Friday, 31 August 2012

Dress ups

The kids LOVE to dress up.  So they were over the moon when the Pennys gave us a big bag of dress up clothes to keep.  Here are some of the outfits in action.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

First day of school - Felicity

This is Felicity on her first day of preschool.  Her teacher is Miss Doris and she attends one morning a week.

She was very good yesterday and loved playing in the kitchen.  Miss Doris said that she was a very sweet girl and couldn't have been easier to look after.  I agree. [Though she did try to take some gluten cheerios from the other kids!]

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

First day of school - Lucy

Lucy had a great first day of first grade.  Her teachers are Ms Tedder and Ms Cormier.

We had a special back to school breakfast of bacon scrapple, berry fruit cups with whipped cream and waffles with baked bananas.  All scrumdiddlyumptious!

Andrew drove her to school on the first day to deliver all the school supplies and since then she has been catching the bus to and from school.

For the first two weeks she is the class line leader!

Apart from the tiredness from getting up at 6:30am she is loving being back!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hawaii - Grand Wailea

The Grand Wailea is indeed a very fun hotel to stay at.  Not the part about 5 of us living in one room together but the part about the awesome waterslides, baby beach and gazillion pools. But we'll get to that.  The resort grounds were beautiful.  Henry couldn't understand why he couldn't swim in the ponds in the main foyer.  Why would you have pools just for decoration? Good point.  The only drawback to such a large complex is that our room was a very LONG walk to the pools.

The whole reason we decided to stay at the Grand Wailea for 2 nights and 1 day was to spend that day swimming and using the water slides.

We hired a cabana near the baby beach and pool.  It was so fun there for the kids being able to play with the sand, walk into the shallow pool and splash around before swimming out.  All three kids got floating rings and we went around and around in the lazy river.  We also had icecream smoothies in pineapple cups delivered to the cabana.

During the little kid naps Lucy and Andrew went on all the waterslides as well as the water elevator. Lucy went non-stop from 10am till 6pm at which time she just wanted to go to bed and sleep without eating dinner. But she says it was the BEST day in Hawaii.

We ate incredibly well.  The first night we ate at Amasia, an Alan Wong restaurant. I  could spend a couple of hours raving about how good the food is (and we were only eating off the gluten free menu). We had an amazing experience there.  And at the end the manager told us that we had the best behaved children.  I overheard her telling someone else how good the kids were too.  I'll take it as there are plenty of the opposite occasions when I just want to slink out of a restaurant. Our table was across a bridge and on top of a platform built over the koi pond that flowed through the restaurant.  The kids had a great time spotting the fish swimming by.  I had a good time eating lomilomi sushi and drinking lilikoi cocktails.  Andrew had another waygu beef steak (though not as good or as expensive as Tokonoma in Sydney!) Check out the tomato salad below.  So good we got two!

The next day we had breakfast in the Grand Dining Room complete with gluten free pancakes (something we hadn't enjoyed for a month), for lunch we enjoyed takeout pizza in our cabana by the pool and dinner was on site at Bistro Molokini.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Hawaii - Kaanapali Alii

We spent five days at the Kaanapali Alii in Kaanapali, near Lahaina. We had a 3 bedroom luxury apartment with two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a laundry.  Located on the top floor.  It was AWESOME! 

We bought lots of groceries from Whole Foods and ate most breakfasts and lunches at home.  We cooked dinner once or twice - check out the view from the BBQ across the water! (Our apartment even had a bbq cart to take our food down to the eating area)

The resort had 3-4 pools and some hot tubs.  We spent most of the time in the kiddie pool or the waterfall pool.  The kids were not very interested in the beach.  We went a couple of times but they didn't like it much.  It didn't help that most of the beach was taken up by surfing classes.  One of the times we were there the class literally lined up in front of our family separating us from the water.


We ate out a few times, our favourite being Star Noodle. Their Filipino “Bacon & Eggs” was amazing  – Crispy Pork Belly, Fried Egg, Tomato, Onion.

We were definitely sad to be leaving here to change hotels.  However we didn't know what fun was in store for us at the next place.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Hawaii - Helicopter ride around Maui

We spent so long driving to Hana that we didn't feel like another day of driving despite that fact we REALLY wanted to see the Haleakala volcano. So Andrew decided we should do a helicopter tour!

Our first tour was cancelled due to cloud cover and unfortunately there wasn't another Haleakala tour during our stay.  But we could upgrade to a Haleakala + whole island tour.  So we did it despite the cost because we'd much rather invest in an experience than in tacky Hawaiian souvenirs.

It was an amazing time and Maui is beautiful!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Hawaii - Lahaina

We headed out to downtown Lahaina a couple of times for some Ono Gelato. Popular flavours in our family included: lilikoi (passionfruit), chocolate, strawberry and well just some more lilikoi with fresh lilikoi on top.

We walked along Front Street looking at the touristy shops selling all things Hawaiian.  We even spent a few minutes in an art gallery enjoying some original Chagall drawings.  Along the way we stopped at the 100 year old massive Banyan tree and then we had some photos taken at the Bird Stand.  We arrived for a photo at the changeover time for the birds so we attempted to have a quick photo with the departing birds but Henry tried to touch one which the birds did not like.  So we ended up waiting for the new birds. Lucy was so excited to hold a small green parrot cradled in her hands but Henry was over it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Hawaii - Road to Hana

We drove the road to Hana.  And survived... but barely!

It's only 30 miles long but it takes about 2 hours to navigate the narrow winding road. At many parts the road/bridge is only one car wide so there is a lot of stopping and giving way. Given that it took about an hour to get to the start of the road we ended up spending about 6 hours in the car that day.  No wonder we were all tired and cranky at the end.

Along the way we saw lots of beautiful scenery and waterfalls. Interestingly we didn't see any hibiscus, red ti or frangipani plants.  All of these plants adorn the resorts but don't seem to be prevalent across the rest of Maui.

Our port of call at the end of the road was the Hana Lava Tube.  We had a great time exploring this underground tube with torches/flash lights.  Lucy and Henry were so brave they ran off without us into the dark.  Felicity absolutely loved being in the dark in the cave and cried until she was allowed to walk herself. Even though she ended up with skinned knees she just loved it.  I think Andrew has 3 little cavers on his hands. After the cave (which included a geocache) we headed up to the maze made out of Red Ti.  The kids loved getting to the centre and then finding their way out to our picnic lunch purchased at Whole Foods.

After lunch we drove to the black sand beach at Waianapanapa [say that fast 3 times!]  The rocks were really hot after baking in the sun all day but were great for putting on sore neck muscles.  Felicity chose to taste the rocks instead. Disappointingly there were SO many tourists! It's not that big of a beach and despite rip warning there were many swimmers. 

At the end of the grueling drive we stopped off at Mama's Fish House.  Sounds like a hole in the wall eatery but it's actually a pretty fancy restaurant to which we were slightly underdressed.  The kids had a play at the little beach in front of the restaurant beforehand and then we enjoyed some good fresh fish (or lamb if you're Andrew)