Tuesday, July 26, 2011

School supply update

I think J-Mav's list is complete now.

J-Mav's 2011-12 School Supply List

2 packs wide-rule loose-leaf paper - $1.50
4 black & white marble composition books - $1.60
10 large glue sticks (I actually got 18 of the smaller size) - $5.91
1 box crayons (24) - $.40
1 box washable markers (8) - $.99
1 package highlighters - $1.47
1 pair of scissors - $0 (had from last year)
2 post-it pads (3x3) - $1.00 (only bought one; had one unopened from last year)
1 package white board markers - $0 (had from last year)
5 pocket folders without brads (red, yellow, green, blue, black) - $3.48
10 red pens - $1.00
1 package pearl pink erasers - $0 (have several of these from previous years)
1 zipper pencil pouch - $0 (have from last year)
1 ruler with inches/centimeters - $0 (have from last year)
24 #2 pencils - $.94
1 clipboard, letter size - $0 (had from last year)
1 large boxes tissues - $4.49 (actually got a three-pack)
2 boxes baby wipes - $1.89 (maybe getting 3 boxes of tissues will make up for only getting one box of wipes)
1 box quart ziploc bags - $2.49
1 box gallon ziploc bags - $0 (have several boxes at home as a result of a trip to Costco)

Grand total spent (with tax): $50.12

Didn't quite make it under $50.

Still won't be able to do anything with Keeper Boy's list until we see who his teachers are. And even then, I'm not sure I'll do anything with it before school starts as the middle school and high school teachers seem to require things other than what's on the list, anyway.


And then there was THIS convo with J-Mav as we're driving tonight and he reads some sign...

J-Mav: Mom, what does modify mean?

Me: Change

J-Mav: Well, why don't they just say change then? Why do we need all these extra words. That's just dumb.

Me: I don't know buddy.

J-Mav: I mean, I like learning, but geez, why does it have to be so confusing?

Monday, July 25, 2011


I just had this conversation on the phone with Keeper Boy, and it was too good not to share...

Me: Hello?

Keeper Boy: Hey Mom.

Me: Hey Bud. What's up?

KB: So how do you use this Sun-In? [He has heard us talking about how Hubby used Sun-In when he was younger to lighten his hair.]

Me: Uh... what do the instructions say? I think you just spray it in your hair when it's damp and then either go out in the sun or dry your hair with a hair dryer.

KB: Oh, OK. Thanks.

Me: No problem. Bye.

KB: Bye.

Less than two minutes later, the phone rang again...

Me: Hello?

KB: Hey mom.

Me: Hi. What's wrong?

KB: How do you use the hair dryer?

Me: What do you mean how do you use it? You turn it on.

KB: Well yeah, but which end do you use?

Me: Uh... the end that the air comes out of after you turn it on...

KB: Oh. I thought there was two different ways to use it.

Me: [Laughing and trying not to snort] Nope. Just the one. Call me back if you need anything else.

Good Lord... we've been trying to teach him how to do laundry, load/unload the dishwasher, and cook simple things. Perhaps we should've started with the basics. Like how to operate a hair dryer!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The annual wallet-draining ritual...

... that is shopping for school supplies has begun. We had to go to Target tonight to get a sleeve of tennis balls for J-Mav as his tennis camp starts tomorrow. Keeper Boy also wanted a bottle of Sun-In. Ah, the vanity begins. As a side note, in case you're in the market, Target doesn't sell Sun-In. Wal-Mart does.

Anyway, while we were at Target, I checked out what school supplies were on sale. I didn't have J-Mav's list with me, but I remembered most of it and actually did pretty well. Because I know the former and current teachers in my "fan club" get a kick out of the annual school supply list, I thought I'd keep you up-to-date on my progress.

J-Mav's 2011-12 School Supply List

Items gotten:
2 packs wide-rule loose-leaf paper - $1.50
4 black & white marble composition books - $1.60
10 large glue sticks (I actually got 18 of the smaller size) - $5.91
1 box crayons (24) - $.40
1 box washable markers (8) - $.99
1 package highlighters - $1.47
1 pair of scissors - $0 (had from last year)
2 post-it pads (3x3) - $1.00 (only bought one; had one unopened from last year)
1 package white board markers - $0 (had from last year)
5 pocket folders without brads (red, yellow, green, blue, black) - $3.48
10 red pens - $1.00
1 package pearl pink erasers - $0 (have several of these from previous years)
1 zipper pencil pouch - $0 (have from last year)
1 ruler with inches/centimeters - $0 (have from last year)
24 #2 pencils - $.94
1 clipboard, letter size - $0 (had from last year)

