Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back in Action

Wow....feel like I can finally update with some substance! Hawaii updates are great, but they were also over a week late and I'm sure you guys are wondering what I do in real life! So here are some random thoughts while I try to download recent pictures...

This photo is of Faith watching the NFL draft. She is trying to "get" the scroll at the bottom of the screen. She does not like the scroll, nor does she like computer mouse arrows or screen savers. She feels the need to stop them. This was her effort to stop them, though I kept telling her there was no way Malcolm Kelly was going in the first round!

She should listen to her elders.

It's a problem. I'm hooked on "American Idol" and I want David Cook to come sing me rock songs while I sleep every night. If you have not heard this guy, go to YouTube and check out one of his many great performances, or download them at iTunes. My favorites? Try his versions of "Billie Jean", "Music of the Night", "Hello", and my ALL-TIME FAVORITE "Always Be My Baby".

Seriously, knock your socks off good.

Anyway, I find myself not only watching this show with excitement each week (only on DVR so I can fast forward through boring people like Syesha and Jason), but I read about it. Everytime there is a new "American Idol" article on the internet, I read it.

Where have I been the last few years? What is wrong with me?

I am so proud of John and his weight loss. As you know, he gave up sweets for the year and is still going strong. He even managed to lose over 4 pounds in Hawaii! He's down 26 pounds and he looks amazing.

Only 22 days until we leave for vacation again. This time, there will be some relaxing. And eating. pretty sure John will NOT lose over 4 pounds once we get back from the cruise!

I don't think I've talked about my new favorite blog these days, The Lost Ogle. It was forwarded to me by a co-worker about a month ago and I haven't stopped laughing since. Some posts bring me to tears I laugh so hard.

I have lived in the OKC metro area my whole life, and know pretty much all the personalities in the media that they talk about. It might not be as funny to you if you don't watch local news, listen to The Sports Animal, or know much about OKC. Otherwise it's HILARIOUS!

This week I will be hosting 7 girls at my house for Book Club (8 if a certain Miss Kendall attends, as she sometimes does). I am so excited to be hosting, yet stressed about dinner and cleaning. But I guess it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, right? Right. It doesn't matter.

Sorry...have to keep telling myself that. I like clean houses and amazing meals and I don't think it's going to happen this time!

Anyway, we are reading a book called Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. It was my pick, and I was very nervous about it. But I think it's a hilarious, thought-provoking book. I stand behind it, and I'll let you know what the others think.

No recent dreams with D-List Lifetime celebrities. But, there hasn't been a lot of sleep or dreams to talk about. I need to get over this hump...I'm grumpy when I'm tired and I think John and I would agree we're tired of me being grumpy!

If I haven't been commenting on your blog lately, please forgive me. It's taken me two days to even work this post up, I still have the wedding post to get ready, and I'm not caught up on my Bloglines!

That's all for now...good to be back!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Woo-Hoo!!! I'm done posting about Hawaii! Thanks to all who sat through it, and waited on me to get it done.

The past week has been INSANE. Truly insane between all the flying, the baby showers, wedding showers, Mom's wedding, Children's Bible Hour, etc. I haven't slept, truly slept great sleep, since before Hawaii.

I now know that lack of deep sleep is affecting me in ways I had no idea. And I've tried to get good sleep, I really have. But I keep having these dreams with D-List celebrities who are holding me hostage in, what I can only assume to be, a Lifetime movie.

Last night it was Joanna Kerns (mom from "Growing Pains") who was an insane woman that I kept house for. She ended up taking me hostage (along with a friend from church...I won't say who) and when she threatened to stop paying for cable TV I confronted her and told her I was leaving. Then she shot me on the stairs in her home, all crazy-eyed.

Don't mess with my cable TV. I will go to the grave for it people.

That's how I know. I need sleep. Long, uninterrupted, unstressed sleep with no Lifetime network prior to drifting off.

I have tons of pictures from mom's bridal dinner and her beautiful wedding on Saturday. And I will post soon (along with my adorable dress and my sister's adorable, practically matching dress). Right now I have to get actual work done so I can go home tonight and sleep. Hopefully Meredith Baxter-Birney (mom from "Family Ties) and Yasmin Bleeth won't be joining me.

Day Eight, 4/19

It was the day we were to leave, but since our flight wasn’t until 10:30p we had the whole day ahead of us. While some would choose to relax on the beach (since there really wasn’t any of that during the whole week) I decided to go on one more hike. John stayed home to get things ready to go, return the rental car and snorkeling gear, etc.

I had mentioned that Ka’ena Point looked like an interesting destination. I didn’t know much about it, just thought it sounded interesting. It’s the westernmost point on the island. And it’s 6 miles roundtrip to get there.

On the way out there, everything was great. In fact, I finally saw the whales I’d been hoping to see! We had the beach to our right the whole walk out there, and happily watched whales breeching and spouting along our walk. We saw Hidden Beach, and once we reached the Ka’ena Point Wildlife Reserve, it only got better.

Though tired, thirsty, and hot we trekked through the sand past huge albatross birds to the rocks at the tip of the island. There we saw endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals basking in the sun. It was definitely a trip worth it’s weight in wildlife.

