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Pearl Harbor- Commemorating 75 Years Jun 18
Arizona Memorial

Arizona Memorial

Many Americans are not even aware that 2016 marks the milestone 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and that currently there are only five Pearl Harbor survivors living today. In honor of this milestone anniversary Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige established a 75th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor Committee, composed of government and military officials and Hawaii business leaders to design events with global outreach.

As a proud military mom I feel a responsibility to show respect to the five remaining survivors and to the entire United States Military who lost so many brave souls that fateful day. For the first time these special anniversary events will extend beyond Pearl Harbor’s historical sites to Waikiki, the National Cemetery of the Pacific and the Aloha Stadium. In Waikiki, military-themed movies will be shown on Waikiki Beach, beachfront and under the stars, ticketed Gala events and a concert at Aloha Stadium.

Even if you are not able to travel to the island of O’ahu this year to celebrate in person, there are many ways you can support the survivors by visiting the official website  www.pearlharbor75.com and if you are active on social media platforms be sure and use the hashtag #pearlharbor75  as you share family stories of those that served during that time.The 11-day schedule of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day events will be added overtime, updates to schedules and other important information will be updated on that official site. Many of these special events will have capacity control restrictions so the time to book your trip to attend these special events is now before everything is sold out. Also be advised that many of the events will be simulcast globally by satellite for those that cannot attend in person.

I would like to give a personal shout out to the marching bands in four Burke County High Schools :

that have come together to participate in the celebration-the band directors, students, parents and community coming together to help each student raise the approximate $2500 per student travel expenses for this once in a lifetime experience. (An additional shout out to East Burke’s band for also traveling to Normandy to take part in the 70th commemoration of D-Day) which fits into the vision of the Burke County Public School System “vision of inspiring students to be life-long learners who can compete successfully on the global stage”- according to BCPS Superintendent Larry Putnam. You can also check out their Facebook Page  EBHS Bands to 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor ** All students and chaperones are expected to cover their own travel expenses, so many fundraisers have been held and BCPS has created an account for contributions from the community – all donations sent directly to BCPS will be divided among the four schools to help defer the cost of the trip.

Join into the celebration theme of “Honoring the Past,Inspiring the Future” in anyway that you can !

To get started booking your trip to O’ahu contact Linda Dancer  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331   or  email   linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

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Mele Kalikimaka Dec 25
         Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers and loyal clients Merry Christmas today- and as they say in the Hawaiian Islands Mele Kalikimaka !

Linda Dancer – Hawaiian Islands Master Agent

Linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

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Dining in Lahaina Town Jun 06

Lahaina is certainly one area that you will visit during your stay  on the island of Maui.  So many wonderful dining opportunities  are available, these are a few of my favorites :

Lahaina Grill

Located 127 Lahainaluna Road , Lahaina      (808) 667-5117

Open nightly from 530pm – Voted best Maui Restaurant 21 years in a row (1994-2014)  by the Honolulu Magazine Readers poll – featuring innovative New American cuisine, Lahaina Grill uses techniques and flavors from around the world,all blended with the freshest ingredients cultivated by Maui’s local farms, dairies and local waters.

Betty’s Beach Café

Located in The Shops at  505 /  505 Front Street , Lahaina  (808) 662-0300

Features tasty island treats for breakfast, lunch and dinner – 8:00am – 10:00pm

Cheese Burger in Paradise

811 Front Street , Lahaina    Open  800am – 1000pm

Serving Breakfast, lunch and  dinner –  I don’t cheat very often, but it so hard to resist their burgers and fries for sure

Pacific ‘ O  

Located 505 Front Street #114  Lahaina –   beautiful ocean front dining   (808) 667- 4341

For over 20 years Pacific ‘ O has been bringing a fine dining farm to table experience to Lahaina

Chef Anton Haines – continues to amaze with  his contemporary twist to the menu utilizing the freshest ingredients from local farms and the sea.

