CRH and Eve were off today while I worked. CRH texted me around 4pm to tell me that "Honey Girl", our resident monk seal, was out on the reef behind our house. I rushed home to see her!! I freaking love the monk seals and I have not seen one in forever! Admittedly when I first got out there, I was FAR more excited by the cool colorful shrimp that were in the very low tide pool. I've never seen shrimp out there before and these guys were green and way colorful and there were a few others that were red and white striped...how awesome is that?! CRH climbed up on the reef earlier in the day and took this picture above of the seal. When I went out, the seal was just sort of laying there as they are apt to do. She did pick her head up when this couple from Idaho got a little too close and CRH started talking to them, but overall she basically ignored all of us. We saw all kinds of coolness in the water today...sea cucumbers, a sea slug, shrimp, crabs, fish, and of course the MONK SEAL! Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby Sea Slug
A few months ago I read about these falls in a tour book. I've been really wanting to go, but life happens and we've just been busy. Plus most days, I'd honestly rather be out on the beach. Yesterday though, we decided to venture out and see something new. Now I'll admit this is slightly lame, but our current obsession with Lost spawned the trip too. Everytime CRH and I watch an episode we are all about scouting where we think it was filmed. As I've mentioned, we've located quite a few locations. We were watching an episode last week though and saw a scene shot at these falls. I found a website that tells you where on the island various scenes were filmed (Oh god, I'm moments away from a chat room about this show, aren't I??)and learned that the falls in the episode were in fact the very falls that I'd been wanting to see. I always forget that when I'm even remotely close the "jungle", I NEED to bring bug spray and most unfortunately for me...I also forgot this yesterday. The mosquitoes ate me ALIVE. Aside from that (which was really my own fault), it was a very pretty, fairly easy hike up to the falls (the end is very uphill and I found it tiring but totally worth it). We passed a few people on the trails, but we were the only people at the falls. I always love that when I find a place here and it's totally deserted. Before we moved we had the perception that Oahu was going to be totally touristy all around. There are certainly parts of the island that are tourist hell (Waikiki-uggg), but there are so many places where you are often the only soul around.
The Hart Family had a very nice, relaxing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...I don't know why we are all so tired today! ;) We spent Christmas Eve day on our new favorite beach, Papa'iloa Beach. We saw lots of crabs (including the 6 yr old variety). They were out in full force that day. CRH and Eve caught one and played with him in bucket until we left (and released him). We came home, made sugar cookies, opened a present, and got ready for Santa. Yesterday, we got up at 7am (I'm very surprised to report that I was the first one up!) and saw all the goodies that Santa had left. CRH's cousin, Ben, came over and hung out with us and we opened all the rest of the loot! (Thanks everyone for our new stuff!!) Santa was very good to us this year. We got a new waterproof camera, books, movies, towels, jewelry, tons of toys, clothes, gift cards, and some cash! We then preceded to eat, drink, and play ALL day. Eve got a helicopter that flies and cars to race and she, CRH, and Ben had a ball playing with those! I had planned our food and beverages meticulously and CRH executed it all perfectly. In the afternoon, our friend Jordan came over for Christmas dinner (although he was raised Jewish). He's a fantastic photographer (www.freshphotohawaii.com) and took some family pictures of us.
