Saturday, 28 April 2018

Nevada to Washington...and a last minute detour to Hawaii

 The last post left you with the slightest possibility that we might consider looking into military flights to Hawaii.  The conversation went like this on a Thursday morning...

Kelly: "Dave, there is a flight that goes out from [military base] on Sun.  Want to try and get it?"
Dave: "Sure, it's about 1.5 hours away."
Kelly: "Oh! There's one that goes tomorrow too.  Want to try it?"
Dave: "Kids!  Get the camper ready, we need to leave and drive 1.5 hours to try to get this flight tomorrow!"
Kids: "WHAT?!?!?  WHERE?!?!? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!"

We packed up and headed the base where the flight was going out of.  We put the camper in storage, emptied the fridge, got a hotel room on base and packed minimally as we didn't know how long we would be there.  You never know whether you are going to get on these flights or not because they are free (you go where the plane goes) and there is a priority system...we are the last tier as retirees.  Anyway, we went to the terminal and waited and got on a KC-10 (a large refueler) and had a great trip.  We chatted with a few of the flight crew and we got to go back in the belly of the plane to see how they refuel.  Zachary also went into the cockpit to see our plane get refueled by another KC-10 while in the air and Caleb got to sit in the cockpit and ask questions.  We lost those pictures because they were on the phone that took a swim in the ocean...more on that later.  There a few that we took from Instagram though.

Happy people finding out that we are gong to Hawaii!

In the KC-10!

Once in Oahu, we rented a car and headed for our cabana on the Marine base .  Our cabana actually had less amenities than our RV does.  We had to go to a different building for the bathroom and had no kitchen.  So we counted this as our 49th state to camp in and put our sticker on!  We hadn't really planned on this trip so our agenda was quite open but we came up with a list pretty quick after we got some great advice from a buddy that was stationed there.  He was a great tour guide from afar!

Before you get started on pictures...after loading them I realized that Kamryn is not in many of them, especially by herself!  She loved the water and snorkeling and did an amazing job.  She loved seeing the colors in the fish and turtles.  Her not being in many pictures is unintentional and many of those were on the phone that got lost.  Anyway, let's get started looking at the overabundance of pictures.  Some of them are are a bit out of order but you'll get what's necessary to know that we enjoyed our trip.

This was the view from where we were staying.  

Out for a hike...

We had a blast hiking a few trails.  We also got in some geocaching.  I was on
Oahu and Kauai when I was a kid  with my mom and dad and have been talking to my family about it forever.  So, we retraced some of those steps and they loved it!  Again, the chance to connect where their daddy was at one point...priceless.  We also found out that our friend/landlord from British Columbia was in port for one night while his ship refueled  He was amazed when I called him and told him that we were only a few miles away.  He is Active Duty Canadian Navy and was heading out the next day.  We met him for lunch and shared some hugs and stories and was so glad that the Lord allowed that meeting!

It was amazing to see this guy again!

Loved the time with this Canadian and so amazing how we ended up getting together.

We also went to Pearl Harbor; the National Park and the military base for a history trip.  We met a Pearl Harbor survivor and spent some somber time on the memorial at the USS Arizona.  Also, it was a special day because this was our 100th National Park.  We took hours and soaked in the history of Pearl Harbor.  Over a few days, we also did the history points on the base; where a Japanese Zero went down on base, we saw a building that was bombed intentionally because there 5,000 men housed there and there are still holes in the external walls, we saw batteries/gunner positions, and more.  We also saw a few spots where the movie Pearl Harbor was filmed but the history is endless.

Coming up on the USS Arizona.  

Kamryn throwing some flower petals over into the USS Arizona.  

Looking down into the USS Arizona.  

Talking to a Pearl Harbor survivor.  

Needless to say, we did a ton of snorkeling.  We saw one turtle on the beach on the North Shore but we swam with them a few times.  We saw many different beautiful marine animals and really enjoyed the water.  The scenery is also beautiful and we ended up driving completely around the island as far as we could go.  

Caleb on his board and Kamryn, mommy, and Zachary getting in some snorkeling.  

Look...a head!

Taking a break from the saltwater but still on the beach.  