Aloha Mixed Plate

1285 Front Street, Lahaina  (808) 661-3322

Features dishes influence by the diverse ethnic groups that call Hawai’i home.

Food served on a paper plate has never tasted better – Salads, Mixed Plates, Noodles , Burgers and Sandwiches

Breakfast , Lunch and Dinner served daily

Feast at LeLe

LeLe the ancient name for Lahaina – is the home of  Feast at LeLe oceanfront Luau

505 Front Street –  www.feastatlele.com

 

I hope you enjoy visiting some of my favorite restaurants on Maui. 

Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email:  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Focus on the Journey – not the Diagnosis Oct 04

God's Got This

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month as most of you know, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words about my personal entry into the army of pink.
As a professional travel agent planning countless special anniversary trips, honeymoons and destination weddings, I had often thought about my  25th wedding anniversary this year on October 1st. I began the New Year by getting organized, social media calender filled out, other advertising and travel schedule laid out and then during my normal annual mammogram my world got rocked. I was diagosed with breast cancer and I immediately began to think about how this diagnosis would affect my husband and son and those around me. After many doctors appointments, second opinions and lots of prayer, my treatment plan was in place.
I chose to think of this as a journey, around each curve in the road another surgery or treatment, but just beyond the support and prayers of my family, friends and wonderful clients cheering me on. Never underestimate the power of a smile, a card, a text or prayer. I will never forget as I sat at Duke Hospital, waiting to see the doctor for a second opinion, receiving encouraging emails from my friend Neal, he will never know how much that meant. Countless others have done the same, and I thank them all. But then the dreaded chemo, you hear so many horror stories about what others have gone through, but  Dr. David Eagle and the staff at Lake Norman Oncology have been such a blessing to my husband and I.  Those that read this post know that normally I have a head full of beautiful blonde hair, but as usually happens when one has taxol as part of their treatment, you loose your hair, I did loose my beautiful blonde hair, but am happy to report it is coming back, by God’s grace alone I was able to go without my wig that I purchased and I found it opened the opportunity to share with folks, gave them an outlet to share what they personally or someone they know is going through. Today, I have my final radiation treatment, the staff at the Oncology Radiation Unit at Catawba Valley Medical Center have been amazing through this whole process.
I know those of you that read my post on Friday, expect a post on something fun to do with Hawaii or Travel, but I wanted to take this opportunity to offer a word of hope and encourgement to someone that will face the same diagnosis as I.  Please choose to focus on the journey and not the diagnosis, the doctors all told me I would not be able to go to the gym to workout, that I would be too tired, but I chose to continue going my normal 3 days a week , and it has helped me mentally to stay strong, you just have to tweak what you would normally do, they told me I would be sick, they were correct but I chose to stay strong and keep going, I have learned from many that have gone through this before about new products that help, and have tried them all and amazingly they did work.
 But the biggest blessing of all, is my friend sending me a simple button that says God’s Got This, I had to order more and have been blessed by giving them away to those needing a little bit of hope.
I hope that should you ever find yourself facing this situation that you are able to focus on the journey and not the diagnosis, to choose to share hope and inspiration to those that watch you go through the journey, it helps you go through the process easier.
Until next time,
Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line 828-256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Hawai’i Island – Outdoor Science Classroom Feb 28

