Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Festivities

Just wanted to share our December happenings so far.
Our stockings are hung and presents continue to pile under the tree.
And we have enjoyed a couple Christmas festivities around the island.
We walked around the Honolulu City Lights last Sunday night. We had heard a lot about it and wanted to go last year but couldn't make it because we just had our scooter then. So we were happy we got to experience it this year. Basically, it's about a block decorated with large displays, Christmas trees, and Christmas lights.
I heard an advertisement on the radio the other day for a Christmas light canoe ride at the Polynesian Culture Center so seeing as we love Christmas lights, it was a no brainer!
Zach and I enjoyed date night up at the North Shore.
The lights didn't start until 6:45 so we stopped by a beach to watch the big waves and as we were walking Zach spotted a big sea turtle resting on the shore.
It was so cool!!
Then we stopped briefly near Sunset Beach to watch an incredible sunset.
Once we got to the PCC we were surprised to see the parking lot full.
We waited in line for about an hour before we got on the canoe ride but it was well worth the wait.
The PCC did a good job at displaying Christmas Around the World and telling the story of Christmas traditions. It reminded us a little of  It's a Small World.
At the end of the canoe ride they had fake snow falling, which was neat.  
We love Christmas time!
This year we added a stocking for Sam
Photos from Honolulu City Lights:

Up at the North Shore:

The pictures don't do justice but the waves were pretty big

We just loved seeing this sea turtle!

Truly amazing
 We wish we could live on the North Shore

Our pictures didn't come out that well from the canoe ride
but this one is very fitting for the season. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

It's 8:06 on Sunday morning. Zach is still sleeping and I'm sitting on the couch staring out the window at the gray sky hanging over the big buildings of Honolulu. Christmas is 9 days away.
I must admit I've stated a few times, "It doesn't feel like Christmas". And I've said this because it's 80 degrees outside and I am missing being with my family.  Zach reminded me the other day how much I hate being cold. Which is true, I don't do well in the cold.

He also reminded me that Christmas is what you make of it and it's about the ones you are with during this magical time of year. And he is absolutely right. I sure love that guy! And I am so thankful I get to spend every day with him. He constantly makes me laugh. I loved seeing him walk to our car with a 8 foot Christmas tree draped over his shoulder.  I love that he keeps Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" song on repeat. And I love his White Elephant gifts. This year at my work's Christmas brunch his gift was a signed autographed picture of himself. Another classic.

In the remaining days until Christmas there are still some things we want to do:
Do something kind for those in need
See the Honolulu City Lights
Bake Christmas cookies
Watch Elf, A Christmas Story, and Home Alone

Although it's not snowing and we aren't wearing boots and sweaters I do love this time of year. I love that it brings people together. I love spreading Christmas cheer. I love listening to Christmas music all hours of the day. And I love curling up on the couch with Zach, staring at our lovely Christmas tree. It truly is a magical time of year!

At Christmas brunch

Love our tree!
P.S. Santa, I really wish I could ask for a puppy this year...maybe next year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

By now I hope everyone has received their Christmas card
because I've been eager to share our Christmas card photo shoot.
The idea came to us last year...
how funny would it be to wear ugly Christmas sweaters and pose together on the beach?
We found the idea hilarious!
Luckily my mom found us some Christmas sweaters at the DI in Utah
and while she and Dan were here visiting they took our photos up at the North Shore for our 2013 Christmas card.
 Needless to say it was a warm and sunny day
and we didn't want to stay in the sweaters for too long.

 If only our eyes were open
We love our pictures for our first photo shoot together.
And  yes, we are definitely hanging onto these fabulous sweaters for
the next time we experience a white Christmas.
Wishing everyone a warm holiday season!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mom and Dan's Visit

Wow, I have a lot of blogging to catch up on.
We are settled into our new place and love it.
Earlier this month my mom and Dan came to visit for a week.
I loved having them here.
They spoiled us good!
Our week with them flew by
but we did a lot of fun things and it really meant a lot to me to show them where we live.

We took them to our favorite beaches:
Lanikai, Waimanalo, The North Shore, and Hanauma Bay.
They snorkeled with sea turtles and got Matsumoto's shave ice.
They got the tour of the farm.
We went on 3 hikes that week.
Mom and I got to go to a yoga class together.
They treated us to meals, brought us home goods and Christmas presents.
And Dan hung our hammocks.
They spent the day at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Pearl Harbor.

