Looking for the aloha in life

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Headed Home

(Note to readers:  I didn’t get to finish this post until tonight, a week late.  Sorry for the confusion but we have been home for a week now:) Well, today is the dreaded day we head home.  Actually, it’s not dreaded; we are excited to get back to our new home in the city and all the exciting things we have planned for 2020.  But, if you have read anything on this blog, you know these are my least favorite days.  We did, however, make the most of this day by leaving the condo at 10 and driving north towards Hawi.  This is the cutest little town of bookstores and art galleries that you hit before driving to the end of the road, literally.  Continue reading

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Crazy Times at Hapuna Beach Park

Outside Pele’s Wok, a great little restaurant in the Mauna Lani shops where we celebrated the new year and met a cute local couple who work as photojournalists. (Which might be Mikes dream job)

If anyone reading this finds a brown Chaco, size 9 in the sand or marshy area of Hapuna Beach, it’s ours!

Yeah, the last full day of our vacation we were once again reminded of how things can take a turn in an instant when it comes to dealing with the ocean.

We decided to venture to a different beach on this day, one that’s been written up in magazines as a Top 5 beach in all the world. Hapuna is a favorite of ours and one we’ve been to on several occasions. We’ve always enjoyed ourselves here.

On this day, the waves were… big gigantic! Continue reading

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More Beach Time

Once again, we have had to recover from the last couple of epic days on the other side of the island.  This is not a bad thing.  I love recovery days.  Days that are unplanned, unscheduled, un-anything. To me, that means freedom, relaxation, and no stress because no expectations. We woke up and, of course, made our coffee run for the boys’ Estate of the Day coffees and wondered what to make for dinner in the evening.  Casually, Dan reminded us that while we were enjoying a couple cold beverages on the beach last night, we had him make us a reservation at Napua for dinner. Continue reading

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(Warning!  The last two days have been so jam packed, I want to remember every detail.  So this one is gonna be a long one!)

The last 48 hours were… amazing. Absolutely amazing.
We woke up Saturday planning to hit the road for our special adventure ASAP but the beach called us. We took a family swim at 8 am. I’m now convinced every day should start with a family swim in the Pacific. Dan and Mike took Casey out snorkeling and they saw an eagle ray (think Mr. Ray in Finding Nemo)… super rare to see. Casey swam 100 yards in all by herself and we were all very proud of her. I stayed closer to shore of course but still tried to enjoy the ocean water on my skin.

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Recovery Day

The title should actually read Recovery Trip because that is what I was hoping for this vacation. I was really banking on the healing waters of the Pacific to cure my various ailments that have plagued me for basically all of 2019. I don’t like to sound whiny but I’m going to name them here only so that in a year or two, when I am (hopefully) feeling better, I can read this and remember to feel grateful for my health because honestly, I feel kind of shitty these days. The whack-a-mole game I play every day Continue reading

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Who’s your Hula Daddy?

Last night, Christmas Night, was one of the best meals I think I’ve ever experienced. Peter Merriman, owner of Merriman’s in Waimea, definitely outdid last night with his prix fix meal of butternut squash soup amuse bouche, goat cheese salad with the freshest baby greens, and marinated opakapaka on a bed of whipped potato purée and delicate asparagus. Not to mention, my (two!) lilikoi margaritas with some sort of spicy but sweet sugar rim were straight from heaven, I’m sure. We had a fabulous time celebrating Continue reading

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So, you want to visit Hawaii Island…

Lately, I have been getting a lot of requests for recommendations and info from friends who are interested in checking out Hawaii Island for themselves.  I thought I would just put out this list of our recommendations (as they stand now; of course hotels, restaurants, and even little things like, oh lava coming out of the ground create changes all the time so, while I will try to keep this list updated, it may or may not reflect the latest and greatest of what is going on and where to be on the island.)

Two great references I would recommend utilizing Continue reading

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The Last Day (Womp, Womp)

It’s Friday night, 7:08 Hawaii time and all 10 of us are settled in our seats on Flight 239 from KOA to DFW.  We just took off and have already crossed the island, heading east over the beautiful but dark Pacific, the sun having set over an hour ago. We are all seated close together, Mike and Casey across the aisle, Shelby and Luke next to me, with more Strawns in the rows behind and in front of us, a fact I find both fitting and comforting.  I am going to miss all the action and spice that the Strawn 6 bring to our days Continue reading

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Wild Surf; Day 8


Mike caught this of the Milky Way last night out on the lava.  Seriously, the stars are insane out here!

Our last full day on the island.  I am not going to lie.  I don’t want to come home.  I am not ready.  The kids, however, (all but Dan) are ready to come home.  Especially Bodie.  That poor boy has had a tummy ache, been hit in the foot, and today he was stung by a bee on the way back from watching the surfing lesson.  Less than 24 hours from now Continue reading