Monthly Archives: March 2013

2013 Trip Three, New Mexico, March 16

We are taking it easy at Jude’s and planning future visits to NM sites. Driving down I-35 and I-40 brought back memories of Pennsylvania and being surrounded by tractor trailers.

The landscape as one enters New Mexico becomes more appealing to us. It is still brown, drought mode, but the highest mountains have some snow on them. The terrain is hilly and undulating. There are some trees. We drove the Turquoise Trail on the east side of I-25 to reach Santa Fe.

As we spend a few days here, we are struck again by the beauties of the sunrise and sunsets. Attached is a photo of Friday’s sunset from Jude’s porch. You have to continue to watch them as the colors change constantly and color the sky and mountains in differing shades.

Sunset at Santa Fe

Sunset at Santa Fe

Ed March 16 Noon

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2013 Trip Three, Day Two, March 13, New Mexico


Well, today was driving through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. We saw our first flowers when we had lunch at a Cracker Barrel in Oklahoma city. It turned out to be the only flowers we saw all day. But, the sun was out and it was warm.

We missed the wrestling Museum in Oklahoma and the quarter horse Museum in Texas. Those will have to wait for a return visit. Topographically, the land was normally flat throughout the drive. The Flint Hills of Kansas were a pleasant rolling, Prairie view. Of course, the small oil derricks Took over after the Flint Hills of Kansas.

Western Oklahoma and eastern portion of Texas along interstate 40 had some rolling ravines, but not overly significant. We spent the night in Amarillo, Texas, and had a steak dinner in this thriving town of almost 200,000 people.

Ed March 14. 8 am

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2013 Trip 3, day one, New Mexico?

Well we are on the road again. No, we are not Headed for the Deep South. We are on the way to state of New Mexico. For family reasons, we have had to cancel our Deep South trip and are planning to spend several weeks in New Mexico. We hope to do a fair amount of travel around New Mexico but circumstances will dictate. Thus the posts will be somewhat hit or miss for a few weeks.

We have canceled all of our deep South hotel reservation. We are retooling for adventure in the southwest. We are driving, however, so we are continuing our trip Mentality. The car is packed with our travel by car equipment.

This is being dictated on day two As we travel through Kansas. Minnesota was snowing as was Iowa On Tuesday. The entire day was very windy.

We left Emporia Kansas and are headed for our next night destination Amarillo Texas. First days drive pretty boring scenery. The camera is in the trunk so you may not see any pictures.

My challenges will be learning how to correct spelling and grammar while dictating. Note, Chris is driving so I am not driving and dictating. My challenge will be to learn the iPad camera.

Ed March 13 for March 12

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2013 Trip Two, Day 25, Oahu, March 4

North shore of Oahu on the last day of trip

North shore of Oahu on the last day of trip

Ko'olaus ridge

Ko’olaus ridge

Chinaman's hat

Chinaman’s hat

Breezy day

Breezy day

On east shore of Oahu

On east shore of Oahu

March 3
Last real day in Hawaii. Tomorrow is travel home day to St. Paul which is receiving 5 or more inches of snow. Sarah and Sarah arrive in St. Paul tomorrow, welcome to Minnesota girls. Actually while we leave Tuesday we will get home early Wednesday morning.

Today we drove to the east and north shore of Hawaii. We took several interstate highways. I guess Hawaii did not want to lose out on federal largesse even though there are no states to “inter” to. The H-3 to the east shore is a beautiful drive through (literally, a major tunnel is involved) the coastal range. (Ko’olau range)

We visited Ho’omaluhia Park Botanical Garden. It is more of an arboretum but a pleasant experience. It was built by the Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control project.

We drove along the eastern coast and saw the Chinaman’s Hat. Ocean waves were at high levels. We did not stop at any real beaches or take any long hikes. This was just a driving overview.

We had lunch overlooking Hale’iwa Bay at Hale’iwa Joe’s Seafood Grill recommended by Dave and Peg Van Lear and pastor Amy Butler-you “met” her son in the Saturday post.

We wrapped up the day watching the sunset over Waikiki Beach and will be heading out for our last dinner here. We have had a blast. So many new and wonderful experiences, this has exceeded our expectations.

Ed 3-3-13 7:00 pm

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2013 Trip Two, Day 24, Oahu March 3

Honolulu festival fireworks

Honolulu festival fireworks

Honolulu festival parade

Honolulu festival parade

Waikiki Beach sunday

Waikiki Beach sunday

Sunday March 3

Chris and I pride ourselves on being organized and having events planned. Just ask the people who have traveled with us. Today, however, was an example of just being lucky.

Oahu post girls was not really planned out. I guess after 3 weeks and 4 islands, we just ran out of steam. So today’s events were just serendipitous. Honolulu is having a festival called “Honolulu Festival”! which celebrates cultural diversity. A large part of the festival is workshops and seminars but today there was a 2 hour parade and the evening concluded with fireworks.

The parade started really slow and there were major gaps between parade entrants. However, there were numerous groups dressed in garb reflecting that nation and frequently performing music and dance during the parade. The greatest representation was from Asian countries, Korea, Samoa, Japan, China, etc. Once again, we gained an appreciation for the unique history and cultures that make up Hawaii.

We keep comparing Waikiki with South Beach, since South Beach is the only real comparison we have. So far, Waikiki is faring quite well. Kalakaua Street seems to combine both Ocean Drive and Lincoln Avenue so it has the ocean beach along with shopping, pedestrians, and restaurants. The beach is more active here with people surfing, snorkeling, sailing, family cookouts, etc while South Beach is more sunning and partying. South Beach is larger and busier (at least at the times when we are there).

