Sunday, January 31, 2016

Random Photo

This is a photo of a print on a wall in one of the restaurants we went to while on holiday  You can see a bit of a reflection of my arm in the glass.  Oh well, nothing's perfect.

9th day of our vacation - 12-24-15

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

It is evening and we are in the hotel. 

The day started with Gregg waking early and he was hungry. He walked down to McDonald's for breakfast. It is right next door to Tropical Tribe and he will bring me the acai bowl, and a latte from the Starbucks across the lobby at our hotel.

9.30 a.m. and NO acai bowl.  

Yes I am kidding.  Gregg just loves to take photos of me, especially when I am saying for the umpteenth time, well maybe not umpteenth times but at least once daily and usually at the end of the day, "Good grief I'm hot and a wee bit tired!  Have I said that before?" I'll ask.  I am a girl of repetition.  No, I'm not really a whiner but I was hot and tired when this photo was taken. Click, click, "Are you hot and tired Denise?"  "How did you guess?" says I not looking up.  "Oh I don't know, the multiple shades of pink and purple is a great weather vane look for you, and your head in your hands is a good clue", says he.

Gregg brought me proof and showed me this photo as he handed me an Apple Danish and a Coffee from downstairs, not that he needed it, the proof I mean.  Tropical tribe is closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I should have realized.  No acai bowl but the Danish and the coffee is a nice consolation prize, and thank you Gregg.

So here we are back at the hotel and it has been another perfect day.  

We went to the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden.  This will also be our third visit, another favorite memory.  It is towered by the amazingly breathtaking Ko'olau Mountains above Kaneohe, and is Oahu's largest botanical garden at 400 acres.  

Ho'omaluhia means "Peaceful Refuge", a perfect name to be sure.  Plants are grouped to represent major tropical growing regions which include Polynesia, Melanesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Africa and tropical America.  

There are trails and a 32-acre lake which we couldn't get down to this time, as it had rained heavily that morning (the day before and when we were at the visitor center) and was too muddy to traverse safely.  Several of the trails had been blocked off for the same reason.  There was still enough of one trail to capture our interest and we were completely enthralled, surrounded with all this marvelous nature.  

We started off at the visitor center and there were also two large rooms all connected with covered walkways.  In the two rooms were artwork and photography exhibits, also flower arrangements which were lovely.

Even though it poured with rain while looking at the displays, by the time we made our way to the open trail, the rain had stopped. 

We thoroughly enjoyed taking in all the fauna, and it didn't rain for the rest of our walk.  

Ho'omaluhia still remains my most favorite botanical garden on Oahu.

Later we drove to the North Shore. We took the road next to the ocean, and with the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, it was enthralling.  

We head to Haleiwa Joes for a late lunch/early dinner, as we had enjoyed it so much the other day and wanted to repeat the experience.  

I ordered the coconut shrimp again....

but Gregg had to order a fish sandwich as he was told they were out of fish tacos.  He enjoyed it just as much.  

I also ordered a Mango Margarita and in place of the salt on the rim they added a cinnamon-sugar mixture.  It was very good.

We were seated outside this time and the weather had cooled enough to make it very pleasant.  A mesh-type curtain had been drawn down as it was breezy, and this Zebra Dove was enjoying being sheltered and wasn't too far from our table.

There was a man and woman seated on one side of us.  We didn't want to be too nosy but we couldn't help but hear from their conversation, which was a bit loud, that she had lost her cell phone.  Her companion loaned her his phone and she made several calls to places that they had been, presumably.  Her companion left and she stayed to keep their table.  Eventually he returned with her phone.  Gregg and I were very happy for her as I know how we would feel if we had lost ours.

We had another nice waitress.  I asked her if she had been brought up in Hawaii.  She said she had, then went on to say she had moved to Washington State but returned three years ago, and was very happy to be back.  A very nice young lady and was busy but stopped long enough to satisfy this nosy-parker's curiosity.

Too many reflections in the glass but I liked this print of the hula dancer near the exit.

Before leaving we bought another glass with the name of the restaurant on the side, and the sand and shells in the bottom.  I told Gregg they were for the Mai-Tai's I was going to make for us at home, to remember this holiday.  (He is still waiting but one of these days he will get his Mai-Tai.)

I decided to stand outside while Gregg was settling up, and a young lady came out of the restaurant and wished me a Merry Christmas.  I smiled back and wished her the same.  Hard to believe it is going to be Christmas Day tomorrow.  The time is flying by.

Before we got into our car we walked over to the water's edge, near the bridge we had crossed on our way to the restaurant.  

Under the bridge and beyond there was a place to rent kayaks..... 

and the kind of surfboard you stand up on using a paddle like you would a rowing boat.  

There was a steady stream of people floating past us, making their way to the ocean.....

and a few coming back.

They were fun to watch and we took our photos.  I wondered how on earth they could keep their balance on those surfboards.  Isn't it wonderful to have a great sense of balance?

It had been another lovely day having fun and watching people having fun.

Now to more mundane but necessary matters.  Gregg did the laundry tonight.  

One more day left before before the second part of our vacation in Kauai. 

If you missed the previous posts and would like to read them, you can click on the links below.

Friday, January 29, 2016

TODAY'S FLOWERS #384 - January 29th, 2016

Today's Flowers opens up on Friday at 12.00 a.m., and closes the following Thursday at 11.00 p.m.  More information about this meme can be found here.

