Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2015 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 24 – 28

Aloha!

Summer is in full swing and we’re having beautiful days here in SoCal. I thought I’d start with a photo from our Hawaii trip back in May. This was taken from a corridor window of the hotel where we stayed. The weather was just perfect for a hike around the bay.

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Now, onto colors! Continuing with the Hawaiian theme, here is WAIMEA ROOSTER, inspired by this lovely rooster I saw while up at Waimea Falls.  After a 3/4 mile hike through botanical gardens you end at the falls where there is a bleacher-style seating area. This rooster was stalking a poor lady who was trying to get away from him! I, in turn, stalked him with a camera. I later learned this fella’s name is Waimea Willy.

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AMERICANA is a self-striping colorway in a muted tones. I have been wanting to knit up samples and bought one of those 9-inch circular needles that some sock knitters rave about and gave it a go. It was really nice being able to knit in the round without switching needles like I do with my circulars. I don’t think I’d switch completely as I really love 2 cirs for socks, but it was fun to try!

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The original RAINBOW PRIDE colorway was a custom order for last year’s Pride Week. After the 6/26/15 SCOTUS’s ruling, I’ve been dyeing up more of this self-striping yarn ;).  This was my very first self-striping colorway!!

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Back in May,Hubby and I visited his parents in Ohio about a week before this crabapple tree bloomed. Mom-in-law took this fantastic photo of her tree and sent it to me so I can see how nicely the flowers came out. I thought it was so pretty that I had to try it out in a colorway! This is SUSIE’S CRABAPPLE TREE.

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My most favorite Broadway musical is The Phantom of the Opera (I know, totally cliché, but I did grow up in the 80s . . . ) and the touring group finally made it’s way to Los Angeles this summer. Hubby and I went to a matinee showing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre and had a great time.

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I remembered how much I loved ballet, even though I haven’t taken a class for a while. So, I started crocheting up some new bags for the shoppe.  Here are some of the available ballet/pointe shoe bags. The shoes were ones I had ordered years ago and never wore so now they are great props.

This one was knitted with two strands of Highland wool held together.

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This bag is made with hand-dyed wool for a fun tweed effect.

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This was made with holding 2 strands together, one was a gradient yarn and the other was a solid.

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This one was made with a tweed wool yarn.

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This was fun to make – so bright! Two strands of Highland wool held together was used for this bag.

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Some items still available @ www.AlohaBlu.com. Enjoy!

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Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 18 to 20

Aloha! Here are the colors for Weeks 18-20, posted on the shoppe.

A new colorway, PARISIAN SUNSET, was inspired by this photo I took from our hotel room in late Fall 2010. The week long trip was mostly overcast with little bits of sun popping through the clouds. This sunset was amazing and I had to re-create it in yarn and wool.  These pieces are merino/tencel fingering yarn, sparkle fingering yarn sock blank, sparkle lace yarn and a targhee/firestar roving that I plan on spinning!

PARISIAN_SUNSET

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PACIFIC SEA NETTLE is an oldie-but-goodie colorway in Corriedale Cross roving and superwash merino lace yarn. And yes, the turquoise is from the gentlemen’s shirt in the background!

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I don’t do too much cotton dyeing but it’s always interesting how cotton comes out. This colorway came out more muted than I had expected but still pretty! This is FADED DESERT SUNSET in cotton roving.

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JILL’S BLANKET is an almost-self-striping merino/nylon fingering yarn that was inspired by my friend Jill’s baby blanket project years ago. Her yarn colors were more pastel but I remembered how pretty the pinks and browns looked together and dyed a variation.

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A couple more cotton projects . . . these skeins are both #10 Crochet thread, so a laceweight yarn. The first one is a pretty blue color that when I dyed the first time came out a very pale blue-gray. I overdyed it and got a more saturated color.

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This second skein is perfect for summer with bright green and peach-pinks in the yarn.

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One of my fiber friends asked me to dye a rainbow yarn. I had never done a rainbow before and the colors are so pretty that I was eager to try. Later I was asked to make it self-striping, which seemed brilliant, but I didn’t have the tools for it so at first I said I wasn’t able to. BUT after thinking and thinking and thinking, I decided to have a go by manually winding the yarn in 6 sections and dyeing them in the appropriate colors. Here is the custom order with both the self-striping and variegated rainbow yarns.

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SUGAR CANE SUNSET is a new colorway! This photo was taken on the beautiful island of Maui during our Christmas trip last year. We didn’t know if these fields were sugar cane because of the flowering tops. We later learned those tops meant the sugar cane was ready for harvest! These pieces are merino/cashmere/nylon sock blank, merino/silk roving and merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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PATRIOT is a hand-dyed, handspun yarn in merino wool plied with silk thread. I dyed the wool in pieces of red, blue, light blue and turquoise then spun the singles in sequence. Half of the skein is plied with black thread, while the other in off-white! The colors reminded me of modern and vintage American flags that used various shades of blues for the stars section background. 

