Highlights from Hawaii

I have encouraged each member of our family to record a short audio message with AudioBoo of their personal highlight from our vacation. These are accessible from my AudioBoo profile page. As we are now on board our flight to the mainland and about to depart I do not think I have enough time to individually link each one now. I will do that later as an edit to this post!

So long, Hawaii! Thanks for the great memories!!!

Rachel: Memories if the Lava Tube

Sarah: Our vacation rental in Honolulu

Cool at the Volcano House

We flew from Honolulu on the island of Oahu to Hilo on the big island of Hawaii, today. We booked our flights early of course, the 1 way fare was $65 each, and the flight lasted 50 minutes. We spent several hours at a beautiful botanical garden today about 8 miles north of Hilo, and then made our way to The Volcano House where we are staying for 3 nights. We are over 3000 feet above sea level here and it is 61 degrees F now! I think it was 102 degrees F back home today. What a difference!

I posted a bunch of additional photos from the garden today to my Hawaii 2009 Flickr set. I have been trying to upload photos as well as videos as we take them this trip using my iPhone and PixelPipe. 3G connectivity is great, I just wish the iPhone battery lasted longer.

Speaking of botanicals…you should check out our friends over at Bongs & Water Pipes – Smoke Cartel if you are into marijuana!

Audioboo Reflections from Pearl Harbor

Our family visited Pearl Harbor today. Rachel and I recorded six new Audioboos tonight, reflecting on things we saw and learned today. These are all linked from my AudioBoo profile page. Since I am mobile blogging this from my iPhone I can’t embed the Audioboos, but I will link them separately below.

Rachel: Torpedo At Pearl Harbor

Rachel: USS Utah Reflections From Pearl Harbor

Rachel: USS Arizona Impressions

Wesley: Dogfight Over Ka’ena Point, Hawaii (12/7/1941)

Wesley: USS Oklahoma Memorial Reflections

Rachel: Learning About Navy Divers At Pearl Harbor

Thinking about native cultures

Our family enjoyed a luau this evening at the Hale Koa hotel in Honolulu, which is the military hotel on Waikiki. Since my dad is USAF-retired he could get us all tickets. The food and show were great. I am sure the closing fire dance act will be one of the big memories my kids keep with them after our trip is over.

This “Waikiki-style” show contrasted sharply with the hula program my relative Alice Rogers arranged for us to experience last Saturday night at the north shore camp where we were for our family reunion. That program was put on by a group of older women who share the stories and traditions of authentic Hawaiian hula. I was struck tonight by how different the infusion of native Hawaiian culture is here in Hawaii, compared to what we see in most parts of Oklahoma. While shows like the one we saw tonight have a performance/show feel and are certainly not pure examples of cultural preservation and sharing, they do serve important educational purposes as well as being sources of entertainment for tourists like us. I would guess there are varying opinions among the native Hawaiians about the instrumental and intrinsic value of these programs. While I wouldn’t think a commercialization of Oklahoma native cultures similar to what we have seen in parts of Hawaii over the years would be good from a tribal history standpoint, I do think it is positive in many ways that Hawaiian language and culture are bigger mainstream influences here. It is interesting how casino economics are changing some tribes in Oklahoma, and interesting to see how some are using that revenue to build up their respective cultural identities.

I think it would be both fun and worthwhile to lead a group of “storychasers” from Oklahoma here to Hawaii to explore some of these issues in-depth with various types of media, and continue that exploration back home in Oklahoma.

Swimming at Waimea Bay

This afternoon we spent almost 2 hours swimming at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s north shore. I have heard about Waimea before as the location where some of the big wave surfing happens here in the winter, but it was my first time to visit. It was spectacular! The waves break very close to the beach because the bay gets deep pretty fast. The surf was very mild and fun to play in. There were a ton of people there. This may turn out to have been one of the big highlights of our entire trip. It was awesome!

Hike to Ka’ena Point

Today we hiked about six miles round trip to Ka’ena Point. It is the northwest most point on Oahu, and there is a tower which serves as a lighthouse there. The view was pretty spectacular. We timed our hike so we arrived st low tide, and were able to explore the nearby tide pools. The highlight for me was seeing an eel attack a small crab. It was better than Wild Kingdom!

Next time we will take even more water. We made it ok on our 2 bottles, but it would have been a lot better with more. It was a long, hot and dry hike. At least we were able to swim awhile at the point, midway on our hike.

Great food and Loopt

We have had some GREAT food so far in Hawaii. On our way to the north shore on Friday, we ate at The Dixie Grill. I ate there twice in Dec ’07 when I was here for the USS Oklahoma memorial dedication, and they did not disappoint. The fried green tomatoes along with peel and eat shrimp were great! Yesterday morning the iPhone program Loopt came in handy to help my brother-in-law redezvous with us in a nearby town for breakfast!

Beach Fun

It is a pretty wonderful thing for flatlanders like us to have an opportunity to play in the surf here on the north shore of Oahu! This is the camp where we are staying our first three nights here during our Fryer Family Reunion. We went to a nearby state park yesterday to swim in the surf.

Seeing and Eating Pineapple

One of the highlights of our day yesterday was going to the Dole pineapple plantation to see and eat pineapple. I did some brief research and learned the origins of Dole lie with The Standard Fruit Company rather than The United Fruit Corporation. Both have an interesting political history, though I am more familiar with the latter and Guatemala. It is interesting but not surprising none of the company’s colorful political history is referenced in the songs and commentary shared on the tourist’s train tour of the plantation.

Vacation like a pensieve

Our vacation seems to be functioning as a pensieve for me. My brain seems to be processing out a multitude of ideas at night, so they do not clutter my waking, conscious mind. I normally do not remember any dreams in the morning, but sleeping as we are in these camp cabin bunks here on the north shore of Oahu, right by the ocean, I have had lots of vivid dreams each night.

Shelly, Sarah and I are all awake already, our body clocks still not yet adjusted to island time. I think we are going to go on a morning hike today.

PixelPipe for Facebook and Flickr Photo Posts

Looking for a way to post multiple photos to either Facebook or Flickr from a mobile phone, like an iPhone? I am, in advance of our vacation next week. PixelPipe is a free application and web service that can do this. I have been working on getting it configured this morning. I actually opted to NOT update to Twitter and just have two targets: Flickr and Facebook. You can select a LOT of different post targets with PixelPipe.

I initially mobile blogged this with WordPress for iPhone. This was my first post to successfully auto-post to Facebook via PingPressFM! Woo hoo! I logged in on my laptop and added the links. Photos were mobile blogged too.

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