Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Late but Safe Arrival in Guatemala

On the 28th of June 2010, Mike and Melissa Harrington safely arrived in Guatemala city. The couple spent some unexpected time in Dallas-Ft. Worth due to some heavy rains, but were fortunate enough to board a plane at about 7 pm CDT (Central Daylight Time) arriving in Guatemala City at about 9:30 pm CST (Central Standard Time), the equivelent of MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)

More on their adventures is to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Language lessons for an American in Seoul - CSMonitor.com

From a well known news publisher comes this sweet and insipiring story of an English Teacher in South Korea. We here at The Harrington Times look forward to sharing similar experiences and more of Mike and Melissa Harrington.

Language lessons for an American in Seoul - CSMonitor.com

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Book for Doris

Less than a week from today, Mike and Melissa Harrington will have the great honor and pleasure of meeting the eight year old girl they sponsor through World Vision. In anticipation for this meeting the Harrington's wanted to prepare a special gift for Doris. With the help of the Sunday School class of Emmaus Road, the Harrington's made a special bi-lingual counting book for Doris. Each page has a hand drawn picture and numbers 1-10 in Spanish and English. Mike and Melissa are anxious to hand their book to Doris on June 29th and look forward to sharing the emotions of that experience with each of their readers in the weeks to come.

Mike working on the #8

The pages of the book!

The group of kiddos who helped make the book.

Five Days 'Til Take-Off

For the Harrington's, a year has dwindled to months, months have dwindled to weeks and weeks have now dwindled to days. The most recent days have included moments of elation and excitment, preceeded or followed by fear and frustration.

Anticipation. Happiness. Anxiety. Fear. Nerves. Wonder. Amazement. Humility. Faith. Hope. Heartache. Love. Compassion. Loneliness. Sadness.
A glimpse of the emotions bombarding the Harrington hearts and minds these last days. Fortunately, the Harrington's are not the first to travel the world, nor the only traveller's in the family and they therefore have much to learn from these other sojourner's. One traveller is Mike's cousin Julianna who is conducting reasearch throughout the continent of Africa. She too is a blogger and recently posted her emotions regarding leaving and arriving which can be read in full here. However, it was the end quote/prayer that Melissa Harrington clung to and found the greatest peace in reading. We here at The Harrington Time's send forth the couple with those same words:

Blessed are You, Lord our God,
For You have created a wide and wonderful world in which we can travel.

We ask Your blessings upon Mike and Melissa as they are about to leave on a trip.
May You, Hold Guide of Travelers, be their ever-near companion,
spreading the road before them with beauty and adventure.
Free that road from harm and evil,
and send as their escorts Your holy spirits, Your angelic messengers, who accompanied the holy ones of days past.

On this journey, may they take with them as part of their traveling equipment
a heart wrapped in wonder with which to rejoice in all they shall meet.

Along with that clothing of wonder, may they have room in their luggage for a mystic map.
With the aid of this map, may they read the invisible meanings of the events of this journey
—of possible disappointments and delays, of possible breakdowns and rainy day troubles.
Always awake to Your sacred Presence and to Your divine compassionate love,
they shall see in all that happens, in the beautiful and the bad, the mystery of Your holy plan.

May the blessing of God be upon you throughout this trip; may it shield you from all harm and bring you home again in safety and in peace.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stories from the Couch: June 3, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010 Mike and Melissa Harrington along with three friends enjoyed a day exploring the North Shore of Oahu. Hiking and exploring the Wai'mae Valley, eating fresh Shrimp Scampi from a shrimp shack and spending time on the beach and in the ocean Boogie Boarding left the group of Wyomingites ready for an evening of great food and an opportunity to meet new people. At 6:30 that opportunity arrived. Making their way into town, the Harrington's stopped at Pizza Bob's and awaited Heather and Andy, an adventerous couple living on Oahu and fully in touch with good deals on the island.

