Sunday, September 30, 2012

New England Fall Foliage Welcomes Us!

Yesterday very early in the morning, Jenny and I boarded Delta airlines bound for Hartford, CT, with a stop in Detroit, where we only had time for a bagel stop before heading to our first class seats bound for Hartford.  On my flight I started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Can I just say, I'm having a hard time putting this book down; I'm so loving it!  It was beautiful seeing the fall leaves from the sky. We got our fancy chyrsler sebring, with rather uncomfortable seats and headed to our lovely hotel the Hampton.  I'm a fan of the Hampton.  They change the bedding every day, not just the sheets. After Jenny made sure there were no bed bugs, we had us a short rest before heading to downtown Hartford.  We thought for sure we'd find a great place for dinner.  Not really, the chowder was so thin with no flavor, I'm sure it was made from water instead of cream and butter, but the salad was refreshing.  After what seemed like forever trying to find an ice cream shop and almost giving up, one came into view where we each ordered an avalanche or as Dairy Queen calls it, the blizzard.  We went back to our hotel and enjoyed the RS broadcast from my computer, as I kept up with the BSU score.  Mom flew in around 11 and of course we were still awake when she got to our hotel.  It was kind of a restless night, probably because we were all so tired...maybe tonight we will be out cold.
This morning we had us a delicious breakfast.  The Hampton by far has the best breakfast of any hotel. My oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar was almost as good as what I fix at home.
We found the church house in the ghetto of Springfield a little late, because we are tourists, but we went and we got there...We got there just as the sacrament song was finishing, so we didn't want to open the doors and walk in.  Normally in our church they bring the sacrament out in the foyer for people who are late.  Nope, they do things differently in the Springfield ward.  So after they didn't bring us the bread and were sending the water around, I popped my head in and asked for the sacrament.  The man told me because we were late and not in the chapel we didn't get to partake of it.  I was like are you kidding me?  After the sacrament he came out to talk to us and I was like, well you denied us the blessings and that was so not what the Savior would have done.  He told us that he could give us the sacrament after the meeting.  Ha, I wasn't about to stay around and wait for it.  Better believe that bishop and stake president will get a lovely letter from me when I get back into Zion.  We found us another ward to go to back in CT, where the people were kind and accepting of visitors.  It took us out of the way from our mapped out schedule, but gave us a beautiful drive and the opportunity to partake of the sacrament.
The leaves aren't quite at peak in Connecticut, but they are still beautiful.  From CT we headed back into Mass, where we enjoyed cute towns and more fall color.  The farther north we have come, the more color we have seen.
We stopped at the Yankee Candle Village, which was almost overwhelming with size and smells.  They had a delicious restaurant where we had lunch/dinner of amazing clam chowder which totally made up for last nights, water-downed chowder.  I also had a half of a southwestern chicken wrap that was rather spicy, but oh so yummy for my super hungry tummy.

We headed west to the Mohawk Trail where it took us to the darling town of Shelburne Falls, where we had some rather cool photo ops. We also stopped off at the bridge of flowers, but as soon as we got out of the car it started to sprinkle and in a few footsteps even though it was sunny it started raining rather hard, so we only took a few pictures.  We lost light along our way north into VT and it was a rather dark, rainy drive the rest of the way.  We are resting tonight at yet another Hampton Inn and my traveling companions are already trying to sleep, so I better turn the light off...until tomorrow folks.
A cute old school sits the old school friends.
Thought this was a cool picture of the globe and the flag with the sun shining in.
Had to back up to take a picture of this one for sure!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fabulous Friday Welcomes Fall

