Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - is Over

10/8/2013 Tuesday

We went to sleep last night and checked the Hickam AFB flight schedule and there were still five flight scheduled  with the first one leaving at 6 AM and the second at 6:10 AM.  So we got up very early, packed up everything and arrived at the airport at 5 AM.  We checked in and discovered that there were now only three scheduled flights.  The first flight had 35 seats and the second had 8 seats and the third one had 30 seats.  Sounds good, but doing a quick head count of everyone wanting to go to Travis, I counted a lot more people than seats.

The first two roll calls were conducted and of course we were not called.  The next flight was scheduled for 10:40  AM. So we settled in for the four hour wait.  While waiting, more and more people were checking-in for Travis and with us being in the lowest priority, I was getting a bit nervous.  Then we were advised that the 10:40 flight has been pushed back to 8:40PM.  Arrrrggggg, we were not excited about sitting in the terminal all day.  I spoke to the Customer Service Rep and she told me that there are a lot more people checked-in than there are seats and we most likely will not make the cut.

We had to make a decision.  Either wait for the next flight on Thursday, renting another car, getting a hotel room for two nights, and meals or to fly out commercial.  We figured it will be about the same cost to just go home now.  Well, since we probably would not make the Thursday flight either, we found the least expensive flight out of Hawaii.  We were wheels up from Honolulu, Hawaii at 2:11 PM and arrived in Sacramento 5 hours later.

So, our Anniversaries Trip has ended and what a wonderful time it was! We went over budget, especially having to pay for the flight home, but it was worth every penny.  We spent two glorious weeks enjoying God's creation, and all the sights, and sounds, and beauty, and the company of our two best friends, Stan and Stephanie Broder.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 15 - Stuck in Hawaii, still

10/7/2013  Monday

No flights out today.  But we did go to the beach for a while.  The beach is on the Hickam side of the base.  It was real nice and the water was warm.

We had our last meal (we hope) at Schooners Restaurant which is right next to the public entrance to the USS Missouri and the Arizona Memorial. The restaurant is in the Rainbow Bay Marina and offers great views of the marina.
Stan and Stephanie


About to enjoy our "final" meal in Hawaii
 Five scheduled flights tomorrow.  We will be at the air terminal at 0500 (5:00 am).

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 14 - Stuck in Hawaii day 3

10/6/2013 Sunday

Before going to bed last night we again checked the flight schedule and the only flight to Travis AFB had been cancelled.  Next flight is scheduled for early Monday morning and five on Tuesday.  So we extended our Navy Gateway hotel stay for two more days.  We figured that there will be a lot of people trying to get out on the only flight on Monday and we were right. 

So we woke up on Sunday morning, went for breakfast, and then went to the base chapel for worship service.  It was certainly different from what we are used to but it was all good.  The message was on the light side but not bad for an episcopal chaplain.

Later we went to Waikiki and Stan and Stephanie sat and enjoyed the pool at the Hale Koa Hotel while Dayle and I walked the entire Waikiki beach.  We watched the sunset and then had dinner at the hale Koa.  After dinner we walked around and viewed the lights and then went home.
Stephanie and Dayle walking to get a better shot of the sunset.

Waikiki beach - not bad for a cloudy day.
We are just going to take it easy tomorrow, do some laundry, and go to the beach. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 13

10/5/2013  Saturday

We are just getting weary.  We have walked many miles, hiked many trails, drove many miles, and viewed so many awe inspiring sights.  Stan and myself are just plain tired.  But being the troopers that we are we got up and returned the care the Thrifty car rental and we rented a care from Enterprise Car rental right at our air terminal for one day. 

Then we went for breakfast and then drove  around the Pearl harbor naval Base because we wanted to get a better feel of the December 7th, 1941 attack.  I was able to take a picture of the Missouri from the other side of the harbor. 

After our self-guided tour of Pearl harbor we drove north on the west side of the island going to Ke'ena Point which is the most northwestern point of Hawaii.  Once there we will have circled the entire island.  We also stopped at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and looked around a bit.  After barbers Point we completed our trip to Ke'ena Point.  There we took some more photos and walked around the lava flow that went right into the water.  It was very sharp and ragged and there were some great tide pools.

Coast Guard air Station Barbers Point

Ke'ena Point Lava flow

Ke'ena Point tide pool

Ke'ena Point Oahu, Hawaii

We returned to our Navy Gateway Hotel room around 4:30 pm.  We were so tired that we ordered pizza and had it delivered.

We will be waking up quite early to get to the air terminal by 7 am in hoped of getting on the only flight out to Travis.  If we don't get selected for the flight we will try for the one flight on Monday and then there are five flights on Tuesday.  We ought to make one of them for sure!

So it looks like we will not be attending our regional conference on Vancouver, WA on Monday. 

