Sunday, September 26, 2010

Surfers Paradise- Girly Style

Today we woke up early and headed out to North Shore again. We decided there was more to see and do there, and this time Jessica could join us too. So off we went and since we got there fairly early we got good parking spots and a good beach location.We all set up camp and I tanned for a bit (you can see one of my new suits in this pic) and then put Mallory in her blow-up boat and took her down to the little tidal pools.She splashed and swam for a LONG time and was happy as could be. Mom traded out with me and took Mallory duty and I went snorkeling. The yellow boat w/ the white hat is Mal and I think Mom is the head just to her right. I saw all sorts of things- rainbow fish, huge grouper (I think), cuttlefish, needle fish, sea urchins- very pretty sea life. While I snorkeled, Mallory decided it was nap time. The silly girl was sitting in her boat, looked up at Mom, and then literally just face planted into the water. Mom took her up to our umbrella before she drowned- haha. Silly kid!
After lots of sun and sand and fun, we packed up and drove up the road to Haileawa, a cute little surf town. North Shore is the surfers paradise, so lots of surf shops exist here. Look at all those boards!We shopped for a bit (I bought a cute cover up that I can wear on our trip next month) and we all ate Hawaiian Shave Ice- YUM! Oh, how I miss snow cones in Japan, and shave ice is about 4x better than a snowcone!!
After our shopping, we drove back to Jessica and Tod's house for dinner. Delicious steak, a few games of bocci ball and some good conversation topped off our night.

Day 6- Saturday Hawaiian Style

Today we decided to start the day out by torturing my poor child in the yard for a picture session. She wasn't real happy with that plan, and quickly let us know it! So, after we postponed that idea, we parted ways and did 2 separate activities. Part of the group wanted to go on a hike. I would have gone, but I wasn't sure that hiking very far or up steep, slippery pathways with a 20lb. baby on my back sounded like a very good (or fun) idea. So mom and I decided to do some shopping and sightseeing while Nancy, Erin, Maryo, Jessica and Tod went hiking. Unfortunately, Kristen had to go back to work so she wasn't with us anymore.
Mom and I drove over to a cute shopping center and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (yum- I miss that place here in Japan!) and then checked out some cute boutique stores, book stores, and a Macy's. I was on the hunt for a tankini-type bathing suit and Mom was just there to help me out. We had a great time, and I did buy a new suit and some fun sandals at Macy's. After that, we drove over to Lanikai beach, where the "rich" people of Hawaii live (not like there is much in the way of cheap property anywhere on the island, but this is most assuredly not a poor area!) We drove through the little tiny town (it's one loop around) and saw some huge houses. We stopped and walked down the public access pathways to the beach. It is very rocky towards the end, with not much sandy beach at all. (I noted this for one day when I'm rich and famous and can afford a house here. I'll make sure to buy at the other end of Lanikai that has some sandy shore). We did go to the other end and took a few pictures and watched the stand-up paddle boarders ride around. It was a fun day, and good to have a just "Mommy and me" afternoon.
The rest of the group went on a hike to the "pill boxes" and judging from pictures and stories, looks like they had fun. It also looks like I made the right decision to go to the stores instead of the hike- haha!They made it top the top though, and have pictures to prove it- good job guys!! I was impressed!I had to include this picture because Maryo clearly has visited Japan- she has the "peace sign" down (that's what ALL the Japanese do in EVERY picture- I have no idea why!)
On our way back to the house, we passed a little bathing suit store that looked questionable, but I talked Mom into stopping, just to see what they had. I'd already bought a suit at Macy's but I wasn't 100% convinced it was the right one. The store turned out to be great, and I bought 2 new bathing suits (and returned the other one to Macy's). The lady there couldn't have been more nice and helpful and she was very honest about what looked good/bad/indifferent on your body type. I loved it and have 2 cute bathing suits that actually are very figure flattering and I don't mind wearing! That's a sentence that doesn't get typed very often by very many people!
After that we made it back to the house (the others were home from the hike already) and we did a little of this:Every vacation must come with lots of that!!
Then we decided to have a cook-out on the big grill that came with the house. Tod really wanted to be part of girly week, but still be the man of the grill, which he successfully pulled off by wearing his towel like this while cooking:
Dinner was delicious, even Maryo's beets that we all gave her a hard time about. It was another fun filled day in Hawaii- is there any other kind of day there? I think not!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Paradise- Day 5

After a great night at the Paradise Cove Luau, we decided that a great day of shopping was just what we needed. Since Nancy and I are the only ones with military privileges, the rest of the gang was eager to check out our savings. So we went over to Kaneohe and shopped at the PX for a few hours. I ended up getting a few fun Hawaiian things. I was really looking for Mallory's new carseat, as they don't sell them at the Yokota BX, but there weren't any to be found. I did find some flip flops and a pretty Hawaiian bowl, among other new treasures.
After lunch at the food court on base, we split up. Part of the group did a "Kaneohe Marine Base driving tour"and Mom, Kristen and I went to the commissary to get some stuff for dinner. Mallory had fun "driving" the cart.
We all rallied back at the house for lunch and hanging out by the pool.I brought a blow up boat for Mallory to sit in and she LOVED it. We all had a good time chillin' by the pool and it was hard to get up to leave.
But leave we did, and we all trekked downtown to Wakiki for the evening. We went to a great bar at the Sheraton called "Over the Edge" and it really felt that way. It was right on the water, with an infiniti pool next to us. We watched the beautiful Hawaiian sunset while sitting on this awesome patio. We each ordered a drink. Mine was called a "melange a trois" (yes, I ordered that in front of my mother) and while the description sounded delicious, it was not so yummy. My mom was sitting next to me and ordered a capriosca. Hers was better, and she said she would taste mine too and share hers with me. Next thing I knew, BOTH drinks were gone, and she was feeling NOOOO pain. It was really quite hilarious. We watched the guy light all the tiki torches at the hotel and put on a show too. Then, we all walked a bit down the beach to another fun bar with live music and ordered martinis and sat outside (why wouldn't you here in Hawaii!) After that, our table was ready.We walked over to Jimmy Buffet's Beachcomber Restaurant and ate. It was a fun atmosphere, although the food was just so-so.Mallory clearly wasn't impressed- ha!We walked past the International Market, but didn't really shop there, and then back to our car (we were parked at the Hale Koa and used our military ID's to get a siginifcant parking discount). After a quick tour of the parking garage (I have no idea who numbered that place, but I think they had been drinking a few drinks themselves as it is SUPER confusing and we lost our car for a bit) we drove home and called it a night. Another fun day in paradise!