1.  By the calendar it is officially Fall.  Yes, I'm a bit sad that my extended Summer is coming to a close, but hey, we've still had highs in the 80's here in Idaho, so although the mornings have been a bit nippy and I've had to wear a jacket, the evenings are still beautiful for a jog with Tristen or by myself.
2.  I've been enjoying a bit of Hawaii every time I snack on a macadamia nut, chocolate covered, coconut covered, caramel covered, or toffee covered.
3.  I have had major jet lag this week, meaning I haven't been able to sleep but a few hours each night.  Thankfully the last few nights I've recovered, just in time for my next time zone change.
4.  I've worked 5 of 6 days this week.  I'm glad I made it through.  Monday when I was driving home I thought to myself, that it seemed like an ER in the UC today.  I can't decide if I miss the ER or not.  I really am enjoying my job as I still see a lot of variety, but it's not crazy all the time.
5.  It's time to unpack what is still left in my suitcases so that I can re-pack them with warmer clothes for my Fall Foliage New England/Canada tour that starts today, well actually tomorrow, but I'm flying out of SLC in the morning, so I am driving there today.  So yes, I'm officially on vacation again.  I'm so excited for the coming week.  My oldest childhood friend Jenny is coming with me.  We went to Hawaii over 5 years ago and had a blast.  Mom is really in need of a vacation and has been wishy washy since June when we got our tickets.  Well, Sunday she decided she wanted to come with us. So she is coming.  I'm excited for the smells, sights, food, and sounds of fall foliage! Stay tuned for your day to day vacation voyage through me.  And yes, I know I still need to put Hawaii pictures up...I barely just got them uploaded to my computer so give me a few days.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yes, It's A Hawaiian FF Indeed

Really I don't think I need to do a FF post this week, because the previous daily entries have said it all, but it wouldn't be a normal Friday without a FF post. 
1.  Snorkeling was my favorite part of this vacation for sure!
2.  Skyping Aidree, Bridget, and Nick this week.
3.  Glad we had a fan to blow around the warm air around us.
4.  College life, oh how I'm glad I've been there, done that.
5.  I'm going to really have to work out this week to take off the pound I'm sure I've gained, but oh the food has been worth the extra gym time.
6.  Having lunch with my friend Chrissy was such fun and reminded me of all of my favorite people in CLT.
7.  My friends in CLT had a baby shower for my friend Cassie and her baby girl this week.  Sending a gift helped me feel a little part of it.  Sure wish I would have been able to be there with them all.
8.  I've loved this extended Summer, but I admit it, I'm ready for Fall!
9.  It's been nice to be able to be casual in my dress and curly hair this week.
10.  Happy Birthday to my brother Tyler today.  We are the same age for the next 2 months!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last Day In Hawaii

Today was our last day of our relaxing vacation in Hawaii and by far my favorite day.  We had full intentions this morning of spending the entire day at the beach, but as soon as we got in the car our plans changed.  First off we found a store that we bought a few souvenirs.  We then stopped off at Fine Ass, or Donkey balls, where we got some flaky balls, otherwise known as chocolate/coconut covered macadamia nuts.  Tony had been wanting to go there the entire trip.  We enjoyed the scenery as we continued to head West.  I'm a professional picture taker while in driving motion.  Wait until you see some of my cool pictures from the road.  Our car drove us next to the Macadamia Nut Factory Outlet, where we spent at least an hour.  There we tried many different kinds of macadamia nuts and coconut chocolate peanut butter (which was delicious and I bought a small bottle for $8.00).  Outside the store they had a huge bin of macadamia nuts where we could sit them on a rock and hit them with another rock and eat all we wanted.  I loved this part.  We got to pick a banana off a tree, which was super yummy, a first for me for sure. 
This afternoon was my favorite part of the entire trip.  We went snorkeling at a place called Sharks Cove where I've never seen so many different fish.  We literally swam with schools of fish, all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I saw one that was black with lots of little white polka dots.  Another was white with thick black stripes.  My favorite were the BSU fish that were blue and orange, of course they were cheering for BSU!  The water was perfect, the views were picturesque, and it felt like Heaven.  As I enjoyed this I thought of how we couldn't have had all of these creations without our loving Heavenly Father. 
By this time BSU and BYU were well into their game, thankfully we didn't miss anything.  We headed to a local bar and grill where we enjoyed watching the second half of the game which wasn't all that exciting, but at least BSU came away with the win. 
On our way back home we stopped by Ted's, not for pie, because we are all pied out, but for a crab sandwich.  They are so yummy.  I ate half and will eat the other half for breakfast.  We finished our night by going back to Angels, where I had another pina colada ice cream and a few bites of Tony's shaved ice. 
I've packed an extra box and my pretty much empty suitcase that I brought.  I hope I can get all of the chocolate macadamia nuts that are still in the refrigerator into my suitcase.  We have had a wonderful vacation full of relaxation, beautiful scenery, delicious food, enjoyable conversations, waking up to rain storms, lots of sweating, sun and unplanned moments.  Tomorrow will definitely be a let down.  It will be back to work for a week and then another vacation.  Come October I'll be planning my next vacation of course. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's A Hawaiian Shopping Day

