It's a really big one...seriously. We just got back late last night and my fellow travelers are all still snoozing this am. I think I wore them out. Wednesday when we got there, we went to the Seahorse Farm (learned a lot about, fed, and HELD seahorses). It was so freaking cool! From there, we ventured to the Kona Brewing Company and then on a sunset sail along the Kona coast.
Thursday we got up and spent 13 hours (!) driving around the WHOLE island and doing fun things. We started at our place in Waikoloa (obviously) and drove to Hilo first. CRH and Dad went on a Circle of Fire Helicopter tour from there over Mauna Loa (one of two active volcanoes on the island). The video looks like it was an awesome trip! The picture above is from this trip too. Kathy, Eve, and I went shoe shopping and got Strawberry Mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen. CRH says that I have become obsessed with mochi and he's decided to wrap me in it when I die...lovely. We also saw a lot of waterfalls that morning, to include Rainbow Falls in Hilo. From there, we drove to Volcano National Park to see Kilauea. All I had heard about was how hot it is up there...well, it was rainy and about 70 degrees. We froze in the rain...it was kind of funny. (Incidentally, we did not need the closed toes shoes that we had brought and/or just shopped for.) We actually skipped the lava tube it was so chilly, but we did get to see lots of steam vents and saw into the caldera and one of the craters. As we were leaving the Jagger Museum, a rainbow was going across the caldera...it was fantastic! You guys know how much I love a rainbow. Sadly, most of Crater Rim Drive was closed due to sulfuric acid seeping from the volcano...so we left. We took Dad and Kathy to see a black sand beach which was fun and then we went to THE Southernmost Point in the US. The Southernmost Point in Key West is the Southernmost Point in the Continental US...not the whole US. I was expecting a similar monument to stand beside and snap photos...not happening. We drove 12 miles (much to my parents horror) down this tiny, mostly paved road to a blinking light on the edge of a cliff. Now, I will say it was sunset time and the waves were huge and pretty...but not a very climatic end to said journey that I was expecting. Oh well...been there...done it now...got the photos to prove it (if you know what you are looking at). Then it was a trip back to Kailua-Kona for Margaritas and Mexican food at Pancho & Lefty's before literally falling into the bed.
Yesterday, we rested...ALL day. We got up and checked out at noon from our lovely condo at Hali'i Kai and sat at the pool until after sunset (gorgeous btw). Our flight didn't leave Kona until 10:30pm and we came home and fell back into bed late last night.
CRH and I have decided that we will definitely go back there...lots to see and do...like going to the top of Mauna Kea (the tallest mtn. in the world when measured from the bottom of the sea where it starts AND the only place where you can see snow in Hawaii!) and to see the lava flowing into the ocean at night...my parents liked it but much prefer Oahu.
We had a lovely day yesterday...my Dad's birthday happened to occur while my parents are visiting. Dad chose to spend his day at Pearl Harbor, which is a really amazing place. Yesterday, there was a survivor there to sign books...how awesome is that? I figured he has to be in his 90s. After Pearl Harbor, we went downtown for lunch and then came home and watched the end of the 2008 Olympics. That closing ceremony was spectacular...hate now that I missed the opening one. CRH made Dad a pineapple upside down cake with a chocolate chardonnay sauce that was fantastic...good job, honey! (It was his 1st ever.) We are having a great time with them here! Today we are going to have lunch with Eve at school (Ah, the culinary delights from the Ka'a'a'wa Elementary School Cafeteria) and then go to the Polynesian Cultural Center.
There isn't much going on here at the Hart house until tomorrow afternoon when my parents arrive!! It's been a slow news week...I worked, got my hair done, and went to the dentist (no cavities!)...see what I mean? We have missed N8 and Cheri and have sort of been in a funk about it...plus CRH has been working a lot this week so he can be off next week with relative ease and his annual inventory is tomorrow. We are going to the Big Island next week...super excited about that...more to follow with a few pictures I'm sure. Oh, I ordered a new telephoto lens for my camera as my anniversary gift!! I hope it comes before we go to the Big Island! CRH got himself a new GPS since I took Sylvia from him...8 must be a VERY romantic year...next thing you know we will be giving each other kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners...hot damn.