Today started out with CRH's back hurting and Eve not wanting to go to the beach. I decided that it was gorgeous out, so I was hitting the beach...with or without them. I headed to Pipeline because the waves were up and I wanted to watch some surfers. I did this for a while and then CRH said he was feeling better and wanted to join me. They asked to go to my happy place that I found a few weeks ago. We headed up to Haleiwa to Papa'iloa Beach. CRH suggested that we go for a walk after we got there, as he's not one for just laying on the beach and relaxing. I'm sooo glad I said yes. We walked along the beach and saw super cool lava against the ocean. It has formed a huge barrier between the water and the sand at one point that is like 6.5 ft tall. It's really pretty. We saw lots of crabs and birds along it. We also saw a fossil shell...I thought this was super cool. CRH and Eve not as much... but I mean how often do you see fossils?? The BEST part though was when we came across the Lost set!! I knew it was along that beach!! They have it all roped off with orange netting and a security guard, but you can practically reach out and touch it. There was a couple there looking at the set too. They were apparently pretty chatty and CRH talked them up for a while. He's a big fan of the show and was pretty stoked to be seeing all of this. As they chatted, I walked down the beach and came up on a sea turtle!!! I may or may not have gotten a little too close to him and he may or may not have retreated hastily back into the water...too bad for him that there were no volunteers out with the ropes. Eve was insistent that we go back to our stuff after this. We had walked a pretty good ways. We went back and CRH got into the water. He said it felt pretty good, so I joined him. Yes people...we WERE in the ocean today. It was awesome!!!! My family and friends in NC are a little over my gloating as they sit with 6" of snow on the ground, but c'mon...paradise rules! You know you want to hear ALL about it, right?? I mean somebody is reading this thing. :) CRH and Eve made sand angels since it is December and we are lacking in the snow...sand works. It was a super fun beach day...one of the best that we've had. We came home tonight and in order to try and resume some holiday spirit, Eve and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life". I love, love, love that movie. I also cry EVERY time I see it at the end when the angel gets his wings...CRH and Eve laughed at me (rude).
Eve just rushed out to the living room about 20 minutes ago screaming excitedly " I did it! I did it! I pulled out my tooth!" She had gone into the bathroom and pulled it out while we were watching TV. She is SUPER excited! I can't believe she just pulled out her own tooth...ewwwww. To his credit, CRH did offer but she actually turned him down. She said she'd let him tomorrow night and then we thought she went to bed. I guess she figured she'd try it on her own. I did not offer, nor will I be offering in the future. My friend, Jamie, texted me the other day to say that she had to pull her son's tooth because her husband was at work. Bless his heart, he would have had to wait until Daddy came home at my house.
I decided a few weeks ago that I was making some new stuff this year. I'm still making some of the tried and true, but it's time to shake things up a bit. CRH is protesting microwave fudge this year, which kind of ticks me off b/c it's SUPER easy and I've been making it since Jesus was a boy...but whatever, change is fine. I suppose since he makes all the money, cooks for me, and hasn't killed me yet...I can turn out some non-microwave fudge for him. I got several recipe ideas from friends on Facebook today too. Today though was COOKIE DAY. Eve had her friend, Mia, over and since it was rainy I thought baking would be fun. I had read a recipe for Chai Eggnog Cookies in Southern Living on the beach a few weeks ago and decided that I MUST have them. I mean YUM! They are every bit as yummy as I had thought that they would be, but I don't recommend trying them until the icing is on and they are finished (or it's not quite as yum, actually a little strange...but the finished product is right on). I made these by myself b/c the girls had no interest in them, at all. I had also decided that we were making gingerbread men this year. One of the families at Eve's Girl Scout party had made them and it put me in the mood for more. I heart gingerbread, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread lattes, gingerbread pancakes, etc. I believe that I've confessed to my love of this recently in another post...so you guys get the idea that I'm a BIG fan. I am very proud to say that the girls totally cut and decorated them. Well, I decorated a few b/c I like to do cookies. I didn't get all OCD about it...VICTORY for Mom! They turned out so cute and they had a lot of fun making them. These are the Splenda ad version that's in all the magazines right now and they are delicious!
