I am so glad you can be a part of our Hawaiian adventure.
Enjoy! --Kristine

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spicing things up

This week was an example of our "typical" Oahu routine. Our new reality involves the following activities: mornings at the YMCA with me trying a random assortment of exercise programs and the kids at "play school"; the kids each take a weekly gymnastics class at a place called My Gym; daily afternoon naps; many visits to the beach for swimming and sand-related artwork; and, of course Tag makes time for turtle catching. This week's theme was tropical fruit salsa. I got on a kick mid-week and prepared a fresh mango salsa to serve with our grilled pork, and then made a kickin' pineapple salsa as an encore the next night. The farmers' market mangoes were enormous and the best I've ever tasted.  

Turtle trapping this week did not involve any of the desired variety, but Tag did manage to capture a very large snapping turtle-- the first that has ever been caught and recorded on the islands. That meant we had an unexpected trip to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu to drop it off for their, um... collection. So, RIP our snappy friend. It was great knowing you for a day.

On Friday night Tag and I dropped the kids off at My Gym for their monthly Parents' Night Out. That meant that Benji and Alice got to enjoy pizza and play time for three hours while Tag and I could relish in a quiet, leisurely, multi-course meal. I decided to go with all of the Yelp recommendations and made reservations at a Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca. The setting and seasonings reminded us a lot of Turkey, so we felt instantly happy. Plus there was the added bonus of sitting on the floor and eating with our hands. The place was BYOB, so we complimented the cuisine with a six-pack of Guinness (classy!). Following dinner we hit Kailua beach for a nighttime stroll under the stars-- the perfect place to think out loud about all kinds of things. No personal decisions can feel too big or important when facing the ocean and the nighttime sky.    

While the babysitting was great for all of us while it lasted, it totally threw off our bedtime rituals and the kids went to sleep super late. They still woke up at their normal time (crack of dawn), which made me and Tag sad/grumpy/mentally slow. The only way to fight off our tiredness was to make the morning special in some way that involved high-octane coffee. Once again we headed out-- this time with the whole crew-- and tried Cinnamon's breakfast spot. Chocolate milk for the little people and Kona coffee for the zombie parents. Review: five stars and eight thumbs up.

PS: Benji's gymnastics teachers asked all of the kids to answer two questions during circle time this week: (1) What is your name? (2) What is your favorite restaurant? ... There were of course a whole string of "McDonald's" and "Applebees." Until Benji, whose reply to the latter question was "my house." How sad (and funny) is that?  This morning I was bound and determined to order that child a stack of pancakes that would make a lasting impression. Hence our order at Cinnamon's-- their special red velvet pancakes with white chocolate syrup. This dish should also be known as "flattened birthday cake with runny frosting" that should never be appropriate at 8:00 am for those under the age of four.

Tag and Benji at Cinnamon's this morning. Notice the tall chocolate milk. Notice the full coffee. Notice the joy. 

That is a guava chiffon pancake in a barely perceptible disguise as a breakfast item. Alice ate the whipped cream, scooped up the syrup with her fingers, and then finally decided to have a few small bites of the pancake.
I swear we normally feed her hard boiled eggs and fruit in the morning. 

Tag discovered an awesome new playground with the kids this afternoon while I took a walk on the beach. This is photo documentation of Benji's first successful journey across monkey bars. 

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