Monday, April 14, 2008

Hawaii some of the amazing views from the sky!

The USS Arizona and the Missouri

The Hawaii Temple

Looking out on Honolulu

Hawaii (Beaches, Sun, and a little Lava)

Jim, Rob, and I took off to the Islands of Hawaii for a fun week in the sun. We spent the first few days in Oahu, body surfing, driving the island, and then having the oppontunity to experience the War Memorial for the USS Arizona. What a amazing day in our History, and to recover and grow as a country is what we are all about. Pride in our country and those who protect our freedoms. We also had the opportunity to tour the Missouri which was one of the last battleships built and where World War II ended. What an impressive site, the sure massiveness and the time period it was built boggles the mind. What a special experience.

From Oahu, we had the opportunity to rent a 182 plane and fly onto Maui. I really enjoyed Maui. It had beautiful flowers, and beaches. We happened to be fortunate to be there during the high season for whales. The whales travel to the shallow waters of where they were born to have their babies and teach them to swim. We had reserved a trip to go snorkeling at a crater off the shore about 3 miles. It was a slow process as whales were swimming everywhere!!

The next stop was the Big Island. We took off from Maui and climbed to the highest point of the crater on Maui. The top of this extint crater looked like a moon scape. We kept this altitude and across the way you could see snow on the highest peak of the big island!! As we flew across , we saw a beautiful sunset past the snow and mountains. It was time for us to land on the big island, as Jim was getting below the clouds in the darkest we actually saw lava. Usually the lava flows beneath the ground , but we happen to catch a rare opportunity when a lava vent opened up. What a neat sight. As we flew over , you could smell the sulfur. We landed and the tower crew who cleared us , actually came and picked us up to take us to the rental car desk. What service, and just very nice people. As a matter of fact, the tower control guy had went snow boarder up at the top of the mountain that day. The next day we visited the Volcanoe national park with lava flows from years past all over the island. The Big Island is the youngest land we have as it grows every year due to the active lava flow. When it was time to fly out, we took a path which allowed us to see a smoking crater. You will have to check out the pictures below.

From here we headed back to Oahu, so in all we saw all the islands except Kauai. I hear it is gorgeous but I guess next time.

We spent the next day and half at the beach before our departure having a great time, until Rob had an unfortunate accident at Sandy Beach. While body surfing the wave could reach over 8' tall, and unfortunately one of them hit Rob , flipped him over dislocating his shoulder and taking a chip out of the bone. We got him to the hospital where he was in extreme pain. The RN's said they hadn't given someone so much morphine and it didn't help. It was a great staff, Doctor Chi even offered up his shower since we were all covered in sand and were suppose to be on a flight that night. They set Rob's shoulder and off to the airport where unfortunately our flight was cancelled. In the end , it was probably for the best as it gave Rob time to rest.

All in all it was an incredible trip, I just wish we could have avoided the last day. Rob had surgery back home and is recovering.

I highly recommend Hawaii for a vacation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ice Hotel

Well, I got sent over to Sweden for work. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of nowhere for the whole week. It was dark a majority of the time, and the only place to eat was at the hotel. We did a daytrip further north of the Artic Circle to the original Ice Hotel. Yes, people stay here for well over $350 a night. Crazy. You sleep in a snowmobile outfit in a sleeping bag. Just taking the tour , I was freezing. The Ice sculpted beds were pretty neat here are a couple of my favorites.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Christmas and Sweden

Well, I guess it has been quite awhile since I have posted anything. So here is a quick update on what has happened in the last couple of months. For Christmas, I headed down to Waco, TX to visit my good friends Claudia and Pete. They now have two children two adorable children Ethan and Chloe who sadly I hadn't seen yet. As a matter of fact, we came to the conclusion we hadn't seen each other since their wedding which was way to lone. It was great to catch up with them. Unfortunately, when I was there Pete had a little incident with a large racoon which took out the front facia of his car but he was unharmed. We saw a Christmas light show and went to the zoo with the kids while I was there. It was great fun.

After Waco it was off to Houston, TX to see my parents and little brother Cody. Jim flew in for a couple of days which was nice, but the big surprise was my older brother Brent came into town. It was a fun adventure as he spent a few days with my grandma before surprising my parents. The funny part was the day he arrived at my grandma's my mom and I were on are way there, so I had to send some descrete text pages to let him know our time of arrival and departure. It turned out great as he arrived at my parent's place a couple of days later they were surprised.

The day after Christmas, I headed back to Michigan then up to the norther part of Michigan to spend a few days with Jim and his family. We played a few games of card where I became the TURD card champion. Yes, I know what a name. It was fun to finally meet Jim's last sibling (Peggy).

So after a fun couple of weeks off, it was back to work.

After a couple of weeks back at work , it was off on a cold trip to northern Sweden. The location is just about 30 miles south of the Artic Cirle. It is a place where they advertise -40 degrees from November to March. It turned out to be a little warmer than that for us but they had cold soak cell. I was hoping to get to see one of the ICE Hotels but it was over 3 hours away. The other thing about the area is there isn't much light during the winter. We arrived when it is started to head towards more light, but they are a latitude where they have full days of darkness in the winter, and full days of light during the summer. The area reminds me alot of the upper penisula of Michigan with lots of snow, and land , and very few towns. As a matter of fact , the only place to eat is at our hotel which isn't even in a town. The are know for Reindeer and Moose,,,, and yes I ate both on my visit. Sorry kids!

The next adventures!! I have two that I can't wait for... First , it will be off to Hawaii with Jim and Rob. We are renting a plane over on the islands and Jim will be flying us around. It will be a rare opportunity. The second adventure to come is our hiking in Peru to Manchi Pichu. It will be a blast.

Well that is an update for now.