My flowers today were taken at various gardens on vacation in December 2015 and January 2016.

I am linking with the following memes as they become available, with my thanks to our hosts.  Please click on their names to visit other participants.

Hetty at Tuinverhalen (Garden Stories) 
Frauke at Floral Friday Fotos
Aquariann at Flower Friday
Laura at IHeartMacro
Judith at Mosaic Monday

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Five....

For Good Fences, Willy Nilly Friday Five and Fun Friday Favorites.  All photos were taken in different areas of Oahu.

1) Walking up to the entrance of the Wahiawa Botanical Garden.  There was a chain-link fence underneath all those vines.

2) This is going down towards the exit of Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu.

3)  This is a pathway leading down to an overlook of Hanauma Bay mentioned in a previous post.

4) A super yacht tied up next to the Aloha Towers Market Place, Honolulu.  

5) And last but not least, one of the many pretty gateways we saw on our vacation, some beautiful in their simplicity, others beautifully ornate.  The view beyond is the ocean.

I am linking with the following memes as they become available, with my thanks to all our hosts.  Please click on their names to visit other participants.

Good Fences
Willy-Nilly Friday Five
Fun Friday Five

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

8th day of our vacation - 12-23-15

December 23rd, 2015

8.23 a.m. and we are still in our hotel room.  We will be going out soon and the Honolulu Zoo is where we are heading.  

2.50 p.m. we are back at the hotel.  It is nice to be near to a lot of the sights, as it means we can take a short break in our room when we need to.  It is less than 15 minutes to the zoo by car, about half an hour if you walk.

After our time at the zoo it certainly felt good to relax and put our feet up.  We would probably have stayed a lot longer but it seemed hotter than usual, and there were no refreshing sprinkles of rain.  We have had a few of those over the last few days and have truly welcomed them.  

I have tried to identify what I could, and took photos of ID and information markers for some, which I will put below each photo. We saw interesting birds, one a Red-vented Bulbul who had popped in for a visit.

The others were in the aviary.  I thought the Toco Toucan was a really neat bird.  He was about to dig into his papaya.  You can click on this website for more info. 

This is a Java Sparrow, and you can find more information here.

I think this is a Superb Starling but he was in the shade and it was hard to tell.  When the sun is on him his feathers are glorious.

Here he is again shown with more sunshine.  There is a great video of him here, and you can also hear his call.

A Hooded Vulture, information here.

A sleepy and cute little Fennec Fox...

There are a few reptiles in outdoor exhibits - several exhibits were being overhauled.  

This is a Green Iguana

This is a Crocodile Monitor Lizard.

African Yellow-throated plated lizard, you can go here if you want more info.

We saw a pretty cat.  This is Felix, a Serval.

You can read about Felix and his kind below if you enlarge the sign. There was another sign
telling visitors not to worry if they saw Felix limping.  It was an age thing as he was getting on in years, but the zoo's vets and staff were taking very good care of him. We wouldn't have known as Felix was having a snooze at the time. 

 The Galapagos Tortoises were impressive.

The Honolulu Zoo was the first to breed Galapagos Turtles in an American zoo, back in 1954, 1967-71.

They are endearing, they always seem to be smiling.

We saw an African dog that was running around his enclosure but it moved too fast for a photo.  We watched two Black Rhinos for awhile nuzzling their faces in a big pool of mud.  They looked like they were enjoying themselves and set down for a snooze.  All this snoozing was making me feel tired.

I always enjoy looking at the flamingos.

They were with a few other birds....

which included a Mandarin Duck and another I wasn't sure about.

Also a Nene Goose.  I found it very interesting as I have only seen them in photos and they are native to Hawaii, are or were on the endangered list but are now recovering.  The Nene is Hawaii's State Bird.

A Cattle Egret enjoying the shade, as was I.

A Helmeted Guinea Fowl with information nearby.

You can enlarge the photo if you want to read about it.

I am still trying to identify this one.

Time to take that break but the last thing we did was to pop into the gift shop for some souvenirs for family and friends, and I treated myself to a tee shirt in a bright green color.  Not a color I usually choose but this was a very pretty shade, and it had a sea turtle design. I bought a cap to match with Honolulu Zoo printed just above the brim.

We have been down to the Barefoot Bar for our nightly cocktail and enjoyed listening to some music while watching the sun go down.

It was another spectacular sunset. 

We walked along the sand for a while.  On our way back another young couple asked me to take their photo.  Honeymooners perhaps but I couldn't bring myself to ask.  A very sweet couple from Italy.  I did ask that.

Flames from the torches lit our way as we headed back to our room, with the sound of the surf and now drums from the hotel's luau in the background.  

I kept thinking of this line from South Pacific, "some enchanted evening".  It seemed to fit the moment somehow and yes, I am such a cornball.

(but I did buy a DVD of the movie and played it when I got home.  With all this snow around I am going to be playing it again).

If you missed the previous posts and would like to read them, you can click on the links below.

Part 7

I am linking with the following memes as they become available, with my thanks to their hosts.  Please click on them to visit other participants.

SkyWatch Friday
Saturday's Critters
Camera Critters
Bird D'Pot
Nature Notes
Wild Bird Wednesday