Friday, November 29, 2013

Aloha Lisa!

Every time I'm on the mainland, people always ask me what its like to live in Hawaii, and I always say, "Well, you should totally come and stay with us and I'll show you around!" 

Finally, someone said - "Yes! I think I will!" Lisa was our first non-family visitor in over 3 years! She arrived earlier in November and stayed for 10 whole days! It is always so much fun to play tour guide while visitors are here. Both Scott and I get such a kick out of watching people experience Hawaii for the first time! 
On her first morning here, Mark was playing at a friend's house, so we took advantage of no kids and visited the USS Arizona memorial. This was my 3rd visit, and it's always such a humbling experience!
On the next day, Mark and I took her to Ko'olina for some beach time.
We also showed her around the Aulani, the Disney resort. Can you tell by his expression that he liked having Lisa around?
On Friday, we visited the Macadamia Nut Farm and took the Alii Tour, which I'd heard great things about, but never tried. Here's me and Lisa on the Jungle Bus!
This tour was amazing! It is definitely something I will insist that every one of our visitors do from now on. They took us on a tour of their property and showed us where many movies were filmed. We also got to watch them make fire and then do a real fire dance!
They showed us how to crack a coconut and let us drink the milk straight from the coconut!
Then they put us in this huge canoe and showed us around the giant freshwater pond, dating back to days of Hawaiian royalty.

This guide was hilarious. He kept insisting we stand closer and closer to him for this picture. It was extremely awkward and uncomfortable. Hence, the genuine smiles!
On Friday evening, we took Lisa to get her first Mai Tai at La Mariana, Oahu's oldest tiki bar.
Then on to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for the Friday night fireworks!
Saturday, we took a drive up to the North Shore, stopping at all our favorite lookouts, including Laie Point.
She even got to see some pretty decent waves for early winter. Pictures never do the waves justice!
Of course, we had to get shrimp from a truck!
We tried a new truck this time, because they stopped making my spicy garlic shrimp at Zane's. It was delicious!
Shave Ice from Matsumoto's! There was still a line out the door even though it was pouring down rain!
On Sunday after church, Lisa and I headed down to Waikiki to the Moana Surfrider (Hawaii's oldest hotel) for afternoon tea!
It's always so much fun to get dressed up and enjoy fancy tea overlooking the Waikiki surf.
Of course, she had to get her pic taken with Duke!
Monday was Veterans Day, so Scott had the day off, so he had a jam-packed day full of stuff for Lisa! First up, hiking the Makapu'u Lighthouse trail. 

After this, we had lunch at Kona Brewery, and then hiked down to see the spitting cave of Portlock (sorry, no pics)

Next, we took her to the National Cemetery of the Pacific. 
It seemed appropriate to visit on Veterans Day.

 On Lisa's last morning, we got up early to hike to the Lanikai pillboxes!
Whew! What a fun 10 days! We so enjoyed having Lisa around! She was so helpful with the boys, and even did dishes (BONUS!). Plus, she's a nurse, so it was super handy having her around every time Mark bonked his head or had a mysterious rash appear (both of which happen almost weekly). She was such a good sport, getting woken up before 6:00 by my boys who were eager to see her every morning!

Hopefully, we won't have to wait another 3 years for a friend to come visit. Who's next??

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Camping at Bellows!

Sorry for my lack of attention to this blog lately! Hoping that the December photo project will get my booty in gear and focused on The House of Anderson again! 

A few weeks ago we were invited to go tent camping with some of Scott's coworkers and their families. I gotta say I was a little nervous. My idea of roughing it is the Holiday Inn, so tent camping is a whole new level outside my comfort zone!  Thankfully,  it was only one night, and we had a pretty outstanding place to set up camp.
Of course, my boys were up before dawn (as usual), so we headed straight out to the beach to watch the sun rise.
It was an absolutely beautiful morning. There were some storms rolling in, but watching the sun peak through the rain clouds was out of this world!
Eventually, Mark's friend Hanne joined us on the beach.
The kids had so much fun playing around the camp!
Mark taking a little rest...

See Daddy and Bubba ahead on the pier...
The view from the pier. Our camp was set up under those trees on the left.
Plenty of crabs! See them?
Stand right there, guys. Perfect. Now SMILE!

You tricked me! Mean Mommy!
My beach baby loves the water and sand!

Sneaking marshmallows...
These cuties were in camping heaven!
The whole experience went much better than I thought it would. We all slept pretty cozy in our little tent. I think 24 hours was enough for me this time, but maybe I'll get brave and try 2 nights next time! (As long as I can drive home to shower...)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween!

 Holidays are a big deal in Hawaii, but especially holidays that focus on the keiki (children). Halloween is no exception! Everyone dresses up - EVERYONE! There are parades, parties, contests, and needless to say - lots and lots of sugar. I learned this year that it is customary in Hawaii to bring a bag of treats to each of your classmates on Halloween day (similar to Valentines Day on the mainland), so Keaton came home with a truckload of loot even before we went trick-or-treating!

Here's a pic of Keaton's kindergarten class after the costume parade. Can you spot the imposter kindergartener in this pic? (hint: front and center).
Meet Darth Vadar and Luke Skywalker! Serious with the force, these two are.
Ready to hit the streets! Notice that Luke insisted on changing into his "slippahs" before trick-or-treating. Cover toes are not his thing!
And of course, Mark lost the mask before we even rang the first doorbell!
We spent Halloween evening with our good friends "The Good Witch" and Jake the Pirate (a.k.a. Maddie and Will)
Keaton and Maddie
May the Force be with you!