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KIHEI SUNSET is another new colorway (13 new ones so far this year!). This inspirational photo was taken at Maui Hill Resort in Hawaii. My family has been staying there for nearly 3 decades and we spent Christmas there recently. The sun was just about set, with beautiful pinks on the clouds and a gradient blue/green sky when I took the photo. These pieces are superwash merino lambswool roving and superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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SWISS CHOCOLATE, an oldie-but-goodie colorway inspired by some wonderful pieces of heaven on a plate. These pieces are merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn and a new wool base, merino/yak/silk roving!

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And lastly, some sock photos. I’ve been battling tendonitis in my wrists so have had to slow down the knitting a bit which is not at all fun. BUT I was able to finish this wonderful project for myself! The pattern is Mermaid  Anklets & Socks by Debra Garner. She includes a pattern for both the anklets and socks and since I don’t have any handmade anklets, I gave it a go. Pretty simple pattern and it worked up quickly. I memorized the instep pattern so I was able to just knit knit knit!

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Some of the inspirational photos are available @ www.society6.com/alohablu. Enjoy!

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii 2013 – Part 3

Aloha all – here is Part 3 of my Hawaiian photo blog. These photos were all taken on the beautiful island of Maui.

My family has been staying in Kihei in South Maui for decades. Though it has changed dramatically in that time, it still is pretty laid back and the views are wonderful. This photo was taken while on a morning walk on South Kihei Road.

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This photo of the last itty bitty bit of sunset was taken in the car – yup, I’m one of those people hanging out a car window with a camera . . . or two. I love that the lens focused on the horizon and everything else is nicely blurred. I also love that the orange just about matches the color of the rental car we had (mix-up at the rental agency awarded us an upgrade to a sports car with a rather loud bright orange paint scheme. We affectionately called it “The Monarch” after the Monarch butterflies found on Hawaii). Sigh, I miss that car.

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We hopped over to Lahaina one day since I had to do some last minute shopping for Christmas. Doesn’t everyone need a box of cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company? We strolled Front Street and I snapped this photo of the sailboats on the water.

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Taking a drive along the northern part of the island, we ended up at Honalua Bay. There was a single sailboat in the bay and you can even hike down to the beach for some lounging and swimming. I took several photos of the bay and the single rainbow. A few minutes later the second rainbow on the left started to appear.

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We often wondered if these fields with the flowered tops were sugar cane and during our ziplining expedition, our guides did confirm they were sugar cane fields. The flowered tops meant the fields were already past the harvesting time. I took this photo from my vantage point in the Monarch and loved the lighting at sunset.

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We visited the Maui Ocean Center which is a fabulous aquarium on Ma’alaea Harbor. They have a wonderful collection of sea life and beautiful views from the outside exhibits.

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This glass tunnel through the shark tank is AWESOME! There is even a glass panel on the floor so you can see sharks above and below you. I did get rattled once when I failed to see a Hammerhead coming around me. Despite the heart-racing drive-by, I would still venture to dive this shark tank 🙂

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OH – I also updated my storefront, so some of these photos are now available at Society6. Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 7 to 10

Aloha!

After seeing the vintage-style knit sweaters worn by Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony , I was inspired to knit up some patriotic socks.  This first pair was started the very next morning and was based on a flag pattern I had designed in the summer of 2013, but never got around to testing.  I finished the first sock in a day and the next sock by the following Saturday. These are FLAG SOCKS: USA in US Womens 8-10 | Mens 7-9. I will post these on the shoppe later this spring.

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During the second week of the Olympics, I thought I’d knit up another pair for our fabulous friends to the north! For the top portion, I made the maple leaf a silhouette instead of repeating the flag. When I write up the pattern, the knitter will be able to choose whichever image to the socks (all flag, all silhouette or a combination of both). I’ll post this pair on the shoppe later as well.

FLAGSOCKS_CANADA_FINAL_COLLAGE

The following socks are available on the shoppe. I almost ripped out my test pair of SCI-FI SOCKS because it wasn’t looking like I had envisioned in my mind. Fortunately I was so far along that I decided to just finish the sock and see what it looked like on the mannequin. The stitches stretched out and looked like something from The Matrix movies! From then I was happy with the design and kept going.  I made these green/tan socks . . .

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and made a purple pair too!

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I posted this pair of ROMAN FORUM SOCKS on the shoppe.