We had been waiting to do each of these things until people came to visit and N8 and Cheri were just here visiting...so, yesterday we went to both locations. Pearl Harbor was amazing...it's such a nice tribute and a very well organized and put together national monument. It spans the ages...even my little Eve was touched. She kept saying "Mommy, thank goodness you weren't on that boat". Yeah, it was a little before my time, kid. After Pearl Harbor, we went over to Diamond Head and hiked up. It kicked my ass...seriously. The climb down was easy as pie, but the climb up almost got me. So, I huffed and puffed my out of shape self up the trail and the 8 million steps (ok, there were less than 200) and then I get to the spiral steps. I have a phobia of spiral steps...like a panic attack inducing phobia. I almost went back down...seriously...but I didn't...I thought 'Damn, I made it this far...are two sets of steps going to stop me?' So, I pressed on and it was well worth it, but now I have the pics and don't feel compelled to do it again...ever. When you come, I will gladly go to Pearl Harbor with you, but CRH will be doing the Diamond Head portion of the tour if you are so inclined to hike up...or you are welcome to just look at my pictures instead.
N8 and Cheri are here! We went sightseeing today up the North Shore, headed for the turtles...which we saw...BUT first we stopped at Sunset Beach and there was a huge Hawaiian Monk Seal sunning himself right there on the beach...ohmigod!!! It was AWESOME to see it...but boring after about a minute because all it did was lay there. I got excited enough that we picked Eve up and took her up there to see it. I was infinitely more excited than she was...she looked at it and then proceeded to play with the rope surrounding him and looking for smooth shells for her smooth shell collection. She said she wished it did tricks...what do you do with that? I guess we need to take her back to Sea Life Park.
Duke came to see me at work yesterday. He was sitting at the bar with his owner, Wally, just visiting nicely when all of a sudden he tears off the bar stool and out into the yard. We have chickens in the yard and he had spotted one. Down he goes and through the yard...down the hill...into the parking lot. The tourists are looking on with mixed amusement and horror...when Duke catches the chicken. Wally and I are laughing our asses off in the bar. One of the owners went to rescue the chicken. Duke is biting and feathers are flying. As it turns out, the chicken was actually playing dead and minus some feathers lost...he seemed ok. So, no actual chickens were harmed in the making of this story...but I think Duke may have lost his nomination for bar mascot...bad dog.
Sometimes I am such a bitch...I have been waiting for CRH to complain about how cluttered the house is. It's really not...I think our 47 boxes fit in rather seamlessly...but CRH would have one piece of furniture (and only if it were functional furniture) in each room and nothing on the walls if he lived alone. So, tonight he comes home and is walking around doing his 'I just came home thing' and he comes into the living room where I am and says the nicest thing about how I really know how to make a house feel like a home...isn't that sweet???
I spent ALL weekend finishing the house. I had a really hard time being motivated last week, but with N8 and Cheri coming back on Wed. I felt like I ought to get it into gear. Tonight, CRH is assembling the TV and stuff in the new cabinet that I finished this weekend and I am hanging pictures tonight too...then I am finished. No other big news going on here right now...work is good for both of us. CRH's trip to CA was good...made even better by the discussion of how we will likely be here for two years or so! :) I am sad to report that I have not had an Obama siting yet...I could have gone downtown to the free rally but that seemed a bit much. I'm hoping for him to just come knock on my door to say "Hi". I'll be sure to report if that happens.
Today was a glorious day...you can see from my other blog that Eve and I had some much needed independent socialization from one another...which was great. It then lead to us having a very nice evening...but other than seeing our friends (which was the true highlight of the day)... I FOUND MY MEMORY FOAM CONTOURED COOL TOUCH PILLOWS!!!
I have always had an unnatural attachment to my pillow. All the Humbles do...we carry them with us everywhere like freaking security blankets. It's not always the same pillow year after year but whichever one we are on, we love it fiercely. It's hilarious. I was so packed to the max coming out here, that I decided to ship it instead of lugging it through a bunch of airports...a decision I have regretted daily. Well, I was 100% sure that the movers had in their suckiest fashion ever...lost my pillows. I am EXTREMELY happy (and a little manic about it) to report that I found them today buried in the bottom of a box of clothes...Hallelujah!
