Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celebrating 30 Years Together. . .

A long time ago Alan and I decided when we had been married for 30 years that we would do something special. . . you know, something spectacular. . So we decided to go to Hawaii. Just not any island, but an island that we have been wanting to go to for a very long time. Kauai.
Alan and I have been to Maui, Oahu, the big island of Hawaii, but my favorite so far is Kauai.  Why??? You might ask. Well. . . .

Maybe it's the pretty resort that we stayed at. We stayed at the Kauai Beach Resort. It is right on the beach, so of course, we took long walks on the secluded beach!
A tree tunnel to the entrance of our resort. That's when I knew I was going to love it!!!

Or it could be. . . The awesome waterfalls

This is the waterfall they used for the beginning scene of the show Fantasy Island.
Wailua Falls

Opaekoa Falls
Or maybe the really fun Luau, where we walked around some beautiful tropical gardens, and then ate really good and interesting foods, and watched a fun, and very entertaining show.

Smith's Tropical Paradise

Beautiful grounds of the luau - "The Giant" mountain in the background

Maybe it's because Alan and I love to hike. It's something we have done from the very beginning of our marriage and love getting outdoors and exploring this beautiful world of ours.

hike #1  To the top of a mountain, called The Sleeping Giant.

Hike #2  hiking along the top of the Napali Coast
Hike #3  The Alakai Swamp - the highest swamp in the world

Hike #4: Along the bottom and edge of the Napali coast - 2 mi in to a beautiful secluded beach
Hanakapi Beach
THEN:  2 mi more heading up the mountain to a beautiful waterfall. . .This hike took us a total of 8 hrs. We had plenty of water with our waterpaks and took a lunch that we ate at the waterfall.

Do not be decieved. . . These were all very, very, chanllenging hikes. . .notice by the 4th hike we have hiking poles that we bought at a Walmart in Lihue. After falling a few times, we decided poles might help, and they did!! At times I wondered if I was at "Boot Camp of Hawaii" I didn't remember signing up for that. . .but then the scenery would take my breath away, and I would forget about how my legs and butt were hurting!!

The Scenery and Sites were Amazing - Waimea Canyon/ Kokee State Park
The Kilauea Lighthouse - This is where we went whale watching also.  We bought binoculars at the Walmart too. We saw many whales passing by, flipping their fins up, Alan saw one jump out of the water. . I totally missed it.

The plants and flowers were awesome.

Or maybe it's the new adventure of ziplining through the Kauai Jungle tree tops. . . And facing my fears of height and hanging from a little rope. . . high up in the sky, over the trees.  We did a total of 9 ziplines. We stopped at a swimming hole and ate lunch and swam. There was a couple a little older than us that were service missionaries on Oahu at the Polynesian Center. They had some free time and came over to Kauai to check it out and do the zipline!! We had a really fun group of 6 couples.

We did not plan on matching, it just happened!  Go Yellow Team!!

The King Kong Zip Line - 1200ft
Or the Swinging Bridge that we had to cross to get to the other side. . .
Maybe it was the awesome snorkeling. . . we swam with a sea turtle at Anini Beach - I almost stepped on it. . .I thought it was a rock. We saw sooo many tropical fish at poi pu, I felt like we were swimming in an aquairum.
Or maybe it was the awesome beaches. . . There were not alot of people on the beaches. . We were there in Feb. I found out that March is their busy month, along with summertime.
Or taking a boat down the river to the Fern Grotto. . . lots of plants and banana trees
One thing that we found out fairly soon into our trip was that Kauai is full of Roosters. They are everywhere and they are protected by the state. The also do not know that they are suppose to crow at the crack of dawn. . nope, these roosters crow whenever they want to. . .middle of the day, or middle of the night, does  not matter to these roosters. When I think of Kauai, I can't help but think about the roosters!!!                    
Roosters on the side of the road, middle of the road, in parking lots, along the beach or high in the mountains. Everywhere

BUT.....I Think the reason I loved Kauai soooo much is because. . .

We were together and having so much fun on this beautiful Island where there was so much to do. We were having one adventure after another and loving it. Other couples might like to just relax and sit by the pool or on a beach and read a book. Not us. . . It was one adventure after another. . . and we were loving it. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that after 30 years of being with someone -   that you could still be excited to spend time with them, to have an adventure with them, to laugh and talk and walk together holding hands along a beach and feel so much love for that person that you are with. I think when we celebrate our 60th we might then just sit by the pool or lay on the beach and just relax but then again. . . we may be ready for more adventures. . .who knows...      Happy Anniversary Alan!! I love you for eternity!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are we Crazy??? Just Wondering.

We spent Labor Day in the Grand Canyon this year!! We arrived at 9a.m. that morning and parked at the Visitor's Center. We then walked up to the rim with our handy "Camelbacks" in stow filled with ice water and lunch!! We were ready and prepared!! We hiked to the rim and again "gasped" in awe at the beauty that was before us!! I stated to Alan, "Yep, It's still there!" We were just here in June!! Doesn't matter, we never grow tired of the beauty, and the cool air with light cool breeze as it touches your face. So exciting, after coming from 3 digit weather!!

