Student From China

We just finished hosting a student from China! Anna, age 10, stayed with us for the last week and a half. We had so much fun with her, especially Abby. As much fun as it was, this morning was very sad for all of us as Anna had to leave. I think Abby will have the hardest time, but we will definitely try to keep in touch.

Here are a few photos of our time with Anna.

Abby Swimming

Over the last few week, I have been working with Abby on swimming.  When we took our trip to Hawaii, we realized pretty quick how much Abby needs to learn to swim.  Basically everything we did on that trip involved water of some kind!  In the weeks since that trip, Abby and I have gone to the pool at least one time each weekend to work on swimming skills.  It's really cool to see how much Abby has taken to it in just a few weeks time.  When we first started, she wasn't confident holding her breath or even doing basic swimming.  Since then, she has started using her swimming motions much more and is even using diving rings.  She has a long way to go before being able to swim the pool on her own, but for now we have been leaving the life jacket at home and just using the kick board as her only flotation device.  I'm really excited to see how she is doing in another 6 weeks or so!!  

Mom and Dad in Town

This week we got to have my parents stay with us for a few days. Abby and Lucky both enjoyed the time very much. We got to have a character breakfast at Disney one day and then went to downtown Disney afterward. Breakfast was really good. Mom really enjoyed it and I think Dad did too! Lilo, Stitch, Pluto and Mickey were all there. 

Blog in the cloud

I have successfully moved this blog to a VPS! 

The morning we left for our Hawaii trip, I had a hard drive failure in the server hose ring this blog. The server happens to be a machine I have sitting at home. My goal was to keep the blog updated while on the Vacation, but with the hard drive failure, that simply did not happen. I ended up finding a cheap VPS provider that will serve the needs of this blog just fine. The added bonus is that I no longer have any ports open coming into my home network!

Hawaii Vacation – Day 7

Well, 7 days in Hawaii was all we got to enjoy. Abby and I spent the last morning at the resort pools while Michelle packed. We left at checkout time, got lunch and headed to the airport. 

It was a fantastic Vacation and definitely something we would like to do again!

Hawaii Vacation – Day 6

Monday of our Vacation was our relax day around the resort. We also finished up our souvenir shopping on Monday. Abby spent most of the day in either the pools or the kids club and even made another batch of space goo. We wrapped up the day with dinner at the Marriott a resort down the street and a walk along the lagoons on the way back to our resort. 

Hawaii Vacation – Day 5

Sunday was our trip to the windward (east) coast of the island. We decided to stop and get breakfast on the way, but ended up just eating at McDonalds since everywhere had really long waits. 

Our first stop was sea life park. It’s definitely not an Orlando park, but there was enough to keep us busy for a few ours before our dolphin encounter. We got to see a see lion show and several other marine animals in their enclosures before going to the dolphin area. Getting to touch and interact with a dolphin was definitely the highlight. Abby also liked it. 

After sea life park we stopped a couple lookout spots. Makapu’u was on the extreme southeast portion of the island and  Nu’uanu Pali lookout was higher up in the mountain. Both spots were great for photos. 

We had a late lunch at Kona Brewing in Hawaii also before heading back to the resort. Michelle and I had a good sized beer sampler to go with our meal. We thought the food was delicious and the beer selection was also really good. The lavaman red ale was both of our favorites. 

Hawaii Vacation – Day 4

Happy birthday Abby!

June 10 was Abby’s birthday. We spent the morning relaxing in our room watching TVs and such waiting for our Catamaran adventure. 

Our catamaran boat ride was so much fun. We saw lots of dolphins while we were out including a pod of bottlenose dolphins and a pod of spinner dolphins. One of the dolphins hooked himself on the front of the boat and just rode there for a while. Very cool. Later we went snorkeling. Michelle got to see more because she had contacts, but I was able to stay in the water longer. There were lots of fish and we saw a green sea turtle. After we got back on the boat, one of the guys came up with a live octopus!  

After we got back to the resort, we were able to celebrate Abby’s birthday with a cupcake. 

Hawaii Vacation – Day 3

Friday was our trip to North Shore. We started off at the Dole Pineapple plantation for the train ride and dole whips. We were happy to see actual pineapples on the train ride this time. And the dole whips were of course delicious. 

After leaving the plantation, we drove to the Waimea Valley. All I can say is that I think this is my favorite place on Oahu. The scenery is so beautiful. We walked up the valley to the waterfall at the end. Abby really enjoyed getting to swim in the lagoon. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Abby. She had actual water shoes, but I had to go in barefoot. Walking on the rocky bottom was a bit uncomfortable. Regardless, we had a great time and definitely got our excercise in. 

After the valley, we stopped at Kono’s barbecue. Soooo Good!!! They serve Hawaiian Kailua BBQ Pork, and probably the best Kailua Pork on the island. Michelle got a t-shirt since she liked it so much. 

We got back to the resort just in time for Abby to head back to the kids club to make space goo with stitch. She, of course, loved every minute of it.

Michelle and I had dinner the Monkeypod kitchen. It’s a nice little restaurant across the street from the resort. They serve mostly locally sourced ingredients in their dishes. Kono’ for lunch had been the best meal so far, but that was quickly changed at Monkeypod.

Hawaii Vacation – Day 2

Today we stayed at the resort pretty much the whole day except for a quick trip to target. We started off with a character breakfast. It’s always fun to have Disney characters at your table for breakfast. The all-you-can eat buffet is nice too. Breakfast was at 7am, but we were all up at 3am since we had not yet adjusted to the 6 hour time difference. We spent the rest of the day enjoying resort amenities. We spent lots of time in the pool and the lazy river. Michelle and Abby both got a bit burned. I never knew it could be so tiring just sitting around doing nothing!