Friday, March 7, 2014

Aloha Friday, Aloha Hawaii

I have been thinking about this Aloha Friday post for a long time and originally hoped to have it written and posted weeks ago when we actually left the island in mid February.  But in typical military PCS (Permanent Change of Station) fashion, chaos ensued and blog posts get pushed to the bottom of the priority list.

The kids and I are now in California trying to get as settled as we can in a brand new house without furniture and without Dad around.  But both should be arriving "home" within a few weeks.  I'm hoping those fourteen (yes, 14) crates of "stuff" and "dada" will magically make everything okay again.  But in reality, I know that it probably just create a different kind of crazy.  :)

As we try to create routine and a new normal here, I am desperately trying to help the kids, especially Charlotte, look forward to new friends, new schools...a new life.  But it is hard to not be constantly reminded of our dear and cherished friends in Hawaii.  Living on base housing in the amazingly historic Ford Island, we had some of the BEST neighbors you could dream of.  We spent holidays together, ate dinners together, watched our kids play in the alley while drinking beer together.  I'm sure if we spent a lifetime next door to each other, I would never tire of them or their kindness and company.  But sadly, military life doesn't allow those luxuries.

We also made such amazing friends through my daughter's school.  I feel grateful that the kids my daughter loved playing with also had the coolest of parents!  One such friend is a fellow blogger and Project Lifer/ Digital Scrapbooker.  She wrote this touching blog post that had me in tears.  We will miss them so much.

But life goes on and we have no other choice but to swallow our tears (at least in front of our kids).

I'm still hoping to finish out these Aloha Friday posts to finish documenting our Hawaiian travels.  Maybe that will help with my transition.  :)  But for now, I just wanted to share with you some of the beautiful and gorgeous family photos that the oh so talented Jen Fox took for us on our very last Saturday in Hawaii.  These photos are the perfect memento of our Hawaiian adventure and I will treasure them always.


So, for now, Aloha Friday and Aloha Hawaii.  You have been so good to us and we are forever changed by your Aloha Spirit.  Mahalo.  Here's hoping that it won't be long until we see you again.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Aloha Friday - Nuts and Chickens and Sausages?!

It has been forever since an Aloha Friday post and I'm so very sorry.  But as our time in Hawaii is quickly winding down, I wanted to make sure to share with you our oh so many adventures before we have to leave this beautiful island.

1.  Tropical Farms - Macademia Nut Farm Outlet & Farm Tour.  Although some consider this a tourist trap, I absolutely love the Mac Nut Farm.  They give out amazingly generous samples of EVERY. SINGLE. NUT, they are priced about the same as in town, and the farm tour is HANDS DOWN the most fun and best deal on the island.  Think of it as a farm tour meets mini luau meets scenic boat road.  LOVE LOVE LOVE and highly recommend it.

A view of the mac nut farm outlet from behind the store.

Check out this bus for the farm tour.  Ridiculous.  And the tour guide, amazingly freakin' awesome and hilarious!

The bus takes you to a gorgeous spot on the pond and Chief talks about Hawaiian plants, shows you how to make the headbands, does a fire show, and basically does a stand up comedy show while doing all of this.

Afterwards, we go on a lovely boat ride around this pond looking up to the Koaloa Mountains (where a ton of movies like Jurassic Park were filmed).

And afterwards, we tried our hand at cracking some mac nuts.  Fun!

2.  Pyramid Rock Beach.  We are so lucky that the military has some spectacular beaches open to us.  One of them is Pyramid Rock Beach on the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe Bay.  We will be getting family photos here before leaving the island.  SO excited!

3.  Combat Boots on Ford Island.  In connection with the Fisher House Hero & Remembrance Run on Ford Island, thousands upon thousands of boots from fallen service members were lined around the old runway and eventually displayed together on the field.  It's a solemn reminder of the sacrifices that have been paid for this war.

4.  Foster's Botanical Garden. A really beautiful place with some massive Exceptional Trees.  We were particularly smitten the canon ball and sausage trees.  :)

Here's the cannon ball tree.

And the sausage tree.

A super rare plant called the Corpse Plant.  It smelled so bad!

And check out has massive this tree is!

5.  Ray's Kiawe Broiled Chicken.  This might be some of the best chicken I've ever had. DELICIOUS.  

And conveniently right across the street from Matsumotos.  So we obviously had to have some shave ice too.

6.  Ka'ena Point.  We tried hiking out to the point before but failed since we didn't have enough time.  For this attempt, we drove our car straight to the gate.  What a beautiful hike complete with a monk seal sighting!

I think that's it for now.  Still have a lot to catch up on but wanted to at least get the ball rolling!!  As always, mahalo for stopping by!
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