Thursday, April 10, 2008

Welcome Spring!

The garden is starting to wake up and nothing says spring like coming home to crocus and daffodils! The Gator is lurking and we're waiting to see what comes up from what was planted last spring so we know what to replace at the Landis Valley Museum Flower Market the 2 days before Mother's Day. The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is the weekend before that, which always means spring is on it's way. :) I can't wait to wear sandals and shorts here again!

Nick's excellent adventure

Nick came through Baltimore last night on his way from Iraq back to his Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. He's been in Iraq building stuff for the army (although he's in the Air Force) for the last 6 months or so. Mark drove up to the airport and picked him and his 2 other buddies from his base up and took them to the hotel where they were staying, and then out to dinner. There was lots of guy bonding time to be had. :)
Here's one I took this morning of Mark and Nick at the hotel before we took the guys back to the airport. I went with Mark this morning so I could spend some time with Nick before his long flights. I knew a couple of people on the Baltimore to Chicago crew and the agents were fantastic about getting him good seats, in fact they're always so good to all the Military folks flying out. Baltimore is a terminus point for the charters from Kuwait, Quatar, and Frankfurt so the agents are used to having lots of military on the flights.
Here's one of Nick and his two friends that he was in Iraq with. They're based together back in Japan and will be flying together back to their base.
We're so glad that we were able to spend the time with Nick, and that we happen to live where he was spending the night, some times things work out perfectly! :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Naaaaaaa, I'm not a proud grandmother. yeah RIGHT. Lol Here's a mistake I made, feeding Aidan while he was sitting on my lap. I ended up covered with rice cereal and strained sweet potatoes as he loves to get his fingers into his mouth while he's eating and then smear everything everywhere, but it was purely worth every second to get to spend the time with him.
There were a few good ones in Mark's camera that he cropped from our time in Hawaii. I wish I didn't have to leave! This one is of Aidan with his back to the sliding glass door into the back yard. It's nice to see the sunshine outside.
If you didn't notice, the baby with all the reddish blonde hair now has just about lost all the hair and has only blond fuzz. I think it is in respect for his Grandpa and Great Grandpa's hairlines. lol
This one was from our day out with Aidan to the farmer's market in Wailua at the old Sugar Mill. He was very interested in what was going on with his octopus toy while he was in the stroller.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Hungry Honus at Mokulaea

I think these prints I found on the beach near the trash cans were from the elusive but very cute mongoose. Yes, I know they're mean and nasty and all, but they're brown furry guys that look like ferrets, but I happen to think they're cool looking.
Mark and I and Jenn went to Mokuleia which is normally rather deserted as it's not a swimming beach due to all the coral on the shore. It's a great beach for looking for shells and just generally relaxing. It was a chilly and windy and off and on rainy day.
Mark always seems to find the best shells and seaglass even in areas that Jenn and I have already looked over. Today he found a few intact cowrie shells as well as a bunch of pieces.
One of my usual beach shots looking up to the East towards Wailua.
Here's one of Jenn on the beach.
Jenn noticed that right by my feet at the water's edge (I was busy looking for shells) there were two Honu or Hawaiian Green Sea turtles eating the algae off the rocks. They were kind of small, but they were so neat to see up close. The next wave to come in not only got me soaked to the waist, but tumbled the Honu in the surf. When they came up they swam further from shore.
There was another Honu just a little way from the two, and he was pretty close to shore as well, he kept looking at us to see what we were doing.
This is the single little Honu closer in to shore. I can't believe how close these guys were to us swimming around in the water. They don't show up too well as they really blend in with the algae and the rocks in the shallow water.
Here's another one of Mark on the beach.
Mark and Jenn were walking back up the dunes toward the parking lot and I snapped this picture. My camera was pretty coated by salt spray at this point from the wind and the waves, so it's a little bit blurry. We're leaving tomorrow so I'm glad we got to see the beach again and especially the Honus.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Today's outing

After we went to the early Weight Watcher's meeting this morning in Aiea, we headed home and picked up Aidan as we were spending the day with him to give Jenn and Michael a date day. We enjoy going to the farmer's market in Wailua at the old Sugar mill. There are two roads to the north shore, and this is actually the less picturesque of the two, but the vistas are beautiful.
Aidan enjoyed going to the farmer's market with us to get fruits and veggies from the local vendors. Most of the people grow their own produce on their land right in the nearby area, and I really like helping out the local folks.
The farmer's market is held at the Old Sugar Mill which is no longer operational since they don't grow any more sugar cane on the island. The two mills that are still around are old and historic, and they remind you of an bygone agricultural time on Oahu. We put Aidan in the stroller and walked around and visited the shops that are in the old buildings.
The cone shaped building now houses the Wailua Soap Factory where we go to get Kukui soaps and oils. I've been there a number of times before, I love their soaps which have long been known to be antiseptic and astringant, and I have never left here without at least a few in my suitcase. And lets not forget the Pineapple Lip Baum. :)
By the time we left, some of the produce vendors were already packed up and going home until next week. We got some Huli-Huli chicken for lunch and then went to Haliewa to get some Shave Ice to share with Aidan. But the line at Matsumotos was out the door, and the little guy had already fallen asleep so we went home to put him down for a nap.
These are some pictures I took out of the car window while we were driving toward the north shore. The fields used to all be planted in pineapples, but Dole has now planted it's last crop of pineapples on Oahu, it'll be harvested in less than 2 years. Most pineapples are now grown elsewhere such as Thailand. Dole is planting coffee and cacao trees, there is some corn that has gone in, but mostly the ground has been left to go back to it's natural form.
If you look at the horizon on any of these photos, you'll see that there is a view of the ocean and the waves. It always draws you in and makes you happy to see it.