Other than the hike back to the car (seemingly endless, very hot, there may have been tears) it was awesome. But once we arrived home, I began to pack things away and realized it was time to go home.

We had dinner in Honolulu, grabbed a couple more souvenirs, and then settled in at the airport. It was (and continues to be) very sad for me. And John, too. Surprisingly we found out that we are, in fact, beach people. We really felt at home in Hawaii and loved every second. I will miss it and can’t wait to go back for more.

We didn’t sleep on the plane. Other than maybe an hour total. So we’d been up for well over 24 hours and we were beat! John headed to bed at 7p Sunday night, and I finished packing for my flight to West Virginia on Monday and finished writing my travel journal.

It was a really amazing, perfect vacation.

Day Seven, 4/18

While John wasn’t too keen on the idea of hiking, I did convince him to take the hike at Diamond Head State Park. It’s a crater, and you start out at the information center in the center of the crater. Then hike a steep walk up to the top. It’s not quite a mile to the top, but it sure feels like a long way with the steep stairs and no breeze until the top.

But we made it! And we were rewarded with amazing views of Waikiki and beyond. I’m just awed by the water in Hawaii—so many shade of bright blue.

After grabbing lunch at Teddy’s (told you it was great!) we headed back. John decided to golf at another course on the island, while Dad and I headed to Shark’s Cove on the North shore for snorkeling. I know, Shark’s Cove…snorkeling…sounds like a not-so-brilliant plan. But it was awesome. We spent a while swimming with trumpet fish, sea urchins, Nemo fish, rainbow fish, even a sea turtle.

Then we headed over to Waimea Bay to catch some waves on the boogie boards. There were waves, but it wasn’t exactly working out. After getting pounded by three waves in a row, I decided to just float and swim for a while. I was covered in sand, and ready to head home after that!

We had dinner out at Pinky’s Pupu Bar and Grill. Yes, we ate Pupu, which is another word for appetizers. John got a good giggle out of that.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day Six, 4/17

Happy Birthday to me! As you know from earlier posts, this was the absolute perfect day. Start to finish, everything I could hope for.

John and I started the day very early to catch the sunrise from Kailua Beach. We have, um, lots of pictures of this sunrise from a light pink sky to full on orange sunrise. It was beautiful. A birthday card taped to the front door greeted us on the way out, as everyone else in the house stayed asleep!

He then treated me to a local favorite for breakfast: M.cDon.ald’s Spam, eggs, and rice platter. I made it through one slice of Spam before the smell got to me….hey, when in Rome, right?

After that, we headed back up to the North Shore. After some research on the “Lost” sites from earlier in the week, John had a feeling we were missing something big. As you now know, we discovered the “Lost” Survivor’s camp on Papa’iloa Beach! Not only that, but there was no fence up and we were the only people besides a lonely security guard on the beach that morning. He happily let us play around on the set, looking in tents, taking pictures, etc. I was so excited, I may have called a million people to brag.

After trying to go back and watch some filming, we discovered we would be in camera shots and it would be several hours before we could get close. We didn’t have time to stick around (though we caught a scene being filmed from a distance) because we had dinner plans!

Read about it here, here, and here.

Back to Honolulu for the “Dog the Bouty Hunter” Gift Shop. Purchased a few t-shirts, met an interesting clerk and headed home.

After showering and putting on something other than a bathing suit and t-shirt we headed with Dad and DeAnna to Waikiki Beach to a restaurant called the Shorebird. It was awesome, open to the beach with ocean breezes coming through and live Hawaiian music being played. The coolest thing was that once you ordered your meat, they brought it to you raw and sent you over to a huge open grill where you seasoned and grilled it yourself. Luckily, I have a master griller around here…

I had delicious steak and shrimp, a tasty drink called a Lava Flow, and even tried Halpeiwa—a coconut pudding off the endless salad bar. At the end, the Hawaiian musician suddenly started singing Happy Birthday to me with the entire restaurant, and they brought me a brownie sundae to die for.

John and I rushed out to catcht the sunset on Waikiki. Lots of clouds, but still beautiful. After a stroll on the beach, we walked the Waikiki shopping drag. Picked up a t-shirt at the International Marketplace, took our picture in front of the Duke statue (where there was a live webcam and we called my sister so she could see us waving).

Finally turned in after a perfect night.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 5, 4/16

We got up early on Wednesday morning for our planned trip to Pearl Harbor. We knew we needed to get their early, and we did….but so did thousands of other people. The line was wrapped around the block so we decided to deviate for a while. We headed over to the Pro Bowl stadium, where on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays there is a swap meet with all the cheap souvenirs you could imagine. We walked around for a while, walking away with only a few things. Most of it was pretty much the same, and lots of haggling involved. It was a lot of fun, though!

Once we headed back to Pearl Harbor we had a 2-hour wait until our turn to see the USS Arizona. So we did an audio tour of the onsite museum, which was really interesting. Especially the part where it describes the typical day in a soldier’s life on a battleship. I took lots of pictures to show my grandpa, who spent years on a battleship during his time in the Navy during WWII and the Korean War. I want to hear more.

