/Free-or-Inexpensive-Sights-to-See-in-Hawaii

travel

The Gathering Place in Lanai Hawaii

We just returned from a trip to the sixth largest island in Hawaii. Lanai is not your typical tropical island with coconut and rain trees, fragrant flowers on every corner, and rows of pineapple (although it once was the largest pineapple plantation in Hawaii). Instead, it is rugged, mysterious and isolated. The biggest challenge to the island is the lack of running water.

http://elayne001.hubpages.com/hub/The-Gathering-Place-in-Lanai-Hawaii

Hawaii, travel

Polynesian Cultural Center Most Favored Tourist Attraction in Hawaii

http://hubpages.com/hub/Polynesian-Cultural-Center-Most-Favored-Tourist-Attraction-in-Hawaii

I live within walking distance of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. Each day I hear the drums beating from the Polynesian villages, and in the evening I can hear the roar of the crowd in response to the night show in the big amphitheater.

Beauty, Cultures, Hawaii, holidays, travel

Honeymoon Getaways in Hawaii

Hawaii does offer a lot for couples celebrating their honeymoon. There are several venues that cater to them. It is definitely a place to suit your own tastes and fulfil all your dreams.

You can choose to go to a secret hideway where you can get away from the busy hustle and bustle and relax in private. Or, you can enjoy a romantic new adventure together by joining in on a luau and enjoy the sites and sounds of the city.

There are a few particular places I wish to highlight that are wonderful for honeymooners.

The first one is very close to where I live. When we have guests, we often take them there to eat, swim or stay, if they prefer. It is located on the North Shore of Oahu and it is called the Turtle Bay Resort. It is definitely one of the most romantic places on earth! They even have wedding packages, which include limosine, Pikake Suite, oceanfront deluxe guestroom and all the rest.

Not only do they have an outstanding website. Every guest room at the Turtle Bay boasts a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. They have so many fun activities going on all the time. You can enjoy a massage, a spa, a dip in their relaxing well-landscaped pools, walk along their beaches which are five miles long, or enjoy watching the surfers catch waves closeby. There are several restaurants available with first class dining. If that is not enough, they have many trails you can hike as well as horse back riding, helicopter tours and get this – segway trail rides.

You don’t have to just believe me, check it out for yourself. I promise you will not be disappointed. It is literally one of my favorite places to go.

Another special location is set near tropical rain forests, closeby active volcanoes and white sand beaches. The Fairmont Orchid is on the Big Island on the Kohala Coast. They offer bugalows which are designed especially for honeymooners.

You can enjoy a waterfall massage, get cozy in the spa or watch sea turtles nearby. They also have tennis, golfing, and plenty of water sports available. You can check it out at at fairmont.com/orchid. During certain times of the year you can actually see the snow atop Mauna Kea – yes snow in Hawaii.

Maui is known as the island that couples will return to time after time to remember their heavenly honeymoon and often renew their vows.

At the Royal Lahaina Resort, you can honeymoon in a beachside cottage, or stay in an elegant room in the 12-story Lahaina Kai Tower.

They have five-star service and offer swimming, snorkeling, golf, tennis or fine dining. The resort is near Lahaina town which is well known for intriguing art galleries and shops.

They also offer wedding packages. If you want to be treated royally, this is the place for you.

Whichever hotel you decide to spend in for your honeymoon in Hawaii, be sure to indulge in chocolate covered macadamia nuts, enjoy the fragrance of the many tropical exotic flowers, enjoy the tradewinds and the soft sand beaches.

Be sure to write down your feelings, and take plenty of pictures.

If you have plenty of time to spend on your honeymoon, you can explore the six unique islands of Hawaii.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Honeymoon-Getaways-in-Hawaii

Hawaii, travel

Extreme Sports of Hawaii

In Hawaii, it is pretty much summer all year. No wonder it is the destination most people think of for extreme sports.

If you are one of those that feels your life needs a little more excitement, there are several extreme sports to choose from in Hawaii.

Oahu offers many activities to get your adrenaline rush.As we wind our way from the North Shore to Kaneohe or Honolulu, we are often witnesses to several paragliders. They look like giant birds soaring close to the cliffs of the Ko’olau Mountains.

