Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

 E Komo Mai! (Welcome)

 

Red and Yellow Spotted Flower~ Photo taken at Dole Plantation, Hawaii
Copyright Kelly Vial (2007)

So you have decided to take your yearly vacation and live it up in Hawaii! What a great choice you have made! There are so many things to do and a variety of places to see. Whether you are just wanting some beach time, want to have a destination wedding, want to learn how to surf, relax or just be by yourself, there are many different venues that may attract you. Maybe you are on a strict budget, like a lot of others. What will you be able to do in Hawaii that won’t cost you an arm and a leg?

Getting Married?

Your most frugal option if you are planning to get married here in Hawaii, is to get married on the beach. I was married here on the beautiful beaches of Oahu in 2007, and yes, I was on a strict budget myself! After paying the outrageous prices for airline tickets, I had to save money elsewhere. My husband’s family were born and raised here, so I had to purchase invitations, and really do some web searching for a reception hall that would hold several hundred people, find a good caterer, pick out a wedding cake, and purchase a wedding gown! Preparing for a destination wedding was not easy, and I won’t tell you that it is. You want the picture perfect wedding and Oahu has some of the most beautiful, picturesque beaches in the world to help you achieve this. I was married at 8 a.m. in the morning, and the photos came out beautifully. I wanted to find a somewhat private beach to get married at, so I chose one that was centrally located to family and friends, so they wouldn’t have to travel so far to get there. I researched photographers and found one that was also licensed to perform the ceremony! I was extremely lucky in that respect. But if you are looking for something very private, I would have to recommend “Captain Howie” as he is called. The web link is posted below if you are interested in his services. You can create an ala carte package of your own or choose the pre made packages that they have listed on the site. You can view some of the couple’s wedding photos here too. It really is a great value versus obtaining a professional studio to do what you need. Just an idea!

http://www.hawaiiweddings.com/

Budget Friendly Ideas for Fun in the Sun

First off, do your research on things to do in Hawaii that are both fun and something you couldn’t do anywhere else. For instance, if you like hiking like I do, try hiking Diamond Head on Oahu, but make sure you bring plenty of water to drink as there aren’t any places to stop by for a drink. Take your time hiking and don’t overdo it, as it can be very hot once you get going. I hope you are in shape for this, because before you reach the top, you have a series of steps to climb! The hike is only a little over 1 and a half miles round trip.The first set of steps, if I am remembering correctly, are 74 steps that lead you to a 3 story spiral staircase and then to reach the top, you have to climb another daunting stairway of 99 steps! Diamond Head is an extinct volcanic crater that provides you with great exercise and a 360 degree view of the islands. Allow yourself at least 2 hours for a leisurely hike. As always check with your doctor before doing anything strenuous; the air gets thinner when you are approaching the top, so it may feel like you can’t catch your breath. Hiking Diamond Head is very cheap, only $5 per carload, or $1 if you just walk in to the park itself, and once you reach the top, there is a man selling t-shirts that say, “I Hiked Diamond Head”. Great souvenir! Tip** Go early in the morning as it’s cooler and the park opens at 6:00 a.m. You will be glad you did, the view from the top is phenomenal! You’ll overlook all of Waikiki and can see as far as the Wainae Mountain range in the West. Happy Hiking!!

  • Check out the Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe. It is a very beautiful replica Buddhist temple of the original one located in Japan. There is a little tourist shop there that has a few items that may interest you. Feed the ducks and the Koi fish, but watch out as there is some stiff competition with the other birds also wanting to eat, as you toss the pellets! The pellets can be purchased in the shop.
  • Aloha Tower Marketplace- plenty of shops to look around, places to eat such as Don Ho’s restaurant, but truthfully, you can get the same items at Aloha Stadium’s swap meet on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at a much cheaper price! But it is nice to relax and just listen to some of the entertainer’s and watch the ships pass by in the harbor.
  • Aloha Stadium Swap Meet- You really must visit here at least once! The deals are great and with some vendors, you may even be able to talk them down in price just a little! Drink coconut water out of a coconut, snack on some of the foods offered, but there is one place I just cannot pass by- the lady that sells Li Hing Mui sprinkled pineapple! It is a local favorite and personally, one of my own! This is the place to come if you want to send souvenir’s back home to family. Kukui nut leis, shell jewelry, Hawaiian jewelry- especially the Hawaiian bracelets are super expensive as the price for a 10 mm bangle type bracelet goes for almost $2000! But it’s an heirloom of sorts and all the locals wear them, or should I say MOST of them.
  • Take ukulele or hula lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center- good fun!
  • Fly a kite or take a plate lunch to Kapiolani Park in Waikiki; the beach is right across the street! Beaches are my favorite place to be.
  • Watch a polo match at Waimanalo Polo Grounds, pick a team and have fun!
  • Enjoy the many different festivals and events throughout the year including AT&T’s Hawaii Dragon Boat Festival, celebrate the Chinese New Year and see the lion dances and over 100 other events
  • Learn about the history of Waikiki by taking the Waikiki Historic Trail walking tour.
  • Honolulu Zoo
  • Walk through Chinatown for a fascinating look at noodle factories, markets and gift shops
  • If you are visiting Waikiki, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, at sunset, you can witness the culture of Hawaii by viewing the torch lighting and hula dancers, or just listen to the drums playing.
  • Take a scenic drive to Pali Highway and go to the Nuuanu Pali lookout for a beautiful view. Wear a light jacket as it gets really windy at the top- keep hold of your camera because the wind can blow it right out of your hands and keep an even closer eye on your children- granted there is railing, but people have been known to be blown off the side of the mountain. Be very cautious!
  • Visit Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona, I visited the USS Missouri and spent the entire day there, learning and taking pictures! A great educational experience.
  • Go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and check out the beautiful array of colorful fish.
  • Visit the beaches of Lanikai and Kailua for a more serene experience, plan a cookout at the beach and just enjoy the day with your children and family.

