Pumpkin Patch Adventure

BugleI was scrolling through my feed on Facebook jealous of all of the pumpkin patch photos, until I came across a friend of mine who brought their little girl to the pumpkin patch…and they live in Hawaii too…wait…what???  Hawaiian pumpkin patch!!!!  So the next day we brought Ellie to pick-out her very first pumpkin.  She was barely a month old last Halloween and Matt was off doing some army thing, so needless to say, we didn’t really celebrate.  This is the first time in four years that Matt has been home for Halloween, and the first with Ellie, so we are doing it all!!!  And since Ellie is too little to eat the candy….someone is going to have to do it…I guess I will reluctantly volunteer for the position.

Sunday, we drove down to Aloun Farms where they are having a Pumpkin Patch Festival every weekend until Halloween.  Hayrides, Music, Food, Rides, you name it….and it’s a real pumpkin patch!!!  All of the pumpkin patches that I have been to, have been fake…a bunch of pumpkins dumped into a pile with a Pumpkin Patch sign hanging next to it.  Here, you can actually walk down rows and rows to pick-out the perfect pumpkin.

We ate lunch and then hopped on the hayride that took us around the patches and corn fields.  It was a beautiful site with the Mountains in the background.  After the hayride, we walked down to find the perfect pumpkin.  There were quite a few varieties to choose from and quite a bit of walking involved, so with naptime creeping in closer and closer, we decided to stop at the first field, take some pictures, and pick one of the pumpkins that was already lying by the side of the road.

It was a great ending to a wonderful weekend and a great beginning to our Halloween festivities.

An Evening Hike – Kolekole Pass

BugleWhat better way to end a perfect weekend than with an easy evening hike in the mountains.

The Waianae Mountain Range is the group of mountains that inhabit the west side of the Oahu (made from an old extinct volcano rather than your typical tectonic plates merging).  Nestled in this range is Kolekole Pass.  This was once a road for traveling between Wahiawa in the middle of the island to Waianae in the west, but a landslide has since ruined the road and the Army has been using part of the area for live fire training for a while now.  Off of the former pass road is where you will find the hiking path.

To access the pass, you need to either have a military id or be able to get a visitor’s pass to get onto Schofield Barracks.  If you go to the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Website, it will tell you how access the trail and also when the trail will be open, since it is used for live fire training, it is only open on certain weekends.

I saw on the Hawaii Army Facebook Page that the pass would be open this weekend, so on Sunday evening, we packed some essentials and headed off.  You basically drive until you reach a big gate and stop sign at the end of the road, and just park.  We were at the beginning of the path within minutes of driving and it felt like a whole other world.  So peaceful and quiet….and with a perfect crisp, cool breeze blowing.  There are hiking trail signs pointing you in the right direction making it easy to follow.  There were very few people at this time, but I have heard where the path can get pretty busy.

We came to a few clearings where the scenic views were absolutely breath taking.  On one side, you could see clear to the ocean and on the other side, across Central Oahu.  I think I found our new picnic spot.  Everyone always talks about the beaches here, but the mountains here…in my opinion…are just as amazing.

North Shore Picnic

BugleOn Saturday, we decided to have an impromptu picnic at the beach.  I made a few sandwiches, washed some grapes, and we headed out to check out a new beach on the North Shore.  It was overcast all morning and we thought that if we headed towards the beach, it would be sunny…and it wasn’t.  But it was still a nice, warm, and breezy day with no rain, so we didn’t mind one bit.  Since it is becoming “winter” as you would call it, the North Shore tends to become rough and unpredictable.  In fact, that is where all of the amazing pipeline surfing happens.  Needless to say, we did not go in the water, but it was still nice to sit and watch the waves crash onto the rocks and Ellie had a blast playing in the sand, digging up rocks.

