Aug 14, 2014

Kaua'i - The Garden Island

A journey is like marriage.
The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
John Steinbeck

Peacefulness of Kaua'i
We are fortunate to have seen three Hawaiian Islands before ‘almost hurricanes’ Iselle and Julio passed by.  Thankfully they tendered little damage but it would have severely tampered with what we could have seen and where we went.  Kaua’i is the last place we visited before heading back to the US and we mean to savor each and every one of these last days. 

Jul 16, 2014

Hawaii's Big Island

A mind that is stretched by a new experience 
can never go back to its old dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Roses of Siam from the ginger family - Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, a must see
Our favorite of the three Hawaiian islands we visited: folks thinking and living outside the box and uncertainty due to active volcanoes…
The very nature of having active volcanoes at your doorstep gives the Big Island a completely different feel.  The insecurity that this brings to everyday life means people live more in the moment, enjoying what is there right now for it may not be there tomorrow.  

We visited a small town that lost many of its homes and the world’s longest black sand beach to hot lava in 1990.  We were able to speak with some of the ‘survivors’ who stated it was the slowest natural disaster.  They were able to walk alongside the hot red lava engulfing everything giving them time to think how bad it will be once it’s over unlike a rapid tornado. 

Jul 15, 2014

Hawaii - US Version of the South Pacific Islands

A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles 
so he can be photographed standing in front of his car.
Emile Ganest

Surfboard are used for everything from wind-vanes to road signs

First stop Oahu – best known for Honolulu, Waikiki and the invention of surfing!

We had not planned a stay in Hawaii but a flight back to the US from Tahiti costs hundreds of dollars more if you don’t stop in Hawaii so with that incentive baiting us we decided to keep the adventure going a tad longer and visited three Hawaiian islands before returning to the mainland.

Jul 14, 2014

Tahiti - Third Time's a Real Charm

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things
cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little
corner of the earth all of one's lifetime.
Mark Twain

Dancer's feet waiting to start...
I guess I misspoke when I wrote that Rurutu was our last stop in French Polynesia.  I had forgotten our needed quick return to Tahiti for our flight back to North America via Hawaii. 

We timed our return very well for we were able to participate in the first day of the Annual Arts Festival that usually precedes the Heiva (cultural festival we mentioned in previous post).  We managed to attend the opening ceremony with the welcoming of President Gaston Flosse, music, drumming, food, flowers, and dancing. 

Jul 13, 2014

Rurutu,The Island of Traditions

Be interested, not interesting.
Jane Fonda  

While very brittle, these rocks are amazing
I think following this saying is even more important while traveling. Stay open minded, ask questions, be curious, be mindful, share only when people are inquiring and you will discover much more about the community and places you are visiting. They love to know you are interested, inquisitive, very much like them, etc. Most wouldn’t otherwise know what to share with you or what you are attracted to. You’d be amazed how many people open up with a huge smile when asked the simplest questions like “How did you make this amazing tasting coconut jam?” “What is the meaning of this small thing hanging from your rear-view mirror?” Let the doors open…