Thursday, September 22, 2011

hawaii pics

We got back from Hawaii and the kids performed this adorable skit for us
(written by GiGi De Lane)
eating fresh strawberry guava on a LONG hike Spencer took me on...
it was a great energy-boosting treat!
view of Honolulu
Spencer a Moses-wannabe
shark's cove snorkeling
Hawaii Temple
another view of Honolulu/Waikiki with a funnel cloud in the background
That's me going out to surf for the first time.
China Man's Hat
My favorite snorkeling spot in Oahu--Hanauma Bay
just a gorgeous beach
i loved these trees
at the Maunawili Falls
Pearl Harbor!!
Bamboo forest!!!

We had such a great time!

first day of school 2011

1st and 3rd grade!!! Why do they grow up so fast?!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Rest of Oahu

Sunday: went to church. We sang a Hawaiian hymn for the closing song. We met a lot of friendly people who welcomed us with a hug. Church building was unique style. Had ceiling fans in the chapel.

Hiked the Tantalus Loop Trails. We really enjoyed the great beauty of the tropical forests. We found ripe strawberry guava all along the trail. It was so good. We hiked through two awesome bamboo forests! We grabbed some fallen bamboo to be our hiking sticks; light and strong. Passed some unusual signs. One sign said "beware of wild pig hunters" and the other said "watch your step, the ground may fall from under you, which will be fatal!"

Monday: Pearl Harbor. Such a great place to see. We learned a lot about what happened that day. We only did the free exhibits. The Arizona Memorial was the big one, they show you a video in a theater and then ferry you to the memorial. We had an hour wait for our time after we got our tickets. We spent that time reading the different informative plaques they had. We learned about the history of our submarine torpedoes and saw examples of each. There is also a submarine memorial from that time period with a plaque that tells the story of each one "lost at sea". Spencer wanted to read them all but only read maybe a dozen. (There were probably 6 dozen in all...Being in a submarine was risky business but they were really effective!) After the Arizona memorial we went through 2 free walk through museums about our history with Japan in World War II. We really enjoyed learning about everything and we are appreciative of those who fought for us and are still fighting for us.

Surfing. Again, we had a lot of fun. Spencer helped give me a little push to catch the waves and that was successful. I caught several--still couldn't get up. I got to my knees and that was good enough for me. Spencer got up about three times. We look forward to surfing in Cali.

Visited Spencer's Uncle Ben and Aunt Mary Jo. Great visit. Wonderful people. They took us out to dinner. We had great conversations. Uncle Ben told me I'm going to have a boy! He says he's only been wrong twice, so we'll see!! (we're still not going to find out the sex from the ultrasounds)

Tuesday: Tried snorkeling in the North Shore again--Shark's Cove. The visibility was bad due to the big surge of waves coming in. Spencer tried to go in some rough water and got some nice gashes to prove it. Not worth it. We found some delights in a five foot tide pool neighboring the cove.

Tried an authentic Hawaiian shaved ice at Matsumoto's--that would be with a layer of black beans, then vanilla ice cream, with shaved ice on top. I liked the shaved ice, but the other combination, for me, was odd. Spencer really liked it all. We got three flavors on our ice--strawberry cream, coconut cream, and mango.

Hiked to Maunawili Falls--a very muddy hike, just like all the hikes we went on. This trail had tree roots covering the ground so it was quite difficult walking through the roots and mud. Beautiful trees and foliage. Every hike had different types of plants and trees so it made each hike wonderful. The falls were really neat. You can climb to a ten, twenty, or thirty foot ledge and jump into the pools at the bottom of the falls. Spencer felt comfortable doing the ten foot jump and I felt comfortable cheering him on! He climbed to the top of the falls for a real treat--he saw another pool of water and a second falls!! I stayed at the bottom because it looked steep and slippery and I wasn't comfortable doing that five months pregnant.

Rented a Kayak around Kailua Beach from Mokulua Rentals: What a great beach! I wish we would have spent more time here--warm, crystal clear, calm, blue water. We paddled out to two islands--Flat Island and Mokulua Island-- and snorkeled around the area. Waves were rough so visibility was rough around the islands. On Mokulua, I did see a see turtle and we saw a fish in a tide-pool that could jump from tide-pool to tide-pool. That was fun to see! As we were paddling back toward shore and noticed how shallow the water was. We wanted to see what was there so I put on my snorkeling gear and jumped in. What a treat I was in for! The coral and fish in this area--out to sea by Lanikai Beach--were amazing. It was a whole city of beautiful coral with all sorts of fish, of course. I was hoping to see something bigger than the fish I saw, but it was still wonderful.

