Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not enough time...

That is what we both kept saying when we had to leave Kauai... we just did not have enough time there. What a beautiful island. What a wonderful escape. Every year on Michael's birthday I plan a little get away. This year I was able to schedule a budget friendly trip to Hawaii. We used a "free" timeshare week. We used mostly points to purchase the airline tickets. We got a super cheap Hotwire car rental ($15/day) and we did not spend any money on tours or excursions. We enjoyed driving around the island, exploring beaches, driving to the top of canyons, relaxing by the beach/pool reading books, and eating great food--mostly fresh fish sandwiches and fresh fish tacos.

Above is the view from our timeshare unit. When we checked in, we were assigned a not so desirable location on the property with a view mostly of a parking lot and then if you stretched out around the balcony, you could see the Ocean at Poipu Park. I asked for a different room. They stated that they had no ocean front rooms on the property (which is not exactly true since we had one the last time we stayed there) and that all ocean view rooms were taken. When we stay at our timeshare at Ko Olina on Oahu, we are guaranteed ocean view. That is what we paid for. Once you trade in your timeshare unit, however, all bets are off. I asked if there were any rooms with views of the courtyard. There was one. We took it. It was on the fourth floor and had a wonderful view of the entire courtyard plus the ocean in the distance.

 Below is a view looking down into the courtyard. You can see one of the spas by the umbrella. It was generally very quiet down at our end of the building.

 Right after we got settled into our room, we headed down to the beach. This timeshare, Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club, is on a great little stretch of Poipu Beach. There is surfing, snorkeling, a little protected beach perfect for small children that has no waves or undertoe and then a great boogie boarding/body surfing beach. Something for everyone.

Below is the view from our beach chairs taken with my iphone.

Michael tried to get a picture of both of us on the beach using my iphone. Below is his first try.

This photo is really the only one where both of our faces are in the picture AND the ocean is actually in the picture too.

Below is a shot back towards the beach bar. The surfers were all over to the left, but so was the sun. There were 25-30+ surfers at Poipu Beach at all times of the day.

Above, I took a picture straight at the sun. I don't really think this is good for the camera or my eyes. I probably won't do it again.

On Monday we decided to take a drive to the Northern most point of the island. At least that you can drive to.

Below is Waikoko beach just around the corner from Hanalei Bay. It was completely deserted.

and had a great view back towards Hanalei Bay and Princeville.

We continued heading North and stopped at beautiful Lumahai Beach

Looking back behind Michael at the mountains reminds me a lot of Japan.

Green water flows in along the North side.

The beach is gorgeous, but the surf is rough.

Below: I just love these beach trees.

Rough Surf.

We drove to the end of the road to Haena Beach Park where there are tunnels and hiking trails and so many people that it just didn't seem like a terribly tranquil place to spend any time.

On our way back home, we stopped in Hanalei town for a smoothie. A really good smoothie.

Since "we" (Michael) had driven so much on Monday, we decided to stay close to home for a couple days. We did venture out to visit some of the areas close by including our favorite little Koloa Town only a couple miles from the timeshare. We also visited Hanapepe.

On Friday we decided to get back in the car and drive to the top of Waimea, "The Grand Canyon of Hawaii". It is beautiful.

Below, you can see the ocean in the distant background:

We took the road to the very top and walked up to the lookout where on a clear day you can see the Napali Coast. This is what we saw:

But this is what we could have seen (and on another day, we will!):

Kauai's favorite bird, The Rooster. There are so many chickens and roosters running around Kauai it is crazy. They are EVERYWHERE! Including standing next to you while you are drinking a Mai Tai smoothie at the beach front bar :)!

On our final day in Kauai, we sat in the shade of palm trees by the pool and read books.

and Michael wanted to take one more dip in the ocean and I forgot to put on the sunscreen. Below is what I looked like after. I am still itching like crazy.

I know what some people are thinking... I didn't include any food in my post and that is because... I am going to do a whole post on the food. Yippee!

Monday, October 4, 2010

40th Anniversary Photos

Judy and George celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on September 19, 2010. We had a little party for them last Saturday. They requested family only for this casual party, well + one dear friend. We were missing a few key family members, however, we partied on anyway.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

We started the party at a nice decent 2:00pm in the afternoon...

The gorgeous flowers were from More and More Flowers, thanks to a Facebook high school reconnection:

We also enjoyed delicious appetizers from Eat Your Heart Out Catering:

Mini Roast Beef and Horseradish Sandwiches

Crab Gougeres

Stuffed New Potatoes with Sour Cream, Olives & Sundried Tomatoes

Shrimp in Phyllo

Oregon Pear & Gorgonzola Bruschetta

The two-tiered Beaverton Bakery Cake was so pretty (and delicious)!

Some of the guests (Jeannie & Tawnjia) brought their really really cute disney purses. They got them this past summer at Disneyland. I want one!

The weather was perfect and the deck turned in to the most popular spot:


Danny, Uncle Bob, Norm, Dad & Tawnjia

Kathleen & Jeannie




Uncle Bob

Cake Time!:

Sammy gets the first piece?

Sammy and Michael

Dad enjoying his cake!

Our present was a watercolor painting of Riley painted by a local Salem artist.

Actually, Riley wasn't feeling all that well that day:

 Chris and Akiko got Mom and Dad a gorgeous Ruby colored bowl from Tiffany:
(we actually put some rose petals in it, but shhhh, don't tell Chris)

A book from Aunt Sharon & Uncle Bob:

Mom and Aunt Sharon

I took group photos as the guests left... of course Sammy was the first to head out. Why am I not surprised!

Actually this is my favorite photo, but my camera started going haywire with the lighting and focus so the quality isn't great, but I still love it. I should have taken the photos outside, but hey, hindsight is always 20/20.

Grampy, Grammy, Aunt Tiffy & Sammy

Aunt Tiffy and Grammy

Tawnjia, Jeannie, Dad, Mom

Aunt Sharon, Mom, Dad, Uncle Bob

Peter, Kathleen, Lisa

Kathleen, Lisa, Dad & Mom
(oh no, I think I was fiddling around with my camera too long, everyone except Kathleen looks like they are getting a little frustrated)

I had to kick on the flash, Norm & Peter (Peter always has an interesting expression)

Dad, Mom & Norm

Michael and I closed out the joint at about 9:30pm, no pictures of me, of course--just the way I like it :)!