Beauty.. and a curse?

The part of the Mauna Kea Summit & Stargazing tour I loved was when we stopped at a lava flow to get out and have a closer look at it. While standing on the lava, under my foot a piece of the lava broke off.


Curious, I picked it up and on one side it was just black crusty looking stuff โ€“


On the other side when I turned it over, there was the most gorgeous colours and it was all sparkly. It was like someone took a rainbow and embedded it in the lava. What if I had not turned it over, and just put it back down?


I so wanted to take that rock home with me but we have this life rule โ€“

take only photographs, leave only footprintsย 


I called the other half over and we took a lot of photos of that rock and I hoped that maybe one of them could do it justice. However though you get an idea of the beauty of it, not a single one comes close to the amazing brilliance I held in my hand that day. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Sometimes the rules we live by are difficult to keep to but we have to live by them. Sure I could have made an exception for this but where would that end?


I hoped we might find one of these rocks that I could buy somewhere โ€“ perhaps suspended in resin because I thought it was pretty brittle โ€“ that was until the next tour we took the next day, when I learned of Pele’s Curse.


So if you are visiting areas with lava flows, when you stop to look at the lava, make sure to bend down and flip one of the broken pieces over, you might see something that stuns you. I suspect it has started a renewed interest for me in rocks and minerals. I have always loved them โ€“ when I was a child my favourite Grandmother would take me to the museum and I would be stuck in the minerals room for hours on end, just looking at them and learning about them.

The museum at the town I grew up in (Adelaide) and spent all that time in has a huge collection of rocks and minerals and they have installed a mineral wall with every colour of the rainbow represented. I have photos of it somewhere but I can’t find them right now – here is a picture you can view.

There were quite a few parts of this tour I did not love, but that is for another day.

Shopping Trophies



The current state of my unpacking

My table full of awesomes.. don’t worry, we will start looking at these things one by one in great detail soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Salad Dressing From Dole Plantation

There will be many, multiple, lengthy, photo packed posts re the gift store at the Dole Plantation coming to you as a surprise in your future. I mean, the place is just epic. There are really no words that can describe it, photos cannot really do it justice, it will not be until you go there that you understand how truly epic and enormous it is..


One question I had after reading this post from The Hopeful Traveller – Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, Hawaii – was about the salad dressing bottles – were they plastic or glass? So you better believe the first thing I did when I saw these babies live and in person was walk up and tap them. And happy moments – they are plastic. So there was no doubt in my mind they were coming home with me.


And here they are packed in a Ziploc bag when they arrived at my home in Australia.

That they are packed in plastic rather than glass does not surprise me having been to the Dole Plantation gift store, because I am telling you, these people have thought of *every* single *thing*. As in, everything they can do to make it easier for you the tourist to get your Dole Plantation purchases home to your house, wherever in the world your house might be. Plus they usually ship these internationally – though at the moment they have suspended international shipping, sadly.


I bought the 3 pack of salad dressing for $24.95 plus tax – and so did Bigaln2. I can’t wait to try them – I bet they taste amazing. I am a big salad person though I do not like lettuce at all – I will usually use baby spinach instead. My favourite salad is incredibly simple – rinsed baby spinach, chopped strawberries, salad dressing usually Balsamic Vinegar as that goes well with strawberries – but I bet these will go great with them too.

I will also often just cut up an avocado and eat that with salad dressing as a snack.

The only question is, which dressing to try first?


Once you learn how to use your camera, you can get much better photos. The photos you see below are raw from the camera, the only thing I did was resize them so they were not 6.8mb each. ๐Ÿ™‚

I truly wish we had done our photography tour with Alex from Oahu Photography Tours much earlier in our trip. I now call time Pre-Alex, and After-Alex.


Above you see the last photo I took Pre-Alex. The next photo below is After-Alex. These photos were taken one minute apart.


You see how the colours pop out? How the sky is suddenly filled with clouds catching the light? How the lights in the sky now reflect in the ocean? How the rocks are darker and more moody? All Alex did was show me how to change a couple of settings in the camera – most importantly, how to change the exposure to -2.

For the rest of the trip, whenever I took a photo, I would be all “Oh MAN” because my photos always came out looking even better than what I was seeing with my own eyes.

I don’t have an expensive camera. This is just a little point and shoot Panasonic Lumix, less than $300. It does not matter what kind of camera you have, you can get better photos by knowing how to use it. ๐Ÿ™‚ And one of the best places in the world to learn to take photos better than you currently do is the extremely photogenic Hawaii.

If you get the chance to take any of the tours Alex offers not only will you have a great time but you will learn how to take even better photos, and you will learn some true nuggets of photography wisdom.

You will probably get tired of us talking about this tour and showing you our pics but we had such a great time – following rainbows, chasing waterfalls, finding turtles.

What Happened Next?

Everyone knows some of the details about the attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7th, 1941.


View from the Navy boat on the way to USS Arizona Memorial

After our visit there I felt the need to know more – about the attack itself, about the lead up to the attack.. and what happened after the attack.

After reading At Dawn We Slept by Gordon Prange which focuses a lot on the lead up to the attack, has quite a bit of info on the attack itself, and also some info of the aftermath as far as investigations into it.. there was not very much in this book about what happened specifically in Pearl Harbor after the attack.

I will review At Dawn We Slept in another post here on the blog, but in the meantime I wanted to tell you of a book I did find which has thus far answered most of my questions about what happened at Pearl Harbor after the attack – Resurrection: Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harborย – I am about half way through this one now. I will review this one also.

I bought it on Google Play – it was a little bit cheaper there than Amazon, plus we had a $50 credit from buying my new Android phone a while ago.

I also recently re-watched Tora Tora Tora and now I have questions about how that was made, it must have been a mammoth effort back in those days.

Agricultural Declaration

ag form


This is something a little bit different to our normal fare of Hawaiian beauty, but I think this is a worthwhile thing to mention. For visitors who have never been to Hawaii previously, it is a very sensitive ecological environment.

Because of that, the state takes ecological safety very importantly. As such, you are required to fill out this simple form that lets the Department of Agriculture know if there are items that are potentially damaging to the ecosystem in your baggage, so it may be inspected upon its arrival on the island.