Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Maui

Steve and I just got back from a week in Maui.  We were talking about it while we were there and we both agreed that it was definitely on our "Top 5" list of places we have ever been.

I really didn't have an expectation at all when we left.  Steve had a conference to attend and told me I was going to get to go to, but I have been so busy with life and everything going on here, that I really didn't think much about it.  I knew lots of people who said they absolutely LOVED Hawaii, though, so I figured it would be pretty great!

We left really early on Saturday morning.  Mark was home and drove us to the airport around 5:30 am.  It took us 10 hours to get there.  Oh my word that is a LONG flight!  If it seems far away and exotic, that's because it IS!!

We were there for over a week so I won't drag you through each and every day.  I will just tell you some of the highlights.  We only stayed in Maui so that is what you will see here.  Someday I hope we can go back and visit all the other islands.  I'm sure Maui is just the tip of the iceberg.  But I will say that since we had 8 days to visit that one island, we were able to see and do a lot there!  I felt like we were able to see a big part of what Maui has to offer.

Here are the things that I enjoyed the most:

1-THE BEAUTY

Seriously.  You cannot top Hawaii for the beauty.  It is just as exotic and amazing as you would ever imagine.  The mountains meet the ocean, there are flowers and unique, tropical plants and trees everywhere, and the water is crystal blue.  So many days I was totally in awe of the beauty that surrounded us.








2-THE FOOD

Oh my word...I don't think you can get a bad meal in Hawaii!  Every single thing we ate there was soooo good!!  And with the exception of maybe two places, I'm pretty sure we ate every single meal either outside or in open air.  I love doing that!

Some of our favorite restaurants were...

Tommy Bahamas



Longhi's in Wailea (this was us on our way out to dinner there.)



Fat Daddy's Barbeque in Kihei - I didn't get a picture, but this is just a little local restaurant.  The barbeque was excellent!

Three's in Kihei (we went here for lunch and I got really yummy fish tacos!)



Mama's Fish House in Paia (this was totally at the top of our list!  We went twice it was so good.)


And for lunches we loved Cheeseburger Island Style in Wailea...



and the fresh fruit at our hotel poolside bar! (Marriott Wailea Resort and Spa).


One day was rainy and cool, so we went to Rock and Brews in Paia so Steve could watch the ACC Tournament.  I got Hawaiian style chicken tacos with pineapple salsa and they were delish!



There was also a really great restaurant called Migrant in our hotel that we ate at several times and really liked!  It was Asian fusion.


I can't remember what this dish was that we got at Lahaina Fish Company, but I do know it had won some awards in Maui, so we decided to try it.  We loved it!


Food trucks are huge in Hawaii.  One day, I got stir fried shrimp and veggies from a food truck on the Road to Hana and it did not disappoint.  Yummmm!


And Shave Ice is a Maui staple.  You have to get some if you are in Hawaii!


Fruit stands are everywhere, too.  I tried fresh coconut milk for the first time so that was fun!


3-THE CULTURE

When we go on a trip, one of the things we love to do is explore the area and get a feel for the culture and the people.  We rented a car and drove to lots of different parts of the island.  We did things like snorkeling and hiking and touring lots of different beaches and volcanic mountains.

We drove to Lahaina the first day we got there.  It was a little cool and windy that day, but we had a great time listening to live music, shopping, and exploring that little town.






 We watched the surfers from a cliff on Honolua  Bay...


We drove on the Road To Hana one day.


That was the curviest road I have ever been on, with 56 one-way bridges that you had to cross.  We saw so many unique tropical plants and flowers!  The day started out okay, but about 3/4 of the way up, it started POURING rain.  We felt like we were in a tropical rain forest!






And, on our last night in Maui, we attended a luau.  That was so much fun and a lot like going to a Hawaiian version of a backyard barbecue or church picnic!






4-RELAXING AND HANGING OUT TOGETHER

Hawaii is one of those places where it is a couples' paradise.  We had the best time just hanging out,  relaxing by the pool, and being on Maui time.








One day we were taking pictures of the sunset and a girl walked up and offered to take a silhouette picture.  It is totally cheesy and looks like something that would be on a Myrtle Beach t-shirt, but I like it anyway!


