Haleakala ~ House of the Sun

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One of the things I was really looking forward to was driving to the top of Haleakala, the dormant volcano on Maui.  While this isn’t an active volcano like what you can find on the Big Island, it is still … Continue reading

Wanderlust

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No travel plans on the immediate horizon so instead I am finding travel quotes I want on my wall instead. via etsy.com  via etsy.com via etsy.com via etsy.com via etsy.com via etsy.com via etsy.com via etsy.com

I’m Back!

So I am a little irritated by myself because I was doing SO good posting this month and was planning on having posts ready to go for our trip so I didn’t have to worry about it. Nope totally didn’t get to it.

Oh yeah, also? We went to California! I didn’t say anything beforehand because I am paranoid of people breaking into my house. Yes, I am crazy.

Anyways, we flew to the SF Bay Area to spend Thanksgiving with some of my insanely awesome family. We hadn’t been there since 2008? Sometime before we moved to Spain, Omar was just a baby! So the kids got to see cousins, aunts, uncles, and their great-grandma! It was SO great to see everyone again. My aunt Nell threw such a wonderful Thanksgiving. Her house was packed to the brim with friends and family and I spent a wonderful day cooking with my family in my aunts kitchen. I would stop and look around at the family and friends I grew up with and say, “I can’t believe I am here!” The kids had a great time, we ate ourselves silly and spent a ton of time with our family. We are closer now to our California family now than we have been in a long time, so it won’t be 4 years before we visit again!

My biggest bummer? I left my DSLR camera battery at home. I was BEYOND angry. And since my camera is a few years old no one carries the battery. So I had to make due with my ipod (which thank goodness I had!)

Meeting the pilot on our flight!

 

Fun with tape at Aunt Nelly’s house!

 

Thanksgiving Day… Steph prepping sprouts. They came on a stalk! I was so impressed by that!

 

Mckenna and Nick on potato duty. We actually barely had enough mashed potatoes! NO leftovers!

 

Uncle Bill brings the BEST sodas!

 

Me and my beauty. Pre bake…

 

Headresses were made. They were awesome…

 

Cooking, cooking, cooking. And yes, even Aunt Nell was in on the headdress action!

 

Uncle Fred, aka the big turkey.

 

Obligatory turkey picture. It was fabulous and again, NO leftovers on a 23lb bird!

 

Me and Nell!

 

One. More. Bite. Of. Pie!

 

Omar and Great-Grandma Maryann! It was SO great to see her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bellows Beach

Oh my… how has it taken me three months to get to this beach? It. Is. Gorgeous!

Like the beach you picture in your mind when you think of hawaii? The perfect curl of white sand with lush green mountains in the back and gorgeous blue water?

 

 

Yeah. This is it. Beautiful, soft white sand… clear blue water… just lovely.

 

 

 

So we set up camp right at the edge of the woods (great campgrounds right next to the beach for all you campers!) and hit the waves.

 

 

We went with a friend of mine and her two kids and we all had a great time. The water was the perfect temperature and the waves were perfect for boogie boarding. Mckenna hadn’t done in years but picked it right up again.

 

 

I could sit here with this view forever.

 

Or this one!

 

Omar was a little miffed at me after we wiped out one time when I took him out on the boogie board. Nothing bad, I think it just surprised him. Time to rinse off and eat some more snacks!

 

 

Little Surfer Girls (boogie board girls?) They had a great time riding the waves and digging a giant hot tub in the sand.

 

Sandy, happy children. Really, who couldn’t be happy with this practically in our back yard?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

The one where I eat out of a trough

So yesterday we decided to be the most awesome. parents. ever!  and pick our kiddos up from school and go directly to Dave and Buster’s. D&B’s is like a big kid’s Chuck E. Cheese. They have a restaurant and then a huge video game area. We had been before on one of our day date’s we have been indulging in since the kids have been in school, but this time we decided to be nice and take the kid’s too.

We were going for a late lunch but the kids weren’t hungry so they just got milkshakes. And eat the nachos we got as an appetizer (I LOVE their nachos!)

See?! Spoiled happy kids! (pardon the cell phone pics)

So for lunch I decided to get a salad and picked one called The Lawnmower. The picture looked like a cobb type salad with a little bit of everything. My kind of salad. So imagine my surprise when this arrived at our table:

That platter is TWO FEET LONG! You know how when you order fajitas and all the plates and bowls and sizzling platters feel like you are taking up half the table? Well this thing took up half the table!! I think our entire family could have eaten comfortably off of this salad. (Also please ignore Mckenna’s super natural looking surprised face)

Anyways, the salad was good (what I could eat of it) also the stolen sips of Omar’s abandoned chocolate milkshake.

Oh, Also!!! Dave and Buster’s offers a 20% military discount! That is a seriously good discount because they have decent meal prices to start, like mainland prices, not Hawaii prices.

Life size connect four! Mckenna won, she was super excited!

So after eating we hit up the games, which was perfect because Wednesday is half price games, who knew? The kids had a great time, we won a bazillion tickets and ended up not getting home until almost 6pm (love that traffic!)

So I got to skip out on making dinner because we still weren’t really hungry so we did leftovers/scrounge in the fridge night. Perfect!

So, yeah. Don’t order The ginormous salad unless you are starving or prepared to share some of your three heads of romaine lettuce!