It's 8:30pm HI time...I'm beat...I mean totally exhausted. It's been a BIG weekend. Today, Eve's hula class had a big beach party. I did not know this prior to scheduling the birthday party, so it was a packed day! I got up this morning, made cupcakes, and did a mani/pedi for the birthday princess. Then, we headed to the beach for the hula party. It was at Secret Island, which is part of Kualoa Ranch. You take a boat across the ancient Hawaiian fish ponds to get to this island...then you are on a "private" stretch of beach. It was fantastic! Everyone had a great time! The kids all played nicely in the water and I got to lay in the sun...virtually undisturbed.
After this, we rushed home and got ready for the tea party! Eve had several friends over for her birthday here. The girls were adorable! I found a company that travels to your house, sets up a tea party, brings all of the stuff, dresses up the kids, does their hair and and makeup, and then cleans up. OMG...easiest party ever!!! Which was a good thing seeing as how my husband is in AZ doing photo shoots for the fall Gap Outlet windows...yep, I married a model!! The sad thing about that though, there are no Gap Outlets in Hawaii...so unless someone sends us a copy, I won't get to see it!
Eve had a terrific day...so much so that I just got a calling plea from her room saying that she'd had fun all day and was not ready for it to stop and was NOT ready to go to sleep.
I'm big on celebrating Eve's birthday...she's an only kid. I only have to do it once a year, why not max it out? It started today and ends next Sunday on her actual birthday. A bit much, probably...
Today was the first of four parties. I realized that we won't all be together again at home until June 17th, so it made sense to give Eve her gifts from us today before CRH left for the conference. She had fun opening all of her loot. The Easy Bake oven was a hit! She made a cake for us this afternoon (a quite tasty little cake I might add). That was her "big" gift from us. Tonight we took her to Jimmy Buffet's restaurant in Waikiki before we dropped CRH off at the airport. Eve had fun, got a butterfly balloon hat, ate her mac and cheese and enjoyed a birthday sundae...however upon leaving announced "I didn't come here to eat, I came here to see Jimmy Buffett". I felt her pain.
Tomorrow is her Fancy Nancy (thanks Verdicchio Family for the idea!) tea party with her Hawaii friends. It's a girls only OOh La La event.
I go to this beach near Pipeline where all the surfers surf in the winter. It's a very nice part of the beach and because the only parking is on the road, it's not as crowded obviously as the beaches with parking lots. Today being Memorial Day and all, the other North Shore beaches were MOBBED. Sunset, Pipeline, Shark's Cove were crazy busy, as I'm sure the others were as well...I just didn't venture that far. Anyway, I am out on the beach and there are a few other people, but very far from me. I can actually hear the swaying of the palms while I'm out there...there were no other sounds (other than the ocean), no talking, no babies crying...nothing...just peacefulness.
Yesterday, we went out on a dolphin cruise with CRH's boss, Celeste. It was fantastic! Right after we got out of the marina, there was a pod of Spinner Dolphins. Those are the type of dolphins we have here along the Waianae cost. They look kind of like Atlantic Bottle nose dolphins, but are smaller with longer faces (I think...no dolphin expert...just my observation). So, we see these dolphins and watch them play for a while. They "surf" the waves of the boat and frolic around. Then, we moved to look at another pod. Along the way, what do we see? A sea turtle!! He was just hanging out in the water. We get to the second pod and watch them play along a part of the coast called "Pray for Sex Beach". I don't make this shit up...seriously that's what they call that beach. Oh and this is a very tacky side note but hilarious...along the way one of the boat crew tried to tell us that the name of this golden yellow flowering tree is called a "Golden Shower Tree". I don't think so...at least I hope not, but they were very near the pray for sex beach...who knows what they are doing on the other side of the island?! We are very sheltered here on the Mormon side. As we were headed back, the captain saw the first pod of dolphin playing again and turned us around to watch them some more. The crew of this boat was fantastic! I'd definitely recommend this tour and they guarantee you see dolphins or you get to go back. Well, this time the dolphins were truly spinning...flipping out of the water and such...it was like watching a show at Sea Life Park. After the cruise, we went to the beach at Ko'olina resort. It was ok...good for kids and Eve played nicely so CRH and I could relax in the sand.
Eve and I were coming from Daisy Scouts tonight and there was a MONK SEAL on the beach in Hauula...no volunteers. So of course I couldn't resist getting close to take a few pics. There were some other kids around doing the same and right after I took this, the seal rolled over and growled at them. Eve about jumped out of her skin!
I am reporting this as second hand information since CRH and Eve did this today and not me. I was working today. CRH happened to be off and picked Eve up from school. When we first moved to Hawaii, we lived in a condo complex in Ka'a'awa under the Crouching Lion rock formation. At the end of the complex is a hike up to the top...we made it about half way up one day. I didn't take the picture of the lion here...I found it on the web...although I have a bunch because it's cool...just being lazy. Today, CRH and Eve made it all the way up to the top. They apparently had awesome views of Ka'a'awa and Kahana Bay. After the hike, they had dinner at The Crouching Lion restaurant, where I used to work...there's a story there for anyone curious...but not for the blog.
