Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Effiel Tower

The Effiel Tower was all dressed up for Christmas! Very pretty at night....that was my one wish on this trip to see the Effiel Tower at night...and we got to go to the very top!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

C'est une cite d'amour! Paris

Have you ever tried using Google in french? or maybe italian? Or typing on a keyboard where you can't even find the "@"? It's a problem. It may be why I haven't been able to blog or email or post pictures along the way. Now I will just wait until I get home.

We are having a fabulous time on our trip. The weather has been very cold and some was pouring yesterday when we left Florence. Today in Paris it is just plain cold and they have had some snow! But all in all it has been good for this time of year. While we were in Nice we had beautiful weather. So we are reaching the end of our trip....I for one will be glad to get home and sleep in my own bed! It is fun so see the world but ALWAYS great to come home!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Screaming down the Highway!

Just a funny moment on the way to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving. I had just gotten a new camera a few days before and so I was trying to learn how to use it. It had this setting called self portrait so I thought I would see if it worked. It worked so good I took all these pictures of myself.....I tried to make the kids get in them but they were all busy...sleeping, watching movies, listening to know, all the things you do on road trips?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cute Amanda, how do I love thee, let me count the ways! These are a few of Amanda's Senior Pictures we had taken recently. The other one is just her practicing the cello at home. She is such a beautiful girl! I love to see my children growing up and stepping into their lives. Each one is unique, it is always surprising to see how they grow up! The process of raising kids is profound, each stage is different with each child. I love the adventure of being a Mom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some random pictures and random thoughts that all jelled into a cat theme....strange

It has been a while since I posted anything.....I had to get a new camera....the old one gave up the ghost! So I have nothing to really blog about so I took some random pictures with my new camera and we'll see what comes up! Here goes!

Here we have Brad grinning like a cheshire cat! He posed while I tried out the new camera! Nice Honey!

Next we have our cat, she is not grinning like a chesire cat. Her name is Tabitha but we mostly call her CAT! She is sixteen years old and two years ago when I just knew she was going to kick the bucket, we got cat #2!

Cat #2 is named Socks, or Gertrude or Bernie depending on who you ask! We mostly just call her cat also. For some reason we like the name cat! I'm not sure you needed to know all of this but these were the only people around to pose for my new camera! So there you have it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some of My Favorite Things

This is my favorite Mountain hands down, it is the view I have off of my back deck and it is fabulous. No matter the season....and sometimes it is just spectacular like this day when it was lit by the sunset! The picture does not do it justice.

Some more favorites:
  • I love crisp fall days with colorful leaves bright in the sun
  • hiking up to my favorite waterfall and walking on the beautiful yellow pathway paved in fall leaves
  • listening to Howie Day sing Collide
  • holding hands with my husband
  • the moment just before calling the family to a homemade yummy Sunday dinner and the table is set, rolls are just out of the oven and the kitchen is warm
  • getting a hug from my sweet little nursery kids
.....and having the honor of acompanying my daughter Amanda to have her Patriarchal Blessing and hearing what I have known all of her life......she is spectacular!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! We had fun dressing up at work! From left to right, our Director, Stephanie, Financial Secretary Teri, Payroll Secretary Leslie, Receptionists Joy and Me, I am a person you can count case you didn't know! Have a scarey, fun and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Grapes Make Me Happy!

There is something so cathartic about the process of making grape juice. For me it is the whole process of growing the grapes, picking the grapes and processing the grapes into juice. I just love it! This is the first year I have had the fun of actually growing the grapes. Even so I used to go and pick them at a little old lady's house who used to live on State Street across from Macey's. Now her house and all of the others that used to be there have been demolished and the field that used to be covered in grape vines has shiny new buildings. Progress....I guess. I will always remember her and her grapes and how hard she worked to tend them along with her aging husband.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Day 8: Nearing the end.....we are so sad!

Day 8 was Sunday and we started the day by attending the Lihue Ward Sacrament Meeting. It was a wonderful meeting and at the end they had all of the visitors stand up and all of the ward members went to the front and sang "Aloha" to us. During the song the Relief Society passed out hand made, knitted, leis to each of us. It was the sweetest made me cry. (Well maybe I was crying because it was almost time to go home.)

After enjoying an especially delicious breakfast at our favorite Kalaheo Cafe and snagging one last shaved ice at our favorite JO Jo's, we set off to explore the rainforest by taking Kuilau Ridge Trail Hike. It is a beautiful and easy hike that takes you along the ridge with lush rainforest on either side. The kids and I had a great time and Liz had lots of photo opps. Very fun.