Oceanography

Visitors have always been drawn to Hawai’i (The Big Island) because  of world class resorts, championship golf courses, big game  fishing , waterfalls and so much more, but many do not realize the island is also an amazing outdoor science classroom. Hawai’i Island has something amazing around every bend in the road with science adventures in the areas of Oceanography/Marine Science, Volcanoes and Volcanology, Astronomy, Geography/Biology/Natural History, Aquaculture/Agriculture and Renewable Energy Resources.  Regardless of where you are staying on the island  there are a multitude of places to visit, coded maps to help you locate some of the sites and there are several tour operators that specialize in these areas of exploration as well. Easy access to many of these areas of interest  would make this a wonderful island for families to make their family vacation a wonderful opportunity to learn,so much more exciting than a school class room. Nothing compares to seeing the steam escaping from a volcano, going down into a lava tube and seeing the turtles swimming in a tide pool. The Manta Ray Experience  by far is one of the unique experiences of my life.Dolphin Quest program at the Hilton Waikokoa Village Resort gives visitors the opportunity to interact with dolphins through several programs led by marine mammal experts.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Most people have seen a fiery eruption or red hot lava flow from at least Kilauea, even if just on The Weather Channel,  but Volcanoes National Park actually features two of the world’s most active volcanoes Kilauea and Maunaloa. Within the 500 square mile park visitors  can see the process of volcanoes over the last 70 million years,calderas, pit craters,cinder cones,dried lava lakes,sulfurous cracks and fissures,lava tubes (Thurston being the most famous). Home to the legendary Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Visitors will enjoy their visit to the park so much more if they take time to visit the Visitor’s Center first for a quick course in geology, natural history, park layout and safety.You will want to also visit the Observatory, Jaggar Museum perched on Kilauea Crater, and the Thurston Lava Tube, all located on the 11 mile Crater Rim Drive. The park is so big you’ll want to drive but be sure and get out along the way and hike some of the 150 miles of marked trails — Park rangers will also advise you if any active lava flows are accessible during your visit. For the latest eruption updates and geneal park info www.nps.gov/havo or call (808) 985-6000.

Fish Ponds

Aquaculture  and agriculture have always been an important part in the live of native Hawaiians, especially ancient Hawaiian Fishponds such as those at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Kaloko Honokohau National Park and the recently renovated Keauhou Resort Heiau project are great examples of fishponds. There are also several land-based farms  that are so interesting  such  as Hawaii Vanilla, Kona Coffee Farms,Hamakua  Mushrooms and the festive Hilo Farmers Market  is one of the best open markets in Hawai’i where you can sample and purchase wonderful fresh local produce, fresh flowers for your room during your visit, have a fresh fruit smoothie or purchase hand crafted items. Hawai’i AgVentures operated by the Big Island Farm Bureau offers a variety of family farm tours. If you are into Renewable Energy Resources  you might want to visit Kahua Ranch in North Kahala in addition to other tours they also provide their own power with wind turbines  or you can contact them  (808) 882-4646. Being blessed with lots of sunshine and strong trade winds Hawai’i Island has the potential to be an international showcase for alternative renewable energy resource exploration.

Maunakea

Polynesians  used the stars to guide their voyages around the Pacific  and ultimately to discover the Hawaiian Islands, so how fitting that Astronomy would also be such an important part of the opportunities of discovery available on Hawai’i Island. Located 13,796 feet high on the summit of Maunakea, you will find 13 astronomical observatories and is considered the world’s best observing site. Beginning with the first telescope in 1968, several groundbreaking discoveries have been made from the various telescopes, there are are more in the plans to be added in the future,making this the home of some of the largest telescopes in the world. For sure a visit to the summit would be a highlight of your visit to Hawai’i Island – I suggest you take a tour such as Mauna Kea Summit Adventures  or Hawai’i Forest & Trail as the weather conditions can be unpredictable and severe.  ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i   in Hilo  is another wonderful opportunity to learn about the 13 observatories located on Maunakea plus a full-dome, state of the art planetarium, plus 3-D presentations of data collected from the Subaru Telescope – plus several unique experiences that tie Native Hawaiian Culture and lanuguage to today’s astronomical discoveries. Located at the University of Hawai’i Hilo Science and Technology Park   www.imiloahawaii.org     contact them (808) 969-9700 , also  a wonderful cafe and gift shop.