Yet to get:
1 large boxes tissues
2 boxes baby wipes
1 box quart ziploc bags
1 box gallon ziploc bags

Grand total spent so far (with tax): $40.81

With any luck, we'll finish off his list and come in under $50. Won't be able to do anything with Keeper Boy's list until we see who his teachers are. And even then, I'm not sure I'll do anything with it before school starts as the middle school and high school teachers seem to require things other than what's on the list, anyway.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Birthday Blog, Part II

I truly would've been fine had I received nothing for my birthday. That said, it's always fun to get "schtuff." :-) And this year was fabulous -- jewelry and chocolate and shoes, oh my! What more could a gal ask for? Oh! How about a book and money/gift cards! Yes, it was a fabulous!

Monday, July 18, 2011

40 is the new ??

So, I'm 40. FORTY! It came and went with little fanfare. I woke up Saturday feeling the same as I felt when I went to bed Friday night. Looked the same, too, as far as I could tell. So what's the big deal? Why do people fret and moan and dread turning 40?


I'm fairly certain that a large reason that it didn't bother me in the least is because it didn't appear to phase either of my parents in the least. If it did, neither of them showed it. This, too, is probably a large part of why gray/silver hair did and does not freak me out. I have a good amount of that, too.

But I digress.

When my dad turned 40, my mom threw a surprise party for him. (It took two attempts as my dad, who NEVER got sick when I was growing up, had a hideous cold or the flu or something and my mom had to postpone the party for a week later, when he was feeling somewhat, but not all the way, human again). I don't remember necessarily thinking that 40 was old at that time (I was 9.5 at the time); but I do remember thinking it would be FOREVER before *I* was 40. I mean, my GOD. 40!

As I finished high school and went away to school, 25 no longer became so far away. By then my parents were pushing 60 and they certainly weren't old. Heck, my grandfather was in his 80s and HE wasn't old, either.

I blew past 25 (wondering why *I* didn't get a huge insurance discount like Hubby had the year before... hrmph), and waddled my way toward 30 while pregnant with Keeper Boy. Blew past 30, popped out another kid, and nope... still not old. But that 40 was creeping up on me fast.

So now here I am on the other side... joining a lot of my friends who crossed the fence before me. What do ya know? We're all still young and [sometimes] hip (though our now teenagers and tweens would probably tell you otherwise). And I'm once again redefining old. Because now my dad is 70 and mom will join him next year. They're STILL not old (most of the time). ;-P

I'm on the fence about 80. I know people in their 80s who ARE old. And I know people in their 80s who most definitely are NOT old.

But hey... I still have another whole lifetime until I get THERE! Today, 40 is looking pretty good!

Friday, July 15, 2011


This morning I watched a large flock of geese completely stop traffic in both directions on a six-lane divided highway (eight if you include turn lanes), while it waddled across. Immediately upon arriving at the opposite curve, each goose took flight.

They couldn't have flown across the road to start with?

Thursday, July 14, 2011


As J-Mav and I are driving to his doctor appointment this afternoon, my iPod is playing in the car and a song by the Go Gos comes on...

J-Mav: Is this band all girls?

Me: Yep.

J-Mav: This is pretty good music for all girls.

Oy. I didn't realize we were raising a chauvinist.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy birthday!

Happy, happy birthday to Hubby today. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hawaii - The Aftermath

It turns out we waited more than 30 minutes for the hotel shuttle to pick us up at the airport and take us back to our truck. We were tired, starving, and cranky, so you can imagine Hubby's and my irritation when the shuttle driver casually mentioned that our vehicle had been moved while we were gone. "How?" we both snapped at the same time (because both sets of keys were in our possession in Hawaii). The driver said she was 99% sure they put it on rollers and moved it. We asked why and were told that they re-paved the area of the lot that Hubby had parked the truck in.

Now the desk clerk knew where he had parked the truck when we checked into the hotel. It was the only area with available spaces that evening when we arrived. I would think that they knew of their paving plans at that time. Paving a parking lot is not something that you randomly decide to do one day. I'm very annoyed that they didnt' inform us and tell us to park somewhere else! I meant to call today and complain, but I forgot. I have it on my list of things to do tomorrow.

We ended stopping at Subway for a quick dinner after we got our car and loaded up all of our luggage. We did hit traffic on the way home, but it was due to construction, not rush hour. We got home about 11pm and we were all in bed and asleep by 11:30.

