Tag Archives: Hawaii

Shopping In Hawaii

Where in the World has Alesiablogs gone now?

My girlfriend caught me telling her, "No more pictures please!"  She laughted at this photo so I thought I better share.

My girlfriend caught me telling her, “No more pictures please!” She laughted at this photo so I thought I better share.

So I guess you know where I am at..right???????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Now to my blog post…..

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A Garden

  
I am writing this from my home, but believe me in my head I am touring a Hawaiian garden. While recently on vacation, I had the opportunity to do a self guided tour at Wahiawa Botanical Gardens.

 

Wahiawa Botanical Gardens began in the 1920’s prehawaii statehood.  It was first considered an arboretum experiment.  When Hawaii became a state in the 1950’s, the department of parks and recreation  took over its operations.   

The county of Honolulu is home to 650 acres of botanical gardens at five sites. Wahiawa comprises only 26 of those acres with  a large amount of tropical plants. Some of these plants are rare. 

  

Upon entering  the botanical gardens, you are surrounded with quiet reflective walking trails. A visitor center is also on the premises upon going through the main entry.  There was no cost to us as visitors. 

  
Sections of the  botanical trails are divided into Australian and bamboo forests,  different palm gardens , and other flora and Hawaiian gardens.

  

Wahiawa gardens is for plants that love moisture. As much as 80 inches of rain may fall here. This unique gardens is definitely a home for rare flora.  

  
As I finish my thoughts about this Hawaiian garden, spring has really sprung here in my hometown of Seattle. So please enjoy a view from my backyard garden to yours as I bid adieu.

  
  
  

 

Ten Hawaiian Experiences 

  1. I would be remiss to not mention food only because what is a vacation without unique food experiences.  Poke ( pronounced Poe -Kay ) is raw tuna or ahi.  Foodland makes it very good and so does Food trucks near Chinaman’s hat! I had the best poke from a guy who buys it fresh from the fish auction. Rib lets from Helenas or Highway Inn are amazing also.  Leonard’s bakery is a must stop if you have a sweet tooth! You never had a better donut in your life. Please rent a car to drive to these great eating spots! Their is a truck parked on the other side of the island also serving Leonard’s pastries.  God I wish I had ate more then one!! Last but not least – I recommend trying bonefish in gravy.  I had this at the Highway Inn. This is authentic cuisine which is a fave of the locals and now I know why. Bonefish is hard to catch! Ask any fly fisherman trying to catch one of these silvery skinned strong fish who fight hard when they are reeled in even by the most experienced fisherman. 
  
2.  The next logical stop is a great hike to burn those calories off after eating so good!  That would be diamond head. The photo above I took on the initial hike up looking down toward the man made  Tunnel to get inside the volcano which is where the adventure begins.  After you spend a good hour and a half hike with plenty of water and  macadamia cliff bars- you will find yourself overlooking the most gorgeous views of Oahu. This national park is visited by at least a million people a year! I met one man who runs it 4 times a week up and down for exercise! Wow. Now that is a motivator. 

   

  View from the top of Diamond head! Worth the hike! Don’t ya think!!!!!

3. Seeing  the firework show done every Friday at 745p by the Hilton is a must. You can enjoy the beautiful sunset while sipping on a Mai Tai sitting on Waikiki Beach culminated by the sky lit up by fireworks. It is Nivana! 

  
4.  Rent a car to go to The Polynesian Culture center.  My dollar rental magazine had a coupon for buy one get one free into this awesome attraction! That was a $60 savings and worth every penny. Don’t ya think my smile indicates that! 

  

5.  Don’t forget to enjoy nature. The birds are adorable. 

  
6. Enjoy the environmental aspects of the islands by checking out the rich coral, fish, and rich history found in what lies beneath the sea. Ok – maybe it’s just those hot chicks on surf boards. Even the dude surfer seems to be about to fall off his board staring those girls down! 

   

7.  Go explore the island by driving leisurely down perhaps the Wainae Coast.  You will experience a slower pace, but I must warn you that there is heavy traffic at times so being patience is a must. I found it worth it. The views were worth it on the secluded beaches we found to enjoy. 

  
8. Make sure to take in some history by seeing  Pearl Harbor or visiting the rich history of the military bases.  There a few ways to enjoy this. One is by tour guide that I think is a must if you are short on time.  My favorite way again is by renting  a car. It is fairly easy to snag a free ticket to ferry across to The USS Arizona Memorial.  Warning: windy weather can cancel ferry service . Get there by 630am and you are sure to get on a ferry as the wind will not have kicked up that early in the morning.
  
