Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hawaii - the Big Island, Part 1

Now that we have our home computer back, I am somewhat in-between the laundry, german homework, bible study homework, kids homework and don't have to start dinner for about 10 minutes - I can post a few pic's from our holiday in HI. I often feel like I need to downplay our vacations/holidays/long weekends. I don't know why. I know we are very fortunate to be able to travel as we do. But we make some sacrifices too in order to afford it. For instance, have you ever seen my fingernails or my family's hair cuts. They are obviously not professionally done but we get by (Bart's turns out nicely though - I think) (and I do get mine professionally done as the thought of anyone in my house taking scissors to my hair is a nightmare). Think about it - Saves approx. $150 - 200/month - just on that alone. And I no longer have take-out coffee conveniently available - that's at least $60-80/month. Besides - In Zurich, Starbucks costs the equiv. of $5.50 for a tall cappucino (not even a double shot) - ouch.

Anyway - Going to Hawaii is the place we most often get the "you're so lucky" comments on. Yes - we have been 6 times in the past 13 yrs. But Why? Because my sister insisted on living in Oahu, marrying a local and then had the nerve to have children. So, yeah, we make the effort to go. And it's really hard. To wake up to this:

"This" is Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our first stop-over on our HI "Weinacht Ferien" in order to adjust to the 11 hour time difference and enjoy a bit of family vacation together. See the snow at the top? Of the 13 ecological designations in the world (ex. desert, alpine), the Big Island contains 11 of them and it's my favorite island of the 5 we have been on. See how sloped and domed this 'dormant' volcano is? There are 5(?) of them that make up the Big Island and it's still growing thanks to Kilauea. The mountains in Switzerland are so different being of the glacier persuasion so it was a complete change of environment. And WARM.

So we exchanged our 'snow coats', boots and pants for shorts, tshirts and flip flops. Rachel is checking out the view our first morning off the balconey. Now - it is winter in HI so it was not hot and it was very windy. But warm enough for sand and ocean fun as long as the temp was up.

Kendra loves breakfast and this is her rapturous expression upon eating the scrambled eggs that Bart fixed. Unfortunately, hard as we tried to find them in multiple places - no mini chocolate donuts. Have they disappeared from the shelves of the US of A grocery stores? Are they so popular you show up when the delivery truck arrives? There were mini-powdered donuts but we really wanted chocolate. So we passed and I think the Christmas Captain Krunch at my sister's made up for it.

Here we are at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is our 3rd visit to the Island and 1st to the Park. If you have the time to go - GO. We enjoyed it and I really didn't expect to very much. Even though we didn't get to see hot lava (you can imagine the girls going on about that). But the girls became Jr. Rangers and that made it enjoyable and interesting as well.

Kendra was forever running up and down the beaches - or rolling in sand - or burying herself in sand. Sand, sand, everywhere. More later - have to get dinner going.


Josh & Sarah said...

Don't downplay...I love to read about all of your adventures! Your pictures of Hawaii look wonderful. Can't wait to see/hear more. I know that our trip to Florida next week won't have the same sights as what you captured in HI, but hopefully the warmth will be similar. Josh and I always say, "As long as you see a palm tree, you know you're on vacation!"

Olson Family said...

Oh Sarah - I don't even have to see a palm tree to know I'm on vacation. It's the mere thought of not being responsible for the dinner menu that sends me into vacation mode!

Julie David said...

Hi Suzy!
Great to see your sweet smiling face with the girls...thanks for putting Bart behind the camera! Can't wait to see more pics from Hawaii! And I second the vote NOT to downplay the traveling! Shoot, if I lived in Europe, I'd be all over the place! So you just smile and say, "YEP, we sure are lucky!" Anyone who really knows you, Susan, knows you watch your pennies and are a great steward! Keep it up, girl, we're all traveling vicariously through you!!! I LOVE YOU! Hugs to all from all of us!

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, You are so blessed to be able to travel the way you do. I'm always interested in seeing where you've been and where you are going. Also, Happy Birthday Bart, We're both in our 40's now - but for how long... Love you, Joanne.