Hubby and Keeper Boy had dry land training at 10am the next morning, so no real sleeping in for them. J-Mav slept until just after Noon. I had to go in and check on him at one point to see if he was breathing. I don't think he's ever slept 12 hours in a row, even when he was a baby!

Yesterday (Sunday), J-Mav was up at 9; Hubby and I slept until 10; and we had to wake Keeper Boy at 12:30pm. Crazy!

Today it was (begrudgingly) back to work for Hubby and I. I think we are all back on our normal, east coast time schedule.

Only three more weeks until we go to Smith Mountain Lake for a week... then it's going to a LONG time until we have another vacation...

Hawaii - July 8

Well, the end of our wonderful vacation has been crappy. We had no trouble at HNL; I think we were at the gate within a half hour of when Uncle Hooter dropped us off. Even had time to get ice cream before we boarded the flight!

The red eye flight was fine, though J-Mav is the only one who slept (and he slept for the entire flight). I knew I wouldn't sleep, and I didn't. I tried. Hubby and Keeper Boy, for whatever reason, chose to watch movies all night instead of sleeping.

While waiting for our connection in Salt Lake City, we were delayed an hour due to weather in Baltimore. We finally took off (and I was able to sleep a little; Jack once again slept for most of the flight). Once we got close to BWI, we were put in a holding pattern because of the weather. I guess it hadn't yet cleared, or they were backed up. Eventually, we had to divert to Pittsburgh to refuel.

We are now on our way back to BWI and will be landing just more than 3 hours after we were supposed to. We still need to get a shuttle back to the hotel to get the truck and then drive home. I guess the one good thing is that the traffic should be better.

The boys have been pretty good with this long day of travel. I messed up and packed Keeper Boy's meds in his checked baggage, so he's definitely had his moments--especially at the airport in SLC and while we were refueling in Pittsburgh.

It really was a wonderful vacation. It seems, at once, like we've been gone forever, and like we just left. I can't believe it might be two years (or longer) until we see Uncle Hooter, Jenrie, and the kids again. Well not "might be" but "probably will be." :-( I do hope it works out for Keeper Boy to fly out there next summer.

Hawaii - July 7

Hubby and Keeper Boy swam with turtles! How cool! Keeper Boy even took a video with Uncle Hooter's camera. Hopefully Uncle Hooter will be able to send it to us when he gets back from his work trip to Australia. (He left for three weeks the day after we did... hopefully he will be back before the baby is born... he is due on August 18!)

The show was cool. Not sure it was worth $50, but it was cool. Pretty far away--complete other side of the island. I ended up driving home because Jenrie was tired. I done good... you'd have thought I knew what I was doing! Driving H1 is kinda like driving on 66!

I did get to see Chinaman's Hat while we were driving up there. That's not quite as cool as seeing giant sea turtles, but it's something.

This morning we went to Pali Lookout. Beautiful view of that side of the island, but man was it windy! There was a warning onoine to hold the hands of small children. I can see why!

We are working on getting packed up and doing some laundry. I think we are going to go out to lunch, go see some fish at the Officer's Club at the harbor, and just lay low this afternoon. Our flight leaves at 9pm.

Saw some cool, bright yellow fish at the harbor. Took some pics, but the water seems to have distorted them because it was breezy. Just looks like yellow blobs in the water. Oh well. I did get a picture of the kids sitting on the Hickam sign (and the "planes on a stick").

Hawaii - July 6

Tried to find turtles yesterday. No luck. :-( We also went paddle boarding at Hickam Beach. Keeper Boy did awesome! So did Hubby and J-Mav. Keeper Boy and Uncle Hooter went all the way out to the airport runway... probably between a 1/4 and 1/2 mile... and back. Hubby and Uncle Hooter did the same. Jack paddled around the cove and did awesome, as well. I went around the cove and a little out of it. Did fine until I had to turn around. Than i had to get down on my knees to turn around (needed more power). But it was fun!

Last night we went to Waikiki. Very upscale; very congested. There were a few "normal" stores thrown in, and an ABC store on every block... sometimes more than one. I don't think we bought anything. We ate dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise... well, one of the chain's other Waikiki locations... Cheeseburger on the Beach Walk it was called. Yummy burgers!