Oh hey…and I needed a reason to use my new tote bag!!!  Like it???  You can crochet it yourself…check out the pattern here.  Best part…it’s free!!!dsc04731

Hope you guys had an awesome weekend.  And with the weather hopefully starting to cool down, throw together some sandwiches and snacks and go have a picnic somewhere.  Nothing beats an impromptu picnic date.

Welcome to Hawaii

BugleI know that you have been dying to hear updates on us in Hawaii.  We landed in Honolulu last Tuesday and have been running around ever since.  It is a lot different living here than vacationing…I can tell you that right off the bat.  We have been going to appointment after appointment and errand after errand trying to get settled in here…and it feels like we have barely made a dint.  We did get to catch somewhat of a break during Labor Day Weekend since most offices and places are closed.

We were able to drive up to North Shore and find a couple of beaches to check out and spend some time at.  We pretty much drove half the island on Saturday looking for some fun beaches that were calm enough for Ellie to swim.  The only place we found on North Shore was a little tidal pool that she was able to crawl around in…and boy did she have fun.  She cried when we left to go and find some lunch.

Lunch ended up being this little side of the road diner-type place.  Talk about good food!!!  The lunch plates were huge and everything was absolutely delicious.  Matt ordered the Kalua Pork and I had the Fried Chicken…yum yum.  This place will most definitely see us again.

I have learned a few things after being here for about a week now.

1.)    It is fairly easy to get around here.  You have about two options to consider…driving around the island or going straight down the middle one of three major highways

2.)    Air conditioning is optional.  I am finding that places either don’t have a/c or they don’t really use it.  But it is understandable since the breeze around here is nice and cool.  I am just glad that living in South Louisiana has prepared me for this type of weather.

3.)    The names!!!!  From city names to street names…I am tongue tied all the time.  Sometimes you get lucky with Richard or Forrest Street…other times you get Kamehameha Hwy…say that five times fast…and that’s an easy one!!!

I am so excited to be here and be able to take our time exploring the island.  I can’t wait for all of the adventures to come.

A Walk to the Bayou

Bugle

As our leave time came to an end, we wanted to take some time to visit one of our favorite spots…even though it was still smoldering hot outside.  Matt and I love the south and hope to come back to it one day for good, but until then, we will visit as much as we can.  The Bayou Teche is a short walk from my parent’s house and we always like to take the time to walk down there.  It is so peaceful and relaxing to walk down the short boardwalk amongst the oak and cypress trees, looking to see what creatures are there to greet us in the water.  We actually saw this crazy long and strange creature thing smack in the middle of the bayou…I am convinced it must have been a 12 foot snake…eek.  Ellie had a blast and it was nice to get out of the house one last time before we left for Hawaii.

We said our goodbyes to everyone and headed down to New Orleans for the night before leaving very early the next morning.  Until next time Louisiana…insert sad face.  So here’s to Hawaii and the adventures to come…insert happy face.

Oak and Pine Alley

BugleWe were on our way back from running some errands and Ellie fell asleep in the car.  What were we to do but drive around for an hour instead of attempting to make the transition from the car to her crib.  While we were driving around town, I remembered a neat little spot that my dad brought us to years ago…Oak and Pine Alley.  I know your first thought is Oak Alley Plantation…but no my friends…there is a place called Oak and Pine Alley.  It is not nearly as famous as Oak Alley and there isn’t an amazing plantation that awaits at the end, but it is a neat little alley tucked away between some sugarcane fields with a little bit of history behind it.

The historic sign explains most of the story, but basically a sugar cane farmer planted this beautiful row of oak and pine trees where it became the backdrop for the wedding of one of his daughters.  The night before the wedding a bunch of spiders were let loose to make webs.  The next morning the webs were sprinkled with gold and silver dust where the bride rode down the pathway in a beautiful carriage.  Unfortunately, the alley has seen better days, but after multiple hurricanes, the alley still stands strong, though somewhat worn down.

