Waikiki Brewing Co.

Now that Bean is past the newborn age, we are getting out and exploring more these days. Especially food for dinner. (Because did I mention that every one of my kids have had crazy fussy periods as newborns that lasted all evening and really made any evening activity or event impossible? No bueno.)

We are food people. J and I have literally planned trips around places we will stop to eat. We like food.

Today we made it over to the Waikiki Brewing Company.

We’ve driven passed it a thousand times and have commented we should go, but it took us this long to actually make it.

I will tell you, the parking is not exceptional. It’s very limited, which could make things pretty tricky during peak times. But literally right next door to it is a small garage with extra parking, though it does cost $5. In fairness, parking pretty much anywhere in Oahu, especially in Honolulu, is often less than ideal.

The waitstaff was fantastic and crazy friendly. They engaged my kiddos and were very attentive of our needs, happily moving some tables around to accommodate us since their large tables were all all ready occupied.

It was a kid-friendly place, which is pretty imperative for us as we typically have small people in tow. It was loud with music, lots of space to get their crazies out if needed (they actually didn’t this time!), and they had a Mrs. Pac Man arcade game available to play; and if I’d needed to send the big kids over with a stack of quarters I would have, but they were amazingly content the whole time.

Sweet M was particularly fond of checking out the brewery section where the giant bats were hard at working creating beer.

I will be honest, I am not a beer person. A few ales in England struck my fancy, and a warm cider in Belgium, but that’s it thus far. So while J and his cousin tried out beer samplers, I treated myself to a Maui Mai Tai. It was delicious, and apparently the beer wasn’t half bad either.

Also, the food was great. I didn’t get to taste a proper dinner as I’d had a large lunch, but I had the arugula and goat cheese salad and I ate ever last morsel. No joke. And some lovely older auntie came over and swooped my baby out of my arms and danced and loved on her so that I could eat said salad. Have I mentioned how much I adore the people in Hawaii? They’re all so loving and helpful and friendly. The way the world should be.

It was a fantastic dining experience and we will be returning customers for sure! We were so impressed with the Waikiki Brewing Company!

Paradise Cove

Luau’s aren’t just for tourists! We’ve had the fun opportunity to attend a few recently and they’re a definite must-do for tourists and locals alike.

Recently we ventured to Paradise Cove’s Luau with family, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

But I was in for a huge surprise by how fun it was! It wasn’t as hokey as I imagined. The entertainment was spectacular and the food delicious.

Located on the beautiful Ko’olina Lagoon beach, which was admittedly a bit of a trek from our Honolulu home during rush hour (so if you’re venturing over there from Honolulu/Kailua, I’d suggest giving yourself plenty of time or just going early and making a day of it at the beach beforehand), the views were utterly breathtaking. We couldn’t have asked for a better location!

They had so many games for kids and adults alike to enjoy, and ample time for everyone to get as many turns as they wanted

The kids especially enjoyed their “boat ride” aka getting to ride in a Hawaiian outrigger canoe.

There were great little kiosks set up for purchasing Hawaiian delights if you so chose, but you also received lei’s upon arrival and won seashell necklaces at all the games, so little kids hoping for souvenirs can be easily appeased without spending a dime, which is really nice, too!

The show put on both before dinner and during dinner was outstanding! The kids were absolutely enthralled, which made staying out past bedtime an enjoyable experience (you know, with no meltdowns).

Plus, we were there before Christmas so everyone got to see Hawaiian Santa which was pretty fun, and my little nephew was absolutely mesmerized by Mrs. Hula Claus; we had to separatedm him and put him over on Grandma’s lap to keep him from gawking.

Miss H has all ready requested we attend a luau for her birthday she loved it that much!

Paradise Cove Luau really does take the cake for entertainment and beauty, and the food was delicious to boot! I would recommend this Luau tenfold for anyone wanting a family friendly Luau that is certain to give you a lot of bang for your buck!

Big Island: Day 6

We could have without a doubt spent another week on the Big Island and still not have done and seen everything we wanted. It is definitely an island that locals and tourists alike don’t want to miss out on.

