Yesterday the Hart family trekked into new waters...literally. I was reading an Oahu travel book a few weeks ago and discovered there are several waterfalls here on the island that we have NOT seen...so we must go and see them all. I had actually tentatively planned to go see 2 yesterday...it was a little ambitious. We drove to Kailua and found the trail for Maunawili, which is actually in a neighborhood and started off. It's a really, really long hike (well, for me anyway...1.5 miles EACH way!) and took a good hour to get to the falls. It was muddy and wet, but so very beautiful. At one point we were literally in the tree tops and could look out over Kailua and see the ocean from the top of the this mountain. You cross a stream a billion times (ok, 4) and then you are there. It's worth it...but like Diamond Head I must say that now I've done it, I'm not sure I'll go back. The water was very refreshing and we had a fun time watching people jumping into the pool at the bottom of the falls. CRH did it a few times...none of the pics I took turned out great, but here's one. Eve and CRH hiked up the waterfall and apparently at the top was another smaller falls. I stayed with our stuff (and I was tired). It took us about 3 hours total and we were nasty, filthy, and dirty at the end...covered in mud. After a little lunch, we headed to Lanakai to go to the beach. All I wanted in life was to float in the water and soothe my aching body and wash off the layers of mud. When we first got to the beach, it was a little windy and I wasn't sure I was getting in, but CRH got in and convinced me the water was great. As I was about waist in, this lady came up and told us that the waters were swimming with Portuguese Men (Man?) of War and that about half of her party had been stung. We promptly retreated to the sand...damn it! Sure enough, we saw a ton of them washed up on the shore. They are actually really pretty creatures. If you have not seen one, they are clear and very small (like about the size of a quarter) and have brilliant blue tentacles. The bright side to our beach excursion was that we saw 2 sea turtles swimming right off the shore! It taunted me because I knew I could not get in and swim with them without risking stinging and severe pain. Alas after this hike, we were all too exhausted to make to the other falls...we shall save that for another weekend.
I love, love, love the swells that produce the breathtakingly big waves...and they are back!! The waves at Pipeline were HUGE (15 ft) tonight. Sunset was gorgeous and the surfer eye candy was out. I ate sushi on the beach with my kid...life is pretty swell (Well, I couldn't pass that one up). CRH is off this weekend and we are going to do some stuff...will post some pics if it's anything cool. ;) I think I've learned of another waterfall and since it's been rainy some this week, it should be pretty cool. By the way, I saw 4 rainbows on the way to work today...FOUR of them.
I picked Eve up from school today and she passed an open classroom. Inside that room was a substitute teacher that she'd had a few weeks ago...so, Eve stopped, smiled, and waved. As we walked away Eve said to me, "That's Ms. So and So. She was our sub earlier this year...I hate her." I guess you can take the girl out of the South, but never, ever the South out of the girl.
This was kind of a slow week here at the Hart house. Thursday CRH and I were both off together and we went to Hanauma Bay and snorkeled without the short one...OMG so much more fun. We love showing her stuff, but she doesn't always love seeing it, so one of us is usually sitting on the beach with her. Not Thursday...we went beyond the initial reef and saw amazing fish (several of which we had not previously seen!). CRH has done this before, but I had not. We saw a turtle too! After snorkeling, we went to our fave Kona Brewing Company for a little lunch before picking Eve up from Nancy's. This weekend CRH worked and Eve and I hung out at the beach...we did some other things too like cleaning (blech), going to the farmer's market (yay), and seeing "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". This was a cute little movie and more importantly it was playing here in Laie! I drove a mile to the theater and only paid $17.50 for our tickets, 2 drinks, popcorn, and candy...what a freaking bargain! I'm so excited that a theater is ALL the way up here in the country! This was my view today as I laid out in Ka'a'wa...can I just tell y'all how much I LOVE it here?!