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Here are a few pairs of socks I knitted for 3 wonderful girlfriends who make me laugh every time we meet. ‘DB’ recently got married so I made her a pair with her new last name, ‘SueB’s’ pair has her art company name, and as for CLA’s ‘Reindeer’ socks . . . well, let’s just say what happened in Upper Montclair, New Jersey in the winter of 2006 STAYS in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

These pairs were completed on Dec 2013, Jan 2014 and Feb 2014 respectively and I was able to present the socks yesterday so I can post them here now!

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This last pair was completed in Jan 2014 for a bride who will be wearing them later this year in her cowboy boots on her wedding day.

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Now onto colors! These first four colorways are brand new (11 new colorways for 2014 so far)!

APPLE PICKING was inspired by this photo taken by my cousin Laura. I immediately fell in love with the photo and had to re-create it in yarn and wool. The yarns are superwash merino lace weight, sw merino/nylon fingering sock blank and alpaca/merino/silk roving.

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My 5-year old godson, Kai, drew this image on my birthday card last year and I knew I wanted to create a special colorway from it. I had the card on my desk for a few months and finally dyed up KAI’S DRAGON in sw merino fingering yarn and sw merino/nylon roving. Artwork is used with permission of the artist . . . and his mommy.

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BROKEN SUNSET 2 was an attempt to re-create a broken colorway! I attempted to dye up some cotton yarn but the dyes broke into many different colors. The broken colorway was well received and I was asked to try to do again – this time on purpose – in  polwarth wool roving, sw merino roving  and merino/tencel yarn.  And yes, it was much harder to replicate a ‘happy accident’.

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The background in this collage is a CROTON plant that I took a photo of while on Maui this past December. I loved  the bright magenta and greens and used some hand-dyed wool for the project. I ran the merino/silk wool through the drum carder, layering some wonderful soffsilk (silk waste product) between the solid colors. I pulled the wool off as a continuous piece of roving and made a braid. The soffsilk will add some texture when spinning.

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And some ‘oldie-but-goodie’ colorways. . . ORANGE HIBISCUS in sparkle lace yarn and merino/bamboo/silk roving was inspired by a hibiscus plant I used to have. It only bloomed an orange flower every few seasons and when it did,  I tried to take as many photos as I could!

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DIAMOND HEAD SUNSET 2 is a variation of the original which was more pastel. This version incorporates the blue/gray sky and a darker gray for contrast. This is merino/silk fingering yarn and polwarth/silk roving.

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I dyed up these next two pieces for the shoppe since I was already creating them for a custom order. HONOLULU FIREWORKS is 5oz of merino/tencel roving.

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SEA DRAGONS is 5.4oz of merino wool roving.

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Now for some bags! These first two ballet/pointe shoe bags come from European and South American wool. The pink/green version was crocheted with two strands held together while the rainbow bag was made with a single-ply yarn.

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I finally put together a “Dye your own” ballet bag kit. These fun kits include a crocheted ballet bag, printed dyeing instructions and a few packets of kool-aid ‘dye’. Available in Orange/Yellow/Red and Red/Pinks.

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Lastly, I posted a spring-inspired scarf in velvet/silk  in bright lime green!

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Enjoy!

Knitting, Photography, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 4 to 6

Aloha! Here are the colors posted on the shoppe for 2014, Weeks 4 through 6.

These first four colorways are brand new (7 new colorways for 2014 so far)!

WEST MAUI SUNSET was inspired by a photo I took while traveling from Kihei to Ka’anapali for dinner. As always the sunsets in Hawaii are unbelievably magical and this evening’s sunset was no exception. I created West Maui Sunset in merino/silk lace yarn, merino/cashmere/nylon fingering sock blank and merino/tencel roving.

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SUNSET IN THE DESERT was inspired by a photo my lovely cousin Laura took during at the Desert Botanical Gardens Luminaries Show in Phoenix, Arizona. I loved the dramatic colors so much that I knew I’d have to re-create them in yarn/wool. These are sparkle lace yarn and merino/bamboo/silk roving.

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MACARON is a fun colorway inspired by a trip to the mall. While on an outing with my brother and young nephew, we came across a macaron stand at the local mall. I loved all the colors and snapped photos while my brother ordered a few of them to take home. These pieces are merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn, cotton roving and corriedale cross roving.

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PUNKIN’ PINK is another from my ‘Overlay’ series where I layer one color on top of a base color. I wanted to try some ‘bright’ pinks and oranges and really like how this superwash merino fingering yarn skein came out.

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A couple ‘oldies but goodies’ including SEA DRAGONS inspired by these odd-looking creatures residing at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. These pieces are mixed BFL roving and alpaca/silk lace yarn.