Our last day on the island started out bright and early as we were staying at the Volcano all week and were starting out our last day whale watching on the Kona side.

We departed by 5am so we wouldn’t be late, as it’s an easy 2+ hour trek to the other side.

Our whale watching tour was with Ocean Sports who did an amazing job. I would definitely do another whale watching experience with them, or even other water activities.

You guys.


Like up close and in person, beautiful, majestic, humpback whales.

Anyone who knows me well knows that whales are my favorite animal in the world.

They’re my spirit animal.

I’ve dreamt of seeing whales in the wild since I was a little girl.

Getting to see two from the shore only days prior was amazing. But this.

This was unbelievable.

They swam. They splashed. They danced.

We saw over 15 out in the bay just living life and putting on a show for us.

It was the most Ocean Sports had seen this entire season, and more than the captain said they often see in one day at any point during the season.

I’m telling you.

They knew I was coming.

This could have been all we saw and did on this vacation and I’d have been pleased as punch if we are being wholly honest.

It’s been on my bucket list most of my life, and this month I got to cross it off, along with running a marathon (more about that on a later day).

We had to catch our flight back to Oahu after this, but still, it was a full and wonderful day! I can’t wait to go back some day.

Big Island: Days 4 & 5

Wednesday it was rain.

All. Day. Rain.

But we still made the best of it.

We had a leisurely morning crawling out of bed and getting a start to our day. Then we headed into Hilo where they have their big Wednesday Farmer’s Market.

It was really cute with hundreds of vendors. And it was a true farmer’s market, not something set up for tourist.

I took exactly zero photos because I was too caught up in the moment, plus, rain. Lots of rain.

The boys both got Aloha outfits. Mr. B has been wanting an Aloha shirt to match Papa, and Sweet M wants everything B has, of course.

Then we grabbed some pork kabobs from a local food truck. It was a bit of a wait, but truthfully, so worth it. It was so tasty!

The we headed over to the Mokupapapa Discovery Center.

It was a super cute little place that had a 2500 gallon aquarium and talked about protecting the ocean. The kids really enjoyed it and it got us out of the rain!

Then we grabbed a smoothie treat to calm the hangries.

And we headed back for an early retirement because we were all exhausted.

Thursday we had another long morning getting ourselves together. Bean was all ready down for a nap by the time we made it to breakfast.

Then we headed north of Hilo to Botanical World for the day. Lush gardens. Tropical rain forest. So. Much. Beauty.

Plus, there were all my favorite people enjoying nature, and really, there is no better way to enjoy the outdoors than watching my kiddos love it so!

I have no idea what kind of spider this is, but it was wicked looking!

Jackfruit. M thought it was the best thing ever!

I am a huge fan of the rainbow eucalyptus trees! Nature definitely knows what it’s doing!

Gah! These are my two favorite girls in all the world. I’m so happy that they each have a sister. I can attest to how special sisters are in this world.

I love so much about J. Really, just about everything other than his snoring. And how when he explains something he repeats himself like 50 times until you want to tell him to just stop all ready. But really, he’s amazing. But watching him be Papa to our kids. That’s it. That’s what does it for me. I don’t think I will ever get over how amazing he is with those small people.

After we spent most of the day outdoors we grabbed some coffee (for me) and milkshakes (for everyone else) at an amazing little drive thru and then headed to see our last night of red lava (the picture does it zero justice).

And for our last day: whale watching!

Big Island: Days 2 & 3

I started the morning off freezing. That’s right, freezing my butt off. And no, this isn’t just because I’ve lived on an island for over six months and now bundle everybody up in 76° weather. There are heaters in our hotel. It does get cold here.

The girls and I all woke up with a nasty cold (also, can I add how much I still love being able to say girls? Plural.) Stuffy head, scratchy throat, drippy nose. Good times. Thanks, vog.

After we all took our sweet time getting ready, we grabbed a quick breakfast and then started our day.