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 12 - "Stuck" in Hawaii

10/4/2013  Friday

Today was a unique day for us.  We again watched the sun come up over the water from our window.  We packed up our stuff and checked out of our condo hotel.  Our flight was not scheduled to begin boarding until 9:40 PM.  So we went and played miniature golf at Bellows Air Force Station which is where we had been staying all this time. 
Miniature Golf and Bellows Air force Station

After an hour and a half of gut busting fun, we drove into Waikiki and did a self- guided walking tour. We spent the entire day walking around, seeing the sights, and going in lots of wonderful shops.  Dayle and Stephanie liked the shops, but they could not buy anything because we had no room left in our luggage.  Then as the sun was setting we ran to the beach and watched the sunset over the water.  This was unique for us.  In the morning we were on the east coast and watched the sun come up, then in the evening we were on the west coast and watched the sun set.   Did you know that a sunrise and a sunset look the same?  Well duh.
A Banyan Tree

Feeding the fish in the Waikiki Marina

A view of the sea pond with Diamond Head in the background.

A shot of Diamond Head from Waikiki.  I took a picture yesterday from Diamond Head toward Waikiki

This is why Hawaii has a rainbow on their license plate

Sunset in Waikiki

After sunset we made our way back to the car and hurried to the Hickam Air Force Base Passenger Terminal to get all situated for our 2140 (9:40 PM roll call) .  Once there we found out that roll call was not at 2210 (10:10 pm)and there are 19 seats available and that there are not even 19 people checked in for those seats.  Yay!  We unloaded the car, took up "residence" in the terminal, and prepared to return the rental car.  We then noticed that a whole lot more people had come into the terminal all with luggage.  Normally this is no big deal in a regular airport.  But at a military terminal it could be a big problem especially because our flight was the only one left going out tonight.  Space Available flights work on available seats and the travelers priority level.  There are six levels of priority and we are the lowest priority.  So we decided to hold off an returning the rental car.  In the meantime while waiting for roll call we found a family that was on the same flight when we came to Hawaii.  He is in the Coast Guard stationed at Sacramento Air Station, they are Christians, and then live literally the next street over from Stephen and Neeley in Sacramento.  Not only that but they have to drive past Stephen and Neeley's house every day.  They even knew our truck and trailer as they have seen it there many times.  We will be hooking up with them when we return.

Roll Call began promptly at 2210 and about 50 people stoop and gathered around.  Then on three names were called for the now nine available seats.  One of those names was this young family who were traveling on leave, but there were only three seats for the family of four so, Anne, decided to fly home commercially as Dan had to be back to work on Monday. 

We, just like everyone else ran out of the terminal and sped off to various lodging places.  We planned on staying on Pearl Harbor Naval Base in we could not get out.  There were only 30 rooms available and we did get two of them for two nights.

The next available flight is Sunday morning and then there are four flights scheduled on Monday.  So, hopefully we will get one of them.  In the meantime we are stuck in Hawaii.  I guess if you have to be stuck somewhere, Hawaii is a good place to be stuck.

Pray that we can get a flight. 

Here is the link to see more photos:  Link to Photos

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 11

10-3-2013  Thursday

We drove the 11 miles to Diamond Head State Park.  We got there early and the parking lot was full and the place was very crowded.  We managed to find a parking space and started up the trail.  It was like we were playing follow the leader all the way up.  But aside from all the people the views were breath-taking.  Diamond Head is a volcanic crater but it was used by the military in WWI and WWII as observation posts and gun placements.  The pill boxes and concrete structures are still there and are accessible.
Walking up the path to Diamond Head
Looking straight down from the top
One of the many breath-taking views
Entering the pill box lookout.
Taken from the very top of Diamond Head with Waikiki in the background

 After and very crowded hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater we drove to Hickam Air Force Bace to check on a flight.  We managed to get signed up for the return to Travis and tomorrow we will arrive to check in and hopefully there will be enough seats available.  If not, we will keep trying everyday until we get back to Travis.  If we don't get out tomorrow we will be staying at Pearl Harbor Navy Base lodging.  Yes, this is the same Pearl Harbor that was bombed by the Japanese which launched us into WWII.

Click on this link for more photos: 

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 10

10/2/2013 Wednesday

Today we got up early again and watched the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean.  Here are a couple of pictures from just outside our room.

