January 31, 2011

Sea Duty!

I know it's been a while since my last post when I start getting emails from you all!  My explanation?  David has been home since his last school which ended on the 15th.  Having a full time husband around is a little like having a newborn!  Fun, but you don't get much done :) 

While you all were getting buried in snow...AGAIN (aren't you tired of that yet?) we did manage to tackle some household chores, play a few rounds of golf (yes, me included) and hit the beach with no kids!  Fear not taxpayers, the Navy has tracked him down and he reported aboard the mighty USS LAKE ERIE this morning. 

The girls are excited for Catholic Schools Week this week (translation...fun, games, and sugar for days!)  This morning I volunteered to serve cereal to the 6th graders, then watched Olivia (far left just over the man's right shoulder) perform a dance to "All of Creation" during mass.  Lot's of little voices singing to God - very sweet. 

After mass we moved outside for "field day!"  I may never get my voice back as I was in charge of two games which involved lots of shouting over loud music but the kids had a ball!

You know the rest; soccer, homework, food and laundry.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Often. 

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January 23, 2011

Rain, Rain, has gone away?

Hawaii's weather is always a little suspect in the winter.  No, it will never get to freezing but we do drop into the high 50's at night and can get a lot of rain. This year we have given new meaning to a lot of rain! 

We have had massive rain storms this year, which has created all sorts of flooding troubles on the islands.  Here on Oahu many of the beaches have been closed due to landfills running off into the water, high contaminate levels and unpredictable waves.  

We took a drive to the North Shore last weekend and stopped at Waimea Bay for a look.  As we got to the top of the beach it was empty with beach closed signs.  You weren't to go past the signs since they had been experiencing rogue waves breaking high up on the beach.  

Well, she can read now but she didn't bother.  Emily gets to the sand and starts running to the water.  Fast.  Of course she can't hear me yelling because of the wind and surf.  She got dangerously close to the water before the lifeguard got on his ATV and went after her.  I gave him my best "oopsy" look and he gave me his best "dumb @#$" look.  We slinked back to the car at that point. 

Emily's class is celebrating 100's day next week.  They had to make a poster with 100 items.  I'm sure her teacher is joining my fan club with the lifeguard.  By the time these candies were glued and had sat around for a few days they started melting and dripping off the board.  Yuck. 

They still predict heavy rain every day but it's been a few since we have seen any.  It's been hot and beautiful this weekend - just in time for soccer.  The Glitter Rays won their game and the Wolfpack tied 1-1.  Olivia is playing great, it must be the new $100 shoes.  That's a story for a different day.  David is still home for a week or so.  We are charging through the honey do list as I know from experience it may be the last work I get out of him for a while! 

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January 10, 2011

Lighthouse Hike

First things first...Emily is back on the field this season!  She (as girly as she is) is a tiger on the field.  They don't do red cards at this age in the league but they might want to reconsider ;) 

After only one practice they had their first game on Saturday and the "Glitter Rays" slayed the "Pink Butterflies".  I know, I know, but that's how 6 yr old girls roll

Luckily our neighbor and Bff's mom is our coach so our practices are right here in our housing area!  We didn't keep score of the game but it was lots to zero and Emily scored her fair share of the lots

Daddy was back to the airport on Sunday so instead of retail therapy (which after Christmas and birthdays must come to an end for a bit so my Visa card can stop smoking) we went on a hike to the lighthouse.

It was a gloriously clear day and we had a nice breeze to combat some of the heat.  It was still a pretty good trek for little feet all the way to the top. About 1.5 miles or so.  

We did a lot of whale watching on our way up.  They were pretty active - saw a bunch of blows and a few groups jumping around and breaching.

I didn't try too hard to get any whale shots, they never come out as impressive as just watching but that white blip in the center is one I happened to catch just as he went back under.  If you look real hard you can see Molokai and Lanai (two other islands) in the distance.

Our spouses hiking group is supposed to do this hike on Thursday and go down to swim in these tide pools.  Not sure how you get down there but it looked so refreshing!

We made it!!

Going down is the sweetest part :)
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January 5, 2011

Volcano. 29 miles

Yes!!!  I have to admit to being a big fan of the volcano and I haven't been to the Big Island since New Years Eve 1999. 

We had a fantastic trip - and took way too many photos of black lava but for now I'll just wow you with my highlights.  Slide show to follow.

