Monday, June 1, 2009

Trip to California for Braden’s Graduation


  The end of May, I flew into Oakland and Connie and I went to San Francisco.  We went to our favorite 3 story Ross, went to the Cheesecake factory for lunch, went to Pier 39, and got crab sandwiches for dinner.  Then stopped back at the Oakland airport to pick up Brittany.  It was a super fun day.  I have the best sister ever!




My parents arrived and we all went to visit Braden at his job at Cold Stone.  We even got to hear one of his original songs.



Brittany, Braden, and I went to the “Taco Truck” where Braden got and devoured the biggest burrito I’ve ever seen.  It was so much fun to get to spend time with them.

IMG_3432We had a fun girl’s lunch at Red Robin.



It was a blast.  Braden surprised the crowd by performing a graduation rap (we all knew).  I can’t even imagine missing it.  He was awesome!    Congratulations Braden!  I was really happy that I was able to be there.

IMG_3457               IMG_3471

I was able to see one of my “oldest and dearest friend’s”, Karen while I was there. We had fun shopping at DD’s and having lunch- just like old times. I sure miss her!



A quick family photo before we left.



And a few games of Rock band to finish off a super fun trip…







I am so blessed to have such a wonderful sister, and I miss her and her family like crazy!  I am so grateful for my family, and to my sweet husband for staying home with the kids so that I could be there for that special “moment in time”. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It just another day in Paradise...

This post has been done for such a long time, I just couldn't get my video to upload- so, here it finally is... bear with me- it's a long one...
Wednesday, we woke up early for our snorkel cruise to the island of Lanai. We were very excited because we did this same cruise the last time we came to Maui and loved it. We saw lots of dolphins on our last trip and that was what I was excited about the most.

Being out in the water in a boat is unreal.

You stop out in the middle of the ocean and look down- this is what you see...

We stopped at the first snorkel sight and were able to swim with about 6 sea turtles.

It was awesome! I couldn't believe how close they came to us. I was using my underwater camera (the pictures didn't turn out very well) and just floating around. I was watching this one turtle, (through the tiny little lense of the disposable camera) waiting for him to turn in my direction, to get a great picture for the kids- of course. Well, remember how it says that "Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear" , well the same applies for sea turtles through a disposable camera lense. He finally turned in my direction and I got a picture of him, but as I took the camera away from my face, he was seriously no more than 6 inches from my face. It freaked me out a little and I just might have sucked in quite a bit of sea water.

Note to self: Don't gasp under water. But it was really cool that they were ok with us swimming around them. Oh, and we saw lots of cool fish too.

I remembered from our last trip that usually you see dolphins early in the morning, so I was starting to stress out that we had not seen any yet. The boat left for the next snorkel sight, it was really pretty. Here's a picture of Todd waiting for me to get in. I guess I won't post the picture of him with all the gear on since you look pretty ridiculous.

We ate lunch there in the boat in the middle of paradise. By now I was REALLY stressing because STILL NO DOLPHINS!! I was really sad and (I know this is silly but) I even said a little prayer that we would PLEASE see dolphins. That is such a neat thing for me, I just love them. The captain said he had radioed to other boats, and no one had seen any. And that by this time of day, they were in their "sleeping mode." He decided to "drive around" and show us some of the scenery of this private island called Lanai. It is beautiful!

As the captain was telling a story about the island, someone on our boat thought they saw something WAY off in the distance...

Yep, my dolphins came to see me...
Not only did we see tons of them all over the place swimming, we also got to see them do this...

The dolphins just swim along the boat and jump out of the water- It was AWESOME!! I was so happy!! I could now return to land, a happy girl!

This is the banyon tree in Lahina. You cannot see how huge it is, but it is a whole block big. It keeps going and going...

We went back to our condo and took a nap. Then later that afternoon, we went to Kannapali.

We ate dinner at the Hula Grill, it is a restaurant right on the sand. We had fish and chips and it was yummy! We even brought home some of the Hula Grill Chili Sauce! We ate with the sand on our feet and a fantastic view of the ocean!

We took a romantic sunset walk on the beach...

And watched the ceremony that they do every night at "Black Rock". A guy walks all the way up the rock, lighting torches all along the way. He throws the torch in the ocean, then takes off his lei and throws it in the ocean, and jumps in the water. It's cool and I think the picture turned out really neat...

It was a fabulous day!

Thursday, was our last full day in Maui so we went to our favorite breakfast
restaurant, the Gazebo.

This is a picture from the Gazebo, of Napili Beach.

And then went over to Napili for Todd to boogie board and for me to swim.

Then we went back to Honaloa Bay to snorkel.

This is the path to Honola Bay, it looks like you are in the rain forest!

We went out even farther and saw more fish, an eel and beautiful coral. It really was amazing.

We went home and cleaned up and went out for the last time. We ate at Leilani's downstairs
and had Hula Pie.

Another wonderful sunset...

and a little more shopping in Lahina.

Here are some pictures of our condo...

And the car we rented, an HHR...

On Friday morning, we got up and drove back to Honoloa Bay to take a couple of pictures before we left.

And then stopped at another beach to take a picture of our feet in the sand.

"Maui is a special place for us as a couple. We really connect with the pace and activities and beauty of the island. It is also one endless, magnificant date that allows us to reconnect as a couple. We love our kids, but being alone is very special. We connect with nature and stand in awe of our Heavenly Father's creations. We will miss it, but we'll be back someday...."
(An excerpt from Todd's journal entry)