What a beautiful day.
What a beautiful beach.
Why does it seem so familiar, jaqui?
I swear I've seen this before somewhere.
Why is there orange tape over there in those trees?
Could it be related to this sense of deja vu?
I know what this is now.
This is the Survivor Camp from "Lost."
We found it!!!
It's all taped up with seran wrap, fenced off, and has a security guard... but this is the place.
Hey, there's something just a little ways down the beach... what could that be?
Why, it's "Echo's" church that he built!!!
So for all you lost fans out there, you can start your geek-envy engines right about now.
We've been to the beach, and you haven't.
It wasn't easy to get here, but we made it.
And as a special bonus, here's a photo from yesterday.
It's not as fantastic as the Survivor beach, but it's still cool.
It's where Hurley built his golf course.
And drove the VW Van down the hill.
It's also a place from Jurassic park.
We couldn't get too close because we'd have to pay for a tour...
But still, we were there.
Your Lost tour is now officially complete.
We are ready to come home now.
Monday, June 30, 2008
What a beautiful day.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
What is that line for?
It's a half hour wait!
What could it possibly be for?
Oh yeah, Matsumoto Shaved Ice.
Now, is there anyone reading this that has had shaved ice before?
Ok, now listen closely... you've never had shaved ice before.
I know that sounds all pretentious and cliche like: "This is the best pizza in the world!" when it's just a pizza that's really good.
But seriously, Matsumoto's is the ORIGINAL shaved ice stand.
It's the one that the movie stars come to when they come to Hawaii.
No, seriously, they have pictures of Tom Hanks, Presidents, and other celebrities up on the walls eating the shaved ice.
Matsumoto's is the shaved ice stand that other people emulate and take back to their cheesy stands at state fairs.
When you see a sign that says: "Hawaiian Shaved Ice" what you are getting is a snowcone.
It's not the same at all.
Ever ordered a pizza outside America? It's like that.
2 totally different food substances.
So, if you've had: "Authentic Shaved Ice Straight From The Islands Made By Previous Residents of Hawaii" then you need to stop pretending that you know what we are talking about.
What you've had is a glorified Snoopy Snow Cone Machine (tm) treat.
Now, for those of you who've never had anything close to shaved ice (except for a pathetic imitation via a Snoopy Snow Cone Machine (tm), let me tell you what you've got.
First, you start with an ice cream cone shaped paper 'cup.'
This cup is filled with vanilla ice cream.
No chocolate, no strawberry, no Neapolitan.
Then you have a machine that shaves ice. Literally.
You take a block of ice, stick it in a vice-grip looking thing that presses it against a giant razor that shaves it into snowflakes.
These snowflakes are gathered up into a large ball.
This ball of shaved ice (which we think might be laced with heroin) is then placed on top of the ice cream 'cone.'
Then you take syrups with magical fairy dust and pour them over top of the shaved ice.
Jaqui got a "Hawaiian" which had Bananna, Coconut, and Pineapple.
I got a "Matsumto" (because I believe in always getting the 'original' when going to a place that is famous for something), which had Coconut, Pineapple, and Lemon.
Then you stick a straw in the top (i'll explain later) and a little wooden spoon like you get with sherbert cups.
If you aren't familiar with sherbert cups and how you consume, then you aren't my friend and I want you to stop reading my blog and my wife's blog.
You take all this and put it in a big plastic serving container that looks like a flower.
This helps to contain the icy nectar of the gods and keeps it off the concrete. Which is a good thing because you'll look pretty silly licking up the shaved ice off the ground.
And believe me, if you took one bite of this and dropped even a single snow flake, you'd be down on your hands and knees licking it up too.... and then seeing if anyone else dropped some of theirs.
I'm not kidding. You really start to fiend out.
So, what you do is take your wooden spoon and eat the shaved ice with the liquid nectar straight from rainbow-fairyland.
Then as you get to the bottom and feel that you couldn't possibly consume a single grain of sugar more... you hit the ice cream.
Oh, but I know what you're thinking.
"Hey, it's just vanilla ice cream. Big whoop.."
Oh my friend, you are so wrong.
This isn't just vanilla ice cream anymore.
