Monday, December 26, 2011

Little A rides her bike!

Today after a quick run in the park since the kids couldn't follow me on bikes since A still has training wheels...I decided to take matters into my own hands and take them off when we got home! Lickity split they were off and the whining and crying began. I sat her on her bike told her to pedal and ran behind her as she took off..still whining and crying. It took one and she had it down. We stayed out for about 30 minutes of practice and she continued to cry and whine about riding her bike. Hopefully this passes because she can ride her bike just fine. She is actually really good. I can't believe it took a matter of seconds for her to get it! I am so proud!! Just wish she would stop crying!!! AHHHHH

Here is the video. Please ignore my screechy voice and just pay attention to the awesomeness of Audrey riding her bike. The only thing that would make it better was if S had been here. But, Audrey did have a good portion of the neighborhood cheering her on and telling her how great and awesome she was!


Hawaiian Christmas!!!

I know...I still need to post Kauai day 2, but things have been crazy! Christmas has come and gone, and so has my husband. Away on a trip the day after the holiday means I don't get to go shopping for all those great deals. Not that that is a bad thing...saving money and all. So the kids and I are just hanging outplaying with new toys. But lets go back to Christmas Eve shall we...

Christmas Eve was full of crazy anticipation by all of us! S had been hiding presents at a friends house for me so that I wouldn't know what he bought me, so I was just as excited as the kids! This is the first year that we have really bought presents for each other, that we don't know about ahead of time. It was GREAT! We had yummychicken enchiladas for dinner (very christmasy I know), the kids made some reindeer food...popcorn, oatmeal, and cinnamon. We proceeded outside to make a landing pad for the reindeer since we don't have a chimney for them to land near. Roy the Elf sat guard over the cookies, apples (for reindeer) and milk until Santa came to pick him up, and off to bed the kids went. Faster you go to sleep the faster Santa comes. S and I stayed up and watched Elf and waited for Santa to stuff the stockings and put out gifts for the kids.

Christmas started out just as expected...beautiful outside, happy kids, coffee in the parents hand, and lots of presents from Santa under the tree. Big A got the Battleship game that he had been asking for and was over the moon because of it. Little A got her "beautiful" barbie...the wedding barbie. She was so excited and told me how beautiful she was. Santa even brought me a present! A super nice and shiny blue beach cruiser with a bell and basket! Yea now we can all ride our bikes to the beach and school. The squeals of excitement from the kids were contagious and everyone had a wonderful morning. We FaceTimed with MaeMae and Grandma Kelly so they good see the kids open presents. Sometimes technology is so cool. We continued the day by just hanging out and not doing much of anything until we headed over for dinner at our good friends house.

Our fantastic friends the Bakers invited us over for their block party Christmas dinner. I brought over a green bean casserole and a sweet potato pie. We had a smoked rib roast, ham, sweet potato casserole, 2 kinds of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and so many desserts we couldn't even try them all. It was a great meal with great people. We had to call it a bit earlier than usual so that S could get home and pack for his When we came home S also said good bye to our neighbor who is deploying for a year, since he won't be here when he leaves.

The night ended with sitting around watching tv and enjoying each others company. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and were able to spend it with those that they love. I promise to be back soon with the conclusion to Kauai!

Much Love!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kauai...Day 1 Airport to the North Shore to the Grand Hyatt.

KAUAI, the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands in my opinion. Steve and I flew (no Lauren, there are no bridges..still laughing my ass off about that one) the 19 minutesover to the Garden Isle for a little getaway. Steve's mom is here in town and she was nice enough to watch the kids for us, so we got to go by ourselves! The best part is we decided when to eat, sleep, wake up, and got to go anywhere we wanted without any whining! Epic WINNING!!!
We rode to the airport with our good friends the Bakers, as they were on their way to Maui. (Seriously poor planning on our part, not taking a vacation together). Weall enjoyed a wonderful airport breakfastof Starbucks and Burger King, and then went to our respective gates. Our flight left at 8:06 am with and arrival time in Lihue of 8:26....yep. A whopping 20 minute flight gate to gate. That is my kind of travel! I didn't even have time to read a magazine :)
We picked up our one bag...had to check it because of sunscreen, (which we didn't end up using) Oh well. We headed to the rental car counter. We ended up paying the extra $10 and upgrading to a Jeep with a hard top that we could remove. It was so much fun. Iam glad we waited to upgrade till we got to the counter. Online it was an extra $50 a day for the Jeep. We took to top off and headed out on our adventure, and this was all before 9:20 in the morning. This is amazing seeing that we have a hard time getting out of the house before 10 to do anything.
We were well on our way to getting this vacation done right!First stop, after one wrong turn was Wailua Falls. The weather was breezy and drizzy, but not enough to sway us to put the roof back on the Jeep, or to miss anything. We got out and walked around for a bit. You view the waterfall form an outlook and it was glorious! Not really sure how else to describe it. It looks like 2 waterfalls, but only when the water is low, otherwise it flows as one giant torrent of water. The book says the falls are 173 feet. I trust them...I have no reason not to! There were a bunch of people there because the cruise ship was in, and they were bused up there. This was the only place that we saw people from a cruise.
Which we found weird, because we stopped at every place the tour book said to!
Next after another wrong turn was 'Opaeka'a Falls. These are viewed from a platform quite far away from the actual falls. I guess they were impressive.

