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December 20th 2012
Published: December 20th 2012
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Swaying in the breezeSwaying in the breezeSwaying in the breeze

Your basic palm trees
Sheer genius. That’s what it was. Merry Jo came up with the idea far in advance and now we were reaping the benefits. Such foresight and wisdom. Factor in the notion that the trip would be ending right before the Christmas holiday and it takes on an even bigger significance.





Anyone who has traveled an extended period of time remembers that re-entry into their homeland usually involves a “sudden impact” concept, by which one minute you’re on the road, and the next you’re right back where you started, almost in the blink of an eye. You sit and look at one another and ask yourselves, “it’s over already?”





By spending six days in Hawaii before heading back to Ohio for Christmas, we were able to return to the United States and still be on a bit of a holiday. Hawaii is one of those truly unique places in America. You’re in a place where it is clear that you are in the U.S., but the culture is different and we found this to be quite pleasant. The laid back quality of the Polynesian influence is a welcome feeling. We’ve been to Maui, but this was our first time in Oahu.





A rented condo on the northeastern shore near Hau’ula was our home for the week. Among other things, this meant that for the first time in over four months, we were able to do some cooking. The kitchen had all the necessary pots and pans to do the trick. Eating out for every meal becomes almost a task after while, but now we could get up in the morning, slowly drink some coffee and then eat breakfast when we were good and ready. We also indulged in one of our favorites, pizza. We had it delivered…….it’s great to be back!





The digs were located right on the beach and the view was terrific. The weather didn’t always cooperate, but for some reason we really did not mind, as the wind kicked up and provided a great breeze in the condo, which felt great and made for some excellent sleeping. Wave after wave of showers hit us on most days, with an occasional sun break, which brought out the colors of the island. The weather also provided a convenient excuse to go
Waikiki BeachWaikiki BeachWaikiki Beach

One of the more well-known beaches.
to the movies, which we hadn’t been able to do on our journey. The place also had a washer and dryer…..clean clothes!!





We did manage to get out the first few days to visit the Dole pineapple plantation and of course, Pearl Harbor. The Dole plantation is an interesting experience into all things pineapple. Seems that the pineapple is not native to Hawaii, but certainly has come to be associated with the state. James Dole was a pineapple baron well over a century ago and did very well for himself. While at the plantation, you can ride a small train and learn all the history, buy any number of pineapple-related things and even try your hand at the world’s largest maze if you are so inclined. We declined.





Pearl Harbor is an important historical place in American history and should not be missed when coming to Honolulu. The grounds and memorial are well done and provide more than a glimpse into a very dark day in U. S. history. The Arizona Memorial is a very sobering place, where thousands of men perished in an instant when well-placed bombs from Japanese
North shore beachNorth shore beachNorth shore beach

Surfer dudes abound.....somewhere.
planes penetrated the ammunition hold of the ship, causing a tremendous explosion and trapping the men and becoming their watery grave.





There is also an excellent example of a submarine along with a museum, the USS Missouri, which is a mega-huge battleship and also an aviation museum. It would be quite easy to spend the entire day at this place, soaking in all the history of a very tragic day which plunged the U.S. into World War II.





In the past we’ve talked to friends who have been to all of the Hawaiian Islands and most if not all prefer the other islands over Oahu. We imagine because of those comments we came with low expectations. Honolulu is a big city but the island has plenty to offer. We enjoyed driving the north and east sides of the island watching the surfers. As it turns out we liked the island much better than expected. The green lush hills, the beautiful beaches and Diamond Head make certain that you feel that true Hawaiian experience.





So, hats off to Merry Jo and her stroke of genius, because
Look out!!!Look out!!!Look out!!!

You won't see this sign very often.
now it is back to Ohio for Christmas…….has anyone seen our gloves???


Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


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Diamond HeadDiamond Head
Diamond Head

Famous landmark on Oahu.
USS Arizona MemorialUSS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial

Very sobering place to visit.
Dole Pineapple PlantationDole Pineapple Plantation
Dole Pineapple Plantation

Lots and lots of pineapples here....
USS MissouriUSS Missouri
USS Missouri

"Mighty Mo"
USS Arizona MemorialUSS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial

View from inside the memorial
USS MissouriUSS Missouri
USS Missouri

This is one big battleship....very impressive.
Serious warningSerious warning
Serious warning

Great for experienced surfers....bad for tourists.
On the beachOn the beach
On the beach

At least he can say he was in the ocean.....sort of.
MJ and BrutusMJ and Brutus
MJ and Brutus

Saving Brutus from being blown away by the not-so-gentle trade winds......
Inviting beachesInviting beaches
Inviting beaches

And a lot of them.....