All that delicious tropical 'stick it in my vein via a syringe' syrup that has found its way through the snowflake ball has started to mix with the ice cream.
Now you've got tropically laced ice cream.
And you consume.
You consume it like a starved southerner at a $5 all you can eat buffet.
Then, when you hit that part of the 'cone' where your wooden spoon is too wide to get that last little bite out of there, you bring in the big guns.
You use the aforementioned straw to suck the nourishing juices straight into your mouth without ever having to have their flavors spoiled by the air.
And then... and only then.. will you stop to revel in the carnage you have just been a part of.
You will stop and say: "Whoah... where did it go? Did I eat it already? Why did I only get a small? Is it worth another 30 minutes to wait in line? I'd wait 30 minutes in line to ride a ride at disneyland.... maybe I will wait in line...."
But like all good drug users know, it takes a few minutes for it to hit your system.
And once that sugar hits your system you think: "WHOAH! This is amazing!!!! And I remember now why I only do this once every 5 years..."
Here's me giving the: "Don't even think about it face" to some tourists who looked at my shaved ice funny.
I was worried they might try to bypass the 1/2 hour wait by accosting me.
Here's jaqui on the verge of having a stroke from having shaved ice applied directly to her sinuses via a straw.
Bottom line, go to Matsumotos.
So, there's 2 types of turtles in hawaii.
There's the Galapagos turtles you see in the zoo.
They are behind a wall and look like this:
And then there's the kind you see on the beach where you are swimming and snorkeling.
Now, mind you, we don't have a zoom lens on our camera.
That picture isn't taken ala National Geographic at 200 yards with a telephoto lens.
This is taken just a few feet away.
Don't believe me?
Here's Jaqui looking at the turtle.
Something to keep in mind is that Jaqui isn't wild about being too close to the turtles.
She's fascinated, but a little creeped out.
So while she looks like she's really close, let's show you just how close you can be.
Yeah. That close.
But that's not all.
I was out snorkeling with them and I had an underwater camera.
It's not digital so I don't have the pictures yet, so you're going to have to come over to our house to see my photos.
But here's a teaser of what you can expect.
I was snorkeling and was literally (LITERALLY) less then a foot away, nose to nose, with a giant sea turtle and I took a picture of him.
This was a glorious day.
And to further tease you into coming over, I have taken a ton of photos with the underwater camera of tropical fish while snorkeling.
Best. Vacation. Ever.
(Jason is writing this post)
**This post should have come out yesterday (Friday June 27th) but we didn't have internet. So we typed it up and are just posting it today.**
So, today is officially our 10 year anniversary.
We were talking about it and we realized it isn't a huge accomplishment that we had to fight and work for.
Basically, neither of us has died yet, so we're still married.
If you know us, and our dark humor, you'll see how that's actually a romantic sentiment for us.
Now with your expectations of a heart-felt and romantically charged blog out of the way, let's talk about what we did today.
We woke up on Waikiki and went out boogie boarding. The waves were the biggest then been all week (around 4 feet or s0).
I'm so happy that Jaqui bought a boogie board on the first day. She fell in love with it right away.
If you have gone boogie boarding, essentially it's Swimming.... with benefits.
You float around and bob as a bunch of little waves go by.
Every 10 minutes or so, you get some big waves to form. When they do, you turn towards shore and kick with your feet (in flippers) and let the wave pick you up.
Then your ride all the way in and enjoy life.
Then you turn around and go back out (duck diving under the set of waves crashing in your face) and get in position to do it all again.
Like I said. Swimming with benefits.
So that's what we did all morning until about lunch time.
Then we came in, packed up, loaded up the convertible, and drove up to North Shore.
My plan when planning this trip was to spend part of the time on the south shore to do the standard 'tourist' things, but then spend the last 1/2 in North Shore where we are the most happy.
There's less people, it's very 'local' feeling, and you've got the best beaches in the world.
Although it has to be wintertime to do this, North Shore is where they have the biggest and best surf in the world. (10, 20, 30 foot waves).
You know Pipleline? That's about 1/4 of a mile from where I'm sitting now.