Had it not been for CouchSurfers Heather and Andy, the Harrington's and friends would not have known that Pizza Bob's was the place for dinner and a beverage on a Thursday evening. Thursday at the restuarant is three dollar night, meaning three dollar pizza slices and three dollar draft beers or mai tais, a deal to make all other deals tremble.

Therefore, it was over pizza and mai tais that the Harrington's and friends learned travelling secrets surrounding renting homes in foreign nations, starting random businesses and using skyscanner for superb deals on flights while travelling in Europe. Conversation was consistent and informative, leaving all attendees grateful for CouchSurfing and the opportunites available only through using CS as a primary means of travel.

Stories from the Couch: June 1, 2010

Brad and Nicole, Oahu

On June 1st, Mike and Melissa Harrington were able to meet up with a semi-local couple in Honolulu. Having lived in Hawaii for about two years, Brad and Nicole were able to offer some great insight and an exciting game of Settlers of Catan for the Harringtons and their CouchSurfing friends Mark Bartholomew and David and Katie Morton.

The Harrington's began the morning with Bartholomew and the Morton's by hiking up Diamond Head. Just under a mile, the hike was an enjoyable, yet windy, way to begin their first non-wedding related day on Oahu. Weather was perfect for hiking and the stairs just enough to get the blood pumping before enjoying an impressive view of Honolulu/Waikiki. Having taken in the sight and recognizing their tardiness the crew of 5 Wyoming CouchSurfers made their way down the crater and down the road to the Diamond Head Market and Grill.

Arriving at the Market and Grill, the Wyoming tourists met up with Brad and Nicole, making sure to apologize profusely for their tardiness. Apologies aside all CouchSurfers ordered a meal of rice, coleslaw and a variety of delcious marinated meats and vegetables; from chicken to ahi tuna to pork to portabella the meals were carried a few blocks down to a botanical garden where talk of travels and things to do on the island began. The visiting surfers learned the frequency with which Hawaii restaurants use styrofoam for food service, even for dining in as well as the friendliness of botanical garden pigeons.

Having finished a lovely hike and a delicious meal the crew of seven found themselves heading back to Brad and Nicoles to enjoy a game of mini-travel-Settler's of Catan, a pleasant surprise for the many Catan lovers in the group. All Wyomingites having lost the gam to the owner of the board an the apartment, a few group photos were taken before the Harrington's and friends made their way back into town for some meandering and beaching.

Top 10 Dining Experiences on Oahu

10. Pho 97 - Specializing in Vitanamese Pho, Mike and Melissa enjoyed giant bowls of noodles, beef (including tripe) for Melissa and seafood for Mike, green onions and bean sprouts while meandering through Chinatown on their final night in Oahu.

9. The Yard House - Knonw for having hundreds of brews on tap this was one of the first restaurants Mike and Melissa patronized with their friends Abram, Mark, David and Katie. The meal that highlighted the evening was the seared Ahi sandwhich paired with a number of delicious brews including one Beer Float for Mike Harrington.

8. Pizza Bob's - Not only was the pizza here delicious, on a Thursday night it was the most affordable meal the Harrington's enjoyed while on Oahu. Located on the North Shore, Pizza Bob's has some great nightly specials with Thursday being $3 night: $3 slices of pizza and $3 draft beers and Mai Tai's - a steal after paying $6 a pint at the Yard House.

7. Fresh Pineapple and Papaya - Why travel to a tropical island if not to enjoy the juicy, sweet, fresh fruit?

6. Diamond Head Grill and Market - This restaurant was recommended by a couple of CouchSurfers that Mike and Melissa had a chanc to meet up with after hiking Diamond Head. The meals were served in a typical plate lunch fashion, deliciously seasoned or marinated meats, rice and salad. Especially enjoyable when sipping on a Plantation Iced Tea (iced tea with pineapple juice). Also, the perfect meal after making your way to the top of Diamond Head Crater.

