Monday, October 22, 2012

football, pumpkins and the beach.

We had a busy weekend!! So much fun when there is so much to do to make the days go by just a bit faster.
tough football face
Saturday Big A had his second football game. Go Steelers (said in best supportive mom voice, I don't understand why this game is so popular!) Then I went for a treadmill run, then to a birthday party and then when we got home I decided, you know what sounds like fun? I'm going to move all the furinutre downstairs by myself! Yes, this is a great idea!! Until about 2 hours into it and I realized I had no neighbors or husband to help me move the tv....I got done, but not my finest hour or hours.... I do like the new set up though. So there is a positive!

pumpkin cannons
Sunday we woke up excited for a fun day!! Our greatest island friends the Rogers, met at our house. We piled all 4 kids and paraphernalia into the car and off we went to the Waimanalo County Farms Pumpkin Patch. WOOOHOOO!!! There is nothing like a view of the Pacific while pretending its fall and walking around rows of pumpkins. It did end up being a bit overcast and breezy which was a nice change from last year when it was blazing sun and no wind.

look hay..its fall!
so handsome
a real life pascal!
my pretty baby girl
We bought tickets and off the kids went wanting to do this or that. They shot ping pong balls out of an air cannon, trying to hit pumpkins and tires. They painted pumpkins, held a chameleon, sat on a tractor and caused ran like wild children through the pumpkins. In simple words..they had FUN! We picked up some country lemonade and hayride mix (roasted,salted peanuts with candy corn) try it, tastes like a snickers bar. Delicious!
hayride mix..yum

view from the fields.

And where do you go after the pumpkin patch you ask. THE BEACH of course. We headed over to Bellows AFS to play in the waves. The kids had a blast with Anastasia and I hung back in the shade and let them play. We even had the budding of a romance that kept us giggling!

After playing at the beach we met our other husband-less friend and her girls for dinner at Gyu-Kaku. Its a Japanese BBQ place where you cook your own meat. I love paying to make my own dinner. We had some issues and were finally seated and enjoyed a meal with our children. By the time we got home it was 9 on a school night so off to bed the kiddos went and I wasn't too far behind!

What a whirlwind weekend! Wonder what kind of trouble we can get into next weekend :) Hope everyone had a great and eventful weekend too!

Friday, October 12, 2012

from Hawaii, to California, to Nevada, to Arizona and back to Nevada all in one day!

Ok, I think the blog needs a name change. I think it should be something like the traveling NOLAN!! HA
This year has been insanely crazy with trips, which is odd for us. Hopefully we aren't done for the year yet either!  I love to travel this is no secret. I just wish it was a bit more affordable!!! Most recently the kids and I (yes, I actually took them) traveled to Las Vegas and California to see S since he was going to be at Nellis AFB for a week. I found reasonable tickets and the kids had a break coming up at school so off we went!
on the plane to LAX
we arrived safe and tired.
We started in Hawaii (duh). Flew to LAX (california), then hopped on a plane for the quick trip to Las Vegas (nevada). My parents picked us up there (they are the best, drove 4 hours to get us!) After a quick breafast and dropping off of bags we headed out to see the Hoover Dam. The kids had no idea why we were here, we wanted it to be a surprise when S got out of class.

In Nevada and Arizona at the same time
with my parents
While at the Hoover Dam we crossed into Arizona. That is four states in 1 DAY!! Crazy. The kids loved the dam, I just wish it hadn't been so damn hot. Dam humor! Hoover Dam has changed a lot since the last time I had been there. Which was before 9/11. No there is a bridge that commercial vehicles have to cross, and you can't go outside the dam anymore. Think National Lampoons Vegas Vacation. I love that MOVIE!!! I was so tempted to stick gum on the wall during the tour. :) Im sure that would have gone over well.

the new dam bridge
amazing what American workers can do
my sweet tired babies
After some snacks at the dam we piled back into the car and drove to Nellis. I think it took 2 minutes for both kids and me to pass out. Jet lag blows. We got back to the hotel on base and the kids kept sleeping. It was now about 5 and S was on his way over!!! He woke both kids up and the looks on their faces were priceless. I of course didn't get pictures of this. I mean why would I have my phone ready to take pictures...geesh. Little A stuck to daddy like glue the entire night. We ate at some hamburger place in Ceasars palace and had delicious food! I am all for a burger and milkshake!