Day 7: Too Tired to Post Anything but Pictures

Surf's Up
The Kauai Chickens....well this happens to be a rooster but they run wild and you see them all over the Island. The story goes that during a hurricane the chickens got loose and they never rounded them up and so now they are jokingly referred to as the Kauai State Bird.
Enjoying the sand between our toes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 6: Happy Birthday to Mackay

Day 6: Happy Birthday to Mackay

A birthday in Hawaii! It started out with surfing lessons at Honalei Bay Beach, really beautiful! We spent most of the day on the beach and ended with a beautiful meal at Roy's. What a birthday Mackay! Fourteen wonderful years, cute boy, tons of fun, makes us laugh! We love you Mackay!

Day 6: Surf's UP

Day 5: Just hanging out.....or ummm hanging loose!

Day 5: Food, Food and more Food...some of our favorites!

These were some of our favorite places to eat!
Did you know there is a Brick Oven Pizza in Kauai? It was GREAT Pizza!

Mackay has a typical plate lunch and the other picture is the Fresh Fish of the Day and it was spectacular!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 4: The Napali Coast Adventure!Lots of Dolphins

It was so fun to see this pod of dolphins. I always wonder why they stay with the boat, it is almost like they are playing with us. Actually the dolphins are in sleep mode and that is why they can always find them on these tours. Here is a fun fact about dolphins: Dolphins have to be conscious to breath.[1] This means that they cannot go into a full deep sleep, because then they would suffocate. Dolphins have "solved" that by letting one half of their brain sleep at a time. This has been determined by doing EEG studies on dolphins. Dolphins sleep about 8 hours day in this fashion.

A dolphin's behavior when sleeping/resting depends on the circumstances and possibly on individual preferences. They can either:1. swim slowly and surface every now and then for a breath 2. rest at the surface with their blowhole exposed 3. rest on the bottom (in shallow water) and rise to the surface every now and then to breath. [2]

You can see the Napali Coast behind us! A gorgeous View!

We love Joe, he was part of the crew and he went to take a picture of our family and when we got the camera back we had this great picture of HIM! Very funny Joe!

We started out dry......and ended up very WET!

Day 4: The Napali Coast Adventure

Day 4 was the Napali Coast Adventure. The Napali Coast is the wild side of Kuaui Island and is only accesible by hiking in or by boat. We of course chose the boat and if you ever come to Kuaui I highly recommend this boat tour. It is a fabulous day filled with dolphins, sea turtles, snorkling and great food. The crew is always friendly and fun. We just had a blast! I will let the pictures tell the story. Aloha!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 3: Banana Pancakes.....Who Knew!

We woke up to a steady drizzle of rain. Our appetites were not dampened so we headed off to the Kountry Kitchen in Kappaa. You can see in the pictures my fabulous breakfast of 2 poached eggs, papaya, bacon and banana pancakes. Topped with their coconut syrup they were the best pancakes I have ever had! Amanda had sweet coconut french toast and Elizabeth had macadamia nut pancakes. Wow! Who knew pancakes could be so good. After breakfast we headed off to the North Shore, which is the wet side of the island. It is so beautiful and green and we enjoyed the lush green scenery. We explored the dry caves and the wet caves, you can guess which is which in the pictures. The tide was way in and there was high swells which were beautiful to watch but not a good day for swimming. We stopped to visit the Kilauea Lighthouse and bird sanctuary, saw some cute baby birds and lots of big ones. Next was Wailua Falls, who knew that the main attraction would be a tiny wild kitty that had a plastic cup around it's neck like a collar. Several people were standing around trying to figure out how to get it off for the poor little thing. Oh yeah, the falls were nice too. We ate dinner at Kauai Pasta, a complete sucess, everyone loved their dinner. The highlight for me was the appetizer of carmelized onion and green apple ravioli with a butternut squash sauce, it was complete heaven! A very full day took us gratefully home to relax on our own beach and sink into a hot tub or two.

Day 2: Too much fun in the sun!

Day two started out with a drive to the West Shore of the island. We were searching out a beach called Polihale. It was as far as you can drive on the highway and then about 4 miles down a long, long dirt road. The beach was beautiful, and mostly desereted. We played in the swells for a while, Brad and I keeping a close watch on our playful kids just to make sure one of them didn't go out with the tide. (Kind of scarey!) It is surreal to be at the beach and have the beautiful mountains of the Napli Coast in the back ground. Breath taking! As we lay on the sand...everyone was quiet and all of a sudden a huge swell came up and washed over us, towels, cameras and all. Luckily the cameras weren't wet but the towels were a disaster. We all laughed and went to wash off in the showers before heading out for lunch. We stopped at a wonderful little spot called the Kalaheo Cafe and had turkey burgers & cilantro garlic fries, sandwiches and salads and some really killer cookies too. Double chocolate macademia nut brownies were my favorite. Yum! On the way home we stopped at the local farmers market and it was so cool to see all of the unusual produce. After lunch we were a little worn out and a LOT sunburned so we headed back to the hotel to rest up! Because of the time difference here we have been getting up at 5am and so we are ready for bed by 8:30pm or 9pm.
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