Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One of the Best Vacations Ever.

Hubs and I recently returned from what I would consider one of the best vacations ever.  We were in Maui, Hawaii for one of my best friend's weddings.  Everything was beautiful, and tropical, and WARM! During the time we were in Hawaii, it snowed 9 inches in the state I live. But in Maui? It was 85 and sunny every single day, save for about 45 minutes between 3:30 and 4:30 when the skies would cloud up.  I have no shame in admitting that I did not want to leave. While we were laying on the beach, I was conjuring up ways we could find jobs and send for our kids. We could just live at this nice, fancy hotel until we could find a house. HA. HA.

This vacation was more than just a fun trip to a friend's wedding. Hubs and I will be married 5 years in April, and since we plunged right into "real life married people stuff" after our wedding, we never took a proper honeymoon. I figured Hawaii for the 5 year mark would suffice just fine.

So, here are a few photos from the trip. We had wonderful times aboard snorkeling tours, at luaus, whale watching excursions, driving up volcanoes, and hanging out with our best friends on their very special day.  I missed our kids dearly, but knew they were in excellent hands with Aunt Kath and Sammah. Hell, it was like they were on vacation, too! There is one thing I can tell you for sure: we will be returning to Maui. Maybe with our children, maybe for another couples-only vacation, but it is absolutely too beautiful and too wonderful to never see again.  I could write a pamphlet for Maui's convention and visitors bureau. ;)

 The sunset over Kamaole Beach. This beach was literally 1/2 block from our hotel. And it was beautiful.

 This is the sunrise over Haleakala crater. Yep, it's a volcano. It was awe-inspiring, and I was so glad to be able to share it with hubs. We were there with over 300 people, and not a word was spoken as the sun rose over the clouds and the crater. Gorgeous. Closest thing to heaven on Earth.
 This is the spot where my friends exchanged their wedding vows. Down there between the grass and volcanic rocks is a beautiful little beach. It was perfect.
 This is a whale that I saw on our snorkeling tour. Between November and April, there are thousands of whales around Maui, there to mate and have babies. It was the coolest thing ever.
 Sam was very nervous about us never coming home, so he gave us two of his dinosaur things to take with us to remember him. We ended up going all "Flat Stanley" with them; they came along on all of our adventures, and we took pictures and sent them to Sammah's facebook page for him to see. It was awesome.
 This is at the Feast at Lele luau. Wonderful food, and great dancing! This is also the night the tsunami warnings came. There is no photo, but shortly after this wonderful luau ended, we spent the night at a school parking lot inland as tsunami sirens blared, and we flat freaked out. 
 This picture creeps me out. It is the beautiful Kamaole beach again. On a Friday. Completely empty.  They closed the beaches this day, because of tsunami threat, and very strange tide patterns. Scary.
 This is the Lahaina port, as we are leaving for our whale watching dinner cruise. So pretty!
North Shore, in Paia.  Awesome surfing and more beautiful beaches.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Before hubs and I ever considered having children, he was always wary of the Ides of March. You know, the alleged day when Julius Caesar was stabbed by his best friend, an event predicted by a crazy soothsayer or something.  It was a bad luck day for my ever-so-superstitious husband.

And then, our full-of-life, tiny, outgoing baby Sloane was born. On the Ides of March.  It became a wonderful day for us, even though I still think John is wary of it. Not because of a stabbing these days, but because it marks the day our little girl gets a year older.

Happiest of birthdays, Sloaney Baloney.  You have brought such joy, light, laughter, and craziness to our family. We don't remember life without you. You smile with your whole face, and don't know a stranger.  You love your brother, and are daddy's little girl.  You've got mama wrapped around your finger as well.  You love dress up, shoes, ponies, and baby dolls.  You never miss a snack time...heck, if given the chance, you would snack all day long.  You are kind to all children, and are sympathetic to anyone who is crying. You are a natural caregiver, and you can dance like a rockstar.  We worry about you in your older years. ;)  You are a force of nature, and bigger than life.

Happy 2nd birthday, Sloane Elise.  We love you more than you could ever imagine.

 Birthday donut.

Blowing out the candles with friends.

Dressed to impress.
Giving mommy some rockstar kisses.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dude You Don't Understand, I'm From Kansas.

Kansas is a flat, non tropical, landlocked state in the US.  We worry about tornadoes, and blizzards, and the occasional range fire.  I can deal with all of these things, probably because I have lived in Kansas my entire life.

Until 2 days ago, I had never given a second thought to a tsunami watch.  And then I lived through one, hunkered down in a school parking lot in our rental Subaru Forester.  Fun times people, fun times.

We probably overreacted a little bit, but at the time I could not wrap my head around "wall of water 10 feet high coming for the island", so we shagged ass out of our hotel resort for higher ground.  The news casters here in Hawaii are worse than Katie Horner with their worst case scenarios, and they had us plum freaked the F out. Our front desk people did not seem terribly concerned about it either, and I kept saying "But you don't get it. I have no idea what to do. I am from Kansas."

So John and I did the only thing we thought we could, and packed up our car with water and clothing and money, and got the hell out of Dodge.

The town we are staying in got some localized flooding, and the shore was eerie and weird for most of yesterday, but I am happy to say we did not fare too badly.

I think I might get a shirt printed that says "I survived a tsunami".  It's probably the closest I will ever get to experiencing one, and that is OK with me. Kansas is looking pretty awesome and safe right now. Sure, there are tornadoes, but you can hide in your basement and still be living large.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka in March

Aloha friends!

As I type this, there is a lovely island breeze blowing through our room, and I am sitting in a chair in a swimsuit.  It is a balmy 85 degrees, and the humidity is about 80%.

I am in paradise.

Hubs and I are in Hawaii for a friend's wedding. We have been climbing volcanos, going to the beach, and doing crazy things like snorkeling and body boarding, all at like 7:30am thanks to jet lag.  It has been wonderful.

But you know what? I miss my kids. Bad. Super bad.  Sam gave us 2 of his beloved dinosaurs to take with us on our trip, so we've been snapping shots of the Dino Dudes at various tourist spots on the island. They go with us everywhere--our friends even let the Dino's take wedding pictures with them, and atop their wedding cake.

The "flat Stanley"-esque photos are serving 2 purposes...first, they show Sam all of the experiences that we've had. Secondly, they keep me always thinking of the kiddos, but also being able to enjoy an adult only vacation.  Facebook has been blowing up with our Dino Dude travels.

Paradise has been wonderful, but I am realizing that even Hawaii has it's drawbacks if I can't come home every night to my sweet children.  I'm certain that by the end of this adventure, we will be happier than ever to come home to our freezing cold, relatively inexpensive Midwestern city. With two well traveled Dinosaurs.