Our first stop was the Jaggar Museum where we could see a large crater and some great steam vents. Inside, the kids and I read about the goddess Pele and her story of creating the volcanoes in Hawaii. (J tried to do work. I threatened to throw his phone in the crater. )

Then we headed into Hilo to Rainbow Falls, which is a part of the Waikulu River. They’re beautiful and breathtaking.

The kiddos played around in a nearby banyon tree, enjoying nature at its finest.

Then we headed up the road to the boiling pots of the Waikulu River. It was a really pretty spot and we likely would have walked down to enjoy the actual water if not for having the two tinies.

Then we were off for lunch. We stopped at Lucy’s Taqueria which was…meh. But I probably am an unfair judge when it comes to Mexican food because I compare it all to J’s and yeah, no one can beat that. But they did have an awesome little kid play area which kept my crazies occupied, so ultimately, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone with kids.

After lunch we visited the Mauna Loa macadamia farm, which is just as touristy as it sounds. But they offer free samples and self-guided tour of the factory process, so the kids were all quite intrigued and pleased.

Then we let the big kids play at a local playground while the babies slept and really, just like that our day was somehow over.

That night J slept on the couch with M because these full sized beds are for the bees. Needless to say, Bean and I slept great, as did Sweet M, but J…not so much.

We walked over to the local Java cafe the next morning and grabbed a coffee before hitting up the breakfast joint (their coffee is surprisingly terrible. Like, I actually threw away my coffee the day before and that never happens).

Once we had fed and mostly happy kids we headed to the Thurston Lava Tubes.

I cannot describe how magnificent this island is or how wondrous the volcano area is. It’s just so blaringly obvious how the world is just so much bigger and more powerful than any of us mere humans.

After leaving the lava tube we walked back through the fern forest to our parking area. The forest was gorgeous and lush. And full of lions, hehe!

Then we hiked, in the rain, down the Kilauea Iki trail and into the giant crater. It was like being in another world, walking amongst an earth of dried lava and minimal green growth and several steam pockets. What an awe invoking experience.

By the time we made it back up the slippery trail to the top, M was demanding “yummy yummy!” Which is how he tells us he is hungry, ha.

So we hit up a little local joint outside the volcano park, and then proceeded to drive through the park and take on the vastness and beauty of it by car while the babies slept.

Okay, and then I fell asleep in the car too so J parked it and took the big kids out to venture through some more steam vents while the babies and I snoozed. In fairness, I have a 3-month-old and a 22-month-old. And traveling is exhausting.

I’ve been wanting to check out the Volcano Winery since we got here and I saw it on the map, so we headed over there once I woke up.

J and I are each wearing a babe and a gentleman commented, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full and you still are able to drink wine.”

I just chuckled and said, “They’re probably the reason we find time to drink wine.”

I mean, let’s be honest. I’ve drank more wine since becoming a parent. Then again, I had my first baby when I was 21. So… Causation or correlation?

Anyway, the guava-grape wine was delicious and we got some to take home.

We grabbed dinner at a local place not far from where were staying called Lava Rock Cafe. It was super yummy. And then we headed back to the hotel to get everyone put to bed, later than we prefer, so we can prepare for another busy day tomorrow.

Big Island: Day 1

Oh boy, I have no idea how my droopy eyelids are still open. Today started out shortly before 4:30am, and it’s not like I awoke after a nice, long, restful sleep, what with a darling 3 month old and all.

But the H1 was so sparse by the time we hit the road at 5:30am to catch our early flight to the Big Island, that if that was the normal traffic around here I’d be tempted to stay on Oahu forever. Alas.

Anyway, we decided this year to go on a proper family vacation as our Christmas gift to one another. A whole lot of undivided togetherness. We may be rethinking the brilliance of this, ha. But we haven’t had a legitimate family vacation since I was pregnant with Sweet M, so it was time. Yes, we’ve travelled a ton, but it’s all been work-related or to visit loved ones – fun, of course, but not a family vacation.

Anyway, we chose the Big Island because J has been here and it’s super close and there is just so much to do and see. I’m going to need to be able to drink a lot more before ever traveling far with Sweet M again after flying to Oahu from the mainland. Kidding, just kidding. Maybe.

