Thursday, December 30, 2010

SUPing, Legendary Koko Crater Hike, and Ben Time


7 a.m. was the take-off time for long-boarding and SUPing (stand-up paddleboarding).  Doug and I took off . . . he with Alli's equipment, and I with my camera.
A trot across Kalama Beach Park and down the beach a bit.  The sun is just barely up and is behind cloud cover.

Doug is quite at home on the board, but the waves here are small and short-lived.  Nevertheless, he had a few rides each lasting about 10 seconds, the most you can expect in Kailua this time of year.

Koko Crater Hike
As if this wasn't enough, it was quickly followed by a strenuous hike up Koko Crater, earning bragging rights for many!  Having earned those rights in April, I opted for Richard and me to play with Ben (who has done 800 of the steps at Koko Crater on his own!), allowing Alli to have a bit more time with her brother and his wife.  Take a look at the photos on Alli's site at   where you should be sure to click on the photo.  It will take you to a series of hiker photos!

Meantime, Richard and I had fun playing with Ben (2 1/2 yrs) at Windward Mall.  But first , Gramma (me) needed to clean up from the race down the beach to photograph Doug.  While I did that, the two "men" had a few minutes together --
 . . . a little TV time . . .

and a snack moment.  Ben wasn't a bit surprised that we'd have the same gizmo at our house, with the big "M" on it, that he has at his house.

And now, off to the mall . . . 
We hold "paws" in parking lots.

The winner, in terms of time spent, was the Tour Bus.  Next, the Ice Cream truck.  He waved bye-bye to us probably 30 times, always saying, "Bye-bye gwamma" or "bye-bye Wichud".  Who had more fun?  That's a tough one!

Richard's heart won out -- he put money in the slot to make the Tour Bus bounce around a bit.  Or so he thought.  It was tight quarters in there and he couldn't see the slot.  Ben is looking on, probably knowing Richard was putting the money in the "coin return" slot!  Ben wanted to put the last quarter in, and put it in the upper slot.  With that, Richard saw what was going on, and put the previous 3 coins in their proper slot!

A tire check was in order, of course.  It was the offer of lunch that lured Ben away from this truck, and following that, we took the typical grand-parent detour into the toy store!  A great day all around for everyone.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sushi Night in Kailua

The whole tribe doesn't fit in this picture, but you get the idea!
I still think it's wonderful to sit outside for dinner . . . in the winter . . . without even those overhead gas heaters!  We give thanks to our special Santa for this nice dinner.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The Fontamillas Family begins to arrive on December 22, with Doug and Mary as the first arrivals.  On December 23, all but two more arrive, a cause for celebrating at Dave and Alli's for ziti dinner!

(to be  continued)

Saturday, December 11, 2010


When Santa arrives in Hawaii, he changes into something more comfortable!  He's seen here with Ben, 2 1/2 and Sam, almost 6

Friday, December 10, 2010


Suzie and I left from her cottage home to the tune of raindrops, to enjoy the annual Christmas Home Tour which I look forward to each year.  It never disappoints!  For a few hours, I dream of living in a gorgeous Hawaii beachfront home!  I soak up memories (and photos) of the elegant decorations, some elaborate and some delightfully simple.  We end the tour with a nice lunch at Buzz's - a very well-known island restaurant across from our Kailua beach.
We're wearing easily kicked-off "slippahs" (flip-flops) since standard protocol in Hawaii is to leave shoes outside.  I'm so used to it after all these years, it's automatic.

About that plaid (Doug wondered where I got that tablecloth made into a mu'u mu'u!):
It's called Palaka.  Shirts made of palaka were worn by the 19th Century plantation workers and is a well-recognized fabric here.  Suzie had her mu'u mu'u made some years ago, and I had mine made about a year ago.  I love it!  We received many compliments!

Many beautiful place settings were displayed.