Look what we found!

One of his favorite places is in trees.

The kids loved this momma protecting her chicks.  Caleb  said, "It's like how God talks about His wings being our refuge."

Most of the time, we stayed on the Marine base and drove but we did go and rented a shack on the North Shore.  While there, we hiked, went to the Dole plant, swam, snorkeled, and walked through the town.  Caleb also ended up with a poison ivy like rash on his face but we couldn't figure out where it came from.  Through much research, we found out that mangoes, have a sap on them that causes a poison ivy like rash for some people.  We were staying on a farm that had many fresh fruits and Caleb picked one up that had just fallen off.  So that gave a trip to the doctor when we came back but it has since cleared up.

We waited and waited and finally saw the blow hole!

From the top of a hill above a lighthouse.  

Out for some boy time.  

Such a great story!

We saw many turtles in the water while there.  We even got to swim with some!

Walking in the North Shore.  

Snorkeling buddies.  

The colors on some of these fish are unreal.  

We also hung out in Waikiki for a day at the military rec area.  We saw the place where Kelly's mom and dad stay when they go to Hawaii.  The rec area also had a pool so we hung out in there after a day in the saltwater and grabbed a bit to eat.

One of our little fish.  

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. 


Another hike and geocaching moment.  

At the top of Diamond Head Mountain. 

These have become a "thing to do" on the North Shore.  So cute...

We went to the Dole plantation and did an "agricultural day".  We learned how many types of pineapples exist and also learned about other plants native to the Islands.  Our favorite was the rainbow tree.  God used His entire color palette on this was beautiful!  Cool story about how started and the man that started it but the event of that day was the ice cream that we got.  It was enormous!  Largest thing I had ever seen and yes, they (I said "they" on purpose) devoured it after I had a few bites.

Rainbow trees at Dole.

It was yummy!


At the top of Diamond Head.

This was a portion of one of the hikes that we took to look over Waikiki.  

There was quite a bit to talk about.  

Looking down into the USS Arizona.

The names of those who were lost.  The names on the lower left and right are those who lived through the bombing of the USS Arizona and chose to be buried with their mates.  

A uniform from Pearl Harbor.

Taking it all in.  

A Pearl Harbor survivor.  

The Ranger was amazed and had many nice things to say about our travels.  

100th National Park!  

Zachary met a guy in the place where we stayed on the Marine base and this started and we met a cool family.  They were visiting their son and we all hung out and had dinner one night.  The kids played and the adults talked.  We hope to be able to catch up with them again when we head up to Washington. 

A little BBQ anyone?  This is the family that we met and had a great night.  
Our kids loved playing!

Hanging out at the Hale Koa.

Look at the colors on this tree!  Another amazing item in Creation.  

The end of the island.  We couldn't go any further.  (A picture of all of us!)

This is a famous picture that was sent out in the papers after Pearl Harbor was bombed.  The building in the background is the one that I mentioned.  At the time, it was the largest congregation of service members in one building in the Army.  There was a dormitory, shopping area/barber shop, etc for them to be central to everything.  This was the 2nd place bombed after the harbor.  

We love this picture.  Caleb is heading out and I am already in the water.  This was a path over the coral that we found to go from our cabana to make it out to the deeper water to snorkel.  This was a favorite place to snorkel because it was so close. 
We decided to come back after about 10 days and flew back into a different airport.  We made it back to where the camper and truck was and stayed for a night.  We are on our way north, again, and currently sitting in Idaho.  Kelly did a surprise visit to her mom and dad in Illinois for a few days after her dad retired and her mom had hip surgery.  It was a great surprise as they didn't know she was coming.

We will be heading towards Washington in a few days and will see what the Lord has in store for us.  We are also meeting up with our camping buddies soon that we keep intentionally crossing paths with and can't wait to see them again.  One of friends daughter's got bit by a rattlesnake recently so we get to see her and give her a hug after she has since recovered.

We are still prying about stopping and looking for a house so we will see how that goes.  We are excited but nervous.  We looked in Idaho, spoke with some locals, and found a great place but we have to trust that He will make it clear when/if we are in the right place to stop.

Until next time...