Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just Kona Hawaii Revisited . . .

Sometimes I get too busy to blog everything I want to share.   Often, with vacations, I get back home and become consumed in work and never finish the story of my time away.  This past month was compounded by a second brief trip to Southern California after Hawaii for my high school reunion.  Needless to say July has been go go go and then go some more!

That being said I did want to share with the Loyal Readers some pictures from my final day in Hawaii. On this particular day my parents and I drove to view Captain Cook's monument from across the Kealakekua Bay.

You will have to trust me that the thin little white line in the top of this picture is Captain Cook's monument.

After spending a little time taking pictures we then drove a short distance to St. Benedict's Catholic Church which is also known as "The Painted Church."  If you are keeping track, yes, we spent a lot of time looking at churches or at church while on this trip.

According to The Big Island Revealed by Andrew Doughty, "between 1899 and 1904 Father John Velge dedicated himself to painting frescos on the inside walls and ceiling."

Finally, you can't spend time on Kona without visiting a Kona Coffee plantation.  After leaving the Painted Church we made it just in time to go on Greenwell Farms last free tour of the day.

Only Two Bean Were Ready For Picking That Day

Other Beans Were Laying Out To Dry

After the tour we got to sample all the coffee we wanted.   Of course I liked the Chocolate Mac-Nut Flavored the best.

Just The San Francisco Food Bank . . .

Saturday morning I volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank.

I have been wanting to do some volunteer work for a while and after driving past the food bank recently I thought I would look into volunteering there.  Being a first time volunteer for this organization I found their on-line sign up system easy to navigate.   I also found the email communication post sign up clear and concise.

I arrived at the food bank and signed in on one of their three laptop sign-in stations and then proceeded to the break room where I waited with about 70 other volunteers for further direction.

A few minutes later we were given a brief orientation about safety in the facility and told what two projects we may be working on.

I was one of about 40 people assigned to sort nectarines.  We were to examine the nectarines for rotting or damaged fruit and separate the good fruit into smaller boxes that charitable organizations would then be able to pick up later.

The "bad" fruit will be donated to a pig farm to be used as slop.

In my three hour shift the "Nectarine Team" processed about 9,000 lbs of fruit!

As soon as the Nectarines were processed the Food Bank began moving carrots into position for the next set of volunteers to sort.

My morning at the San Francisco Food Bank was very rewarding and I look forward to volunteering again in the future.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Just Jeremiah . . .

I read about this video in Entertainment Weekly and wanted to share it with you all.

A man finds a VHS Tape he made twenty years ago addressing his future self and now answers his younger self's questions.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just Backcountry Tubing . . .

Loyal Readers, the most memorable activity I did while visiting the Island of Kauai was Kauai Backcountry Adventures - Tubing.  Tubing is when you sit in an inner tube and float down an old sugar plantation irrigation ditch.

The "blue book" Kauai Revealed by Andrew Doughty said that this activity "doesn't seem to be enough bang for your buck."  While I agree that the cost; about $100 per person is high, I enjoyed every minute of this adventure.

After checking in at the base camp; "tubers" gear up with helmets, gloves, water shoes, and a headlamp.  Everyone piles into a four-wheel drive adventure vehicle for the ride up the mountain to the former Lihue Plantation.

Crossing the bridge where the tubing adventure will end.

As the vehicle makes its way to the launch site, guides give a history lesson about this former sugar plantation that operated from about 1870 to the year 2000.

Just Jon and Just Mom with our headlamps and helmets on.

Along the way the vehicles periodically stop to share information about the land.

Here we looked out at Mount Waialeale which is known as the wettest place on earth with an average of 472 inches of rain per year.

And guess what?

As we stood on the overlook it started to rain!

As we continued our journey we learned the rules of tubing.  

First Rule: No #1 in the water!

Second Rule: No #2 in the water!

If you have to go to the bathroom they have plenty of facili-trees and porta-plants to use at your convenience.

Lastly, no one is allowed to say the following words about the water or everyone on the tour will be splashed by the guides:


What you can say about the water is:


(The water was not that cold.)

When we reached to launch site we offloaded the vehicles and the guides rolled the tubes into the open canal.

Just Mom at the launch site.

I could get used to this.

Part of the tubing adventure is getting to float through 5 hand dug tunnels.  The first two tunnels are straight and you can see from one end to the other.  One of the tunnels is a mile long and has an "S" curve in the middle of it because they made a mistake when they were building the irrigation system.

As you float along the canal the guides will yell out commands like; "Lights On!" "Butts Up!" "Arms and Legs In!" and "Right Turn."  (Not that you can control the direction of your tube and bumping tubes is to be expected.)

There are a couple flumes in the canal where the ride is a little more exciting, but the overall adventure is for anyone ages five and up. The average speed of the tubes on the water is between two and six miles an hour.

At the end of the hour long canal ride tubers enjoy a deli lunch and have the opportunity to jump into a swimming hole.

Some of our guides even pulled out a ukulele and sang while we ate.

Special thanks to our guides John and DJ for taking good care of us while we were on our tubing adventure.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just Signs Hawaii Edition . . .

I had to do a special post about signs in Hawaii.  Here are a few of my favorites.

"If No Attendant On Duty Put Ticket In Bin."

The reason I find this sign so funny is because this sign was on a pay parking lot.

 "Donkey Crossings."

This sign is kind of in the middle of no where but lava fields so I am not sure where the alleged "donkeys" were coming from, unless the sign was in reference to the "people" passing each other on this two lane highway.

Perhaps my favorite sign of all was this ingenious way for solving the recession era problem municipalities face when the "Crossing Guard" budget is eliminated.

Place a flag in a container on the corner for people to take and wave themselves as they cross the un-signaled street!

Just Mom demonstrates proper Hawaiian Crosswalk Safety procedures.

Just Parasailing . . .

I LOVE Parasailing!

I know the "blue book" Hawaii The Big Island Revealed by Andrew Doughty says that parasailing "looks more fun and thrilling than it really is and doesn't seem worth the money," but I love to gently float in the sky above the ocean while taking in the view of the Island.

How special that this time parasailing I got to ride tandem with Just Mom! (her first time parasailing.)

About to go for a dip!


Thanks to Captain Matt of UFO Parasail whom I have actually flown with before for taking good care of us!