Then we went and rented our snorkeling gear and headed to the Oceanic Research Pier which was only a few miles up the road from up.  The area had lots of reefs and it promises to be quite an adventure.  The sun was shining, the water was warm, we had a perfect place to park.  We all put on our gear and into the water we went.  One, two, three of us.  Where's my Dayle?  Oh yes, in my excitement, I forgot that she never did this before and, not to mention, that she doesn't like being in the water.  So I helped her very slowly get into the water and gave her a snorkel lesson.  She was still very afraid and would not let go of me.  Then I got a great idea...i ran back to the car and got the boogie board that Stan rescued from the trash and repaired.  So Dayle was able to hang on to the boogie board and peer into the water and see all the amazing sights.  So Dayle was hanging on to the boogie board and I was pulling her around.  She was so cute every time she saw something I could hear her screaming through her breathing tube,  It was so much fun.  After about an hour she was done.  I brought her back to the beach and I went out.  I was swimming around for a while, but my back started to hurt (thanks to my old LAPD injury).  So I got the boogie board.  Using that boogie board made snorkeling extremely easy and more fun that I ever could have imagined.  We saw many different types of beautiful tropical fish.  We even saw some shrimp.  But the highlight for me was the huge three-legged sea turtle that I followed and played with for about 20 minutes.  It's right front flipper was gone, but it didn't slow it done at all.  Sorry, no pictures.  I didn't have an under water camera.

Tomorrow We plan on hiking up Diamond Head.  And now it looks like there are two flights to Travis AFB on Friday evening, so we might be able to get out then.  If not, the next scheduled flight is Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 9

10/1/2013 Tuesday

Today was going to be a slow and easy day for us.  After that very strenuous hike yesterday our legs were a bit sore.  We had a leisurely morning and then got in the car to go check out a sugar plantation and mill.  We made a couple of stops before our final destination.  One stop was the Macadamia Nut Farm that we stopped at a couple of days ago.  While walking around we walked into a different section that we did not see before.  There we found several of the performers from last night's Chief's Luau--including the chief.  I turns out that this Macadamia Nut Farm is their head quarters and they all life just up the road.  This was Tuesday and the place had very few tourists so we were able to spend some time with the Chief Hansom.  It turns out that he is a real Samoan chief and he comes from a long line of Samoan chief's.  His father, grand father, and great grand father, and great great grand fathers were all chiefs.  He must return to Samoa (American Samoa) because his tribal lands are being taken over and being taxed by the government.  As one of the Chiefs he has a lot of weight when it comes to governmental affairs. He spoke to us about what it means to be a chief and one of the things he said was that a chief is a leader and a leader is a servant to his people.  Sound familiar?  That's a biblical principle (Mark 10:43-45).

We asked him about their religious beliefs and were we surprised!  He said that his people have always believed in many god's but had always knew that there was one supreme god.  In the 1800's Christian missionaries came to his islands and his people embraced Christianity.  In the luau when he speaks of of the "gods" he is referring to his ancient culture.  Then he showed us three small crosses that were tattooed in the small of his back.  He pointed to them and said that they represent the true God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This is pretty much where the conversation ended because a tour bus showed up and everyone wanted to take their picture with the chief.  There is so much more we wanted to ask him about, but that will have to wait until next time.

We drove to the Sugar plantation and mill and found nothing but a couple of old run down building and shops.  There once was a sugar mill here but not any more.  Disappointed we returned home and I did some body surfing in the clear and warm tropical waters.

So not much sight seeing today except for one weird palm tree that looks like a giant hand held fan.  I looked it up and it is called the Traveler's Tree or Travelers Palm.  But it's not really a palm tree at all.  It is native to Madagascar and it is related to the Bird-of-Paradise family.  But it still looks pretty cool.

That's it for today.  Tomorrow snorkeling.  But first we have to make lodging arrangements for the weekend as it looks like we might not be able to get a flight out.   There are no flights on Friday yet, so we have to be prepared.  Oh darn...we have to stay in Hawaii a bit longer.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our Anniversaries Trip to Hawaii - Day 8

9/30/2013 Monday

I woke up this morning feeling food.  So we got an early start and drove a few miles to the Koko Head Mountain trail head.  This little hike to the top of the mountain was only a 3/4 mile little hike...straight up.  The trail is an old trestle track that supplied the old radar station during WW II.
There were warning signs stating that this was an extremely difficult trail.  The signs were right. But it was worth the effort.  Once at the top we noticed that practically every person up there was under 30 years of age.  No wonder we got some weird looks. 
Koko Head Mountain - a view from the bottom
1100 foot rise...straight up
View of Waikiki in the distance

Koko Head cinder cone below

View directly below

That afternoon we went to the Chief's Luau which is considered the best Luau in Oahu.  It was quite a show.  Prior to the show starting we learned how to make head bands out of palm leaves, the girls learned to Hula dance, and we learned how to throw a spear underhand.  Perhaps the most interesting thing was how these tribal chiefs are tattooed all over their body.  Tattooing is their way of recording their tribal history and ancestory.  This is why much of the tattoos are identical.  It still looks like it hurts.  Below are a few photos of the luau and there are more on our Facebook page.
Dayle making a palm leaf head band

Huge tribal member placing head band on Dayle

Stan and Stephanie also learning the art of palm leaf weaving

The girls is a hula dance class

Dinner - a roasted pig

The chief and his daughter, the princess

The extended tongue actually means "welcome."

More pictures and videos are on my Facebook page.  Click on this link to get to the pictures:
Link to our Hawaii photos