Saturday, July 19, 2014

1000 Things I love (81-100)

81. Camping
82. Waking up to the sound of the waves
83. Cots
84. Friends that have become family in this far away place we call home
85. Singing songs around the campfire
86. Dutch oven cooking
87. Licorice
88. Long hikes with river crossings
89. Short hikes with surprise endings (tunnels!)
90. Our new EZ corner and tent! They make camping so much more EZ and fun
91. S'mores
92. Kids that can take care of themselves for a few days
93. Anniversary get aways
94. Getting sunburned (because it means I lost track of time on the beach)
95. Cheesecake for breakfast
96. Hotel rooms with a view
97. ABC stores
98. The new Nordstroms Rack at Ward Center
99. Mint Oreos
100. A Husband who loves me even though . . .

Friday, July 18, 2014

Waikiki Getaway

Is it really true? Is it really possible that we've been married for 20 years! Wow, time flies! This week we celebrated 20 years of marriage by sneaking away to Waikiki for 2 nights. We left the kids with a refrigerator full of food, freezer meals, money, and  a list of chores. We left! (I remember a time when I couldn't imagine that would ever be possible.)

We spent two days surfing those waves right there, shopping, walking, sunbathing, sleeping, reading and watching the J-Bay surf competition on TV from the comfort of our 16th floor room at the Marriott Waikiki Resort and Spa. We ate dinner at Duke's on one night and at the Cheesecake Factory the other night. It was fun to have some time just to ourselves. I love you forever Dave! Thanks!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Camping at Kahana

We had a great week with friends camping at Kahana Bay. We hung out and played and slept and hiked and, well, here's the pictures . . .

Day 1- We arrived around 2pm and set up camp. EZ corners, tents, hammocks, and then set out to explore the surroundings of our new "neighborhood".
Afton with Sierra and Kali Blimes
Kirkham and Dan, chillin.
Rand and Michelle Blimes
Tommy Scott
Scott and Marcum Kids discovering the river
And the tadpole hunting begins with the Marcum boys.
Annika Houghton joins in the fun.
A tadpole!
Arwen Blimes and Cora finding treasures and digging in the sand
Beach soccer!

Love being surrounded by such beauty!
Daniel, Kirkham and Brittney. More chillin'
 Day 2- Slept in and eventually everyone got around to hiking. First the Kapa'ele'ele koa trail with just about everyone (minus the dads that had to go back for work. Thank you dads!)

Started out as a very easy trail with plenty of room and lots of cover.
The trail was a little slippery and had a lot of roots.
There were a few trail hazards of fallen trees and tight spots

But the views were so worth the little bit of extra work. Stunning!
A dry stream bed.
And the trail opened  up a bit with a little less overgrowth and a little more undergrowth. The little kids enjoyed making their way through the tall grass.
Another stunning view of the bay!
And we spotted some Hala trees and cones. Though it may look like a pineapple it is NOT.
More dry stream bed. Sure glad it isn't raining!
We are not sure we are going the right way. We thought this was a loop-up trail but the trail led down. We decide to follow it and see where it goes.
And we end up at a tunnel. The boys bravely test it out.
And everyone soon follows
even me.
We emerge
right back at Kahana bay. We make our way across the rocks, parking lot, past the restrooms and back to our campsite.  This is where we say good bye to the little kids and set out on a more challenging adventure.

 The Nakoa Trail-
Hikers were Dani, Heath, Kirham and Afton Dooley; Michelle, Sierra, Kali and Arwen Blimes; Daniel Tomlinson and Emma Houghton
The trailhead for the Nakoa trail is about 1.5 miles into Kahana Valley from the highway. There is a small neighborhood and a sign that asks you to park just outside the neighborhood.
We were obliged to follow directions and parked right here. Doesn't that truck look beautiful amongst all that jungle foliage! Well, be careful where you park because the truck got stuck! Yes, after the hike I couldn't back the truck out of this spot because of the mud hidden under the grass. So glad I had 4-wheel drive or we'd still be there.

This trail was beautiful with lots of flowers
Not sure what kind this is but I liked both the flower and the bud for their forms and colors.
We found Mountain Apples!
I have done a lot of hiking and I have never seen a mountain apple before this hike.
I was very excited because they were everywhere. They grow on neat little bunches up in the trees.
Afton was kind enough to climb through the trees and retrieve some samples for us. We decided that the ones that were a little white still (and probably a little under ripe) tasted like jicama. The texture was similar to a pear but very smooth. The ones that were a little more red had a similar texture but the taste was a little more flowery but still very subtle, almost like a bite of rose water. They were very refreshing and, unlike strawberry guava, would be a good thing to eat when you are low on water in your canteen.
Another flower bud. Not sure what this variety is either but pretty.
We spotted lots of these great big ferns
And lots of these tiny  . . .uh . . .is this a flower?
Most of the trail was very narrow and sometimes hard to see what was coming next
Lots of overgrowing vines. This is a mountain lilikoi vine. Unfortunately all the lilikoi were either out of reach or on the ground already devoured.
The ferns were huge and hung over our heads. Yes, this is the correct orientation of this picture.
And then it got muddy.

Really, really muddy!



Our feet got so heavy with mud it started getting really hard to walk.
Fortunately there were a couple of stream crossings where we rinsed ourselves.



There were so many Hala plants and these things are dangerous! The edges of these long leaves have pokey spikes on them and they catch on your clothes and scratch your skin. These things were everywhere but they are also pretty easy to avoid. Just watch out for them.
The stream crossings get bigger as you go.
The first two were just ankle deep. But this one was up to our knees and fast moving. Watch your step.
The canopy of Hala made decent shade and looked really interesting. Because more sun was getting through the Hala the ground was fairly dry for a while and we were making really good time.
And then the trail got dense and muddy again just in time to find our last stream!
We finally caught up with Heath, Emma, Dan, Kirkham and Arwen and found them already enjoying the rope swing.
Bombs away!
Coming through!
Cheehoo!
yippee!
Everyone had so much fun. They went again and again and again
trying out new techniques, like grabbing onto a second rope midswing.
And seeing who could swing out and drop the farthest.
The girls joined in and had some fun too.





I came unprepared to swim and I had a camera so I carefully crossed the river while Michelle jumped in on the fun and games.
The hike took about 2.5 hours not including play time at the rope swing. There was a spur at the far side of the trail that I wish I would have explored. It goes back through a bamboo forest and over to some old military bunkers. I will go back to that some other time. And we will also definitely go back to the rope swing again. It is just a 20 minute walk from the parking area to the rope swing!

Back at camp Heath demonstrated how to skim board








This is my favorite skim boarding shot.
And the kids (and later adults too) attempted some shore break surfing




And napping, lots and lots of napping.


We also had fun campfires each night and lots of good food and candy to share. Heath cooked up his Tako while we were there and that turned out pretty good. Other yummy treats included s'mores, hot dogs, biscuits on a stick, roasted starburst, and dutch oven cobbler. It was a fun 3 days and we all agreed as we cleaned up Wednesday morning that it wasn't long enough. Next year we vote for 3 more days!


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