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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu August 8th 2022

I got up at 2am. Although activities at Aulani start up fairly early in the day, they don't start up that early! I enjoy a bit of quiet time in the mornings, though, and get a chance to work on my puzzles. Joanna has been stirring around sunrise, so she and I have been sipping on our pineapple-orange-guava (POG) juice out on the balcony while watching the sunrise. We got a standard view but lucked out. Although we can see the air conditioning units off to one side of our balcony, we also see a bit of the gardens, the rolling hills, and the sunrise! At 7:30, I went down to Rainbow Reef. I was first in line. By the time they opened at 8am, there was quite a line behind me that was at least ... read more
I zipline in style.
Oliver's 1st Zipline
Joanna's 1st Zipline

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu August 7th 2022

Our family had an amazing time in Hawaii (the big island) this past December. We rented a car, explored the island, saw volcanoes, rode horses through valleys, swam with manta rays, and had a blast! At the end of our trip, we had a canceled flight and ended up stuck at a resort for a couple of nights just relaxing and swimming. It was a great (if unexpected) way to end our trip. Andrew and I decided it would be nice to have a vacation at a resort, a place to hang around, swim, and relax. This year, we have a lot of milestones. He and I are both turning 40 this year. We have our 15 year wedding anniversary. Also, Andrew's celebrating 10 years of sobriety. We decided to cancel other, smaller trips we had ... read more
We met Mickey, Minnie, Chip, and Dale!
Paradise Cove
Jo at Paradise Cove


I’m up at 1.15am for the second time in two days in the hope that this time the bus that‘s supposed to take me up Mount Haleakala won’t leave me behind. It’s a full load, and our guide introduces himself as Trevor. I appear to be one of the younger members of the party. The email that came with the booking confirmation included “you must be able to hike a 1/2 mile at elevation and over uneven surfaces”; a few of these guys seem to be struggling to even get up the steps into the bus. They all finally manage to get seated. We haven’t rolled away from the hotel yet, but some them are now telling Trevor that they’re feeling a bit motion sick and ask him if he’s got any bags. I’m sensing we ... read more
Looking north west from Mount Haleakala
“View” from the summit of Mount Haleakala
Garden, Kula Lodge

North America » United States » Hawaii » Hana June 14th 2022

We‘re up at the crack of dawn again for our 6.20am pickup for today’s little exercise, a trip along the apparently legendary road to the remote settlement of Hana on Maui’s easternmost tip. After yesterday’s pickup fiasco we’re extra careful to arrive very early, and we split up to make sure we’ve got most bases covered if the bus decides to turn up at the wrong place again. No such dramas this morning however, and our guide introduces herself as Yvonne. She’s an avid animal lover who owns two dogs (one of which has three legs and is called Tripod), a turtle, and several fish in a pond in her backyard. Her prize possession is however her pet pig Cooney, who, perhaps unsurprisingly, is more than a tad overweight, thanks largely apparently to the efforts of ... read more
Mill House
Pua’a Ka’a Falls
Mill House

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui » Lahaina June 13th 2022

I’m woken by my alarm at the obscene time of 1.15am for today’s little exercise, a tour to the top of Mount Haleakala to watch the sunrise. Issy’s decided to give this one a miss, and perhaps unsurprisingly didn’t seem overly interested in my suggestion that she get up to cook me a nice Hawaiian breakfast before I head off. The Mount is an impressive 3,055 metres high. We read that it‘s thought to have last erupted back in 1790, and volcanologists “think” that it’s now dormant. I assume this means they think it probably won’t blow its top today, which of course means that it still might. I hope Issy doesn’t know something that I don’t and that’s why she’s still tucked up in bed as I head off into the night. I’ve been instructed ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui » Lahaina June 12th 2022

We head off for a leisurely morning stroll along the Kapalua Coastal Trail which winds its way along the shore north of here. The Trail takes us past the calm, sandy and clearly very popular Kapalua Bay Beach. We pass a building hanging off the cliff face, which, if Google Maps is to be believed, is the Kapalua Cliff House. Apparently it’s a wedding venue, and it seems it’s been here since the 1940s. The reviews don’t however seem to mention anything about weddings, most just noting that it’s a good place to jump off the cliff from. I suppose you could include this in the ceremony, but I think the bride might want to have a few lifeguards on hand if she’s wearing any of the wedding dresses I’m used to seeing. One review says ... read more
Kapalua Beach
Kapalua Bay
Kapalua Beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui June 11th 2022

It’s Issy’s birthday, again, as it was yesterday, or was that the day before, when it was today. This is very confusing. I woke up in a cold sweat a few night ago thinking that I’d booked our accommodation here for the wrong nights. I then remembered the thing about the dateline, which meant that we got here before we left home …. I think. My head spun for a long time before I managed to get back to sleep again. Perhaps unsurprisingly we sleep in after a completely sleepless night on the plane the night before. I wonder why they don’t put bunk beds on planes. I’m sure they could fit just as many people in, they’d just be stacked vertically instead of horizontally. I’m sure there must be a good reason for this, I ... read more
Napili Bay Beach
Napili Bay Beach
Looking very relaxed, Napili Bay

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui » Lahaina June 10th 2022

So we head off on our first venture beyond our shores since the dreaded COVID hit back in early 2020. The main reason is of course to go to Canada to visit our beloved daughter Emma, who we haven’t seen for going on three years. We’ll then be continuing on to Europe, for all up nearly three months away from the cold and gloom of Melbourne in winter. Organising travel seems to have become a lot more complicated in the intervening period. Every country now seems to have developed its own unique rules for managing its visitors in times of the dreaded virus. We discover that the EU tried to introduce some uniformity amongst its 27 member states by developing an entry form that all its visitors could use. This seemed like a good idea until ... read more
Issy looking very relaxed
Napili Bay
I’m looking fairly relaxed too…


Highlights of Kailua-Kona on the Hawaiian Island, Big Island by Duchess DJ Love, Gallivanting Like a Royal Looking for a peaceful beach to unwind, heal spiritually, and soak up some sun, ushered me to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island Hawaii. Kona pleasantly surprised me. The island vibe captured my heart immediately. Now, it is my favorite destination. Royal Kona Resort became my home away from home on my first trip. I chose this hotel because it had all the amenities I sought. This way I would not have to leave the resort. However, the charming, historical mile long stretch of Ali’i Drive drew me out. Strolling the coastline, smelling the ocean breeze, listening to the waves, bird watching, and taking in the shops kept me on the go. The evenings gave way to downtime to enjoy ... read more
Waiting on my Lava Tube
Beautiful Sunset
Lagoon at Royal Kona Resort

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu April 30th 2022

Here you go: Bottega Louie (Los Angeles)Phil’s BBQ (San Diego)Founding Farmers (Washington, D.C.)*Katz’s Delicatessen (New York City)*Bacchanal Buffet (Las Vegas)Brenda’s French Soul Food (San Francisco)Mon Ami Gabi (Las Vegas)Ippudo NY (New York City)Bi-Rite Creamery (San Francisco)*Girl & The Goat (Chicago)*Old Ebbitt Grill (W... read more
Mr. B's Bistro in Nawlins
Los Sombreros in Scottsdale




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