CRH said my posting has been slack. I told him that we haven't done anything very "post worthy" lately. Yesterday we did though, we had a very cool day. The lady that babysits Eve has 2 daughters, Connor and Jaylynn, and yesterday they came over to spend the day with us. It was awesome! I told Nancy they can come EVERY Saturday. They played while I cleaned the house and then we went out on the beach at our house for hours! It was great. We saw sea cucumbers and tons of fish. I laid out without hearing "Mom..." every 3 seconds. After our day at the beach, CRH's asst. manager and her family came over for dinner and then we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center to see the World Fireknife Championship. It was awesome! I love watching those guys. The guy from Hawaii won, but we found that out this morning. Their son was sleepy, as was Eve, so we left after the performance. They don't announce the winner until after the show. I guess they do that so you will stay through the whole thing, but we had just seen it Monday night with Norm and Eileen. Today, we went to the Book & Music Festival with Amy Jo. It was rainy, so we left and went to Target to go shopping! Fun, lazy weekend...
Happy Mother's Day to all of you that are Moms. Good Lord it's a hard job...I think we should get a week or a month. Anyway, today ROCKED!! I woke up this morning to a lovely array of jewelry from my family, a flock of baby chicks that my parents sent via Heifer International, some wine from a friend, and plumeria strewn across the kitchen island. It was delightful! We talked to my family this morning...wished everyone Happy Mother's Day. CRH made biscuits and gravy for breakfast (hate that the weekly weigh in is tomorrow...) and then we went to Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling with our friends, Norm and Eileen, that are visiting this week.
When we got to the bay, the parking lot was full and there is NO other close parking, so we turned around and literally drove right back by and it was open...so in we went. We finally bought Eve a decent snorkel so she was happy to come out with us today. We are out there swimming around seeing cool fish - parrotfish, Humu Humu, surgeonfish, wrasse, etc. and CRH wanted to go on the other side of the reef, so Eve and I were heading in...turns out swimming against the current at 5 years old is a little hard. On our way back, I spotted out of the corner of my eye a SEA TURTLE!!!! I almost had a heart attack...seriously. I really want a good underwater digital camera (alas), however in a most fortunate turn of events I had stopped this morning to pick up a new underwater disposable camera. I almost broke my arm trying to snap pics of this turtle and hold onto my kid to keep her from drowning. It was fantastic!! He swam around, poked his head up, dove down, ate some reef stuff. CRH got to see him too on his way back in...it was so amazing. I was so excited that I even called my parents from the bay to tell them about it.
I went back out later to another part of the bay with Eve's new snorkel board (which I'm not a big fan of btw) and this lady starts yelling to her boyfriend that she sees a turtle. Well, I swam over there as quickly as I could and stalked this guy (the turtle) for a long time. He was just hanging out and eating reef stuff too...swimming around...doing turtle stuff. These creatures are so awesome...I love them.
After the bay we did my favorite lunch spot, which is Kona Brewing Company. This has become sort of our thing. We go to the bay and then there for lunch. It was just a wonderful, relaxing day. Pics of the turtle will come once I get the film developed... I know that's so 2001.
I need to issue one to my Mom. I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for ALL the knick knacks and other crap I had in my room that you had to dust EVERY week. Now that I have my own kid that loves knick knacks and I have to actually clean our house every week, I get it and I'm VERY sorry!! Happy Mother's Day to the best Mom ever! I love you (and your present is in the mail...albeit a little late). I'm cleaning today, can you tell?
This week is Spirit Week at Eve's school. She's been loving it...school colors day, crazy hair day, twin day, pj day. Today was crazy hair day and the Speech Festival. I asked her what she wanted to perform a few weeks ago and without missing a beat said that she wanted to do 'Old MacDonald Had a Butterfly'. It's some rendition she added with a flutter flutter here and a flutter flutter there. Tonight we went to her school and watched her and the rest of the kids that participated perform their poems and/or short stories. It was fantastic!! CRH and I loved watching the kids. They were cute and funny. It was just a great night. I love that school!
I drive a lot here...to work, to the store, to my favorite beach spots. I'm often behind tourists going like 20mph trying to see the sights. In my "normal" life this would drive me nuts and honestly, some days it does here too...but I try to remember how lucky we are to live in such an awesome spot! I was behind a Jeep the other day with 2 couples driving the Kamehameha Hwy out of Kaneohe. It was after work and I was tired...just wanted to get Eve and go home, but traffic was slow. One of the women in the back was about to break her neck trying to video the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. She was almost standing up in the back seat. Then, the driver slammed on his brakes and she sat down...still videotaping mind you. I was reminded by her just how lucky we are. I'm reminded every time I talk to a friend or family member at home just how lucky we are. I'm reminded every time I see an old couple on a tour bus just how lucky we are. (I always assume they saved their whole lives to get here...now mind you, they may come once every few months...who knows? ) As I sat out on the beach today with Eve playing while I read a book, I was reminded of how lucky we are. When she came up on the beach and performed her hula dances for me, I was again reminded...say it with me...of how lucky we are. I hope she remembers all of this. I have memories from this age (although I have one of the worst memories ever!) and I know CRH does too (he has a fantastic memory). I hope she looks back on all of this one day and remembers (one more time now) how lucky we are.