You know Waimea Bay? That's about 1/8 of a mile from where I'm sitting now.
Which leads into my next point.
Last night I swam in Waimea Bay for the first time, and it was awesome.
It's so beautiful and clean and clear.
You can be in 10' of water and see the bottom clearly.
And what's even more fun is who is swimming with you.
As we were bobbing around, just enjoying the sunset, less then 10 feet from us something popped its head out of the water.
A Sea Turtle.
Yeah. For real. A turtle.
So that was pretty darn cool.
After that we showed up at our 'hotel', but it's not a hotel. It's more like a rental home.
It was a bit jarring at first because it was unexpected.
We walked into this house and were greeted by John. He lives up the beach in his own home.
But he used to live/work here with his family.
He's really nice and really welcomed us in.
We quickly realized we were in another world. This was a rental house bordering on hippie commune.
And you know what? We're totally Ok with that.
We have a washer and dryer, a full kitchen, and a shared bathroom.
Here's the courtyard where everyone kind of hangs out in between activities:
This is the kitchen. It's nice to be able to have food without having to go out and shell out too much money for a meal.
And here is our bed.
It's not fancy, but you know what?
We couldn't be happier.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
So today we went about 30 minutes west of Honolulu to do some serious snorkeling off a giant reef. It usually takes about a half an hour or so until we are completely comfortable with the whole breathing under water thing, but once we got over that, it was awesome.
We saw all kinds of tropical fish and even an eel. It is really one of the most relaxing things I have ever done. I really love it. You are just bobbing in the water completely weightless listening to the vibrations of the waves through the water and the rhythmic sounds of your own breathing. All the while being submersed in your own private aquarium. It it very soothing. For a couple hours I even forgot how much I missed the kids :)
We took a bunch of pictures with an underwater camera, but stone age technology that it is, I have to take them and get developed. So I don't have any pictures to show you what we saw under water. But I do have a couple to show of what we saw above ground.
Tomorrow we go up to North shore for 4 days so I'll write as I can locate a little slice of wi-fi.
Did I mention that we rented a convertible for the week?
It's a V6-GT hardtop convertible, where the roof folds into the trunk at the touch of a button.
You can start hating us now.
I wouldn't blame you.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today we went up to Manoa Falls.
It was a .8 mile hike, but it ascended like, 800 feet.
We walked over roots and mud and rocks. Treacherous, but worth it once we got there.
It was amazing to hear the sounds of birds and animals and realize that they weren't being piped in through speakers. I know it sounds silly, but normally when you hear the bird calls we were hearing it's at a zoo or something and they have them playing in random places as ambiance.
But wait, that's not all.
Do we have any "Lost" fans out there in internet land?
If so, check this out:
Parts of the show are filmed up here.
First we have the field where the infamous "The Door" is brought in when they need to film it.
Also, in this field they film various "running through a field" scenes. It's got great lighting, and they just shoot from different angles to make it look like a new place each time.
But wait, there's more.
Anyone catch the season finale? Where they went to the Orchid Station?
The Station that had the hidden elevator amongst a bunch of potted plants and green houses?
Yeah, it was filmed up here too.
They also have the building where the 'water' station was filmed, but you couldn't see that part.
Just as we were leaving after seeing the Orchid Station, it started to rain crazy heavy rain.
I'm not sure if Jaqui is more excited about finding the Orchid station or the rain in this photo.
Either way, it's very Shawshank Redemption.
But don't think we're done just yet.
Oh no. Wait until this next weekend when we are up in North Shore.
We have a LOT more Lost to show you all.
With some really special surprises...
We drove over to Da Kine Bail Bonds today.
Office of the infamous "Dog the Bounty Hunter"
Turns out, his show is going back on A&E after the station unfairly pulled his show due to statements he made in a private phone call.
Good on ya, Dog!
Here's the front of the office:
Here's a wise saying:
Here's Jaqui with the Dog himself. Sort of.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
*NOTE* this should have been posted yesterday (tuesday 24th), but our hotel was having trouble with the Wi-Fi.
Not to invite envy, but I would like to let you know that I am writing this post by the pool of our hotel in Waikiki. The only decent wi-fi signal.
