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Tag Archives: Beach

Kayak Attack!

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Yesterday, Geoff had a surprise day off, so we went with some friends to Kailua to rent kayaks. Kailua is a sweet little town on the windward side. You get both Kailua beach park and the beautiful Lanikai all in one place. There are also a couple of offshore islands which are bird sanctuaries. Make a stop here, especially on a calm day.

It was fifty dollars for a two person kayak with back rests. The weather was absolutely perfect for kayaking, which was lucky since I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and, had the sea been rough, I probably would have dumped us in the water a hundred times because I suck at sports. We set out for Mokulua North , the bird sanctuary island off of Lanikai. Being a Sunday and such nice weather, there were plenty of other people about. The beach was a little too MTV spring break for me on this particular day, but I was glad to have been there nonetheless. We were able to spot some of the nesting birds up close, though at a safe and respectful distance. I managed to bust my toe on a lava rock, no surprise, and bleed everywhere, so that was awesome, too. While at sea, we also managed to spot a sea turtle that swam within a few feet of our kayak. Can’t get enough of nature.

After two hours of paddling in the sun, we were starving, so we hit up Mexico Lindo in Kailua before heading home. The chicken tamale was delicious and the pomegranate margarita was ample. I got my money’s worth and ate more than I have ever consumed at a  Mexican restaurant before.

By the time I got home, I was sunburned, bruised, and very sore. It was a great day.

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What Else

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Sadly, Geoff’s parents set off for home yesterday. The house seems strangely empty after having guests for three weeks. As always, time passes much too quickly. Let me tell you about a few more things we did during their visit.

We paid a visit to one of my favorite places on the island, the Byodo-In Temple. There’s an air of real tranquility around this place. I absolutely adore it. And Geoff was once again happy doing one of his favorite activities…

This time the birds were literally eating out of his hand. I joined in too, but only because I knew I had antibacterial lotion in my bag. I suppose if you’re a bird or a fish, there’s no better place to live than at a Buddhist temple. It’s one of the few places where this past time is not frowned upon.

Being early risers, we also had time to hit up the Honolulu Zoo that afternoon. I go here probably at least once a month, and I never get tired of watching the animals. The guidebooks never quite seem to give an entirely favorable review of the zoo, but I find it rather beautiful. Even for the gardens alone, it’s worth seeing. Why would you ever want to pass up a beautiful garden with tigers?

We also managed a day downtown visiting some of the historic sights, including a venture up to the top of the Aloha Tower, which I’d never done before. It’s a pretty cool view, and free,so why skip it?

The final highlight was Turtle Beach on the north shore. We were lucky to get a close up, and entirely legal look at one of these gorgeous sea turtles right on the sand. The were plenty of others others tumbling about in the waves as well. We stopped off for lunch on our cruise around the island at Ted’s Bakery. I enjoyed a pretty good cheeseburger and an eclair the size of my head. I would love to have a place like that someday. One can dream.

I love having visitors, and all the better when it’s people that make my husband so terribly happy. It was a much less bitter parting this time, since we know we will be seeing them again in March for the wedding. Provided I manage to get the silly thing planned. But that’s for tomorrow’s agenda. Want to help?

All Around the Town

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In the last three weeks we’ve been everywhere, including many visits to Kapiolani park, since it’s within walking distance. But we’ve managed to have a couple of other adventures as well.

We visited the Dole plantation, where Geoff got to feed the fish with all the other little kids.  These ones were particularly greedy. We also ate pineapple ice cream and a surprisingly good lunch, as well as taking a train tour around the plantation. There was some interesting info and some nice views, but this place is definitely geared towards tourists. The gift shop is probably the biggest part of the whole attraction. Hang on to your wallets if you go here. They’re looking for any way they can to suck some money out of you. Emily wants to go to the maze for her birthday, so we’ll be seeing another part of this place soon.

Later that day, we visited Mokuleia beach and spotted some sea turtles. I can’t stop myself from giggling every time one of them pokes their head out of the water to breathe. They’re fascinating creatures to watch. I’m amazed at how they get tumbled about by the waves but never seem to lose their bearings. They’re just beautiful.

Of course, the pineapples and the sea turtles were just a pretense. Our real reason for being on this side of the island was to get Ken to Dillingham airfield for his surprise glider flight. It was a clear beautiful day, perfect for taking in expansive views of the whole island. It must have been truly astonishing, and I think Ken really enjoyed it. My husband is pretty awesome at buying gifts. Alas, my birthday is a week before Christmas, so I only get spoiled by his lavishness once a year.

We’ve had so many more adventures. That was only one day. More to come

I Have a What?

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I’m pretty sure it’s been about eight million years since my last post. Wow, I suck. I got bored and hid in a hole, then I had visitors. In fact, I still have visitors. Let’s catch up.

My in-laws are visiting from England, so we’ve been tearing up the town, British-style, which mostly consists of consuming massive amounts of food and alcohol and getting sunburns.  We’re a rather pasty troupe. And getting bigger by the day. The new regime is most definitely starting on Thursday. I don’t even want to look at the scale right now.

But enough with the vanity. I know Geoff is loving having his parents here and will be sad to see them go. We’ve drug our sad little car all over this island in the past couple of weeks showing them the sights. I hope they’ve enjoyed it and managed to stay cool. Or at least not fainted from the heat. Hopefully, they’ll never have to come visit in August.

They’ve spent plenty of time in Waikiki, since that’s the nearest beach to our house. We’ve had the breakfast buffet at Duke’s more than once now. Even if the food isn’t completely fantastic, nothing beats the view. You can even see tourists getting their morning surf lessons while you enjoy your french toast.

