Aloha Swap Meet

Got some time to kill, head out and do a bit of shopping. Especially if you are looking for any type of tourist or tiki item, this is the place to go!

The Aloha Stadium has the swap meet three times a week and has dozens if not hundreds of different vendors… although MANY of them are selling the same exact mass produced in China crap.

However, there are some standouts in the crowd… I got a super nice plumeria branch for a great price, we found a great local baker who makes awesome cakes and breads, a local oil & vinegar company where I picked up some yummy dipping oil, and a cute Hawaii sticker for my car!




It did bring back memories of the gypsy markets in Spain. It’s a fun place for kids because you can give them a couple dollars and they can find little treasures for themselves…DSC_1658





I am still a little mad that Omar won’t let me get a tiki head for the house, he says they creep him out, I on the other hand, think they are pretty fun!DSC_1661



And if you need a sarong or a muumuu? This is for SURE the place to come!DSC_1662

Schools Out!


And SOMEONE isn’t pleased about having to get his picture taken with his older sister…DSC_1619


You would have thought I would get bigger smiles on the last day of school than on the first day!

After dropping them off, Steph and I ran over to the airport lei stands to pick out some leis for the kiddos to wear.

Back to school in time to see Mckenna receive an award for her work with the library club.DSC_1626Then she got to wear her pretty leis… It was pretty hard to narrow it down but I love the ones we found for her!



After that we stopped by and hung out with Omar and his class for an end of the year party. I can’t believe all those babies I met at the beginning of the year are now going into first grade!  We are going to be so sad to not have Mrs. M next year!

DSC_1644Please note the manly leis we got for Omar, and I even grabbed one for the teachers.

School’s out, time for a treat. Off to Menchie’s for some frozen yogurt. I love, love, love the fruit punch and lemonade sorbet. I think those are my new summer favorites!

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Shangri La

Okay. If you live here or are vacationing here you HAVE to visit Shangri La. Oh. My. Goodness. This place is insane!

A little backstory:

Shangri La was built by Doris Duke in the 1930s. (She was a crazy rich heiress) She gets married and on her honeymoon does an around the world trip. While on her honeymoon she falls in love with Islamic artwork and design. So she starts to collect some… On her way home they stop in Hawaii where she ends up staying for 4 months instead of a few weeks after falling in love with the island.

She ends up moving to Hawaii and building this BEAUTIFUL house near Diamondhead. She continues to collect Islamic art and has craftsmen working on the house for years. After her death she left the house in a trust and tours are conducted through the Honolulu Museum of Art.

While the kids were still in school (Shangri La is 8+ I think, but even then it’s not really kid friendly) Steph and I headed downtown to the museum to catch our shuttle. Of course we had to do a little poking around in the museum as well!




There was also a small section with some Islamic art and a video with a synopsis of Shangri La. See those 8 pointed star tiles with the cross tiles? Those make my heart flutter. This stuff was so insanely beautiful. museum2Finally we hopped onto our shuttle to Shangri La which is only about 10 minutes away.

As you can see from the driveway, its a pretty private location. The house sits on 5 acres of Hawaiian perfection.




And the front door. Here is where it gets incredibly sad. You cannot take pictures inside the house. RIGHT?! Can you believe it! I know, I know, I get it but it was SO hard to keep my camera in my bag. And we had a lovely security guard escorting our tour group just to make sure!DSC_1588Oh and this part I just found hysterically amusing… So our guide is telling us about this front door and translating the Arabic inscribed on it (Something along the lines of ‘May Allah bless those who enter’ something like that) And one of the older ladies in our group was like, “Did she know what that meant?” Like it was so horrific to have this door say those things. I am pretty sure Doris Duke had quite the staff willing to translate for her, she didn’t practice Islam but I think she appreciated the beauty in the religion for sure.

*This is where all of my interior photos of the house would be*

And out back we are!

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This is the living room window, that window is one entire piece that, at the push of a button, slides into the floor. I love it! And it is all original from the 1930s!


Out on the lanai…DSC_1594 DSC_1593

This boat basin has now been turned into a swimming hole… You just have to get creative with how to get there. I hear on weekends it is a bit crazy!DSC_1591

Master Bedroom windowsDSC_1602

I just loved this tabletopDSC_1603

Guest house and poolDSC_1604 DSC_1605





That concluded our tour, but we did enjoy a fabulous lunch at the museum. Beautiful setting and great food!DSC_1613

Perfect lamb salad! There was not a bite left (well except for the tomatoes!)DSC_1618


Our First Visitor!


Finally after almost a YEAR of living in Hawaii we have a visitor! My sister, Stephanie, hopped a flight to come hang out for a couple of weeks.

You gotta love late night flights… especially ones that get delayed… It was a late night for all of us!










It’s been SO fun showing her around the island!

A Final Homecoming

I received word from a fellow military spouse about Air Force Captain Reid Nishizuka who, along with three others, was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan. Nishizuka was a local boy from Kailua and would be coming back to the island to be laid to rest at Punchbowl.

My friend and I took our kids and lined up along with hundreds of others to welcome him home and to thank him for the ultimate sacrifice.






Holy Crap, My Daughter Can Play the Piano

Miss Mckenna has been taking piano lessons for a few months now with a private teacher who we just LOVE. Her teacher got together with some other music teachers in the area to have a mini recital for all the kids.

Mckenna was SUPER nervous about playing in front of people but I thought it would be really good for her.




She was so nervous she didn’t even smile the entire time. It didn’t help that this was the first time she had played on a grand piano! She is used to a keyboard at home and an upright at the piano teachers! She did great!


All the kids who participated also received a certificate which I thought was very sweet. I am looking forward to attending many more recitals!