Hello! Things have been pretty normal around these parts of the ROCK for the past couple of months. We settled into being here with out Daddy...which is always hard. The kids started school. WHOOOO!
So far they are loving being in 1st and 2nd grade. Hopefully that continues all year. Fingers crossed! Other than slipping back into our normal routine of school, sports, and homework things have been good. It is always hard to convince yourself that it isn't still summer vacation living here. We did do some fun stuff, beach, hikes, eat...and we have had one of our favorite visitors here!
Gramma Kelly came to stay the last two weeks of August!! This was so much fun. Kelly and I were able to hike, eat red velvet pancakes, shop and enjoy some beach time while the kids were in school. We also got the chance to have tea at the Moana Surfrider. The view is amazing! She was also a great help in working with little A to try and get her ahead of the game a bit. It is always nice to have a teacher in the family. :) We also got to have fun with the kiddos after school, going to the pool and little A getting her swim card! Yeah!! She was so proud of herself and I was uber proud of her for doing it. Now there is no going back and that girl is all over the pool! We also attended the Greek Festival here in Waikiki. I didn't know we had a big enough Greek population to have a festival, but it was fun and something new to go and do.
After the first week I got to go on vacation!!! YEAHAHAHHAHA! I went back to see S in New Jersey where he is working on his WIC classes. It was a long trip which included a 12 hour plane ride to Newark Airport, a 1hour train ride to some small town in NJ that I had never heard of, a 1 hour wait for Hertz to "pick me up" and get me to a rental car, which ended in a 40 minute drive to base on roads that I had never driven on, can you say "jug handles"? Those were interesting..you go right to go left. I made it in one piece and finally found my handsome husband after not seeing him for 2 months!!! I was so happy and relived to see him, but I was also dead on my feet tired. He showed me to the hotel room and promptly left to go back to work. I immediately fell asleep...so all was good :)
The first few days I was in Jersey he was still at class so I had some alone time. I did venture back out onto the roads to get us Chipotle for lunch. Talk about devotion..it was a 40 minute drive each way! And of course not the same direction I had come so I was completely on new roads AGAIN!! I found some shopping to do and of course scoped out where the mainland food was. I throughly enjoyed have Chick Fil A for lunch! I think decided to traverse Jersey roads again and find the mall. An hour later I ended up almost in Philidelphia at Cherry Hill Mall. It was a nice mall and worth the drive. I enjoyed my quiet time and not worrying about having to be back to pick up kids or make dinner. S had to fly that night so I was truely on my own time. Which is nice sometimes.
After arriving back in the hotel room at 4 am from his night flight, I being the nice wife let him sleep till 9:45 that morning and then I was antsy to get the show on the road to NYC! We made our stop at WAWA to get coffee and donuts for me and a sandwich for S. So tasty. I have no idea why WAWA's aren't everywhere. They are amazing. We hopped on the train and headed into the BIG APPLE!
New York is amazing place. The colors, the smells, the people, the traffic everything makes it a magical place. We checked into our hotel in Time Square (thank you points) and began to wander. Since we had just been here two months ago and done all the big touristy things it was nice to just get to wander and not wait in line for things. We headed to the Macy's and hopped on the wooden escalators. So neat. Checked out all 7 levels and decided anything that Macy's sold was in this store. It was so big it had 3 Starbucks in it!! We left there and aimlessly wandered down 5th AVE ending up at the New York public Library. What a cool place! After leaving there we decided to do something we hadn't even thought of...go to the US OPEN!!! We bought tickets and headed to Queens. We had no idea where Flushing Meadows was or what to expect but we were both really happy. We got to see Andy Roddick play, and feel very lucky about that since he is retiring after the Open! What a once in a lifetime chance! We had nose bleed seats but it didn't matter. We were riveted to the court. We also got our celebrity sighting out of the way. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were there watching the match. Not sure who they were rooting for, as the other guy was Australian. :)
The next morning we switched hotels and went into SOHO .(thank you points again) This hotel was great. Our view from the room was of the Empire State Building!! How cool is that! We once again aimlessly wandered around SOHO, sticking our heads in funky little shops and some high end ones too. We meandered through Little Italy and Chinatown. Which are right next to each other....odd. We held hands and just enjoyed being together. Then the idea struck.....lets go to a Yankee game. Now usually I would have protested since I am not a Yankee fan, but I am a huge fan of BASEBALL and how could I pass up seeing another stadium!!! so on the train we got and headed to the BRONX. Got the last two tickets (at the reasonable low price) and headed in. WOW..this place was amazing. We headed to our seats which were of course nose bleeds and smack dab in the SUN!!! We started to melt after one at bat and gave up and went back down to the lower levels and watched the game from there. It as great. I have never been in a ball park where the crowd is so lively and into the game. They take their Yankee baseball seriously!
We left the game in the 8th inning. and headed back to Greenwich Village to Eataly. Now normally we wouldn't eat somewhere that we have already been, but Eataly is a different story. This place is amazing. The wine, the food, the people everything about it is wonderful. It is like walking into a Whole Foods, but of all Italian products. They have 5 restaurants, a gelato bar, a chocolate bar, a coffee bar plus regular groceries, seafood, meat and anything else you can think of, including a fresh PASTA counter!!! YUM! We had pizza, pasta, wine and gelato plus a cappuccino for me. We sat and chatted and just throughly enjoyed each others company.
Our last full day in the city was spent in Brooklyn. We didn't make it over there the first time and thought why not. We got off the train and walked through Prospect Park. The place was full of families having picnics and bbq's. Kids running around laughing and playing. I think I liked it better than central park. We then headed to Park Slope which is the place to be in Brooklyn...I guess. We stopped in a Starbucks got a coffee and sat out in the garden. Such a cute little place.
We then headed back to Manhatten to walk the 5th AVENUE stores. I have never in my life felt so poor. Good God, these people have money! We were in a watch store and a couple was buying a $7,000 Tag Heuer watch for their 13 YEAR OLD!!! Seirously!! It was insane. We walked through Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton, FAO Swartz and peeked into the Glass Apple store and then decided to head back...this place would eat us alive!!
Our last meal was a nice one. We went of the recommendation of a dear friend who used to live in the city and still calls it home, and ate at a Cuban/Mexican cafe called Habana Cafe. The food was amazing! If you are ever in SOHO or Brooklyn eat here!!! The crowd was eclectic as it only can be in NYC and the food was amazing. I am still craving a Cuban sandwich and some corn on the cob. Their mojito was delicious too. Freshly muddled and heavily poured! Then it was back to the room for an early good bye in the morning ;(
We said our good byes for now at the airport and S hopped the train back to Jersey and I started the long trek home. It is always hard to say good bye, but I know I will see him in a few months. In a way it is hard having him stateside....so close but still so far away. He might as well be in the desert. This is for the best and I know is just a small seperation, but still hard. It is easier to get to come back and be with the monsters...they don't give me time to be lonely or sad. They brighten every day and I love them for that.
Till next time!!