Anyway, it was a our first flight all together as a family of six, so that was cool. And the flight was short enough that no one lost their minds. B may or may not have been devastated that I didn’t allow him to bring any electronics on this trip. As I said, a whole lot of togetherness.

Our first line of business, after acquiring our rental vehicle, was acquiring breakfast. We went to a local joint we were pointed to, and out of kindness I won’t mention their name. The food was so-so but the service was awful. Fortunately I was hungry enough to let it go.

The kids were acting kind of cray-cray so J and I agreed to just enjoy the day doing and seeing the things we really wanted to do and they’d just have to pull it together. Not our normal kid show.

So we headed south in the direction of where we were staying and first hit up Captain Cook’s Monument. The kids weren’t terribly impressed but they at least indulged me by getting out of the car with me while J stayed with the sleeping babies.

Then we were off to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, where the kids were given scavenger hunt sheets with various Hawaiian words and definitions, and snippets of photos to find and match with the words.

We ventured through the historic sites and enjoyed the beautiful coastline.

And sea turtles!

The kids were absolutely enthralled with the lava rock beach. Miss H caught a hermit crab and retreated to the sweet serene of herself being one with nature, while Sweet M explored the shallow puddles and Mr. B acted the ninja, jumping from rock to rock.

There was so much history and culture and richness to be explored here. If it weren’t for our rumbling tummies and being a bit hot (it was the desert side!), I could have spent a lot more time there.

We stopped for gas and snacks before heading further toward our destination.

J decided to detour to the southern most peak of the island, which is also the most southern point of the United States.

As we drove nearer to the water I saw what looked like a white wave in the distance. The water was fairly calm and I didn’t think it was a wave, but I also didn’t want to make assumptions only to be let down.

But oh my goodness was I right!

A whale!!!

I saw it surface and go back under. The second J parked I grabbed Bean and hightailed it to the whale, leaving the others behind.

I stood on the shore all alone, feeding my baby, watching two whales surface over and over again. And then I witnessed the famous whale tail from the water.

It will go down as one of the most peaceful, beautiful moments of my life. The feelings of being in the presence of one of the greatest creatures in the world, oh my goodness. It’s indescribable.

I cannot wait to go whale watching and be even closer. Such beauty. Such power. Such grace.

By this time we were starving, having missed lunch all together as it was now passed 5pm (the Big Island is, um, big). So we loaded up our crazies and finally stopped at a little restaurant on our way, still, to our lodging.

The food was fairly decent, the waitstaff friendly, and the weather beautiful.

By the time we finally made it to the Volcano where we are staying all the kiddos were out so J drove further down the road so I could get out and see the amazing lava and the red glow that fills the sky here.

It’s been a long, beautiful, eventful day. I am so, so thankful for this life I lead.

Snow Fest at Bellows

We packed the kids up yesterday and headed over to one of our favorite beaches – Bellows! On base they were having a snow fest and the idea of 12 tons of snow was definitely alluring!

The kids were so excited to see “snow” and have a few snowball fights.

Sweet M wasn’t too impressed. Mostly, he was just happy to have his shovel. And happy to get away from the snow. (I feel ya, kid).

He was thrilled with the cookies and hot cocoa though! I mean, what kid doesn’t love a hot cocoa bar with an array of toppings? Even Momma got excited to see dark chocolate curls, because, dark chocolate. Life doesn’t get better than that.

We also took a stroll on the beach, where the wind was mighty and the waves were fierce. But it felt like, dare I say it? Home. This place is really feeling like home.

The Snow Fest was super crowded, but the kids had a blast. No one wanted to spend time in the long line to see Santa Claus, so instead they stood next to the blow-up Santa so Momma could snap a festive shot.

(Mr. B does have proper fitting sweaters. He just insists on wearing Sweet M’s.)

Bean slept through the whole event. It was a short, but fun little fest that we will for sure attend again next year if we are around!