For more information on booking your Hawai’i Island Vacation  or any of the tours mentioned in this blog post:

Contact Linda Dancer Hawaii Master Destination Specialist    Toll Free   1-888-811-1888 est 331

Direct Line (828) 256-1520 or by Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

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Hawaii Island Retreat Feb 01

Hawaii Island Retreat

Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho’omaluhia  on  Hawaii Island, The Big Island is a magical boutique hotel and spa where guests are invited to quiet their minds, enliven their senses and awaken their spirits. Located oceanfront  on the North Kohala Coast there is a feeling of peacefulness that provides a sanctuary  from the world that resides just past the resort gates. A retreat where guests come to immerse themselves in physical and spiritual journeys, where individuals and groups find peace, joy, a sense of connectedness within themselves, with the beautiful nature around them and with the other guests.
Activities such as yoga and conscious movement classes are offered in the spacious yoga studio overlooking the ocean, meditation classes are held in the garden sanctuaries, culinary & farm to table organic cooking and gardening classes, nature hikes through 50 acres of luscious fields, gardens and tropical forests  and many others are available for guest of the retreat.
Outdoor Massage Pavillions

Maluhia Spa at Hawaii Island Retreat  seeks to magnify and support the natural healing that being in nature supplies through a menu of Hawaiian and other holistic treatments and massages, many treatments in outdoor pavilions as shown here. Liberating spa treatments  provide cleansing, soothing and detoxifying. Heavenly spa treatments find harmony and balance and also offer couples massages, transforming spa treatments  renew body, mind and spirit.  Facials and other speciality  treatments such as milk and honey baths, aromatherapy baths,tropical flower baths , seaweed and sea salt baths are also offered at the spa.

Guests of Hawaii Island Retreat  will find all the amenities of a fine boutique hotel with lush warm furnishings, and rooms in a variety of calming  color schemes, luxurious baths with over sized soaking tubs  overlooking the ocean, natural forests and gardens.

Wonderful venue for an intimate wedding, a complete buyout of the resort  would give you endless possibilities for activities and locations for dining, rehearsal and reception  as well as group activities .

Salt purified infinity pool

Hawaii Island Retreat is a sustainable, green and eco-friendly wellness retreat  so next time you feel that you need to get off the hamster wheel of life and collect your thoughts and catch your breath, Hawaii Island Retreat would be an excellent choice.

I invite you to find the tranquility you seek  overlooking the ocean, in the gardens and sitting amongst the ancient healing stones.

A short drive from the resort  you will find the towns of Kapa’au and Hawi where you will find many artists villages, shops, cafes and historical sites.

 54-250 Maluhia, North Kohala Coast, Hawaii Island 

Info@hawaiiislandretreat.com    Phone  (808) 889-6336  

Contact  Linda Dancer  Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com    Phone (828) 256 1520

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Waimea Valley Sep 15
not your average lilly pads

World Class Botanical Gardens

Waimea Valley plays a rich and culturally significant place in O’ahu history. Each island has a section referred to as Waimea(Hawaiian word meaning reddish water,caused by runoff from red volcanic soil rich in iron oxide)so don’t be confused when you hear the reference to Waimea on individual islands.
Waimea Valley on O’ahu historically was the home to and was ruled by a long line of Ali’i Nui(kings), Ali’i(Chiefs) and Kahuna Nui(High Priests). The last Kahuna Nui to reside in Waimea Valley was Hewahewa, the High Priest from the Island of Hawai’i.  From the moment you enter the valley, you can feel you have arrived at a special place. From the towering trees that stand guard over the entrance, to beautiful lilly ponds  that line the way as you start the 3/4 mile hike up to Waimea Falls there is beauty everywhere. Despite the valley going through many changes over the years, the mana(life force, essence) still remains and the urge to protect this important ahupua’a(Hawaiian land division that extends from the mountains to the sea) is the mission of the Stewards and Staff of Hi’ipaka LLC.
How about a dip in a cool waterfall pool ? 

Waimea Falls

A special treat  for those that choose to take the 3/4 mile  approximate 30 minute walk up to Waimea Falls, the pleasure of taking a dip in the cool pond that forms below Waimea Falls. For those that can’t walk up on their own, there is also a shuttle that can take you up to the falls.  The size of the falls will be determined by recent rainfall on the island overall, but still an exhilarating experience. Life guards and some water toys available to assist visitors. Great photo op for  honeymooners under the waterfall for sure.

