It All Comes to an End

It all comes to an end with this final post. Over the past school year I’ve been able to sit down every week and blog about something that interests me. Every blog post has been written with the intent to bring back a memory and share my great adventure with someone else.

I have really enjoyed giving suggestions to others along the way, in hopes someone would visit the destination I was referring to. All of the facts throughout my blogs have been accurate and I believe have helped make the vacation area seem more desirable. Ranging from Iowa to Honduras, you can’t go wrong with any of the places I’ve informed you on.

Some of these blog posts have been some of my favorite stories. For example the the blog where I go into detail on the shopping in New York City. Why shopping? Well shopping is one of my favorite activities to do and being able to write about it for someone felt good.

I will be discontinuing my blogs because in a couple of days summer vacation starts. My summer will be consumed of lifeguarding, dancing, camps, and hopefully some down time. Although I will not be blogging during the upcoming school year, I will be continuing to write for my school newspaper, the Torch. You can check out my web stories at http://www.kennedytorch.org or you can pick up a newspaper monthly at Kennedy High School. To blog, write for the Torch, and take four college classes would be too much of a commitment so I’m giving the blogs up for now. Someday in a couple of years, I might come back and update my blogs on the new places I’ve traveled, but until then, it has been great getting to relieve my vacations through writing and sharing them with you. Thanks!

Advertisements

Oahu

Plane ride from island to island was about a half an hour. That half an hour flew by, I had landed on the last island of our trip, Oahu. Oahu was very touristy with several more people than Maui or The Big Island. On Oahu you find Honolulu, the capital of the state. This island had lots of shopping, places to eat, and beaches to bath on.

We weren’t going to waist any time as our vacation was winding down. First, we sat on our balcony of our house and enjoyed the sailboat show in the bay. This show was really neat including many sailboats sailing through the bay showing off their style. Then we became tired from the day of travel and finally crashed. The next morning we woke up at a decent time and drove down to all the shopping strips and fun boutique areas where my mom and I shopped.  While we were shopping, my dad and my brother learned how to surf with a trained instructor. Of course right before my mom and I showed up to see how the surfers were doing, my dad had fell off the board and pulled a hamstring. This incident left for a long day ahead of him. Up on the agenda for the third day was to tour Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was a touching exhibit, still not as touching as the 9/11 memorial in New York but still emotional. We all received headsets and enjoyed an audio tour through the grounds and off into the Diamond Head memorial. Looking down from the memorial you could see the USS Arizona ship and oil leaking out still to this day.

Lastly, the thing we were all urging to do was go to the well known, Hanauma Bay. This bay was formed within a volcanic cone and offers many marine life for visitors to snorkel around. The bay sees on average 3000 patrons a day. Due to the preservation and conservation of the bay it has many regulations and rules for people to follow. Make sure if you go to the bay you’re ready to learn, follow directions, and have a great time swimming around with the animals and coral below the surface.

The whole vacation had now come to an end. Oahu was a great experience along with the other two islands. I really enjoyed Maui the best to say the least. Maui was my favorite because it was really laid back and the island was less touristy compared to Oahu. If I were to go back I would want to go see Kauai along with visiting Maui again. The Hawaiian Islands have a natural beauty to them you won’t find anywhere else.

Big/Little Beach

One of the best beaches in the world is found in Maui, Hawaii. This beach is known world wide and after being to Hawaii two times, it is hands down one of my favorite beaches. The beach is named, Makena Beach. Or for the locals it is known as “big beach” because right next to it there is a smaller beach you can get to.

A month ago when my family went to Maui, we went out to Makena beach and during our relaxing time my dad and I had to go over to little beach and explore the dangers. We hiked up a steep, rocky hill and made it to a peek where we could overlook big beach and then on the other side we saw little beach. My dad and I walked on over to little beach and found out in a matter of seconds it was a nude beach. We were the only ones clothed but that did not stop us from the adventure. On past we walked and found a rocky and lush lookout area. There is just so much to explore and see in Maui. Every beach you go to you will have a tad excitement.

Big Beach is the better beach between big and little beach. It has a cool scenic background with many trees, plants, and some animals. This beach has countless waves and soft sand. You will fall in love with this beach if you like neat views because right out from the shore you can view Molokai and Molikini Crater. These are two grand pieces of land that are shaped in funky formations. The beach isn’t super crowded but a lot of people do venture to this area because of the high ratings it gets. You will have your own space but also get to see and meet other families and locals.

On your next trip to Maui, be sure to visit big beach and if you go over to little beach, don’t look away from the ocean. You will enjoy all of the natural beauty and relaxation. Don’t miss out and travel to Makena Beach and Park.

Lahiana

Lahiana is in northwest Maui and has many things to go do and see. It is a great area for tourists and locals to go hang-out, shop, and enjoy a nice meal. Lahiana is almost an area where you would need a couple days to fully soak in the excitement. When I was in Maui about a month ago, I spent two days in Lahiana and I could of spent more.

To start things off, spend some time on Kaanapali beach. This beach is rated one of the top beaches in Hawaii. Kaanapali is a long beach and starts out kinda rocky. As you walk up the beach, it becomes sandy and soft. The waves at this beach are something to rave about, they are perfect for surfing, body boarding, or even just trying to catch a good wave. All along this beach you will find some of the main restaurants in Lahiana. You will also come across the Whaler’s Village which is a big shopping area with name brand stores and even some local ones.

