Category Archives: travel

Never enough Aloha

Let’s see, where was I? Oh, paradise!

Friday we went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. The bay was formed thousands of years ago when the southeast wall of Hanauma Crater eroded away. This is a perfect gentle snorkeling experience. Shallow waters, lots of colorful fish and coral. What’s not to like? Even swimming averse me had a great time.

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I don’t have a lot of pictures from this day, because the real show was underwater!

Saturday began with a parade on Kalakaua Avenue, just below our lanai. It was the Hawaii Heroes and Veterans Parade, complete with troops and marching bands.

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We went to Chinatown at noon and found it to be…underwhelming. But I think we’re pretty jaded (hah!) because we love San Francisco’s Chinatown. It’s hard to top that one. Saturday turned into a shopping day, which was fine, and gave CollegeGrad a chance to catch up with his college buddies. Nice to have friends living in Hawaii!

Sunday started out with a double rainbow over the water. Can you see the second one to the left of the bright one?

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We chose this day to have breakfast from McDonald’s, which was just down on the corner. Portuguese sausage, spam, eggs, and rice! Is this at your local McD’s? About 25 years ago, we had Portuguese sausage and rice for breakfast at a McDonald’s in Waikiki. I guess everything is super-sized now…I saved about half of it for the next day.

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We had planned to go kayaking from Lanikai Beach, but our energy level wasn’t quite up to it, so we planned another hike instead. Our destination? Makapu’u Point, the easternmost point of the island. The trail is 1.75 miles long, and is hot and dry, and really windy on the eastern side of the point! I guess that’s why they call it the windward side of the island. The lighthouse at the point is stunningly beautiful, but it’s off limits to the public.

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You look down at the lighthouse from the viewpoint at the end of the trail.

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We saw a hang glider while we were at the viewpoint. He had a good time showing off for us.

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On the way back down, we saw a rainbow, skimming over the water towards us. I love the little rain shower under the arc of the rainbow. It was a three rainbow day!

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I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It was just what this empty nester needed, face time with my family. I suppose we could have been anywhere, as long as it was away (too many distractions and comings and goings at home), but this was perfect.

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Mele Kalikimaka! And I knit all the way home…

Aloha, Oahu!

It’s been an interesting year. Youngest son went off to college across the country, and DH does a fair amount of travel in his work. My nest is pretty empty sometimes! When CollegeGuy left, I planned a trip for his winter break return. I knew we’d all need some face time. Last week we traveled to Honolulu for some fun in the sun.

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The Occupy Portland camp may be shut down, but there’s still an Occupy Honolulu.

Our first night’s sunset was spectacular, but then they all were. We were in a 12th floor condo in Waikiki, facing west.

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The next day we hiked to the top of Diamond Head (760 ft at the summit), the volcanic crater that overlooks Waikiki. You can see the hotels in the background. The views were spectacular all the way around.

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The boys (young men?) took advantage of this old winch to pose for one of their “vacation murder” shots. Someday I’ll post the collection…

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And that afternoon, we played on the beach at Waikiki and looked back up to where we had been.

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Thursday we paid our respects at the USS Arizona Memorial. The Arizona was sunk in the raid on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that drew the US into World War II. The memorial is a simple white structure which spans the submerged hull of the ship, where 1102 sailors are still entombed. It’s a stark, somber place, beautiful in its simplicity. The ship itself still leaks oil from its tanks; it bubbles up and spreads across the water. There is an estimated 500,000 gallons of oil aboard the ship, which is monitored for environmental hazard.

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We also toured the USS Missouri, which is berthed next to the Arizona. The Missouri was the site of the signing of the Formal Instrument of Surrender that ended World War II, so the ships are bookends of the war. The end of our visit found us looking at the Arizona Memorial, the guns of the Missouri, and…a rainbow. Somehow fitting, I thought.

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I did have time for some knitting on this trip; I took Thrumbelina with me. This is the Madeline Tosh Merino yarn that I showed you a few posts ago. It’s dreamy to knit with, but easier to split with my needle than the Malabrigo Worsted.

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It wasn’t too warm on the lanai to knit with thrums!
More vacation in the next post…

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I’m doing one Christmas knitting project. Just one. It’s under control; I’ll have it done tonight. It’s Thrumbelina for a friend. I took it on vacation with me, but I wasn’t sure how it would do on a plane. Big hint: Turn off the overhead air vent when making thrums; they like to fly!

