Monday, June 7, 2010

Aloha - day 6

(A statue of Duke Kahanamoku, a local Hawaiian credited with popularizing the sport of surfing)
It's our last day in Hawaii, sniffle... This trip has been so wonderful, I feel refreshed and relaxed and even though Geof had to work some we got to do and see a lot together. We planned some days and not others and the time sure did feel like "island time'. Our Hawaii trip went nice and slow and we constantly were looking at the clock saying "it's only noon?! Awesome!". What a great feeling!

Today we got up and packed up all of our bags, it was bitter sweet of course. Our flight leaves at 8:40pm so we have plent of time today to see more of O'ahu! Our first stop is the Valley of the Temples. It was about 20 minutes from Waikiki and its funny, after being here for a week, it seems like a far drive! There are temples for several religions here, but the main attraction is the Buddhist replica of the 900-year-old Byodo-In temple. It was a quiet and peacefull place and perfect place to start our morning.
After spending some time at the temple, we drove back to the beach and had a picnic before we went to the Waikiki Aquarium. I fed the birds and it was so much fun! There were some brave ones that ate right out of my hand and then a few that would catch the bread in the air when I threw it :) Pretty neat, and pretty birds!

Our picnic by the beach was right next to the Aquarium so we went and toured it and saw all kinds of fun creatures, including the Hawaiian Monk Seal, which is an endangered seal specific to the Hawaiian island chain. There are said to be only 1,500 left in the world...
We still had a few hours to kill after the Aquarium and I had something special in mind I wanted to do. A big part of my inspiration for my blog is Stephanie Nielson and her blog. If you don't know about her and her amazing story, read it you fools! :) Really though, Stephanie just had a big surgury on her neck to repair some of the burned and tight skin. It has been a hard one for her I think...A few days before, I passed by a special place on the beach called the Healing Stones. I knew then that before I left I wanted to go there and say a prayer for her, and place a Lei at the stones for Nie. We parked, got out of the car and headed down the street to where the Healing Stones were located. As we were about to cross, I saw something laying on the ground...
I stopped short and got a really tingly feeling all over... as I realized... it was this:
I kid you not, my friends... A book of Mormon, Stephanie's FAVORITE book and a huge part of her life and recovery was just THERE, sitting there, alone on the sidewalk, no one around and only a few feet between me and the Healing Stones. If that's not God speaking, I don't know what is. I. Was. In. Awe. I crossed the street and approached the stones, said my prayer for her and left my Lei among the others still baffled by the book left laying in the middle of the sidewalk. I still am in fact. I wish I could tell her! 
(mine-or rather- Nie's is the one in the center with pink and yellow)
We got a small bite to eat before heading to the airport for our overnight flight home. Sushi in the middle of the Pacific Ocean... is there anything better?
Now that I think about it, our last day was a spiritual and peaceful one. I think we could get used to that :) Until next time Hawaii...
Peace, Love, and Aloha

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