A couple restaurants that I would recommend are, Leilani’s On the Beach, Relish Bistro Burger, Hula Grill Kaanapali and Nikki’s Pizza. One of the days we went to “Leilani’s On the Beach” and ordered an appetizer of nachos. Along with the nachos, I got a wrap which was delicious. The restaurant was right on the oceanside and was very casual. I wore my swim suit and cover-up in and fit right in with everyone else. You can’t go wrong with “Leilani’s” my whole family enjoyed it as we also got to whale watch during our meal.

Lastly, my mom and I went around to some of the shops at Whaler’s Village. I got a shirt at PacSun and I also found a cute store that I will have to go back to if I get the chance.

After spending the day in this area you will be itching to return. The beach is very welcoming along with the little shops. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many hotels lining the beach walk. So the beach is always lively and has people out and around.

Next time you go to Maui be sure to check out many areas not just the one you are stationed in. Lahiana is super nice and will please everyone who arrives.

Lana’i

There are eight main Hawaiian Islands and one of them is Lana’i. Lana’i isn’t really known for a bunch of tourists, it is known for its awesome snorkeling and beauty. During spring break this year my family traveled to Maui but we decided to take a day trip over to Lana’i because of it’s high reviews.

My mom booked a snorkeling excursion with the company, Trilogy for a day. On this trip we boarded a catamaran at 6:30 in the morning and got to be awake to view the sunrise. It was a clear morning with a blue and light pink sky, absolutely beautiful. After we got settled in on the boat the crew served us refreshments of coffee and hot cocoa. As we were gliding through the ocean, we got to see whales breach, dolphins jump, and birds fly overhead. The most incredible part was getting to see a whale breach in the ocean because not many places in the world do whales show off their tricks. As we were nearing the Lana’i, the sun was out and the day was warm. The staff docked the boat and we got off and took a taxi to our snorkel spot. At the snorkel spot, we got to lay out in the sun, take on some massive waves, and of course snorkel in the ocean. These waters held some colorful fish with an array of coral. Onto of the fish and snorkel, we had an attractive “lifeguard” as our watch out. My dad and I spent a good two hours swimming around with the fish and then came back to shore. When we got back, the group was ready for lunch at the oceanfront where our boat had dropped us off. The lunch wasn’t just mediocre. We got to try some of the best Hawaiian fried food and sweet rolls. The meal was very appetizing to start us on our way back to Maui. The crew gathered us up and we all got back on the catamaran. On the way back we got to put up the sail and enjoy that for a while. Other than that we got ice cream and chocolate sauce. The ride was pleasant and I got to meet some girls from St. Louis who were my age. Before we knew it the day was over and it was 3:00 in the afternoon.

Trilogy has some great trips and if you ever travel to Hawaii, I highly recommend the Trilogy trips. I have now been to Molikini and Lana’i and they both have been wonderful.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country closed between Iran, Pakistan, Taijkistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. These are all found in South Asia. This country is an Islamic Republic and has a population of approximately 32 million people making it the 42nd most populous country. The capital is Kabul and within the country are many villages and towns. In The Lovers, Zakia and Ali basically hike through the whole country.

Zakia and Ali are from the Bamiyan village. In this village everyone knows everyone and right after the escape of The Lovers, police force look for them immediately. Ali and Zakia run up many mountains throughout the town looking for a hideout. They have to be very careful and stay on the look out because if they get caught they are basically going to die. Everything is worth it to them. During March all the way through October of 2014, The Lovers are on routes trying to find safety.

Now since The Lovers are married, they are more dangerous then before because the families have completely disowned them. Except one of Ali’s relatives who is helping them to another home. Other than that, Zakia and Ali risk to never see their family ever again until it is safe someday which in their case it might never be safe. With the love they have for each other, time won’t be to rough. They constantly sing songs and read poems to one another. A highlight for Zakia was when she got her pictures professionally taken with Ali. She said she felt so pretty and it was something she never experienced before.

As for right now, Zakia and Ali just found a house with one nearby neighbor where they can stay. They have very little to live off of but they are thankful for shelter. All they can do for now is keep their minds off the stories of past couples who have tried fleeing the country for their affection. Ali and Zakia both know of many people who have faced the consequences, but not them. The Lovers keep their heads up and live day to day fighting for their rights.

Containment in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan woman are contained and kept in various camps. Depending on what village the women came from, the government separates them. These woman are taken from their families and have to leave almost everything behind if they have disobeyed the law or their husband. The husband is the ruler in their society. Men take control over the females and that is just how it is.

In The Lovers, Zakia has disobeyed her father by falling in love with “Romeo,” Ali from another village. Her father doesn’t approve of this man since he is not in their “league.” Zakia is then disowned by her family and sent to a camp in their village. She takes a small phone with her so she can communicate with Ali. At this camp she is roomed with other women she has come in contact with throughout her life. Zakia tells her love story to them and they understand her pain. All she can do now is escape and fight for Ali. Nothing stops Zakia, she stays in touch with Ali from time to time on her phone. Every once in a while she plans to run away and jump the wall to meet up with him. Most attempts have been a failure. On her final attempt, Zakia escapes as her friends help out. She makes it over the wall and has to be extremely careful not to be seen by a guy or else she would be turned in. As Ali is waiting for a call, he lays in bed thinking about Zakia. Eventually, he receives a call and set out to pick up “Juliet.” Zakia tells him where she’s at and as soon as she knew it he was there to get her. They kept driving up the mountain to get further and further away from the village. In no time, the alarms had sounded and villagers knew Zakia had gotten out. She was frightened but with the help of Ali’s family, they were able to jump out into the brush and hide out for a couple nights.

Woman are treated poorly in Afghanistan and not highly thought of. They are there to satisfy the men and do the labor men are unable or to tired to do. As Zakia fights for her love, we will see if she survives the harsh conditions on her journey.