Today we got up and decided to do some new things...well, different things. We'd sort of done some of this, but none of it totally. First, we went to the Valley of the Temples to the Byodo-In Temple. This is a replica of a temple in Japan and is built without nails...very impressive if you ask me. Inside the temple is an 18ft Buddha statue and it's thought to be the largest Buddha carved since ancient times. After this excursion, we had a yummy little lunch at Andy's Sandwiches & Smoothies...it's a little hole in the wall in Manoa...very cute and healthy. Then, we drove the Round Top Drive to Puu Ualakaa State Park where you can see Diamond Head and the entire city of Honolulu. We continued the drive to Tantalus Drive which smells just like a spa. You know that scent when you walk in...those flowers grow here. I have no clue what they are, but it smelled delightful! We concluded the drive with a trip through Punchbowl Cemetery and came home for naps! Yep, we're old now...
Yesterday I went on a field trip for work to a sister agency in an effort to increase our relationship with them. One of their students was graduating from the New Visions program for the blind (ok, I thought the name was funny too) and part of their graduation process includes making a meal for 6 and then making a meal for 25. The meal for 25 feeds the other students and all the staff. I was invited to stay for lunch, but there was a catch. The sighted staff wear shades...not sunglasses, but full on eye shades and walk with a cane. They couldn't find a cane, so I got to cheat and make my plate sighted, but I ate blinded. It was such an experience...I actually don't even know the right words to describe it. Every time I took a bite (and yes, I managed to get most of it from the plate to my mouth), it was a surprise about what I was eating. Despite years of working in human services, I'd never done an exercise before that put me in the place of my clients...wow is about all I can say. I left VERY thankful to have all of senses.
I actually won something ($100) and I lost something in the process! I've had a rather large weight loss battle for the last I don't know...6 years. I gained 50lbs when I was pregnant, had a 6 lb 7oz baby, and then gained and lost a lot over the years until May 2007. In May 2007, I weighed 183lbs on a 5'4" frame. My Daddy says his Nana was as big around as she was tall and that's about how I felt. I started having actual physical symptoms (my heart would POUND when I'd go up the stairs, shortness of breath, my knees and back hurt a LOT), so I joined Jenny Craig. I did that until March of 2008, right before we moved to Hawaii. I was about 165lb when we moved. From March to January (2009), I didn't do much about losing more. I did watch what I ate, but I wasn't doing a program or anything. In January, I started talking to my friend Becky about doing something and we had some other friends join us for our own version of the Biggest Loser. So, combined with the motivation of having to report my weight to someone I know (gasp!) each Monday morning and joining Weight Watchers online...I'm at 140.4. I'd love to lose another 5-10lbs, so I'm staying on WW, but I'm pretty freaking happy to report that I've lost 43lbs since May 2007. Here's a before and after pic. December 2006 September 2009
Yesterday morning Amanda and I got up and went to the Haleiwa Farmer's Market for a lovely stroll around. It's a great market and this was my 1st visit of many to come. We split some fried green tomatoes...omg didn't know I could get that bit of happiness on a plate here in Hawaii!!!!! After this bit of domesticity, we headed out for sightseeing. We went to Pearl Harbor and did the USS Arizona Memorial (of course). I have a thing with this...you guys feel free to correct me if I'm just being a racist bitch. I think it is VERY rude for Japanese tourists to go out to the monument and take smiling family photos...I mean I find this appalling. I'm not trekking to Hiroshima and taking smiley pics. I actually don't think anyone should use this as the backdrop for a smiling family photo, but I just think it's extra rude when they do it. I'm not discriminating against the Japanese...for God's sake watching them with their fashion is in fact a Hart Family favorite past time...I'm just saying. Anyway, we then toured the USS Bowfin submarine. I'd never been on a sub before...not for me...wouldn't have lasted a nano second. Jeez...how do those guys freaking breathe?? We went to Waikiki for dinner out on the beach while we watched sunset. Bourke pointed out that it doesn't suck to be us. It really, really doesn't. This morning, we snorkeled at Shark's Cove again before their flight. As always, I saw some cool fish. Eve had fun playing in the tide pools. I'd say that is the current fave beach for when she's with me, but I'm hitting Sunset Beach tomorrow with a book while school is in to rest and relax...I feel like I've been on vacation for the last week. We had a great, fun filled, action packed time with the Vaughan Family! Who's next??