Ended the long day with two dinners! I mention this because they were both very very good. First was called "Me's B-B-Q". We chose here because we pass by this restaurant on our way to Waikiki beach and it smells really good and one gal was raving about how good the food is. Let me tell you: I have never had authentic Korean food, and it was one of the best meals I've ever had. Everything tasted so delicious! (Of course, we were starving from our long day of activities!) If you ever go to Oahu, I would say you must try this food!! Spencer I split one meal, the Sunny's Special, for ten dollars and it was plenty of food for the both of us.

Second restaurant was went to we also passed a lot on our walks around Waikiki. We noticed a LONG line of people in front of this place every night, Marukame Udon. We saw the menu was simple--only a few choices of Japanese Udon (noodles) and tempura--and cheap! So we had to try it (Splitting the meal of course). It was our last night in Hawaii, we had to try it. We ordered the soupy looking udon, onion/vegetable tempura, eggplant tempura, and sweet potato tempura. It was yummy!

Crashed that night. Actually we crashed every night. Touring a new island is quite exhausting. We tried to do every single thing we wanted to do.

Now I'm home sick and ready to go home. But leaving is bitter sweet.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


To celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year, we are in Oahu, HI for 10 days!! We are having such a great time!

Here's our schedule of events so far:

  • Arrive
  • Pick up Rental Car (we got the budget car, it's small and cheap and it works. We're happy with our choice. Although it looks like everyone else around us upgrades for more money. Not worth it to us)
  • shopping--we bought some food and shampoo stuff (We've been eating Raisin Bran and Granola for breakfast everyday and we also bought some pasta, cup of noodles, cans of soup)
  • Waikiki Beach--warm, beautiful blue water. We can go about 100 yards out without it getting too deep!
  • Costco--bought some chicken and some salad
  • Rented a surf board
  • snorkeled 1/3 mile to "China Man's Hat" and then back again. This is a tiny island where hammer head sharks breed!! Supposedly they don't bother humans, so we weren't too afraid. Don't worry, we didn't even see any. (thank goodness! Spencer was disappointed!) It just brought an element of suspense as we snorkeled out to the island. Saw some great varieties of fish. I even saw an octopus!! Spencer wanted to climb to the top of the island but it was pretty much rock climbing.
  • Manoa Falls Hike--So gorgeous. Awesome trees and foliage. Trail was muddy. That just added to the fun!
  • Hanauma Bay Snorkeling. This is a must!! We went early in the morning so we got in for free. The fish were amazing. I felt like I was in a fish aquarium. We touched a few fish. We saw three sea turtles. Saw two eels (they are not afraid of humans and they're freaky!).
  • Diamond Head Hike (really hot, lots of stairs, but the views at the very top of the city and ocean were fantastic)
  • Surfing--our first attempt. It was hard. We didn't even catch a wave.
  • Temple--the Laie Hawaii Temple is so beautiful. I loved all the art work inside and just the whole experience.
  • Polynesian Cultural Center--great shows and performances. Worth it.
  • Spencer loved the Hukilau Cafe. It was a big hit for him. Good size meal for pretty cheap price. We also went to the shrimp trucks because several people rave about them, however we weren't too impressed but it was ok.
  • Dole Pineapple Plantation--We loved the "world's largest maze". It took us one hour and a half. You have to find 8 hidden stations throughout the maze before you come out. They also had some yummy pineapple soft-serve ice cream. Really really sweet.
  • Sharks Cove Snorkeling--We went at a really bad time. Couldn't see anything really. Supposed to be a great Snorkel Spot but we just had a surge come in that day....Oh well, better surfing I guess.
  • Seadoos--The ocean on the north shore had big waves on this day and the seadoo was awesome. Spencer and I loved it. I'm not sure how the baby felt about it. Might have been a little too rough. It was like a 30 minute coaster ride. So fun!
  • Stadium Swap Meet--Someone told me don't buy anything except for here. It was really great advice. Every souvenir was a lot cheaper here. We spent a little too much...oops. Spencer and I got matching board shorts (cute, right?). Spencer got some rings and a nice Hawaiian shirt. I got a wrap dress, several necklances (for me and the kids), and a Hawaiian oven mitt set.
  • Watched the BYU-Texas Game. Lost by one point. Sad!
  • Surfing Take Two--much better! Spencer stood up about three times! I made it to my knees. Does that count? I was happy! :D
And that's where we are. We still have four days left so stay tuned for more!
We are having such a great time. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be here with my husband.
And I am doing well for not having the kids with me. I was worried--really worried. But the kids are loving life with Grandma and Grandpa. So Thank you Drew and De Lane!