A week in Review

This past week, we entertained some long awaited guests, Vance’s older brother George, his wife (and my BF) Christie and their daughter Scarlett. Scarlett and Brendon are only four months apart and very similar in headstrong personality. Dare I say, this visit was much more exciting, if you can use that word in conjunction with Hawaii, than when they came to see us in North Carolina for Vance’s 40th.


Lanikai Shore Police in action., shave ice champions, and preparing to snorkel.

We started off the week with a visit to Lanikai, Island Snow and our favorite of the Boston’s Pizza set (Kaneohe location). Scarlett took to the water way better than our boys did upon arrival last year. The highlight for hubby and myself – snorkeling together. I love that.

Couple Beach

And a photo as rare as the Loch Ness Monster: hubby and I together on the beach!

As with kiddos, plans change with a visit to the ER. Oh yes, our dear niece had a reaction to something; we’re still not confident what it was. Blueberries? So, no remembrance tour for this gang. Instead, our favorite land activity, the Zoo. I know it’s received lack luster reviews in tour guides, but it is absolutely perfect for the age of our children. I refused to feed snacks to my troops. Sounds cruel I know. You’d do this too if you were taking them to the GIANT pancake showdown afterwards! We came as close as we ever have, but have determined, we need five adults for the takedown.


We did get a pat on the back by our waiter, saying our children were the most well behaved he’s ever waited on. These new lego kits and hunger were the real key here. Regardless, if you go to Mac 24/7, ask for Dalton.

The next morning we met Payge and her girls at our favorite lagoon, where the turtles did not disappoint and came out for a visit. When the kiddos were done, the guys dropped Christie, Scarlett, Brendon and myself at Disney’s Aulani where we spent the night and most of the following day. More on that to follow. What the guys did on their time with just John is still shrouded in mystery.


Turtle photo by Payge.

Friday was a pivotal day. Brendon, who had behaved unbelievably well up to this point, decided it was time to let his hair down. Come what may. Also on this day, I could not summon the energy to spend the day at Dole Plantation and instead spent time running errands by myself as the rest of them enjoyed the train, gardens and Dole Whip. I was a little disappointed about the whip.


The boys helped me make these ice box s’mores for our guests. A must make with kiddos! Super simple to assemble, they pop out easily, and taste delicious. I think I consumed half of them.

Back on track, well me at least, Brendon never fully recovered, the next morning Christie and I trek’d the Swap Meet. Found many souvenirs, some gifts, a couple shave ices, aloha shirts and a surprise find of an aloha dress for myself. The Christmas photos this year are going to be epic! Marina, I hope you’re ready.

photo 1

The guys were real gems this visit; taking on the kids many times: the pool, the playground, watching movies. It was a nice reprieve for these stay at home moms! And they even did dishes. How did we get so lucky?

Our guests never made it out for a hike, so we thought we’d treat them to a run on Hickam AFB with a visit to the beach following. I know when someone says with a smile they are going to run 10 miles to non runners, it is met with much suspicion. Especially if they’ve been eating junk food and drinking “mommy juice” for the past six days! Well, we did it. All of us got out there and ran a bit. I was thankful for company for part of my run and even more thankful to dive into the ocean in my running clothes when I returned.

running Hickam

Hickam beach kids

Hickam Beach.

Due to a canceled flight, our guests had to spend an extra night with us and flew home on a multi-city flight. I felt for them. Thankfully, Scarlett matches Brendon’s love in watching the iPad. They were wonderful guests and Christie rounded out the trip by cleaning my house. Seriously? Who is this woman?

the moms


Kaniakapupu Ruins (Parent’s Afternoon Off)

Ruin marker


The walk to the entrance. And yet I wonder why my boys always put their hands on their hips.

I stumbled across the mention of these Ruins when I was searching for kid friendly waterfall hikes. While the hike to the Ruins is kid friendly, from the footage I found, the hike to Lulumahu Falls may not be. We didn’t try it, so I don’t know for sure.

Trail entrance

Trail entrance from Nuuanu Pali Drive.

Ruin front

Entrance to the Palace.

Our obliging guests watched the boys one afternoon and we set out to find them. It was pretty easy to find parking and the trail opening. Unfortunately, I was worried we were going to miss the “worn path to the left” that we took one path too early and ended up having to back track through the dense bamboo.

Bamboo trail
The path to the left is unmarked, but not subtle by any means. It was muddy, as it had rained the day before and there were an abundance of mosquitos. It is a short and easy walk uphill.

logs as lintels

Logs as lintels.

Hubby at ruin

Hunky hubby shown for scale.

Couple selfie

The Ruins, stated to be the Summer Palace of Kamehameha III, were something to see. Mostly because so little of this sort remains on Oahu. It is reasonably well kept and visitors seem to respect the place. We only saw one other group leaving as we were arriving. I would recommend going to see it; it’s hard to imagine what it may have looked like with 10,000 guests!

We rounded out the time off with some Hokulani (Chocolate Peanut Butter was the winner of this quartet) and a Starbucks coffee featuring a generously sized straw. I insisted on drinking it this way. Why not look ridiculous? My boys weren’t there to do it for me!


Guesses as to the animal featured on my wallet?