9.  Make sure to visit one of the five botanical gardens. I was mesmerized by the beauty at Wahiawa.

  
10. Please think about going to the Aloha Bowl on either Wednesday , Saturday , or Sunday. You will definitely enjoy the opportunity to save money on a souvenir that could cost you half of what you might pay in downtown Honolulu. 

Please return soon as I will expand on a few of these tips in the next couple of blog posts!

  
My room was so comfy!!!

Ocean Watching

  
People talk a lot about people watching. I suppose I spend my time more bird watching , but in Hawaii I had extra special views. This egret sums it up nicely. I ocean watched. 

  
I truly admired this woman who never stopped to look at anything else, but the beautiful waves coming from the Pacific Ocean here on the island of Oahu. This is as peaceful as my mind can get. I enjoyed being on the island during the pipeline surfing contest .  Swells got as high as 70 feet. The islands had not seen that in 50 years. Fortunately the surfers were able to compete!  For myself and my traveling companions, we were content watching the surf! Scary seeing those guys and gals riding the waves, yet spectacular too. I promise soon to post some adventures I had on this trip. It was truly a wonderful time had by all. 

Monday

Photography is never boring. I find beauty in everything. 

   

 Flowers. Sunsets, and nature in general bring me into my happy place.  How about you?  

   
 
Sunsets in Hawaii are amazing. 

  
Cattle Egret are found neat Chinaman’s hat where cows are nearby.  The egret love to eat the bugs off the cows. 

  
The red-headed cardinal sure met my fancy! 

5 Facts You May Not Know!

  
1.  I know. I know. I look really happy in this photo taken last night over the skies of Waikiki. I am near one of the most beautiful army hotels you can imagine. I am staying there because the first fact you may not know is that I am an army veteran. My doctors have said my chronic pain would probably be better for me in warmer climate. It has helped. 

  
2. I know. I know. We have a political firestorm playing out on television about who our next president may be. The second fact is I have not watched one bit of the news until about a week ago. I realized I had not missed a thing and almost wished Obama would stay president. Why do I say that? I guess because all the money that goes into picking a new president would be better served feeding our poor.  

  
3.  I know. I know. I am living it up in Hawaii. I want you to know I am grateful beyond words to be able to enjoy a holiday I have spent with wonderful girlfriends. The truth is I would be just as happy sleeping in this cabin I photographed.  This is where I stayed 40 years ago with my sister and parents on an Army Recreational Center on the Wainae Coast 30 minutes from Schofield Barracks where Dad was stationed.  Call me a tomboy if you will. 

  

4.  The fourth fact is I am sometimes Luke a tomboy. I suppose my sons keep me young at heart. 

  

5.  The fifth fact is I am a no frills kind of gal. I like the simple pleasures of life. Thats me all alone with my green tshirt over my bikini so I do not burn!  This beach is faraway from the fast paced Waikiki beach. I took my girlfriend to this beach  where I could stay all day long! 

Aloha! Until next time. 

Why Am I Comfortable Today?

  
While driving along Palm Circle on Fort Shafter, I was brought back to another time.  It was here I experienced Hawaiian life first in 1969 as an army brat. This base was named after General William R. Shafter who liberated Cuba in 1898. It is also the oldest military base on the island.

  
Many of my Alabama family and friends will appreciate the hound’s tooth dress my mother made and wore on a beautiful hawaiian day when dad received honors for his army career on the island. Over a quarter of a century before this photo was taken, Fort Shafter was hit by Japanese bombers who targeted its artillery. It is on the field above where you see the young service men and women raising our flag that we sustained casualities.  The famous movies Pearl Harbor and Tora, Tora, Tora were filmed on location here. 

   

Above you will see the second post I lived on. This base is the largest outside the continental United States called Scholfield Barracks.  I captured in this photo buildings that you can see if you were to watch the classic film  From Here To Eternity.     

  
 
Mother always dressed my sister and I up in clothes she made for us while living on the Hawaiian bases. Who would have ever thought a little over 25 years before this photo was taken Japanese pilots would warm up their guns above us before bombing our Army Air Corps pilots’ home base Wheeler Army Airfield?

  
 
Perhaps Hawaii’s most famous scenic picture I took is of Pearl Harbor itself. It is underneath this structure you can see the remains eerily of the sunken Battleship Arizona. It is this tourist spot visited  by millions that led to the United States entering WWII. 

I hope you enjoyed learning  alittle history not only about your blogger, but about the Hawaiian Islands.  It is good for us to understand why we are comfortable today as I titled this post, but also to keep in mind that our defense needs to stay our priority if we want to continue to stay that way.