If you haven't heard... my family loves Hawaii. We have only ever visited Oahu but I have a feeling we would love every Island given the chance to visit.
We are sort of addicted to Oahu because of the military installations there. Our last 3 trips we have been able to stay on Barbers Point at their beach cottages because of Ryan's active duty military status. We love this because it saves us so much money! We have a little cottage right on a beach. It's quiet, we have a full kitchen, a bar-b-que and two bedrooms.
While living in Alaska we could easily justify a vacation to Hawaii. And while we can still easily find reasons to continue going they just aren't quite the same =) February vacations were a perfect way to break up the long, dark, cold winters in Anchorage. Now we have a lot milder winters, hotter summers, and a seemingly long flight across the mainland (actually, the flight wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be, but it's very unfortunate that you cannot leave during the day with Alaska Airlines. Overnight flights are no good!)
Three trips ago we had the opportunity to go to the huge flee market at the stadium. Touristy-shopping?! Yes please =) Every year I've seen strands of twinkle lights with the hibiscus flowers. And despite my drool over them I have never convinced myself to fork over money to buy them. But I did buy some leis last year and this year I have finally finished my own strand of lei-lights =)
They were super easy to make and I think they took me less than an hour to put together. I had to disassemble the leis, and then glue them on to my strand of lights. I had a set of orange LED's that I got in my stocking at Christmas that I thought would be perfect. (They are battery operated which is handy for placement in my Hawaiian bathroom since I only have 1 outlet. I think my mom got my strand at Fred Meyers in Anchorage but I've seen similar at Hobby Lobby and I've bought a set myself on Amazon.)
1) Collect all your tools/items; mat to work on (or table), hot glue gun and extra glue, scissors, leis, lights, batteries.
2) Carefully cut the thread holding your lei together and pull off flowers according to how many bulbs you need to cover.
3) Small dot of glue and then slide the petals from the tip of light down towards the cord. I used 3 different petals per light to give the flowers a fuller look.
While I love the finished product I wish the strand was a little longer - 15 lights didn't go very far. I can't decide where to put them in my bathroom - but above my window works for now!