Monday, April 28, 2014

All Cats Go to Heaven

20 years ago I casually adopted a black cat with golden eyes and named her Cleopatra. She grew up with me and was there for it all. Last week she stopped eating and 5 days later passed away in my arms. I thought since we share so much of our lives here, it would be wrong not to mention such a significant event in our lives. She did appear several times on the blog - here, here and here.

Her presence is so do dearly missed. She was such a talkative cat and literally said good morning to us every day.  As she aged Cleo definitely became more and more demanding, but also more and more rewarding. She turned many non-cat people into cat people. She was sweet, mischievous, obedient and loved showers in the kitchen sink. Farewell my sweet kitty, I will forever remember you.


Hanging out in the gardenChilling on the windowsill

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life, As of Late

The Move
*my dad labeled our furniture to help mike learn vietnamese and they survived the severe man-handling of the movers!

{setting up the essentials first}
Beverage Center

{still haven't hung anything up - loving the blank white walls and wonderful light we get}
Too many nick nacks

{outdoor space}
Balcony Plants

{exploring the new hood}
Late Evening in Old TownNeighborhoodBus Station Wavy Wall

{insanely yummy birthday dinner at this insanely yummy southern restaurant}
Birthday Dinner AppetizersScreen Door Birthday Dinner

{best birthday gift ever}

{post dinner sweet fix at one of our favorite spots in the city}
Dessert TimeTigre and Incognito

SS LegacyUn-Cruise Adventures

{springtime trees before the leaves fill-in completely}
Spring Tree

{mornings on the willamette river}
Morning Willamette

{start of our day}
White Stag Sunrise

{end of our day}
Blood Moon

Monday, April 7, 2014

Maui Photo Diary

Let's start with the Bliss Beach House we rented in Kihei, because it was BEAUTIFUL. We had our own pool, was only 2 blocks from a quiet and wonderful walkable beach, the kitchen sink oh that kitchen sink (and the whole open kitchen area too), the game room, the amenities (everything you would need for a day at the beach: gear, chairs, bags, towels, etc.) and the care the owners took to make it really feel you are living at the beach on MAUI!Thank you Bliss Beach House, you made our time in Maui extraordinary!

Beach HouseKitchenBeach House BedroomLanai & Beach BagsBeach House PoolGame RoomBliss Beach House BeachTuan on bliss house beachBliss Beach House Beach Sunset

We got up at 3:30am to make the dark trek up to Halekala Crater in hopes of seeing the sunset. It was cloudy and raining so we couldn't see much, but that was ok because we were able to see "up country Maui", have a terrific rustic breakfast, was by the pool by 9am that morning and had our first beach day.

Grandma's Coffee HouseGrandma's Coffee House Lucky CatGrandma's Coffee House BenedictstGrandma's Coffee House OmelettesEnjoying the poolUlua BeachThe gang's first beach dayHammock Time

The next morning we got up at a more reasonable hour to take in the northern peninsula and check out the Nakalele Blowhole. After we had a terrific lunch at Star Noodle, everyone's favorite was the Filipino Bacon and Eggs. I could eat this whole meal again.

Nakalele BlowholeHiking Down to NakaleleNakalele BlowholeDown at the Nakalele BlowholeHaving fun at the BlowholeRugged Nakalele AreaNakalele Blowhole CoastHeart RockCoconut WaterStar NoodleStar Noodle RamensFilipino Bacon and Eggs & Fern SaladGarlic Noodles and KaraagePickle Plate and Brussel SaladStar Noodle Desserts

The next morning we all got up and hit the road to Hana. The road to Hana is all about the journey on the 2-lane highway, 1-lane bridges along a rugged coastline with bamboo forests, waterfalls, lush hillsides and a black sand beach.

Northern CoastViews from Road to hanaRed Blooming FlowerNorth Coast SurfersPhotobombing ParentsTaking Photos along the road to HanaHiking through Bamboo ForestInside the Bamboo ForestPhotographing the bamboo forestTri in the bamboo forest streamBlack Sand BeachBlack Sand Beach on the Road to HanaSmooth Stones at Black Sand BeachNorth Coast Black Sand BeachBeach PlantsLava TubesLava Tubes

The next morning we went snorkeling at Molokini, a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater. It was amazing. We saw eels, tons of humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaii's national fish) and gorgeous colorful coral. From the boat we saw whales breaching and a turtle. By the way, snorkeling and mustaches do not go together.

Snorkeling at MolokiniHeaded out to snorklet Molokini

We were back in time to check out the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve and the interesting lava fields at La Perouse Bay before heading to an amazing sushi dinner at Koiso Sushi Bar.

La Perouse BayPlaying on the lave rocksMike checking out the lava fieldsKoiso Sushi BarKoiso Sushi Bar BeveragesOmakase PartsOmakase DinnerUnkimo & Aji

By this time we were ready for more relaxation and that meant a full day at the beach. We rummaged through the beach supplies and headed to Big Beach just south of us to sit in the shade, try some body boarding, enjoy the gorgeous Maui ocean water, eat BBQ and take naps. If we lived in Maui, we'd live close to this terrific public beach.

Big Beach LandscapeActivities on Big BeachiPerfect Day at Big BeachBody Boarding at Big BeachiBig Beach

As a special treat we took Mom to a magic show, she loves magic shows. The Parlor room was adorable, the little theater allowed for close-up entertainment of old-fashion slight of hand type magic and the two magicians/comedians were terrific. It was very entertaining and something we'd suggest to anyone to do if they're in Maui.

Warren & Annabelle's Magic ShowComedian-Magicians

We needed more relaxation so we booked a couples massage that was heavenly. We then headed into the fancy area of Wailea to have lunch and do a bit of shopping. We found Maui restaurants very clever with their Pacific Island twist, so nutmeg honey butter & sweet bread or blackened swordfish rueben sandwich anyone? The blue crab salad was pretty terrific too. We had dinner plans so we stayed south and checked out Makena Beach.

StartersLunchLush grounds at Makena ResortMakena ResortTurtle Ice Sculpture

The next day we had to check out of the beach house and head into Lahaina for a final night on this amazing island, which wouldn't be complete without a luau at the Old Lahaina Luau. But first one final morning walk on the beach.

Punahoa BeachParents at Old Lahaina LuauLuau GroundsUnveiling the kalua pigKalua PigSunset at the LuauOld Lahaina Luau all you can eat and drinkLuau EntertainmentLuau Attire and Big Banyan Tree

That night we walked down the beach and tossed our leis in the water in hopes of coming back soon. The next morning we leisurely got up and headed into Lahaina for one last stroll around this cute old plantation town. Sundays there is an art fair held at the town's Banyan Tree Park, which is amazing. This whole park is made up of 1 banyan tree. We had another mahi mahi themed breakfast and bid farewell to the Garden Gate Bed and Breakfast.

LahainaMahi Mahi BenedictsGarden Gate B&B and Coco

On the way to the airport, we had to stop for one last fresh fruit juice. Oh Maui how we loved our time there and will be back as soon as we check out one last island - Hawaii Big Island we're looking at you next!

Olowalu Juice Stand ProduceOlowalu Juice Stand