Stuff That Works - a visit to Hawaii.

What I Did On My Spring Vacation - Part 1 of 2
Hawaii beckoned (it used my sister Vicki and brother in law Tom to do so). Having only closed our store for a week on one other occasion and being in need of a vacation, Julie and I responded in a positive way and booked our flights and made the appropriate marks on the calendars.
NOTE: I have provided some links for your edification. Click 'em and learn more.
Flying To And From
Flying to Hawaii from Michigan is no biggie. C'mon - we can get all the way to the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a little more than 1/3 of a day's flying time. It was 2 hours and 5 minutes to Denver and then supposedly 7 hours to Oahu. Leaving Grand Rapids at 8 am allowed us to arrive on the island at 3:00 pm - so we had some daylight left when we got there.
Here is a tip for fooling the TSA. I was able to carry on a months worth of shampoo, 3 months worth of shaving cream and enough water to share with most of the people on the plane by making some very subtle changes to the labels so the liquids would be in an amount acceptable to TSA.
TSA had NO problems with my liquids.
The flight to Denver was great. Julie and I had the two seats on the left of the plane with a fair amount of room. Once in Denver I was able to spread out and hogify several chairs for chillaxin'.
For the first part of our holiday, we stayed on the island of Oahu at the Marriott resort in Ko Olina. Tom and Vicki are members (owners) of some time at this fabulous place and they were gracious enough to let Julie and I stay there with them. Below is the sight that greeted us for five mornings as we looked out from the balcony of our room on the 8th floor to view the protected swimming lagoon and the Pacific.  

Tom HAS to visit Hawaii a couple of times every year for work. Really. He sells bridges. REALLY - I mean it. As a consequence, he and Vicki are well acquainted with where to go - what to see - where to eat (and what places are best skipped!). Tom had to work for the first part of our visit, but that didn't stop Julie, Vic, and I from having a good time.
The two heads furthest away from the camera are Vic and I cooling off in the calm waters of the lagoon. There are Four Lagoons within walking distance of where we stayed. ALL of them are open to the public as are almost ALL of the beaches in Hawaii. Crystal clear water kept clear of undesirable elements (read MEAT eaters) from the Pacific by walls that also calmed the waves while allowing water to circulate. Pure genius!

One thing that can make it over the barriers to the beach of the lagoon are Monk seals. They often come up onto the beach for a much needed nap. The folks on Oahu are very protective of these seals - within minutes of this one coming ashore at Ko Olina, the staff had roped off a wide area to prevent the curious from disturbing it's sleep. We saw the same thing done on the very, very busy beach at Waikiki - the tourists took second place to the native seals. 

Waves crash into the volcanic rock on Oahu.

One fine day Vic, Julie and I took a trip almost all the way around Oahu. Look at the beautiful blue waters behind my beautiful wife. We never tired of gazing at the ever changing hues of the Ocean.

 Some more Pacific shots from our trip around Oahu.

Kite and wind surfers were having a blast.
On our way to look at the surfers at the world famous Banzai Pipeline in Waimea Bay on the Northshore of Oahu - we stopped at the Shrimp Shack - Vicki considers it to be the best shrimp truck of the many you can find on the road to the Pipeline. Julie and I split a combo plate of garlic shrimp and mahi - fresh from the sea and YUMMY. Great choice, Vic.

We also stopped at one of several farmer's markets where we happily spent our grocery money during our visit (didn't take pics). What a treat to eat fresh, locally grown kale, carrots, strawberries that were as delicious as Michigan's, and breads, etc. etc.

Here is a sample of the great curl at the Pipeline. We got to watch surfers brave the potential pounding and strut their stuff on this legendary beach. What a treat.
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