Aloha from Hawaii!
Our crew of 35 southwest Louisiana residents are enjoying "Paradise" for the next week and a half. After arriving in Honolulu, we toured Pearl Harbor. What a solemn, but touching visit. After viewing a great film on what led up to, and what happened on December 7, 1941..we boarded a Navy ferry to the Arizona Memorial.
We then took a bus tour of the island, seeing the beautiful Hawaii coastline. This included a popular snorkeling beach, a blow-hole and the small beach where the steamy scene in "From Here to Eternity" was filmed. At the end of the day, we went to Waikiki Beach and watched the sunset with Ed and Jo Richard. This is their sixth KPLC/Holiday Vacations trip!
Next up, we island-hop to the big island of Hawaii, where we'll tour Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We'll also visit a unique black sand beach. We've got a helicopter tour planned for Sunday.
After seeing the sights of Honolulu, we took an inter-island airline to the island of Hawaii. A few of us, including my wife Koni, my son Jacob and KPLC Holiday Vacationers Ed and Jo Richard took a two-hour helicopter tour of the "Big Island." What a super experience! We were able to fly directly over the Kilauea Volcano. We were able to see lava flowing out of the mountain and into the ocean. What a sight!
Real estate, of course, is expensive here. Homes that would sell for $100,000 in southwest Louisiana, go for about $400,000 here. We saw gas selling at $4.00 a gallon. A "value meal" at a fast-food restaurant goes for about $2.00 more than in the continental United States. Overall, though, it's worth. This is paradise.
The next day, we took a plane to the island of Maui, where we are spending the night at the Hyatt Regency. Tomorrow, many of our group will take a glass-bottomed boat tour, take part in snorkeling or travel the scenic road to Hana. Our last day here, we'll take part in a luau.
(Written by Koni Bridges)
Today (3/18/08) a group of 13 of us traveled Maui's famous Road to Hana. This journey takes you through 52 miles of an undeveloped and only recently widened road with 56 one-lane bridges and 617 curves and turns. The scenery was breathtaking and our native Hana resident gave us great detail of the rich heritage and customs of "the locals".
The beautiful East Maui coastline with it's massive waves were powerful. Overnight and morning rains allowed us to see some stunning waterfalls that the previous day were merely trickles. We stopped in Hana Town for lunch before making our way to the Pools of 'Ohe'o at the east end of the Haleakala National Park.
The pools on this particular day were rushing rapids that flowed directly to the ocean. The adventure was everything we had read and heard and was a natural wonder to be enjoyed and respected.
Our last night in Hawaii was spent at a luau here at the Maui Hyatt. We dined on roast pork, baked chicken, teriyaki beef and stir-fry vegetables. After dinner, we were entertained by hula dancers and singers. The breeze was cool, the moon almost full, and you could hear the waves from the Pacific Ocean crashing on the beach during the show. It was a great way to wrap up our three island tour. Tomorrow, we'll enjoy a farewell lunch and then fly to Honolulu, where we'll catch an overnight flight back to Houston. It's been a great trip, but we're all ready to get home to Southwest Louisiana!