Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hawaii--Day Two, Part 2

We continued exploring the north coast which led us to our hunt for the "haiku." Not really a haiku, the poem...but Christopher and I coined the term due to our lack of ability to pronounce Hawaiian words. Heiaus, or temples, are scattered all over the island and were associated with King Kamehameha (we call him King K). After passing a windmill farm and gorgeous coastline, we walked around for a while trying to find this haiku which was supposed to be King K's birthplace. Instead of finding the haiku, we found a couple who had thought their Jeep was 4WD, but wasn't, and had gotten majorly stuck in a mud hole. One thing that Hawaii is lacking in are proper roads. The mud was up to the bottom of their door! Christopher tried to help him for almost an hour. After giving it the good college effort, they called AAA and we left seeing the haiku in the distance but too dang tired at that point to walk to it! No need to worry...there were many more haikus seen on this trip.

We also visited Lapakahi State Historical Park, which consisted of the remains of an old Hawaiian village.  We saw our first haiku there; Hawaiians still use these for worship and lay offerings. 

And of course, we made it back to the hotel in time for the nightly show.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hawaii-Day Two, Part 1

On our second day in paradise, we drove up to the north end of the island, North Kohala, to the very end of the road.  As we made our way north and to a higher elevation, we could definitely see a change in the landscape almost immediately.  It went from deserty and dry (see the path of lava rock in the first picture) to lush and tropical.  The air was much cooler, and much wetter.

We arrived at the top of Pololu Valley Lookout.  We hiked about 20 minutes down a pretty slippery, treacherous slope (about 400 feet below) to Pololu Beach, a black sand beach.  This may have been my favorite spot of the whole trip. It was so serene and peaceful.  We could also take in the beautiful views of the valley.

The black sand didn't stick at all!  It would brush off of our hands and feet so easily.  Definitely not like NC beach sand.

I took a few quiet moments, sitting in a bed of lava rocks, to just soak in this beautiful spot.

When I think Hawaii, my mind always brings me back to this place.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hawaii Wheels

See this little Jeep?  We put ONE THOUSAND miles on her driving in every nook and cranny of the island. 

*Big shout out to the "blue book."  If you ever plan trip to Hawaii, take the "[insert island name here] Revealed" by Andrew Doughty and Harriett Friedman with you.  It was wonderful and helped us to see the "real gems" of Hawaii.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hawaii--Day One

Christopher and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary this past February and we wanted to celebrate with a very special trip.  We started saving for and planning our trip to "the big island" about 2 years ago.  I had very high expectations for this trip, and I can tell you that it did not let us down.

The boys stayed with my parents in VA for the first half of our trip, and then went to Christopher's parents for the second half. We woke up at 3 am on June 21, boarded a plane at 5:30 am, and landed in Kona, Hawaii 15 hours later (12 hours of flying time).

We literally landed on a runway in the middle of a lava field.  The airport consisted of open-air huts.  We stepped off of the plane onto the runway and walked over to the huts to get our bags.  I took in a deep breath and was instantly converted to island time.  I will say that Christopher and I embraced true island time; we didn't have a care in the world during our trip.  We came and went as we pleased.

As we entered the hut, we were greeted with leis (btw, they don't automatically do that; you must have that arranged ahead of time - thanks Elaine and Craig!) made of fresh orchids.

During the 30-minute drive north to our resort, we could see the beautiful Pacific ocean to our left and several mountains to our left.  We drove through old lava flows dating back to the early 1800s.  It is tradition in Hawaii and their form of graffiti to decorate the lava on the sides of the road with white coral.  All graffiti is loving and positive (see the "aloha").

Our resort was ah-mazing (again, a HUGE thanks to Elaine and Craig for selflessly giving us Hilton points for 6 nights!!!).  The resort was a horse-shoe shape with many buildings, pools, walkways, lagoon, etc. all next to a beautiful bay right on the Pacific Ocean.  From the lobby, we could walk 15 minutes or ride a boat or tram to our building.  We saw many beautiful animals and plants on the property like this beautiful bird who greeted us every morning when we walked out of our room and plants like this bird of paradise (did you think it was a bird?). 

This was taken from our lanai.  Not a bad view, eh?

See those blue chaise lounge/umbrella combos?  We sat in one every single night after sunset for a few hours looking at the stars, reading, listening to the ocean, and drinking beer.  That was my true paradise.


And the sunset over the Pacific Ocean every night.  Everyone stopped what they were doing, gathered round, and watched the show in awe.  I miss those Hawaii sunsets.

We were so exhausted that we fell asleep at 7:30 the first night.  We had been up since 3:30 am, and our bodies were thinking it was 1:30 am!  We stretched out in our king size bed (what a luxury for us double bed sleepers) and had a good first night's sleep in paradise.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Carter Bear Turns 3!

At 6:45, I heard my little guy say, "Yandon. Yandon? Yandon! What are dose things on da floor?" After his brother groaned an answer, he asked, "Can I pway in dem?" He was so excited to wake up to a floor full of balloons. I ran in and whispered happy birthday to my baby and gave him lots of birthday hugs and kisses.

Then I got in the shower so that the water would wash away my tears. Happy tears. Sad tears. Holy cow; how did my baby start talking in full sentences, wear undies, say his own prayers and grace, and just be a little man tears. ::sigh::

I love that child more than any words can explain. My chest could burst open with all of the love I have for that boy. He is such a special little guy and steals hearts left and right.

Here's to hoping that his day can be as special as he is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I guess when you go about 1 month between posts, lots of things happen. Yikes!

May I give a synopsis with promises of details in the future (and when I say future, give me about 2-3 weeks, mmm-kay?)...
  • My baby boy turns 3 tomorrow! I absolutely cannot believe this! He is so precious and so absolutely adorable! He is having a "kite" birthday party this weekend.
  • My big boy starts THE FIRST GRADE next month. Where did that come from? He has been enjoying his summer with grandparents in VA and at the Y's summer camp.
  • We put Carter Bear in undies on Monday. Cold turkey. He fought us a while back and would scream if you tried to put him on the potty. He just hasn't had much interest in it. So we decided to wait and let him decide when he was ready (not my style, people). He has been showing interest lately and asks for you to change his dirty diaper so we thought the time was right. He had one accident on Monday, one yesterday, and none today (as of noon). This child is rockin' it!
  • I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy this past Monday. The doctor found one red spot in my stomach that he biopsied, as well as biopsied a few other places. Those results will be back in 10-14 days and we will go from there. God is teaching me patience and the power of prayer throughout this process.
  • Christopher and I thoroughly enjoyed our 10-day trip to Hawaii. We are homesick for Hawaii now. We have 2,000 pictures that I must sort through and will blog as soon as I do.
Thanks all for your concern and prayers. Keep them coming!