A Travellerspoint blog

Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving I am thankful for...

Snowy sunrises
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Sandy beaches
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Travel discoveries of past and future
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My loving husband
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Fall colors
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My sisters
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Finding love in unexpected places
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Never being afraid to get in touch with my inner child (me at three!)
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My Kitties. Orange and Grey (yes those are really their names)
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Wine with good friends
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The freedoms and liberties of being an American
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My Dad
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Animal conservation and education
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All the families past and present who I have had the privilege of working for0Vernon_BC_098.jpg

Mountain hikes
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I am thankful for me!
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I am truly blessed and thankful for every moment of my life. What are you thankful for?

Posted by Jennylynn 12:41 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Kauai Souvenirs

Free mosquito bites and sunburns

sunny 80 °F

All good things must come to an end. As with most vacations, I have a hard time saying good bye, especially when saying goodbye means leaving the 80 degree weather to return to cold, dreary, and gray Seattle. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, I love Seattle; I just love it a little less in the winter.

Dan and I spent our last day relaxing by the pool at our resort. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu, totally out of our league, but beautiful none the less. The grounds were pristine, the staff courteous and friendly, and the rooms spacious. Although, I will be quite honest and demand that they reconsider their asking price of $50 for grilled tofu. Needless to say, we did very little sampling of the resort restaurants. Despite the overpriced edibles we developed a fondness for the Grand Hyatt that is likely to be unmatched. With a water slide, lazy river, multiple pools, and hot tubs, we remained fairly water logged for the entire trip. I also found the resort parrots to be loveable and humorous.
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Before our red-eye flight back to Seattle we took the afternoon to explore the botanical gardens in Poipu. We could have spent days exploring the hundreds of acres of tropical flowers, plants, and trees, but the mosquitoes were abundant and my arms were beginning to swell up in masses of red lumps from dozens of bites.

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As we were getting back into the car Dan noticed that my face looked a little funny. I shrugged it off as a mean joke, but a quick glance in the mirror proved this was no joking matter. The mosquitoes not only loved my arms, legs, and torso, but my whole face was covered in bites too. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I get bit by a mosquito I develop a pretty major reaction, the bites sometimes swell into baseball sized lumps, turn bright red, and are extremely hot to the touch. Oh and did I mention they itch? I’m surprised they let me on the plane looking as though I was infected with some strain of measles or mumps. I couldn’t help but slightly wish they would have detained me, a few more days in paradise would have been bliss – even with large red lumps all over my body.

But alas, there we were, shuffling onboard our Alaska Airlines flight with everyone else. I think I caught a few kids pointing at me; either that or they were alarmed by the 10 days of accumulated sunburn Dan was sporting. Either way, what a sight we were.

Now back in Seattle my mosquito bites are completely healed and we are in the process of putting together our next trip. We are thinking Central or South America sometime in late April, although I have to admit I worry what their mosquitoes are capable of. We are open to any advice or suggestions (either about where to go or how to avoid those blood sucking beasts!). We hope you have enjoyed our journey to Maui and Kauai. I wish the photos would have turned out better, but working around a faulty camera was difficult. In fact, after taking it into the shop it was deemed a total loss, so I upgraded to a Canon 50D – YES! Let’s see what this thing is capable of! Until then, mahalo for following my journey and until next time, Aloha!

Posted by Jennylynn 13:53 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Photo Friday: Hiking Near Shipwreck Beach, Kauai

overcast 80 °F

It was a drizzly, cloudy morning in Kauai. Dreary yes, but cold, definitely not. Despite overcast skies, Poipu was near 80 degrees in the early morning. Without the sun beating down on us, we figured a walk along the coast was the perfect way to spend the day. Just north of The Grand Hyatt and Shipwreck Beach sits an interesting and unique landscape, complete with petrified sand dunes, lava rock, and cliffs jutting out of the ocean. We didn't come completely prepared however. Expecting the trail from Shipwreck Beach to lead along an overlook of the ocean, we were surprised to find ourselves scrambling about the rocky coast. Despite gashes in our toes from one too many encounters with lava rock, we took the trail as far as it would take us along the coast line and the views were spectacular.

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Oh and the guy practically throwing himself off the cliff was fighting for what appeared to be the world's smallest fish. Go figure!

Posted by Jennylynn 12:57 Archived in USA Tagged foot Comments (0)

Scenic Stops in Kauai

sunny 80 °F

Our second day in Kauai was spent navigating the Northern coast line. We woke early, grabbed breakfast, and we were on the road just as the sun was rising (we never quite adjusted to the time change!).