Oh, yesterday we went back to Hilo Hatties so Keeper Boy could get a Hawaiian shirt. Wow is the one he picked loud!! But he's happy with his choice. I got a "bauble" there for my birthday from the independent jeweler that's within the store. A Tahitian black pearl on a white gold chain. I like it very much. :)

This morning Jenrie and I went to a giant swap meet (flea market) at Aloha Stadium. It happens every Sunday and Wednesday and she'd been wanting to go, but had never been. We found some "treasures." :-) I got a honu for the dining room wall, where we hang some sort of handmade wooden item from each place we've traveled since we went on our Caribbean cruise for our 10th anniversary. It was exactly what we had been looking for for $8 instead of $100. Not as well made, but the imperfection is endearing. :) Of course, it was also made in Indonesia instead of Hawaii, but what do you expect for $8.

Hubby, Uncle Hooter, and Keeper Boy went hiking and cliff jumping at Moanowili Falls. Uncle Hooter took a cool video of Keeper Boy jumping.

Jenrie, Gma G, and I are getting ready to go to a show at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The boys and Princess P went back to the turtle place in search of turtles.

Hawaii - July 5

Some weird things about Hawaii --
  • Everyone is required to have a Hawaii license plate, so it's extremely rare to see a plate from any other state. And if you do, you know they just arrived on the island recently.
  • On Maui, all of the rental car license plates started with L. That wasn't the case on Oahu.
  • It's apparently legal to ride in the back of a pick-up truck; it's also apparently legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
  • It rains "often," but never for very long (at least in our experience) and not very hard.
  • Mahalo means thank you.
  • Flip flops are called slippers, or, more accurately, slippahs.
  • POG (Passion fruit-Orange-Guava) juice... we'll need to look for it at home because Hubby loves it.
  • Tattoos... I've seen more in the past week than I've ever seen before, I think.
  • Things seem to move at a much slower pace on the islands.
  • Malasadas are yummy when warm; kinda greasy and somewhat gross when cold.
  • Poi.

Keeper Boy and Princess P are best buddies. They seem to have a mutual admiration society going on. Gma G said she doesn't know what she would've done when we were in Maui if Keeper Boy hadn't been here. Anyway, Jenrie and I both had the same idea and we've been talking about sending him out here for a period of time next summer to help Jenrie out since she'll have Spidey and two kids under the age of 3. We'll have to see how it would work out with band camp if he decides to stick with band in high school. OMG... at this time NEXT year, I'll have a high school freshman!! But what a cool experience it would be for Keeper Boy! I hope we can work it out. And more importantly, I hope Princess P still likes him next summer! Jenrie said having another set of hands would allow them to do more things, so he might even get to travel to another island or two.

Hawaii - July 4

What an amazing fireworks display tonight on Hickam! I've noticed in transcribing my journal that I used the word "amazing" A LOT... guess that's the marker of a good vacation? The display went for a solid 30 minutes. The concert before was good, too--The Plain White Tees and another band. Two other bands, actually. Princess P did NOT like the fireworks... looking at them or hearing them. Hubby finally took her from Jenrie and nestled her in his arms like we used to do with Keeper Boy at Caps games when he was really young to shield him from the horn when a goal was scored. She went to sleep.

We went to "the turtle place" this afternoon (well, late morning) and there were no turtles. :-(

We got some cute pictures of the kids in their Old Navy flag t-shirts before we went to the concert/fireworks. Overall, a very nice July 4th! It gets darker earlier here, so the fireworks started at 8:30. That was nice for the kids as we were home by 9:30.

Only three days left. :-( Not sure what's on the agenda for tomorrow, but we're going to Waikiki tomorrow night.

Hawaii - July 3

The North Shore was nice, but I didn't think it was fabulous. Maybe it's very popular because it's not as crowded as other parts of the island. Although I bet it's more crowded when the surf is higher. It was pretty, but I didn't think it was fabulous. Shark's Cove was nice, but very rocky, so no real swimming.
I couldn't really snorkel because I couldn't see where to put my hands without my contacts in and I didn't want to put my hands down on a sea urchin and get stung. Hubby and Uncle Hooter went snorkeling out into the open water outside the cove, and Keeper Boy and J-Mav had a great time snorkeling within the cove. They LOVED snorkeling. I got fried from standing in the shallow water with Princess P and the younger boys, but it doesn't hurt.

We ate lunch at Macky's shrimp truck. Good shrimp! I originally wrote here that it probably wasn't worth $40 for three plates; however, I later reconsidered that as we spent that (or more) on almost any meal we ate out because of the cost of things on the islands. Something else we can say we did while we were here! We saw the famous shave ice place in the North Shore, too... Matsimoto's or something like that. Didn't stop though.