These are just some of the things you can do, there are plenty more things to see and explore!


English: Mother's Day card

English: Mother’s Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to wish all the mothers out there a very special Happy Mother’s Day. Enjoy your day~ you deserve it!

I am spending my Mother’s Day with my mom today and wanted to share some photos of our morning at the beach! Have a wonderful day!





Kalama Beach, Hawaii
Flowers seen on the walking trail to Kalama Beach



My Mother Enjoying the Ocean


What a Beautiful Morning It Is!
Footprints In The Sand




Today was a beautiful day here in the islands of Hawaii. The photos below were taken with just an Iphone camera! Not bad for a cell phone camera. I would swear I was a beach bum or a mermaid in another life; as much as I love the ocean, I can never get enough of it! The water was just cold enough to be shocking to my sun kissed skin. 

The beach was full of both tourists and local people, you would think it was the weekend or summer break. I thoroughly enjoyed the cerulean blue water, the silky fine sand in between my toes, the balmy ocean breeze, and the smell of the salty air. When I go to places like this, I love to just watch people just to see what they do. Even though I live here, it’s fun to watch the keiki’s (young children) play in the water, carry their boogie boards- which looks much larger than the children. But they are having the time of their lives, trying to catch the colorful fish in their little sand buckets, building sand castles and just having fun like little kids do. They are so carefree and enjoyable to watch. This one little boy came up to me and my friend today with the biggest smile on his face, carrying a boogie board. How can you not smile back and say hello? 

Many people become so preoccupied with their own personal lives and the stress they may carry on their shoulders that they seem to forget to stop and take a look around them and consider the blessings that God has already given them. So when I feel all out of sorts and stressed, where do you think I go? I go to the beach of course! I go to my “happy place” and just sit down and watch the waves come in and go back out into the vast ocean. For me, it’s very calming and it’s almost like the waves pull all my stress and problems of the day and take it to the ocean. I hope that makes sense to whoever is reading this blog. But seriously, for me, the ocean has this peaceful way of making me feel like a brand new person. I end up being stress free and makes me feel like I can take on the world! 

These are my Monday Memories… 
The Family History Quick Start course that I started on Saturday continues. So basically, the course is just a newsletter that tells you how to do certain things, or at least it has been so far. Today, I have pretty much been asked to create a hierarchy of folders (which I already know) how to create the file names and so on. But anyone can create a folder on their computer right? Well, that’s not exactly what I am trying to get at here. It’s the way you create your structure and what you name it that counts in today’s lesson. It’s all about organizing your ancestry files for easier accessibility. 


So if I follow this assignment correctly, I’ll have a folder with my name (Kelly) and I’ll put any documents that pertain to me in that folder, but I can also create a sub-folder with some photos if I like. My next folder will have two additional folders- one for my father and another for my mother, last name first and so on. (Example: Smith_John_1737)  Inside their respective folders they will have two folders for their parents. I’m pretty sure you understand where I am going with this, or at least I hope you do. But going back further into your ancestry’s lineage, you will most likely have names that are alike, so you will probably want to include the year they were born to keep everything separate from the other person with the same name. Every folder created so far will have all documents that pertain to that person inside. For example, marriage certificates, death certificates, census reports, war draft cards, photos or whatever you you may come across in your research that pertains to that individual.
Pretty easy, huh? I’m really waiting to gain knowledge here, something I don’t already know how to do. Hopefully tomorrows lesson will be more challenging!

Naming your files depends upon your own research and what you need to name them in which to remember what file goes with a particular document. As we research our genealogy, we end up with a large amount of different files, documents, scans, and photos and we want to include these to further document any findings we have; so naming your saved documents and putting them in the right folder will only help you later!











English: A scenic cemetery in rural Spain show...

English: A scenic cemetery in rural Spain showing marble headstones. Copyright (c) 1996 Steven J. Dunlop, Nerstrand, MN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I’ll admit I love my iPhone! I was just browsing through the apps that were related to my current research on genealogy and came across one called “Billion Graves”.  There is a website that is similar to Billion Graves called Findagrave.com; what will they think of next?

Billion Graves puts together cemetery content submitted by users for people to share. How you may ask? The contributors upload the photos of headstones to their database, and what’s really cool is that the app is constantly updating your location based on your movement from from one grave to the next! So each image that is uploaded, has its’ own specific location and shows where each grave is located. If one person has this app and decides to go to their local cemetery, can you imagine what this app would offer another person across the globe? Time that by the billions of people that actually own the iPhone and use the app to their advantage. You would then have access to hundreds of thousands of grave images and know exactly where they have been mapped, thanks to each user.

What I like best about this particular app, is that once the photos have been published online, family historians and genealogists alike can help to transcribe the headstones. How is that for an easier search! But there is a downside to Billion Graves; anyone (and I do mean anyone) can edit the headstone data which could lead to a potential problem with the authenticity. Can you say human error? Misspellings? Not much more data can be included with your photo upload, apparently it’s only for photos- no text files are involved. So how do they plan on the deletion of duplicate entries? If five people decide they want to go to their local cemetery and it happens to be the exact same one, they upload images to their database. How in the world would this NOT create a problem?


When I went to the site, I was disappointed to see that Scotland wasn’t on the list of countries in which to choose from, but other third world countries that I had never heard of, are listed. Maybe it’s only because no one in Scotland has uploaded or mapped any of the cemeteries there? 
The app is $1.99 and we do all the footwork? I’ll have to think about this before I utilize this particular app. But just in case you are interested, you can download the app via the App Store.