Waimea Valley

We hit up Waimea Valley two separate times while we had family here. The first time was just to go to the farmers market they have (Thursday afternoons).   I really wish we had some farmer’s markets even closer to … Continue reading

Underwater Waikiki

Continuing the touristy recap of my in-laws visiting… We did the Atlantis Submarine tour. I have to give my husband credit, he found this one. I was worried that it would be kinda lame since we do quite a bit … Continue reading

Get Your Luau On!

When Omar came home, his mom, sister and niece came for a visit. One of the things at the top of their (and my!) list was a luau. This is one of the ‘Hawaiian’ things I had been saving to … Continue reading

“Winter” at the North Shore

Winter in Hawaii is a pretty laughable thing. I must confess I am enjoying the hell out of this winter! I can totally live in flip flops year ’round.

Well, some of my lovely FRG wives and I decided that we needed to take a day trip up to the North Shore. Some of them had *gasp* never been. I just ADORE it up there, I like the scenery, the vibe and most of all the FOOD!

So we loaded up all 16 of us and headed north.

First stop, as always, Turtle Beach.

DSCF1006aThere were only two little guys braving the crazy surf to find food. The North Shore in winter is when all the crazy waves are here, there are surf competitions going on all the time right now!

Then we grabbed a friendly Turtle Beach volunteer to take a picture of our tribe.

317982_10200418815494741_1481297519_nOnward to our first meal of the day, my favorite North Shore eatery, Ted’s Bakery. We all grabbed our food to go and hit up the beach to eat lunch. I was so bummed, my bbq chicken combo was a bbq chicken sandwich. Same chicken but in a bun and with fries instead of rice and mac salad. First world problems, right?

We headed to the lovely tidepools at Shark’s Cove where the rocks around kept it pretty protected and gave the kids somewhere to play.

SCWe all played and ate and played and talked. The weather was overcast and about 78, not a perfect beach day but man, it’s better than what most people are getting right now!

Of course after all that playing it was time for dessert. Oh did I not mention I picked up a Chocolate Haupia Pie from Ted’s? Can I say I don’t think our kids will EVER forget this pie. This is how we do it here, pie on the beach. Grab a fork…



After dessert we spent more time playing (kids) and gossiping (moms) making plans for our awesome ship’s Family Readiness Group. By this time we were famished! Time for dinner! Off to Haleiwa for some shreeyump. Shrimp trucks are everywhere and they all are a little different. I think I may have found my new favorite after being disappointed by the famous Giovanni’s.

shrimpGreat selection, Lemon Pepper, Garlic, Original, Coconut and Spicey. $12/plate. I ended up sharing with the kids and then regretting it because they were SO good! We were all peeling shrimp and licking our fingers. So ono! (See me dropping some local lingo?!) So if you see this truck stop and order some yummy food!

Time to finally head home after a looooong day, the kids were tired:

DSCF1042Well one was anyways…



And the view on the ride home wasn’t half bad…



Great day with friends and the kids, just wishing my husband had been able to be with us… Counting down the days. Four months done so far!






Out with the old…

So. 2012.

Really you weren’t so bad. Or at least you didn’t start off that way.

January we stayed busy in Spain with Three King’s Day, Puerto Sherry, and eating at my favorite 100 Montaditos.


February was Mckenna’s Rainbow Birthday which was SO much fun to do and a day trip to Vejer de la Frontera.

The 'new' part of the town.

The ‘new’ part of the town.

March brought basketball, homemade hot sauce and a scrapbooking getaway for me.

The girls!

April was a super busy month for us with an ER visit, beach days, Easter, zoo trips, children’s theater, goat farm, hosting my first bunco and FERIA!


May was even MORE feria, Mother’s Day, a trip to the bee farm and a photo session from one of friends!


In June Omar reenlisted in the Navy, I had my going away lunch at work, we celebrated Father’s Day, took a day trip to Portugal, I graduated, and we had our last week in Spain.



July, oh July. We left Spain (and left part of my heart there), moved to Hawaii, saw tragedy in Colorado, went to Hanauma Bay for the first time (of many!), and the kids started school!



In August we finally got to move into our new house, hit up the North Shore, snorkled, got a Harley, and swam with a sea turtle for the first time!



September. My month of woe. We spent some time at Kaneohe Bay, Omar turned 5, and we found out daddy was deploying. Daddy deployed.



October saw more beach days, bird rescues, the end of my football season, a month down of deployment, a port call in Malaysia for Omar, and a great Halloween for the kids.



In November we hit our four month mark of living in Hawaii, Mckenna made it to regionals with her robotics club, we elected Barack Obama for a second term, my husband got older, I got older, I hit my one year blogging anniversary, we hit our 11th wedding anniversary, and the kids and I spent Thanksgiving in California.

One. More. Bite. Of. Pie!

In December we lived through another tragedy, I baked WAY too much, took a million pictures of the kids at the beach, threw a party, and had a wonderful Christmas.


2012 it’s been real. Peace out.

Living in Hawaii {4 Month Update}

We have officially hit four months of living in Hawaii.

And I am in love with this state.

Hawaii can be a difficult place to live. It is so very different than living on the mainland. It can be hard to not have every store and restaurant you are used to having around the corner. (No Olive Garden, Michael’s or Chik-fil-a!) Living here means that you are living far from family, at least a 5 hour plane ride away. It can be expensive, housing is expensive, food is expensive, we are on an island so you will pay more for everything. We are lucky to be able to shop at the commissary and exchange which offer a huge savings over shopping on the local economy.

But with all that it is still magical to live here. I will be driving and then all of a sudden see a gorgeous rainbow, a vibrant green volcanic range, or a stunning sunset over the beach.

We did come here with a bit of an advantage. After living in Spain for four years we learned to live without many of the American conveniences that people complain about not having here. Plus we’ve been living far from family. So when we moved from Rota to Pearl Harbor it was awesome for us! We had Target and Starbucks and T-mobile…

It is like most places for me, it depends on what you make of it. If you spend your time here complaining about how much you hate it, you’ll end up hating it.

We’ve had a great time getting out and exploring the island, learning about the culture and customs and eating!

Don’t get me wrong it’s far from perfect here, the DMV is a nightmare, the traffic is the worst, and the bugs are out of control. There are shady parts of the island, it sucks being 6 hours behind all my friends and family on the east coast (especially when your husband deploys!)

I have found some fun friends by stepping outside my comfort zone and playing football, volunteering with the PTA and getting together a FRG for the Paul Hamilton.

The only thing that would make it better would be if my husband were still here to explore the island with me!