I can’t wait to see what other fun events are around the island to get us prepped for celebrating a mele kalikimaka!

Kolekole Trail

One hike here in Oahu that I read about and knew we wanted to check out was the Kolekole Trail at Schofield Barracks.

It was touted as being a fairly easy hike (and I haven’t bought proper hiking shoes yet, I’m totaling Birkenstocking it right now), semi-shades (remember the heat and my Norwegian blood?), and the views were promised to breathtaking (aren’t they all here, though?).

The only catch was that Kolekole Trail is only open for hiking a handful of times throughout the year. 

Well, wasn’t it our luck that it was open over the 4th of July weekend then? 

I knew we needed to take advantage of this trail asap because who knows what may or may not happen throughout the year, and I definitely didn’t want to miss this opportunity. 

So Sunday we loaded up the kids and headed to the other side of the island for another day of fun in the great outdoors. 

The hike up was fairly steep in some places, but that didn’t hold anyone back. Not J with a napping Sweet M on his back. Not me and my big ol’ pregnant belly. Not Miss H in her dress (you can totally hike in a dress!). And not Mr. B who insisted he didn’t like hiking and yet was sprinting like a tazmaninan devil all over the place, light years ahead of us all. 

We were so rewarded on this hike with various look out points. Each one gorgeous. 

I actually had a dream a few nights ago that Mr. B fell off a cliff. Like, plop! It just happened and there was nothing to be done. I woke up in a cold sweat all panicky because it was one of those dreams that seemed real. So most of this hike I was just biting my tongue really hard because suddenly it was all I could think of and I didn’t want to ruin his fun when he was clearly safe at all times. 

We got to one look out point that was breath taking. A gentleman was flying his  quadcopter, which the kids and J (okay, especially J) thought was really cool. 

We sallyforthed further and were of course rewarded. 

This island, y’all. I apologize if I just spend the next year gushing about how pretty this place is.

I’m not sure which view is better here: the amazing landscape or the amazing man wearing his sleeping toddler.

On our way back down we came upon a guy with his two dogs. The larger dog lunged for Mr. B. He slightly scratched him but if B hadn’t had such great reflexes, he’d easily be missing a chunk of his face right now. J and I were super calm, although the owner was quite blasé about the whole situation when J kindly, but firmly suggested he either keep his dog on a shorter leash or not bring him out around people. 

We didn’t want the kids to be scared suddenly of dogs by stating the very scary relating of the situation in the terms that the dog realistically could have badly hurt or even killed B in a split second. But we did make it a learning experience and talk to them about how it’s situations like this that we’ve always taught them to ask first before ever approaching someone’s animal, and to also never approach a stray or wild animal. 

We also discussed with them why it was so important that if they ever own an animal they really know their animal’s temperament and if the animal gets anxious, scared, aggressive, etc., around certain people or all people because it would be their job to protect their animal both from such an unfortunate situation, as well as making sure all other people are safe because in the event where an animal injures a human, especially a child, it is not uncommon for it to be required that the animal be put down. And what a tragic situation that would be, especially if they knew the animal got scared around people and was just reacting instinctually. 

Needless to say, Miss H was horrified and heartbroken by such a thought, but if (when…) they do finally get a pet one day, you can bet they will be so well-prepared. 

After the hike we ventured to a nearby coffee bean farm and sampled some tea and played in the coffee bean trees. 

We then finished our day off at home by chalk dyeing two little kids’ hair that were over the moon delighted that their momma said yes. 

It’s true, I’ve not been terribly fun since we moved here. I’ve been so focused on other things and trying to make this transition easy for them that I think I’ve been making it significantly harder. I want everything to be normal and great and happy, and obviously big changes aren’t instantaneously dreamy. But this stuff doesn’t really come with a full proof manual, so I’m basically making it up as I go at this point. 

But they’re going to be okay. I’m going to be okay. And I know this move is such a great thing for our family. Nothing good in life comes without challenges.  

A Week In Our New Home

We got the keys to our house last Friday. So today officially marks the end of a full week here. Seven days.

