bouquet background

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Sunday Full of Kelson's Cooking

I am a lucky girl because Kelson almost always makes me delicious breakfasts on weekend mornings. This Sunday, I was doubly lucky because he made me dinner too.
 It all started with this deliciously exotic dragonfruit that we picked up at the grocery store.
 It was apparently important that it was a pink dragonfruit. Weirdest looking thing ever! It tastes a little like a kiwi.  We read online that one of the best ways to eat it is in a smoothie, so we decided to give it a try.
 Pull out some frozen banana and Greek yogurt, blend it up, and voila! 
 It was delicious!
For dinner, we had breakfast again. This time it was a three course meal, which started with omelets, followed by hash browns, then finishing with amazing cheese blintzes topped with cherries. Yum! I am seriously spoiled. 

Birdies, Pumpkins, & Coconuts: Just Another Weekend in Paradise

It was Kelson's turn to plan date night a couple of weeks ago, so I made him a deal that I would provide the picnic if he would do the rest. He planned us a lovely picnic and walk along the shore on Hickam Air Force Base. I made my first attempt at fish chowder, which made a delicious picnic when paired with some homemade french bread.

 A little birdie caught sight of us eating our dinner and decided to hang out. Kelson was having fun whistling to him and getting him to come closer. Our little friend didn't give up until we tossed him a piece of bread. 
After dinner, we went on a beautiful walk while the sun was setting. The Air Force base is right next to Kelson's base, but it is much prettier. They have these bizarre trees here in Hawaii that we like to call sausage trees. Look at the things hanging out of them. Weird. 
 Kelson had to work Saturday morning, but we still made good use of our afternoon by exploring the east shore of the island. One of our stops was a pumpkin patch. It seems totally bizarre to go pumpkin hunting in a field between the rain forest and the ocean when it is as warm as August outside. 

 Instead of a corn maze, they had a sunflower maze. Cool!

 Mahalo, Ya'll. Apparently they have hicks in Hawaii too. 
 When we first got here, we bought a coconut at a fruit stand and watched the lady open it with three whacks from her machete. When we saw coconuts in Chinatown, Kelson decided he could easily do the same thing himself. He received a machete as a gift before we left San Diego, so we figured we had everything we needed. It turned out to be a little more difficult than anticipated. It took about 100 whacks from the machete followed by extensive use of a hacksaw to get inside.  Some kids from the neighborhood actually stopped outside our yard to watch him. I just prayed that he didn't lose any fingers.
Sweet victory! The good news is that it was a delicious coconut. We might need to work on our skills to make it a quicker process, though.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Columbus Day Weekend

We weren't really expecting to have Columbus Day off, but we were pretty excited when we found out that we would have a three-day weekend. Unfortunately, Kelson got really sick the middle of last week, but we were still able to get out and do some fun things over the weekend. The flu is no excuse for missing out on Hawaiian fun and relaxation, right?

 We started our Saturday with some relaxing swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing at Ko'Olina. It is the beach by the Disney resort (as well as several other resorts) that has four beautiful, man-made lagoons. It was pretty much a perfect morning. I did get a pretty good sunburn, but it actually faded into a tan. That is a miracle for me.
Shortly after we moved here, we noticed this interesting little restaurant called Mom's Soul Food Crabwings. We really had no idea what that meant, but it sounded slightly mysterious and intriguing. We decided to stop there for lunch on the way home. It turned out to be delicious, authentic southern food. Yay for being adventurous!

 In celebration of the Navy's birthday, all of the Pearl Harbor museums were free for members of the Navy and their families, so we took advantage of the chance to tour the USS Missouri. It is moored right here on Ford Island. It was a very impressive ship.  Admiral Nimitz greeted us on the pier.
 This ship has some amazing history. This plaque marks the spot where the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II.
 Yep, that's what my hair looks like after I get out of the ocean. Gorgeous.
 The Missouri has some serious firepower!
 We started our day off on Monday with a trip to Chinatown in Honolulu. We had heard great things about it, and we were not disappointed. We found some amazing produce and sampled a yummy pineapple pastry.
 Along with the delicious foods, there were also some slightly scary ones. Interestingly, a lot of the fish were live, swimming in tanks-about as fresh as you can get. We saw every part of animals for sale, including this huge pile of chicken feet.
 Yes, those are frogs. They are not for keeping as pets.
 Once we had purchased some exotic fruit and smelled all of the fishiness we could handle, we drove up in the hills above our neighborhood and went for a little hike on the Aiea Loop, a popular hiking and running trail around here. It was just about the right difficulty for a sick boy and a very pregnant woman. It actually felt good not being the slow one on the hike for once.
 The trail is surrounded by eucalyptus and guava trees. There were strawberry guavas everywhere.
 What a beautiful view! I would say that we have a pretty amazing life.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Iolani Palace & My First Vietnamese Food

The last Saturday in September was National Free Museum Day, so we took advantage of the chance to go on a tour of Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu.

The palace was the home of the last of Hawaii's royalty in the late 1800's. It has been beautifully restored inside. We learned a lot about Hawaii's history that I didn't know before.
 Throne room
 Baby bump getting bigger every day!
There are all kinds of amazing trees here in Hawaii. Kelson couldn't resist a little vine swinging in the parking lot behind the palace.
 After our tour, we drove down to Waikiki for the first time. The traffic was insane, so I doubt we will be doing that very often. We didn't have time to actually go to the beach, but we stopped for lunch. I have never tried Vietnamese food before, so we thought we would be adventurous. I had a noodle salad called bun. It was delicious! We love trying new things.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hiking, Exploring, Pineapples, and Unpacking

We are pretty busy around here settling into our new house and trying to turn it into a home before our little bundle of joy arrives next month. However, we still make sure to take plenty of time out for enjoying Hawaii on the weekends. Here were our adventures from a couple of Saturdays ago:
 One of Kelson's goals while we live here is to hike every trail on the island, and there are quite a few. We got started with this trail in Mokuleia. It was a little bit disappointing because you had to hike about 2 miles up a paved access road before you even got to the trail, and I was tired by then. It was still a good view, though. Living on an island is fun because you have ocean views from every side!
 After the hike, we drove around the north end of Ka'ena Point. I accidentally got too close to the waves and got my hiking shoes soaked, and Kelson found an eel in a tide pool. Sadly, it was slightly less than alive. It was still interesting to look at though.
 Next, we drove toward Hale'iwa, which has a fun, historic, downtown, and stopped at this cool soap factory along the way. They had all kinds of fun scents. My favorites were chocolate and spearmint.
 We went swimming at Waimea Bay, which was fabulous, and then we stopped at the Dole Factory on the way home. Yay for Dole Whips! It tasted amazing after a hot day.
 We are keeping a tally of all the rainbows we see here in Hawaii. This was a nice one right over the pineapple plantation.
 There were all kinds of pineapples of all different shapes and sizes. Baby pineapples are cute!
 Kelson makes a cute pineapple, don't you think?
 When we got home, there was a house full of boxes waiting for us, and my slave driver of a husband helped me get everything unpacked in just a few days. The captain from his last ship gave him a machete as a going away present. I walked into the kitchen and found him opening boxes with it. Isn't that what machetes are for? Definitely better than a box cutter, I would say.