We also went to the Dole Plantation and saw how pineapples grow (who knew that they grow on bushes in the ground... we all thought they grew on trees!). We also had some of the famous Dole whip (pineapple ice cream). YUMMY! We have since discovered that the new yogurt place in our subdivision has pineapple yogurt (and coconut yogurt) that tastes EXTREMELY similar to what we had at the Dole Plantation. This could be bad... In addition, we saw a gecko hanging out on a beautiful red plant and got to see some Rainbow Eucylypus Trees up close and personal.

We ate at home last night after watching the sun set at Sharks Cove. Got some great pictures, I think. (I did.)

Today we went to three look-outs. The first one--Lenai Lookout--was amazing!! We climbed around on rocks and took some cool pictures.

The second one was Blow Hole Lookout. The tide was too low for the hole to be blowing, but we saw the beach where the famous scene in From Here to Eternity was filmed. It was very pretty.

Then we went to a lighthouse lookout.

Tonight we had our photos taken on the beach at Paradise Cove (where we had been a few nights ago for the luau). Hopefully there are some good ones. The sunset was beautiful! A friend of Jenna's who is also an unemployed nurse and does photography on the side did the photos. She left the next day for a three-week vacation on the mainland, so we won't see the photos until sometime in August.

Hawaii - July 2

The luau at Paradise Cove was great! There were activities to do before
the luau--outrigger canoeing, Polynesian tattooing, spear throwing, crown making, a tree-climbing exhibition, and the king/queen/unveiling of the pig ceremony. The food was good--though I have no need to try poi again. :-)

It was a late night, but the kids did great! I'm tired this morning, though. Today we are going to the North Shore.

Talked to mom and dad last night. I was worried about Grandpa since I got a message from [my cousin] last night that he'd been hospitalized. Doesn't appear to be life threatening. His face is apparently really, really swollen. They don't seem to know what's wrong with him though. :-( Turns out it was shingles. He seems to be fine and in no pain, and was apparently only in the hospital for a few days. I suppose anything can be serious and/or life-threatening when you're just a few days shy of your 97th birthday! Turns out this was the trip of unexpected medical news. When I turned my Blackberry on in Salt Lake City on the way TO Hawaii I learned that my dad has Diabetes. Neither Hubby nor I ever remember being told that that was even a possibility or that he was having issues. Now that we are home and somewhat back on a "normal" schedule, I need to call and get more scoop on THAT.

Hawaii - July 1

July! Vacation is half over. :-( Last night we ate at a cool little restaurant on base after driving over to the Marine base to play mini golf and ride the bumper boats. Everyone had a great time. The boys (all five of them) got soaked on the bumper boats after we all played golf.

This morning, Uncle Hooter, Hubby, Keeper Boy, J-Mav, Spidey, and I went on a hike to Menoa Falls. It was beautiful! Very muddy. But an easy hike as hikes go. Cool stuff to look at all the way up. It was about a mile up.

Tonight is the luau!

Hawaii - June 30

Happy birthday to J-Mav! I can't believe he is 8--and how cool to have his birthday in Hawaii!! So far, we haven't done much (went to Hilo Hatties), but tonight we are are going out to eat and this afternoon we are playing mini golf. J-Mav's request.

Yesterday we went to Pearl Harbor. What an amazing and awe-inspiring day. We got there around 10am and weren't going to be able to get out to the Arizona Memorial until 1:15pm, but then someone turned in their tickets for 10:45am, so the ranger gave them to us. Good thing I looked at them as we were walking away from the ticket counter because there were only five tickets and there were six of us. (Uncle Hooter was at work and Jenrie stayed home with Princess P.) I went back and asked if Spidey needed a ticket, and the guy just slyly took a blank one from the depths of his desk and wrote 10:45am in the blank spot. And poof! We had enough tickets for all of us.

We walked, rather quickly, through one part of the two-part museum, but then had to go get in line to board the boat out to the Arizona. We never did get back to the museum. I wish we had. What we saw was very interesting.
It's amazing how much oil is still coming up from the Arizona. On one side of the memorial, you could see the "oil rainbow" in the water; on the other side, you could actually see blobs of oil in the water... almost 70 years later!
We saw Gma G's uncle's name on the memorial wall. And the thing that amazed Hubby and I the most was the marble "box" set in front of the memorial wall. The ones with names engraved and dates much later than that day of infamy. Dates like 1986... 1991... 2010. These are apparently guys who wanted to be buried with their shipmates. Even all of those years later. I can only imagine the survivor's guilt these men must've lived with for their entire lives. That box was really more haunting than the wall with all of the names.
Then we went and toured the U.S.S. Bowfin submarine. It was put into service after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and earned the nickname "Avenger." None of us could imagine being under water in it for weeks at a time.

