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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome to Kauai

The flight from Honolulu to Lihue (lee-hoo-ee) is very short, but they still manage to serve a small juice cup. Funny, I was only served one round of drinks on the 7.5 hour flight from Dallas to Honolulu on American Airlines...We picked up our rental car at the airport and started driving with no destination in mind since we still had several hours until check-in time. I had The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook out, but it wasn't really necessary since there is one main road that goes around the island: 50/56/560 (it depends where you are).

Heading north from the airport, I saw a sign for Wailua Falls which I knew from all of my reading that it is a double waterfall about 175 feet high, which is taller than Niagara Falls. The falls go into a freshwater pool that is supposed to be illegal to hike down to, but people still do it - so we did. Those pictures are on a disposable waterproof camera that hasn't been developed yet, but here are some shots from the top, which is the way 95% of people see it.

The hike to the bottom was slippery and muddy, but we used the ropes left by other hikers to help us get up and down the steep inclines. Luckily there was another couple at the bottom to take a picture of us to prove that we hiked down (on the aforementioned camera).

We kept going north to Princeville which is where our studio rental was. I used to book both of our rentals. We were on the ground level of a small complex next to the St. Regis. The cliff was beautiful and we could hear the ocean crashing into the lava rock at night and in the morning while it was quiet outside. The mountains were visible from the front door of our rental (you can see those once I post more photos online). We had a delightful experience staying where we did, especially because we could cook our own food.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hawaiian Paradise

Back in February, right around the time Maryland was hit with the second +15 inch blizzard of the year (the one that shut my office down for one week), we booked a trip to Hawaii. We knew we wanted to take a trip this year since last year we were tied up building the house and missed a year of "real" travel. Brad left our destination up to me and since the Euro wasn't favorable to the dollar, I chose Hawaii. Now, we are already back from our vacation with lots of stories, scenery, and memories to share.

If you have read my blog lately, you also know that this really was our last "big hurrah" before a baby comes into the picture and I am grateful I have been feeling so well besides fatigue. Vacation is a time to take naps anyway, right? My upcoming posts will go through our vacation a few days at a time to show some photos and explain what they are of and where they were taken. You'll notice I have alot more to say about Kauai than Oahu. Not only did we spend more time there, but overall we enjoyed Kauai more - the scenery, the traveling, the people, etc. Also, by the time we got to Oahu on day 6, I think we were tired and really wanted to relax and veg out even more.

We spent one night in Waikiki to kickoff our trip. Actually, we spent one night in Waikiki because we found such a better deal on plane tickets that we decided to leave one day earlier than planned after our rental was already booked. So, we used some of my Hilton points, thanks to my regular NYC trips, and stayed for free in Waikiki. Our room had a wraparound balcony so we had views of Diamondhead and the ocean.

While Brad went for his run (cheer for him on 10/31 if you live in DC!) I walked along the street that runs along the beach and took pictures. Waikiki beach was not as pretty as I expected. The strip of sand was pretty narrow and it was very crowded. I guess that's what happens when you are a city on the beach where most tourists stay. There is a barrier that prevents waves from coming ashore which makes it a safer place for keiki (children) to swim.

We had a wonderful dinner at Duke's Canoe Club after getting wet trying to take pictures on the beach. Their salad bar was delicious, but their seafood luau was divine! Scallops, shrimp, fresh island fish and vegetables in coconut cream sauce, with steamed rice...mmmmm!

We were quite tired since HST is 6 hours behind EST, so after dinner we went right to bed. In the monring, we loaded into a 15 passenger van and headed back to the airport for our flight to Kauai.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

March BABY

Yes, that's right, we are expecting a March 2011 baby! That is, unless he/she comes a few days late and will be an April baby, but I digress. Brad and I are THRILLED to share our "baby news" with everyone although keeping it to ourselves and a small circle of parents, siblings, and our closest friends was also fun, albeit tricky at times.

We found out on July 21 that we were expecting and kept the news to ourselves for more than three weeks. On Friday, August 13th we had our first doctor's appointment and got to hear Lil' Squirt's heartbeat (148bpm). In case you would have been nervous about Friday the 13th and all the superstitions, my superstitions about that day were shattered last year when we finally got to move into our new home on Friday, Nov. 13th, so I was thinking even more positive thoughts this time around.

We told my mom that weekend while she was in town and told Brad's parents when they came over for dinner. I had ordered two onesies, one for each set of parents, to give to them to tell them about their first grandbaby. As you can see in the photo, my mom's said "I <3 My Nana" since that is how she refers to her "grandcat" and Brad's parents' said "My Grandma & Grandpa <3 Me." Needless to say all three grandparents were beyond excited!!

We had another doctor appointment yesterday and heard Squirt's heartbeat again (160bpm) and then decided to share the news with all since as of today I am 13 weeks 2 days pregnant. As you all know, in this day and age, when you share the news with the masses, you do it via Facebook. So, the news is out, it is beyond our small inner circle that it started out in and we are very grateful for the support and well wishes from our family and friends.

Wait...didn't I just get back from Hawaii? Yes we did, but we planned our trip and February and found out about the baby in July so it really did end up being our last big couples only hoorah - at least for a little while. Several posts on that to come :).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

End of Summer

Well friends, consider this my last post of the summer. We are taking off for our long-awaited much deserved Hawaiian getaway and when we return, it will officially be autumn. What better way to remember summer than with a precious little boy and his beloved corn on the cob??

The cutie is our friends' son and I love taking his picture!