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Sharaburas in Hawaii — Part II (Maui)

Connie, Dougie No Comments

Holy cow, is Maui ever a fun place! We’d heard great things about it from family members and friends, but it doesn’t quite compare to seeing it up close and personal. We took a boat ride to the Molokini volcanic crater just off Maui, which offered some fantastic snorkeling. One of us would watch the kids while the other played in the water, looking at coral and fish.

Kim doing snuba

Scott doing snuba

Dougie and Connie had fun with the glass bottom boat

Dougie decided he has a future career as a photographer

Our hotel had a great kiddie pool – including a thrill-inducing 8” deep section for Connie


Connie giving Daddy some swimming pointers

The pool had a big pirate ship in the middle – tailor made for Dougie! At every turn he was asking to go in the “pirate ship pool”. We had to learn to avoid windows and walkways within line of sight of the pool – otherwise we never would have seen the rest of Maui.

Dougie sliding down the pirate ship

The hotel was also right on the beach – so Connie and Dougie had lots of time to play in the sand

Having given up on photography, Dougie started thinking about architecture

Connie, meanwhile, seemed more interested in geology

Of course, we had to go to a luau…


Dougie was pretty excited about the luau – especially the dancers, who (according to him) were doing lots of “shaking and wiggling!”


We had a pretty great setup in our room – lots of space for the family

We drove the gorgeous “road to Hana” and made a bunch of stops along the way


Toward the end of our vacation, we took the long, winding drive to the top of Haleakala, the main volcano on Maui. Managed to cover over 10,000 feet of vertical drop along the way!

Of course, at 10,000 feet, the weather was a bit cooler than it was by the beach. We forgot sweaters for the kids, so Dougie managed to “acquire” Daddy’s sweater. Fits like a glove! … a horribly, horribly oversized glove.

All in all, it was a fabulous vacation – Maui lived up to its very high expectations. And gave us enough warm memories to live through an Alberta winter!

Sharaburas in Hawaii — Part I (Oahu)

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After spending nine often-frigid months in Calgary, we decided that a warm weather getaway would be in order. We usually try to take a vacation around this time (coinciding with our anniversary), and this year we spent about 10 days in Hawaii – a few days in Honolulu, and a week in Maui. We figured it was a good blend of exotic (fun to visit) and familiar (easy to take care of the junior Sharaburas). Aloha! Kim had already been to Hawaii when she was growing up, so she was able to serve as a tour guide of sorts.

We started our trip by taking in some of the sights on Oahu – including a volcanic crater

Dougie was impressed with the size of the plant life in Hawaii

Dougie showing Mummy around the island

“Hey, if I have to be on vacation with my parents, I’m still gonna look as cool as I can”

Mummy and Connie on the Pineapple Train at the Dole Plantation

Dougie and Daddy on the Pineapple Train

That a fine lookin’ pineapple guitar player!

Everyone but Mummy, looking out over the Pacific

Dougie was very kind to loan Connie his old stroller!

A scenic lookout on Oahu, along with Dougie and Mummy

One highlight of the trip was our visit to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach. While we didn’t stay there (that’s well beyond our budget!), it has a special significance in the Sharabura family history – as the place where Grandma and Grandpa Sharabura first met back in 1960. We figured it would be an appropriate place to bring two of their grandchildren.

A new generation of Sharaburas at the Royal Hawaiian (shhhh, we weren’t guests!)

After a few whirlwind days on Oahu, we took off for our week in Maui.

Jasper Road Trip – Day 3 & return

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Our final full day in Jasper started with a trip to Maligne Lake. We had tickets for a boat trip out to Spirit Island. On the way there, we had an elk run right past our car. Then, when we arrived, we saw this:


It’s like they were waiting to greet us.

The lake itself is beautiful. We were lucky to get on board early enough to get a window seat so we could get some nice pictures on the way out.


When we reached Spirit Island, we docked the boat and everyone got off to get some pictures.

The Island

Scott and the kids with the island

On the way back, we stopped at Medicine Lake. This place isn’t really that interesting in the summer except to know that a few months earlier, there was almost no water in this lake. By October, it will again be just a small stream.

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As the day warmed up, we headed down to Maligne Canyon. It was beautiful though very crowded. We took a stroll down quite a ways to enjoy the view.


Connie had been wearing a hat but she removed it shortly into the trip. Someone found it and hung it on a pole near where we entered the canyon. We were very glad to get it back and really appreciated the kindness of whoever found it.


We still had a while to kill before dinner so we opted to head to Pyramid Mountain to have a look. There is a little island near the viewing area. It wasn’t too crowded but there were enough people around to get someone to take our picture.


Before we headed back to town for dinner, we stopped to play a bit.


We headed out reasonably early the next morning. Our only disappointment about the trip was that we hadn’t seen a single bear. We weren’t too far out of Jasper when we saw this:


Our trip was complete. We’ll definitely head back to Jasper again as there were a lot of things we didn’t get time to do but this is by far one of my favourite vacations.