This morning I woke to the sounds and smells of another relaxing and amazing rain storm, this one lasted over 2 hours and poor Rachel had to walk to class in it.  She was drenched when she came home from class.  Did you know that Tony and I are sleeping in the same bed in the middle of their living room?  We are.  Tony sleeps with a towel; really.  After the rainstorm we drove to HNL where Tony and Chris rented scooters.  I took over the awesome, 5-speed, college-style Accent and headed to do some crazy shopping.  I first went to the Fabric Mart where there were so many kinds of Hawaiian Fabric, I didn't know where to start.  I really want to make a patch quilt from Hawaiian fabric.  I only had an hour there and couldn't decide on what I wanted so I didn't get anything.  I had a lunch date my friend from CLT Chrissy Briggs, who I met in the singles ward there.  She has been living here for 4 years as her husband is in the air force.  It was so good to see here.  We only had an hour before she had to pick up her boys, but we used every minute of that hour to catch up.  It really was an enjoyable lunch, where I had a Chinese chicken salad that was rather refreshing.  I had another refreshing salad last night with my fish sandwich.  I'm all about salads when it's hot. 
After lunch I headed over to Aloha Stadium where I wore my feet out searching for the best bargains.  Let's just say my Christmas Shopping is just about done, thanks to me finding my favorite thing.  I got my nieces the cutest moomoo's (that's probably not how you spell it, but for now that is how I'm spelling it) and me a white moomoo that I'm going to make into a temple dress. 
By this time I was sweating and sticky, but I still needed fabric, but only one more print, because I was able to find 3 prints for $3 at the market, instead of $4 at the fabric mart, which is still cheep.  I also bought some white fabric that was the same as the temple dress so that I can make it long sleeved.  Now I was really thirsty, so I stopped at the McDonald's to get a large water for 30 cents and a delicious ice cream cone.  Then onto Costco, because you know Costco has the best chocolates to take home to the family and the work crew including these chocolate, toffee covered macadamia nuts.  Good finds at Costco today for sure, including gas which was the cheapest I have seen it here for $4.21 a gallon, glad we aren't driving a gas hog.  By this time it was getting late and the sun was just about to go down, therefore making me have to drive in the dark in a city I didn't know, so I hurried on down to Waikiki to pick up the boys.  I got stuck right in the middle of the big city, in a car that kept stopping and then the check engine light came on.  I was freaking out, just a little, but finally got the boys and the check engine light eventually went off.  Did I mention that the windshield wipers don't work on this car and the registration is expired.  Glad it didn't rain and a cop didn't see my plates.  Of course by now we are hungry again, so we stopped at this random Japanese restaurant where we shared some very delicious sushi.  It totally hit the spot, especially the fried one with melted cream cheese and salmon.  As we were driving away, out of the corner of my eye, the Leonards Hot Malasadas Truck came into view.  Emma had warned me of their deliciousness, so right in the middle of the road, we made an illegal U-Turn and sped on over.  Yes, these are amazing Emma.  I loved the half of the custard one I ate tonight and am waiting to eat the coconut one tomorrow.  I'm sure you are saying, wow she must be gaining weight, but hello, I'm sweating all the calories off and as much walking as I did today, I can eat what ever I want; Hello I'm on vacation.  I packed all of my finds, incuding a hibiscus quilt into my extra suitcase, um, yea I think I need another one, or maybe I'll just use the fan box, cheaper than buying another one.  One more day of relaxation before reality strikes for another week, and then yes, another vacation to see the fall foilage!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Temple, Snorkling, and Cliff Jumping

