Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dinosaur Museum - Thanksgiving Point

I stayed the night at Sara and Jarem's place. This is the view from their house in the morning.
Today we visited the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. Ari and Jude made fossils...

...and played in the sand/water.

Santa Claws
Ari turned his feet into fossils.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm cursed!

Remember the TV show "LOST," about the people who crashed on the crazy island that wouldn't let them leave? I now know how they felt:

Thursday night I went to the airport for my 9:30PM flight. One hour before the scheduled take-off time they came over the intercom and told us the pilot had called in sick and they would give us an update in 20 minutes. An hour or two later they told us the flight crew was not coming and our flight had been rescheduled for 6:30 the next morning, but they didn't tell us what happened. We all had to go to the main desk, re-book our tickets, and get a hotel room for the night. I've never seen such slow service in my life. Apparently there is a big marathon in Honolulu this weekend and they couldn't find very many hotel rooms for us. It was 1:00AM by the time I got up to the counter to see what they could do for me. After standing in line for a while, we the people started to get a little upset. At one point a representative was sent out to tell us that the reason the flight crew didn't show up for duty was because one of them had died in the hotel that night.

I was presented with two options. I could take a 10:00PM (Friday) direct flight from Honolulu to Salt Lake City, or I could stick with the 6:30AM (Friday) flight to LA and then get on a Delta flight later that afternoon for Salt Lake. I chose the latter because I just wanted to get home. They offered to pay for a hotel room, but since I would just have to come back four hours later (and go through security all over again), I decided to wait it out at the airport. I asked for a voucher for a free flight (or a discounted flight). No luck. I asked for a voucher for free food in the airport. They gave me a $15 voucher. So I spent the rest of the night pacing the airport, reading, and trying to sleep on a hard chair or on the hard ground, periodically murmuring to myself about the poor service I consistently experience from US airlines (Southwest and Jetblue are exempted from my murmurings).

6:30AM came around - still no flight crew. At 8:00AM the crew finally showed up. We all applauded their arrival (half mocking, and half out of sheer relief). We took off at 8:30AM, flew five hours to LA (they did give us free food on the plane), and then I found out that my flight to SLC would be delayed one hour. I wanted to punch someone, but if I had punched the guy to my right he would have beaten me up, and if I had punched the little old lady to my left..........well..........you just don't do things like that. At 5:30PM we took off from LA and arrived in SLC about 90 minutes later. I made it, right? Well yes, but come to find out that my luggage did not. Of course it didn't make it! Why would my luggage arrive with me? That would mean something happened the way it was supposed to. I gave the representatives my address and now I'll wait to see if it shows up in the next couple of days or if the island kept it.

Joseph picked me up from the airport, we came home to devour some food, and after almost 48 hours with zero sleep, I'm going to crash. This gives new meaning to the phrase "Home Sweet Home."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last day in Hawaii

Quince and I went on a hike this morning and it was as if we were in a little piece of paradise. If only my pictures could convey the experience better. Since I will be freezing my toosh off in Utah tomorrow, this was a nice send-off.

At the top of the trail we found this...
And 20 feet further we found this.........so what did we do?
Kept on going, of course.
After snapping a few pictures of paradise we noticed some clouds moving toward us.
Closer and closer they moved.

Until we were completely engulfed.

I know it looks like Quince is coming up, but we were actually on our way back down.
Umm, about that tan I was supposed to get. :) They sure had some crazy trees up there.
After burning all those calories we decided to stop and get some pancakes with macadamia nut syrup, with spam and eggs.

Twas a fantastic week in Hawaii. Mahalo, Jen & Quince, for being great hosts!

Hawaii - Day 6 - Laie Temple and the PCC

Jen and Quince dropped me off this morning to do a session at the Laie Temple while they took some family pictures. What a beautiful place!

The flag was at half-staff today for the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

We had lunch at Surfin' Tacos, which was very much like Cafe Rio......delicious!
Then we went next door to spend the rest of the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was a highlight of my trip. Here we have Cole and Zane trying to figure out how to make the Shaka sign.
On a canoe ride with my shave ice.
A Samoan demonstrating how to climb a coconut tree.
The Tahitian girls were my favorite of the floating shows. Shakira would be jealous of those hips.
BYU football fans recognize this.
I haven't laughed this hard in a while. This guy was hilarious! He was supposed to copy everything the Tongan guy was doing.
Who's pinching Jen's bum? Wasn't me! The guy next to me needs to work on his tan. Whitey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hawaii - Day 5 - Kona Temple and Poi

I did a session at the Kona temple before hopping on a plane back to Oahu.

Arriving back in Honolulu to a full rainbow.
Tonight we visited Helena's to try out some traditional Hawaiian food.

Cole didn't like the poi at all.
Pork and cabbage (top left), creamed spinach with chicken (top right), and poi. The poi by itself isn't very good (in my opinion), but mixed with those other two items, it was tolerable.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hawaii - Day 4 - Big Island

I hopped on a 5:30AM flight from Honolulu to the Big Island, rented the red jeep you see in some of the photos, and drove a couple of hours into the Waipio Valley.
See the sign to the left? It is a 25% grade to get into (and out of) the Waipio Valley. 4WD is a must.....unless you want to hike.
The locals have some pretty wild horses down in the valley.
Check out the waterfall way back there. You can't get there in a vehicle. In fact, you can't get very far at all in a vehicle.
This guy named "Eagle" needed a ride home. That was the only way I was able to drive on one of the private roads.......and through this stream.
And this guy needed a ride back out of the valley. Nope, I didn't force them to ride on the back. Most of the locals (in that valley at least) wander around without shoes, so their feet are pretty muddy. These two wanted to ride on the back in order to avoid getting the car dirty (not that I care about a rental).
Scenic lookouts along the way to Hilo

Akaka Falls
I stopped at "What's Shakin'" to get some food after having read about it in a magazine.
It definitely lived up to its reputation. The smoothie was pure fruit and really good. The chicken tamale was amazing as well, and that fresh (huge!) avocado made it even better. You can't see my piece of pineapple because it fell on the floor before I could take a picture. Besides, pineapple doesn't really come from Hawaii, so who wants it in the picture anyway. :)
I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I'm just not a garden person. I went through this thing in about 20 minutes and was pretty bored throughout.
Some of the plants in the botanical garden.

This strange-looking thing was in there too.

A view from the botanical garden.

Yup, that's rainbow falls. If you've been to the Big Island you may notice I don't have any pictures of the Volcano National Park. I decided I've spent enough time in dry, dead areas of the world, so I spent the whole day on the green part of the island. I love the green! I did make it up most of the way to the observatories at the top of the mountain (almost 10,000 feet!), but the last part is a really rough dirt road and I wasn't comfortable with my off-roading skills (and it was raining), so I decided to drive back down to Kona.