I fell into this week. OMG, I've crafted, partied, wrapped, and baked myself silly. I'm off today and I'm uploading pics, going to the post office, and then vegging at the beach for hours. Last Sunday, CRH and I took Eve to see Santa at Ala Moana Center after he got off from work. I loathe the mall. I used to LOVE it...NOTHING in the world was more fun than hanging out at the mall for HOURS with my friends. Now, I'd rather online shop in my PJs and hang out with my friends over a bottle of wine. Anyway, we ventured into the belly of the beast 2 weekends before Christmas and it wasn't awful. When CRH got to the mall, Santa was eating dinner. We followed suit and then lined up to see him. All in all it only took 30 minutes and we got to see a cool holiday Christmas tree light show choreographed to music while we waited. I couldn't hear what Santa was saying to her. She had greatly reduced her wish list down to 4 items this year due to the recession and all. Anyway, I asked and she beamed up at us and said "He said he'd see what he can do for me". I love that Santa! The other Santas around the island just don't hold a candle to this guy. After Santa, we took Eve over to see the Honolulu City of Lights display. This is the event that I tried to take her to a few weeks ago when they did the tree lighting ceremony and I had to abort that mission due to stress and traffic. I'm glad we waited. It was beautiful to see the lights and we did it with FAR LESS of a crowd. (Although, it was still really busy!) They had some great displays. Our most favorite was the manger RIGHT beside the PFLAG pride flag...LOVED it. The huge lighted tree was as big as the palm trees - very cool. Monday night Eve and I crafted and made gifts. Details will not be provided in the blog b/c you might be the recipient. Tuesday, CRH and I shopped for hours at Target...hours. It was fun though. He and I rarely get to shop alone. We went home and finished some crafting and took Eve to hula practice. I came home and baked for the next night. Wednesday, CRH mailed the first round of packages for me. I worked and then met the family at the Kualoa Ranch for the Ka'a'wa School Warm Christmas Night program. It was so much fun. Eve's hula halau performed that night several times...our favorite being Silent Night. The A+ after school kids performed too. It was adorable!! Then it was home to bake more and get teacher gifts ready for the last day of school before winter break! Yesterday, CRH mailed another round of packages for me. He was off Tuesday through Thursday which was awesome as it afforded me the opportunity to get way more accomplished. Eve had her school party and she's officially off until January 5th (pray for my sanity). I worked so that I could be off with her today for Furlough Friday....grrr. Then last night, it was back to the ranch for her Hula Christmas Party. It was another fun night! I came home and collapsed in a heap of exhaustion. I slept for 10 hours last night and I'm as good as new today! I started reading Pretty in Plaid last night - Jen Lancaster's 4th book - HILARIOUS!! I started laughing so hard that I'm afraid it may be banned from being read in bed at night. I'm taking it the beach in a few minutes where I plan to sit and relax as long as Eve will allow.
This has been a long time coming, but Troop 462 FINALLY did their investiture ceremony tonight. We started mid year last year and then had a new member join toward the end of that school year and then we had another new member join at the beginning of this school year. I wanted to do it once, so we finally did it tonight and combined it with their holiday party. The girls all knew their GS Promise and did an excellent job reciting it! They received their Girl Scout pins, so I suppose it's official now! We did a family cake decorating contest as part of the party. When I was a Brownie, Daddy and I decorated a cake for a similar thing. I still remember that (which is quite a feat considering how horrible my memory is) and it was such a fun thing that we did together. Our cake was very homemade looking and true to tradition, this one was no prize winner either...but we all worked on it and The Hart Family was quite proud of it's cuteness...winner or not. (And by not winner, I mean it rec'd no votes...we didn't even vote for it ourselves.)
Thy leaves are so unchanging...you know why?? It's a Norfolk Pine and it doesn't shed needles! It also needs to be watered like once between now and Christmas! The only drawback is that it doesn't smell like a Christmas tree. I guess you can't have it all, but this is close enough for me! Yesterday I went to Wahiawa and picked our tree from Helemano Tree Farm. They are awesome! Their prices are cheaper than the imported fir trees and supposedly this is a much more environmentally friendly way b/c they cut the trees from the top and the tree continues to grow, as opposed to chopping down the whole tree. Who knows? It was cheaper and I think they are kind of cool looking. The kid that went into the field was VERY patient with me while I played the tree hunting game. When I picked the one I wanted (after a very reasonable amount of time for me), he cut it down with a knife! I came home to CRH dressed like this and ready to bring in the tree. We decorated it and I realized (with a little help from CRH) what a total control freak I am...poor Eve. Bless the child's heart...I know MOST mothers let their kids decorate the tree sans criticism, but I'm an OCD nut job that must have the ornaments spaced correctly and not clumped. I'll try harder next year to just go with it and let her do more...really, I will (next year). Overall, she seemed happy with the outcome and I let her move a few around today. If you are a control freak too, please tell me so that I feel a tiny bit better. If you are the parents that let your kids decorate the whole tree and every single ornament you own is clumped front and center where your kid stood, I don't want to hear about it. ;) Tonight we went to the Haleiwa Christmas parade. It was so MUCH easier to do than the Honolulu one! By that I mean, I didn't give up when I saw traffic. I was able to drive into town and easily find a parking spot and an obstructed parade viewing spot. It was very cute - bands, "floats", lights, Santa. It was so weird watching a Christmas parade though in 80 degree weather!! There were no coats, scarves, and gloves but lots of tank tops, shorts, and sandals. Santa wore an Aloha shirt on the back of the Dole Pineapple float...too cute. Mele Kalikimaka!