We went to the local church by the beach. For the second week in a row, Mass was about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Today’s mass however had Hawaiian liturgical movement i.e., hula and Hawaiian music as a prelude and postlude. The church sponsors a hula troupe which is competing in the all Hawaii competitions in early April.

Of course, like the rugby youth group on Maui, there was a fund-raiser to benefit the hula group. Once again we had a lunch with social overtones. We took the box lunch to the beach and watched the waves and people as we ate. We went back to the hotel and changed and then spent more time on the beach before the parade.

Between the parade and the fireworks, I used up the capacity on my first memory card. Fortunately I had purchased a second memory card and second battery with this camera. (Aren’t you glad you only have to see 3-5 pictures per post?)

Chris and I have been diligent in deleting extraneous and poor quality shots but there will still be a lot of work when we get home to prune the shots to transfer to Shutterfly and make albums. Plus I need to archive the pictures and then delete pictures on the iPad. Boy, the few days at home are going to be busy.

Tomorrow will probably be touring around Oahu before we head for home on Tuesday. The two Sarahs will likely be there as they begin the move to Minnesota.

Ed March 3 10:30 pm

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2013 Trip Two, Day 23, Oahu, March 2

Mughal Garden

Mughal Garden

Rebecca at Shangri-La

Rebecca at Shangri-La

Last day together

Last day together

Top of Diamond Head

Top of Diamond Head

Waikiki from Diamond Head

Waikiki from Diamond Head

March 2

Well, a bittersweet day. We had two glorious weeks with Sarah, Deb, Rebecca and Sarah but they are now at the airport for their flights home. We will miss their cheerful attitudes and sense of wonder at new experiences. Conversation at dinner will go back to the two of us looking at each other rather than spirited talk.

For their last day, several different activities were in store. Sarah and Sarah did some beach and surfing, less successfully than they hoped maybe but still an experience they were adventurous enough to pursue on their own.

They met Hayden Butler for some beach time also. Hayden is the son of pastor Amy Butler of Calvary Baptist Church in DC. Amy is a good friend of theirs. Hayden joined us all in the late afternoon for malasadas from Leonard’s bakery, some whirlpool time at Aqua Bamboo Hotel, and our final pizza and salad meal before we departed for the airport. Hayden is a freshman at UH studying art.

Deb and Ed climbed Diamond Head with about 16 gazillion others but were smart enough to start early before the heat and crowds arrived. The grade was steep but overall the hike was not overly strenuous. We separated for a bit but met for lunch and the malasadas pick up. (malasadas = portuguese donut without a hole.)

Chris and Rebecca went to Shangri-La. This was the home of Doris Duke, wealthy philanthropist. After her death, her home here (1 of 5 overall) was endowed as a museum focusing on Islamic art. The tour was enjoyable and educational but they could not take pictures inside so we only have two exterior shots for you. One is of the Mughal Garden, a microcosm of royal gardens found throughout the Indian subcontinent.

Sunday we revert to our old style of two people exploring the U.S.

Ed March 2 9 pm

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2013 Trip Two, Day 22, Oahu, March 1

boat ride to Arizona memorial

boat ride to Arizona memorial

shopping in Waikiki

shopping in Waikiki

royal chairs at Iolani Palace

royal chairs at Iolani Palace

last vacation dinner at Duke's on Waikiki

last vacation dinner at Duke’s on Waikiki

Saturday March 1

Busy day for all of us. Five of us went to Pearl Harbor memorial. Sarah L had been to Pearl Harbor before and did not wish to relive the experience. She went snorkeling and continued her email correspondence with Ann Fielding, the snorkeling guide from Maui.

The five of us left early also and spent several hours touring the Pearl Harbor memorial. We purchased audio tapes to provide more background and visited the museums. Walking the grounds allowed us to read numerous outdoor displays and signs in addition to the audio tour information.

THe tour to the memorial begins with a 25 minute video. A boat ride out to the memorial follows with 20-30 minutes of time at the site. We all found the experience to be a moving one.

After lunch we toured Iolani Palace, the home of the Hawaiian monarchy in the last days of its reign and seat of government for a number of years afterwards. We had some time for napping and shopping before dinner.

Our last planned dinner together was at Duke’s where the food and companionship were excellent.

Ed March 1 10:30 pm

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2013 Trip Two, Day 21 Oahu, Feb 28

Wow, three weeks so far.

This was a travel day flying from the Big Island to Oahu. We have been taking mid day flights. Makes it easier to make sure everyone is up and ready and we can not check in to new accommodations until 3 pm anyway.

So first brief impressions of Honolulu:
Heavy traffic. Oahu as I recall has just under 1,000,000 people, about 75% of the state’s population. Kauai, for instance, has less than 75,000.
The Asian influence is much more notable here, with a heavy influx of Japanese visitors.
There is some resemblance for us to South Beach. Major beach with nice walkway but much more in-the-water activity here instead of just sunning. Plenty of shopping, upscale and kitschy. It seems like there is an ABC store (sortimage


image of travel mini mart) on every corner.

We drove together to our small hotel two blocks from the main beach. We separated for the rest of the day; doing the beach, hot tub, or just walking around. At sunset here at the main beach, they blow a conch shell (Which we did hear previously) but also have a torch lighting and hula dance brief performance. Nice touch.

The effort to reclaim the Hawaiian culture is strong throughout the islands. It does help make this more unique and historical than just another set of beach towns.

Ed March 1, 6:30 am

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