We saw something other things, too. A suicide sub, some torpedoes, a rescue capsule. Then Uncle Hooter picked us up and drove Hubby, Keeper Boy, J-Mav and I over to the U.S.S. Missouri Battleship and took Gma G and Spidey home. We walked around the ship for several hours. It was very cool. No way I could find my way around it without the tour arrows! We got a kick out of the two copies of the surrender document that are encased on the surrender deck of the ship. On the Japanese copy, the Canadian representative signed on the wrong line so there is a lot of crossing out and writing in. Just looks weird on such an official document. We also got to see the U.S.S. Oklahoma Memorial, though we had to catch a shuttle back over to Pearl Harbor so we could check out the gift shop, so we didn't have too long to walk around and read all the names.
A very cool day.

We were supposed to have pictures last night, but we postponed it to Sunday.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hawaii - June 27

We are at the summit of Haleakola--a dormant volcano. 10,023 feet. So cool. I have slight altitude sickness--dizzy, headache, sometimes hard to catch my breath. But it's all good. I hope we got some phenomenal pictures! Uncle Hooter drove up; Hubby drove down. Our rental car did really well. :-)

The pictures we took don't come close to doing Haleakola justice. It's amazingly beautiful and we were just fascinated by it.

There's a plant called Silver Sword that only grows at the summit of Haleakola. It really does look silver in the sun, too! Very cool to see something that you can find in only one place in the entire world!

We had a good breakfast at Charly's this morning. It is supposedly owned by Willie Nelson--won in a poker match.

We stayed at the Pai'a Inn last night. It was great! I would totally stay there again if I came back to Maui! We stayed in a two-bedroom suite that was beautiful. It was like its own little cottage.

The town of Pai'a is cute. It was rolled up pretty early, so we didn't get to shop, but we window-shopped and we ate a place called the Pai'a Fish Market (a recommendation from the cousin of a friend from the rink). I had Mahi and it was awesome! I think everyone really liked what they ordered there. Hubby and Uncle Hooter had some local beer from the Maui Brewing Co.


I'm falling behind...

Once we came off Haleakola, we went back to Paia and had lunch at Flat Bread Pizza. It was really good--another spot-on recommendation. We walked around the town and then we drove to our hotel in Lahaina. We are staying at the Aston Maui Ka'anapali. Very nice. I think it's a timeshare/hotel place. The guys are off snorkeling around Black Rock while Jenrie and I hang at the beach. Then we are going to explore Lahaina.

To backtrack: Our flight to Maui on Sunday was SHORT! We were barely up in the air and we started our descent. We got our rental car (and Josh left his iPhone on the rental car counter... but got it back when the next shuttle driver brought it to the car pick up lot). The guy at the counter seemed to take a liking to us. He offered us a reduced upgrade to a Ford Escape, so we took that. And we added Hubby as a driver so he and Uncle Hooter could share driving duties. The Escape was a cute, mid-size SUV. After Uncle Hooter retrieved his phone, we took off for Makawao, where our zipline adventure awaited us (Hubby and I). Pi'iholo Ranch. We did the 9=line canopy tour and it was awesome! Makes what we did in Alaska seem like nothing. Hubby and I had a blast! And we did take the camera, so hopefully we got some great pictures. (We got some good ones... don't know about great...) Some of the lines were REALLY long! And we were literally in the tree canopy. Lots of Eucolyptus trees. There was one particular variety that was very spongy. Uncle Hooter and Jenrie strolled around Makawao and drove around while we zipped and then came back for us (right one time, too!).

We ate lunch at The Stopwatch in Makawao, a recommendation from the guy at the rental car counter--good burgers--and then headed down to Pai'a. I think that catches up from the last two days.

Geez, I didn't even write about the road to Hana in my journal. Guess it really was underwhelming! We did about half of the road. We stopped at several places, but didn't do much hiking. We got annoyed with the locals who apparently don't know what "yield to oncoming traffic means" because they NEVER did. We went into the Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden, where they neglect to tell you until you get to a gatekeeper that you have to pay to get in. We were told we could get a deal for x amount of money for the four of us. It was like $50. We said no thanks; he lowered it $10; we said no thanks again and turned around and left (as did everyone else we saw go in there). We later found out that the price he lowered it to when we said no thanks is the advertised rate. What a schmuck. But when we got to Ke'anae Village, it was worth it. Beautiful rocks and an old church that is the only thing that survived in the original version of the village after a tsunami in 1946. We took a bunch of pictures here and then headed back the way we came to go check in to The Pai'a Inn.


