I count myself as one of the fortunate ones to recently go to Hawaii!
When I think of Hawaii, I think of Elvis in "Blue Hawaii", or Tom Selleck as "Magnum P.I."..... Or first and foremost the "Arizona Memorial". I'll get to that in a bit...
I flew to Kauai with my wife and daughter; who's turning 17 in a couple weeks.... ugh.... my little girl is a young woman now...
Anyway, to get back on point. We met family there and spent the next 5 days exploring the island. I was amazed that over 80% of Kauai is uninhabited! The best part about that is that the island is left pristine! We visited the east side and Waimea Canyon by travelling along the switch back road leading through the park. The dark red soil mixed with the lush green was amazing to me! If you know your color wheel, you know that red and green are complimentary colors! The heights and soaring vistas of this canyon drew you in and hold you there as the cool breeze sweeps up the canyon cliffs and caresses you live the soft touch of a mother's hand on her child's face.... Ok... maybe a little too much?! But, it WAS cool in all aspects of the word! :-)
We came across a scene we never expected to see! It was like being on Mars but with water. A small stream flowed and tumbled over the rich red stone and dirt falling about 20 feet in a meandering path to almost disappear in a crevice the flow had created. There was little vegetation around and it was the coolest vision I had ever scene!
We snorkeled, and yes, I am getting old and not really going to snorkel again if I can help it... That's all I'm sayin on that one...... Sorry for the scare to my wife and daughter!
We went to this place called the "Queen's Bath" which was a deep tidal pool that had 10' tall edges to jump off of into the cool, clear water. It was heaven... except for the treacherous hike to get there and back that is. I didn't fall on my butt is all I'm sayin on that one as well...
We drove to the north side and found a beach lined with wonderful trees and 6" surf. The girls all went and braved the water while I found my solace behind my camera lens. Shooting from the tree line and out towards the shoreline provided difficulties for sure! The dark under the trees against the brighter sky proved to challenge me with the contrast of the two. However, there is always a way to overcome!
I didn't spend every waking minute looking for that perfect shot. I enjoyed my time with my family and the beauty God created on this island!
Next we went to Oahu and the land of Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor for another 4 days.
My daughter along with her cousin did the best thing they knew how; they went shopping! We found time to lay on the beach and swim in the warm pacific waters of Waikiki Beach. My daughter even took a surfing lesson and road some waves! She and I did something that she has wanted to do since she was old enough to know what it was. We went a did a shark encounter! They took us 3 miles off the north shore and we got into a shark cage. Then 3 Galapagos sharks came right up to the cage and swam around us! The largest was about 10' and the smallest about 7'! It was worth the price to see the excitement on my daughter's face! I thought it was cooler than I expected it to be also.
My last thing to mention is our trip to Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. To say I really enjoyed it sounds too crass and altogether inappropriate. It was truly moving and I was totally awestricken to stand there and imagine the planes, the fire and the terror of that day! I will never forget it. We met a man by the name of Jerome T. Hagen while there. He is a retired Brigadier General from the US. Marine Corps. He was truly a hero. Not like the ones the media tells us are but a true hero that saved American lives and led one of the most respected fighting forces on this planet. My hats off to him, my step-son (who served as a Marine), the men and women I served with in Afghanistan and especially my friend Mike who was killed in Afghanistan by a car bomb, to all those who have served and are still serving and those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and liberty here in the United States of America!
This mother was trying to help her two little boys get their feet clean and put their shoes back on after wading in the cold water of the Lower Falls in the Old Man's Cave Gorge area. I laughed at the pure joy of her wrestling with these two ornery boys as they splashed and giggled while she attempted to get them cleaned and re-shoed!