Sunday, July 19, 2009

My summer list....

I know, I know. Summer is half over. And yes, I've been very lucky this summer - a wonderful vacation, and a brand new house. But in many ways, it truly feels like summer is just now starting. A few posts ago I talked about Max's list of things he wanted to do, and I was inspired by a blog I read to make my own list. Sooo.....

This summer I will:

- Blow bubbles with my boys

- dip my feet in a lake or river or stream (or the ditch at my parents' place if I get desperate)

- eat lots of homemade ice cream

- lay out and look at the stars

- visit the farmer's market often and enjoy the best the season has to offer

- lay in a hammock

- roast marshmallows

- go for a walk in the woods

- listen to music outdoors

- swing as high as I can

- have many many many picnics

- play in the sprinklers

- host a get-together where twinkle lights will figure in

- spend lazy moments cuddling my babies in bed instead of rushing out the door

- sleep in a tent

- watch Jaws - at least once

- get a pedicure

- unplug more often

I'm sure there are a million more things that I want to do this summer. It is my favorite season, after all. Full and warm and meant for living each day with intention and spontaneity and hurry-up-and-play.

Plus, I've got a couple of upcoming events that will help me tick a lot of these off the list and put my heart at rest.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Na Pali Coast

Hands down, my favorite part of our vacation was a boat ride down the Na Pali Coast. It is this part of the island that is so rugged, there aren't roads. The only way to see it is either by helicopter (which Erin and Alex would highly recommend) or by boat. The boat ride is my favorite, for sure.

Unfortunately, Savannah (my niece) was running a fever the morning of our boat trip, and my mom had generously volunteered to stay back and watch the boys, so it was Alex, my dad, Dan, and I perched on the side of a zodiac-type boat that morning. We absolutely lucked out - it was our first totally clear morning - perfect for viewing the cliffs and coastline.

We had a great guide, and it was a blast getting to cruise in and out of amazing caves, waterfall-gaze, and watch the spinner dolphins off the bow. Somehow I totally lucked out and had the best seat on the boat - the very front, so the bumps were great, and the splashing waves were just enough to keep from getting too warm. (Although the legs could have used another application of sunscreen, it later appeared....)

The "end point" of the ride is a beautiful snorkeling spot where we got to play around on the reef edge and swim with amazing groups of fish. Their colors are amazing, and it is all to easy to just get lost in drifting above their world. I really think that in another life (one where science is better funded and allows you to stay closer to your family), marine biologist would have been the calling for me. We wrapped up the time there with lunch on the boat, and quick ride back up the coastline.

This boat ride was amazing. For me, it was about a lot more than the beautiful scenery and good company. It was about returning to a little bit of myself. For my entire life, my family had boats - I learned to water ski when I was seven, and there wasn't a summer when we didn't spend significant time on the lake. My favorite vacations were always about the water - a cruise, a couple of weeks crabbing in the San Juan Islands, weekends in the bay in Newport. It is where I feel most relaxed and at home with the world. As an adult, time on the water has faded, and it's much harder to come by. This boat trip reminded me how much I need to find a way back to it - it's too much a part of me to just let go.

Now to maybe take some kayaking lessons.....

Friday, July 17, 2009


For our honeymoon, Dan and I spent an amazing week on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was the perfect setting for romance and relaxation, and has always held a very dear spot in our memories.

About 3 years ago I decided that for our 10th anniversary we needed to go back - but this time I wanted to show him the beautiful island of Kauai. So we began planning. It wasn't going to be as easy this time - after all, now there were children involved. We didn't want to leave them at home, but also wanted some "date time". The solution? Have family join us! With the help of my parents, we reserved two condos in Princeville where we would stay with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and parents.

It was amazing. The weather was perfect - partly cloudy and in the low 90's, a couple brief rain showers every day, and lots of great sun breaks. The company? Fantastic - it was great having everyone there together. The island? Gorgeous - towering cliff faces, white sand beaches, lush green jungle and sweeping taro fields.
The water? Heaven. Simply heaven.

While the time always goes too quickly, we made the most of every day. An active out-and-about morning of golfing (for the boys), shopping (the girls), snorkeling at Tunnels Beach, or other activity was followed by naps and an afternoon swim in the hotel pool. We took turns fixing dinners in, and enjoyed some nice dinners out. Dan and I particularly enjoyed an anniversary dinner together to bask in the glory of a Hawaiian plantation view. Night tennis and game playing accompanied by the world's cutest geckos rounded out our time. It really was wonderful.

Now, it's picture time:

Reading with Mema (a favorite activity for all three grandchildren, no matter the latitude):

Max and the boogie board on the way to the pool (One of the best things about this trip was watching Max fall in love with just playing in the water. It was amazing to watch him conquer his fears and try new things!):

Pool time with Papa and Daddy:

Max enjoying the pool:

Tunnels Beach, just east of Hanalei Bay:

Going out to dinner for our anniversary (and yes, the kiddos stayed home!):

Lunch from Bubba's Burgers in Hanalei:

Waimea Canyon:

Spouting Horn (there were great sea turtles here, too!):

Playing at the playground in Poipu before flying out:

So there you go - our week in heaven! I'll be back soon with more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We have been having s wonderful, hectic, tiring summer - and the poor blog has suffered great neglect. Over the last few days I've struggled with where to jump back in. And what I've come to is that I will do a couple of quick catch-up posts and then jump back into "real time".

(Plus I've got too many great Kauai pics to just not post them.....)