Friday, December 19, 2008

Contrasts

Last Week

This Week
Last week DH and I were driving all over the Big Island of Hawaii, enjoying the warm ocean breezes on black sand beaches and various other island locations. We arrived home last Saturday morning in time for a huge arctic blast that continues to this very day and may not leave for almost another week. A white Christmas in the Tri-Cities? Looks like a possibility!

Normally traveling anywhere in December is not what I want to be doing, but this trip was a promotional trip from the radio company our business advertises with. It's hard to pass on such a deal, even in December (January would have been a dream come true). DH and I rented a Mustang convertible for the week and only saw our resort in the late evening and early morning. Too bad because the Waikoloa Hilton is quite a place! We greatly enjoyed the contrasts of the island, finding it remarkably home-like! Washington state and Hawaii both have a wet and dry side separated by a mountain/volcano range.

View from the top of Mauna Kea

Probably the most interesting thing we did was drive to the very top of Mauna Kea, elevation 13,600 ft, to see the many observatories at the top. The thin air there makes it a wonderful place to view the heavens. We spent almost an hour at the visitor center about half way up the mountain, mostly to acclimate ourselves to the elevation. Then we slowly drove to the top. The tourist books recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle, but these Idahoans have driven a lot worse roads getting in to Deadwood Reservoir in our family car. Of course, one must be careful, but the road itself was pretty good - just steep.

DH and me at the summit

You can see that we bundled up as the temperature was about 34^F. The wind was blowing fiercely, so I scooted right back to the car after the photo was taken! The very next day the island was hit by a huge rainstorm and Mauna Kea had five inches of snow. That's when you need the 4-wheel drive SUV! :D

Now we're home again and I'm trying to make up for lost time, so hard to do in December with lots going on. Some things just won't get done and that's o.k. My kids are older and their Christmas lists are short and they really just want $$, lol. Cards are getting out a batch at a time, and tomorrow will be a big baking day.

I did get a little stitching done on the plane to Hawaii. Coming back, no - I was trying to sleep (not really succeeding) as it was an overnight flight, arriving in Seattle at 5:30 a.m. - then we had to drive home 4 hours in the snow over the mountain pass. After I got home and took a shower, Kirsten and I had tickets to The Nutcracker. I finally fell asleep in my chair early that evening.

Perhaps after the holidays life will slow down so that I can get to my blog more often! Thanks for hanging in there with me; I appreciate all my friends who stop by and your comments. :)


13 comments:

mainely stitching said...

My feet would certainly be confused! LOL!

Looks like an amazing trip. What gorgeous countryside!

Kendra said...

We went to Maui for a few days on our honeymoon a few years ago and we loved it. We didn't drive up the mountains, but we did take a tour out to Hana. We stayed at Kaanapali beach at the Sheraton...we also didn't spend much time there, but the place was gorgeous.

OK, I'm ready to go back... :-)

Rowyn said...

Definitely a huge contrast. Love the photos on top of Mauna Kea, sounds like you had a good trip.

Karoline said...

Sounds like a great trip.

Happy Christmas Von

Dianne said...

You've been busy in a fun way! Yes, I'd go to Hawaii-anytime! Not that I've been further than Cancun in 49 yrs! ; )
Hope you got some serious baking done. I'll be doing that over the next few days.

Andrea said...

Wonderful photos.

Have a very Merry Christmas.

Sharon said...

That is definitely a big difference! I don't think I have ever seen black sand before. Neat! Looks like a beautiful trip. I hope you and your family will have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Lynn said...

What a shock to the system coming home to all that snow! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas with lots of time to relax.
PS. I love your Christmas cards you created with your stamps. They're beautiful!

Susimac said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip.

Merry Christmas Von to you and yours ((HUGS)) Su

Wendy said...

It must have been an awesome trip and I don't think I could have passed that up either. I hope you have caught up on your sleep and are merrily getting ready for Christmas!

Sonda in OR said...

Looks so lovely and warm in your photos. How much snow have you had?? We've had over a foot now and looking for more tonight. BRRRRRR!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Boy I would of loved to have been on Hawaii with all the winter weather we've been having!

disa said...
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