There is a creepy aspect to this little place and local folklore has that if you drive down the alley late at night and turn your lights and engine off, you can hear the chains and moans of former plantation slaves.  We did try this a few years ago with a friend of ours and nothing happened, but I was more than creeped out just sitting out there in darkness listening to silence and the occasional cricket.

A Trip to the Children’s Museum

 

BugleSince my parents work during the week, we have been becoming stir crazy from hanging around the house.  And since it is too hot to do anything outside after about 9am, we decided to find a way to get out of the house and do something with Ellie…but indoors.  We found the Children’s Museum of Acadiana.  I was a little worried that it was for older children, but we decided to take her there anyways since I read that they had a toddler area for the little ones.  It was a short trip from the house and easy to find in downtown Lafayette.

Before taking her straight to the toddler area, we wanted to walk around the exhibits to see if Ellie was interested in anything.  There was a vet clinic for stuffed animals with bones, x-rays, and an examination table, but that exhibit was way over Ellie’s comprehension level…plus lots of small things for her eat so we didn’t stay there long.  The next exhibit was a child-sized Winn-Dixie grocery store.  Ellie was absolutely in love!!!  She was just tall enough to push the cart around and put items in there to “purchase” at the register.  Up and down the isles she went grabbing necessities like paper towels and bananas.  After shopping she pushed her cart to the checkout area and Matt helped her ring-up her items.  The next stop was the Bubble Factory.  I think Matt and I had more fun making bubbles than Ellie did, but she did enjoy popping them.  The next few exhibits were more for older kids to run around and play, so we went through them quickly and brought Ellie to check-out the toddler area.  She wasn’t as amused with this area.  We put her on the little horse and let her crawl around, but decided to bring her back to the grocery store to push the cart around some more.

By then her naptime was creeping up, so we didn’t stay much longer before heading back to the car to drive back home.  It was nice to get the family out of the house for the day and let Ellie get some of her energy out.

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Ellie’s First Birthday Party

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BugleWe finally had a nice sunny day on Saturday amongst all of this rain hitting South Louisiana.  Good thing, because we decided to celebrate Ellie’s first birthday party with some friends and family before we leave for Hawaii.  I chose a Splish Splash themed party with rubber duckies and colorful bubbles.  This girl loves everything to do with water and bubble baths, so I thought that it was the most appropriate theme for our little water bug.  I completely forgot to get a picture of her rainbow layered cake as it was being sliced.  It is probably my favorite cake so far just because of all the colorful layers.  Ellie had a blast crawling around to everyone and swimming in the pool with her daddy and cousins.  She was completely exhausted afterwards, and so was I.  Sunday has been a snugly one…well as much as it can be with a crawling baby getting into things she shouldn’t.  I hope that your weekend has been a good one too.

 

Rain Rain Go Away

Bugle As we were about to leave Ft. Benning to head home to South Louisiana for a few weeks of leave, I received a text from my mom, “rough weather here, be careful tomorrow”.  Okay…no big deal…right?  Maybe some heavy rain en route, but nothing too serious.  Well boy was I wrong…little did I know that massive flooding was about to hit and cause major road closures and damage to many homes across the southern portion of the state.  Our eight hour trip turned into twelve and many of the detours that we took getting here have now been closed due to flooding and more flooding.  This poor state cannot catch a break at the moment.  The rain and storms are relentless as many people are evacuating one day only to return to ruined homes the next.  It just breaks my heart to see family, friends, and acquaintances go through such a terrible event.

Welcome to My Blog

Bugle

I have decided to start a blog.

I have been throwing this idea around for a while and since our little family is making a big move very soon…more to come on that…I wanted a place where friends and family can keep up with our happenings.  I also wanted a place where I can share all of my fun, creative DIY projects, since that is what seems to take up most of my free time…minus the chasing around a crawling baby part.  So go and check-out my About Me section and sit back and enjoy.

P.S.  Just bear with me while I work out the kinks and accomplish this whole new learning curve.