OMG I TRIPLE LOVE HANAUMA BAY...I mean LOVE it. We rarely go unless people are here, so please plan a trip soon so that we can go back! So Friday night, Bourke and CRH went camping at Ka'ena Point. They came back Saturday morning and Amanda and I had taken the kids to the North Shore Country Market. We came back and went to Hanauma Bay for a snorkeling fantastic time. We all had a great time out seeing fish, even the kids! Eve got in after a little coercion from CRH. Bourke and CRH went way out past the initial reef and saw 4 sea turtles...4 of them! They came back and reported this and then Amanda and I went out separately and saw more! Bourke and I saw a Whitemouth Moray eel too! We saw tons of parrotfish (I could even HEAR them eating!), Humuhumus, surgeonfish, tangs, Moorish Idols, and more. It was soooo cool. We came home, picked up Connor (our babysitter), and the adults went out for dinner in Haleiwa. Today we are headed to the Haleiwa Farmer's Market and into Honolulu for some sightseeing.
Yesterday we island hopped over to the Big Island for some sight seeing with the Vaughan Family. It was a fantastic, jam packed day! We left home at 6am to board our flight to Hilo. When we landed, our first adventure was a helicopter ride over Mauna Loa. We flew over Hilo and got to see Rainbow Falls waterfall along the way. The volcano was awesome! A lava flow had started the day before and was still going. We saw magma through a hole in the ground and then we flew over the ocean and watched lava flow into the water. You could see chunks of the lava breaking off into the water! Eve loved it!! Jonah slept through most of it...the helicopter lulled that boy right to sleep. After the helicopter ride, we headed toward the black sand beach in Punalu'u. It's totally worth the trek out to it...just gorgeous! The contrast between the palm trees and the water and the sand is breathtaking. Eve and I saw a turtle stick his flipper up in the surf, but there were none on the beach. I may have actually died from excitement had I seen a sea turtle on a black sand beach...or a monk seal..omg! Amanda bought a post card that had three types of sand and lava rocks on it. I told her that it's supposedly bad luck to take lava rocks home...it freaked her out some. When we left the beach, we drove back to Volcano National Park to check out Kilauea. Last year we went with my parents and it was cold and rainy so we skipped going in the lava tube. I've regretted it since...a lot. This time it was also cold and rainy, but by god we were going. It actually wasn't that far (sorry Mom!) and was very cool. Eve hated it...felt very scared that lava was going to come flowing in at ANY second. She raced through it. We then tried to drive Crater Rim Drive around the Caldera, but part of the road was closed. So, we trekked over (and by trekked I mean drove) to the Kilauea Iki Crater and Amanda promptly returned her lava rocks and sand (just to be on the safe side!) to the volcano in an effort to rid any bad luck that may have come from Pele for taking those rocks back to NC. We drove over to the Caldera after this and went through the Jagger Museum. Last time we went we saw a rainbow in the Caldera...and there was ANOTHER one today. I freaking love a rainbow (as you all know!)...so I took like a million pictures of it. Bourke's cousin is attending UH at Hilo so before boarding our 8:20pm flight, we had just enough time to squeeze in a quick dinner. We tried to go to some actual restaurants, but time was so tight Subway won out in the end. Amazing day with awesome friends...loved EVERY second of it!
Today was the 1st official day of the Vaughan Family visit. We got up this morning and played out on our beach. Then, we headed up North Shore to see Sunset Beach and some of the other beaches. It was rainy so we kept driving to the turtle beach. The turtles were only sort of out. We saw a bunch of them in the surf, but they were not coming out on the beach. So, we left and I dropped them off at Shark's Cove while I went to pick Eve up from school. We joined them after school and I watched the kids while Bourke and Amanda went out to the deeper part. While I was standing in the tide pool, I saw a Zebra Moray (eel)...super cool! After snorkeling, we went to Haleiwa for some shopping and shave ice...yum, shave ice! AND on the way to Haleiwa...the turtles were out on the shore...two of them! Tomorrow, I work and CRH is off to entertain. Thursday, we go to the Big Island.