Monday, May 12, 2008

More Photos From Hawaii

With a lull in the Claremont touring schedule this summer, I decided to catch up a little on some blogging! Fear not, loyal fans and readers, we have not disappeared! Here are more photos from our tour in Hawaii (back in April). Above, Emily and I have just deplaned at Kona airport on Big Island. Apparently, Kona is one of the few airports in the world with no jetway system! I guess the weather is reliable enough! Below, the view from our beautiful hotel lobby on Big Island, the Mauna Lani Resort. I highly recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a tranquil experience.

In between rehearsals and concerts, we managed to find a little time to drive up the northwestern part of Big Island and found a wonderful little outdoor bistro to have lunch. I ordered the day's special, which included homemade falafel, made in the little outdoor cooking area, complete with grill and stovetop!

One of the beautiful things in Hawaii is the lei. There are so many varieties and the act of giving and receiving a lei is so warm and special. I loved the beautiful flowers as they all smelled wonderful! Pictured below, I am wearing two leis after a concert. The long green one is called a maile lei, which is usually reserved for special occasions as it is often known as the "lei of royalty". I felt so honoured to be wearing it!

When Chad (Emily's husband) and Kai Yu (my husband) joined us for the beginning of our trip, we shared a condo on the island of Kauai. It was beautiful, complete with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, leather sofas in the living room, fully equipped kitchen (pictured below), and a wrap-around lanai (or deck) with a hot tub and gas grill! If only I could live like this in Manhattan!

Kai Yu and I went deep-sea fishing (a little birthday present for him) in Kauai. The waters were rough (at least 6-ft. swells!) but I managed to keep my breakfast down as I am usually susceptible to motion sickness. Thanks, Dramamine and Sea-Bands! We even managed to reel in an ono and mahi-mahi, both around 17 lbs. each. The crew cleaned and fileted the fish for us. Yum! Here is proud Kai Yu:

Some of you have seen a picture and video from our snorkel trip. Here we are, in our wetsuits, listening carefully to Captain Tara's safety instructions!

Our time on Oahu was very limited, but we decided to wake up early on the morning of our performance (almost unheard of for us Claremonts) and hiked Diamond Head. We had perfect weather and the views were spectacular. We stopped on our way down for a photo opp:

Since I had done it back in 2006 on my honeymoon, I stayed behind for the hike on the Kalalau Trail in Kauai. It is considered THE trail in Kauai as it is the only way to access the Kalalau Valley and the Napali coast (other than by kayak). The actual trail itself is about 11 miles long, so when I refer to hiking it, most people do only the first 2-3 miles. It is not an easy trail, but well worth the effort as the views are spectacular. Apparently, Julie and Emily managed to do the trail in record time as they wanted to make sure they had time to get back to the hotel, shower, rest and play a concert!

We had a terrific time in Hawaii and we hope to visit again soon!