Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's a Good Thing

It's a good thing I didn't try to do my undergrad here because I would have flunked out hard core. I'm so distracted by Hawaii. This morning I took Eve to the Farmer's Market, which is awesome. It was the Cacao Festival and we sampled lots of yummy goodness. We ate tons of chocolate recipe concoctions to include chocolate raviolis. One of them was super yummy with pineapple in the middle and one was pink and tart, not my favorite but very interesting to try. Hawaii is the only state that has successful cacoa crops. Several places around us grow it and we could have taken a farm tour but I wasn't feeling that today. I'm not quite that granola yet. Next month is Cacao Month here with promises for more yummy goodness. Fortunately for me, it's rainy today so I can study this afternoon. Although there are still countless other things I'd rather be doing than reading about research.

I'd also like to say it's a good thing CRH agreed to still live with us while I do this degree. I appreciate it immensely especially after a week of trying it as a single mom. I have no worries about my ability to be a single mom after I finish this program, but it would be completely impossible in the process. I'm lucky to have friends here that are amazing and do awesome things with Eve so I can attend classes and study when he's off island. There's something to that whole 'it takes a village' thing. I'm happy for his return tonight though. We're getting along really well right now and things are peaceful and pleasant at the homestead. It's a shame we had to get divorced to become friends again, but I think we're both so much happier and in the end that's what's most important for all three of us. Last week was Divorce Day and ironically he was in San Francisco where we started our epic honeymoon adventure. We've come a long way this year. I feel good about where we're headed. I hope he does too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

As Promised, Pics Before I Go...

Hopefully this semester won't be as bad as I think, but we'll see. I'm very apprehensive about adding practicum into the class-work mix. It's part of it though and unless I want to go for 3 years (and I don't), it's a necessary element.
My friend, Becky, and my new friend, Bronwen, came to visit HI this past week. We had an amazing trip! We were nervous at first that it was going to rain the entire time, but they seemed to bring the sunshine.
They arrived Wednesday afternoon and we had a fun, laughter filled (alcohol infused) evening at the homestead. Thursday, I took them around the island on the way to school. It rained some, but mostly we were in and out of it. We drove the entire windward side of the coast and they were able to bask in the beauty.
Friday was sunny and perfect! Friday morning, I had to go to school but after my return we went to the beach for a few hours and watched the hottie surfers at Pipeline. That evening, we trekked to Waikiki and went on a sunset booze cruise. I decided I wanted to sit on the net, not anticipating the choppy waters and within 5 minutes of heading out I was SOAKED. I mean soaked, like you could have squeezed me out. We did some bar hopping and eating that evening and stayed in town at a hotel in preparation for our early morning whale watch Saturday.

The whales were out, but sadly not breaching this day. We watched 2 mamas and babies for most of the time we were out. It is amazing to see and hear this massive creatures. They came pretty close to the boat at one point and the captain had to stop the boat and keep us in place as to not hurt them. After our cruise, we spent a blissful 2 hours at the Verizon store replacing (at full cost) my cell phone that was a causality of the drenching I received on the booze cruise.

Sunday was a weird weather day, but HUGE North Shore waves. We started our morning at the Farmer's Market and then went to Waimea Falls for a lovely morning stroll. After the falls, we went to watch the bay and see the 18-20ft waves. Lunch was at Ted's (one of my faves) and we ate it at Shark's Cove watching the waves crash over the rocks in massive sprays. It's truly a spectacular show to watch when you come in the winter.

Monday was their last full day, so we did it big. We hiked to Ka'ena Point in the morning and saw whales along our hike. There were a bunch of them in the water along the coast and we did get to see some breaching that day! At the end of the world, there were sadly no monk seals as I had virtually promised them...but we did get to see albatross and fortunately Bronwen is a bird person, so she seemed content with this. After hiking back, we had a lovely lunch at Haleiwa Joe's and hit the shops for the last of their souvenir shopping and then the beach for a few hours before coming in for dinner and wine!
Today, I drove 2 very sad women up Pupukea to look out over the North Shore before grabbing Dole Whips on the way to the airport. I thought they were going to cry, but luckily they managed and are planning their next trip in August! What a fun week before school kicks in!

Monday, January 10, 2011

School Is In Session

Well it's back into the black hole I go for a few months...I'll try to be a little better blogger this semester, but it promises to be super busy. I'll toot my own horn (because it's my blog and all) and tell you guys that I ended last semester with a 4.0. I hope I haven't gotten too big for my britches (I love that Southern-ism), as I've signed up for 18 hours this semester! Three of those hours are practicum and 3 hours are an online course that only meets for 1.5 hours a week and totally relates to my job, so I'm pretty psyched. I'm sure by the time I have assembled all of my syllabi Thursday night though, I'll be singing a different tune.
On a lighter note, I'll be drowning whatever emotion related to this semester that I have on Thursday night with my girls that are coming to visit this week! Becky and Bronwen are set to leave snowy, freezing NC for warm, sunny Hawaii this Wednesday. It's my final fun before descending into my hole. I'll post pictures before I go.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We have had a fantastic start to the new year thus far! Last night, the Hart family rang in the new year with friends in Punalu'u. There was much eating, drinking, and fireworks. As of today, fireworks are now illegal in Hawaii...even sparklers!

This morning, we rolled out of bed around 10:30am, took the tree down, and headed out for a hike. We hiked a mountain near Dillingham that we later found out is named Peacock Flats. It was a gorgeous hike that afforded views of the entire North Shore coast. I did not see a single peacock though and the hike up this mountain reminded me that I really should start jogging again. At one point, I thought I was going to pass out from going up yet another hill. The views really were worth it though.

After our hike, we headed into town. We took Eve to Buca di Beppo for some pre-theater dinner and then we went to see Cats. It was fabulous! We had seats 4 rows back and she could see the cats really closely, especially when they came to the end of the stage. During the finale, Skimbleshanks came down into the audience and she got to pet him and play with him a little bit.

If New Year's Day is any indication of how the year is going to go, I think we're in for a good one! Happy 2011 everyone!