Kaneohe Bay – Pyramid Rock Beach

 

One of the first things you learn when you move to Oahu is how the island is divided. Down the center of the island runs a mountain range (gotta love all that volcanic activity!). The north eastern side of the divide is the windward side, it gets all of the winds and moisture. The southwestern side (where we live) is the leeward side, not as cool and much drier. This becomes very apparent when you go from one side to another. I LOVE the windward side! It is so lush and green and every time I see it I feel like I am in Jurassic Park (because it was filmed here!)

 

 

 

This is the tunnel that cuts through the mountains, it is fairly new and is much easier than having to drive all the way around or over! And when you pop out of the tunnel this is what greets you:

 

The hills all have those distinct ridges due to erosion, all of the rain has carved the rock.

 

 

 

We were looking for someplace to snorkel over on the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay but there wasn’t really anything suitable so we headed to Pyramid Rock Beach. It was a beautiful breezy day but the surf was really rough and we were advised by the lifeguard to stay shallow and keep our kids close.

 

 

Yes, I know it is all beach and ocean pictures all the time but seriously, this has been my life! We have spent a disgusting amount of time at the beach, but isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you live in Hawaii?

 

 

My gorgeous girl. This was the only picture I have where she isn’t posing like she’s trying out for America’s Next Top Model.

 

 

Oh this boy, he melts my heart.

 

 

Pyramid Rock, I wanted to go see if we could hike up the stairs but as you can see it’s REALLY far away and I am incredibly lazy. I bet the view from up there is great! 

 

 

 

Super crowded beach, I don’t know how we deal with the masses of people. Seriously though, I love going to beaches on base.

 

 

 

 

 

We also stalked a crab… cutest thing ever.

 

 

And the weirdo dog that was happy as hell to eat the leftover ice from the ice chest. Also please ignore my dirt back yard. My gardening stuff isn’t here yet, give me a couple of months and it will be beautiful!

 

Our house… at the moment.

So I know before moving into this neighborhood I was dying to find out what the inside of the houses looked like. At the moment we still have our loaner furniture, we have hardly any of our own stuff at all and it’s pretty much empty. But! It’s better than a hotel room!

So here are some pictures:

Front of house

 

Side of house, and tiny yard

 

Back of house, garage (two car!)

Dining room and kitchen

 

 

Den, forgot to take a picture of the living room but it’s the same size as this and is open plan to the dining room and kitchen

 

Entry way, front door, coat closet, bathroom, storage under the stairs

 

Looking toward front door, standing in living room, stairs up to second floor

 

Top of stairs, cabinet thing (linens, I don’t even know?) in the hallway next to kids bathroom

Top of stairs, we’ll be sticking a desk here for the kids, also a nice big storage room.

Mckenna’s room

 

Omar’s room

 

Master, please note that the kids bed’s were made and mine isn’t. Wonderful.

 

Master bath

 

Master closet, it’s actually off the bathroom which is nice. LOTS of space.

 

 

So there it is, can’t wait to actually get our stuff so we can make this house our own. I’ve been meaning to get some paint for the kids rooms and get that done before all of our stuff gets here.  It’s nice to go from under a thousand square feet to over 1,700. Lots more room to stretch out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waikiki Aquarium

Okay hawaii. So far I am digging it here but you have GOT to step it up when it comes to the only aquarium on Oahu!  I knew before coming that it was small, but it’s not small it’s tiny! Do NOT come with visions of Monterey Bay Aquarium, Baltimore Aquarium or Shedd Aquarium in your mind (three of the best I’ve been to!)

One thing you can’t fault is the location, right on the water at the east end of Waikiki. Parking is a little crazy, we parked in our favorite cheapo military lot and meandered through Waikiki. It’s about a mile and a half walk and not too bad if you stop for lunch. Which we didn’t do because none of us could agree so we ended up at the aquarium hot and crabby. Fun times!

On with it!

 

 

What is wrong with this boy? Seriously, he can not take a normal picture anymore.

 

And since the posts have been so snorkel heavy I’ll just try to throw some of my favorite fish into a collage so you don’t have to scroll past them. Sorry, I love me some fish!