Friday, April 04, 2008

New ones of Jon

Here are a couple of pictures of Jonathan for the family...I captured them from his facebook profile...He and Michelle went to the Ren Faire in North Carolina last weekend. His hair is growing back in, and thank goodness, it isn't green! :)
Looks like fun, but all that clothing is hard to imagine when you're wearing shorts and a bathing suit enjoying the sunshine in Hawaii. But I guess we do have to go home sometime!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dole with Aidan and Honu beach

We took Jenn and Aidan out to the Dole Plantation which is actually right up the road not very of the places that I stop often on the way to other places because they have great pineapple ice cream and juice at the food court area.
Aidan loved looking around and he got a stuffed squeeky toy pineapple from grandma, and mom bought him an adorable little tee shirt. He got to watch us eat our ice cream, he's still a little bit young to have his own, but soon he'll be able to join us!
We brought Jenn home and went back out to go to the Turtle Beach to visit with our favorite Honus. The sign on the street by the beach was framed by the beautiful view.
The Honus come up on shore here to sleep and bask in the sun, but there are also lots of them in the water. We looked patiently and saw at least 3 of them. You can occasionally catch a glimpse of a fin or a head popping up out of the water.
How they keep from getting hurt on the rocks is a mystery to me. The rocks are full of algae which the Honus love to eat so they're always around this particular beach (though we've seen them in the water at other beaches).
They're so used to people that you can get fairly close and they don't wake up or care. I guess they know that they're protected.
This beach is called Pupakea and it's really beautiful with all the volcanic rocks.
This is the entrance to Shark's Cove which is part of the Humpback Whale preserve. It's a very protected inlet and they apparently can sometimes be seen out in the water.
There's a nice area that is protected from the bigger ocean by rocks, and all kinds of baby fish live here. The current isn't too strong so we were able to wade in and watch the little guys swimming around.
Mark at Shark's cove lagoon.

Proud grandparents' shots

Aidan is now pushing up on his arms and has accidentally crawled a little bit. He can turn onto his stomach himself from his back, though Jenn's only been able to see him flip back onto his back once so far.
He loves playing paratrooper too...:)Grandma and Grandpa have been spoiling him as you'd expect.

Just another shi**y day in paradise

It rained yesterday morning so we skipped our walk. Of course, it was sunny again within just an hour or so now that the rainy season is over. I've been doing at least 3 miles a day in the morning and sometimes another slower mile with the kids and dogs in the evenings. My legs just weren't used to all the walking, especially uphill, so it was ok to take a day off.
We headed to the gigantic fabric store and to do some other errands, and then went downtown (the traffic wasn't quite it's usual horrible snarled mess, but is always heavy) into Waikiki to check out another one of the Crazy Shirt outlet stores. We did stop on the way at Pearl Harbor Naval Base where I got to have my fix of Yummy Korean Food at the NEX. We did a ton of walking downtown and then headed along the water to the Diamond head crater, where we walked the sidewalks on the outside and enjoyed the views from the park. This picture is of the Blowhole, if you look really closely at the left 1/3 of the picture you might be able to see the spray from the hole. The tide was probably not very high so there was very little water coming out of it.
We drove along the coast highway and stopped and walked around and looked for shells and fish and such in the tidal pools, it's always nice to get out and be in the sun and have my feet in the water. There was a ton of sharp volcanic rock so it wasn't a swimming beach.
I just thought this was a beautiful picture. It's actually the opening to an area that you'll see a little lower where there is a very secluded beach that has a huge climb down (and then back up) to it from the road.
This is another one from where we found sea glass for Jenn's collection and were walking around looking at the way the surf came up over the rocks. You can see the outside 3 sides of the volcano that created all this lava still visible behind where this beach is.
Does he look like a tourist to you? I guess I do too...we're sooooo white skinned even with being outside for at least awhile every day. I guess if I transferred to HNL I'd be a little more tanned, at least my legs wouldn't be blindingly white.
This one is Diamond Head from the side in the park there. It's a beautiful setting, and on the other side of the street is another park where there are gorgeous native and non-native flowering plants and trees.
This is that secluded beach that we saw nestled between the volcanic rock cliffs. There were just a few people down there, probably the climb back up persuades only the hardiest of souls that it's worth it to go down there.
This is a view off the park along the ocean side near Diamond Head. There is a sheer drop off to the beach below. We saw plenty of surfers in the water in this area, but then again, there are plenty of surfers everywhere on the Island. We then drove back for a great meal of Ahi fish burritos and tacos at our favorite Mexican place, Cholos, though I wouldn't recommend the Le Hing Mui Margarita that I got. lol