Last night we went to Whaler's Village, which is shops and restaurants. Uncle Hooter and Jenrie had run into friends from their neighborhood while we were at the top of Haleakola, and they were staying right near us in Lahaina, so they had dinner with them at the Hula Grill and Hubby and I walked around. We weren't really hungry after eating such a late lunch. Lots of cute shops, but mostly window shopping. We did get an ornament made from Koa and a Hawaiian teddy bear for our soon-to-be-new-nephew.

Later still...

On the plane back to Oahu. :-( Had a great afternoon in Lahaina. Ate at Pacifico's, but our friend's cousin wasn't working. Oh well, still good food, even if it was a few blocks outside the town center.

I forgot to mention that on the day we arrived in Maui, after the zip, we went in an open house. It was a beautiful house--"only" $1.6 million. We though maybe if we all pooled all of our money and opened an avocado stand... nah. It was nice though. Two acres. Three bedrooms, all of which opened up onto a courtyard with a beautiful pool. High-end finishes. And it had an orchard. Reminded me of some of the homes in the Caribbean on House Hunters International.

I think Gma G and the kids will be happy to see us. Apparently they are bored...

Hawaii - June 25

Fun times with the J family last night. Their kids didn't know (I had accidentally spilled the beans to Keeper Boy the night before, so he knew), so apparently Z's face was priceless when he saw Keeper Boy at the gate. (Uncle Hooter had to go out and sign them in as visitors to the base, and Keeper Boy went out with him.) We cooked out and hung out. They left around 9:30 or 10. They were staying on the North Shore, so they had a hike to get back to their hotel.

Today we went to the Punch Bowl. It was beautiful. I didn't know there was another national cemetery. The head stones are flush with the ground, though. Not like Arlington. When we got there, there was a ceremony going on in commemoration of the 61st anniversary of the Korean War. Pretty cool thing to stumble on. There was this guy back in the woods playing taps. I'm the only one of our group who saw him. Wish I'd gotten a picture of him actually playing. Then we walked up and saw all the pillars with the names, and found Gma G's uncle's name. He died on the Arizona in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Then, Jenrie, Gma G, Spidey, J-Mav, and Princess P went home. Hubby, Uncle Hooter, Keeper Boy, and I hiked Diamond Head--a long dormant volcano. You drive in and park in the crater and then hike up the inside of the crater. There were a couple sets of steep steps, but it wasn't bad. The views at the top were amazing. We saw Waikiki and we saw Maui (though we didn't know that at the time because Uncle Hooter didn't tell us).

Tonight is a rest night as Hubby, Uncle Hooter, Jenrie, and I leave early tomorrow for our jaunt to Maui!

Hawaii - June 24

Spent the afternoon yesterday at Hickam Beach (the beach on Hickam Air Force Base, which is REALLY close to the runway for the airport). It was a nice, small beach with calm water and extremely small waves. Uncle Hooter met us when he got off work and brought his paddle board. He showed Hubby how to do it, and then Hubby went for a spin. He did well. Keeper Boy tried, but just in the cove by the swimming area--both Uncle Hooter and Hubby said it was too windy for Keeper Boy to go out any further.

We came back to the house and made pasta. J-Mav fell asleep on the sofa right after dinner and was in bed by 7:30! Gma G went up by 9. Uncle Hooter, Jenrie, Hubby, and I played Apples to Apples and laughed ourselves silly.

Today we went to a different beach--Bellows Beach. Also a military beach, although it has a public portion, too. It also wasn't very crowded. Very windy and there was a pretty good undertow. But great for boogie boarding. I did that for the first time. :-)

The boys (and Hubby and Uncle Hooter) spent almost the entire time we were there in the water. Keeper Boy and J-Mav had a blast--I've never seen either of them go so far out into the water at the ocean. Not sure what's different between here and Avalon.

We are back at the house and waiting for the J family to arrive for a cookout. They are vacationing on Oahu now, too. Crazy! (The J family is our friends from here... their son, Z played on two teams with Keeper Boy when he played for the Xtreme. Their daughter, Z's older sister, A also babysat for J-Mav some last summer. And they have another brother, N, who falls in the middle. They are one of the few families we actively keep in touch with from our time at Ashburn.) Gma G, Uncle Hooter, and Jenrie have all met Mr. J and Z before at various hockey games/tournaments. AND, Gma G and Mr. J know some of the same people and went to the same high school... or went to rival high schools... or something. They both grew up in the same area outside of DC. Small World!