In so many ways, it feels like we’ve been here for an eternity. And in other ways, it feels like we’ve hardly been here at all.

The house is adorable. It’s small and quaint; a robust 800 ft.². But there are two bedrooms, a bathroom, and kitchen, plus living space, so it works. It’s enough. And I am such a believer of letting things be enough in the season.

The folks who rented it before us were very religious. So I’m finding all kinds of interesting scripture verses along doorways and on the walls. The little ones in the doorways are hardly noticeable unless you truly know. But one huge one they had on the main living room wall, they did try to repaint. But it bleeds through and you can still read the scripture verse that was there.

I don’t mind the godliness; I am Catholic after all. But I don’t like the aesthetics of it.

There’s a quaint front yard with a perfect climbing tree for the kids. They spend a lot of time there. And quite a large backyard with lots of room to run and play. And a coconut tree; which hopefully doesn’t bluegeon someone to death when falling to the ground.

There is no air conditioning, which is definitely taking some getting used to for my Norwegian blood. Despite being up on a mountain and having some amazing tradewinds, it still gets hot and stuffy inside during peak hours. In the afternoon it can often be warmer inside and outside. And at night it actually gets cold. Go figure.

In general, the people here are all extremely kind. Our neighbkra are fantastic. They made us a homemade mango cake and leant us a table and chairs to borrow  until our stuff arrives.

Which, oh, by the way, we won’t have our possessions until roughly July 24. Yes. You read that right. That’s a long time to live on air mattresses and with paper plates, ha ha.

Oh, and only one vehicle.

We got lucky and our van arrived and made it through customs yesterday. So we picked up in the late afternoon. Which was a much needed blessing for the kids and I. It offered us the opportunity to get out of the house and get familiar with the town since we’ve been stuck in the house while J is at work. We will have to figure something out once he returns the rental car tomorrow thoug because I’m not very willing to give him the van back until the end of July.  I am not cut out to sit in the house all day long. Mentally, I will go downhill fast.

But we discovered the public library, we toured the YMCA, which I’m on the fence about because despite my best intents, I never used it while we were in Indiana either. And then the kids twisted my arm and we went out to eat. OK, it took them all of saying “hey, let’s go there!” Because the most affordable groceries here are Costco. Which means we’re buying everything in bulk. Which means we’ve been eating the same chicken and sweet potatoes for a week now. 

But by golly, they were the three sweetest angel children having dinner with me. 

This cutie sat in the high chair for the whole meal AND threw nothing on the floor. That never happens!

It rains a lot. But I feel like it mirrors my feelings at times. It doesn’t pour, but a light drizzle here and there throughout the day. And it does rain throughout most of the night. It’s needed and refreshing, and definitely helps keep the edge off the heat.

And every drizzle is always accompanied with an amazing rainbow in our backyard. So who could ever complain about that?

We spent one day hiking at the national park right up the mountain from us. It took us about 35 minutes to walk there, without a baby carrier or stroller. And Sweet M walked the whole way. He even walked the whole hike other than his 45 minute nap. We were out and about walking for over four hours. My back ached a little after it was all over, but it was definitely the outside we needed.

Driving here is way easier than I anticipated. Despite being a huge city, it’s not bad. It does get busy, but people are pretty courteous.
Next week I finally meet with my midwife. We also arranged to tour the birthing center, but it’s about an hour away so it seems unlikely for many reasons that ut would ever work for us. An hour away just seems too long to be in the car in labor, and I’m not certain mentally I could ever be okay and not stressed out giving birth anywhere other than my home. Homebirth isn’t for everyone, and I totally respect that, but the idea of being anywhere where I’m not 100% in control of myself, my body, and my baby, just gives me a lot of anxiety.

Today we ventured to the beach. Morgan learned to say the word “duck.” His vocabulary has really taken off since getting tubes in his ears. He was never “behind” developmentally, but there is some reassurance hearing him be more on part to where his siblings were verbally at this age. 

