Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I was trying hard to be a good blogger, I really was.  Then my Mom asked me if I wanted to go to Moab with her and my Dad.  So yeah, we left for 4 days.  We had a blast.  But let me back up a bit.
My Dad got home from Afghanistan about 10 days ago.  We were so excited to see him.  I cried (and it reminded me we still have 4 months until my brother is out of harm's way.  It seriously cannot come fast enough).  Here's some pictures of our reunion:
Waiting patiently....
My niece sees him!

So a few days later my Dad wanted to go down to Moab to ride his dirt bike on some trails.  Thus leaving my mom back at the hotel.  So she asked me and the kids to go and keep her company.  We had lots of fun.  Moab is such an awesome town, I love it--and they put in a new (to me) pool and aquatic center.  It was hands down the kids' favorite thing.
And the morning runs were my favorite thing:
We also made a stop at Arches on the way home, and my kids hiked the Upper Viewpoint to Delicate Arch.  I was so proud!  They kicked butt.  (Delicate Arch is top middle in the below picture)  Next time I hope the kids are older so I can take them all the way to it.
Double Arch
And finally, what happens when a toddler gets a hold of lipstick:
Thanks to my parents for including us, it was a great getaway.
I still want to finish detailing my Hawaii trip, so that is coming up.  Aren't you so excited?  It's the never ending travelogue. :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation: Day 4

I think Day 4 was when we were finally feeling the speed of the trip catch up with us. (seriously, how old am i???) It was also the day I was a complete idiot.  More on that later.  We started out in Kailua which is on the east side of the island.  The drive to Kailua alone is amazing--those mountains are massive and so cool.
The beach is a bit windy, but gorgeous, and we barely got the last parking spot.  White sand and clear blue water, it was awesome.  We applied sunscreen as usual and here is the part where I am a complete idiot.  I didn't apply anything to my, yeah.  I had a lot of fun swimming and playing in the sand like a little kid.

Then we headed to a hike called Maunawili Falls.  It is not a very well marked trail (to drive there or on the hike) so that is probably one of the things that made me nervous.  If there hadn't been experienced people on the trail we would've had no idea which way to go in some spots.  Besides that it is a beautiful hike--you feel like you are deep in the jungle.  At least it's beautiful until you get there and some lady blows cigarette smoke at you.  Arg.  That was gross.  Then we went into the falls and saw/smelled the people smoking weed.  Lovely.  For awhile there I felt like I had been planted into the teenager hangout of the island and I sooo did not fit in.  I felt really old (again, what's up with me feeling old?  I am not liking this pattern). Moving on, the falls are pretty cool but that water was FR-EEZING.  We watched people jump for awhile and I was going to do it but chickened out.  Next time I swear I will do it! Because I've decided there will be a next time.
The falls look tiny in the below pic, but they are bigger than they look.

Here is when my face started to feel like it had peeled off.  And I looked like a freakin leather suitcase.  It hurt.  
We drove back over to Honolulu and stopped for dinner at Nico's at Pier 38.  This place was delicious and of all the places I ate, I recommend this one the most.  It is right on the pier and almost all of the food is fresh wild Hawaiian caught fish.  I had fish tacos and passion fruit cheesecake for dessert, and my hubby got fish and chips.  It was all outstanding.

That's pretty much it for Day 4!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Little Scholar

We interrupt this ridiculously long trip updating to bring you photos of my baby girl.  She started preschool this week and we did some photos to celebrate.  Huge thanks to my friend Laura who took most of them, even though for some reason every time we tried to get baby girl to smile she gave us this weird full lipped pout.  I have no idea where that came from.

Preschool is going great by the way.  We are both ready for this transition.  No tears from this mama and never has a child been so excited to attend school.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation: Day 3

Day 3 was kind of a bust as far as beaches go.  (But we were in Hawaii!!  With no kids! So it's ok! Yes, this was my thought process the entire week.)  My hubby had heard about a place called Electric Beach so we decided to try it out.  Basically there is a power plant located nearby and it flows out clean warm water into the ocean through two giant pipes.  The water is supposedly quite a few degrees warmer than the rest of the water, and thus it attracts lots of sea life.  But we got there and it just looked a bit too advanced for us.  Too many waves for snorkeling for me so we decided to head down to Ko Olina Beach Park.  There are 4 man made lagoons in this area (Disney's Aulani is located on the third one--that place looks amazing!) and we hit the last one where the beach park is.  But it was LAAAAME and really small.  Every person in the water was doing their morning workout. My hubby got in and tried to snorkel but he kept getting in the way of everyone swimming or walking laps. It was kind of comical actually. :)  So we decided to go clear back up to Haleiwa and checked out the town and beaches.  We stopped at one beach park there and discovered it is very much for surfing--and thus, not really what we were going for.  But I loved the town and it felt very authentically "Hawaiian" to me, and very much like a locals hangout.
Still beautiful of course!  We watched the surfers for awhile then decided to go eat lunch at a place called Storto's, a local sandwich shop.
I loved the bread and the papaya dressing. We decided next to completely shift gears and headed to the Pearl Harbor monument.  It's always a neat experience and very moving.  
(I promise we really did take it seriously.)

Not sure why I look like an oompa loompa...

Did you know that the USS Arizona still leaks oil?

An actual anchor from the USS Arizona (I think that's where it was from but I could be wrong):
Sweet submarine:
While we were waiting for the ferry to take us over to the USS Arizona Memorial, we called the kids.  It was our first phone call and hearing my two year old say "wuv you" got me quite choked up.  It was really weird.  It had been almost 3 days and we would have to remind ourselves about the kids.  We would literally go hours without even thinking about them.  Is that bad?  I tried not to feel guilt about it and just chalked it up to the fact that I was having fun and knew that they were fine, but it was so weird to not even think about them for so long.
Next I wanted to work up a bit of a sweat so we headed to Diamond Head Crater.  It is a short hike (only 1.6 miles round trip) but it is straight up hill at the end and can get a bit intense.  I was quite proud of myself because I only got winded the last staircase.  I have running to thank for my endurance and stamina. :)  Anyway, my hubby complained almost the whole time but he did it!  And it was hard!  So I was proud of him.  The view is spectacular, one of the best on the island.  So worth the horrible staircases.
Three cheers for no makeup!

We made it!

We were pretty exhausted by the time we got down, so we drove in circles on Waikiki trying to find a place to eat, finally settling on the Hula Grill at another Outrigger Hotel.  I got fish tacos and pineapple soda and they were pretty good.  After dinner we walked along the beach with the sun down and my hubby bought me a lei.  It was very sweet and romantic and another great day.
Not the greatest photo of Waikiki at night, but not bad for a cell phone pic.