Gordon Ramsey Steak
she stuck to him like glue. Never let him out of sight.
The next day we checked out of the base hotel and into the Mirage on the Vegas Strip. This is one of our favorite hotels. Growing up 4 hours away from Vegas means I have stayed in a LOT of Vegas hotels. Some that aren't even there anymore! We putzed around. Went to the mall and basically waited on S to get out of class and meet us. All during this time little A was suffering from random bug that was making her cranky and not eating. I wasn't too concerned, but it was a bit sad to see her like this. Once S arrived he played with the kids and then he and I went on a grown up date. OOOO, we ended up at the Paris Hotel and ate at.....Gordon Ramsey Steak. OMG this was the most amazing meal I think I have ever had. We didn't have reservations and of course they didn't have one to give us, so we sat at the bar. No issue, full menu and attentive bar tender. Plus we sat right down, no waiting! This is the restaurant that the this years winner of Hells Kitchen works at!! EEEEK!! We didn't see her but still. I had the beef wellington, like they make on the show. So good. S had a filet with a side of grilled asparagus. I had the 4 cheese mac and cheese. Um yum doesn't cover it. The highlight of the meal was dessert...brown butter ice cream with sticky toffee pudding. Once dinner was over we headed to the TABLES!!! Whoop whoop. Time to gamble. We are such high rollers..NOT!
watching the baby dolphins

White Siberian Tiger that tried to spray us. They have warning signs and everything.
the burro ride at Circus Circus

S spent the night with us that night, but left before the kids or me for that matter, even stirred. My mom and I took the kids to the pool and the Sigfried and Roy Secret Garden. It has a dolphin encounter and a large cat area. It was pretty cool. There were 2 new baby bottlenose dolphins. Adorable!!!! Little A was still not feeling well, but her attitude had improved, which was a nice change. When S met us later that night, he had his sister with him. She had driven out from California to see us and the kids were so excited. We hit up the arcade at Circus Circus (what a dump) the kids enjoyed it and S even rode a burro. They won a bunch of toys and crap, watched acrobats and then whined that they were hungry. Once again, S spent the night with us and had to leave early in the morning. The kids wouldn't budge away and were upset when they woke up and he wasn't there. I think this is the hardest part. They were excited to get on the road back to my parents house, so that helped.


First thing I did when we got "home" was take little A to the doc. She sees the same doc that I did when I was a kid. I say this because everytime we go "home" she goes to the doc. Got her all better and off we went to Disneyland. Yep, thats right. a 4 hour drive home, 2 hours at the doc and straight to Disney for trick or treating. I love disney at halloween. The place just magically changes to a world of Fall an Halloween! We went on rides, got too much candy and just had fun. We went with S's mom who is a big lover of disney and actually lives walking distance from it! We didnt even have to wait in line for parking. just walked on over. My mom and I left a bit earlier and let the diehard trio stick it out till midnight. The kids stayed with Gramma K for the weekend. 

Pumpkin Mickey at the entrance
Its Jasmine and Indy, in line for Pirates
This left my mom and I open to shop and not worry about the kids being bored. We hit up the outlets in Carlsbad and the Orange County Swap Meet. The swap was a little sad...not like it used to be years ago. Not sure if the heat or the economy is what kept people away. We spent a total of 45 minutes in there. Usually its hours. 

Once the kids were back with us on Monday we headed down the road to my sisters house to play with the cousins and swim. It was still HOT. I think the jeep said 109 at one point, and it was the first few days of OCTOBER. Where was the Fall love??? My kids always love getting to see the cousins. The oldest was 6 months old when S and I started dating. She had a boyfriend and that makes me feel old. I actually got to meet this boy and give him mine and S's approval. He seems nice, but he better know he has an uncle out there that won't tolerate any nonsense! 
I like going to my sisters house because I am the cool aunt. Yes that is my title :) We made milkshakes in the middle of the day and laid at the pool and just gabbed back and forth. My sister and I have never been very close, she is six years older than me, but in our old age I think we have become friends. 
relaxing at my sisters pool
cousins, they actually all get along!
We ended up back at her house on Wednesday for some more cousin and pool time. It was fun. Hot again.

Thursday it was time to fly home. The crying didn't stop from little A the whole time. Big A was a champ. He was sad to leave, as they always ask if they can live at my mom's house. I think its more about the proximity to Disney. At least that's what I tell myself. 

This is the face I got the whole flight to SFO, and for most of it back to HNL. So sad :(
So here we are back on the island. Anxiously waiting for our 6 month separation to be over. Granted it hasn't been horrible since I have gotten to see him twice, but its still lonely in the house without him here. Happily he is making an appearance for Thanksgiving and will just happen to be here for Big A's 8th birthday. It will only be for a few days, but then we only have 3 weeks left until we are a family in one state again! We go back to Vegas in December for graduation and get all dressed up and party like crazy people. I am looking forward to it! Till then I don't have any trips planned. After then I am trying to see if we can swing a hop to Japan. So I will keep you posted. These next few months will be full of Halloween, football for Big A, birthday's for both and a husband/daddy sighting. I will try to be better and keep the blog up to date. Even if just with pictures!