We had the BEST time.  I was so sad when we had to leave.  I hope we can go back again one day before too long and see more!!  It was definitely a trip I will always remember!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Days and Birthdays

We have finally gotten a little bit of snow here in the past week or so.  Last week, we mostly had ice, but today the snow came down most of the morning and was so pretty, even though it was probably only about 1 1/2 inches or so.  Snow days are always so much fun.  We don't get them very often here in the south, so I always enjoy the few that we do have.

Since I am not teaching right now, I don't have the quite same excitement as I do when I get an unexpected snow day off during the school year.   That is one of the best benefits of being a teacher!


Sadly, our school district didn't cancel school today.  I guess the roads weren't so bad that buses couldn't run.  Ashley called me early this morning and told me how sad she and her kids were that they had to go to school when it was snowing.  They sure did look cute though!


I also thought about my class and how wiggly and wound up they probably were going to be today when they could look at the window and see all the snow and feel like they were missing all the fun. We are supposed to get more snow tomorrow night, so maybe school will be closed on Thursday!

I have missed my class so much.  I am still tutoring one of my students, and I love doing that.  And, I had a hot chocolate date at Barnes & Noble this past week with two of the sweet little girls who were in my class.  We had the best time chatting and catching up together.  I love them.


We had a busy and fun weekend.  Caroline turned two on Friday and David turned four on Sunday.  On Friday, Lindy and I met Ashley and the kids at the mall for a little birthday fun.  We went to the Disney Store and got Chick Fil A.  That is a great day for them! :)




David's friend party was on Saturday at Sports Connection.  He had the best time running around with his friends--bowling and jumping in bouncy houses and being loud and rowdy!




and we had fun helping with Will and Caroline.


We were supposed to have a family party on Sunday, but Caroline got sick so it was cancelled, but we took our gifts over anyway!  I can't believe how quickly those two sweeties are growing.  I love them both so much!

Since I have been home, I have trying to read more.  I think I told you I am reading The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.  I am almost done with that one.  I also just got the Audible app on my phone, so I can listen to books while I am cleaning the house or driving somewhere.  I am currently listening to Lessons From Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott.


I saw it recommended on Mix and Match Family blog on her February book review and thought I would like it.  I am about  half way through and I love it!!  It has lots of tips on how to live well and live in a way that requires you to be your best self in all kinds of ways.  Really good!  Plus, it's fun to hear about how people conduct their day-to-day lives in Paris.  You know how much I love to travel. I have been to Paris several times and I am always so interested in the way people live around the world.  I guess that's why this book appeals to me so much.

Jennifer L. Scott also has a blog that I found called The Daily Connoisseur.  Plus she has a YouTube Channel!


She is such a cute girl with tons of great ideas for anything from fashion & fitness to make up to great books to home and garden to etiquette tips.  Her high standards and old-fashioned values are refreshing to me.  I love finding fun YouTube channels!

And, I think Audible is going to be my new best friend.  Wow.  I can get so many more books "read" when I can listen while doing other things.

Before I go, I thought I would give you an update on my mom.  You probably already know that she has ALS and that I took a leave of absence from teaching to be available to help her as much as I could.  I have set aside Tuesdays as my day to go over and do whatever she needs me to do.  Lately, I have been helping her file all of her medical paperwork and insurance information.  Each Tuesday I usually take over something for her and my dad to have for dinner.  I have taken them chicken spaghetti, lasagna, poppy seed chicken, chili, and sausage corn chowder.  Tomorrow I am planning on bringing Green Chile White Sauce Beef Enchiladas.  I have never made this before, so I am hoping it will be good.  Eat Cake For Dinner is one of my favorite cooking websites and everything I have made from there has been good!

*I have since tried the recipe for Green Chile White Sauce Beef Enchiladas.  I have to be honest and say that I thought it was just "okay".  The beef mixture was a little bland and dry for me.  So, I added a package of taco seasoning and a can of tomato sauce!  I also added a can of Ro-tel tomatoes to the green chile white sauce.  That added so much flavor.  You can never go wrong with a can of Ro-tel in my opinion!  After making those changes, I liked the recipe much better,

Anyway...my mom is doing pretty well for the moment.  She is still losing weight and has gotten very thin, so she will be getting a feeding tube next week to supplement her calories.  She will still be able to eat as long as she is able to, but this will help her put some weight back on and help her gain some strength back.  She is very weak and gets tired easily.  So, please pray for her next Wednesday.  It is always risky to have surgery when your lungs are compromised, so please just pray for strength for her to get through that.

Thank you blog friends!  I hope you are staying warm wherever you are!