Ooooh, Hawaii loves a rhyme (and really, so do I). The Eddie goes when "the bay calls the day". It doesn't call often. In 25 years of this big wave surf competition, it's happened only 8 times. Today was one of those eight times. I woke up this morning and figured out it was ON. CRH had already sent me a text saying that at 5am people were already walking 2 miles in to Waimea Bay. Waves were 35-45ft high and people were heading North Shore in droves. I decided that I really wanted to go, because it is a rare event and we do live in Hawaii after all and honestly, what else did I have to do today?? I drove up and stopped near Pipeline, thinking this was a bad decision. In this traffic stand still, I decided to go up Pupukea and hike down to this overlook where you can see Waimea Bay. As I turned into the big curve at Pupukea Road, there were people lining the road and the entrance to the spot where I was headed, but once I drove in there were not very many cars. I hiked to my spot and several photographers and onlookers were up there, but really not very many at all. It ended up being the perfect spot to watch. I had a great, unobstructed view! I watched until it was time to go get Eve from school for her dentist appt. It is normally a 45 minute drive from Ka'a'awa to Haleiwa, but I knew today would take longer with the traffic jam along the bay. There were thousands of people up here today to watch this event and people were literally lining the bay. I picked her up and 2 hours and 15 minutes later, we arrived 1 hour late for her appt. Fortunately, they still saw her b/c they knew what we had just driven through. I decided to go ahead and brave the ride home because I knew once it ended and the masses departed, traffic would be even worse. It only took an hour and a half to get home. I'm glad this is a one day event! Pro surfer Greg Long from California won with a perfect score of 100...in case you were wondering. He won $98,000 for his efforts today. Kelly Slater won 2nd place with a measly $55,000. The next competition is the Billabong Pipeline Masters. I'm sure I'll make it at least once. The waves today were amazing!! There's another swell coming in Friday too...so exciting!
Just when I thought this island couldn't get any better, it did today. I got up this morning with the intention of doing three things. I wanted to go to the Farmer's Market, I wanted a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks, and I wanted to see the big waves along the North Shore. Well, the waves were kind of lame today, not so big. I hear a swell is coming though and I have high hopes for Tuesday! The Farmer's Market kind of sucked b/c the vendors that I really like seem to have stopped coming, although I did find our Christmas tree farm and it's going to be awesome, but that's another post. One out of three was rocking though - that latte was super yum. I was sort of torn about going to the beach since the waves sucked and Sunset was super packed for the last day of the O'Neil and then I remembered this beach access that I've seen but have not been down near the turtle beach in Haleiwa. I decided today was a great day to explore it while I was kid free. Eve and CRH decided to stay home while I ventured out this morning. OMG, I stumbled off the access path into paradise. I sat on this gorgeous stretch of beach with my latte in total peace and quiet. For most of the time I was there, I was the ONLY person on the beach. Well this guy was there, but he left quickly upon my arrival. A small, quiet family joined me but they were way down from where I was laying. It was just pure bliss. I've found my new happy place. I am never, ever leaving this island...ever...sorry Mom.
