Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hawaiian Shave Ice

To call this treat a snow cone, would be an insult... Hawaiian Shave ice has the texture of snow and this place in Hanalei doesn't mess around. They serve macadamian nut ice cream at the bottom of the shave ice cup. These two look pretty pleased don't they?

That's a mighty big Shave Ice for a 3 year old. Do you think she shared with her Mommy? Nope.

And guess what? We had an extra special guest join us at the picnic table. A very tame red headed cardinal got to have some Hawaiian Shave ice on his own personal spoon. We were so pleased.

This is the life.

Vacation Journal - Beautiful Kee Beach

We got a break from the rain one morning and headed to the world famous Kee beach. We were not the only ones there! The kids were able to swim, Emily hiked some of the Na Pali trail with her Daddy, and by goodness, we got to see the sun for a little bit!

The kids are enjoying the ocean with their Nana.

Lia is telling me we picked an excellent place to sit. She loved playing in the sand this trip and chasing the Hawaiian chickens that were everywhere!

A perfect shallow place for Lia to play.

Drip castles.

Vacation Journal: The Beauty of the Rain

The first half of our vacation was very rainy. Luckily, our kiddos love the beach so much that they didn't mind swimming in the rain. When we got a down pour, we would find a covered picnic area or a good tree and try to wait it out. We tried to keep a good attitude about it all and I have to say we were rewarded... as I will describe.

Wailua Falls usually looks like this picture I pulled from the internet with the twin falls.

Because of all the rain... we got to see it looking like this! There was a tremendous amount of water pouring off that cliff. It was loud and very impressive.

Further, the beautiful mountains surrounding Princeville and Hanalei usually have a few waterfalls you can pick out if you look carefully. But because of the tremendous amount of rain, there were waterfalls all over these mountains. We sat and counted over twenty at one location. These pictures don't quite capture the beauty but they certainly can give you an idea. I think the waterfalls are usually hard to capture on film because they are so small. But not this day!


David likes to name these mountains by their personality... misty mountains, green mountains, cloudy mountains, and of course, waterfall mountains!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Vacation: Morning Walks and Flowers

When we first arrive in Hawaii, our bodies are not quite on "island time." In other words, my kids get up at 6am. So we try really hard to be quiet (ha!) till the sun comes up so we can get out for a walk. Emily dearly loves all the flowers and was constantly on the lookout for ones to put in her hair or to decorate the dinner table.

Out for our morning walk.

I never get tired of seeing Lia holding hands with her Daddy.

Plumerias are our favorite flower. The pink ones are pretty...

but the white and yellow ones smell the best.

We didn't really want to encourage our kids to pick the flowers that were planted at the resorts because they are for everyone to enjoy... however... if they fall on the ground then they are certainly fair game.

We got to admire the NeNes too. They are Kauai's beloved geese.

We ended our walk at the resort called "The Cliffs." As you can see, David was excited to take his own pictures this trip. My Mom had said she saw a few whales when she first arrived. The whales are usually gone by May and I think she saw them on their way out because we didn't get to see one the rest of our trip... though we certainly looked for them.

And I was excited to get some great shots of my kids that day:

On Vacation... (May 4)

I see that I am almost a month behind on my blog as we approach the end of June so I have a bit of catching up to do. A lot has happened.

We left for vacation on May 4th to visit my Mom and Dad in Kauai. We are always excited to go on a family vacation but the circumstances of this one made it bitter-sweet. We knew Chris's Mom was fighting cancer and we knew she was struggling a lot. After the first surgery to remove the brain tumor, and over the following weeks, she became very weak and struggled with infection, low sodium levels, and dehydration. These things put her in and out of the hospital and we were very anxious about her condition. We were able to get updates very easily with Chris's blackberry so we were not out of the loop but we worried and we prayed a lot on this vacation.

As always, we stayed up late packing and were up before 6am for our flight to Honolulu. Emily is usually the most excited one in our family to go on vacation but this year David came very close to matching her enthusiasm. I heard Emily's alarm clock go off. Then I heard her run to David's room and say, "David... get up! We're going to Hawaii today." On normal mornings, David does not move very fast in the morning but on this day they were both dressed and downstairs in under ten minutes. The whole process of getting up early, packing their bags, going to the airport and riding the shuttle is just fascinating to them. I love their big wide eyes and how excited they get to see the "international flag sticks" at the airport. Chris always makes a big deal about these and now we always look forward to seeing them.

I also have to reflect that at ages 7, 5 and 3... our kids are fairly self sufficient. David and Emily not only pull their own suitcases, but they also carry their booster seats. Lia follows their lead and takes care of pulling her princess rolling suitcase... most of the time. ;-) Thank you Peg for passing that along to us. It was very handy this trip. Thank goodness, nobody was afraid of the toilets on the airplane this trip and everything went really smooth on the 8 hour flight to Honolulu. Our secret this year was having the kids pick out activity books well in advance. Emily chose a Little House on the Prairie paper doll book and one of Usborne's sticker dolly dressing books. David also got the Usborne sticker books. He chose one about the airport and one about world travel. They occupied themselves the whole time. Lia had picked a Hello Kitty sticker book and it would have been great except she couldn't quite peel the stickers off the pages so I had to help her with that... for about 3 hours! Some sticker books are much higher quality than others and when dealing with a 3 year old the easy to peel off stickers are a must!

So anyway, we made it and were very happy to see my Mom and have our traditional pizza from the Kilauea Piazza and Bakery and then were very glad to go to bed!

More updates to come. Thank you so much to Mom and Dad for storing back-up copies of my photos.... since I managed to delete all my vacation pictures! (Good grief)