Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hawaii: Oahu

We started out our trip by flying into Honolulu. From there, we rented 2 cars (that was the cheapest option), and that turned out to be not as easy as we would've liked. That was the beginning of us realizing that either we were really hard to understand, or that Hawaiians are just dumb. Then we headed to our hotel, which is a military resort right on Waikiki Beach, next to the Hilton Hawaiian (which is where Grant and I stayed the last time we came). Again, there was a tremendous amount of unnecessary communication problems, but once we got checked in, we were so happy with our rooms! Here's a couple of views from one of our balconies.

From there, we went to take a walk on the beach, and get our first glimpse of Diamondhead.

The next day, we made our way to visit the Arizona Memorial. There's a great little movie they show you before taking you by boat to the memorial. And the best part, is that it's FREE! Kendall didn't quite realize that this was a place to be somber.

After that, we took a drive around the island (partially, at least), and stopped at Waimea Bay on the North Shore to go snorkeling. This was such an incredible experience! I wish I had an underwater camera, because we saw so many really cool fish. Another cool part about Waimea, was this really big rock, that people were jumping off of into the water. No one from our group did that, but it was cool to watch other people do it. Most of our time was spent snorkeling, so we didn't really take too many out-of-water pictures, unfortunately. The water was so calm, but during the winter, the waves here can be 25-30 feet high!

Since the price of plane tickets totally sky-rocketed, we were really trying to conserve money in other areas. Which meant that we were on the lookout for cheap food (although, "cheap" in Hawaii is relative). Before our trip, we saw this episode of No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel), and he went to this place called "Puka Dog" in Waikiki. It looked interesting, and it was cheap, so we tried it out and loved it! We ended up going there twice. It's basically Hawaii's version of a hot dog. It's a big bun with a hole poked through the middle. Then you pick either a veggie dog or a polish sausage. Then, you pick a garlic lemon sauce based on hotness. Then you pick a "tropical relish" (they had pineapple, mango, banana, papaya, etc), and then lastly, you pick a type of mustard. They fill the bun with all the sauces, then put the dog in the bun, and voila! You have a Puka Dog! It might sound gross, but it was very good. The second time we were there, I recognized the owner from Anthony Bourdain's show. I told her I had seen the show, and I think she felt like a celebrity. She was very nice, and was asking about our trip.

The next day was our last in Oahu. But we did it big. We hiked Diamondhead! This was my brother, Tony's birthday (mine was the next day). To celebrate, while we were coming back down Diamondhead, we popped open a bottle of champagne on the trail. My brother and I are 10 years and 1 day apart, so it was a very special thing to celebrate our birthdays this year in Hawaii!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A little late...

I know I'm a little late on this, but while we were in Kauai earlier this week, I called my dear friend, Mrs. J to get her input on something. Mr. J answered the phone and proceeded to tell me that she and Heidi were in Kentucky to mourn with their family the loss of Eric, Mrs. J's very close cousin, who was killed just a couple days before in Afghanistan. Anyone who knows Mrs. J knows how much she loved Eric, and considered him more of a brother than a cousin. I remember how disappointed she was when Eric was not able to attend her wedding a couple years back, because of another deployment. But at the same time, how proud she was of his service and sacrifice.

Here you can read a short article, and watch a video remembering Eric. And here you can read the latest about him on Mrs. J's blog.

As much of a tragedy as this is, there's so much comfort in the fact that Eric knew Christ.

Monday, June 16, 2008

After 2 years of planning...

...We're taking our Hawaii trip - tomorrow!! Which is probably today, when most of you are reading this. But we're leaving on Tuesday. My parents and my brother and his wife are here, and we'll take off in the morning. We're going to Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island! So, stay tuned for pictures.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

For Grant on his first Father's Day - the many faces of Kendall...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Week Later

Mrs. J reminded me that the "Breaking News" is old news, so I needed to update. Well, we were able to get in the house on Thursday last, and we got our master bedroom painted (I wanted to do this before the furniture came, because our bedroom furniture is HUGE!). That ended up taking forever, but we got it done - actually, Grant ended up doing most of the work. So he got it done. I'm so-so on the color. It's more purplish-blueish on the walls than grayish-blueish (with an emphasis on the grayish) than it looked on the paint chip. But it's okay. Friday was the day the movers came. It was a long, long day, but we got everything (that we can tell so far) with minimal damage. I took a break from unpacking so I could set up Kendall's jumperoo. I've been wanting her to use this basically since we got here. But, not thinking that we'd be out of a house for so long, we didn't bring it with us - we had the movers pack it up and put it in storage. So, once they unloaded it from the truck, I dropped what I was doing to put it together. I was happy to see that she loved it! We love our house and are so happy to finally be in it! I'll post more pictures when we're done unpacking, and the house looks the way I want it to. So that might be a while.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Breaking News

Grant just got back in town, and he stopped at the housing office, and we can pick up the keys at noon!! That's in 45 minutes! Needless to say, we're a LITTLE excited. Pictures are soon to come.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Few Weeks Ago

We met up with Andy and Megan down in Laguna Beach. It was a great time, and we realized that it's a pretty good halfway point for both of us to meet! We started out at a park. Joey was all over the place, really enjoying the playground. Since Kendall's not quite that mobile yet, she settled for the swings.

At first, I don't think Joey knew what to think of Kendall, but he warmed up to her pretty quick. I didn't get the actual kiss, but you can see here, he's still puckered.

Thankfully, I caught the hug on film. I can hear the collective "awwwwww's" now.

After the park, we decided to find a place to eat lunch. We walked around a bit, pricing restaurants (thank goodness we're all "frugal!"), and finally settled on Wahoo's Fish Tacos. We stayed there a while just chatting and eating. Joey was interested in the pink pacifier, so he decided to give it a try.

Once we were done with lunch, the 3 of them made their way back to the San Diego area, but we hung around a bit more. We have a friend from high school (actually, he and Grant go way back to kindegarten) who lives in Laguna Beach. So we gave him a call, and he met us at the beach. We probably haven't seen Jarrod since our wedding, so it was great catching up.

After we met with Jarrod, we did some exploring on our own, and found this beautiful little area! This is the place that made me believe that Laguna Beach is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen (as far as beaches go)! As expensive as it is, I totally understand why people live in California.

So, it was a great day! Hopefully, Kendall and I will have many playdates in Laguna with Megan and Joey. And maybe next time, I'll see an LC or a Lo or a Kristin (if you watch MTV, you'll know who I'm talking about).