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There was also a little breeze here, but it was pretty manageable. And the birds didn’t try to steal the thrums.

I’ll tell you about the trip in the next post, but here’s my obligatory Lantern Moon sheep tape measure vacay pic:

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How is *your* Christmas knitting? Almost done? Only four knitting days left!

Getaway!

I went on a little getaway last weekend with friends that I met at piano camp in Vermont years ago. We don’t play the piano as much as we used to, but we’re still friends and still get together, even though we’re scattered up and down the west coast. This time we headed further west than usual, to the Big Island of Hawaii.

There were beaches.

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There were spectacular sunsets…

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through rose colored glasses, even. (Really they’re charcoal shade lenses, but they really enhance the pink.)

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We went to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where we saw petroglyphs…

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and old lava flows.

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(Doesn’t this one look like melted faces?)

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(End of the road, apparently)

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The ocean has carved out this arch from the lava rock island. This is the Holei Sea Arch. And Lambert.

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Kilauea is a live volcano!

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(Come closer to the steam and sulfur dioxide! The ring road around the crater was closed. Too much sulfuric gas.)

There were good things to eat…

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and drink.

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(utterly frou frou!)

And there were good friends to share it all.

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But not much knitting!

Not quite yet…

I said I’d tell you where I went, but I’m not ready. Go over to the Lantern Moon blog and see if you can figure it out. I can’t post here until my contest is done over there! Here’s a hint.

Took a little trip…

…across the country to Orlando to visit SirCollegeDude. He’s at the University of Central Florida, and they’re the Knights, hence, SirCollegeDude. I cashed in a bunch of miles and took CollegeGrad with me; DH met us there. We had to fly first class on the way out, boo hoo.

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A little afternoon cocktail with my knitting? Sure!

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Dinner was nice.

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SirCollegeDude’s working on a Baja car like this one with the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), but this year’s car is taller. It was a very soggy wet weekend with torrential rains, but we took advantage of a break in the rain to get in a quick campus tour.

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We headed to Kennedy Space Center on Sunday. This was a great place, really interesting and inspiring. Lots for the science geeks!

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This enormous building is where they assembled the space shuttles for launch (the orbiters plus all the stuff that put the orbiters into space). From there they were taken via crawler to the launch pad. A very slow, exacting process with a maximum speed of about one mile per hour.

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Here’s one of the engines at the Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry. And my guys.

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The Apollo/Saturn V Center has an actual Saturn V rocket in it. That thing is LONG. There are a lot of interesting exhibits about the moon missions. I’m not sure why we went to the moon, other than because we could, and we wanted to do it before the Russians did, but a lot of science and engineering went into the feat.

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Maybe it’s because we needed a Hello Kitty astronaut.

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It was great to spend some time with the whole family. I also got a chance to knit with Dee last weekend, but I forgot to take a picture! It’s always fun to meet a friend from the blogosphere.

I finished the knitting from the first picture this week; it’s another This Little Ziggy vest. I’ll show you, soon. I’m still trying to catch up with myself…I’m moving way faster than a space shuttle on the crawlerway!

Step away from the knitting…

Just for a little while! It’s been a string of warm sunny days in the Pacific Northwet. DH and I decided to get out for a bit on Sunday. Multnomah Falls was our original destination, but it was packed for the holiday weekend and we had to do a quick destination revision. I remembered we had once hiked at Wahclella Falls, and the smartphone google machine pointed us in the right direction.

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Come on, you know you want to! The hike is an easy mile in and mile out. We last did this with young kids, and it felt like many more miles back then.

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The trail goes alongside Tanner Creek, and has lovely shady spots to hang out. But the mosquitoes know you’re there. We didn’t linger at this spot. It’s not much further to the falls.

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It was cool and perfect on a hot day. And we enjoyed the hike out as well.

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When we got home, I looked for the pictures from our last trip here. Apparently it was 16 years ago.

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That tow-headed toddler? He’s a college freshman. The other kiddo? College grad, working dude. And DH on the left? Still DH, 29 years next week. Happy anniversary!

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What did you do with the end of summer weekend?

Back from another adventure

Well, that was a bit of radio silence! I was off chaperoning 20 teens on a mission trip through Sierra Service Project. It was my last chance to experience SSP with one of my kids, since this was the Teen’s last year. Both of my kids have loved working with this program, and I wanted to see it in action. Most of SSP’s work sites are on Native American reservations. Our site this year belongs to the Shoshone-Bannock tribes in Fort Hall, Idaho.