A few photos from NYC

Day 1 in NYC!
On the US Open grounds.
S intently watching Rodick play.
Sunset over Manhattan. No editing at all. It was gorgeous.

I found myself at this evil place....So not a Yankee Fan!
We managed to get the last cheap tickets $50 a pop. They were in the sweltering sun. We lasted about 10 minutes before going to the standing area which was shaded.
It is a beautiful ballpark. It better be for how much money they have!

Day 3
his and hers drinks at Eately. Our favorite restaurant in NYC.
street food
S enjoying a street gyro. It was tasty.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I went to NYC...again

Hello! Things have been pretty normal around these parts of the ROCK for the past couple of months. We settled into being here with out Daddy...which is always hard. The kids started school. WHOOOO!

So far they are loving being in 1st and 2nd grade. Hopefully that continues all year. Fingers crossed! Other than slipping back into our normal routine of school, sports, and homework things have been good. It is always hard to convince yourself that it isn't still summer vacation living here. We did do some fun stuff, beach, hikes, eat...and we have had one of our favorite visitors here!

Gramma Kelly came to stay the last two weeks of August!! This was so much fun. Kelly and I were able to hike, eat red velvet pancakes, shop and enjoy some beach time while the kids were in school. We also got the chance to have tea at the Moana Surfrider. The view is amazing! She was also a great help in working with little A to try and get her ahead of the game a bit. It is always nice to have a teacher in the family. :) We also got to have fun with the kiddos after school, going to the pool and little A getting her swim card! Yeah!! She was so proud of herself and I was uber proud of her for doing it. Now there is no going back and that girl is all over the pool! We also attended the Greek Festival here in Waikiki. I didn't know we had a big enough Greek population to have a festival, but it was fun and something new to go and do.

After the first week I got to go on vacation!!! YEAHAHAHHAHA! I went back to see S in New Jersey where he is working on his WIC classes. It was a long trip which included a 12 hour plane ride to Newark Airport, a 1hour train ride to some small town in NJ that I had never heard of, a 1 hour wait for Hertz to "pick me up" and get me to a rental car, which ended in a 40 minute drive to base on roads that I had never driven on, can you say "jug handles"? Those were go right to go left. I made it in one piece and finally found my handsome husband after not seeing him for 2 months!!! I was so happy and relived to see him, but I was also dead on my feet tired. He showed me to the hotel room and promptly left to go back to work. I immediately fell all was good :)

The first few days I was in Jersey he was still at class so I had some alone time. I did venture back out onto the roads to get us Chipotle for lunch. Talk about was a 40 minute drive each way! And of course not the same direction I had come so I was completely on new roads AGAIN!!  I found some shopping to do and of course scoped out where the mainland food was. I throughly enjoyed have Chick Fil A for lunch! I think decided to traverse Jersey roads again and find the mall. An hour later I ended up almost in Philidelphia at Cherry Hill Mall. It was a nice mall and worth the drive. I enjoyed my quiet time and not worrying about having to be back to pick up kids or make dinner. S had to fly that night so I was truely on my own time. Which is nice sometimes.

After arriving back in the hotel room at 4 am from his night flight, I being the nice wife let him sleep till 9:45 that morning and then I was antsy to get the show on the road to NYC! We made our stop at WAWA to get coffee and donuts for me and a sandwich for S. So tasty. I have no idea why WAWA's aren't everywhere. They are amazing. We hopped on the train and headed into the BIG APPLE!

New York is amazing place. The colors, the smells, the people, the traffic everything makes it a magical place. We checked into our hotel in Time Square (thank you points) and began to wander. Since we had just been here two months ago and done all the big touristy things it was nice to just get to wander and not wait in line for things. We headed to the Macy's and hopped on the wooden escalators. So neat. Checked out all 7 levels and decided anything that Macy's sold was in this store. It was so big it had 3 Starbucks in it!!  We left there and aimlessly wandered down 5th AVE ending up at the New York public Library. What a cool place! After leaving there we decided to do something we hadn't even thought of...go to the US OPEN!!! We bought tickets and headed to Queens. We had no idea where Flushing Meadows was or what to expect but we were both really happy. We got to see Andy Roddick play, and feel very lucky about that since he is retiring after the Open! What a once in a lifetime chance! We had nose bleed seats but it didn't matter. We were riveted to the court.  We also got our celebrity sighting out of the way. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were there watching the match. Not sure who they were rooting for, as the other guy was Australian. :)

The next morning we switched hotels and went into SOHO .(thank you points again) This hotel was great. Our view from the room was of the Empire State Building!! How cool is that! We once again aimlessly wandered around SOHO, sticking our heads in funky little shops and some high end ones too. We meandered through Little Italy and Chinatown. Which are right next to each other....odd. We held hands and just enjoyed being together. Then the idea struck.....lets go to a Yankee game. Now usually I would have protested since I am not a Yankee fan, but I am a huge fan of BASEBALL and how could I pass up seeing another stadium!!! so on the train we got and headed to the BRONX. Got the last two tickets (at the reasonable low price) and headed in. WOW..this place was amazing. We headed to our seats which were of course nose bleeds and smack dab  in the SUN!!! We started to melt after one at bat and gave up and went back down to the lower levels and watched the game from there. It as great. I have never been in a ball park where the crowd is so lively and into the game. They take their Yankee baseball seriously!