Then we took a short tour of the USS Bowfin submarine. Made me claustrophobic, but put a lot of perspective into life on a sub. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the USS Missouri battleship, but we did take the boat over to the USS Arizona.

It really is very sobering to stand above this battleship that is sunken right beneath you. You can see the ship, see details at times. Part of it sits above the water line. You can watch oil droplets rise to the surface every minute or so….1-2 liters each day. But knowing that it could not be raised and that 900 men are buried down there…it’s really sobering. The whole memorial was very well done, and makes me wish America had had a similar reaction to the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars that we had after Pearl Harbor. I’m constantly amazed at what men and women in the military do for us that we never understand.

After finally finishing up, we headed back to Kailua and made it down to the beach. After snorkeling in rough open waters and seeing nothing, Dad and I headed back to the shore where John had been watching some people boogey boarding and body surfing. He was interested. Two boogie boards later, the three of us were taking turns riding the waves. There was sand…lots of sand…everywhere. But it was lots of fun, even though John’s knees were pretty beat up from sand burn!

Once again, soak in pool and hot tub and dinner at home.

Day Four, 4/15

This was the day John had been looking forward to for months. It was golf day! He had booked a tee time at the Luana Hills Golf Club, a course in a luscious green valley, surrounded by the fluted cliffs. He was also pretty excited that I, inspired by the trip, agreed to drive the cart….my first time on a golf course.

We arrived early, which was good since the course was getting full quickly. I wish I could tell you how well he played, but I’ll let him tell you about that! All I know if he truly played the best round of golf in his life, a 77 (which is a 5 over par for the course). I actually enjoyed my time in the cool breeze and warm sunshine, surrounded by amazing plants, reading my book and goofing around.

After golf, we headed into Honolulu with a mission: find Da Kine Bail Bonds, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter’s business. Our family is a huge fan, we think they’re hilarious, we were ready to hunt them down. Turns out it’s a little shop on a very busy street. Because it was so busy, we couldn’t stop….just took pictures as we drove by. Upon later inspection of the pictures, we noticed “Gift Shop around corner”, meaning we’d have to go back! Another day. Notice the “Keep Off Ice” sign…

We decided we wanted to have dinner at Benihana’s. They do not have one in OK, and our favorite episode of “The Office” is set at Benihana’s. Since this was obviously a TV-hunting trip, we wanted to top it off. It was a good experience, yummy food, but we were ready to get out of the hustle and expensive bustle of Honolulu. We headed back to Kailua for Cold Stone Creamery (me and Dad) and Starbucks (John).

Then bed…

Day Three, 4/14

Since Dad had to work in the morning, John and I were on our own. We decided to head up to the North Shore. We had a book called “Oahu Revealed” which helped us navigate almost as well as the TomTom GPS did! On the maps in the book, filming sites for my fave show “Lost” were indicated and John agreed to search them out with me.

Our first stop was Kawela Bay. But there was no public access road to that beach, and we had to enter down the road at Waiale’e Beach park. It was a looooong walk in the sand and we made it to the tip of Kawela Bay long enough for a picture. If we’d kept walking, we would have discovered a huge banyan tree forest where “Lost” scenes are filmed. Kind of wish we’d kept going, but we were worn out after our first stop!!

Second was Papa’iloa Beach. Once again, difficult to find since there isn’t much of a public entrance. And once again we stopped at the end for a photo of the beach and didn’t go on. I did notice an area with red plastic fencing and blue tarps and didn’t think much of it until later.

Remember—all beaches in Hawaii are public. Every stretch of beach is public, though the land backing up to it may be private. Just because it’s public doesn’t make it easy to find!

Then we drove far, far down the Northwest shore, practically to the tip to find a little place called YMCA Camp Erdman. Also a “Lost” filming site, I was excited to see very recognizable feature from “Lost”. Snapped some pictures, then headed home.

That afternoon my dad really wanted to take us to see the Dragon’s Nostrils, a series of 2 or more blowholes going at one time when the ocean was right. All week long the waves were pretty high, so it really was great for those specific sites. John had tweaked his knee the day before hiking to the Spitting Cave overlook, so he opted to stay behind while Dad, DeAnna and I headed to the Dragon’s Nostrils.

Also known as Makapu’u Point, I had no idea what I was in for. We parked at the bottom of a mountain and took a steep paved road to the top. Or halfway to the top anyway. There we searched for whales (didn’t find any) and then climbed down the rocky side of the mountain to the Dragon’s Nostrils. Holy cow, it was a long way down and my legs were SO sore from hiking and snorkeling the day before. It took much longer than it should have for me to make it down.

Once there, the blowholes were very active. It was cool, because you could get much closer than you could at Halona. But the waves were extremely choppy and high, so I was pretty nervous. After one gigantic wave that came right at us, I screamed and ran back and said “that’s it! I’m done” and started heading back up. I wasn’t taking any chances messing with the ocean.

That night we stayed in for dinner after a soak in the complex pool and hot tub. You can see a pattern…no energy for blogging!