Laura Rennie

stargazing in Hawaii + weekending v.14

Laura R.1 Comment
Last Sunday we took a tour bus up Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world from base to peak (much of the mountain is under sea level). It's also one of the best places on Earth to stargaze. At the peak of the mountain are thirteen huge telescopes that we could see from the resort we stayed at. I loved looking up at those tiny specks at the top of the mountain and thinking, "I get to go up there!"

if you look closely you can see the telescopes
using my zoom lens to get a better view

We're on top of the world! 

The top of Mauna Kea is home to the world's largest astronomical observatory. The telescopes aren't open to the public in the evening, but it was still amazing to be up above the clouds and walk around knowing that we were standing among insanely expensive equipment!

The view of the sunset wasn't bad either. :)

Once the sun set our tour guide drove us slightly down the mountain and from there we were able to look through his telescope. It was pitch black and the night sky was absolutely dazzling - shooting stars everywhere! I've seen clear night skies in dark environments, but this was a view like no other. The tour guide pointed out constellations and stars using a strong laser pointer, and he positioned his telescope to show us different sights. My favorite thing we saw through the telescope was Saturn. I'm no sky nerd, but I thought it was thrilling. Maybe I'll become a sky nerd.

The whole time we were on this excursion I had a verse from "How Great Thou Art" in my head.

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works thy hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the roaring thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.


It's hard to believe we've been home from Hawaii for a whole week. I was out of commission for several days after the trip. I blame my lack of Hawaii blog posting on that nasty bug I had. It really took a lot out of me! I feel much better now, and I had a great weekend. Yesterday Andy tackled some projects outside. Poor guy made two trips to Home Depot and still didn't have enough mulch to cover up the old stuff! Our front and back yards already look much better, though. I stayed inside and put away a shocking amount of laundry, unpacked boxes and cleared out some closets that I had shoved misc. items into. I'm a bit discouraged by how much stuff we own. I thought I had done a great job of getting rid of stuff when we moved, but it just never ends! Gah. #firstworldproblems, I know.

We now have a room that I call "the craigslist room." Anyone in the market for barstools, televisions, a vanity, a tiered bathroom organizer or a shower curtain and liner? Yes, I realize this is a bizarre assortment of items.

After all that hard work we treated ourselves to dinner out and a Redbox. We went to Il Forno and shared the buffalo chicken strips and the cold cut pizza. I had tried their four cheese pizza and loooved it, but I liked the cold cut pizza even better. All I could think about while we were eating was I have GOT to try to make this so we can eat it all the time! After dinner we watched "Jeff Who Lives At Home." Jason Segel was fantastic from the get-go. I figured from the trailer that the movie would have an indie feel to it, so I wasn't expecting it to be a hilarious fast-paced comedy. It did make us laugh, though. And.... I cried.

Andy headed to Philadelphia this morning to catch a baseball game with some friends from Harrisonburg, so I spent the morning listening to this sermon and painting my nails bright green. Then I picked up my awesomeblossom friend Kristen who is visiting from Florida and we had lunch at my favorite coffee shop. It's been a weekend of great food - my french toast sandwich (stuffed with scrambled eggs and sausage) was outta control. Another one to try at home! We spent the afternoon at Cunningham Falls State Park exploring the waterfall and swimming in the lake. Is there anything better than catching up with a dear friend? Now that we live in a different state than all of our friends I've realized how special it is to simply spend time with my favorite people. 

OH. I don't know why I'm blogging about this, but I was at the coffee shop a month or so ago and saw I guy that I swear went to my high school. I didn't say hello b/c Andy think that's pretty much the most awkward thing ever, but I've been racking my brain ever since to try and remember his name. I saw him again at the coffee shop today, and I still can't remember! Any Lee people interested in helping me figure it out? Guy at the coffee shop - if we're Facebook friends and you're somehow reading this, say hi next time you see me!