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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hawaii trip summary

What a long trip going and coming. I am writing this in the LAZ airport n the way home, which only intensifies this feeling of never ending travel. Now I just found out they overbooked our flight to ATL and I am in charge of getting my younger brothers home. Just to let you know we woke up at 7am Hawaii time on Tuesday, we had a 6 hour flight which I slept most of the way, we won’t get home till 7pm EST tonight. I hope to catch a few hours of sleep b/w here and atl.

We stayed at Turtle Bay on the North Shore, so we stayed up there the whole time except for the last day when we hiked Diamond Head, went to the Kona brewing company resturaunt and went to Pearl Harbor.

1.) Pearl Harbor is a must do, paying for the tour of the Sub and the USS Arizona memorial are well worth the money. It is a very well done historical site and you can still feel the pain, and horror of that sad day in 1941. It is easy to imagine the Japanese fighters coming over the horizon and bombing the trapped war ships. It was a very powerful and emotional experience.

2.) Scuba Diving was awesome, went and saw a sunken WWII minesweeper that was purposefully sank in 1982. We say a lot of Manta Rays and heard whales singing. That was very cool. It was my first wreck dive and the deepest I have been so far. We also saw this “frog fish” that hides on the hull of the ship, it wouldn’t move even when you touched it. It was cool to swim around the wreck and see the rooms and the fallen sides and ladders. When the ship was initially sunk it was directly north and south, a tsumani picked up the boat and turned it around 180 degrees, and then a second one turned it another 90 degree and this is happened 90ft below the surface. That tells you how strong they can be.

Between dives they feed us fresh pineapple and tuna sandwiches, which really hit the spot at 11am. The pineapple was perfect for getting the salt water taste out of your mouth.

The second dive we did was around a reef and had a lot of cool caverns that we were able to swim in and through. Saw a green turtle and some cool Angel fish. There were huge puffer fish, about 2ft long. The current definitely was a factor and once second you’d be struggling not to go backwards and then you would be shot forward 10 feet in a matter of a second. It caused some bumped heads. Saw some cool schools of fish. The Angel fish didn’t appear to be afraid of us, when some fish abandoned their eggs while we swam by, they swooped in for lunch.

3.) Diamond Head is a must do, it is a nice hike and the 180+ stairs at the very end are daunting, but they are split up by a very cool cave that takes a minute or so to walk through. The view at the top is spectacular and well worth the sweat.

4.) We checked out the Polynesian Cultural Center and get the guided tour. It was worth the money, it takes up a whole day, so if learning about other cultures is not your thing I would not go, but since we enjoy learning it was cool. They have a lot of neat activities. I would definitely get the tour guide, it is well worth the extra money because they will make sure you go to the best events. We laughed most of the day. The dinner was great and the show was very good. I was really tired this day, so I probably didn’t enjoy the evening events as much as everyone else.

5.) The beaches are all very cool. We didn’t get to go as much as everyone liked because it was overcast all week and rained every day. The weather report every day said the next was going to be sunny and beautiful and then boom cloudy and rainy. To be fair if what we had is considered “Bad” weather I’ll take it every day of the week in South Carolina.

6.) We visited the Dillanger airfield, but didn’t skydive due to the weather conditions. That airfield was the only one to get planes into the air successfully during the Pearl Harbor bombings I was told. A few more planes from other places may have gotten into the air. If you want to go skydiving this is the place to go.

7.) The food is very expensive, expect to spend $20 a meal and up to $50. We did not get a chance to stop at any of the shrimp trucks. We did eat at some nice places most of the time, so you probably can eat cheaper if you look around. McDonalds still has their $1 menu there 

8.) John went surfing 3 days, I went one day, but it was really rough and I almost drowned, no joke. About an hour after I got done, sea water just started pouring out of my nose for about 10 seconds. William and David got lessons and did well. I’m going to have to go to Charleston a lot this summer and practice for next time. Who is with me?

9.) We went Whale watching as well. That was really cool. There is only about another month or so in the Whale watching season before they migrate back north. If they are in the Hawaii area when you are there I would suggest going on the tour. We saw about 10 whales, and one set was a baby and its mom. We probably got about 100 yards away from the closest one, and typically were about 150-250 yards. We also saw some flying fish. It was a very cool experience.

10.) I can’t go without mentioning we got a real good group of people starting CC on O’ahu, the main purpose of our trip. I was blown away by the wonderful Women that came out to hear us. It is always a blessing to meet new like minded people.

I wrote all of this on like 4 hours asleep in the last 40, so read carefully.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Shutdown

Midnight tonight the US Government will shut down and the blame game will begin. (That did not occur, but the rest has) Our government has not operated like a family home must and for 6 months we have operated with a comprehensive plan to pay for what we are buying.

How did we get here? A budget was supposed to be in place by October 1st 2010. Democrat controlled house, senate and presidency was unable, or unwilling to put together this budget. What they were willing to do was push through their social agenda issues the last two months of the lame duck congress. Since the GOP took office and took over the house, they have made it their goal to get back to fiscal discipline. Democrats would have us believe cutting 61 billion out of a budget that is 1 trillion higher than it has been in the past will hurt our country. I wonder how we survived just 10 years ago without these 1 trillion dollars. Either in the mid 90s we were a highly deprived people or we don’t need these 1 trillion dollars in spending. I think it is the latter, but if someone wants to tell me how bad America had it in the 90’s please let me know your reasoning.

So tonight only essential government workers will be on our countries payroll and 800,000 people will be temporarily out of a job. I’m sure there will be individual sob stories that will be thrown out there, but that is what happens when you rely on someone else for your fortune. The federal government has grown to the point where people rely on them for everything, the definition of a nanny government and the opposite of freedom. This is not what made our country great for 200 plus years.
Monday is the day that our country must move in a new direction, and a government shutdown is just what the doctor ordered. To think that budget actually raises our expenses by 3.3 billion, not reduce.