Usually, I admire the scenery of Hawaii from the car, but feel like I am missing out on a lot. These hand gliders have a bird’s eye view. But, then they are taking risks. I have heard of a few fatalities from hand gliding, but very rarely.

Here are some pictures taken by a paraglider on the North Shore of Oahu:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flykahana/sets/72157624534217618/show/

http://hubpages.com/hub/Extreme-Sports-of-Hawaii

Cultures, Hawaii, home, travel, Uncategorized

Moving from the US Mainland to Hawaii

http://hubpages.com/hub/Suggestions-for-Moving-from-the-US-Mainland-to-Hawaii

So, you are moving to Hawaii. Lucky you! Beautiful scenery, temperate weather, and beaches! Living in Paradise has some perks, and also some extra costs. You will be better prepared and assimilate faster into the community if you are aware of a few things.

Hawaii is a group of islands in the middle of the huge Pacific Ocean. It is the 50th state to join the United States. The more that you learn about the history of Hawaii, the better you can understand those around you. If you show a love and respect for the culture and especially the land (‘aina), you will have a much more positive experience.

Try to learn a few basic Hawaiian words and their meanings. The population is so diverse, but for the most part they speak in English and pidgin (a mixture of dialects). Most of the people who live in Hawaii share the aloha spirit, but you may find that a few are quite resentful of the way Hawaii became a state. Most of all, do not be judgmental and try to learn all you can from the people.

You will find that because the weather is fairly good all year round, the insects love it too. In order to avoid infestations by termites, cockroaches, mosquitos and other creatures, you will need to spray or put out baits on a regular basis. It is better to control them than to get rid of them.

The moist salty air is perfect for rusting just about everything. Vehicles and appliances seem to suffer the most. There is rust spray available that you can use to slow down the process. Also, mold and mildew can form quite easily especially in places where it is warm and moist like the kitchen and bathrooms. It takes extra effort to keep this under control unless you have an air conditioner going all the time. This can be harmful to your health if the mold is allowed to grow.

Also, food items seem to go bad quicker unless they are stored well inside of plastic air-tight containers. You can also keep many things in the refrigerator or freezer that you may not have in the mainland.

When there is no breeze, it can become quite hot and humid. Be sure to purchase enough fans or air conditioners to make your family comfortable. With the use of electricity comes a higher bill also, so think about cost-effective appliances.

Traffic on the island of Oahu can become very frustrating, especially close to Honolulu. Also, there is only one main road going to the North Shore of Oahu, so it can also be totally cut off if there is an accident or an electricity pole falls down on the road.

It is wonderful to have sandy beaches and palm trees close by. But, as I said, living in Paradise does come with a cost. In fact, prices in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation. The cost of gasoline, groceries and clothes can be quite expensive. There are Walmarts, Costco and Sam’s Clubs where you can get the best deals. The cost of housing can be two or three times as much as on the mainland. It is also usually smaller than what most people on the mainland are used to.

Funny though, even with all the pros and cons of Hawaii, people who have lived in and loved the islands of Hawaii do not want to leave, or hope to move back soon. We have been living here for almost twenty years now and really love it. I have learned many lessons the hard way, so I thought writing this hub may help someone that is moving here have an easier time.

There is so much to see and do in Hawaii. Hiking, swimming, golfing, cruising and gardening are just a few things that can be done almost year round. Because of this, you probably will not want for visiting family and friends from the mainland while you live in Hawaii.

Hawaii

Lost Actors on Waikiki Beach for Season Premiere

Stars were shining brightly even before it was dark on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii on Friday night, January 30, 2010. For diehard fans of the television hit LOST, it was a dream come true to see the actors and actresses up close and personal.

The red carpet was laid out across the sand and the crowds were not disappointed. Streaming video was available for those unfortunate souls that could not make it to the beach. You can watch the replay of the video stream here.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Lost-Actors-on-Waikiki-Beach-for-Season-Premiere#

travel

Travel to Rotorua, New Zealand

http://hubpages.com/hub/Travel-to-Rotorua-New-Zealand

A trip to the land of the long white cloud would not be complete without visiting the enchanting place called Rotorua. Adventurous people will enjoy the geothermal forces, biking trails, walking tracks and Maori art and culture available all in one place. There are 16 lakes, tall redwood trees and miles of endless activities for families and individuals alike.