Category Archives: Hawaii

Hawaii 2017

This might have been my favorite Hawaii trip.  By now, we have developed a rhythm upon arrival.  Everyone knows where to go and what to do.  We have the perennial favorites but also time to explore.  Even better, the kids are now young adults who can take care of themselves.  No more tracking lost toys, watching protectively in the water, trying to find food that appeals to bland palettes.

For me, I felt extra mellow and relaxed.  Given the choice, I would spend the whole day at the beach house, feet up on the lanai or ankle deep in the surf.  Round it out with two fish tacos from Ono’s and I am sated.  I guess I am a mellow vacationer.  Itineraries, schedules and guidebook tours hold no   appeal.  Wandering, napping, and lazily floating along are much more my speed.  And the nice thing about Hawaii is that everyone is there at once so you can always find a partner in crime.  Want to head down to play in the waves?  Leina will join you.  Craving some katsu chicken? Daniel is your man.  Looking to go shopping?  Kevin has his keys in hand and is ready to go.  Prefer to sip a glass of wine and work on a puzzle?  Uncle Dan will pull up a seat for you.  Heavenly, I tell you.

I think I will treasure my memories from this Hawaii trip all year long.


Shave Ice

And after a hard day of playing at the beach, you must brave the heat to walk down the road for a giant cup of Keneke’s Shave Ice.

Shave Ice...Yum!

Don’t be shy, dig right in!  It melts fast!

Dig In!

Get It Off!

Kulia At the Beach

This is one of the only pictures I managed to snap of Kulia at the beach.  Turns out, she hates sand.  Can’t stand it in fact.  As soon as her delicate little tooties hit the beach, she threw a fit.  She wanted that sand OFF.  NOW.  This made for some difficulties during out trip.  Kulia was the first out of the water and the first headed back to the house every single time.  Just the idea of having to go down on the sand would cause her eyes to well up with tears.  Poor girl.  Hopefully next year she can get over her sand aversion….


Last night in my dream,

we were walking hand in hand,

on the white, sandy beach of Hawaii……


Waimanalo Beach at Dusk

Already Six

I have no memory of my 6th birthday.  It probably involved cake, ice cream and presents.  I don’t know if Leina will remember her 6th birthday today but I know I sure will.  How many little girls get to celebrate 6 by eating mochi ice cream, spending the day snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, and blowing out candles on a Ted’s chocolate haupia pie?  Not too many I’m thinking.  Add to that a pile of craft supplies, games, Plumeria Princess goodies and Hello Kitty supplies and you have one very happy 6 year old on your hands.  Us adults are exhausted but Leina is all smiles and energy.  Perhaps it was that last chocolate mochi ice cream that pushed her over the edge but that’s ok.  She was a real trooper today hiking down to the bay and swimming way far out to squeal over all the huge fish swimming through the  coral.  I hope she remembers some of this special day.

Happy Birthday Leina!  I can’t wait to see what 6 has in store for us….

No Guilt

When I was a little girl, there was one beach that we always visited during our trips – Waimea Bay.  I remember driving through the sugar cane fields for what seemed like hours to get to this beautiful bay on the North Shore of Oahu.  There we would spend all day floating in the surf, basking in the sun, and snorkeling.  Well, the last time I visited Waimea was sometime in the early 90’s.  Other beaches claimed by allegiance and Waimea was just too far away.

And so today, after a 15 year absence, I went back to my old beach.  It was the first time both Kevin and the girls had ever been to the North Shore.  It was still a long trip as we are staying on the southern tip of Oahu and Waimea is on the northern tip so we had to wake up so early and retain our sanity as the kids moaned “are we there yet???”  Once we got there, all moaning instantly stopped.  It was just like I remembered.  A beautiful blue bay with a huge stretch of sand.  Now it was my girls floating in inner-tubes in the surf and spinning around and around.  Leina figured out the joys of snorkeling and we had to drag her- literally!- out of the water.  We checked for webbing between her toes but so far she hasn’t begun her transformation into fish yet.   But really, it’s only a matter of time.

But the best part?  Well, when we arrived most of the beach was taken over by fishermen who were casting out along the shore.  Us swimmers were regulated to the far edge of the bay because a large school of fish had taken shelter near the shoreline.  The fishermen weren’t having much luck and things took a definite turn for the worse for them when a giant pod of spinner dolphins showed up.  Yup, about 50 spinner dolphins swam into the bay, rounded up the fish, and started munching.  Many of the fins were in sets of  two and the lifeguard announced that this pod had many nursing young with their mothers and warned swimmers to stay away.  The pod was so close, people were paddling out to swim with them!  And the best part?  Well, they call them spinner dolphins for a reason.  I guess they enjoyed their meal because all of a sudden, they started jumping out of the water. Jumping, spinning in the air, and crashing back into the sea.  It kind of reminded me of the fireworks display at Disney Land.  Every time a dolphin launched into the air, the whole beach would erupt in ohhhhs and ahhhhs.  It was beyond amazing.  They stayed there for hours eating, swimming and spinning in the air.  The fishermen were bummed but we were ecstatic.  The only damper was when the lifeguard announced that this pod was often prey to “large predators” and that perhaps swimming among them was a very bad idea.  Any romantic vision I had of frolicking with the wild dolphins quickly vanished and I clung nice and close to shore.

We drove home the long way hugging the shore line all down the east side of the island.  The kids slept while Kevin and I rubbernecked.  This place is simply unreal as far as natural beauty goes.  Every turn offered a new view to wow  us.  Perfect.

Kevin’s favorite view?  When we turned the corner into town and saw the Leonard’s malasada van parked in a mall lot.  He practically grabbed the wheel to get me to pull over.  Fool that I am, I let him order the malasadas and he returned a few minutes later with a sheepish look on his face and three boxes pilled in his arms.  Yes, that would be 24 malasadas.  Of course, the girls had their hearts set on shave ice so we stopped for some.  As soon as we were done, we headed home to break into those malasada babies.

So for dinner, I had a shave ice appetizer followed by three malasadas.  One chocolate filled, one lilikoi filled and one haupia filled.  I washed it all down with a cup of hot coffee and it was good.  I must admit that as I picked up that last malasada I felt the slightest twinges of guilt pricking me.  I knew I was going to pay for this indulgence later but I decided, what the heck!  Pass the malasadas and put it on my tab.  I’ll pay later.  Once all 24 of these puppies have been finished off!