Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Eavesdropping (In Reverse)

In the commissary with the Hubster's mom and dad:

The Mother: There are ten of us, so how many baked potatoes should we make?

Me: The Diva, the Blonde One, and Destructo don't like potatoes.

The Father: We should probably get twelve. Everyone likes baked potatoes.

Me: I'll only eat a half, and so will the Wildcard. Six should be plenty.

The Mother: I'll get ten, just to be safe.

............................................

Same day, in the dairy section:

The Mother: We need sour cream. Do you think we should get a big one or a small one?

Me: Get the smallest one. Not everyone likes sour cream on their potatoes.

The Mother: But you can always use sour cream, right?

Me: We don't.

The Mother: We'll get the big one.

.........................................

Trying to head out the door to the luau, with Destructo wanting to tag along:

Destructo: Where are you going? I want to go.

Me: You get to stay here with your brothers and watch movies. And have chips. And soda.

Destructo: I want to go along.

The Hubster: You can't come along. We have to...........ummmm...........take Grandpa and Grandma.......somewhere.

Destructo: Where?

The Hubster: (using his quick-on-your-feet lawyer skills) Ummmmm......we're going to the zoo!

.............................................

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Home Alone

We've had houseguests for the past week - the Hubster's parents and his aunt/uncle. This means a lot of alone time for the older kids. It's been a whirlwind of shopping, golfing, dining, and sightseeing for us, and lots of freedom for the kids. And we still have one week to go.

We just returned from three days/two nights on Maui.

I've decided that the Diva, the Blonde One, and the Wildcard aren't quite ready to be left alone for a few days, even if we are only a 20 minute plane ride and unlimited cell phone minutes away.

Before we left, I made a list for them. It included contact info for us and a daily schedule for them. They absolutely kept to the schedule.....................but anything that wasn't on the schedule that was implied was totally disregarded.

For example, we left a refrigerator stocked with deli meats, fresh fruits, and leftovers.

The kids decided to make some cookie dough and live off a diet of ramen noodles and raw cookie dough for three days.

I instructed the Diva to load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher every night, but didn't put it in writing.

We returned to a sink piled with dirty dishes, including the beaters and measuring cups for the chocolate-chip cookie dough.

Her excuse?

"But I wasn't home much while you were gone!!"

Of course not. She decided to do an overnight trip up to visit some friends on the North Shore. And she just had to go to dinner with a group of her friends the other night.

The Blonde One didn't fare much better.

He hung out at the beach and with friends, ignoring homework and the Wildcard most of the time we were gone.

The Wildcard stayed up late, forgot to do his homework, and played video games for three days straight.

As much as it pissed me off, I'm happy because for them it's the stuff that childhood memories are made of.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Kauai Wrapup

Okay, so I suck at this lately. It seems like life has taken over, and everything else has been put on hold.

Kauai was awesome. It is my favorite island, and my absolute favorite place on earth. The Hubster had never been to Kauai, so he left all the planning to me. The airport is pretty much an equal distance from the things I wanted to do on the south side of the island and those on the north side. I chose to head south this time, and return another day to show him the north side.

We arrived at the Lihue airport before 7 a.m. and headed west to Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It was early enough that we beat most of the traffic out of town, and saw almost no one once we turned off the main road and headed north into the canyon.

It really doesn't compare to the Grand Canyon (and what does, really?), but it is still gorgeous. It is even more beautiful in the early morning when there is no one else around, and totally still and quiet.

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The road through the canyon to Kokee State Park is winding, steep, and scary in some spots. The Hubster was happy to reach the end or the road, where we were greeted with this view:

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It was still early, and the clouds hadn't yet moved in. After the clouds come in, you can stand at the overlook and watch the clouds move in below you. After admiring the view and snapping a few pictures, we headed off on the Alakai Trail.

The trail is approximately 3.5 miles, and basically runs along the top of the mountain range. I've always had a thing about being up as high as possible and looking down on the world below me, which is why I love this trail. (I was always the tomboy dangling from the top branches of the tree, or climbing on the roof and up to the highest peak.)

This picture was taken about a third of the way along the trail. We had started back where the top of the mountain was flat, and hiked across the top of the ridge....it's a bit deceiving, because it really wasn't very flat. It was very muddy, rocky, and involved a lot of ups and downs. The Hubster wasn't enjoying it as much as I was.

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By the time we reached the end and headed back, the clouds were moving in. This was the beginning (easy) part of the trail as we returned. We were glad we headed out early....those who waited would have to deal with clouds, fog, and rain.

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Our next stop was the military installation at Barking Sands. It was the one place that the Hubster wanted to see, and it had a gym with hot showers. The base is on the west side of Kauai, which is the most western of the major Hawaiian islands, which makes it one of the most western points in the United States. The beach was gorgeous and went on forever. Other than that, there really isn't a lot on that side of the island.

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Our final stop was a late lunch atWaimea Brewing Company.

One thing you need to know if you go to Kauai is that the island's human population is only a fraction of what the chicken population is. There are chickens and roosters everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. While the Hubster and I were in the restaurant waiting for our lunch, several of these wandered in:

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We didn't think twice about it, but some of the customers were obviously a bit freaked out about it. The waiter swatted them away and went on with his business. Oh, and lunch was okay, but not spectacular. (Or maybe we were just really tired at that point and not able to enjoy our meal.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Little Optimist

Every morning when Destructo wakes up, one of the first things he does is run to the window, look out, and report back to us:

"The sun is out. It's morning time!!"

Then there is a thoughtful pause before he adds:

"And the glass is half full."

I have NO idea where that came from.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Island Hopping

The Hubster and I have been planning a trip to Alaska for several years, and decided that our 20th anniversary would be the perfect time to finally make it happen.

(By the way, Happy Anniversary to us last week, and a big "Ha!!!" to those who said we'd never make it!!!!)

At the beginning of the year, we began making plans and working out all the details. His parents will be here later this month, and his mom would stay an extra week with the kids so we could finally take our trip. I found a (rare) direct flight from Honolulu to Anchorage. We would do four days of what I wanted (sightseeing, picture taking) and four days of what the Hubster wanted (mostly fishing and camping). It was all falling into place.

Then the orders drama.

We had to cancel all the plans yet again, because we simply didn't know if we would be here, there, or somewhere else.

So, we regrouped. We would do a long weekend on Kauai after the Diva returned from the Mainland. A neighbor would help keep an eye on the kids, and we would only be a short flight away if something happened. The Hubster had never been to Kauai, so I planned to show him all the cool places.

The problem? We couldn't find a long weekend, or even a regular weekend, that worked for us.

So, Plan C.

We were up at 4:30 this morning and on a plane by 6 a.m. We hit the ground running once we landed on Kauai. We did Waimea Canyon, got real muddy hiking the Swamp Trail (Alakai), headed to the beach at the Pacific Missle Range Facility at Barking Sands, showered at the base gym, had lunch at a local brewery, and were back on a plane before 4 p.m.

It wasn't our Alaska vacation, but it was a great day and I'm exhausted. Pictures and details to follow.....