We flew in yesterday afternoon and just got settled last night. We did take a dip in the ocean, but we were pretty well wiped out.
This morning I woke up at 4 am. I am still on Portland time that is 3 hours ahead. This is one of the drawbacks of coming here, but you know, there could be worse. Rockstar had no problem sleeping in, so I waited for the first sign of day light and made my escape.
There is a Starbucks on the same block as my hotel, so I grabbed myself a coffee and took a walk along the beach.
I would love to say that it sucked to make you feel better, but I am a crummy liar.
I took some pictures of my morning walk as the sun came up over the beach.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
So as we were closing up for the night, I went out to lock the cars, when Rockstar asks what is that? I look and sure enough, it was a coyote. Ok let me remind you we live completely in the city. This is something we have never seen in our nick of the woods. Rock star husband got the cats in and we watched it for a while.
I'm sorry we couldn't get a better picture, but our camera doesn't like the dark very much.
It seemed to be a pup as it really didn't mind us being out there with it. But even pups are dangerous, so we kept our distance.
Just thought it was interesting. Looks like the kids won't be playing across the street for a while :(
Husband here... Let me elaborate.
I saw it 'dancing' like it was chasing a bug. It'd take a couple steps forward then jump up and backwards a couple times.
I walked to the side of the cars and realized that there was something else out there.
Our cat, Merlyn.
So I crammed the camera in my pocket with no thought to the damage I was doing to the lens and started going: "Kitty kitty kitty."
Thankfully, Merlyn started to walk back to the cars. He got close enough that I could grab him, and he didn't play his usual game of "hard to get" when i try and pick him up.
This could have been an ugly sight tonight.
Friday, June 20, 2008
So I guess all things must eventually end. All except taxes and herpes that is. Those are forever.
Last night we had our big award ceremony for T ball. It was held at Pietros pizza which by the way is my favorite pizza on the planet. In the puny little town that I grew up in it was the only pizza place in town. So I had my fill, but at the same time it is really good pizza. Just a little on the pricey side. But now it is not just pizza. Oh no. It is a carnival of blinking lights and ringing bells. It is trying hard to be chuck e cheese. Needless to say I no longer enjoy going to Pietros anymore. The kids love it though. For Rock star and I , it feels like an assault on the senses. It's just way too loud and bright. Not to mention expensive.
The kids just go bat dingy the second we walk in the door begging for money to go play the games. They each got $2 and they had to make it last. That gave them 10 tokens each. So essentially 10 games. Surprise , surprise. Bug blew through his in a matter of minutes and came begging for more. When his request was denied, he sat and pouted while he watched his friends feed token after token into these machines. Luckily all Bug did was pout. I sat in horror as his fellow (seemingly well behaved) teammates go into meltdown mode demanding that their parents fork over some more cash. Although I was a bit annoyed at Bug's pout fest, I was proud of him that he didn't loose his mind like his friends. I begin to realize how normal Bug's behavior is when I see him around other kids his age. Because he was able to control himself in a pretty reasonable manor despite his friends meltdowns, I rewarded him and slipped him another dollar. Just don't tell Sunshine.
The award ceremony went off without a hitch and all the kids got a trophy and a ball signed by all of the players. That really is the nice thing about T ball. Everybody is a winner. Next year when we move up to softball it will be different, but for now this works and we will just enjoy the moment.
Sunshine had fun too. She got to see he best friend Cora. She is the little sister of one of the other players and she already knew her from Awana. So when they are together they are nearly inseparable. We found out that Cora is going to the same preschool next year that I was looking at for Sunshine . So it looks like we have a winner for preschools. Also it is up the street at a church that we did Awana at, so really everybody wins here. She is super jazzed about going to school with Cora next year too.
So really a good time was had by all last night.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
As much as Bug tries to deny it, he loves Seaseme street. He swears up and down that it is a baby show and he wants nothing to do with it. However every morning at 9:00 he's right there in front of the tube glued to it.
This morning the boys cuddled up together and watched what Peanut calls "melmo". His word for Elmo.
I had to sneak in like a ninja and capture the moment before Bug could even try to deny it just because it was just so darn cute.