Trip of a Life Time-Hawaiian Style


We are converted...we are believers...no arguments here...please just send us back!!

Tyson said it best when he said, "The only thing about taking a vacation to Hawaii is that when you get home, you are constantly trying to figure out how to get back."  
Truer words were never spoken.
Since getting home, we have had constant Hawaii withdrawals...but the good kind (if there are any). What I mean is that remembering Hawaii and the complete and total relaxation that we felt, has helped get us through long work days, whiny bedtime routines, and the monotonous routines of everyday life. Don't get me wrong. I love routine and I love schedules, but sometimes I think..."If I have to wipe crumbs off the counter one more time, I am going to need a funny farm!!"
Hawaii filled my adventure cup for now and I think I speak for Tyson and I when I say...We are satisfied..for now!

So now about The Trip. We went to The Big Island and stayed on the Kona side. It was gorgeous beyond words. Tyson got to leave 3 days before me because the trip was courtesy of L9 (Levelninesports.com which he has works for seasonally during the winter for the last 6 to 7 years). He had to miss his grandpa's funeral (which I will tell more about in a future post) but he had fun golfing on a peacock filled golf course, body surfing at Magic Sands Beach, eating sushi and watching people cliff jump at South Point (he is too afraid of heights, deep water and sharks to participate). He had lots of fun doing guy bonding things and was converted to warm tropical beach vacations almost instantly (I stress this because his idea of a vacation up to this point has been to heli-ski in Alaska or just spending every Saturday at Snowbird. The only two places outside of those ideas were Disneyland and San Diego. I definitely did not marry a world traveler. Unless there was a snowy hill to ski...he wasn't interested).

After I got there we had a nice relaxing and fun time together. We spent time at the beach boogie boarding, body surfing and getting our tan on (or burn more like it). 

We drove around the whole Island and visited the Hilo side. We found a cute little town where we bought some yummy passion fruit pastries and sweet bread for french toast the next morning. We hiked to Kahuna Falls and it was beautiful. The vegetation was gorgeous and the hike relaxing.

On our drive, we stopped at Volcano National Park and saw the steam rising from the volcano. We didn't get to see the glow at night but some others on the trip captured this really neat picture. It was really neat to the see the contrast between the green lush island and the lava rock.

We also found a neat little black sand beach on our drive. We hit it at the perfect time which was dusk because the sand was cool to walk on, the sunset was beautiful, and sea turtle were coming up on the beach and rocks to rest for the night. There was a beautiful pond just near it. The black sand was soft and sparkly and I think it was a cute romantic beach.

The next day we hiked 2 miles down to Captain Cook's Bay and did some snorkeling.  I unfortunately did not get any pictures of us in the water. We really loved the snorkeling. It was so neat to see all the colorful fish and coral. There was lots of brain coral that resembled brains. We were amazed by how the coral beds just ended and how ominous the edge or drop off was. It was just like it looks in Finding Nemo. There was a pod of dolphins swimming in and out of the bay and the water was crystal clear.  I have a fear of sharks, but felt safe in this water; however Tyson and I stayed away from the ledge!! The only "not" fun part of this outing was the 2 mile hike back up hill back to the car. It was hard hiking down with all the loose rock and the steepness of the trail. Coming up was easier to navigate but so hot in the afternoon sun. Next time, we will pay to take the scenic boat tour and snorkel.
When we finished the hike, we enjoyed some ice cream at a well known place called "Dave's Ice Cream". It was the best! The fresh fruit ice cream was delicious! We sat and discussed how Tyson's grandpa would love that we were enjoying the exotic birds, flowers, fresh fruits and eating ice cream. Those were some of his most favorite things.

Shortly after this fun activity, I took a nasty fall and double sprained my ankle along with skinning my toe. It sort of put a damper on our last day. I tried my best to address my wounds myself, but we ended up spending a good 5 hours the next day in the ER waiting to get my toe debrided. It was a bummer but we still had a good time hobbling through a great farmers market where we enjoyed some goodies and found a familiar looking fruit! (Does it look familiar to anyone else?) It is called a Mountain Apple.

