Wednesday, August 31, 2016

12 ~ Hawaii, the end

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On our very last day we packed up and relaxed over breakfast at our hotel.

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And we knew we were going to have a long day. Our flight would fly through the night (missing one whole night of sleep) and when we arrived in NYC it was 2 am (Hawaii time).

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Scott and I were worried about how the girls would do on missing an entire night of sleep (little naps on the plane just wouldn't be enough for them we knew). And we worried that the hasstle of luggage collecting, carrying backpacks, and dragging suitcases through JFK to a tram, to a shuttle, to our car would be tough. But they did AMAZING. One little rest on the plane and they didn't complain, looked more awake and alert then we did, and helped us out so much.

I so didn't want to leave that bubble of vacation. I so didn't want to share them with the rest of the world. I just wanted just us.

But a tiny seed was planted in me as we flew 11 hours home and I read this book.

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A tiny glimmer of excited to be home.

I started a list in my diary of things that make me happy. I got up to 130.

read plan, cook something seasonal
quick clean the whole house
decorate the mantle and seasonal tree and nightstands
read a book cover to cover
read to my girls aloud
plan in my planner
write in my diary
drink hot tea early in the morning during Bible time
drink hot tea late at night in bed with a book
get a manicure
surprise the girls with a little treat
do something for Scott that lets him feel taken care of
have family over
watch a clean cut Hallmark movie on the couch with Scott and a treat
plan the next holiday
arrange tea pot
shop antique stores
take really great photos
don't complain outloud ever again
memorize scripture
pray the (whole) rosary
help the girls redo their stickers/pens/stationary on their desks
plan meals/ snacks/ breakfasts

and on and on until I got to 130.

I asked Scott on the plane what makes him happy and he said, "coming home each day to happy" makes me happy. That's it."

And so we did it.

We came home.

Got in our car called "flashy topaz" and drove the 'we've done it a million times' drive from NYC to Connecticut. The girls watched a movie in the backseat and I tried to stay awake to keep Scott company. Up the driveway we went. The familiar sound of the garage door. Turned the key in the door, the smell of home. In the kitchen, I cut an old lemon and put it down the garbage disposal to make it smell pretty. And just like that we were home.

I noticed all the wood. Such pretty wooden floors. And the trees, the huge, giant Connecticut trees. They nearly took my breath away, their canopy in our backyard.  The simple table we sit around each night for dinner.  It made me feel good.  I opened the windows and let the breeze go through.


We slid right back into things here like we never went away. But we did ya know.

We certainly did.

Trip of a lifetime?

Well, my whole God filled, amazing life is my 'trip of a lifetime'. Scott and I, we have our ideas for our life. But we are grateful, ever so grateful that He directs our paths. (Proverbs 3;6)

And we step into the next twenty years of marriage. Holding hands. And loving each other. And knowing that whatever comes our way we have our love, our memories, our girls, and our faith.


Praise God from whom all blessings flow...


"Grow up, fall in love, get a little house, plant some roses, get a puppy, live happily ever after.  What could be more simple?"  ~ Susan Branch 

Monday, August 29, 2016

11 ~ Last Full Day

I wasn't here on Thursday or Friday because our computer completely died.  Really!  But somehow my super busy husband fixed it.  Actually the last two weeks of August and the month of May/June for an elementary school principal is very stressful and takes every ounce of his attention.  I've always enjoyed these last two weeks because I know now that 'this is how it is' and that it's temporary.  So the girls and I take care of everything!  And I try to make our house and the little time that he is here relaxing for him.  I get to spend the last two weeks of summer lovin on my girls and soaking them in before they go back.  We tend to stay at home mostly.  I change around mantles for September and 'nest' here and there as we go through our day.  The girls play while I cook.  We all read on the couch together after lunch.  It's lovely.


the computer died.  So right in the middle of his busy weeks he backed everything up on external drives, took every single program off, deleted the entire computer and reinstalled each document, photo, program.  It took an almost 'all nighter' and every second he was home but it not only works but is lightning fast!  So I am back in business on this blog.

The summer is winding down and the first day of school is Wednesday.  I'm going to batch a bunch of photos together so that I can catch up a bit here.  Fall is just around the corner and I haven't posted a moment of our August!

So here is one of our last days in Hawaii.

We drove to Hanalei because we just didn't feel like we got enough time there on the day of the amazing hike!

(car diary writer)

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That famous lookout



little hula girl


Another reason we wanted to head back to Hanalei was to try to find our one of the places we stayed on our honeymoon. Finding places from 20 years ago sort of became a theme for Scott and I. The Moana on Waikiki, my old house, the Grand Hayatt on Kauai... This was a bed and breakfast called

Beach Bed and Breakfast

Located right on Hanalei bay, and steps from the town of Hanalei. We had the 'honeymoon suite' on the top floor and it was beyond lovely. If I dig though (someday I will) I can show you what it looked like inside. So beautiful!


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I couldn't resist one last picture of Hanalei as we drove out.


We stopped in Kappa again - this time for a last shave ice.



Anna loved these really creative shave ice stands we found.

