Snowstorms, mudslides, rain, more rain, and tornadoes.
Sounds like a good time for a trip to Hawaii.
If you go, or just want to dream a bit about going, be sure to check out the slide-show I put together for MSNBC.com – Cheap and Offbeat Oahu – about activities that are free, cheap or bit offbeat.
Included: the tale of the fish auction that takes place 6 days a week, beginning at 5:30 am;
Information about a free exhibit at the Hawaii State Art Museum that’s filled with historical objects and photographic portraits that tell the history of Hula,
(These pot holders are not in the exhibition, but you can buy them at the airport..)
And a reminder to travelers that there are a trio of tranquil cultural gardens – Japanese, Chinese and Hawaiian – inside the Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
If you’re going to go to Oahu, you should also pop over to the Big Island. And if you do, you’ll be able to visit the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center at the Kona International Airport. On January 28, 1986, all seven crew members were killed when NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger exploded less than two minutes after launch. One of those crew members, Ellison S. Onizuka, was Hawaii’s first astronaut.
To space center has oodles of fun, hands-on activities as well as exhibits that include a moon rock from the final moon landing of Apollo 17 in 1972, an authentic NASA space suite, and personal items that belonged to Ellison Onizuka.
My favorite items in the collection are the freeze-dried macadamia nuts and the freeze-dried Kona coffee that NASA created especially for Onizuka. Today’s astronauts can still choose these items from the space menu.