Monday, May 14, 2007
This is Hanauma Bay, the place we went snorkeling. You can see the reef (all the grey spots) in this picture. I went out with my friend Erin, since I had never been snorkeling before. We swam all the way out over the reef and saw so many neat fish. I wanted to bad to see a turtle that day, but never did see one. Snorkeling was kind of hard for me, because I got so excited when we saw the fish swimming around the reef that I would start breathing really fast. That is kind of a snorkeling "no-no" because I sucked water down my snorkel and had to stop and come up and get it all out so I could swim again! It was so cool, though! Oh yeah, while we were there at the beach, there was a group of about 15 Japanese girls there. They took one look at Emma (with her blonde hair) and went nuts! They all crowded around her and took tons of pictures with her. She, on the other hand, had no idea what was going on, and couldn't figure out why I was making her stand with all those strangers and why I wasn't rescuing her! She was such a little movie star everywhere we went!
This probably seems like a strange picture, but I really like it. It is the roof to the open air part of the memorial. It was a very somber, reverent place. Everyone was very quiet as they looked at the ship and read the names on the wall inside the memorial of those who lost their lives here. It is really hard to describe how one feels there. There are parts of the ship that are just a foot or two under the water and then there are even parts of the ship that are still out of the water. It seemed somewhat ironic to me that such a beautiful paradise could be the scene of such a tragic event.
There are parts of the USS Arizona that are barely under the water. While we were there, small circles of oil would form in the water, and them break up and float away after several minutes. We learned that there is still oil that floats up from the ship quite regularly.
Again, I am trying to remember all of this as well as I can. Inside the memorial there are some groupings of flags. (I think there were four groupings with four flags in each group.) This one group particularly stood out to me, because the third flag from the left is the Tennessee state flag.
Hawaii is filled with all kinds of interesting animals. There are little sand crabs that dig holes all over the beach. The first morning we were there, Aaron, Emma and I woke up early and went out to the beach outside Mark and Erin's. We saw mounds of sand everywhere along the beach and holes about 4 inches away from the mounds of sand. After standing still for a few minutes, sand crabs started coming out of the holes, bringing loads of sand with them, and adding the sand to their piles. The sand crabs are really fast, but Aaron finally caught one and the kids put it in this little inflatable boat. Emma was so excited to see it (and throw sand on it)!
We found out that Emma is quite the little beach baby! She loved playing in the sand and in the ocean. When we first took her to the beach, she was a little scared. I stood in the water beside her and as the waves came in and then went back out, she got quite nervous, I assume because she felt the sand washing out from under her feet. It didn't take her long to decide that she really liked it, though. Everyday she would ask to go out and play in the water!
This is a crazy little creature...it is a Portuguese Man of War (according to Erin). They look like a little clear bubble with a blue string attached to it (you can click on the picture and enlarge it...). They would ride up in the waves and get deposited on the beach with the white bubbles. If you step on it, it wraps the blue tentacle around you and stings. While we were there, a little boy got stung by one in the water. It left what looked like bee stings in a line around his ankle. The bubble part is actually very small, but the tentacle can get to be about 3 feet long. Erin says that if you get stung, you are supposed to pee on the sting spot and it makes the pain go away. I was tempted to touch one, but I really didn't want to get peed on.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
This is the beautiful Laie, Hawaii Temple. Here are some facts about it (I did my research on lds.org). The temple was first dedicated in November 1919. It was the fifth temple built, and the first one to be built outside of the state of Utah (if you aren't counting the original Nauvoo temple and the Kirtland temple.) It was rededicated in June if 1978. If you were to stand at the temple (with the temple behind you), the street leads straight out to the ocean. It is a beautiful view, as the street is lined with coconut trees that constantly blow in the breeze that comes from the ocean.
We went on a couple of walks to the Laie Temple grounds while we were in Hawaii. There on the grounds were some plumeria trees. A lot of the flowers had fallen on the ground around this particular tree, and Emma decided that she needed all of them. So, she began collecting them and filling the stroller with them!
According to my Google search, the Hawaiian meaning of "Hale" (pronounced a little differently than my last name) means house or building. I thought that it was funny because there are streets that are called Hale (with another name that I am not going to attempt to remember because my Hawaiin friend will probably read this at some point) and then there was this sign at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was fun to see our name everywhere!
It's me! This was right before our traditional Hawaiian dinner at the PCC. We had kahlua pork, chicken long rice, purple poi rolls, and guava cake (among other things) and delicious POG juice (Passion-Orange juice). Emma wouldn't wear any of the leis that she got that day, which is why I am doubled up on them here.
On the last day of our trip, Erin took us to this place called Turtle Beach. We got there right as some turtles were playing near the shore. After we had been there for about 15 minutes, this turtle just started coming out onto the shore! It was so neat! I couldn't believe how big it was. It came right up to the place we were standing and we were able to get some great pictures.