We hiked towards the main buildings where the hotels and restarants and gift shops are. It was a couple of miles. Then Alan says to me..."Let's hike down the Bright Angel Trail". ok, I admit it looks cool, with the rock tunnels and all, but it is strait down with alot of swithbacks. But I agreed to going to the first stop, which is an outhouse with a rest area a mile and a half down the trail. ok.  I can handle a mile and half. . right??

The scenery was beautiful. It took us about an hour to make it to our destination. We ate our lunch there and enjoyed the cool weather and beautiful scenery. It was quite a steep hike down, so I was a little worried about going up. A squirrel came right behind me on a rock while we ate lunch. Alan said, "look behind you" I looked and couldn't see anything!! Alan said, "You're killing me smalls" Then he pointed to it. . . It was RIGHT behind me, standing up, begging with it's little paws rubbing together, like when spencer signs more in sign language!! lol. It blended in with the logs it was standing on, ok?!!

We headed up. It was hard!! I was breathing very heavy. Alan, not so much. He was very patient with me as we stopped at every switchback turn. It took us a 1 ½ hours to get back up. Slowly but surely. Someone was having problems and they were taken up by stretcher by the paramedics. Probably over excerted themselves, or heat exhaustion. I wasn't there when it happened to get the details. I was a little disappointed.

paramedics carrying hiker out. . . so glad it wasn't me!!

We talked to a few people that were headed up, from staying overnight in the bottom and had hiked from the North rim. They looked exhausted!!! But what an accomplishment.

We made it to the top. I was exhausted, and I hurt. We had drank all our water, we went and bought some along with an ice cream cone at the fountain shop on the rim. We sat down and ate our ice cream and drank our water and rested!! Two deer came down to the grassy area that we were sitting by. A mother and a baby.  So fun to see them come so close.

We then filled up our camelbacks with spring water provided by the park. We decided to head up the rim to Hermit’s Rest. Are we Crazy???  We made it!! Exhausted but have hiked  a total of 14 miles in one day. Alan was able to get some amazing pictures of the Grand Canyon at Sunset. It was cloudy and the sun was shining through the clouds. It really added some color to the canyon.

We headed back to the lodge. We happened to catch one of the last shuttles at Hermit’s Rest- to take us down. It was getting dark, and we were a little freaked to think if we would have been 30 minutes longer hiking, we would have missed the shuttle and would have to walk in the dark back down to the town. Scary to think about walking along the edge of the canyon in complete darkness!!! While in the shuttle, we saw some Elk crossing the road, which we had to wait for.

We shuttled our way back to our car. We headed to the Yavapai Lodge, which was close by and checked in and got our key. We went to our room and decided it was the exact room we had last time on Father’s Day. We love this room!! Alan checked it out when we got home and yep, same room. Haha.  We went and ate dinner at . We had pizza in the Cafeteria.  We were starving!!!

The next morning I could hardly walk!!  We walked over to the office and checked out. I walked like a penquin!! Then we bought a big breakfast at the cafeteria.

We headed up to check out the rim one last time before heading back. We walked towards the other way to look at the rim, by the amphitheater. A Condor Bird flew by us again. We attract them. The ranger said that alot of people don't get to see them. We saw one both times now - up close. They have freakishly huge claw like beaks and red/orange on their black wide spread wings. They are huge, and I have to admit, a little scary!! A ranger came by and said that it was over here protecting a dead mule that had died this week on the trail. Protecting it from the other vultures?? I really wanted to ask if someone had been riding the mule when it fell down and died!! But, I didn’t. How would you feel, if the mule you were riding up out of the canyon, just laid down and died??!!! I would be embarrased and devastated!!

We headed back to the car and decided to go see the other side of the south rim, that we have never seen.  It was so cool and fun. We stopped at some scenic stops and at the ruins and museum and then we headed to Desert View Lookout, which has a "Watchtower" there that we went up into. Very fun. We stayed there and explored and then got a soda and headed home going towards Cameron. It was about an hour longer to go this way.

We stopped one last time at a Scenic View that was a mountain wall with the Little Colorado river below it, it looked like a big hole or crack in the earth. It was very interesting. Very hard to walk out to the lookout, because we were hurting from all the hiking, but curious to look at it!!
view from the Watchtower
We stopped in Flagstaff and ate lunch at McDonald’s. We then headed home. We arrived around and we were able to have Taco Tues with Jaimee and Seth.

I woke up this morning, I can't walk! I hurt so bad when I try to walk, I wrapped my legs up with ace wraps and took Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Hot baths and Muscle Rub creams. . .That is what my day has consisted of, What a Labor Day to Remember, but. . . again I ask. . . Are we Crazy???!!!

Funny Side Note. I love these pictures. We like to take pictures of ourselves. What is the common denominator in these pictures??? Alan's expression as he is taking them!!! He is soooo focused on taking the picture!! It Cracks me up, everytime. Love you Alan!! :) ok. I have the same look too!!!