We have seen some schools while driving around... lots of outdoor spaces--breezeways to walk between buildings and areas of the school, lots of windows that are opened for breezes (no A/C), and outdoor eating areas. Pretty interesting. Spidey will be going to Kindergarten in a school like that beginning on August 1.

Princess P (Spidey's little sister) is just adorable. She doesn't really talk much, but her face is SO expressive! She calls Spidey "Bubba" (for brother) and she seems to call J-Mav [his name but with a D instead of a J at the front]. She waves, nods yes and no, and she eats anything and everything. She warmed right up to us, which was nice.

Princess P was such a trooper the whole time--she had only one nap most days, when she is used to having two, and yet she almost never cried. When it was time for bed or a nap, we simply laid her in her bed or in her pack n play and she went to sleep. When she woke up, she played quietly in her bed and waited for someone to come get her. It will be interesting to see if she is still so mild-mannered once her little brother arrives in a few weeks...

Hawaii - June 23

Well, I didn't sleep much on the planes... none to Salt Lake City, and about an hour or so from SLC to Honolulu. The flight from SLC was good, and the private monitors on the seat backs rocked--games, movies, TV shows. I watched "Country Strong." Hubby watched a few movies. Keeper Boy watched a couple, too. (J-Mav took a nice long nap during the second leg of the flight.)

Hubby's luggage didn't come off the belt, but after standing in a long line, we discovered it was there. So that was good. (Still not sure why it was sitting in some mysterious back room and didn't come off on the luggage belt, but whatever. I'm just glad it was there... he's the only one who didn't pack a swimsuit and a change of clothes in a carry-on in the event of a luggage mishap.)

Uncle Hooter and Spidey picked us up (and greeted us with beautiful leis). Spidey was a little shy, but warmed up right away to the boys; took about a day for me to get a real hug from him.
The picture above is of Flat Slapshot wearing my lei. Flat Slapshot is something you can print out and take on vacation with you and then upload the pictures to Slapshot's Facebook page. We took a few during the first week we were there, but then kind of forgot.

Their house is nice; definitely big enough for all of us for the two weeks.

We managed to stay up until about 10pm (when Gma G arrived). The boys went to bed around 9. They were up at 5:30am this morning. Ugh! (Although, I don't know why I'm complaining... I didn't hear them. Gma G got up, God love her.)

Hawaii - June 22

I kept a journal while we were in Hawaii. I thought I'd transcribe it here (and probably add editorial comments in along the way, as well).


It has not been an auspicious start to our vacation.

Last night we loaded the van and left to stop at Subway for dinner. It looked very ominous out and we remembered the van has a broken windshield wiper and no A/C. Went to Subway, then to Jiffy Lube for a new wiper. Closed. Back home. Transferred all bags to car. Flat tire. (Editorial: John had left work the previous day to find a flat tire and had just pumped it up and gotten home. It wasn't completely flat, but it had lost enough air that we didn't want to drive it to Baltimore.) So we loaded up the truck (which I had NOT wanted to leave in Baltimore for 2+ weeks) and off we went to the Holiday Inn Express, amid a thunder storm, so good call on not taking the van.

Boys were hyper, but went to sleep after John threatened them with bodily harm. I, on the other hand, watched the clock ALL night. 4:30am came early.

We got to the airport and discovered that Delta's curbside check-in computers were down, and the line to check our bags was really long. (I had already checked us in online, printed our boarding passes, and paid the check bag fees... it was just a matter of giving the luggage to someone.) After a stressful 90 minutes and a jog through the terminal, we are on board (they held the plane because there were so many of us who were late) and pulling away from the gate. I drew the straw to sit with the boys in the bank of three seats. I think Hubby, who is across the aisle from me, is already asleep. I hope to join him soon.

Man, I need caffeine...

(The sleep didn't really happen for me... on any of our flights going or coming back.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hawaii: Coming Soon!

I kept a journal (yes, in a book with a pen) while we were in Hawaii, and I intend to transcribe it here (and probably add in editorial comments along the way) at some point soon. Stay tuned.


While we were on vacation, we received a letter in the mail from our Goddaughter, who was at camp. We've never received a letter from camp before since Keeper Boy and J-Mav only go for a week; however, this has got to be one of the best camp letters ever. It's a keeper for sure. :) Typing it just as we received it.

It's almost time to go to the fire circle.
There are people here that are anyoing.
I have a great time here at camp.
I've allso just took a shower.
XOXOXO, [Goddaughter]