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I also dyed up some silk/rayon scarves in PLUM & PEACH.

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Some of the custom order socks I completed so far in 2014 . . .

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And lastly, I completed my January goal of spinning at least 2 skeins of yarn. The first one, WIND DANCER, was dyed by AnnaMarie of CorgiHillFarm on Etsy and I spun the wool late last year, but finished it this January. Wind Dancer is beautiful Rambouillet wool that I plied with silk thread for a total of 1,032 yards of lace/fingering weight yarn.

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The first time I visited Venice, Italy I arrived just after the famous CARNEVALE Festival concluded, however there were still remnants of the celebration all over the city. This wonderful BFL wool was dyed by Carolyn of Greenwood Fiberworks on Etsy, and reminded me of those wonderful costumes residents wore. I spun this into 2-ply lace/fingering yarn and added over 700 dark beads.

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Enjoy!

Knitting, Photography, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 1 to 3

Aloha! Here are the colors posted on the shoppe for 2014, Weeks 1 through 3.

One of my goals this year is to create 15-20 new colorways and so far I’ve posted 3 on the shoppe. This first one is new.

INSIDE PASSAGE was inspired by a photo I took while cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage a few years ago. It was the last cruise out for the season so I expected it to be rather overcast and cold, but some days were so bright and sunny that I actually came home with a slight tan! I snapped this photo while outside on the balcony and revisited it this month to create the colors in yarn and wool. The wool is alpaca/merino/silk and sparkle lace weight yarn.

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STAINED GLASS ALTAR is a colorway from last year and I dyed up these two pieces for myself actually. I have come to realize that I won’t be able to use them for a while as I’ve got custom orders to complete for the next month or so, so I thought perhaps someone else can enjoy them. The yarn is sparkle fingering weight, while the roving is cultivated silk. Yup, pure silk.  I snapped this photo while touring the famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France.

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The photo was an inspiration for another colorway, however at closer inspection I decided to extract a different set of colors for a new colorway.  This one showcases the land as well as the sea in LANIKAI VIEW PART 2 and the photo was taken from atop the Lanikai Pillbox Hike on the beautiful island of Oahu. This is alpaca lace yarn and super wash merino/merino/silk roving.

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The next colorway is a new one, but only by accident (let’s count it anyway). I had attempted to re-create one of my sunset photos in cotton yarn and bamboo but the dyes ‘broke’ on me and turned into a bunch of different colors! I was really disappointed at first and thought I had ruined the pieces, but after re-skeining the yarn I found it really came out nicely. I don’t have am inspirational photo for BROKEN SUNSET, but this is mercerized cotton lace yarn and bamboo roving.

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BLOOD ORANGES is always a fun colorway and reminds me of the first time I had a blood orange – in wonderful Roma, Italia – from the famous Campo di Fiori market. I don’t see them too often here in Los Angeles, so instead I just re-create the colors in yarn. This is also mercerized cotton lace yarn and bamboo roving.

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Another goal for 2014 is to spin more yarn. I have a wonderful spinning wheel that has been neglected so I’m carving out more time to spend with her. Here is the first completely handspun  yarn from 2014 (I will later post another handspun that was started in 2013 and finished in 2014). I dyed this Polwarth wool in my SUNSET OVER TITLUS colorway and plied it with silk thread. It is 184 yards of worsted weight yarn. Mount Titlus is located in Engelberg, Switzerland and I took this photo 10,000 feet up. At sunset. In -9 degree weather. It was awesome.

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More to come! Enjoy!

Hawaii, Photography, Travel

Images of Hawaii 2013 – Part 1

Aloha and Hau’oli Hakahiki Hou! Happy 2014!

We had a nice Christmas holiday back ‘home’ in Hawaii and already miss the islands. After going through my photos, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

On the island of Oahu, we visited our favorite beach, Waimanalo. It was a beautiful day though there were red flag warnings for Man-Of-War jellyfish in the water – hubby even spotted a baby one on the shore – so we stayed on the sand.

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We stayed on the famous North Shore where the sunsets were just spectacular. Here is what it looked like on the first night.

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This rainbow came out early in the morning so I hurried to snap many photos before it disappeared.

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We had lunch twice at Ola’s where the view was stunning and the food was delicious. I tried the fish called hebi (shortbill spearfish) for the first time. Yummers.

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We loved being back home, but eventually it was time to leave. So, we boarded a hopper flight (aka propeller plane) over to our next destination. On the way I took this aerial view of Waikiki . . .

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 and Diamond Head.

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35 minutes later, we touched down on my favorite island of Maui.

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to be continued!