5. Phuket Thai - This was the location of the rehersal dinner and proivided such fabulous Thai dishes. Being a rehersal dinner, the Harrington's were able to enjoy a wide variety of appetizers and entrees without ever knowing their names, but enjoyed each bite immensely.

4. Ono's Hawaiian Food - The food of Hawaii, not the locals, but the Hawaiians. Pork Shoulder steamed in tarro leaves, Kalua Pork, creamy tarro root, rice and a delicious square of coconut pudding to finish out the meal. Not only is the food delicious but extremely affordable, a couple could easily eat here for $15 and enjoy each and every morsel.

3. Giovanni's Shrimp Shack - Recommended by the lifeguards of Wai'mae Valley, the Harrington's enjoyed consuming these 12 shrimp marinated in a wonderfully garlicky scampi marinade. With a fresh smoothie from a nearby shack the meal was complete, filling and scrumptous.
2. Waiola's Shaved Ice - One of Oahu's must-experience-destinations! Incredibly fine ice is espeically delicious served over ice cream, flavored as you wish and served with sweetened condensed milk on top is a fantastic afternoon pick me up after spending some time in the Hawaiian sun.

1. Leonard's Bakery - Malasadas. The Harrington's and Friends made multiple stops at this bakery for freshly fried and custard filled Malasadas. Perfectly creamy, warm, sweet and delicious. These donut like treats can quickly become addicting.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Wedding, Waikiki, and Waterfalls Only a Few of Oahu's Wondes

On Friday, May 28th, Mike and Melissa Harrington landed in Honolulu ready to experience the beauty and joy of a wedding and island life. After some trying days at their places of employment, the Harrington's were grateful for some time away and a vacation in paradise to kick off a year of travel. The island greeted Mike and Melissa with a light rain followed by perfectly sunny skies and constant island warmth.

Friday through Monday the two spent most of their time with the groom and occasionally the bride offering assistance and companionship prior to the wedding day. From Bachelor party to Malasadas, from running errands to lying on the beach, the Harrington's experienced a small whirlwind of wedding preparations and time zone/jet lag adjustments the first few days of living life on Oahu. Monday, May 31st, 2010 Mike and Melissa along with a handful of others were able to witness and enjoy the beautiful wedding ceremony of Mr. Abram Heller and Ms. Mallory Moye. Following the ceremony, Mike Harrington had the opportunity to offer an entertaining and meaningful speech in honor of his good friend Abram, he had guests and wedding party rolling in the aisles.

With the wedding behind them, the Harrington's set to exploring and experiencing Oahu with good friends Mark, David and Katie with guest appearances by the Harrington family. Through the course of the week the Harrington's enjoyed a hike up Diamond Head, a hike off of Pali lookout, an Oahu Adventure Tour of Manoa Falls (featured in Jurassic Park), afternoons on the beach, boogie boarding, Wai'mae Valley, the North Shore, meeting up with some Oahu CouchSurfers, Hanauma Bay Snorkeling and of course some really delicious food.

One highlight of the trip for the Harrington's was visiting the North Shore where the pace of life finally slowed down, the views were outstanding, the shrimp carts blentiful and the waves exciting. The Harrington's, along with Mark Bartholomew and David and Katie Morton enjoyed Thursday, June 3rd, driving past the pineapple fields and making their way into Wai'mae Valley. In the Valley, they all enjoyed the variety of tropical flowers and plants while casually making their way to the waterfall at the end of the trail. Here, all but Melissa, swam out to sit under the waterfall and be refreshed by the frigid water. Having worked up an appetite, the crew made their way to Giovanni's Shrimp Shack before continuing with an afternoon on the beach and some boogie boarding.

As is common for traveller's to these islands of Hawai'i, the Harrington's were not all to eager to board their plane but did so with fond memories of their first Oahu visit.

View from Diamond Head

Sunset on Waikiki Beach

Bamboo Forest - Manoa Falls Trail

Botanical Gardens of Wai'mae Valley

Waterfall of Wai'mae (in Lost, this is where they find the briefcase)


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