24 Dec

Mele Kalikimaka

After a taekwondo tournament this morning, we had nothing planned for the afternoon, so after reading the day’s entertainment section in the local paper, I took action. First, I dragged the kids to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani to check out their gingerbread village.

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They found the Swiss chalet, but were not half as impressed as I was by chef Ralph’s gingerbread replica of Iolani Palace, America’s only royal residence.

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From there we walked (via the Apple store for some unrelated technical advice) to the Sheraton Waikiki to see the sand sculptures.

Santa and Mrs Claus at the Sheraton Waikiki

I expected them to all be together, but they were scattered around the expansive lobby/shopping/activity level. We soon found another sculpture though.

Santa and Mrs Claus at the Sheraton Waikiki

The third sculpture was near a table offering free gingerbread decorating. How could we refuse?

Decorating cookies at the Sheraton Waikiki

Cookies in hand, we walked down the beach to the Halekulani where I had read that Santa would soon be arriving in his canoe.

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Sure enough, there were little kids in adorable red and green aloha wear on the beach, singing hawaiian style Christmas songs, and Santa’s canoe was making it’s approach.

Santa's Helpers at the Halekulani

There were no elves (undoubtedly all too busy at the North Pole), but T-Shirted santa’s helpers cordoned off a landing zone and kept a path open for the jolly one.

Santa arrives at the Halekulani

And, accompanied by two paddlers and a pair of hula girls, he disembarked and handed out candy canes on his way to the hotel lobby to see the waiting children.

Having had enough Christmas cheer for one day, we continued along the beach and back to our car and headed home. We stopped along the way to take a look at Air Force One, but for security reasons, were asked to delete our photo. Though the kids had themselves been on planes as large as Air Force One, they were impressed to hear that it was more like a combo hotel room and office inside rather than just the rows upon rows of seats they are used to.

We arrived home just in time to answer a Skype call from daddy and unwrap a few presents together.

So, from our corner of the world to yours, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and more importantly, the joys of sharing kindness with each other no matter what you celebrate.

28 Dec

Hi There!

Long time no talk. I’ve been busy.

We have family here and have been pretending to be tourists at a beach hotel. No internet or computer, and I have to admit I really didn’t miss it. I have been thinking a bit about what I could blog about since there has been no shortage of fodder, but I have not been motivated to actually write anything. I’m thinking about what the year ahead might bring and that will undoubtedly become a blog post. For now though, I think I’ll just share some photos of what we’ve been up to the last week or so.

We stayed at the Hale Koa in Waikiki

We walked around Waikiki and swam in the oean and in the pool.

We enjoyed some music.

We did a little hiking.

We did a little watching.

We finally made it to the sights at Pearl Harbor.

We looked for turtles.

We looked at each other.

We looked at the Pali.

We went to a Luau.

And we’re generally just enjoying ourselves (see the rainbow over Honolulu?).

See ya later.

13 Sep

Submarine

Today (September 12th) was my third blogiversary. It sneaks up on me every year. I’m actually kind of surprised I am still doing this. I like it though, so here I am, and here I will stay for a while.

This is the first year that I will NOT be posting about the Carrefour European du Patchwork, and that makes me sad. I am missing it already and it’s not even until next weekend. I’m also missing my mom a bit. It was nice to have someone to share the load with for a week

We didn’t just move furniture and decorate kids rooms while she was her. We did a few touristy things too, like take a submarine tour off Waikiki.

It took four tries, but we finally got out on the tour Monday afternoon. Poor visibility had canceled the previous two days’ dives. We felt just like tourists except for the fact that we were the very last ones on the boat out to the sub because we had to pick the kids up from school a mere hour before the last dive of the day and drive from suburbia all the way to Waikiki (tourists don’t usually have to figure school into the schedule).

Ocean Sweeper

Ocean Sweeper

From the shore, you take a boat out to the waiting submarine. In addition to the surfers, we’ve often seen people standing on a board, slowly gliding across the water using a long paddle. The boat guide called them “Ocean Sweepers” and tried to convince the kids that these are the guys that keep the water so clean and blue!

Artificial Reef

Artificial Reef

Underwater, all was blue too. The sub takes tourists past artificial reefs placed to attract fish and counteract the loss of natural reefs due to the presence of all us tourists. This kind is actually a Japanese construct on which seaweed is grown for harvest. It’s hard to tell from my picture, but there were all kinds of black and yellow fish swimming around. We checked off at least a half dozen different kinds of fish in our dive log that we saw, but unfortunately, not a whale, ray, or shark. My window got buzzed by a very cool parrot fish though!

Happy Weekend