Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Post in Pictures: Diamond Head, O'ahu

Diamond Head towers over Honolulu - pic by Matthew

A writer writes - except when she just got home from two whirlwind trips to exotic locales like O'ahu, Hawaii and San Saba, Texas to be present at two very different and quite beautiful weddings. Tired and distracted by a stomach bug her kids no doubt picked up at the public pool, she's too busy running between the bathroom upon command and the laundry room to write a dreamy travel piece to make her friends green with envy. Still, she can try and post pictures with witty - no: informative - captions.

I have so many photos and so many experiences of which to write that I'm breaking up the posts by location as evident from the title of this post. Our whole family journeyed to Hawaii early this month, and we couldn't quite believe it was happening...until it did.
Our arrival on the island of O'ahu the afternoon of July 2nd smacks of a humor post to be published later (I'm hoping). By that evening, however, things had improved a good deal in spending time with extended family. The next day, on the advice of my well-traveled in-laws, we hiked to the summit of Diamond Head, an iconic volcanic crater once used for defensive purposes by the US military, towering near Honolulu. The hike is not an easy one. From the floor of the crater, you must climb through multiple switchbacks on the trail, up dozens of narrow, steep steps and through at least one long, dark tunnel. The views from the lookouts and seeing old military bunkers and equipment along the way are worth it. Our children did very well, but I would not recommend this hike with children younger than four. 
When we descended once more, the kids had shave ice, and we all rested in the volcano's lovely crater with its large trees, picnic tables and tall, waving grasses. The kids climbed the trees with large canopies and followed around brightly-crested birds - both extremely rare in our Phoenix environs. Then we gawked at what I thought to be, hampered by my poor eyesight, a cross between a freakishly large squirrel and a drab, furry lizard. It turned out to be a mongoose.
The view into the crater below the brave explorers.
Peaks on the rim
Diamond Head Lighthouse and its beautiful turquoise waters 

Mongoose: creature of lore
One more look back into the welcoming crater

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