Wednesday, August 16, 2017

look out, fourth grade, here we come

so i'm taking a quick break from the hawaii recaps to report on this most momentous occasion:


man, already? you're thinking.  well, yeah, me too.  it seemed like just yesterday that we were looking at the broad expanse of all those lazy summer days ahead of us, making a list of things we wanted to do and places to go, thinking about scheduling fun playdates with all sorts of friends.  and here we are at the beginning of the new school year already and more than half of those things remain unchecked.  d-oh!  guess it'll have to wait till next year.  in the meantime, here's the annual "first day with the chalkboard" photo:


yeah, she's still wearing those dang glasses.  i did ask her to take them off for another shot, though:


and then we gathered up all of the supplies we'd bought from the list we'd been given, packed them into the car and headed off.  the first day of school is always such a pain in the ass, with people having forgotten all of the parking lot rules in two short months and losing their damn minds in car lines and whatnot.  i decided to skip the parking lot altogether for drop-off and found a spot on a nearby side street and then we made our way to school.

the chaos once we got onto campus was crazy overwhelming.


mostly because starting with this year, she and her friends are now on the other side of campus.  the side where the big kids go, where they hang out in the gym and the cool outdoor lunch plaza without the little kid playground areas.  so crazy.  neither of us knew where we were supposed to go.  it was all brand new for both of us, but luckily it wasn't hard to find her classroom.


we'd arrived somewhat early, because i knew she'd want time to squeal with her friends over who was in which class and swap stories about their summer.  i got to catch up with a bunch of my mom friends too, which is always fun.  pictures were taken with friends, and they enjoyed a brief reunion with last year's teacher.  it was so sweet to watch them.



i managed to get this before it was time for them to line up, meet their new teacher and head on into class.


the moms took advantage of the photo op too:


a handful of us reassembled at a local restaurant to celebrate the first drop-off of the year.  and what's a celebration without at least one mimosa?


during the first week of school, the kids are dismissed an hour early.  over the rest of the school year, they get out early like this every wednesday along with a few other special occasion days.  it seemed like i'd just left by the time i returned to pick up the bean and two of her BFFs to grab a quick after school snack and then take them to their math tutoring program.  and since i hadn't gotten them together that morning, we took advantage of that backdrop one more time:


and another group selfie in the car:


it wouldn't be the first day of school without this collage.  as the years go by i'm going to run out of layout options for this thing:


hello, fourth grade!  it definitely promises to be a fun year with all sorts of memories waiting to be made.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

back to sunset beach

one morning, the old lady and i decided to head out early (somewhere around 7am hawaiian time) and walk down the street to island vintage coffee.  we'd remembered enjoying some delicious caffeinated beverages from there during our last trip to hawaii and wanted to repeat the experience.  



since that's 10am on the west coast and even later for others the further east they live, the place was pretty packed.  we ordered our drinks, threw in a couple for the hub and the bean and took them all to go in this cute little drink holder.


from there, we all piled into the jeep and headed off to enjoy breakfast at a spot that had been recommended to the hub by the dude at the rental car desk.  when we checked it on yelp, there were a bazillion great reviews, and so we were sold.  it wasn't particularly conveniently located, but when i read one rave that referenced "macadamia nut sauce so good, people lick their plates clean," we were sold.  and so off we went to boots & kimo's homestyle kitchen.


as the reviews also mentioned, there was a pretty substantial wait for a table.  the hub went up to get us on the list, and since we were running low on sunscreen and a few other essentials, the girls and i took off across the street.  ah, target.  so convenient.


inside, we found all sorts of stuff that most definitely isn't at any target at home.  like this behavioral assistance tool:


a whole wall of local items:


and several racks of dresses and skirts and sarongs with bright hawaiian prints on them.


the bean even picked up a new pair of sunglasses that she swore helped her see what was behind her.


by the time we got back to the hub, we only had to wait another 5 minutes or so to be seated.  we perused the menu posted outside while we waited:


and then we were finally led to our table.  i'm guessing that the owners are big sports fans, with all of the memorabilia displayed everywhere and espn on every tv mounted in the place.




so these are the onolicious pancakes, topped with that famous macadamia nut sauce.  i ordered mine, of course, with a side of grilled spam.


you guys...that was the best plate of pancakes EVER.  they were light, fluffy, chewy...just perfect pancakes.  and the sauce?  holy cow.  the yelpers didn't exaggerate one bit.  the server even brought me an extra side of the stuff to make sure i could slather every single bite in it.  i don't think i've ever wolfed down pancakes like that before.


we hopped back into the jeep stuffed to the gills and ready to hit the beach.  driving in hawaii is always such a treat, with views like this around every corner.



and funny enough, this visit was timed just like the last one - they were setting up for the hawaii spartan race scheduled for that coming weekend.


sunset beach was our destination...because it's the same beach we've taken a family picture at some point during the last three trips to o'ahu.



the bean was super excited because her daddy had promised to teach her how to snorkel.  they wasted no time in strapping on their gear and heading into the water to see what they could find.



on the other hand, the old lady and i are not fans of swimming with the fish.  in fact, she's not willing to go into the water at all if there's a chance of encountering any sealife anywhere nearby.  heh.


it took me a little longer to get myself fully in the water, but the heat got to me and i spent a good amount of time just floating in there, riding the waves and enjoying the day.  but then our day took a turn when the hub realized that the rock he thought he'd kicked in the water turned out to be a sea urchin...who'd retaliated by sinking a bunch of tiny sharp barbed spikes into his pinky toe.  my husband doesn't complain much, and so when he said it was really, really painful - well, it must have been pretty awful.  luckily, there was a lady who ran a surf school sitting under an ez-up tent nearby who must have had some experience with this sort of thing.  when the old lady went over to see if she might be able to offer some assistance, she knew exactly what to do.  apparently, soaking the affected area in vinegar helps not only to numb the pain but to disinfect it, and in time, causes the spikes to disintegrate and fall right out.  my poor husband.

but that didn't stop us from checking off another restaurant on our list - this time, helena's hawaiian food, another hole-in-the-wall favored by the locals for good, authentic hawaiian grub.  we got lucky and managed to get ourselves seated at the last table in the very back.



following the recommendations, we ordered kalua pig served with lomi salmon and pipikaula - short ribs finished with a quick dip in the fryer for a little crunchy texture.  



our meal was capped off with a complementary serving of haupia, which is basically like coconut jello.  the hub and i dug right in, but the girls turned their noses up and passed.  more for us!


later, while the hub headed off to enjoy a cigar, the girls and i took a walk down the street and found ourselves sucked into one of those "pick an oyster and get a pearl" kiosks.  the bean thought it was really cool, and i figured it would be fun for her to do at least once.  of course, that oyster was $15...but to set the pearl in something like a ring, a necklace, etc. was a minimum of $50.  needless to say, she walked away with her pretty black pearl in a little baggie.  heh.


back at the hotel, we went upstairs and checked out the museum.  there was lots of duke kahanamoku memorabilia, as well as artifacts saved from the early years of the surfrider hotel.




we found our way to the balcony that overlooked the front of the hotel and the busy street where we could do some great peoplewatching.  


it didn't take long before the activity of the day caught up with us, and we headed off to bed.  yet another fantastic day in paradise.
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