My team’s project was to extend a wheelchair ramp for an elderly homeowner. The original ramp was too steep.

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I was lucky to be paired with another chaperone who actually had experience doing this. Three of the kids on our team had prior SSP exoerience, and two were newbies like me. We de-constructed the original ramp, saving most of the materials for re-use.

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What’s for lunch?

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I learned that using a circular saw is pretty much like using a sewing machine: follow the guide and go!

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And a reciprocating saw is a lot like my electric knife.

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Fort Hall is in a high desert area. The sun is more intense at 4500 feet, and it’s a lot drier on the other side of the mountains. (gratuitous outhouse art shot)

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Our weather was mostly sunny, but Tuesday brought beautiful thunderstorms and curtains of rain.

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Music is part of the program, and the Teen always loves being a part of it.

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And Thursday night’s spiritual walk witnessed a beautiful sunset and an even more beautiful moonrise.

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moonrise

We finished our ramp!

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Blaine, the custodian at the school we stayed in, shared his grandfather’s ceremonial headdress with us. His grandfather made it sometime between 1890 and 1915. These feathers are eagle fathers, with horsehair decorations at the tips.

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There are also owl feathers on the back of the headpiece.

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The beadwork is precise! There are also beads at the base of each eagle feather.
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It was a privilege to talk with Blaine and learn about this beautiful piece of art.

I did knit all week long, and am almost done with the first of three skeins of Euroflax sport on my Ruffle Tank. No pic of the knitting, but here’s my Lantern Moon sheep tape measure enjoying some time on the Snake River.

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Oh, BTW, I’m having a “name my sheep” contest on the Lantern Moon blog. Come on over to the LM blog and give me your best shot at a name for my tape measure! You can win a sheep tape measure of your own, as well as Baabs the scissors keeper. Contest ends Wednesday night, my time, so be quick!

Another pretty place

but this time I forgot to take a picture with the sheep!

I took this one instead, as my friend P contemplated the roaring cataract of the Middle Falls on the north fork of the Lewis River.

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The Lower Falls were rather gorgeous, too.

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We had a late spring this year, and the water is high and fast. Here’s what it looked like in 2009 (different angle, but you get the idea). That year, we took the kids across the river to play behind this very same waterfall. Not this time!

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On a hike between the two waterfalls, I could hear the musical tinkling of rocks rolling down this cliff. The erosion has created quite a sculpture.

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I liked the Dr. Seuss quality of the lumpy moss on the dead tree standing by this nurse log.

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And I never get tired of this view.

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It was a quick overnight camping trip; we’ve been camping with the same families for several years, and last week we realized that this week was the only one where we could all go at the same time before the kids head to college. The other families stayed for two nights, but I could only do one. It was fun, anyway. I did get some knitting done on my ruffle tank, and now it smells like a campfire. Good thing I’ll be washing and blocking it when it’s done.

What else is up? I’ve been playing Words With Friends, with several friends. Addictive and a productivity sink hole, but I love it anyway. Everybody’s playing, including Bells from BellsKnits and Kay from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Kay just beat me two in a row. C’mon, you know you want to play, too…

Here, there, and everywhere

July is a crazy month (didn’t I say that about June?), but it’s all fun. Sock Summit is coming at the end of the month, and everything else leads to that!

I ran away for 24 hours over the weekend to Gig Harbor, Washington with a couple of friends from way back. We stayed in a lovely B&B on the water, caught up, laughed a lot, and then went to our respective homes in 3 different cities.

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Don’t these clouds look like the basis for a lace pattern? (Always thinking about knitting!)

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My first blueberries of the season are ripening. I like blueberries and lime, so I squashed some in my gin & tonic, and the drink eventually turned a lovely pinky-purple. (Is this a sign that I should drink faster?)

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Mt. Rainier at sunset graced our dinner.

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And my Lantern Moon sheep tape measure came to lunch on Sunday at the Tides Tavern. Great halibut fish & chips!

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I learned a valuable knitting lesson on the way home. When you join two pieces of knitting to knit in the round, it’s just like beginning anything in the round. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TWIST! It wasn’t twisted when I joined it, but I forgot to check on the subsequent round, and when I got a couple rounds past the join, I knew I had a problem. It didn’t take long to fix, but it was car knitting time lost! All better now.

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Where are you going this summer (or winter, for our friends down under)? What are you knitting?