Travel Journal

Hawaii 2014 – Day 7

Well, you didn’t miss day 6 – it was just a travel day. And, I’m writing this on day 8 sitting by the pool in Maui, which is much better than writing late at night from our room. Day 7 was spent on the road to Hana, an all-day road trip through Maui’s coastal rain forest. The 52-mile road takes about 2-½ hours to drive if you make no stops.   Some 620 curves and 59 bridges (46 are one-lane) account for the length of time even with light traffic, which we were lucky to have.  On top of that, […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 5

Today was a lazy day at the resort. Imagine that, being lazy on vacation!  But, I couldn’t stay entirely still – took my camera out for an hour and found a new bird and some new perspectives on palm trees, or at least palm tree trunks. The resort has a large koi pond and I tried to get some decent pictures of the larger (18 inches or so) and more colorful ones.  I didn’t have any luck with that, but I did discover that they have really ugly mouths – wide, oval openings with thick lips. Fortunately, I was distracted […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 4

At more than 10 stories, the Aloha Tower was once the tallest building in Honolulu, from when it was built in 1926 as a lighthouse, until the mid-sixties.  Passenger ships arriving at adjacent Pier 9 would disgorge their passengers to a welcoming royal band.  It is said to have served as a welcoming icon to immigrants to Hawaii, much as the Statue of Liberty is a beacon to US immigrants.   We learned that the tower is open to the public, for free no less, so today was the day to visit. Before we caught sight of the tower, we […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 3

Oahu North Shore Surfing

Went to the north shore to check out waves on the Banzai Pipeline, one of the world’s most famous surfing beaches. Alas, the waves were disappointing, maybe 5 feet according to the surf report, and very short-lived. If surfers got a 5-second ride, they were very lucky.  February is the tail end of the surfing season, with November and December being the best.  As it turns out, the waves get better later this week, 10 – 13 feet, but I’ll be off to Maui by then. With the the small waves, my best shots were of surfers wiping out or […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 2

Palm Trunk

Wandering the well-groomed lawns of Ko’olina in the early morning, I found a palm trunk that grows nearly horizontal before ascending to its lofty height. Later in the day, at Hanauma Bay on Oahu’s windward side, this cattle egret had found refuge in the tree above my head. Shortly after Hawaii gained statehood, it introduced this bird, along with barn owls, to control insects and rodents. Now, more than 50 years later, these birds are in need of control, although they have few natural predators. Why “cattle” egrets? They like to be with large animals and feed on insects disturbed […]

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