With plans for our move to Germany in full swing and our annual January-February exotic travel plans permanently on hold, it was time to come up with another alternative. One that could be done easily from Seattle (after one last check on our boat) and preferably without our passports.
Enter Hawaii…more specifically, Kauai.
There’s no better way to escape the stress of an impending trans-Atlantic move than a getaway to your favorite Hawaiian island. And my favorite sandy slice of aloha is the garden island of Kauai. And luckily, Delta has non-stop service from Seattle to Kauai’s Lihue airport.Read More
Perched on the side of Waikiki’s famous extinct volcano, the Diamond Head Lighthouse was built in 1899 and spreads light 18 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. In the 1820’s ships were drawn to the coastline of Waikiki by what they thought were diamonds in the rocks of the volcano’s slopes. Though these “diamonds” turned out to be clear calcite crystals, the name Diamond Head stuck, as did the need to warn sailors of the dangerous reefs. Though the lighthouse is not open to the public, it can easily be viewed from overhead from the summit of Diamond Head crater for those making the early morning hike to the top. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the lighthouse is no longer manned but continues to keep vigil warning ships of the danger of the Diamond Head reefs.Read More
At just 38 by 10 miles, Molokai Hawaii lies just across the Pailolo Channel from Maui. It’s the fifth largest of the Hawaiian islands and the least populated. The swaying palms and empty beaches of Molokai bring to mind the Hawaii of old, before tourism took hold. But the island is perhaps best known for the 19th century settlement of Kalaupapa where sufferers of Hansen’s Disease, also known as leprosy, were once forced into quarantine. Beglian priest, Father Damien de Veuster, and Mother Marianne Cope of the Sisters of St. Francis cared for the residents of the Kalaupapa colony and were both canonized Roman Catholic Saints for their service. There are no active cases of Hansen’s Disease on the island today but some patients chose to stay after the quarantine policy was lifted in 1969. Often called the “true Hawaii” and the birthplace of the hula, tiny Molokai has no traffic lights and can easily be seen in a day. But this relaxing bit of Hawaiian paradise offers lots of compelling reasons to stay a little longer.Read More
Less than an hour’s drive from the glitzy crowds of Waikiki Beach, Oahu’s laid-back North Shore is known for big waves, daredevil surfers and fish tacos served from a truck. Considered to be the surfing mecca of the world, every December the North Shore hosts 3 major surfing competitions known collectively as the Triple Crown of Surfing. In the summer months, this relaxed surfing community is a great place to escape the throngs of Waikiki for a tranquil day on one of several empty beaches like Waimea Bay. On the drive up to the North Shore, don’t miss the Dole Pineapple Plantation. And for lunch, check out one of the area’s numerous food trucks for fresh garlic shrimp or delicious fish tacos.Read More
Believed extinct for more than 150,000 years, the volcanic tuff cone known as Diamond Head crater defines the skyline of Hawaii’s most famous beach, Waikiki. But this U.S. State Monument is more than just the anchor to an iconic view, visitors can hike the interior of Diamond Head crater up to Fire Control Station Diamond Head at the summit. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1908, the historic trail features tunnels, underground command posts and steep switchbacks along the mile and a half journey to the top. But hikers who persevere will be rewarded at the summit with sweeping views over Waikiki and all of downtown Honolulu. Get there just before 6:00am and make the hike to the summit just in time to start your day in paradise with a perfect Hawaiian sunrise.Read More
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a “day that will live in infamy.” In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, as the 185 vessels of the U.S. Pacific Fleet lay calm and serene, the first wave of Japanese aircraft entered Hawaiian airspace and began what would be the U.S. Navy’s greatest defeat. At 8:06am, the USS Arizona exploded when an armor-piercing bomb slammed through its deck. In less than 9 minutes, it sank with 1,177 of its crew, a total loss. The attack on Pearl Harbor continued in waves throughout the day hammering the harbor and surrounding airfields. In the end, 21 vessels were sunk or damaged and 2,390 had died with countless wounded…World War II had come to America. Decades later, the USS Arizona Memorial grew out of a desire to establish a memorial at Pearl Harbor to honor those who died in the attack. Its construction was completed in 1961 and it was dedicated in 1962. In the words of its architect, Alfred Preis, the design of the memorial “which sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory…The overall effect is one of serenity.”Read More