Friday, December 20, 2019

Hawaii and Home

Our son wanted to have a family "destination" Thanksgiving in Hawaii. He found a lovely home in Waialea Kahala with lots of rooms! The main house had 4 bedrooms, and several nooks and crannies where people could sleep. The detached garage had a small apartment upstairs and a bedroom and bath downstairs. The house had a securely enclosed back yard and was a short walk to the beach. It also had a swimming pool. There were spacious rooms for lounging, including an outdoor lanai and the house even had two complete kitchens; one inside and one out!



On our first day we all decided to climb Diamond Head. It was quite a trek, in a long line of tourists. Morning was the perfect time to make the ascent as most of the trip was in the shade of the wall of the volcano. 

This is where we are going!
 The views were worth the climb:



Waikiki
Diamond Head Lighthouse
We two Grandmas celebrated our hike to the top and back with a Dole Whip!


Having a house with a pool was perfect for the family. The kids enjoyed a lot of time in the pool. 


Besides our family, our son invited a friend and their three children. The kids had a lot of fun together, including down time on electronic devices - a luxury for our grandkids!


It was nice to have house with nicely outfitted kitchens so that we didn't have to eat at restaurants all of the time. This is Izzie, one of the kids from the other family. He had never washed dishes before, or so he stated! I had to take a picture for his mom as evidence that he can do it!


The house had three sitting areas, but only one inside table, so we often ate in shifts, or took our plates to some other area. 


We set out for a hike to Manoa Falls, only to find that they were closed. The Park Service was working on the trail. However, we stumbled upon Lynn Arboretum which had a hike to Alhualama Falls. Sadly, there was very little water... only a trickle. 



We also visited Foster Botanical Gardens. They had an amazing collection of trees, and this cute visor that I found at the gift shop. This should be easy to make!


We often went different directions, and found lunch places wherever we were. We stumbled on Fresh Catch in Kaneohe. The shop had amazing sea food with a fast food atmosphere. Most of the customers were local. It was quite a find!


Our plans for having a house-sitter fell through. We found Babcock Barks practically in our back yard. Kelli, the owner of the company, took our dogs into her home for the three weeks we were gone. Here (from L to R) Tucker, Gypsy, Cap and Ivy wait for dinner.


The dogs had a wonderful vacation. They even watched videos lounging on Kelli's bed!


We stopped at the Dole Plantation and took the train ride tour. They produce only a small amount of pineapples, but their property showcases Hawaiian agriculture. From there we went down the road to a small coffee farm. 


We also visited the Waikiki Aquarium. It was built at the end of the trolley line so riders might be encouraged to ride to the end of the line! It is a small aquarium. I enjoyed watching the octopus. On my first pass he was sleeping, wonderfully camouflaged on the rock coral. 


On my second pass, he had come out and was exploring.


Before we knew it our time was up and we had to fly back to San Francisco. We rode our bikes down to the truck rental company to pick up a 16' Penske truck. We spent a day loading tools and sewing machines, a bit of furniture and some odds and ends.




We took off the next morning, traveling 500 miles or so each of the next 6 days. Below is a picture as we climb the pass on I-5 just north of LA. My friends said this area is called "The Grapevine". It was fun to see many cars pulled over so that kids of all ages could play in the snow - an unusual experience, even for this area.


Sunrise in Palm Desert, CA


Considering that we travelled over 3,000 miles, we were fortunate in having few delays other than heavy traffic, some construction and some disabled vehicles. As we approached the bridge over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge all traffic stopped. There was an accident a mile beyond the bridge. However, while waiting a car a bit ahead of us overheated and caught on fire. That must have been terrifying for the owner of the car, and for the vehicles around him. A fire truck came up the bridge on the west bound lanes and extinguished the flames.



 We stopped to see Scott's sister and to pick up some furnishings that had belonged to his mother, and then, after 6 long days of driving we were home. We unpacked the truck and returned it the next day. Then, we unpacked most of the boxes, and now we are getting back to getting settled.





Wednesday, December 11, 2019

W.E.P. December Challenge: Footprints

And just like that, December is here and it is time for another writing challenge. Click on the image below to find links to all entries.






The footsteps faded to emptiness down the long, colorless corridor.

She was shaken awake by the dream. Another strange dream brought on by the hormones coursing through her body. 

The baby was born, to her delight. He smiled up at her from his vantage point between her legs, and he pushed himself backwards to safely climb off the birthing table. He walked down the shadowed hallway, out of the delivery room, leaving nothing but footprints piercing her heart. The fading sound of his steps still echoed in her head, and pulsed through her body. She’d experienced other strange dreams during previous pregnancies. Pregnancies that never sustained themselves beyond eight weeks. 

She immediately knew, from the core of her being. 

She folded the crocheted baby blanket she had just begun and put it in the paperboard box, along with a few other baby items. Tangible reminders of dashed hopes. With heavy steps, she carried it down the hall to put it in the dark recesses of the closet; out of sight, but never out of mind. 


175 words
Full critique welcome

PS: This was my dream many years ago. It was haunting, and it was a portent of things to come. The blanket was finally finished. I went on to bear two sons. However, my heart still holds the memories of the lost ones.

Rocking at Babcock Ranch

 One of the residents in our community began a "Babcock Ranch Rocks" page on FaceBook. The page is used to post painted rocks that...