Is Everyone Else Excited for the Olympics?!

I can not wait for the opening ceremonies tonight and I’m so excited!  I really wish that the tv would broadcast the opening ceremonies live, I’d love to be watching right now instead of having to wait. I am one of those people who really get into the Olympics. When my mom and I went to London last fall they already had tons of stuff out like t-shirts and pins, I can’t even imagine how insane it is in London right now!

 

I also really love watching the women’s events in particular. I think it’s great for Mckenna to watch all of these female athletes who have worked really hard to get where they are. (And of course nudge her to try to get to the Olympics in soccer one day…)

 

So to kill some time we are going to drive up to Schofield Barracks to pick up some freebie school supplies for the kids. Then have to go actually finish the school supply shopping. Their lists this year are out of control! I’ve never had a school supply list that specified brands before! They better not be communal supplies, that bugs the crap outta me! (And yes I will write my kids name on every single crayon and marker they bring in)

Enjoy Olympics watching this weekend!

Advertisements

Summer is almost over!

Well for my kids anyways… Believe it or not, school starts July 30th here in Hawaii.

I really can’t believe my baby is starting kindergarten, I just hope he does okay because he can be super shy when meeting new people.

We did our meet and greet at the school yesterday. Mckenna is doing another split this year! When she was in third grade she did a 3rd/4th split and ended up being with the same teacher for 4th. She did great and we LOVED that she had the same teacher for two years. This year she is in a 5th/6th split and the teacher normally teaches 6th so Mckenna may have her for two years. She seems very nice so I’m excited for this year. The school is smaller which many people may not like but since we are coming from a small school I am happy. There are 4 K’s, 3 1st, 3 2nd 2 3rd, 2 4th, 1 5th, 1 5th/6th and 1 6th.  Fingers crossed Mckenna makes friends quickly!

Omar still isn’t assigned a teacher, he had to do some testing along with the rest of the kindergartners next week and his first official day won’t be until August 6th.

I’m hoping that I will make good use of all this free time I’ll suddenly have and get everything unpacked and organized in our new house (assuming we ever move in and get our stuff).

Spend the Day at Hanauma Bay

There is a reason that everyone raves about this place when it come to snorkeling, it is FANTASTIC!

Hanauam Bay is a natural preserve and because of this you have to jump through some hoops when it comes to visiting.  First off, get there early, the parking lot isn’t huge and once it fills up, they close it. We got there at 9:30am and they were only letting in 25 more cars.  The park is right off of H-1 so there really isn’t anywhere else to park nearby.  Parking is only $1 for the day, not bad at all.

There is also a charge to get into the bay, $7.50 for each adult (kids are free). However, if you are a resident (which we are, getting those Hawaiian driver’s license’s are totally worth it!) it’s free. After that you get to line up, yet again to watch a short video about the history of the bay and the conservation efforts being made to keep it safe.

It’s a pretty steep walk down to the beach itself…

But they have a little tram you can ride down (and up) that is $2 for a round trip.

The walk down is fine, the walk up is no joke!

The view is pretty nice as you walk down the hill…

I didn’t take a ton of pictures while we were on the beach, we put all of our valuables in a locker so we didn’t have to guard our stuff. There are bathrooms, lockers, snorkel rentals and lifeguards on the beach, but no snacks or drink sales.

The snorkeling was outstanding, all of the rock in the picture is reef and the fish were everywhere. We saw a moray eel within minutes of getting in the water (the only one we saw all day) and huge naso tangs, goat fish, spotted puffers, and humahuma triggers.

Once the tide started to come in it got really choppy and difficult to swim. I went out one last time before we left and was getting tossed around. Plus the visibility was getting worse and it was no fun to be out there.

The view on the ride home isn’t half bad either…

See that? That is a TRAIL going up the side of that mountain! Insane!

Colorado

My heart hurts right now for all of those killed or injured in that horrible attack.  As a parent it just makes you squeeze your babies a little tighter. What a horrible tragedy. I can’t watch any more news, have no desire to check facebook to see everyone talking about it. I am just sad. 

Colorado, my heart goes out to you and all of the families who didn’t have a loved one come home last night.

Sunday in Waikiki

So Sunday I had wanted to head over to Kaneohe Bay on the eastern side of the island, but we ended up deciding to make our way back down to Waikiki and go to the Honolulu zoo.  Of course the parking near the zoo is an absolute madhouse on the weekend.  When we were staying at our hotel down here we had purchased a month long parking pass at the hale Koa hotel parking garage ($90 for the entire month!) So we decided to park there again and just walk to the zoo, stopping for lunch along the way.

