Okay so this was awhile ago but I had such a great time and took SO many pictures I wanted to share it. Also I had forgotten my camera and had to drive home and get it so after doing all that these pictures MUST see the light of day!
The Joint Spouses’ Conference is a military spouse conference that is hosted each year by one of the branches. This year Navy had the privilege and the conference was held on Ford Island.
We had the CO of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam open up the conference, then a really cute little message from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Dempsey and his wife.
I was actually second guessing my decision to go at the last minute, I was getting some major anxiety over the fact that I was going to know NO ONE! I found out the night before that one of my friends from football was going to be there so at least I had someone to eat with!
We got great little welcome baskets and a tote bag full of more goodies. The entire conference was decorated SO well, I was very impressed! Those ladies did an awesome job!
There was a large list of workshops you could take: cooking, painting, photography, sailing, hula, lei making, business classes. You name it. I went with Lei Making, Beyond the Mai Tai, Hula and Chocolate.
First up Lei Making. I really enjoyed this and was amazed at how easy it is, just threading flowers. Tuber roses smell AMAZING! We also did a ti leaf lei which involved twisting ti leaves. It was not really complicated but my brain is old and tired! So I ended up with a ti leaf bracelet! This workshop was put on by the Hale Koa hotel which is a military hotel in downtown Waikiki. The women were great and VERY informative. Seriously I would love to take some Hawaiian studies classes!
Sporting my new handmade lei of purple orchid and tuber rose!
Next up was Beyond the Mai Tai, which was also hosted by the Hale Koa, but the bartenders this time. And yes it was still rather early in the day for drinking but what the heck. We had some delicious samples, got some great recipes and all got a little bit tipsy. Good times!
Lunch was delicious! We had a ton of dessert and it was hilarious to see all of the photographers whip out their cameras to take pictures of the food. I know my husband rolls my eyes at me but it is so nice to be among like minded people!
Our guest speaker was Mrs. Hawaii who happens to also be a Navy veteran and current military spouse. She was not your normal pageant queen but was really down to earth. She is doing some amazing work with childhood obesity and nutrition in Hawaii.
After lunch it was time for Hula lessons! This was a class that was insanely out of my comfort zone. I don’t dance. Like, ever. Well maybe if I’ve had enough to drink but the mai tais had worn off by now! But this is something I really wanted to do and thankfully we had a great instructor, the same lady from the Hale Koa that taught me lei making! I don’t have any pictures because it’s pretty impossible to take photos and hula. But I had a GREAT time and actually remembered most of the steps!
Now, time for Chocolate making! This was fun basic intro to working with chocolate.
We had our ingredients laid out in front of us, ganache with some different flavorings like lavender, cocoa powder, cayenne, sea salt, and nuts. I thought mine looked like the Hawaiian islands.
And here I am with all of my finished truffles. And a chocolate dipped strawberry.
I really liked the sea salt as well as the cayenne truffles. I accidentally gave Omar one of the cayenne ones when we got home. He was like ‘what is wrong with this, its burning my mouth!’ Sorry! My kids aren’t fans of ‘weird’ chocolates!
We wrapped up with some more food as well as a silent auction and a basket raffle and I was beat! I had a really great day and met some really nice women. Really my only complaint was that everyone had their iPhones in front of their face all day. We aren’t there to check FaceBook, we are there to meet people and have a good time. It was kind of annoying but whatever. I am really looking forward to going again next year, I think the Army will be hosting.