Friday, October 28, 2011

Shrimp, Saltwater, Shave Ice, Sand & a New Baby President

As I begin this post it's currently 8:30pm local time and I'm the only one in the house still awake. My mom at least has an excuse having spent the last two nights awake all night up at the hospital with Skye and Ryan waiting on the new baby. (More on that later.) As for the rest of them, well we tried to keep the kids up last night, but it was such a long day and with the time difference they were just too tired (so was Trav.) So they went to bed and slept great. Until about 3:30 this morning when Parker decided it was time to get up. Gideon and Travis were both up and going before 6 as well. I kept myself up later last night trying to update my blog so I wanted to keep sleeping, but of course that's not how that worked out.

We're not the kind of people who typically lie around on vacation. We enjoy getting out and doing things, so we started this morning at the DOLE Pineapple Plantation. It's actually a huge tourist trap, but it's kind of fun and charming in it's own way.

I was never a huge fan of pineapple until we came here four years ago. I mean I liked it well enough I guess but it certainly wasn't my first choice fruit. After tasting Hawaiin pineapple I became a convert. Out here the pineapple tastes like candy. That's the only way I can describe it. It's so sweet and refreshing you'd feel guilty eating it if you didn't know it was a fruit.

After accompanying me and the cub scouts to the corn maize a few weeks ago, I knew Gideon would enjoy the pineapple maze. And of course he did. He kept running ahead of us shouting, "I the leader! I have map!" We had to constantly try and keep up with him just to keep him in sight.

The object is to find the secret stations and trace the image in the box onto your ticket. It's entertaining trying to find them all. Truthfully in two trips to the maze now we haven't ever had the time or patience or inclination to look for all 8 stations. Although we did get 2 more this time than last time, we still left with just six. Oh well, it was fun until the kiddos got bored.

Parker's pony tails never seem to last long anymore. *sigh* I wonder why I even bother except that her hair is so long it hangs in her face otherwise. Well that and the fact that I think she looks adorable with little antennae sticking straight up off her head.

Before leaving we had to have a pineapple whip. Which is basically whipped pineapple ice cream topped with fresh pineapple. It's delicious and both kids loved it, as you can see.

Funny side story, last night at the store we bought Gideon a pair of water shoes because some of the beaches are a little rocky here. He loved them so much that this morning when we were getting dressed, we told him we were going to the pineapple plantation and the North Shore today and he insisted on wearing his water shoes ALL day. Even before we went to the beach! It was cute. So in all of our plantation pictures you'll see he's wearing water shoes.

To go to the North Shore and not get garlic shrimp from a roadside truck would be almost tragic. It's absolutely scrumptious and enough food that Travis and I always split a plate. This particular truck happened to be in Hale'iwa. If you know anything about Hawai'i you know that Hale'iwa is a surfer's mecca, because this is where they hold the world championships of surfing. So it's a really fun and laid back town and there are dozens of shrimp trucks here alone. Not to mention the surf shops and shave ice. But I'll get to that later.

If you're really lucky there will even be live chickens just running around. (Of course if you have a rambunctious 3 year old he'll soon be chasing them around screaming "Cock-a-doodle-doo" at the top of his lungs.)

I swear my husband seems to find a way to take photos of me in the least flattering moments! And he seems to get great joy out of doing so!

Gideon decided he'd rather have a hot dog than shrimp. Oh well, it kept him happy and away from the chickens for a few moments.

We had planned to do some snorkeling out at Shark's Cove, which anyone will tell you is the best snorkeling on Oahu. But once we got out there and saw how strong the undertow was, we decided to save that for another day and hit a different beach where the kids could play.

Ahhhh Shave Ice! That wonderful confection we haven't learned to replicate on the mainland yet. (And don't say "Shaved" ice or snow cone or people will know you're a tourist.) I don't know what it is they do to their ice but it's almost a different consistency here. Plus the splash of sweet cream & the beans they serve it with really set it apart from anything you can find at home. Thanks to a travel channel spotlight Mr. Matsumoto's is always crawling with tourists, but people in the know (that it to say the locals) will tell you that Aoki's is actually even better.