Speaking of security blankets, I did not mention this Friday, but as I was crying in the garage unpacking all of my crushed and destroyed boxes...I found my security blanket. This blanket has always had a way of turning up at the most opportune moments. You would think at 32 that I would be over it, but I was SO happy to see it that day. Thanks Dad and Kathy for hanging onto it all those years (My parents hate to keep stuff around...unless my Dad thinks it will be worth something one day). I am happy to report it was worth 100 times it's weight in gold to me that day.
I am pleased to report that Eve Hart came home today talking about friends she played with at school...thank goodness I didn't go and make an ass out of myself (as was my initial reaction). Whew...I feel sooooo much better (am I'm sure she does too). :)
We had a great time sailing yesterday with Wally and Duke the Wonder Dog. We also met some new friends. Turtle (aka Wendy) is going to teach Eve to swim in some private lessons...we just need a location...if only there was some water nearby. No, seriously we need to find a pool, but for now I think the ocean at low tide will work.
Onto old friends (old as in I've known them literally half my life...not they are old), I had the pleasure of spending the day with N8 and Cheri! It was AWESOME to see them!!! We had lunch at Chai Island Bistro and then toured the island from Hawaii Kai to Chinaman's Hat. They leave tomorrow for Kauai and come back on the 13th until the 18th! Then, my parents come on the 22nd thru Sept. 1st. You guys better all plan to call me on or around September 2nd or so...I'm going to be in visitor withdrawal...or better yet plan your own trips out!!
It appears that we are having some socialization issues at school...this is new for us. Eve has always socialized very well, but she is coming home now saying that the other kids won't play with her. I don't know if this is Eve being her overly dramatic self...or if they really won't play with her. She is the "new kid in town" in a very small town and the school is only 150 kids...which I thought was a good thing. I am trying REALLY hard to not freak out about it. She is getting along well with Nancy's kids...but they are older and she has already learned it's not cool for them to talk to her at school. Ah, the pecking order begins...my poor baby Kindergartner...low man on the totem pole. So, any extra phone calls and/or letters from home to her would be great right now...just want to boost her up as much as possible when she's home.
In fun news, Eve and I are going sailing tomorrow after school. She gets out of school at 12:30pm on Wednesdays and I am picking her up and meeting one of my regular customers and his dog (Duke) to go sailing out to the sand bar in the Kaneohe Bay. He's a tour guide for the Kualoa Ranch (2nd career) and his wife is a 6th grade school teacher...very nice people.
Let me tell you about Duke. Duke is the coolest dog ever. He's named after the famous surfer and swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku. Duke came to visit me at the bar yesterday...he's so cute and friendly. One time he was sailing with his owner and fell off (like 2 miles out in choppy seas). Wally searched and searched for him to no avail and finally had to give up and come in. He put up signs just in case Duke surfaced. Two days later, he got a call that someone had Duke. The dog had swum to shore...how awesome is that?? He's a wonder dog.
Well it's been a weekend alright...good grief. Every box I open seems to produce something else broken. I have a page and a half list already and still have a lot of boxes to go. Eve's room is totally done...down to the pictures on the wall. That's the biggest undertaking. Oh, miraculously the TV works!! The kitchen is on the agenda tonight. It's funny how I am usually the one to organize this room, yet so rarely use it. I guess after 8 years, I know where he likes things. Next weekend when CRH gets back, we will work on our claim for the moving company...fortunately we had insurance on everything. No other big news...CRH left this morning for his trip. Eve goes to school next week ALL week. I am working my normal schedule Monday and Tuesday, but seem to now be working Friday and Saturday nights too...which is a nice change of pace.
Ok, admittedly I rarely watch the news anymore. I hate this in some regards because I was a news junkie at home. If there was a major event (like earthquakes, fires, and I don't know...a Presidential election)...I was glued. Here, I don't really care so much. I know...awful right. My poor mother just cringed in her seat. What I have read and I am pissed about though is this...I paid $4.41 a gallon yesterday for gas and Exxon posted a record $11.68 BILLION profit...are you freaking kidding me? Yes, I read the whole article about how they buy more crude oil than they refine...blah, blah, blah...I don't care. Gas SHOULD NOT be this high and they SHOULD NOT be profitting so much off the public...period. I hope Obama does something to change this.