From here we continued up the road looking for the Kauai Hindu Monastery. After fording a stream (very Oregon Trail) and then fording it again when we realized we had passed it and had to turn around (notice a theme?) we finally found the Monastery, and we of course were unprepared. To keep with cultural custom
no shorts or tank tops are allowed. Well of course S had shorts on, and I was in capris. Thankfully the nice people supply you with sarongs to wrap around yourselves. S didn't bat an eye when I handed the sarong to him. What a trooper! The grounds were exquisite. So lush and green. You can pay (make a donation) for a tour if you call in advance and make a reservation. They only offer the tour once a week and the day varies depending on the Hindu calendar. Lucky for us, you are allowed to just wander around the grounds. So that is what we did. Not that we had any idea what we were looking at, other for what I could get out of the tour book. Which included this interesting tidbit:
"This temple is built entirely of hand-carved stones from India. Some stones take as long as 7 years to carve, and there are 4,000 of them."
We left the monastary pretty impressed with ourselves with how much we had done and our time. We decided to keep it going! We headed back on the road and up towards the North Shore. We stopped in Kilauea to view the lighthouse. This spot is the norther most point in the Hawaiian islands. Pretty cool I think. We have now been to the most southern point in the US (on the Big Island) and now the northern most
point of the islands! Go us. The lighthouse is also a bird sanctuary. S couldn't get enough of all the red footed boobies flying around...bwahahhahaha. I jest...but really. We paid the $5 a person
and walked down to the actual light house. The wind was whipping around and the waves hitting the cliffs were crazy. We left there and continued to drive north. We passed over many one lane bridges, properly following local etiquette (and traffic laws).

While driving we passed through the Hanalei Valley where much of the taro of the islands is grown. If you don't know...taro is a root that poi ismade out of, yep the stuff that tastes like wallpaper paste and is served at every luau. I personally like taro flavored frozen yogurt (had some tonight), but poi is nasty. But I digress. The valley is beautiful, you will have to trust me as I didn't get a picture. Along the way, S decided to pull over to a turn out because there were a ton of other cars pulled over and he wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. Turns out there is path down to a beach, so we took it. Plus we wanted to see this crazy old fool walking down with a boogie board try and go into the waves that were rocking the coast. Gotta love tourists! We goofed off down there for a while, S climbing rocks that huge waves crashing over them and hiding from the waves, me staying firmly on the sand enjoying the show my husband was
putting on. The guy with the boogie board got in the water and wiped out oh just about every time. Seriously the waves were insane. I have no idea what he thought he was doing. We left before he killed about a vacation ruin-er. (note: when we left he was fine and we didn't see anything on the news about a drowning). I would love to tell you to visit this beach, because it was great...but I am not sure what it is called. Looking at the map in the book, I think it is Kahalahala, but don't take my word for it!

Next was the Mani-ni-holo Dry Cave. It sits right across from a beach park and was pretty cool. It was a cave that was dry. Go figure. Next up, and just a bit farther up the road was Waikanaloa Wet Cave. This cave, and the one that was a bit of a hike that we didn't visit, were sea caves. Meaning the ocean cut them, and now they are cut off from the sea. Interesting eh. Well not really. They kinda smelled.