Across the street from Aoki's was an old church with an even older cemetary. These head stones all date back to the mid 1800's. It's actually the family of a pastor who was one of the first Christian missionaries on the island. Pretty cool. I know I'm a nerd, but I kind of wish I'd had more time to saunter through and read more headstones. Back in the day it was so interesting the way they'd put someone's life story on their headstone.

Waimea Bay is probably my favorite beach in Hawaii. On one end you have an old catholic church with a tall bell tower overlooking the bay and on the other end an outcropping of rocks with a cliff that everyone likes to jump off of. And in the center you have a gorgeous beach with perfect sand that goes on forever. It's busy, but never super crowded. This is my happy place!

I jumped off that cliff four years ago when we were here. I have the photos to prove it. I'd still like to do it again, but with two young kids it wasn't going to happen today.

Fortunately for me, Princess P had a complete change of heart about the beach overnight. She suddenly decided that sand was actually really fun to play in. I even think she tried eating it, although she learned quickly it's really not good for snacking.

At one point Parker spotted her daddy down floating in the water and decided she was going to join him. Next thing I know, she's scooted herself half way down the beach! It was funny to watch.

Both babies were asleep within minutes of leaving the beach. (Although I'm pretty sure with as sandy as we all were that we took about half of it with us!)

Gideon actually fell asleep while eating his cracker!

After super quick showers we headed into town to pick up my mom from the hospital (finally!) and of course see the newest member of the family. A storm started blowing in on our way into Honolulu but it made Valley of the Temples look absolutely majestic!

Skye had a really tough labor & delivery, they decided Tuesday afternoon to induce her because they were worried about the baby's slow heartbeat. After all 3 major induction methods, 40+ hours of hard labor and even having to be on oxygen, their beautiful baby girl finally arrived this morning. And Ryan is one proud papa!

Sadly the hospital here has an age restriction for visitors, so Parker had to wait in the car with grandma while Gideon got to come up and meet his newest baby cousin.

So the official stats are as follows:

Reagan Elisabeth Lowry

October 27, 2011 8:08am

7 lbs 1 oz 19 inches

She's so beautiful & healthy! (Just don't ask what's going on with Gideon in this photo. I really don't know what that face is about!)

We didn't stay long. After 40+ hours of labor Skye and Ryan were both very worn out, plus Reagan was getting hungry so we gave them all kisses and went on our merry way with my mom in tow. (But not before Gideon got to hold baby Reagan and give her kisses!) He actually informed Travis and I as we were leaving the hospital that needed "more and more and more cousins." I told him he had to take that up with his Aunties.

Skye had told us before we came out that her church was putting on a "Trunk or Treat" on Thursday evening, so tonight when we got back from the hospital we threw costumes on the kids and grandma escorted them across the street to the church parking lot for the festivities. It was really fun, they had music and dancing, a costume contest and of course the only reason we were there.... the TREATS!

Sidebar: This is actually an incomplete version of Parker's costume. For Halloween I'm actually going to black her nose and give her some whiskers so she'll really look like Minnie Mouse. But you get the gist! Thank you to Aunt Mimi for the dress and Aunt Skye for finding mouse ears that match so perfectly!

A pretty respectable haul for one night in a parking lot full of strangers!

Once we successfully had our candy, we headed down to the Korean barbecue place for some Kalbi and Kimchee. It was surprisingly good considering the place is kind of a hole in the wall and you'd completely miss it if you didn't know what to look for. Anyway It's not even 10pm yet and I'm so exhausted I think I'm going to have to join my family & hit the sack! Stay tuned for further adventures!


Jacob and Cami said...

Wow all that in one day. No wonder you're tired. I'm hungry after reading that!

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

It was a full day!!!!