Since I booked a year in advance we got to stay in the Eisenhower House - the VIP cottage that is part of the Kilauea Military Camp.  Apparently Eisenhower stayed here often and there were lots of cool photos of him throughout the cabin.

Luckily it came with a fireplace since it was "freezing" up there at 4000ft.  Well, 60 degrees or so but that is cold for us island folks!

Perfect for roasting marshmallows!

Our first full day we were all about the lava. We started at the top of the crater and saw the steam vents.  You would be amazed at the force of the air coming out of the cracks in the ground and how hot it is.  We were standing in front of this waiting for Emily to get a shot of us (let's just say she takes her time with the composition of the photo) and I had to jump away for fear of being burned up!

We took the rest of our shots a little further away!

After a quick stop at the museum and to get the latest "flow" update, we headed out for a short hike to the lava tubes.  You can't see much of the rain forest in this shot, just thought it was cute of Em!

Olivia got the best shot of the lava tube as we walked through.  Not much to see but very cool.  Thank goodness for Emily's new light up shoes!!

We then got in the car for a long drive down the "chain of craters road."  On this nearly 30 mile stretch of road you will see various old lava flows and craters as it winds down the mountain to the sea.  Last time I was here we parked the car at the end of the road (meaning where the lava flowed over it and therefore created the end of the road) and walked out on the newer, hardened flow to see the lava pour into the ocean.  

No lava flowing into the ocean this time and the "active flow" was actually outside the park. Only a few miles from the end of this road but to get to the other side we had to drive all the way back up, out of the park, to the next town and back down to the other side.  Might not be any active flow here but it was beautiful!!

They say that each year many acres are added onto the Big Island by the lava flowing into the sea.  

Olivia and I decided this was a good spot for our house!

Or maybe not.

Then we did some lava walking.  Lava for miles with no end to the shapes it can take.  This rounded smooth lava is called lapahoehoe (la pa ho a ho a) and is formed when the lava flows are slow and cool slowly.  The very rough jagged lava is called ahah (because you say ah, ah! when you try to walk on it) and it's formed when the lava flow is faster and cools very quickly.  David said this field looked like a pan of brownies!!

Of course you can still get hurt on this kind.  Like say if you step on a mound that is hollow and your foot breaks through it.  Yes, that would scrape you up pretty bad. 

Oh well, you can't very well follow lava if you are a woos. 

Emily took this shot above when we got to the actual lava flow sight.  She said it looked like Mary and Jesus.  I wonder if I could get anything for it on EBay?  Turn your head to the right...you know you want to.  She's right, it does. 

OK folks, the big reveal.  Here is the lava flow.  I must admit it was much more spectacular in person and I wish I knew how to put one of those little arrows on my photo but you are just going to have to work with me.  Center of the photo, just to the right of the mound, smooth blob coming right at you with a slight red glow to it.  Do you see it?  Inside that mound was also a "river" of lava flowing red but that didn't show up on my photos.  The USGS guy told us that all of the lava we were standing on was formed the night prior.  It was mesmerizing to watch, it moved slowly, darkened and moved more.  I could have watched for a long time but it was H.O.T out there in the Hawaiian sun standing on black lava!

Pele isn't good with boundaries I'm afraid and what was a cute little neighborhood a few weeks ago is no more except for a few houses that the lava went around.  

I like to call this shot "Lucky SOB!"  He is the only guy with a house or grass for many miles!

OK, back up to 4,000 + feet and another crater that is only spewing sulfuric gas at the moment.  Apparently a few miles below is a molten lava lake.  

Inside this museum we learned of a green sand beach on the southernmost tip of Hawaii (and the US).  The green sand was formed by the lava picking up Olivine on the way to the ocean and then the lava rock breaking apart in the waves releasing the mineral on the beach.  

No getting to that one without 4WD and some good hiking legs but I took this photo of the museum photo so you could see.  Looks pretty good, I could've passed it off like we were there!

Although the weather didn't cooperate with us this day we did head to the black sand beach.  I would imagine this would be hot too on a better day!

We drove around and went to the town of Hilo and saw "Rainbow Falls".  The Big Island appropriately named.  Things are very spread out and it takes a long time to get anywhere. Nothing to do sometimes but take goofy photos of yourself in the car...

We are in for another exciting year.  David reports to USS LAKE ERIE in a few weeks as XO and will assume command in the fall.  Bring it on 2011!!

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