I’ll give you a more detailed account of our adventures in the days to come. We’ve been to quite a few places I’ve never visited on the island before. We need more visitors. It gets me out of the house.  When are you coming to visit?

Back to Life

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It’s been just over a week since my last post.  Oops! So much for posting every day. Honestly, though, I’ve been pretty depressed and generally irritated lately. I just wanted to hide in my cave and punch my power animal in the face. With the help of some friends, and a few decent night’s sleep, I’m starting to feel more normal again.

I finally visited a new beach, Lanikai, and it was absolutely beautiful. The sand was soft and the water was warm. It was absolutely breathtaking. Go there.

I also ate some ridiculously delicious food at Bucca di Beppo. I’m pretty sure this is a chain, but it was completely delicious Italian-American food. I can’t wait to go back and try some more of their dishes. We had pepperoni pizza, chicken limone, and cheese manicotti. They were all fantastic.

I also tricked someone into being a bridesmaid at my wedding, so we’ve been discussing ideas. I need your opinion. Would a potluck wedding reception be just too tacky? It seems like that would be the best way to get good food without hiring an expensive caterer. I love simple, home-cooked dishes, and I want my reception to have a casual atmosphere where people can feel relaxed, feast, and enjoy. But maybe asking guests to bring some food to share is just too weird. I don’t know. No matter what, Lindsey can bring the potato salad.

I have a couple of recipes I want to share with you. I need to start taking pictures of all of my food before I eat it. I don’t often make the same recipe twice, but I don’t know how good they are until I eat them. It makes it difficult to share with you. I guess you’ll just have to trust me that they are delicious.

I hate that feeling of knowing that whatever chemicals control my mood are off and there’s not a whole lot I can do but wait until they readjust. Lack of sleep played a huge role this time, so at least I know the root cause of my offness. It’s good to be back.

Last Night on the Sea

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It was a melancholy day.  We did our best to keep keep tears at bay and made the most of the last of our time together this season.  It mostly involved eating junk food, starting with standing in a long line at Leonard’s for custard malasadas.  Damn those things are good.  We went to the library, and then basically had Cold Stone for lunch.  Who’s a bad mom?

After finishing up the chores around the house, we headed to the zoo, and luckily Geoff was able to get off work early.  A big thanks to Jason for covering the phones so Geoff could spend more time with us.  Also for getting us a discount on the catamaran ride we went on later.

Going to the zoo with Geoff is the best because he knows all the animals names and tricks and junk.  It’s pretty sweet.  We saw the highlights and then headed off on a walk down the beach.  The weather was perfect for us on Emily’s last day.  I was wishing I had worn my swimsuit while we were waiting for the boat.  The beach was gorgeous.

The catamaran ride was wonderful.  Made all the more fun by the free mai tais dispensed from a tap on the boat.  I wish I had my own mai tai sink.  Genius.  We didn’t see any whales or dolphins, but the sunset was beautiful, and Emily had a great time trying to get as much sea spray on her as possible.

We wrapped up the night with cheeseburgers at Teddy’s.  It was an absolutely wonderful day.  I wish they could all be like that.  I don’t think my bank account would appreciate that much, though.  I did my best not to cry while packing her suitcase.  That will never get any easier.  My daughter is a beautiful human.  She makes me laugh all the time.  I am so very proud of her.  I’ll just be holding my breath a little until she comes back.

Mele Kalikimaka

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Our first Christmas in Hawaii began before the sunlight was even discernible through the drapes.  I slept restlessly, stressing about the ugly cake I had made and the timing of dinner tomorrow.  A little after 6:00 am, I got up to use the bathroom, hoping to get another hour’s sleep, but my movements were quickly detected by the eager 11-year-old in the next room, and there was simply no going back to bed.  I went to lay down and chat with her in her room while we waited for Geoff to wake up.  Again, I hoped I could sneak in a bit of rest, but about five minutes later, Geoff came in looking for us, and said we could open presents.

Emily ended up with quite an impressive haul of pink stuff, including a pig ear-warmer knitted by Geoff’s mom, and those rad sunglasses.  She also got some makeup, a board game, some drawing supplies, a Kindle card, and a new video game.  Geoff got a soccer ball, a grill, some new flip flops, and the promise of whale watching when the season is at its height.  I got a Banana Republic gift card.  I’ve never ever been able to buy something from that store, and it’s been a favorite of mine for ages.  I can’t believe I’ll finally be able to walk out of there with actual clothes.  I also got a Nook.  Just the basic touch model, but still pretty awesome.  I couldn’t wait to buy a book.  As soon as I get a case for it, I can start taking it with me wherever I go.  My family rocks.

After presents and a breakfast of biscuits and gravy made by Lindsey, we decided to go for a little nature walk to the lighthouse at Makapu’u point.  Emily started coughing and got tired (bored?) halfway up, so I didn’t get to see the lighthouse, but there were still some gorgeous views on the way up.

Our next stop was the beach at Waimanalo.  The water was gorgeous and blue and crisply cold.  It’s also a bit rough in this area, so it doesn’t really lend itself to casual swimming.  But the sand is soft, and the view is spectacular.  We took advantage of what sun we could find.  Who ever thought I’d get a sunburn on Christmas day?

I had to sneak in a little nap before making dinner.  I would have become very cranky myself if I wasn’t able to get in a bit of sleep before three hours of solid cooking.  The crescent-wrapped brie was a hit with the waiting crowd.  Everything came out tasting pretty nice.  I was ridiculously full and exhausted by the end of the day.  We all laughed a lot, and I think everybody felt loved.  I think that’s the goal of the day.

I hope that your Christmas day was filled with love as well.