We stopped for lunch at the Yard house, which I definitely recommend. They have something like 130 different beers on tap. Omar got a 1/2 yard of some local beer, Kona blonde something, I got a pint of a pear cider (yum!). Lunch was good, I got the BBQ chicken salad and it was delicious… avocado, roasted corn, shredded BBQ chicken, can’t wait to go back. Prices were pretty standard for Waikiki and they do have lunch specials.

This is also the point where I realized that I didn’t have my memory card in my camera. I was SO upset! And I didn’t even have my back up point and shoot in my purse like I usually do. So now I get to lug around my DSLR for no reason all day. I did take some crappy cell phone pictures but it’s not the same.

After lunch we keep walking. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Omar is getting ready to turn around when I spot the zoo.  They have a military and local price so we got in pretty cheap. We only had a couple of hours before the zoo closed so we had to make it fast.  The kids really loved the howler monkeys, those suckers are loud!  For the most part the exhibits are nice, reminded me a bit of the Norfolk Zoo in some places.   The elephants didn’t make an appearance, nor did the lions.  I was most bummed about the fact that by the time we made it to the kids area of the zoo they were closing it. That area closes a 1/2 hour before the zoo closes so we only had a couple of minutes to crawl inside the big koi tank, check out the cool guinea pig house and see the goats.  The kids liked it so we’ll have to go back.

Loooooong walk back to the car, passing some shops that I really wanted to stop and peek into but everyone else was just done.  I keep seeing Hawaiian style quilts and they are just beautiful. They are going on my to buy list for Hawaii!

Also, yesterday we went and stocked up on snorkeling supplies. I can’t wait until my stuff gets here in over a month and Omar needed some of his own. he actually got this really nice mask that I’m a little jealous of, but he couldn’t get a good seal on any of the cheapo ones.

So this weekend we are going to try a new place to snorkel, hopefully one that isn’t as crowded as Shark’s Cove was. It seems like all the best places are going to be crazy crowded.  We’ll have to see what we can find.

North Shore Trip aka Best. Day. Ever.

We decided to actually do something Hawaiian and touristy and take a trip up to the North Shore. On the way up we took a quick stop by the Dole Plantation. We weren’t trying to stay all day so we didn’t do the maze or train.

Not even a minute after walking in did Omar spy a pineapple! They have groups of different varieties growing all over the place and it’s amazing to see the many different colors and sizes. Who knew?!

The koi pond was also pretty cool. The koi were outta control, trying to swim on top of each other to get food. Unfortunately for us, the food was all gone out of the dispensers. Go before noon if you want to try to get some!

They had some really pretty plants as well. I am constantly taking pictures of all of the plants and flowers I see (I really need to buy that macro lens I want!) I love how well landscaped everything on this island is! Just beautiful!

My little pineapples… There was a group ahead of us who were doing this as well but they had way more people and a million cameras and were taking FOREVER. It was super annoying and they refused to get out of the way so my kids could take a picture.

Everyone raves about the Dole Whip, and I admit it was good. But really, it’s pineapple soft serve. For $5. But now I can say I ate it.

Guess what? MORE pineapple pictures! They were SO cool, and the baby ones were adorable. (Yes, I realize I just described a fruit as adorable.)

I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but Mckenna and I are now calling it a rainbow tree.

Continuing on to the North Shore, we passed this horse farm. Nothing happened, I just love how this shot turned out. (As we were creeping along in traffic because our bright idea was the same one that half the island had!)

Quick pull off right after the horse farm. Turtle Beach! I was hoping to see at least one sea turtle, or honu as they are known here. Instead, we saw DOZENS!

I just love those sweet faces! But not enough to touch them as they are protected and will cost $250K!  The volunteers were actually really great and I would love to join them! hang with turtles all day? Sign me up!

While we were having a religious experience with sea turtles, Omar was happy to watch from the shore.

Next time I am bringing a snorkel!

One of the turtles up close. This is why they are here, to munch on all this yummy algae.

Onward! This time to find something to eat! We ended up purely on accident at Ted’s Bakery. Ended up having a GREAT lunch wishing we had room for dessert. They are apparently quite famous for their cream pies (which looked outstanding!)  I did end up having my very first Hawaiian plate lunch. Fantastic!

After lunch we tried to make our way to Waimea Bay, one of the most famous surfing beaches in the world. Parking was INSANE. No where to park for miles, so back up the coast we go, finally stopping at Shark’s Cove. I had read that they had great snorkeling and even though we hadn’t brought any with us, we were hot and ready to cool off!

Omar and Mckenna went in first and I couldn’t tell whether they were enjoying it or not. Once they came back they said they saw tons of fish. We all ended up going out (with just goggles) and ended up seeing hundreds of convict tangs, parrot fish, wrasses, puffer fish, a moorish idol, and a humahuma trigger. I can NOT wait to go back here with a snorkel!

Still can’t believe this is my life. I’m kinda digging it so far.