6 days left in Paradise…

We’re half way through our vacation and the days were beginning to blend together.  It seems once you hit the half way mark, time seems to speed up.  Still there was much to see and do and vacation exhaustion was starting to take hold.  On the days where we didn’t have anything scheduled, everyone slept in.  (Which meant not getting up at dawn).  I find it difficult to sleep once the sun comes up so I would go for a walk or food shopping before anyone else was stirring in the house.

Day 7:  Sunday – a day of rest.  Breakfast, then morning dip in the pool.  The rest is a blur, I think I took the girls to Hapuna beach in the afternoon for more follicking in the ocean and left Jene to do things around the house.

Day 8:  We drove back to the black sand beach in hopes of hiking down, this time we wore sneakers and I grabbed a walking stick which helped me navigate my way down the slippery slope.  The drizzle turned into a downpour as we descended.  Jene waited in the car for our return.  I etched their names in the sand and we hiked back up.  I never realized how much they seemed to enjoy climbing down and up the rocky path but they were very happy to do this.

Day 9:  Another ho-hum day in paradise, we woke early and went back to Pu’ukohola Heiau National Park, watched videos about King Kamehameha’s life and learned a little more about the Polynesian culture and ways.  Then we caught the WAVE  (Wa’akaulua Authentic Voyaging Experience).  Giving us the unique opportunity of being in a traditional Hawaiian sailing vessel (double hulled canoe).

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Sara told me that she doesn’t like canoes and has had bad experiences on them.  I assured her that this one would be different as it was more stable because of the 2 hulls.  She plopped her butt down, swung her legs over and settled in.  Our captain (the half naked guy) told us a story of how this program is bringing the past back into the Hawaiian culture and native Hawaiians kids are learning how to sail in school.  There is a larger vessel, the 62′ Hokulea,  which is currently sailing around the world – manned by expert seafarers and college students.  Sailing – guided by the stars as in olden times.

A little more beach time, grabbed some sushi, donned jeans and sweatshirts and headed up to Mauna Kea.  At the ranger’s station, we waited to acclimate ourselves to the thin air.   I felt a tad more at ease with Rose’s nebulizer in the car incase she had problems breathing,  and read aloud the signs of altitude sickness.

Mauna Kea is the highest point in the Pacific Basin, and the highest island-mountain in the world, Mauna Kea rises 9,750 meters (32,000 ft)from the ocean floor to an altitude of 4,205 meters (13,796 ft) above sea level, which places its summit above 40 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere

We were lucky because that day the trade winds had subsided a bit and we were able to make it to the top of the summit.  (If the winds are too strong, the summit is closed).  So now the girls can claim they made it to the top!!!!!!!

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At the Visitors Center, the rangers set up hugh telescopes for viewing the moon, planets and stars.  I was amazed at how clearly you could see the rings of Saturn.

That night, we went to bed knowing that the next day we would be flying off to Oah’u for the last 3 days of Rose’s 16th birthday vacation.

I am blessed with a daughter and son-in-law and 3 beautiful granddaughters.  I only hope that I am around when the 3 year old turns 16.  But just in case, Rose and Sara promised me that they would take Lily on her journey to anywhere in the world she wants to go, if I am no longer on this earth or otherwise unable to make the trip.

Life is to be lived to the fullest because you only get one chance at it.



About maryduranteyoutt

Necessity is the mother of invention... I parlayed my work experience into my personal endeavors of photography and print- making. At the age of 56, I retired and pursued my dreams once again. Photography is my passion; I want you, the viewer to come into my world. My images will connect to you and touch each of you differently and they will have you walk away with your own version of the story I started…I try to capture the feel, the essence - the very being of my subject, whether it's a portrait of a child, a friend or a stranger. In my cityscapes, I want you to hear the footsteps on a quiet street or to look closely at the ordinary moments that we all tend to rush past without stopping to notice. This is how I look at life, at the intimate details that sometimes go unnoticed: the bright smile of a child, the hardships that some people have witnessed, the sheer joy of a dancer or the beauty of nature when you take a closer look. This is what I want to share and that is why I will continue on my path.
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