This morning Tony and I took in a session at the Temple.  It is a beautiful temple indeed. I had an enjoyable time and felt the spirit.  We then went to Angels where I had the most delicious pina colada ice cream I have ever had, with a little shaved ice on top.  I almost wish it hadn't have been the kiddie size because it was really yummy.  We enjoyed some down time waiting for our friends to get out of class and work, so I did some reading.  Today I finished Stargirl and started 17 Second Miracle.  There is something about reading and the beach that I absolutely love.  What I took away from Stargirl is that I need to do more secretive charitable acts; a lot more.  They bring so much happiness to all involved.
We did some Laie beach hopping today.  All of which were beautiful.  Tony, Rachel and Chris snorkeled over to an island while I read, watched them to make sure they didn't drown, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of high tide.  At another beach Tony and Chris did the unthinkable and jumped from some crazy high cliffs into the ocean.  I caught it all on video if I could figure out how to post it I would.  The water there was so blue, yet clear and the views were breath taking.  The last beach was called Pounders and for good reason indeed.  The waves were awesome and Tony and Chris each came away with a battle wound or two from the waves pounding them into the sand.  Have you ever had Ono?  It's a fish and I had a Ono fish sandwich that my taste buds enjoyed.  It really was another very relaxing day.  It has been fun to not have a plan, but to just take each day as it comes. 

Monday, September 17, 2012


Today was a rather relaxing day.  We of course headed to the beach at Turtle Bay where we stayed for 2 hours.  I finished my book and have started another Stargirl.  We had lunch and then enjoyed some down time.   I talked on the phone some and read.  When Chris and Rachel got home we ate pie. 

Then we went to another beach where Tony and Chris jumped from a rock and snorkeled, while Rachel and I got some rays on the beach and I read.  I like reading days!

We passed Ted's Bakery, so of course we had to stop and get another chocolate PB pie.  I tried to convince them that we needed a peach Boston cream, but we went with the CPB.  
We had dinner at Kuhuku Grill where they all had delicious hamburgers and I had the macadamia nut, coconut shrimp and a delicious salad.  
We were too tired and full that we didn't even have pie tonight.  I really wanted a shaved ice today.  Maybe tomorrow. 
See that gigantic frog?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pearl Harbor

Happy Birthday to my sister Tenielle!  Today we headed to Pearl Harbor.  We toured around a bit and then found a church nearby so we could attend sacrament meeting.  It is important to me to go to church when I can given that I work every other Sunday.  After church we headed back to Pearl Harbor where we watched a film and then boarded the ferry over to the memorial.  I learned that there was 1.5 million gallons of oil on board and that it leaks 9 quarts a day.  They figure there is still enough oil to leak 9 quarts a day for over 100 more years.  Kind of crazy.  There were 36 survivors on the USS Arizona most all of which whose bodies have been returned to the memorial when they have died.  It would be interesting to read a personal account from one of these 36 survivors.  On our way back to the North Shore we stopped and watched the sun set over the ocean.  It was beautiful.  We also stopped off at the Temple Visitors Center where I watched 4 segments of the Special Witnesses, from some of the newly added Apostles.  The visitor center is very nice and enjoyable.  Of course we came home and had some more pie.  We dug into the coconut chocolate pie, along with the remaining chocolate PB pie.  Talk about delicious.  I've decided not to put pictures on until I return home, because it is so much easier with my own computer.  So you'll have to come back for the pictures.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beach and PCC

This morning instead of my usual healthy steal cut oats, I had half of a chocolate frosted croissant that I got from Ted's Bakery last night.  They had this bag of baked goods for $5.50 as it was the end of the day. 

I'm a sucker for baked goods, I think I take after my mom in that aspect.  It was delicious.  By 9am we were out the door and headed to the Turtle Bay Resort which has a nice beach.  I continued to enjoy the sun and my Pickle book, while Tony and Chris did some snorkeling.  We had us a short rain storm where we huddled under an umbrella and then back into the sun.  I'm pretty sure the sun is hotter here, because I can't seem to stay out in it all day like I can in Idaho.

 After a while we went home to shower.  I don't know why we do this, because an hour later we are hot and sweaty again.  In between the beach and the PCC we listened to the BSU game.  I'm sure glad they won this one.  Hopefully they will win on Thursday against BYU, given that BYU lost to Utah today, I think we will do just fine.  We enjoyed a full day at the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center).  It was really nice that Chris has friends who got us in for free and we only had to pay $30 for our meal.