 

See that wasn’t so bad. So yeah the aquarium is small but they have some of the most beautiful display tanks I’ve ever seen, huge clams, a carpet anemone that was 2 feet wide, a mangrove tank, a tank outside, really beautiful.

 

 

 

The kiddos held some hermit crabs and pet some urchins, touch tanks are always a big hit.
The clam propagation tank outside. Some seriously stunning clams in there. They also have their coral growing tank outside as well. Really cool and makes me want to volunteer so I can play, too!

Walking right out of the aquarium you are right at the seawall along the water, tried again and again to get a good splash but I kept missing it…

 

 

 

 

So out we walked onto the breakwater where Omar (jr.) ended up getting soaked by a wave. Whoops!

 

 

 

 

 

So aquarium, nice but probably an hour tops for most people. There is a discount if you are a local and the tour includes a talking speaker tour dealy to give you details about all of the exhibits.  Make it part of your day in Waikiki and walk around (it’s also right near the zoo so you can make it a twofer).

 

Back to School!

(Please ignore Omar’s pained expression, he’s going through that I-can’t-smile-like-a-normal-person phase)

School starts early here, ridiculously early in my opinion. Mckenna went back to school on July 30th, Omar had an orientation on Friday and started for realz this Monday. So this week I officially have two school age kids.

 

(This is Mckenna’s for real first day pic, but it was when we were still in the hotel room of doom…)

 

Since we are done (really I mean it, DONE!) having more babies, I feel like a chapter in our lives is over. I’ve had a kid in tow for the last 10 years, and now they are both in school!  Now I am child-less for 6 hours a day and it feels SO bizarre.

Part of it was a realization at just how quickly time has flown. When Mckenna started kindergarten 5 years ago, I was hugely pregnant with Omar and ended up having him 3 weeks later. Now that baby is going into school, too. I wish I had my hard drive so I could pull up some photos of Mckenna’s first day.

Oh here is one I dug up from my facebook page of the month Mckenna started kindergarten and Omar was born:

 

Look at her! She is a baby! (and Omar REALLY is a baby) It still stuns me just how quickly the past 5 years have flown by. We moved to Spain, then to Hawaii. It’s just crazy how much your life can change in a few years.

One thing that is great about having two kids in school is the fact that my husband is on leave right now! While we are still running around like crazy with all of the errands we are still having to get done, we are also hanging out together. Just us! It’s been really nice, even though he has been dragging me to the gym most days after we drop off the kids. Today we actually went and saw a movie while the kids were at school. (The Watch, stupid funny, but then again I love all the cast members).

So bittersweet. There is my adjective for school starting. Both my kids love it so far. I miss my babies but am also enjoying these free hours I have.

We have a house!

So we moved into our house this week, it has been WONDERFUL to get out of a hotel room. Everyone needed a door to close to get away from everyone else. I love my children but I am really, really glad that I can send them upstairs to play, or to the park right behind our house.

We have some hideous awesome temporary furniture that we get to use until our stuff gets delivered. But really, it’s nice to have beds, a couch and a table and chairs. The same day we moved in we had our temp furniture delivered, our express shipment delivered and had satellite tv hooked up.  So we at least have enough stuff to cook and get through the next month. It’s been great to be able to cook dinner again. It’s going to be a long time until we eat fast food!

There is a LOT that I want to do to this house. I really want to paint some walls but we have to get approval first… Also our (tiny) yard is pretty much just red dirt. So I am really looking forward to getting some grass seed in there and doing some gardening. I have a little papaya tree in my front yard and I am hoping I can actually get it to produce some big ol’ papaya.

Oh, and one of the perks of living in Hawaii? I found a roach today in my kitchen. Since we have hardly any food it must have already been here. Needless to say I was throwing up in my mouth, I have NEVER had to deal with roaches before! First thing tomorrow I am calling maintenance to have them come spray the crap outta my house. I can deal with ants and spiders but roaches are a deal breaker.

Need to take some pictures to show, but we’ve been so crazy running around getting errands done. Really looking forward to relaxing and settling in!