20th December 2012

Merry Christmas!
I can't believe your jouney is complete! I was so excited to get the blog during your travels. Guess what? I terminated my unit director.. know anybody? LOL ! Merry Christmas!!
20th December 2012

Hi Lydia,
It all ended so quickly. Where did the time go?
20th December 2012

Hawaii
I loved the photos and the fact that you liked Oahu. You may recall that I was born and lived the first 40 years of my life on Oahu (except for college when I was in Calif.). We go back a couple of times a year and always stop on Oahu for a few days before going on to one of the outside islands. People don't realize that once you get out of Honolulu the island is still quite rural and slow-paced which you certainly found out living in Hau'ula. It really is a beautiful place and a perfect spot for your "re-entry". We will be in Honolulu for a few days in February before going on the Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand. I always enjoy reconnecting with my friends who still live in (or have returned to ) Hawaii. Where are you returning to by the way???
21st December 2012

Oahu was perfect
Sonja, I had forgotten that you grew up there but I do remember that now. I'll have to chat with you about the other islands as we have only been to Maui. You are correct that it was far more rural than we expected. As you say a great re-entry spot. Thanks for following along.
20th December 2012

Hawaii
Welcome home---almost! How great to spend a few days in Hawaii. My favorite thing at the Dole Plantation was the pineapple ice cream. Ummmm, yum. Hope you have a warm jacket handy before you get to Ohio! A very Merry Christmas to you two.
21st December 2012

We had the pineapple ice cream and cannot argue with you
It was fun visiting Dole and understanding the influence the family has had on the pineapple and marketing. I looked like a real geek today as we flew in. I was wearing heavy wool socks with my sandals. A questionable fashion statement.
20th December 2012

Welcome home...
It has been a pleasure reading your blogs. What are your plans after Ohio?
21st December 2012

Hi Bob and Linda,
Thank you for following along with us. We had a great adventure. I will email you with our plan.
21st December 2012
MJ and Brutus

Don't lose him now?
Having met Brutus, I'd be among many blaming you if you lose him. This well-traveled fella is coming home with you! :-)
21st December 2012
MJ and Brutus

Saved Brutus from blowin' in the wind
Yes, we'd hate to have him blow away at this point. He enjoyed Oahu and the beaches.
21st December 2012

Welcome home
Welcome back home and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the two of you. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your Blog. All the best, Bob
21st December 2012

Happy Holidays Mr. Bruce!!
Thanks for the message. We went from 76 degrees to 28 degrees just for getting on that darned plane!! Hope all is well with you and yours. Please send my best regards to all at MGH. Dave
21st December 2012

On the way home
WE have decided to do the same thing and after a year away from Oz reacclimatising more to heat than culture we are spending a week in Pangkor island in Malaysia. A gentle relaxation after the madness of the Christmas season and a squeezed in week of skiing. Happy returns!
21st December 2012

Thanks for the welcome back
We hate that it is over but we are ready to see what the next chapter of our lives holds. Glad we think a like....Pangkor Island sounded like a good time.
21st December 2012

Happy Holidays...
And just like that it's over.... time certainly flies. It's been a joy reading about your adventures but I'm sure there's more to come? Merry Christmas Guys... :)
21st December 2012

And Merry Christmas to you also
Thank you for following along. It is always great getting messages while you are on the road. Happy travels and hopefully our paths will cross.
21st December 2012

Another great trip nears its end!!!
Being a WWII buff like Shane, Pearl Harbor is one of those places that I one day hope to visit, before I slip my mortal coil. Apparently, the Arizona still leaks a small amount of oil every day and as the saying goes, 'the tears of the Arizona' will not stop until the last sailor who served on her passes away. Beautiful stuff and a fitting tribute to those of the 'Golden Generation' who gave their lives so willingly, in defence of their country. Here's wishing you both a wonderful Christmas and a most stupendous New Year :)
21st December 2012

The Golden Generation
Dave is a real WWII buff and we enjoyed the visit. It takes a lot longer than you would think but well worth the investment in time. Yes, we were told about the leaking oil...it is a very somber place. They had some powerful videos and the attitude of the ones who served didn't have to give it a thought...they knew they had to do it. Have a wonderful holiday season.
22nd December 2012
Swaying in the breeze

Thanks for sharing all your travels with us Binkleys! That decompression break prior to returning to reality really works doesn't it! Oh and I thought this picture was a perfect Hawai'i shot, palm trees swaying in the breeze. Mele Kalikimaka to you both!!
22nd December 2012
Swaying in the breeze

The travels always go to quickly
We can't believe it is over already. How did that happen. We didn't do the decompression last time and it was really a great thing to do. However going from 78 to 28 in one day can really bum you out! Happy travels.
22nd December 2012

I love Oahu!
I've been stationed there twice; once in the Navy and once in the Coast Guard. I have enjoyed reading about your travels! Welcome home!!
22nd December 2012

Oahu had plenty to offer
Hi Nanci, Looks like it would be a great place to be stationed. We had a very nice time. We enjoyed the city and the countryside. The island is more lush and green than I was expecting and the hillsides are lovely. We may have to go back in the future.
22nd December 2012
Look out!!!

love it!
I love the way the coconuts defy gravity and pursue the humans! like something out of a bad 70s (polynesian) sci-fi film... thanks for all the wonderful blogs, and hope you are enjoying being back home :)
22nd December 2012
Look out!!!

