While Bill was working hard, I was hardly working! Here are a few of my highlights of the sabbatical!
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There were so many glorious flowers and exotic plants… most of which were brought in from other places… but the climate and the mix create the unique jungle of Hawaii.
We love snorkelling and it did not take long for us to find a fantastic snorkel spot on Oahu: Hanauma Bay. It’s a state park, so it is protected. It is a sheltered cove made from a blown out volcanic caldera (many eons ago) and used to be a favorite fishing spot of Queen Kaahumanu. Now, it is a favorite snorkel spot for the same reason: the abundance of fish!
One of the highlights of March was the Honolulu Festival which spanned the week-end of March 6-8, 2014. There were 3 venues for exhibits and performances — the Convention Center, the beach stage at Waikiki and Ala Moana Shopping Center. The culmination of the event was a parade down the heart of town, followed by a fantastic fireworks show.
Bill went to Tucson for a meeting in early March and I took that opportunity to visit a henna friend on Kauai.
We live in the downstairs apartment of a nice house in Manoa Valley.
You walk down a path by the side of the house…
Then you turn left and you have our lanai (aka a porch on the Mainland)
On our lanai we have lizards…
Inside you have to take off your shoes…
We had a lot of work to do!
You may have noticed that the refrigerator is not in the kitchen but in the adjacent room. That’s just the way it is. We also don’t have a full-sized stove. We have a burner and a toaster oven. We also have a microwave, a coffee pot and a rice cooker. In addition, there is a washing machine, but no dryer. Clothes are dried by hanging on a line outdoors — which can take anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days to dry, depending on the relative humidity.
There is a small but adequate bathroom off the bedroom.
Our total square footage is probably about 1000 ft. The kitchen is larger than our kitchen back home, as is the bedroom. But the living/dining space is smaller and we’re missing 2 rooms and a bathroom. But as far as apartments go, it’s very roomy and well-lit.
It’s super-convenient for Bill’s work — only a mile from his office. We’re also a mile from the nearest shopping center. There are two major bus lines that are within a quarter mile. It is quite easy to live without a car here. The only drawback is a lack of sidewalks, but people just walk on the front lawns, so we now do that, too.
Every seven years, Bill is expected to leave his university and go somewhere else to do research (which will bring fame and glory to SDSU in addition to re-invigorating his teaching). It’s sabbatical time again! And Bill is at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii-Manoa! We will be in Honolulu through the end of April.
Hot. The average temperature is in the mid to upper 80’sF and gets down to 70F at night. The other night it got down to 66F at night and the TV weatherman advised folks to pull out their blankets…
Rainy. It sprinkles at least once a day. And then we have enjoyed real rainshowers for 3-4 days once a week. Despite the volume of water falling from the sky, the ground is not all all saturated and there are very few puddles during the rain and none at all when it stops.
Humid. All this rain which makes for very lush vegetation also makes the air extremely humid. About 90% most days. My hair has discovered ringlets it never knew about and both of us begin to sweat at 8am. We don’t have A/C in our apartment. It makes life interesting.
Here is a quick look at our neighborhood, known as Manoa. We are up the hill from Honolulu proper. The Kuhina Nui, Ka’ahumanu had a palace in this area. President Obama went to high school just down the hill where Manoa Road becomes Punahou Road. At the upper end of Manoa Road is Paradise State Park, Manoa Falls and the Lyon Arboretum.
For the Kickin’ It Old Skool Blogathon Challenge, I need to sum up today in one sentence.
Today was more about connecting with others than making back my booth fee… and that, sometimes, is way more valuable.
I did a Christmas Festival at River Valley Charter High School today. It was not a good day for a festival. Rainy. Cold (for us… 50F!) Not a lot of customers, but we vendors had a good time talking with each other and we all won something cool from the raffle and we all went home with new friends. And sometimes that’s perfect enough.
For the second half of our journey, we stayed at Aloha Crater Lodge, a lovely bed & breakfast, in Volcano, Hawaii. Only 10 minutes from the Park Entrance, this converted house boasts eclectic decor, very quiet rooms, homemade coconut muffins for breakfast and gracious hosts (and their friendly dogs). In addition, Dan gives guided tours of the lava tube on their property every day.
We spent two days exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Currently, there is no access to view spewing lava (it’s going straight into the ocean across private property). But there is plenty of volcanic good stuff to see!
Our first stop was the Jaggar Museum to view the Halema’uma’u Crater at night. During the day, it looks kind of like a geyser — but don’t be fooled: that plume is not just steam; it’s a vent of volcanic gases and ash. And at night, you can see the glow from the lava beneath the surface.