Friday

HAWAII - Kilauea the Volcano


One of our daytrips was to see Kilauea which is the most active (consistently erupting) volcano in the world. This shows the main crater (there are a few) and the billowing white smoke (which changes to grey and pink) ... unfortunately there was no active lava eruption coming from this site when we were there. It looks rather like a moonscape, doesn't it? The crater rim drive was closed because of this dangerous sulfur-laden smoke. We bought masks to wear, but the wind was blowing the smoke/sulfur away from us so we didn't need them.

This is part of the main crater which is 2 miles in diameter ... it's breathtaking (literally and metaphorically).






There are five craters on the top of Kilauea ... this is one of the smaller ones.

HAWAII - Paula and Sterling

We all got our photos taken with 'the birds' ... a very well-trained troupe of parrots. We found two businessmen hawking (pardon the pun) their birds ... the first one was selling photos that we ordered and picked up a few days later. The second man (who took this photo), set you up with his birds and used your camera to take the pictures. He'd pick up his birds by their beaks and swing them around ... was quite a sight to see.


Paula and Sterling's favorite restaurant (for views) on the big island is Jamesons and they always sit at the same table. It's right on the ocean and we can watch the surfers and the waves as we dine. The local birds visit often to pick up crumbs.




Here's English friend Eric and Paula/Sterling in front of Kilauea

Thursday

HAWAII - Don't worry, be happy!!

Here's the situation ... my sister rents this huge oceanfront house in a gated community just on the north edge of Kona ... being alone, I got the 'media room' ... no closet, no mirror, no bed, no bathroom AND NO CURTAINS AT THE WALL-TO-WALL WINDOW.
The master suite was next to me, up 3 or 4 stairs and they had no curtains in their bedroom or bathroom either.
I mentioned my modesty to my sister who responded with "there's no-one on the beach at night .. no-one can see you .. don't worry about it". I'd positioned my rollaway bed close to the windows and managed to undress in the dark 'just in case' some weirdo was walking along the beach.
On the 4th or 5th night there, I started to stir at about 5 a.m. and thought to myself 'don't tell me it's time to get up already' .. it was getting light. I popped open one eye and beheld the glory of NCL's Pride of America sitting outside my bedroom with every single light lit for all 3,000 people on board!!! SO MUCH FOR MY PRIVACY ... AND MODESTY!!!
I got up, grabbed my robe and took this photo of my new neighbor ...







The sun came up half an hour or so later and I took this second photo, showing my deck railing in the foreground so you can get the idea of just how close those 3,000 people were!

I'd finally got used to the idea that having no curtains on the windows was no big deal because there were no people on the beach at night ... and besides, if one person did see me in all my glory, so what!
Now I had to re-think that whole scenario ... never mind the one weird person wandering the beach at night .. now I have THREE THOUSAND strangers with binoculars looking for something interesting to see!!!

Tuesday

HAWAII - Waterfalls









Here are a few photos of various spectacular waterfalls we visited while on Maui and Hawaii ... If you're really interested, I can identify their locations for you .. otherwise, just enjoy the beauty.

Friday

HAWAII -- Father Damien

Father Damien was the Belgian missionary who looked after the lepers on Molokai. After he died, his church was moved to the big island. There's a cemetery and a monument to Father Damien. When we arrived at the church, I fore-warned everyone that thunder and lightning occur when I enter a church so they must be ready. As we pulled up in the parking lot, the thunder started .. no kidding! There were two men sitting by the walkway to the church and I asked them when the thunder started ... 'just as your car got here'. Here's Sterling indicating the way in.

It's called "The Painted Church" for a reason .. the inside looks like a typical Hawaiian landscape. It's a 'big little church' with a very Hawaiian flavor.



His monument needs some tending ... it can do with a clean and some new flowers ... but I was amazed to learn he was only 49 when he died .... of leprosy.

Monday

HAWAII - The Melting Pot ... English style

We all went to The Melting Pot restaurant on Maui, thinking it would be a unique dining experience for our English friends ... and it was ... for all of us. It was one of those 'you had to be there' nights and I wouldn't be surprised if they banned us from ever entering their restaurant again. We placed our orders and they were served to us raw. We were given two pots ... one with oil and one with a broth in which we could cook our own meals with the fondue forks provided. We were given three things in which to dip our food, so we could cook it with different flavors ... then we had dips to coat the cooked food once out of the pots. Then we have five people who had no idea what they were doing! Well, when there are seven people all trying to cook their food at one time, the forks become entangled and the food becomes snagged when trying to extract the fork from the pot. One by one we fell to the curse .. but it was mostly Babs who was having the worst time trying to (1) understand what she was supposed to do and (2) trying to do it! We were absolutely roaring at the shenanigans ... all seven of us ... and all I can say is that it's a good job they put us in a corner of the restaurant. After the hilarity was starting to lessen (we were laughing at it for the next few days), my sister recorded this piece but it's only a part of the 'interview' and, as I said before, you really had to be there.
video

Saturday

2 WEEKS IN HAWAII - February 2009

Left to Right: Eric and wife Babs, Paula, Me, Sterling, Sharon (Eric/Babs' daughter) and Gary, her hubby.
We spent two lovely weeks in Hawaii with these four English friends ... Babs' father and my father were best friends in Blackpool so she's known us (Paula and I) since we were born ... the first week we were on Maui near Lahaina, then the second on the big island, in Kona. This photo was taken in Lahaina town-center where the 'parrot man' had set up shop with his very well-trained birds.
Unfortunately, when I replaced my SD card in my camera, I put the full-one in the camera case without benefit of protection and when we came through the airport checkpoints, my disk was wiped of all 588 photos .. about 120 of which were from Maui. A lesson learned!!

Of course we went to 'the best luau on Maui' .. we were given drinks of our choice while waiting in line, Charlie (in the picture) gave us our leis (along with kiss on the cheek) then he and another young man escorted us to our table. The entire luau was so well organized we really enjoyed it.
We visited the Hilton on the big island for our last dinner in Hawaii ... it is such a huge complex, they have trains and boats to take their patrons to the various buildings. This is our four ladies on one of the boats, (L to R) Babs, Paula, Sharon and me.
While we toured around Maui, we found another 'parrot man' only this one had more parrots and he took the photos with our own cameras ... he put all his parrots on me (hurry up before they poop!!) and this is the result ... plus some small piercings in my scalp!! lol