We left the game in the 8th inning. and headed back to Greenwich Village to Eataly. Now normally we wouldn't eat somewhere that we have already been, but Eataly is a different story. This place is amazing. The wine, the food, the people everything about it is wonderful. It is like walking into a Whole Foods, but of all Italian products. They have 5 restaurants, a gelato bar, a chocolate bar, a coffee bar plus regular groceries, seafood, meat and anything else you can think of, including a fresh PASTA counter!!! YUM! We had pizza, pasta, wine and gelato plus a cappuccino for me.  We sat and chatted and just throughly enjoyed each others company.

Our last full day in the city was spent in Brooklyn. We didn't make it over there the first time and thought why not. We got off the train and walked through Prospect Park. The place was full of families having picnics and bbq's. Kids running around laughing and playing. I think I liked it better than central park. We then headed to Park Slope which is the place to be in Brooklyn...I guess. We stopped in a Starbucks got a coffee and sat out in the garden. Such a cute little place.
We then headed back to Manhatten to walk the 5th AVENUE stores. I have never in my life felt so poor. Good God, these people have money! We were in a watch store and a couple was buying a $7,000 Tag Heuer watch for their 13 YEAR OLD!!! Seirously!! It was insane. We walked through Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton, FAO Swartz and peeked into the Glass Apple store and then decided to head back...this place would eat us alive!! 

Our last meal was a nice one. We went of the recommendation of a dear friend who used to live in the city and still calls it home, and ate at a Cuban/Mexican cafe called Habana Cafe. The food was amazing! If you are ever in SOHO or Brooklyn eat here!!! The crowd was eclectic as it only can be in NYC and the food was amazing. I am still craving a Cuban sandwich and some corn on the cob. Their mojito was delicious too. Freshly muddled and heavily poured! Then it was back to the room for an early good bye in the morning ;(

We said our good byes for now at the airport and S hopped the train back to Jersey and I started the long trek home. It is always hard to say good bye, but I know I will see him in a few months. In a way it is hard having him close but still so far away. He might as well be in the desert. This is for the best and I know is just a small seperation, but still hard. It is easier to get to come back and be with the monsters...they don't give me time to be lonely or sad. They brighten every day and I love them for that.

Till next time!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

catch up part 2

S and I with the Itty BITTY plane that took us 
to the glacier.
the girls on a boat!
*Alaska.....after being home for a few days and celebrating our anniversary S left Alaska to participate in an exercise. He would be gone for 3 weeks. I figured this was a great excuse to go up there and hang out for the last week. My mom was able to come out and watch the kids so that I could go alone. I landed in the beautiful 49th state and instantly fell in love with it. The sun was shining the air was cool and fresh, the scenery was amazing. An added bonus to getting to see my husband, and Alaska, was getting to see my friends from Charleston that are lucky and get to call Anchorage home. We had fun hiking (and getting pushed down a mountain), riding trains (which included a photo shoot), taking a boat tour with whales and all! S and I had a great time taking a day trip to Talkeetna at the base of Denali State park. We ate, walked, explored took a plane tour of Denali and landed on a big deal! 

It was an amazing trip and I cannot wait to get back up to Alaska and experience the winter fun. 

*After being home for 2 days (S was home for 1) we left for a whirlwind tour of the East Coast. This was to drop S off at the WIC program but we made the most of it. My mom again stayed with the kids so we could go alone. We made stops in Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, then traveled south to Charleston for a few days. It was a fast trip and all we did was eat, eat and eat some more! My kind of vacation! Charleston was the same as ever and the best part of that was I got to see my Best Friend! A came down from Charlotte and we got to have dinner and go to a movie as soon as I arrived in town. We got some more shopping time in after I had lunch with another dear friend and her babies. Sushi is always better with friends! We spent time with family, friends and ate some more :)
At the top of the Empire State Building, and at lunch in Boston before a tour of Fenway Park.

S and I flew to ATL together and that is where we said our good-byes for the next 6 months. I was a mess when I got on the plane. I know this is for a good reason and that in the long run 6 months is nothing, but it still hard to say good-bye.

The kids are good. Busy as ever. School starts in two weeks and they are excited. So am I! HA! 

So there you have it. The last few months in a nut shell. I will try and be a better blogger. But most of you read my happenings on Facebook or Instagram.