Once on the road we were treated to some of the most spectacular sights in Kauai. The drive alone was breathtaking, it literally looked as though we were driving through the top of a forest canopy.
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We took in the spectacular views of the impressive Kilauea Lighthouse.
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Stopped to admire the taro fields common on Kauai's Northern coast.
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We then decided to explore the "dry" caves of Ha'ena, as opposed to the nearby "wet" caves which are infested with the bacteria leptospirosis. Legend has it that the ancient Menehune people of Kauai dug this "dry" cave to find the beast responsible for killing their fish...
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After our cave exploration we lounged on the nearby Ke'e Beach (technically the Northernmost point you can drive to on the island), one of the islands best snorkeling spots. Once again we were teased with views of the Napali coastline.
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As always hunger got the best of us, so we headed to the town of Hanalei to visit Ching Young Village where we indulged in a classic Hawaiian shave ice - a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream topped with shaved ice and an assortment of sugary syrups in tropical flavors. Delicious!
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Later we made our way to both Wailea and Opeka'a Falls.
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We also discovered several Heiaus, or Hawaiian Temples, along the way. Often mistaken for a pile of lava rocks, these stones are all that remain of a sacred Hawaiian sight where rituals, sacrifices, and wars took place.
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The day wasn't complete however without running into hundreds of these guys...
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With almost the entire day under our belt, we headed back to the resort for more rest and relaxation. Oh and some trips down the water slide and lazy river, ah the life of resort living.
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Posted by Jennylynn 06:56 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Driving Kauai's Waimea Canyon

and contemplating Kauai's feral chicken population

sunny 85 °F

On our first day in Kauai, we woke early to explore our resort (more on that later) before driving out to the Waimea Canyon on the Eastern side of Kauai. Waimea Canyon is the closest thing to the Grand Canyon you will find anywhere in the Pacific, and Waimea’s rocky, red outcroppings and rust stained roads are reminiscent of Zion National Park in Utah. As you drive further into the canyon, the road becomes more narrow and steep as you steadily rise to 4,000 feet above sea level. Along the way, dozens of view points and pull outs beckon you forth to take in the beauty of the forested Kokee State Park and the canyon itself. Although the drive along the canyon is only 20 miles, we easily spent half the day exploring the side trails and view points along this scenic route.
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As we reached mile marker 20 the road ended at a final lookout point where we caught a glimpse of the elusive Napali Coastline. Kauai’s Napali Coast is only visible from sea or air and for the adventurous types, dozens of multi day hikes can take you along these steep, yet rolling cliffs. During our short trip to Kauai this lookout would be one of two times we had the opportunity to view the spectacular Napali coast. If we ever return to Kauai, I vow to spend several days exploring this nearly untouched wilderness.
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On our way back to the resort we stopped at Spouting Horn in Poipu where a hole in the coastline spouts water with each crashing wave. The display was spectacular and reminded us of the Nakalele Blowhole in Maui. Spouting Horn is different however, in that air is forced through a nearby hole with each wave creating a high pitched moaning noise. Perhaps more exciting than the blowhole was watching crazy people venture out toward the hole to pose for a photo. Obviously the chain link fence and ominous signs threatening arrest for nearing the blowhole did nothing to deter these few. Our guidebook warned us of all the lives lost when large waves would crash through the hole and knock people into it. Most memorable was the story of a man on crutches who managed to navigate the lava rock to the blowhole only to be swept away into the ocean. Broken leg and all, he was one of the lucky few to survive. Needless to say, Dan and I stayed put on the shore (sorry folks – I’m not that adventurous!).
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Before leaving Spouting Horn we enjoyed watching the families of feral chickens and cats chase each other through the adjacent park. Did I mention Kauai has an overabundance of chickens?! They were everywhere! Supposedly after Hurricane Iniki in 1992, dozens of chickens were displaced from family farms and since then have taken over the island causing traffic jams and attacking family pets. I am an animal lover, and have read much literature investigating the intelligence of various animal species. Birds are highly intelligent, but I have to be brutally honest, Kauai’s chicken population is a particularly unintelligent group of chickens. It must have been the hurricane that rattled this particular gene pool.
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When we returned to our resort, I noticed an oddly shaped trail in the sky. Sort of like the clouds which forms behind an airplane, but unlike contrails, these clouds were twisting and spiraling about the sky. I snapped a photo and did some investigation. It turns out that Japanese and U.S. warships were testing out a missile defense system right above our heads. Fabulous!
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We finished our day at the resort, floating the lazy river in the pool, splashing down the waterslide, and watching the hula dancers grace the grounds. It was the perfect ending to our busy day and with the end of our vacation looming closer we vowed to spend more time relaxing at the resort before leaving our tropical paradise. Although I strongly believe that travel should be adventurous and educational, a good day of rest and relaxation can be rejuvenating and refreshing, and in return make travel a more rewarding experience.
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Posted by Jennylynn 07:48 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

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