Hello Ren and Drew
The adventure ended all too quickly but Hawaii was a great place to ease back into reality. Thanks for following along. We enjoyed your comments. The coconuts are dangerous!
22nd December 2012

Have a Great Christmas
A nice way to ease back into life at home.
22nd December 2012

Merry Christmas to you and your family
Easing in to it the best we can. Hope you have an adventure soon. You should blog about the house.
22nd December 2012

Welcome back home!
Welcome back home...time flies is so impressive...time to prepare the next big trip! Merry Christmas from Leslie, Tiffany and me!
22nd December 2012

Working on the next plan
Always good to have a few ideas prepared just in case. Can't wait to continue to read what you are up to.
22nd December 2012

To corrupt a well-known saying, 'Travel is like an ice-cream. Enjoy it while there's still some left!' You're right; suddenly it all comes to an end and we're trapped in life as it really is! Here's to the next adventure. Merry Jo christmas! David and Janice
22nd December 2012

I've never heard that saying
I love it. Yes, travel is a bit like ice cream. We should be reading your adventures very soon. Travel safe. Merry Jo and Dave
22nd December 2012

Home again.
I really enjoyed following your adventure. The photos of Hawaii really brought back memories! We took the kids a few years ago and I remember climbing to the tippy top of Diamond Head with my son strapped to my back! That was a loooong walk... Oh! and the Dole Pineapple Plantation! I still have magnets from that place on my fridge! Happy travels guys and thanks for entertaining us. :)
22nd December 2012

Diamond head
Can't imagine making a climb to the top of Diamond head with a child strapped to your back. You are my hero. Dole was fun. Hopefully, we will all be on the road soon.
22nd December 2012

Hawaii is definately on my list of places to go - love the falling coconuts sign - reminds me in Australia we read that more people die from coconuts falling than being eaten by crocs!!! reassuring at first then we realised we were sitting on Coconut Beach!!! My first grandchild was born 2 weeks ago- Maya Sophia- so maybe I won't be doing such long trips in future - I'll have to wait and see how being a "nanna" affects me!!! But my trip to Western USA next May is really taking shape now - hope to see you in California. Have a great Christmas - thanks for taking me with you ( virtually) on your travels.
22nd December 2012

Hello Lynne,
Good to hear from you again. Congratulations on being a new grandmother. Hopefully, you can balance that new role with traveling. Keep us posted on your trip we hope to meet you while you are in the U.S.
23rd December 2012

Whirl-wind adventure!
You two really covered some exotic places with incredible style--loved reading your blogs. I love all the islands and am so glad that you enjoyed your time there even when the weather wasn't always perfect--the mark of a good traveler seems to be able to make the best of what they're given. Have a great Christmas with your family and best wishes carving out a new life.
23rd December 2012

Going with the flow...
We had a variety of weather and it did not deter us at all. Looking forward to reading your next adventure.
24th December 2012

Merry Christmas
Loved your most recent trip = BIG TRIP and how lovely to end in Hawaii. Hope the rest of the holiday season is wonderful for both of you!
24th December 2012

Thanks Joanne & Wes
We had a wonderful time and resting in Hawaii before re-entry was a great idea.
8th January 2013

Welcome back!
Well, you've been back awhile but with the holidays and company, etc. I'm just getting to read some e-mails. Your trip was incredibly interesting and informative. Your blogs continue to be fantastic and the photos that accompany them are works of art. My travel 'itch' is about to get scratched as I'm going to Rome and southern Italy ( solo) for 3 weeks (1/16- 2/6). Hopefully, I'll be doing some blogs. Carolyn
25th February 2013

Wow, Hawaii!
Glad you enjoyed Hawaii! Interestingly, those Dole pineapples also got exported to Singapore - I saw them all the time at the supermarket. Hope I can go Hawaii someday.
25th February 2013

We really enjoyed Hawaii
Wasn't sure how we would feel about Oahu as we liked Maui so much but it was great. Hopefully, you will get there soon. Love following your travels. Can't wait to read more.

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