Now I bet you are wondering J, what did you eat while on this epic roadtrip? The answer...nothing. Both S and I were starving, it was 2:30 and we had a drive all the way back to the south shore. We stopped in the little town of Princeville and got some really good Mexican food. Go figure. We also had ice cream from a local Hawaiian creamery. I say local because it is throughout the islands. Then hopped into the Jeep, with its top on because by this time it had decided to pour, and started to the resort. We found it with ease, as it is a giant Hyatt resort and headed to check in. We are told at the counter "we took the pleasure of upgrading your room to a ocean view". Why thank you nice Grand Hyatt people, thank you very much. From here on out there is nothing to talk about. Settled into the room, took a quick nap, found the jacuzzi, ate some dinner....blah blah blah. :)

Stay tuned for the next installment where we make a few wrong turns, try to force our way onto a military base, go off roading in a rental, hunt for glass on a glass beach, see a big hole in the ground and a donkey!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the things that occupy my mind....

  1. Well the newest and greatest thing that has consumed my life as of today is.....Pinterest. Seriously, did I really need something else to keep me on the computer doing nothing? No, I don't think I did, but......all day, that is what I have been doing, and you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it! I have so many ideas for getting my haircut on Friday, and hey maybe I will actually style it! No more plain ponytails!!!
  2. Pinterest led me back to Etsy. Which led to me spending more money. Le Sigh....oh well.
  3. Kauai! I cannot wait for our weekend getaway!!! Only 3 more days and we can leave the rock for another rock! I have it all planned out for the most part. I put an app on my phone that will tell us where the nearest point of interest is. Have to make the most out of the short time we are there.
  4. LOVE ACTUALLY, is currently playing. This is my favorite holiday movie. I am actually watching it pretty late this year. Usually I watch it as soon as Turkey Day is over. But alas, it has taken me this long. But I am thoroughly enjoying it.
  5. Housing.....I really don't even want to talk about it, but it is consuming most of my time. It is really annoying. I will leave it at that. bah humbug!
  6. DISNEYWORLD!!!! This March we are taking the kids to Disneyworld for the 4th time. They don't know about it yet. We want to surprise them when we get there. The best part is that my mom and Steve's mom are going to be there with us! We have the coolest mom's ever.
  7. Getting my run on. This is a hard one. I want it to be easy. Last week I ran 6 out of 7 days. This week....once. Epic failure. My back has been bothering me. I tend to hold most of my stress in my back and shoulders, so with everything going on it is to be expected. I am planning on taking the dog tomorrow for a good long one. Hopefully the weather holds out. We have officially entered the rainy season here on the island.
  8. Fashion. I am in a serious rut when it comes to my clothes. I wear pretty much the same things over and over. This is partly to do with the fact that the weather doesn't change, or rather the temperature doesn't change. I miss sweaters, scarves, jeans, boots, hats....the list could go on. Cozy fall and winter colors. But I will say I am not ready to leave the island! I really like it here and appreciate it for what it is.
  9. School....for me, not the kids. I need to find something to keep me busy (other than pinterest and etsy) I want to take French Classes. The only place that offers them is HPU. Not sure I want to pay for a university....
  10. Steve's work. This is also a source of stress. Everything is great. Just some changes on the horizon. I will fill you in as they present themselves. It is all good, no bad! So no worries! Just change....I don't do well. Big surprise there!
  11. Christmas lights. I love all the lights. I decorated the outside of the house and to an extent the inside too. They just make me smile :) everything is all sparkly. There is a Honolulu Light Tour that I am thinking about making us do. In a weird way I miss the James Island Festival of Lights. As much as it was a pain to go, its sad to not be going this year.
  12. Family. I miss them. My parents and sister with her whole family were just here. It was nice. Steve's mom will be here this week, we just saw his dad while we were in Seattle (which reminds me, I need to post about that! YIKES!). My mind is occupied with thoughts of my brother and his family. They are moving to GERMANY! How cool is that! I am so excited for them. He got a great job with the Army (as a GS) and is going to be working on the hospitals out there. He is an architect. This is fantastic news for them, sad news for me. I always love when I go home and get to see them. They have a little girl who just turned 1, and I have only seen her once. :( and now they are moving away for 5 years. I don't know if I will be able to get out there to see them.

So there you have it. The things that have been rattling around in my head for today. Boring, sorry. No pictures to post. But I will after Kauai. I need to post about Seattle too...and Big A turning 7! Good grief I am behind. From now on we can just blame Pinterest :)