Today, the vernal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere....Super moon and solar eclipse to boot! How weather and seasons determine our itinerary...

I took this photo a few minutes ago from our lanai.  Its been raining overnight and the waterfalls on the mountains are clearly visible.  What a beautiful site!
Weather and seasons hold a tremendous significance for us in our world travels.  Today, the first official day of spring is described as follows from the famous "Farmers Almanac" a reliable source of information used for the past over 200 years after its onset in 1792:    

"Astronomically speaking, the March equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox, and marks the start of the spring season.

In the Southern Hemisphere, this equinox is known as the autumnal, or fall, equinox and marks the start of the fall season; the vernal equinox for the Southern Hemisphere occurs in September.
The March equinox happens at the same moment across the world but is converted to local time. In 2015, it falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT, for example.

Meteorologically speaking, however, in the Northern Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1.

Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem because these dates can vary slightly each year."

On top of the vernal equinox is tonight's super moon, as quoted from website containing more information, EarthSky at this link:

"On March 20 – same date as the 2015 March equinox – the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee – moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Thus this moon is a supermoon – at the new phase – not visible in our sky, but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus this new supermoon swings right in front of the equinox sun on March 20, so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth. Follow the links below to learn more."

Total eclipse of the sun on November 11, 2012.  Image via NASA
Eclipse photo courtesy of NASA.
As we peruse upcoming options for various gaps in our schedule, seasons and their weather patterns are a tremendous factor in where we decide to go.  With our upcoming two years, most of which is currently scheduled, we've begun to contemplate how we'll fill a 67 day gap from June 26 to September 1, 2016.

As we inch closer to this gap which seemed so long away just a short time ago, we begin to start reviewing our options.  This is the gap between our two bookings in Bali, Indonesia for the house we wanted for four months total, in two increments of two months each, the maximum allowable time for a visa in that country.

This morning as the sun was attempting to peek out between the cloud cover.
Looking at a map as to where we could easily and quickly fly from Bali, there are numerous options at affordable fares.  However, weather is a factor. If we go back to Australia, we'd have to stay in the northern part of the continent to avoid the colder south with temperatures in the near freezing range, not appealing to us.

As much as we'd like to return to New Zealand to the south island, weather is definitely a consideration, when it tends to be cooler there most of the time based on its southern proximity.  
Enlarging this map, we can see our options are many but must also keep in mind that many of these locations are much further away than they appear.  Our hope is to stay within a four hour flight, comparable to staying within the continental US from one coast to another.

All of these factors weigh heavily as we contemplate our next bookings.  Any suggestions from our readers would be greatly appreciated, keeping in mind wherever we go we'd like to stay in one property and, prefer warm weather.  Feel free to email or post a comment or suggestion at the end of today's post. 


Julie had the triple crab cake sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread.
Julie leaves tonight.  We've so enjoyed the time together for the three of us and for she and I alone, sisters sharing great memories, private thoughts and hopes and dreams, as sister often do.  I'm truly blessed to have my two sisters.  As the one in the middle, Julie eight years younger than I and Susan, four years older, we've always stayed in close touch and have been there for one another.


Yesterday, Julie and I had a delicious lunch at the Princeville Westin. This was my bacon burger which included a small side salad.
Tom and I will settle back into our easy pleasant lifestyle filled with social activities (more tomorrow night), sightseeing, visits to the club and hanging out frequently with our dear friend Richard, our personal social director.

We still have many photos yet to share of my tours with Julie over this past eight days.  Please check back for more.

Have a rewarding weekend beginning on this first day of spring.
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Photo from one year ago today, March 20, 2014:

We still laugh over our faux pas.  On our way out to lunch we approached the guard at this interesting building asking if we could look inside.  The guards said, "No Madam, this is the palace of the king."  For details from this date, please click here.

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