Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Toward the end of April I drove out to the National Bison Range. I got some photos I liked and saw lots of animals, but I knew I wanted to go back once spring hit and the road completely opened up.

National Bison Range

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Kualoa Ranch

While in Oahu, my sister and I went on a trail ride through Kualoa Ranch.

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Kualoa is a private nature reserve and working cattle ranch. It’s also a very popular filming site and has appeared in films such as Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, The Hunger Games and 50 First Dates… to name just a few. πŸ™‚

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While they offer multiple tours, my sister and I signed up for the 2 hour horseback ride.

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I *think* this is Frodo. He has a look-a-like named Sam on the ranch too πŸ˜€

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Ranch kitty

The horse I rode was named Gryffindor… I can never remember trail horse names but I know I won’t have a problem with this one, haha. πŸ™‚

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I was happy I was allowed to take my camera during the ride, but since I’m not a very experienced rider I ended up randomly taking pictures and hoped for the best. A lot of my shots are blurry, aimed at the sky (or ground) or at weird angles, but I did manage to get some decent ones.

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The valley itself was amazing. My photos don’t do it justice. πŸ˜›

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There’s a tiny Jurassic Park sign in the middle of this one. The tree is different, but this is the spot where this scene was filmed:

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I’ve mentioned before that Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite movies, so this was exciting. πŸ˜€ We also went through the gate in this scene from Jurassic World:

And passed by some (rather poorly) covered movie props, for a film currently in production. They looked very familiar… just saying… πŸ˜‰

My parents were able to take a different tour through another area of the ranch, where they got to visit the Indominus Rex cage. We didn’t pass by that but gahhh! So cool!

We also passed by a bunch of cattle…

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And looped back around to see the ocean again:

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All in all this was a really fantastic tour with wonderful guides. I highly recommend it if you’re ever out visiting the islands – it’s totally worth it! Here is their website and Facebook page if you want to check them out. πŸ™‚

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Oahu, Hawaii Trip

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks on the island of Oahu, which is part of the Hawaiian islands. Even though I’ve been home for a few days now, I’m still rather jet-lagged. I’m already missing the islands though… I lived on Maui when I was with YWAM for a short period of time, so going again brought back all sorts of memories. There is a vast difference between the two islands though, and this time around I did more touristy stuff.

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The main reason for going, however, was for my Grandpa’s inurnment service at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl Cemetery. My Grandpa was in the Navy and was a Vietnam veteran. He and my Grandma lived on the island for several years.

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It was definitely a bittersweet and emotional trip for everyone involved, but it was good too, and I am really grateful I was able to go.

I won’t spam you all with too many pictures, but here are some highlights. More can be found on my Flickr album if you’re interested…

Here’s a view of Honolulu from the lookout at Punchbowl. Diamond Head Monument is in the background… my parents and I climbed to the top of it later on.

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We spent a day over at Pearl Harbor, which was really interesting but also kind of depressing (at least for me) at the same time. It’s one thing to read about historic events and another to be on the ground where it actually occurred, if that makes any sense at all.

The ship on the left is the Battleship Missouri, and the white building on the right is the Arizona Memorial. The memorial was built above the U.S.S. Arizona, which was bombed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The bombing is what brought the US into WWII, and on the Missouri is where it officially ended, so it’s interesting to have both there, facing each other.

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Being inside the memorial was a rather sobering experince… even after 75 years the ship (which is literally a tomb for all who perished) is still leaking oil, which can be seen on the surface of the water.

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On a more cheerful note, we also went to the Dole Plantation. It’s kind of a big tourist trap BUT there’s a lovely garden full of all sorts ofΒ pretty and strange tropical plants, and Pineapple flavored/scented/printed/patterned everything. And Dole Whip!

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Pineapple field

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We did escape the city to see other parts of the island too:

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And my sister and I went horseback riding in Jurassic Park: (but that’s a separate post for another day!)

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We also did other things that I have no photo evidence of, like a traditional Luau and a few museums. I also managed to bring home some Hawaiian print fabric – I swear I can’t escape this addiction even while in the center of the Pacific.

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It is good to be home though. πŸ™‚

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