Friday, April 27, 2012

Waipio Valley Wedding

The remote Waipio Valley on Hawaii's Big Island north shore is accessible only by four wheel drive or a muscular set of legs.  My lovely and very talented daughter-in-law, Julie, who is also a photographer (based in Seattle) had a wedding shoot at the Waipio Rim Bed and Breakfast, and I went along to assist and to drive the truck down into the valley for photos with the couple.  With my assisting part over, I borrowed her second camera to have some fun in such a gorgeous place.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A trip to the other side

Sunday morning 5:00.  On my way to Hilo for the day.  I drive the one block from my house to "the highway".   Island living is simple:  turn right, end up in Hilo.  Turn left, end up in Hilo.  Hard to get lost (unless you're my Brazilian friends Eber and Cibele).  So I decided instead to drive through the saddle, between the nearly 14,000 foot high volcanos of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.  

Now, Hilo is not just on the other side geographically, but those of us who live here can't imagine living "on the other side", whether our home is Kona-side or Hilo-side, where we live is "da bess".   We're the dry side, they're wet; we're smaller, more transient and get the tourists, they're larger, more family oriented and they get the tourist money (that's the way government works); we see the sunset, they're first with the sunrise.  

The treat of treats on Sunday, was that it was SUNNY in Hilo - a rare experience!  Such a beautiful day!  I love my island home.

 Mauna Kea's huge bulk casting its shadow on Hualalai volcano at sunrise.

Beautiful and other-worldly Mauna Kea, site of the world's premier telescopes, is often snow covered in winter.
Richardson Beach Park, Hilo

Pandanas roots.  The tree tops, often mistaken for a "pineapple tree" by tourists, are the stuff of which grass mats are made.
Home of THE BEST ice cream:  Tropical Dreams, Hilo Homemade Ice Cream.  With a free entrance botanical garden in back!

 Bandstand on the Hilo Bayfront

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jordan and Israel

One of my favorite places on earth is Israel - my spiritual homeland.  To bring a greater understanding of "roots", I think all Americans should visit Washington DC, and all Christians should visit Israel. With a nearly life-long relationship with Jesus, and having the Biblical scriptures as part of my daily thought processes, returning to Israel always adds new depths to all that is already so dear to me.  My journey there in March was my fifth time (2011 blog posts from Jordan and Israel; and four posts in 2010), and was by far most comprehensive in its exploration than others!  The trip, aptly advertised as "Off The Beaten Track", was sponsored by our home church, New Creation Church of Singapore, and co-organized by Omega Tours and Travel (Singapore), Vision Tours (Jordan) and Sar-El Tours (Israel).  Bob and I were invited to lead worship at different locations along the way.

After our visit to Istanbul, we had a speedy road trip from Amman to Aqaba in Jordan to visit Mt. Nebo and Petra as well as a church with preserved mosaics from the Byzantine era.  In Israel, we traipsed through the Negev in Timna National Park, took a tram up to the ancient fortress of Masada, chair lifted up snow-covered Mt. Hermon , the northern-most point of Israel, forged the springs erupting from the earth at Tel-Dan.  And as always, the crown jewel was our time spent in the ancient, and much fought over city of Jerusalem.

This post is packed with photos - so much to share!  For even more as a slideshow with music, you can click on this youtube site.