Monday, January 3, 2011

Down Under...

Since I began writing my post a few days ago you'll find the Hawaii post down under this....mahalo! :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Okay, so after I spent time on writing my first installment about my trip, Blogger is acting up and won't let me post those pictures. SO, "just keep swimming" (or, rather, just keep waiting), and hopefully something will be up soon!


So, I am now getting over here to give you a small glimpse of my trip to Hawaii! It would take me forever to write about my trip with all the details, but I will highlight things we experienced, trying to do it in stages (so that I won't be overwhelmed!). And, seeing as how I took more pictures than I've ever taken in my LIFE...I'm going to be a little picky; it would just take too much time to post even half (yes, there are over 1000 pictures!!) of the shots I took. So, hopefully this will open up a tourist's view of the exotic Big Island of Hawaii.

But first, I would like to give you a little background as to how all this happened. I never, ever guessed that I would be flying over the Pacific Ocean, tasting fresh coconut, or walking on lava rock one year ago from today! Believe it or not, the planning of this trip occurred 4 days before our plane took off!! (Slightly crazy, yes.) While my friend Stephanie and I were talking at a friend's bonfire she mentioned the idea of going on a trip...and going to Hawaii. (Lacey's thoughts, "Wow, of course, but could this be possible? I hope so!") So, after I got home I disussed it with my parents......and it seemed like a possibility. The next morning we were online looking at ticket prices and dates. The result? A flight booked for the Big Island of Hawaii! (Wild!) An interesting sidenote here. Earlier this year I really wanted to see the ocean -- more than usual. I talked to my family about going, but we just never got around to it. After the summer & fall months passed I didn't really consider it as an option. However, in a little over 24 hours of broaching the subject my wish was starting to become a reality! And Hawaii of all places for it to come true!!

Really, the only reason Hawaii was a thought for us was because some of Steph's relatives are living over there for a short time due to her uncle's work. It was an unsual opportunity. The R's lovingly opened up their home and welcomed us to stay with them while we were there.

As the day rolled around for our the beginning of our trip, we found ourselves anticipating our big adventure. Personally, I've never traveled overseas in my life. (Thankfully, it really didn't bother me when were flying.) We had a couple layovers, one in Denver and one in Honolulu before we made our final destination. We flew in a huge airplane, met some new people, and remained in the air for 7 hours over the ocean.

Excitedly, the next place where our feet touched solid ground was in the Honolulu airport!! It was awesome! The weather was great, the birds were singing and we were welcomed with palm trees, flowers and mountains when we walked outside. We waited a little bit for our shuttle to take us to the other part of the airport where we would seperately catch our island hoppers. We both killed a little time in our different terminals and waited for the last leg of the journey. Soon, we boarded the plane that offered us Macademia nuts. (I'm not necessarily a big fan of Macademia's, but since it's kinda a big part of Hawaii, I thought I would throw it in there!) By this time, it was past 8:00 in Hawaii, and as I flew over Hilo, I got to watch night clouds that were illuminated by the moonlight float by while listening to some beaufitul music playing on my MP3. (Yes, I can be a romantic.)

Finally, after over 10 hours of traveling we were greeted with lei's from the R family!! After they picked us up from the airport (and gave us some supper), we headed over to Coconut Island where Steph & I had our first encounter with the Pacific Ocean!!!!!!! It was a beautiful night! The temperature, the mist hanging in the air over Mauna Kea with little sparkles of light here and there from the locals' homes was a pretty sight.
Soon after we arrived at the R's home, Rochelle (Steph's aunt), gave us a little warning: black centipedes. I guess since everything grows at least 5 times bigger over there it would make sense for the wild life to grow that big too, huh? Rochelle told us about these aggressive 'little' bugs that can cause serious damage if they bite you; so, as a precaution, she told us not to keep our clothes on the floor and to always check under our covers when we went to bed. (EEEK!!) Fortunately we never encountered one of these little guys, and the only other roomy we had join us one morning was a lizard. ;-)

So, I guess that's part 1 of my trip! I didn't really plan on writing that much, but once I started I guess I didn't stop! Hope you enjoyed this installment about our first encounters during our trip.

Two excited travelers on the plane to Honolulu
Aerial view of Hawaiian clouds ;-)

Yep, pretty quiet
Our leis
Rochelle - our hostess!

2011: A New Year

New Year
Streams in the Desert

"The land whither ye go to possess it is a land of hills and valleys and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year" (Deut. 11:11-12).

Today dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? But here is the cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Heavenly Father, "The Lord thy God careth for it." "His eyes are upon it away to the ending of the year."

All our supply is to come from the Lord. Here are springs that shall never dry; here are fountains and streams that shall never be cut off. Here, anxious one, is the gracious pledge of the Heavenly Father. If He be the Source of our mercies they can never fail us. No heat, no drought can parch that river, "the streams whereof make glad the city of God."

The land is a land of hills and valleys. It is not all smooth nor all down hill. If life were all one dead level the dull sameness would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys. The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys. Ah, so it is with us! It is the hill difficulty that drives us to the throne of grace and brings down the shower of blessing; the hills, the bleak hills of life that we wonder at and perhaps grumble at, bring down the showers. How many have perished in the wilderness, buried under its golden sands, who would have lived and thriven in the hill-country; how many would have been killed by the frost, blighted with winds, swept desolate of tree and fruit but for the hill-stern, hard, rugged, so steep to climb. God's hills are a gracious protection for His people against their foes!

We cannot tell what loss and sorrow and trial are doing. Trust only. The Father comes near to take our hand and lead us on our way today. It shall be a good, a blessed new year!

He leads us on by paths we did not know;
Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
Yet when the clouds are gone,
We know He leads us on.
He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
Of losses, sorrows, and o'erclouded days;
We know His will is done;
And still He leads us on.
--N.L. Zinzendorf