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But Abigail not so much on this strawberry, kinda creamy shave ice. So Scott ate it!  When we got back to the pool at our hotel later in the day


and the girls were just swimming around, this is the look Abigail had on her face when Scott went for a walk into town and bought her a shave ice... just the way she liked it!


(love that without thinking about it, she's walking up those pool steps like a princess)


"thanks daddy...."





Anna enjoyed a surprise fresh cup of mango


and Abigail shared her last shave ice.


Scott decided that we need one Hawaiian drink while on vacation so he headed to get me a little something with a pineapple on the rim and Anna picked out her favorite juice, POG (passion, orange, guava)



We sat by the pool until the tiki torches came on for the night.



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"mama watch this"



Dear Diary,

We're leaving tomorrow. What a gift this vacation - this trip, this adventure has been. Today, our last full day in Hawaii we drove up to Hanalei and stopped half way to shop at Kappa. Scott bought me perfume.

We ate at Bubba's Burgers in Hanalei. Ran into a cool store to get Anna a mango smoothie. We shopped a bit more and just relaxed enjoying this town. Anna bought a sweater that is so soft! We drove an walked on the Hanalei peir and saw a fish flap after getting caught. It made us queasy. I took photos of Abigail doing the hula on the pier for Irish Dance (because she feels better when she's dancing)

I'm writing in bed while the girls are sleeping. Scott just brought up hot water for me to have my tea in bed. Boarding passes are all printed.

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Spent the rest of the day at our pool, sunshine and clear water.

Scott surprised Abigail with shave ice (the kind she likes) and we had a Mai Tai... yum!

Dinner right there at the pool - wishing we found that little red restaurant sooner. I ate a yummy salad with fresh fish and Scott ate fish and chips. Anna, a loaded burger, oh, and Abigail (what she's eaten every day) a hot dog! (can't wait to cook for her when we get home... I doubt she'll want a hot do for a loooooong time)

Showers and packing all evening. I'm really gonna miss us all in one room. I know most people are tired of the sleeping arrangements on trip like these but I love love love it.

I don't want to go home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

10 ~ Feeding the koi, Waimea Canyon, Enjoying "our" Beach

Dear Diary,

Watching Abigail play and run at the hotel beach is the most relaxing thing in the world. Scott loves to play with his girls.

They ran to the pool to join Anna and it started raining. I'm sitting under an umbrlla ounged at the pool.

Our morning was feeding the koi fish, drive to the town of Waimea. Long, very winding road up to the various canyon lookouts. Amazing. Annnnnd why didn't I take photos of the drive?

The coolest shave ice ever is at Jo-Jo's.

Oh, and shopping in the town of old Koloa 

I'm so grateful for this time with my family.

I really must get in the water now, bye!


Yes, that morning we went to feed the koi fish. The girls wanted to every single morning but this was the first morning we made it there when the little fish food was given out. The girls got their little cups and my camera lens was all foggy from the humidity. The only thing you can do is wait it out. So those girlies of mine waited and waited and waited for my lens to clear up. But in the meantime the crowd of little ones cleared up too and we had this whole lovely area to ourselves.


Seriously, such a beautiful lobby.

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Waimea Canyon, Kauai

(link to website here) We drove through beautiful Kauai to a town about 1 hour away. The drive in Kauai is just as beautiful as the place you're headed. And I loved looking at everything. But we were a family with a plan that day. And Waimea Canyon was our plan.

This is the first lookout after driving up and up an up and up.


Apparently, Anna and I didn't get the 'wear sneekers'  memo so we were struggling later on the hike that day!

This was the view at the first lookout.



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See those waterfalls waaaay off the distance? Well, 20 years ago Scott and I hiked there. Yup! Someday I'll get those pictures on digital files so I can show you.


See those tiny ant like people? That was us in 1996!



OH this view!


And then we drove to another lookout. This one had the hike to that waterfall.

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And then we realized that we were really adventurous back in 1996 and that this hike was one... difficult... hike. We didn't make it to the top of those waterfalls. But we did get to see this view.


Not too bad, right?


Love these people.



So if you ever find yourself in Kauai, please, please don't skip this.


The Best Shave Ice

Vacations do strange things to me. After spending our morning hiking and viewing we had a plan for lunch in a lovely town we had read about. But the girls were looking like they couldn't wait so I said, "dessert first! Who wants shave ice?"

I don't really know why Hawaii is known for shave ice. And this was our favorite place!  But I do know its lots of fun.

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This next picture is blurry but I had to put it in. Abigail was oh so tired but we found such a cute shave ice shop with the nicest kid behind the counter. He was whistling while working and answered all of my questions. He concocted this one for Abigail...



...and put that big, ol, smile across her face!


Anna was half done with hers before we could snap this one!


I have no photos of this town (that I adored) but I want to remember shopping, and walking around, and a lovely lunch. (here) 

We spent the rest of the day on this winding path leading to the pool and the beach...





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... when sometimes I just happened to have my camera ready for something like this.



Making memories far far away from home (out of my comfort zone for sure) was the best part of every day. More tomorrow... and for real, almost done!