Saturday, March 31, 2007

Linsey and Karen invade...the Hawaiian islands!

The picture to the left was taken in Kauai at a little overlook at the end of the road through Waimea Canyon, looking out toward the Na Pali coastline. The coast is used at the beginning of Jurassic Park, when they take the helicopter onto the island. Here, we were standing over clouds, and this picture is what it looks like when you take the picture downward through a cloud on Kauai. I've had a couple people ask me if I messed with the color because the "foliage" looks pink. Actually, that would be the notorious red dirt of Kauai, and the pink in the trees are the blooms of African tulip trees. Nope, it really looked like that - it was incredible.

Linsey and Karen showed up the Wednesday before my spring break, so they checked out the Big Island while I took an enormous biology test. I joined them in Kauai Friday, and we took a good old fashioned girl road trip in our Sebring convertible, which we named Bertha. The picture to the right was also taken in the Waimea Canyon, which Mark Twain dubbed "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific."

When we got back to Oahu, we mostly focused on the North Shore, which was a huge load off after all that driving. We ran across people filming an episode of "Lost" along the road to Kaena Point on Tuesday. One thing we noticed was a randomly placed street sign saying Portland was 32 miles away; being the driver, I was very perplexed by this. We hiked Kaena Point; I figured I'd put enough pictures of Kaena by now that you get the picture. After Kaena, we did a sunset catamaran cruise in Waikiki, where we saw a bunch of humpback whales. They are hard to photograph. So the picture to the left is of a honu hanging out on Papa'iloa Beach, which is where the beach camp scenes on "Lost" are filmed. We probably saw over 10 sea turtles that day, along with a pod of dolpins swimming with a very lucky snorkler.

As usual, pics are up on our Photobucket album. I made a new subalbum for Kauai pictures, because I have every intention of talking Jeff into a trip back when he gets home!!!

I'll close with some "Lost" set pictures; now it's time for me to get back to my boring everyday life again!


Left: Linsey & Karen at Eko's church
Right: the beach camp

Jeff Spotting: Hong Kong

We anchored in Victoria Harbor at the beginning of March (I was unable to take a good Harbor picture due to fog, so I stole the one above from the Wikipedia Hong Kong entry) . Hong Kong is very exciting, and although I had a full two and a half days to explore, still feel as if I need to go back to get more. A couple of us went off to watch horse racing at the Happy Vally Horse Track. As my first time ever at a track, learning the betting system took awhile, and although I won a couple of times, I ended up losing what I had planned to spend.

After an evening at the track, we spent the second day wandering through shops and markets before ending up at the temple street market. This open air market comes out when darkness falls, and just about everything that can be made or sold is available. They love to haggle, and I'm sure they love foreigners who have no idea the actual cost of objects. The one item I really worked on was a foot tall wooden Buddha statue that started at HK$2250 (about $300 US) which I got down, after about 15 minutes of bartering, to HK$800 (about $100 US); this was still more than I wanted to pay for it (I was holding out for HK$500), so I walked away, and ended up buying a significantly less exciting Buddha for significantly less cash.

The last day we were in port, I went to see a
much larger Buddha: the Tian Tan Buddha is the world's largest, and can be seen from miles and miles away. It is reachable by a several mile long walking trail, by automobile, and by Skycab. We took the Skycab there and back; the fog going in was intense to the point that we could barely see the cable extending into the nothingness. I was concerned that we would get there and still not be able to see the Buddha. It is large enough, however, that seeing it can hardly be an issue.

I left Hong Kong reluctantly. If I ever have the chance to take Jessica, I'll fly there in on a moments notice!


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Jeff Spotting: Wakayama, Japan

USS PAUL HAMILTON made a stop over in Wakayama, Japan about a month ago. The city is about an hour (by train) southwest of Osaka. Unfortunately, out time there was cut short to two days, and I only got out on one of them. Due to the short stay, my experience didn't include much more than the Wakayama Castle and dinner out in town; I had really wanted to see the birthplace of Soy Sauce, but didn't have time.


Friday, March 09, 2007


Zeke and I have been hanging out today. Okay, in reality, Zeke has been taking a nap, and I have been writing a paper, but I'll probably get a better grade this way.

I decided to take a break and monkey around with the colors; let me know if you have a hard time reading it, but I like the green!


Monday, March 05, 2007


Well, I am through my first round of enormous exams and finally have a minute to write and post pictures. First of all, I was very bad and skipped class a couple weeks ago to go and watch the surfers on the Bonzai Pipeline on a day when they recorded 25 foot wave sets. I thought the pictures were unimpressive until I monkeyed around with the contrast a bit. They still aren't as good as they'd be with a telephoto, but they weren't bad. The spots are surfers!

On the first weekend in ages that I haven't had to work or prepare for a test, Kristin came out and we hiked up to Kaena Point. We both got pretty sunburned, and we ran into Jeff's and my neighbors, Joann and Patty, who volunteer there to keep people from messing with the monk seals. There were three today, Benny, Benny's girlfriend (she hasn't been tagged yet) and Sharkbite. Benny's girlfriend looks like she might be pregnant, which is awesome because there are only 75 known monk seals that come to shore on the main Hawaiian islands!

After that, I came home to take a shower and was greeted by a big, ugly, mean-looking spider waiting on my bathrobe to eat me. I'll post it small so that maybe it will be a little less creepy. *shudder* I considered showering in the other bathroom, but instead, we had an epic battle that spanned walls and toilet, and I arose the victor!