We watched all of the programs from each country except for Hawaii, because of time.  We enjoyed the river parade as well.  My favorite was Samoa and Tonga; the guy's were hilarious and made me want to get a coconut.  Of course the coconut tree climbing man was pretty cool too.  The food at the Luau was ok.  I think we were so hot and tired we weren't really that hungry. Here is a picture of Tony's plate.

 I didn't even get dessert, because I filled up on pineapple which made my tongue a little sore, but it was so yummy.  The night program Circle of Life was pretty awesome.  The fire baton guys are out of this world.  Of course it isn't quite 10 and again, I'm just about to crawl into bed.  I really am more tired on vacation than working 12 hour shifts. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fabulous Friday Hawaiian Style

This past week had only a few fabulous things because I worked 5 of 6 days so that I could have a few more days in Hawaii.  So really, do we need to talk about all the fabulous things or can we just cut to the chase and talk about Hawaii?  I think the later, with the exception of one very important event...Princess Aidree turned 3 this week.  I helped her celebrate by buying her a princess tiara and called her the Birthday Princess.  She is so darn cute and wore her tiara to costco and wanted it placed on her head first thing when she woke up.  Her mom is probably going to wish I hadn't have bought it for her, but for now it is too cute. 
Bedtime story with Grandma Betty!
Yesterday I flew to SLC where I met my brother Tony who is 10 years my younger.  We then flew to LA and onto Hawaii.  The flight to Hawaii was practically bare, which was kind of nice as we were able to spread our things out.  I loved also that we didn't hardily have any layovers, just enough time to go tinkle.  Tony's friend Chris and his wife Rachel picked us up in their 2001 hyandia accent, with manual roll down windows and no a/c.  It was totally awesome.  They took us to their BYU-Hawaii housing with cinder block walls and only 2 doors, one of which isn't to the bedroom.  Tony and I shared a queen bed out in the living room with the fan and wind blowing us to sleep.  Talk about relaxing and sticky.  I was awakened this morning at 200 and then 500 to an amazing rain storm, of course I fell back to sleep until 700 when I finally woke not to the sound of the ocean, because it is down the street, but to the sounds of roosters and baby's crying (they all live quite close to each other.)  We dressed in bathing suits, grabbed our towels and off we were to the beach of course.  Yep, by 830 we were out the door and headed to see the beautiful beaches of Oahu.  We decided to just drive along the highway, until we reached Matsumotos the most amazing shaved ice.  When I got up to the counter to order at 930, I asked if it was too early for shaved ice and the lady said, "it's never to early for shaved ice."  I got mango and coconut, light on the syrup topped with sweetened condensed milk.  What a great way to start our day. 

We then hit Sunset Beach where I enjoyed some rays and my current read, The Persian Pickle Club, while Tony did some snorkeling and got a little too much sun on his back.  He put sunscreen every where else however. 
I saw these and immediately thought of  my dear friend Emma and her tree in CLT.
 After we had enough sun for the morning, we met back at the BYU Hawaii marrieds housing where we changed and got ready for our afternoon hike, which I might add I got the dirtiest and my shoes are the only ones that got wet. It was a rather nice hike and very picturesque. We hiked up and down stairs, on rocks and boulders through the river, and over lots of tree roots. When we got to the end of the hike we came to a waterfall and a small body of water where Chris and Tony climbed more rocks and jumped into the cold water. Let's just say I would never be brave enough to do that. A shower never felt so good after that muddy mess; I had to scrub to get the mud off of me.
For dinner we went to Ted's Bakery where we shared some lemon chicken, which actually wasn't that good, but Tony's crab sandwich and french fries were delicious.  Ted's Bakery is famous for their pies, so we got 2 so we will have them for the rest of our stay, unless we run out and we will have to go back for another one.  Pie choices tonight which are suppose to be the best, chocolate PB and a chocolate coconut.  We all had a bite of the chocolate PB which was delicious.  What I love about college students is they eat out of the pie tin, which is better than dirtying the only few dishes in the cabinet.  It's not even 10, but this little chicken is ready for bed!