Jasper Road Trip – Day 2

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From hot springs to ice! Today, we headed out from Jasper down to the Columbia Icefields. Scott had been before several years ago but this was something I’ve been wanting to do since we moved here. They are only open in the summer though so our trip had to wait until now.

Here is Athabasca Glacier. It is the most accessible glacier in the Icefield. Though it appears huge, it is really just a small part of the icefield itself.


We bought our tickets and had a little wait until it was our turn. We had to take a bus out to the Snocoach waiting area where a coach would take us out onto the glacier.

Here is the road onto the glacier itself.

It was pretty cold and the kids were hungry so they were a bit off at this point.

Amazing what a few crackers can do.


As we go closer, they explained the “rules.” They want you to stay in the marked area. They check that area daily for crevasses and know that it is safe for walking but anywhere outside of the marked area can be dangerous. People have died here so better to be safe! We would be given about 15 minutes to walk around on the glacier once we arrived. We were really lucky that all of these coaches left right after we got there so we had the entire area for just our bus group.


It was COLD! We knew it would be cold but this was really cold!!

Another guy on our bus offered to take our picture so we managed to get one with the whole family.


After lunch, we headed down to a different viewing area to see the toe of the glacier. It was interesting to see how much it had receded since Scott was here last time.



Poor Connie missed out on most of this action.

We made the long drive back to Jasper and called it a day.

Jasper Road Trip – Day 1

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We started our first full day in Jasper with a trip up Whistler’s Mountain. They have a gondola that will take you most of the way so it wasn’t too much of a hike though we did decide to head for the summit.

The mountain is pretty high so there was still snow on top when we got there. Dougie wasn’t quite sure what to make of snow in July.

After a bit of snow inspection, we headed towards the summit.

Dougie thought the various inukshuks on the mountain were great – though we had to stop him from trying to knock them down.

Dougie had a little jeep with him that he was sure to stop and play with every chance he got.
Pud Jeep

As we got closer to the top, there was a lot more snow. Dougie, who now loves snow, wanted to play in it despite the fact that were were not properly dressed for it.

Tired and a bit wet, we grabbed a few pictures and started back down to the gondola.



When we got back to town, we grabbed some lunch and settled in to watch the Canada Day parade. There is something special about a small town parade. Where else would you see something like this:


Connie was very due for a nap at this point so we thought a drive may be in order to let her get a bit of sleep in the car. As we were heading out, we noticed this pizza sign. I’d buy pizza from these people just because of the sign.


We weren’t too far out of Jasper when we got stuck in traffic. We were more than a little surprised by it. It was Canada day but we weren’t going anywhere that should have had a lot of traffic. Turns out, we were in a goat jam.


A few little goats basically shut down the road out of town. Fortunately, a ranger came along and scared them all away from the road.

When we arrived at the hot springs, we were excited to see more goats.


A lady, who was clearly a local, explained that this is about as ugly as the goats get. They were shedding their winter fur and getting ready to get the nice bright white color that they always have in pictures. Regardless, seeing a big bunch of mountain goats was a thrill for us.

We hadn’t brought our bathing suits with us so we didn’t go into the hot springs but we did hike around to see the “source.” You can stick your finger in here and see how hot the water is. They actually cool the water a bit here before they put it in the pools so it doesn’t burn people. They also add some chemicals to reduce the sulphur smell. Unfortunately, those weren’t added at this stage so this area was scented.


Connie tried to catch a few Zs while we were walking.


Dougie tried to burn off some energy pretending he was a dog.


From here, we headed back into town. It was a long day and we were all pretty tired.

Jasper Road Trip – Getting There

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With a long weekend coming up and lots of Alberta we still hadn’t seen, we decided to take the opportunity to take a family road trip up to Jasper. It’s a long drive but we made several stops along the way to break up the trip.

First stop, gas around the corner from the house. Don’t the kids look thrilled?

We decided to take the Bow Valley Trail up from Banff to Lake Louise. It’s supposed to be a good wild life viewing areas and we were in no hurry. We weren’t on the road for 2 minutes before we saw this:


He has some friends across the road in the woods too.


We got a bit carried away with the touristy stops. We were grabbing a few geocaches on the way and they tend to trend towards touristy. Here I am at the continental divide.


Connie and Daddy at Lake Moraine.

The whole family in front of the lake.

Lake Morraine is where the picture for the old Canadian $20 bill was taken. So, we posed in the same spot for our $20 picture.

From there we headed over to Lake Louise. I had always heard it was spectacular and it didn’t disappoint.

Connie and Daddy in front of the lake

As we got closer to the Columbia Icefields, we came across a small group of mountain sheep. I was excited enough by the sighting that I climbed a not insignificant hill by the side of the road to get a better picture.

It was a long drive, made longer by the fact that we kept stopping, but we had a great time and were so glad to finally arrive at the hotel.