The Pillbox hike at Lanikai
 We had a rainy hike at Moana Falls

 We were surprised that the fall wasn't flowing more

 Being silly with my mom!

We had to get a picture of them in the giant Dole Whip
At Pipeline

Famous Shave Ice

Hanauma Bay

Zach and I had heard of a "park" at the top of our hill where we live but we had not made it up there to check it out until we went one evening with mom and Dan.
We were shocked to find a forest. It literally felt like we were in another state in the forest.
It's incredible.
On the morning of their last day we went for a hike up there.
It was neat to hear the wind through the trees
Love those roots

Zach and I want to explore more of that trail and park.  

Of course on Friday night we had to take them to Waikiki to see the firework show.
We ate dinner and then enjoyed laying in the sand waiting for the fireworks.
We had fun!
 Aloha shirts and stogies

Also, that week Zach's brother and sister-in-law where visiting Hawaii, traveling to 3 of the islands.
We got to have dinner with them a couple times.
Zach got to go spear fishing and to Hanauma Bay with them.
It was great seeing them and hearing about their trip to the other islands.

  It was sure a fun week to be with family!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hello October

The other day I experienced my first bit of "island fever".  I was missing my friends and family and I was feeling overwhelmed with the congestion of people and cars that surround this island. I was also longing for a change in weather, hoping for a little cooler temperature seeing as it was the beginning of the fall season. All of these emotions were similar to those I often experienced in Guyana. I was missing home.
I'm really missing the change in seasons, especially at the start of the holiday season. This is my 4th fall/holiday season living in a tropical climate and it doesn't really feel like Halloween is just around the corner because the leaves on the tress are not changing color and I don't have to start wearing sweaters. Although, we have noticed a slight change in temperature in the mornings and at night. Don't get me wrong, I love living in Hawaii. I do love the weather and I love the fact that we can go to the beach any day of the year.

In other news, Zach and I are saying goodbye to our studio apartment and moving into a different place. We talked a little about trying to find a cheaper place but never made any serious effort. Then this opportunity to move in with one of my co-workers landed in our laps. We will be sharing a two bedroom house with my co-worker, Sam. Of course there are pros and cons but the biggest pro is we'll be saving a few hundred dollars a month in rent alone. And that we like very much! The house is a good size with a great view of down town Honolulu, it has an amazing lanai where we can hang our hammock, it has a washer and dryer (no more paying $3 a load to do our wash), it has solar panels, gas, and electric so our electric bill will be more consistent. It is 4 miles away from my work and Zach will now commute via the Pali (the freeway that cuts through the mountain) so he'll be using the explorer and his commute will also be shortened by 4 miles.
It will be different for us to have a roommate and we'll be living in a more congested area, but we are looking at it as something new to explore. We have truly enjoyed our first studio apartment together. We love the location, the space, and the quiet neighborhood. But being able to save a good amount of money each month is something we are really excited about.

Work is keeping us both busy but we still find time each week to lounge on the beach.
The rainy season should be approaching very soon.
And we are looking forward to hosting more visitors starting next month.

The view from our new living room

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Zach Made 28!

On Friday Zach turned 28 and to celebrate we spent the afternoon at the Honolulu Zoo.
We were surprised by how nice the zoo is.
We really enjoyed looking at all the animals;
a lot of them were very active, which is always fun to see.
The Komodo Dragon.
Tigers are beautiful creatures.
Did you know that the Rhino's horn is made up of the same material as our hair and nails?
This guy put on the best show...
he ran and kicked the glass window were Zach was sitting.
The sound was so loud and it got the other chimps hollering.

Giraffes are always cool to see.
It was really cool to see the big hippos enter and swim around in the water.
I loved watching these little guys!
"I like turtles"
These orangutans were just sitting there
and then they each rolled themselves over to play on ropes.
So great to see!
After the zoo we walked around Waikiki a little bit
then sat on the sand as the sun was setting
before we got to watch fireworks.
As the sun was setting we got the text that Zach's newest nephew was just born!
So he now shares his birthday with his baby nephew, such a great birthday present. 

We love the free firework show that the Hawaiian Hilton puts on every Friday night.

And Zach's birthday treat were his favorite malasadas.
We had a good day celebrating his 28th year!