Look away if injuries make you queasy!

We then enjoyed a great romantic dinner and did a little shopping to get the girls some souvenirs. I hobbled the best I could and we moved slowly but surely.
 It was a bummer not to be able to go to the beach or go in the water the last day. I felt like it was the icing on the cake of some bad luck that had recently come our way. Like we had our own little black rain cloud that had rested over us for week or so preceding the trip and had followed us to Hawaii(also more to come in a future post). We made the most of what I could do. I had to be on an antibiotic to help deter any infection and felt the constant thump of my heart beat in my two for the next few days. It healed nicely and I didn't develop an infection so it all worked out.  My ankle even looks almost back to normal now.

Everything around us was so beautiful. Everywhere we went we noticed the plant life and even began to welcome visits from our little gecko friends. Here are a few more pictures of some great scenery, exotic wildlife and good food.

Oh and I forgot to mention the condos that we stayed in. They were INCREDIBLE. The grounds were beautiful with vegetation and gardens. We could find and pick fresh Aloe every night to soothe our red skin. It had a great pool and outside gathering places. There was a huge orchard/garden that we had full access too. We would press our own orange juice and eat fresh grapefruit, bananas, and other new fruits from the trees. We had access to bikes, snorkeling gear, boogie boards, tennis rackets and all sorts of gear so we didn't have to worry about renting. The last night we had a group dinner and made homemade pizza with the brick oven. It was delicious! I would stay there again in a heart beat.

In honor of Tyson's father, we tried to scout out all the different kinds of palm trees. This was Tyson's favorite one. He liked that it resembled a fan.

To wrap up here a few funny things we saw in Hawaii!
Top Left: We thought we got lost in India for a minute. Top Right: Apparently Kona's FBI gets around by scooter. Hawaii must be a pretty safe place. Bottom Left: Does this include the rocks and sand that migrated home in my shoes. Shush...don't turn me in. Bottom Right: Apparently after you pull the emergency lever to get out of the rental car trunk (Ford Taurus), you need instructions to RUN!! Not sure if this is only in Hawaii or if Ford Taurus is the common Mafia car.
Going home was easy and hard. Easy to get back to our children and hold and snuggle them, but hard to go back to the daily grind. It was hard to actually accept that the trip was over and who knows when and how we will ever go back. It wasn't enough time for sure.

Saying See You Later, Not Goodbye Forever!

Now these are the images of my dreams...


Picture Fiasco {6 Months and Easter}

Sometimes I feel like we are a 3 ringed circus. I read a funny little cartoon the other day with a mother looking strung out and the caption read, "I am being ruled by a little army that I created myself". Well this describes my feelings sometimes (all too often). Especially when we have something specific to do or somewhere to go. I often feel like I need a 3 day nap after such outings. 
This picture taking session was no exception.

Talmage needed 6 months pictures taken (especially because I didn't do 3 month...mom fail). At the last moment I decided to bring the girls along in their Easter outfits to get a few shots. I love how the pictures turned out but the process was torture.
It was a long drive and I think the kiddos were overly hungry by the time we got there. I tried to plan ahead and bring snacks but our appointment time was a little inconvenient. Talmage now has some stranger danger and wouldn't smile to save his life.  I thought we were going to be lucky to get one non-crying shot, but the camera girl must have been quick at the draw. Ava was a little unruly and talking 90 miles minute to whoever would listen and Claire's voice was squealing/whining/shrieking at it's highest octave. I really thought my brain was going to burst and poor Talmage looked like he was in the middle of a bomb raid. In the end, I am happy with the pictures we got and I love the kiddos in them so much that I can block out the chaos of the day. But I think I will wait and schedule the next photo shoot on a Saturday when dad can join the circus.

Six Months Old!

 His teary eyes and pouty lip are the best! I think he has the Bubba lip from Forest Gump in the second picture. I want to start listing off different types of shrimp when I see it (haha).
The picture below I have entitled "The Man Pose".

 Ready, Set....


And Going!!

 And here are the two closest things we got to a smile!
Love that little face anyway.

A few Shots of the Girls and the Gang!