4.24.2015

Aloha, Engineer!

It is a tradition on Team Skelley that I turn the blog over to The Engineer when he goes somewhere interesting. In 2014, it was Turkey. This month, he spent 2.5 weeks in Hawaii and returned yesterday with chocolate covered macadamia nuts, a Hawaiian Hello Kitty for Little Kid and a camera full of photos. Today we are taking a tour through the island of Kauai....

Aloha, Team Skelley readers! I guess being the second time makes it a tradition. (Katie: My son gets his affinity for sarcasm honest.) My job takes me to interesting places on occasion, and none more so than my trip to Kauai over the past few weeks. I'll admit there were some 12- and 14-hour days on the job, but it wasn't all work. I snapped a few pictures to share:
 

Postcard, you say? No, this was the view from my room at the Marriott Kauai Beach Club. Being on the 9th floor is not something I could probably get away with when Katie's on the trip. Don't tell her how much time I spent out on the balcony. (Yes, I am terrified of heights, don't judge.)


I tried to find as many waterfalls as I possibly could, and this one was probably my favorite. Wailua Falls, not too far from the hotel just north of Lihue.


Looking down the east coast of Kauai from just north of Kapa'a.


It was between 70 and 83 degrees the entire time I was on the island. It sprinkled occasionally, but never for very long. But just in case you needed it, the hotel had a convenient weather station right outside.


The Marriott boasted the largest pool in Hawaii, and I've got to say I'm not doubting them. It was pretty impressive, as was the whole resort itself. When I checked in, both the lady at the rental car place and the hotel clerk looked at my reservation and said "Sixteen days! Are you here working?" with an incredulous look. Apparently they don't get a whole lot of that.


Mark Twain called the Waimea Canyon on Kauai the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The man had a way with words. (If you read his Turkey post you might have noticed he has an affinity for canyons.)


One of the more interesting aspects of Kauai is their population of wild chickens. They are everywhere and all over the island.They're cute, until you realize they cock-a-doodle-doo at ALL times of the day, not just sunrise. The one above looked at me longingly as I ate my lunch by the pool. The mother hen and her seven chicks below accosted me at one of the canyon overlooks. I had to get another visitor to shoo them away from my car so I didn't accidentally run one over. 



I'll admit to working on my laptop some at the hotel, but I can say that's just not nearly as bad when this is your view.


In also what has to be one of the larger Koi ponds in existence, the Marriott had theirs just outside of the lobby, complete with a waterfall of their own. The fish were fed every morning at 0900, but any time of the day would swim up to you as you stood at the edge, hoping for a handout. The 9-year-old girl standing next to me one afternoon also proved that you could pet them.


I told you that my 9th floor balcony looked out onto the bay, but what I didn't mention earlier is that the bay is Nawiliwili Bay, where cruise ships dock when they are in Kauai. I got a pretty good picture as this Love Boat sailed away.


Next time you are in Hawaii, make it a point to go to Duke's. And the next time you go to Duke's, make sure and get a piece of Hula Pie. (I am sure he was missing me and my Cartman pie impression.)

I certainly enjoyed my time on the Garden Isle, but after two and a half weeks was ready to get back to my ohana (family in Hawaiian).

Until my next big trip -- mahalo and aloha, The Engineer.

4.23.2015

Thoughts on Thursday ... Flowers, Baseball & Hawaii

Good morning on a beautiful sunny Thursday! I have not been able to say that lately as it has rained almost every day this month, but one positive by-product is that the yard looks great and I spotted my first rose bloom this morning. I am sure it will find its way onto Instagram at some point today.  Onto Thoughts ...

Reading: books I have already read. I have been so disappointed by my reading selections this week. There is nothing that I enjoy more than getting lost in a good book but I have not found a story that captured my imagination. So for this week, I will recommend the book of a new author that I interviewed last week, "Fightisms: Using Your Past To Win Your Future." "Fightisms" is an inspirational narrative aimed towards young professionals and I was so impressed by Adyre when we spoke. What she has accomplished and where she is going  is truly awesome.
Writing: about vacation destinations, which is off the beaten path for an Army publication, I know. But every once in awhile we branch out and stretch our writing muscle. I also did a preview story on the Panoply Arts Festival, which I am hoping to get to at some point this weekend. I love Panoply and I really love The Indigo Girls!

Watching: my boy play baseball. He and his buddy R. played each other Tuesday night and while they were fierce competitors on the field, they were all smiles off. After seven seasons, we have friends on almost every team, which he likes -- and I do too, but it is tough on a momma! You want to cheer your kid but it is hard when another child that you know and like strikes out or is tagged stealing. Since our last Thoughts, he has pitched one game and did very well and played short for another with some good plays. He enjoys pitching but is so hard on himself. That is a lot of pressure on a ten-year-old for all eyes to be focused on you and so much riding on whether you throw a good pitch or not. I don't think he cracked a smile until the last inning when they moved him to third -- he visibly relaxed. He has struggled in his batting though and is frustrated right now. He needs a good hit tonight.

Feeling: happy because The Engineer is home after two and a half weeks in Hawaii. Yes, you read that correctly -- he has been in Hawaii for most of this month for work. 

We all should have been engineering majors. *shakes head at sociology degree* More on that tomorrow! I was able to tag along last time he had to travel to the Aloha State (from the early days when this blog was still called Yoga Gal, I referred to myself in the third person - cringe- and I had not discovered photo editing yet), but this time life called. We made it through fine with the biggest drama being an infestation of ants (seriously, I found thousands of ants in my kitchen but I took care of them), and a barfing incident in our foyer. If those are the worst things that happen, I consider this stint of solo parenting a success.
Experiencing: calendar stress. I have to work this evening and then leave from the event to take Little to a birthday party while The Engineer and Big are at the ballfield. What I want to be experiencing is the Melting Pot with my friends but duty calls. Sometimes being a responsible grownup is lame.
Happy Thursday!

Joining up with:

Thoughts for Thursday

4.17.2015

JJ is saving Star Wars

If anything ever was to prompt a bonus post on a Friday, it would be the release of the new Star Wars trailer.


I admit that the first time I watched it and Han and Chewie came on the screen, I teared up. The second time, I cried through the whole trailer. Yes, I am one of those people. In my defense, Star Wars is incredibly sentimental for me -- like millions of others of my generation. Return of the Jedi was the first movie that I ever saw in a theater. My dad took me when I was five and I still remember my fascination with the Ewoks (I was in kindergarten, don't judge). So it is completely understandable that I would be beside myself to see Han Solo for the first time since I was small. Or at least that is what I keep telling myself. But even my love of Star Wars does not approach my husband's -- whose mom still has his Millennium Falcon and all of the toy characters. There is a reason that we have a Star Wars poster in our rec room, my son has a light saber in his bedroom and my daughter owns a baby Wookie stuffed animal. And that is because we are unabashedly and unapologetically huge Star Wars fans. 

Darth Vader even made an appearance in our holiday card one year.


December cannot come fast enough.