I really wish I could properly photograph them in the beach and in the ocean. But, someone obviously has to watch them, and right now this has been a one woman show every time we’ve been. Maybe this weekend. Because all three of their faces are nothing but pure joy in the water. It needs to be captured.

After Sweer M took a nap we explored a local place called the Art Explorium that’s only about a mile from our house. For five dollars a kid, they could make all the trash, er, art that their hearts could possibly desire.

And per usual our evening ended with a rainbow (after eating a chicken and sweet potato frittata, hah).

I’ve definitely been feeling the isolation here. Despite being an introvert, I thrive on being out of the house, and talking to at least someone. But the only adult I talk to most days is my husband. And though he’s amazing, he doesn’t get home until after 6 PM. When we are waking up before 6AM that can make for a long day. 

But really, it’s beautiful here. The views are breathtaking. I know once we have our possessions and are officially settled in things will get easier. Transitions are hard. Transitions with kids are harder. But the experience is worth it and the kiddos are thriving and really, that’s what is most important right now. 

Our Last Day of Our Hawaiian “Vacation”

We are here. In Hawai’i. On the island of Oahu, making Honolulu our hometown. I’ll make a seperate post later just about the getting here. It was…interesting.

We arrived Sunday afternoon (night for us). It was sunny and humid and hot and immediately my kids were melting. 

I could tell they were all ready questioning their parents wisdom and if we really made this leap with their best interests at heart (we did). Because who drags you away from everything you know so that you can literally melt? 

We quickly remedied their worries by the beach. 

Because how can you question anything when your life consists of the beach?

Monday was a holiday so J didn’t have to dive into work quite yet.

We spent the day getting familiar with our surroundings.

We got a Costco membership and bought the kiddos some boogie boards. I died over the price of steak in this town ($70/4 pack), but was pleasantly surprised with the price of almond milk ($9.99/3 half gallons). 

I ran into Safeway, the local grocery store, for a pregnant lady potty break and observed that a rotisserie chicken is $10.99! Yo, that’s my go-to healthy, cheap, dinner back in IN when we are in a hurry. And there they’re $5…so…bout that. But I can get two whole organic chickens at Costco for $20 so we will be eating a lot of chicken. Because I will never be a vegetarian because nothing kills my gut quite like beans, and soy freaks me out for reasons I can’t explain. I need my meat. 

I knew that they had a no plastic bag policy, but forgot when packing day came so all of our re-usable bags are currently…somewhere in transit. Walking out of Target lugging 6 ice cold bottles of water was probably a humorous sight for others.

I signed the lease agreement to our house here in Honolulu. It was a very grown up moment for me. I’m nearly 30 with (almost) four kids, but I’ve never signed a lease, ha. Bought a house and a few cars, but never truly rented.

Since we don’t get the keys to our house until Friday, we’ve been staying at the Marriott. We’ve been here a few times, so at least it’s familiar. 

They have the best breakfast, which is saying a lot coming from this girl who isn’t a breakfast person. And Waikiki beach is literally across the street and set up perfectly for kids with a retaining wall to keep out large creatures and prevent strong currents. Plus, the big kids can touch pretty much the whole way, and are both strong swimmers, so I feel comfortable letting them do their thing while I keep an eye on them and play with M. 

We’ve spent lazy mornings on the beach, chilling in the room during the hottest part of the day while M naps and the big kids relish in cable television. And then afternoons back on the beach. 

Y’all, I cannot complain. 

It’s beautiful here. 

There have been meltdowns and tears, some from the kids too, because even good changes are hard; and I know as the “vacation” part of this move ends, things will get a bit more overwhelming before they get normal, but I also know they’ll be so worth it. 

J is all ready fully submersed in work and loving it. And that means so much to me because I’ve seen him when he loves his work and when his work is just a necessity to pay the bills. When he loves it, it’s an awesome thing. 

Tomorrow we take possession of our house. We move the few possessions we currently have into what will be our home. And we start to figure out what life in Honolulu is going to be like for us.

I’d be a liar if I said it wasn’t all a bit daunting, but I’ve never been one to turn down an adventure, and I know this will be such a great experience for our family.