Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Aunt Elise comes to Hawaii

I talked my brave sis-in-law Elise to make the trek back with me to Hawaii to help me with the boys on the flight (like she needed a whole lot of convincing!).
 She was such a good sport. Holding Mark while he napped, and letting Keaton take over her iPad.
8 long hours later, Scott met us at the airport with a lei... 

The next day was the 4th of July. We decided to check out the festivities at Hickam AFB.
The lines for real food were outrageous, so Keaton was delighted that he got to have patriotic kettlecorn for dinner!
We watched a David Cook concert from afar and then enjoyed a beautiful display of fireworks over Pearl Harbor. 
Doesn't get more patriotic than that!
I'm starting to realize that almost all of my pics from Elise's visit are iphone/instagram. Shame on me. 

On Thursday, we chilled at home doing very non-Hawaii things like unpacking and library story time. When Scott got home from work, Elise and I headed down to Waikiki to Duke's for dinner. Duke's is very crowded in the evenings (no matter what day of the week), but we managed to score an awesome table in the bar area with a great view of the sunset and surfers.

Random funny moment: a man leaving our table just as we were sitting down told us to be sure and try the "blondelle." Mmmmm....must be some kind of dessert? Can't wait! When we asked the waiter about the "blondelle," he looked at us kinda funny and said, "you mean the blonde ale?" Yes. of course, that's exactly what we meant. We'll have one of those. :-)

On Friday, a friend of mine watched the boys, so I could take Elise to view the USS Arizona Memorial. Unfortunately, by the time we got there at around 8:30, the earliest ticket was for 12:30! So, we decided to tour the new museum and gift shop. We even had the rare opportunity to meet three of the six remaining Pearl Harbor survivors!
What an honor!
Since I didn't want to leave my boys at my friends house all day long, we decided to drive back over the mountain and get them, grab some lunch, and then take Elise back, so she could catch the boat ride out to the memorial at 12:30.

Here's where the story takes an embarrassing turn...
Scott had told me the night before that the van was low on gas, and I should fill up FIRST thing when we left in the morning. Of course, I forgot, and the van didn't ding or anything to tell me we were low on fuel (doesn't it usually ding?). I noticed the subtle glow of the low fuel light after we had already gotten on the interstate to head back over the mountain, and there was not an exit or gas station for about 15 miles at that point. You know where this is going.
Oh yes, we totally ran out of gas on the H3. Not my proudest moment.
 So, I called my friend April (y'know the same one who was already babysitting my kids for free all morning), who then loaded up my kids and all of her kids in her van and went to get gas and brought it to me on the interstate. You are a saint, April Jessee!

By then, we had just enough time to grab some McD's before Elise had to catch her boat. She noticed the poster for one of these in the window, and she made me order 2 of them.
Haupia Pie. Oh my. Curse you for introducing me to these sinful delights, sweet SIL!
Scott took off a little early on Friday, so we could try something that I've been overdue to try for 2 years now... Stairway to Heaven! A few facts about this hike:  first of all, it's a metal staircase (3922 steps to be exact), 2,120 foot long trail up a mountain. Second, it's closed to the public and guarded 12 hours day by a security guard who turns hikers away that try to hike it. We had a hunch that the guard had left early that Friday, because we spotted some hikers on the trail on our way home from Pearl Harbor. We decided to go for it!

Here's the view of the mountain from our lanai:
See right up there where the clouds are? That's where the hike ENDS!
To get to the foot of the stairs, you have to sneak past a gate and hike about a half mile through a bamboo forest.
Here we go!
The guard's gone! We're in the clear!
No turning back now!
And we climbed...
And we climbed...
And the views got cooler..
And cooler...
And about 90 minutes later, just about the time that our legs started shaking, and our voices started sounding like chipmunks, we reached the top!
Unfortunately, we were also in a cloud, so the top was the worst view of the whole hike!
On Saturday, we decided to head up to the north shore to find some sunshine. On the way up, we stopped at Laie Point, always so awesome!

We made another McD's run, because Elise thought we should try the Spam and eggs, just so that we could say that we did.  Who knew that Hawaiian McD could be such a cultural experience!
One bite was enough for me. Kinda tasted like soft sausage?  Bleh.
Next, we stopped at Waimea for some beach time. I've been to this beach several times and never once even thought about jumping off Waimea Rock. But, since Elise tends to bring out my adventurous side, we had to give it a try! It's hard to tell from the pictures, but its about a 25ft cliff, and it looks MUCH higher when you are standing at the edge! We laughed and laughed once we saw these pictures, because both of us had held our noses without even realizing it! What are we, six years old?
Scott jumped off twice. Show off!
For lunch, we had to get shrimp from the famous north shore shrimp trucks. It had been a long time since we did this. I forgot how good it is!
The spicy garlic is my favorite!!
And for dessert..
Shave ice! What else?!

After a little shopping on the North Shore, we headed home for a low-key Saturday night.

After church on Sunday, took the drive down the windward side of Oahu, a must on a pretty day!

Then, lunch at Kona Brewery before she flew out that afternoon.
Aloha, Elise! It was a short, but definitely fun-filled visit! We loved having you!
I can't wait until you come back and bring my brother! (hint, hint)


Molly said...

I had to look up "haupia" (Blegh - coconut) but the rest of your trip looked like fun!

Grandma said...

What a fun-packed few days! Loved it all except the part about you running out of gas!

livinginparadise said...

Aw, this makes me really miss Hawaii. Looked like you had a blast!