 

Why visit Waimea Valley? What is there to do ?

Waimea Valley offers  Cultural Tours and Events – Educational Programs- Guided Hikes (well worth the cost) -On going conservation- Volunteer opportunities -Special events such as WEDDINGS -Facility rentals for special events- on line gift shop-Moonwalks-Plant Sales- and Workshops(check on line for schedule) a lovely cafe with salads, wraps  and so forth  and treat yourself to a mango smoothie.

Waimea Valley- Daily from 9:00am-5:00pm (Closed Thanksgiving,Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)

Located:   59-864 Kamehameha Highway , Hale’iwa, Hawai’i 96712    Phone (808) 638 7766        Website www.Waimeavalley.net

For more information on this and other O’ahu activities  contact Linda Dancer      linda@honeymoonsinc.com   Direct Line  828-256-1520

 

  Don’t forget the best way to enjoy your stay on the islands is to get out and Explore !  

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Walking tour of Honolulu’s Chinatown Jul 10

Looking for something different to do while visiting Oahu?  How about taking a walking tour of Honolulu’s Chinatown.  Just minutes  from Waikiki, so much culture and diversity. The tour takes  one to two hours  depending upon how much time you spend browsing and  best done during day light hours.

Walking Tour of Chinatown

Look Funn Factory

Walking tour of Chinatown

Walking Tour of Chinatown

 

The earliest origins of Chinese laborers  from the Guangdong Province  to Oahu  is in the 1850’s, where catching on quickly, they figured out they would earn more money by setting up small shops and restaurants than they could ever earn working in the fields and so Honolulu’s  Chinatown was born. However, tragedy struck Chinatown with fire once in 1886 and again in 1900. The determined merchants built a new Chinatown in the same spot and were rewarded in the 1930’s when visitors to Oahu arrived by ship, and being close to the pier  many visitors  visited their shops and restaurants. Likewise, during the 1940’s  military personnel  on leave flocked to the shops  to pickup something exotic to take home with them.

After several years of deteriorating conditions and neglect,  Chinatown  has once again emerged with intense urban renewal projects (some of the more colorful activities such as a couple topless bars are still there)  but primarily when you visit Chinatown today, you will find a great mix of Asian cultures, sights, sounds and smells to tease the senses  and a great way to get out and about and talk story with the locals.

I had the awesome  opportunity to be on a tour  by  Chef Chai  Chaowasaree  the owner of Chai’s Island Bistro. He is so informative about choosing  fresh fruits, vegetable and seafood, no wonder that everything on the menu at his restaurants taste so wonderful. Do yourself and favor and make having dinner at Chai’s Island Bistro a must.  Check out the entertainment schedule on his website, Danny Couch  preforms most Saturday nights.

Linda Dancer at Chai's Island Bistro

Chef Chai Chaowasaree

Chef Chai

 

The best way to enjoy any of the Hawaiian islands is to get out and explore, and no visit to Oahu  is complete without a visit to this historic and exotic district.

Chai’s Island Bistro – Innovative Pacific Rim Cuisine   
(808) 585-0011
Email  Chai@chaisislandbistro.com
Website   www.chaisislandbistro.com
Also if  you are having a destination wedding , Chai also catering , and would be a wonderful choice .

For more information on walking tours of Chinatown  or other information about the island of Oahu , contact  Linda Dancer  Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com , direct line (828) 256 1520   or website  www.honeymoonsinc.com

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Another Best for MAUI Mar 26

Ingenious way to encourage recycling

Ka'ohu Farms invites you to recycle

 

 

Surfboard Fence

Best Recycling Project :

Just ask anyone who has ever visited  Maui and they will tell you why it is little wonder that Maui has been voted the  “Best Island”  by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for seventeen years in a row.  No one could argue that there are  beautiful beaches and incredible natural scenery, but on my recent  drive along   HWY  36 – the famous Road to Hana, I think  I have discovered a new category and reason  why  Maui is the best . The best on going recycling project.