I had the best of intentions today when I decided to take Eve into town for the City of Lights, but almost immediately upon exiting the H1 I realized this was a BAD plan. Oh holy mother, the traffic was HORRIFIC. There were zero parking spots, the roads were closed off for the parade, people were acting like idiots, and after I blew my horn repeatedly at an old man and then had very unpleasant words for him...I decided the event was done. Any holiday spirit I had going into this event, which is hard with it being 80 degrees and all, was LONG gone after 30 minutes of sitting in stand still traffic. When I announced that we were going home, tears started but seriously there was NO parking and I don't know my way around town enough to have parked and walked but so far or I would have ended up with the hookers in Chinatown. Plan B worked though! We left the godforsaken city and went to Kaneohe. Kaneohe threw up a cute light display last weekend and we stopped and took some pics and walked around that. I promised next Sunday that we would go to Ala Moana after CRH gets off and see Santa and then go see the Honolulu lights. Plan B also included Gingerbread Pancakes at IHOP...YUM!! We walked around the mall and she spent her Halloween money from her grandparents on a Hello Kitty Christmas doll. She ended up quite happy with Plan B, thankfully because I'm pretty sure otherwise I'd be the WORST parent in the universe!
When we moved here last year, I kept seeing bumper stickers that read that slogan. I finally googled it because it was driving me nuts not knowing. I found out that Eddie Aikau was the 1st North Shore lifeguard (mainly Waimea Bay it seems) and he saved countless lives during his tenure. At the age of 31, he went out on what was to be a 30 day, 2,500 mile ocean voyage between the Hawaiian and Tahitian islands. The Hokule'a (double-hulled voyaging canoe) that he was sailing in developed a leak and he was lost at sea between Molokai and Lanai. For the last 25 years, a big wave surf competition has been held in his honor. The waves have to be just right with a minimum of 40ft waves. It's only been held 7 times, but they do the ceremony annually all the same. Quicksilver took it over a few years ago and it's a pretty big production now. The opening ceremony was today at 2pm (although I should have known not really in Hawaiian time). I took Eve out of school today at 12:30 to go. I know that seems a bit hypocritical since I'm constantly bitching about her lack of educational time, but she missed PE. Anyway it didn't start until about 3pm because Eddie's brother, who participates every year and won the first competition, came to Waimea Bay via a Hokule'a. Since this is the 25th anniversary, they did this a special tribute. Ok, so opening ceremony went like this...the invitees and alternates all gather in a circle with their boards. Prayers are said, leis handed out, surfers recognized...it's a pretty interesting thing. Unfortunately, we didn't watch the whole off the beach portion b/c it was crazy crowded and Eve couldn't see...so there wasn't much point. We listened to a lot of it and then went out on the beach to wait for the 2nd portion. After the circle, the guys all paddle out to create a circle in the water. This year they paddled out to the Hokule'a. I'm so glad we went. They are actually predicting 40 ft waves on Monday, so there's a good chance this year's competition could run, but sadly the Hart family will be working and at school ALL day. It pains me to miss 40 ft waves...pains me. I wonder if that pain would qualify as a sick day?? I literally spent ALL day on the beach today. I dropped Eve off, came home and did a few things, then hit Pipeline at 9:45am. I wanted to go to Sunset to watch more of the O'Neill but it was crazy crowded, big waves and all. I left the beach only to eat lunch and get Eve and then headed straight to Waimea Bay, where we stayed until 5pm. It was a great day!! My poor husband ended up having to work, but he's off tomorrow so maybe they can do some fun outdoor stuff while I work.
Ok, so I send pics of sunset ALL the time because it's gorgeous right? Well, tonight Eve and I were driving to hula practice and the moon was rising over the ocean and it is breathtaking! It's a full moon (or really freaking close to it) tonight and it's just stunning. I took this with my phone, so not the best quality picture, but you get the idea!
I finally got to go today. I should have stayed home and cleaned house, but it was sunny and the competition was ON and most people were working...perfect combo. I'll clean later, it's just some dust. I'm the only one that seems to care anyway! Thursday there's a huge swell coming in that is supposed to produce "monster" waves. CRH and I have deemed it a beach day...by this I mean we will drive separately so he can enjoy an hour and then go home while I stay ALL day. In other news, we are still wayyy into LOST. I wonder why it took us so long?? Last night we were watching and spotted one of the Kahuku shrimp trucks and the shrimp farm. CRH sold some suits today to the designer for Season 6.