Archive for June, 2011

postheadericon Halona Blow Hole

The Halona Blow Hole is best seen on a windy day at high tide which is exactly the kind of day that we were having when we stopped!  I was wearing a dress and couldn’t keep it down and my hair was blowing like crazy.  It is one of those touristy stops where you get out and check it out, take a few pictures, and then keep on driving.

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postheadericon Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach is located on the southeastern coast of Oahu just past Hanauma Bay and the blowhole….20 minutes from Waikiki.  We enjoyed a sunrise here one morning over some Leonard’s Bakery Malasadas, yum!!  The morning was so calm and quiet, yet even before the sun was up there were a few surfers catching the waves.  We layed our blanket down and just watched the waves crash!

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postheadericon Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

– Ahhh….one of my favorite beaches!  There is something so soothing about being here.  We’ve snorkeled different reefs and these are OK, but the way you are almost surrounded by the elevations makes laying here all day just perfect.

The calm waters of the bay provide perfect conditions for floating over the reefs. The bay floor is actually the crater of an ancient volcano that flooded when the exterior wall collapsed and the ocean rushed in.  The reefs are filled with a diverse population of marine life and we were lucky enough to see/swim with a sea turtle while we were there (among many other species of fish).

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postheadericon Turtle Beach

I love sea turtles.  I don’t know what it is about them, but I think they wonderful!  This is exactly why I was so excited to spend a little bit of time at this beach on one of our “circle the island” days as we called them!  The turtles crawl ashore almost daily to bask in the sun among the beach-goers!  When they are not basking in the sun, they may come very close to shore to feed on the seaweed growing on the rocks.  This is what we experienced the day we were there.  Unfortunately they didn’t feel like basking…they must have done enough of that earlier in the day or maybe the day before.

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postheadericon Climb to the top of a Volcano in Oahu

Diamond Head Volcano – Probably one of the most well know hikes in Hawaii, this extinct volcano is one you’ll definitely want to hike!  Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the views from the top are amazing!

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postheadericon Visit the World’s Largest Maze….

Dole Plantation – The Dole Plantation is one of Hawaii’s top visitor attractions.  It is located on the way to the North Shore so if your driving around the island it is a great place to stop and have some yummy pineapple whip or just to browse the gift shop or gardens!  We just love taking pictures in the beautiful, lushly landscaped, tropical garden and we learned the right way to cut a pineapple here!  You can also have a run at the World’s Largest maze or take a ride on the Pineapple Express where you’ll learn how James Drummond Dole founded his world-famous agricultural empire where the Dole Plantation stands today!

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postheadericon DuPont State Forest

As a child I spent weekends boating and fishing with my family and we often ended up camping on some island!  I remember swimming in the Gulf and exploring the beach.  We would set up our tent and sit by the campfire, but one of many memories that I will never forget was when I woke up one morning to find that raccoons has gotten into our cooler and eaten our donuts!  Let’s face it, as a kid donuts are really very important!  (OK, they still are!)  I was excited and sad all at the same time.  I never actually saw the raccoons, only their tiny little footprints running off into the woods and an empty box of Entenmann’s!

We want our girls to have the same great memories campfires and sleeping under the stars and the DuPont State Forest is the perfect place for that!  It is the home of some waterfalls that will take your breath away and the trails are kid friendly and well populated.  It is located in the Pisgah Forest and you can find directions here:  http://www.dupontforest.com/directions.asp It is located within an hour of Asheville NC, Hendersonville NC, and Greenville, SC.

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postheadericon Lanikai Beach, Hawaii: One of the most beautiful beaches ever!

 

Lanikai Beach, Oahu is ranked among the best beaches in the world!  It is nestled beyond a residential area on Oahu’s Windward side.  It’s silky, sugary white sand and calm, crystal clear blue waters are like those you see in the movies.  It is easily one of the prettiest beaches we’ve ever seen!  The backdrop of the Moku’lua Islands makes it a beautiful spot for taking pictures, too.  These two islands can be reached via kayak from Lanikai, but we didn’t do that.  Instead we enjoyed just relaxing on the beach taking it all in!  (My cooler came in very handy here)!

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postheadericon And So I turned it into a blog…..

Welcome to TravelandPhotographyToday.com.  I am excited to start this journey and I am so glad you have decided to take the time to check me out!  Thank You!!!

I guess it got started because people are always telling me that we do so much!  We love to travel and experience new things, whether it is going away on vacations or just taking day trips, so that is why I’ve decided to turn our experiences into a blog and share those journeys with you.  I hope to inspire you to do the same.

We like to think that there’s nothing more valuable than memories so we try and get out there and make them as often as we can!  Spencer and I have been sharing our love of traveling for 9 years now and we really make it a priority in our lives.  It is something that we are very passionate about and our girls have really come to love it also.  It’s funny because I am more of a beachgoer who loves warm, tropical weather and my husband is more of an outdoorsman who loves cooler weather, mountains, and hiking.  Chloe loves the beach and has really become an excellent boogie boarder and Jillian love checking out waterfalls and telling ghost stories by the campfire.  Somehow it all works!

Traveling with children isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth every minute.  I think one of the most valuable gifts that I can give my girls is the experience of seeing what else this world has to offer.  It is also a great family bonding time for us because we really unplug from the rest of the world.  No computers, no phones, no TV…just quality family time!

Oh yeah…I love taking pictures and always have my camera with me sit back and enjoy our stories and photos!  I’ve recently upgraded from a point and shoot camera to a DSLR and I’m sure you’ll notice the transition in photos!  I’ve reflected on some past journeys and am I am looking forward to new ones!

So what do we do when we are not traveling? My wonderful hubby, Spencer, is a chiropractor and he owns his own practice, Active Spine Chiropractic, and I help run his office while our girls are in school.  He is also kind of a health nut and has a blog of his own, www.ILiveForHealth.com (under construction)!  When my girls are not in school I am at home with them exploring, cooking, playing, skating, watching TV, hanging out at the pool or planning our next vacation.

Please leave me comments and let me know what you think!

postheadericon The World’s Most Famous Beach

Daytona Beach – The World’s Most Famous Beach

We took a short, 3 night vacation over Easter Break looking to trade our cool North Carolina weather for the Florida sun and warm waters!  We booked our room via Priceline and we used the bid option.  If you’ve never used this option let me tell you a little about it….When you choose to bid on a hotel you pick your area and name your price, but  you only find out what hotel it is if the site accepts your bid.  It can be a little nerve racking, but Daytona Beach Shores only has 3 – 4 star hotels so we knew that we would be getting one of those 3 hotels.  We would have been happy with any of them.  I bid and it was accepted and we ended up at the Plaza Resort and Spa located just a block away from Ocean Walk and within walking distance to shopping, restaurants, the boardwalk, and entertainment.

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