Simple pomegranate decoration
Distinguishing inside from outside in Hawaii is difficult.  Some people don't even use inside space for an eating area because we can ALWAYS eat outside.  An electric awning is all you need if it rains.  You know, of course, that people here don't own heaters right?
Looking out from a kitchen


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Brian Tucker's Surprise of a Lifetime Palo Alto

Not every 65th makes the remarkable splash this one did!  Brian is  Go there.  You'll want to make a donation.  I'm so proud to be a cousin, and be so close in contact and spirit.

A slightly more composed picture below --

His beautiful sis, my cousin, and good friend --

His wife who engineered the whole affair in secret for about a year, including a memory book prepared ahead of time by contributions from Brian's guests --

How incredible to be around the people who have known Brian for so long and to experience their admiration for him.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Playday with Pris and Jack

We enticed a willing Pris and Jack to take the train down to help us celebrate our birthdays.  We had so much fun that before they left, we were plotting a repeat event.  For starters, we had a leisurely brunch at Sarducci's at the historic train depot.
After a leisurely brunch, we browsed the nearby shops where Pris and Jack captured a peacock!

Here's the peacock at home at Pris and Jack's.

Excellent shoppers!  My sis and bro-in-law.

First glimpse of an interesting chandelier.  Jack is sizing it up.
And now, from another angle!  Wonder if we could make one of these?
Love it!

"Exquisite" is all over the place at this shop.

After a heavy morning of browsing through shops, it's time for a smoothie at Crystal Cove.

We're slurping at a cliff, and at the bottom is the Crystal Cove Cottages, an historic site with reasonable rates.  Richard knew all about it, but the rest of us were so intrigued about the history of the cottages that we now have a coffee-table book about them. 

Rejuvenated by the smoothie, we're now at a nursery which is loaded with gift items.  Like this hat?  We all did, but the head size was too large.  Too bad.  Looks great, Pris!
Perfect fit!

Back near home now, showing off another nursery just 2 miles from us.  That's Pris in the white jacket, getting ready to swoop!

Successful swoop!
It was so much fun that I'm making a list of more places to go on your next trip down.  btw, "trip" = 60 miles!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Seventy didn't hurt a bit!

70 years old today, and it is a gift to know God has given me all these healthy years to do so many things, but most meaningful to me are: to be the mom of two amazing children, a gramma for (so far) two amazing grandchildren, and to have so many loving and delightful family members all over the place, plus, and most startling of all, to have been "saved/rescued" by God to become a follower of the King of Kings!  His is unspeakable love.  Then there's the much more recent surprise gift of Richard, who spends time thinking of ways he can love, support and bring happiness to me!

A Day of Celebration!
Richard and I had brunch at Sarducci's on the patio of the historic train depot in San Juan Capistrano.  You can barely see the patio umbrellas above.  After brunch, we rather unexpectedly trotted off by train to San Diego!!  :)

We completely relaxed and enjoyed our California coast, from the "busy" to the . . .

. . . quiet beach . . . I think this is Trestles which at the right season, it a huge attraction for surfers.

Once in San Diego, we headed to the USS Midway, a ship/museum I'd never visited even when I was going to Coronado while Dave and Alli lived there.

Richard . . . looking things over.  He loves structure and mechanics.

Navy planes need to be able to fold up their "arms" in order to fit on a carrier.  Even helicopters.  Guess I'd never thought of that!!
The E-2 Hawkeye with overhead radar dish that could sweep the sky for hundreds of miles in every direction. The plane was filled with communications and sensor gear, serving as a flying command center.  It could collect, analyze, and share data with ships and aircraft, as well as coordinate multiple attacks against the enemy.  Sound like I copied the placard in front of the plane's nose?

Richard says this "couple" replicates a famous photograph taken of a sailor who grabbed a nurse he didn't know and kissed her . . . so elated was he to be back in the USA!  Apparently the nurse died not so very long ago.

Photo of the statue, but closer.

Getting ready to come home from a wonderful San Diego day.

San Diego Train Station

San Diego Station
Relaxing all the way home, so we'll have enough energy to have dinner at Lucy's Mexican Restaurant!