The Road to Hana is a Fifty-two mile two lane road with over 200 hairpin turns crossing over more than  fifty bridges – Removed from the rest of Maui  but so worth the drive – I suggest you allow a full day to make this trip  so you do not miss any of the special stops along the way such as a photo op  at  Ka’ohu Farms on Kaupakalua Road -one of Maui’s most famous landmarks . I have heard that images of this whimsical surfboard fence hang on the walls of  art galleries and have been featured over the years on the pages of many magazines.  He has also been featured in  The Maui News , in an article by  Lehia Apana Staff Writer , www.themauinews.com , I have posted this full article on my facebook page for your enjoyment.

Ka’ohu Farms  is the passion of  Haiku resident   Donald “DJ” Dettloff , we all just get to enjoy the fruits of his labor.I am so glad  he cared enough to give other peoples  junk surfboards new life in such a unique way.

Do yourself a favor and get out and explore the islands you never know what you will find when you dare to get off the beaten path-  if you need some assistance planning your trip – Just email  me   linda@honeymoonsinc.com    and we will get started planning your unique trip to Maui . Read the full article on the Maui Surfboard Fence on my facebook page www.facebook.com/linda.dancer

 

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Relaxation found in activity Mar 09

Many people find relaxation through trying new activities – The Hawaiian Islands  offer so  much more to visitors than just beautiful resorts with incredible pools, amenities and beaches. To truly unlock the magic of all that is Hawaii you have to get out and explore. Regardless of your interest or physical abililities, Hawaii has something special for you. The best way to discover local culture, natural beauty and Hawaiian traditions  is to take advantage of the safety and security found in Hawaii and try something new.  Aloha Spirit  is found on all six islands and each unique island offers many opportunities for you to find your relaxation through trying a variety of activities.

Some of my favorites are :

Watersports such as scuba , ocean kayaks and  stand up paddle boarding:

Snuba - Combination of snorkeling and scuba

Stand up paddle boarding

Ocean Kayaks

 

Eco- Adventures  such as  horseback riding ,  hiking through rainforest and  zip lines are just a few of the options available in Hawaii 

Horseback riding on Kauai

Zipline on Maui with Kapalua Adventures

Hiking through the Rainforest on Oahu

 

Explore by  Rental Car   or  organized tour  , bicycle   or  from the air: 

Valley Isle Excursions - Road to Hana Tour

Seaplane Tours over Oahu

Oahu Bike Downhill with Bike Hawaii

 

Valley Isle Excursions – a wonderful way to  explore the road to Hana  www.tourmaui.com  , enjoy this breathtaking drive through 52 miles,617 curves and 56 one lane bridges

Bike Hawaii – Rainforest to the Reef –    Explore  Oahu  with this team of  professional nature guides   at  www.bikehawaii.com  – explore remote areas of  Oahu that most visitors never see.

Princeville Ranch Stables – Ride through beautiful pastures, hike through the rainforest  to a  private  waterfall and if you are brave enough take a dip in the simming hole below   www.princevilleranch.com

Kapalua Adventures  – operating over two miles of ziplines and  a  360 foot  suspension bridge  – truly a one of a kind experience   www.gozipmaui.com

Island Seaplane Tours  – Helicopter tours  are great , but this is such a unique experience  – bird’s eye view of Diamond Head, Waikiki and Pearl Harbor  www.islandseaplane.com

Kayak  and stand up paddle boarding  lessons are just two of the many activities  that  Kayak Kauai  can assist you with on Kauai  www.kayakkauai.com

For assistance for booking these tours or any of the countless ofther activites in Hawaii  email  me  linda@honeymoonsinc.com   or give me a call 1-888-811-1888 ext 331.

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