Did you know I moved? Don’t worry, I instragrammed it.

I’ve been away for a while. Life has been extra busy here in my home. My husband and I did something crazy and moved our family. I’m no longer in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Moving has been quite the ordeal. It took us 3 months of planning, purging, and packing to get us on our way. Luckily, I’ve jumped on the instagram bandwagon and tried as much as possible to document our move.

Our family has moved many times, so I’ve developed a talent for packing. I have to say that this was the most challenging, but you know me, I never back down from a challenge. By the morning of our flight, I had 14 bags packed and 10 carry-ons ready to go, we were on our way.

Along with the exhaustion of packing, emotions ran high with saying good-byes to wonderful and dear friends and family. Hawaii has been a wonderful place, where my kids learned to love where they are from and who they are.

Hawaii will always be our home.

Where have we taken our family?

 

Back to the desert. I know, it’s crazy. I think living away from Hawaii, causes us though to have more pride and appreciation in where we are from. We are always asked to share our talents that are unique to the islands when we are on the mainland. In fact, my daughter and I are performing for a luau during the Christmas season. Good times.

Hawaii will still be a part of this blog. Especially now that I’m an island girl in the desert.

CHEAP and FUN things to do in Hawaii (Part II)

It’s another week, and with that, I’ve brought  you another 5 things you can do while you visit Hawaii. I should clarify, that these things are specifically for the island of O’ahu. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Rent a STAND UP PADDLE BOARD (SUPD) and practice at Waimea Bay. Please be aware that this is strictly a summertime activity. In the wintertime, the waves are mundo huge and two things will happen if you try to SUPB. One—- you will die. Second —— you will die.  Glad I cleared that up for you. During the summer, Waimea is like a glass lake. The bay will be calm, which is perfect for SUPB, and I can almost guarantee that you will come across dolphins and sea turtles.

One more thing to clarify, that is NOT me on the board.

2. Visit Kualoa Ranch, famous site of movie and TV shootings including Lost and Jurassic Park. They have a few activities there that won’t break the bank, including horse back riding and a visit to Secret Beach that itself is filled with many activities, including SUPB.

If you opt for the visit to Secret Beach, the people at Kualoa Ranch take you on a boat to get there.

3.   Valley of the Temples Memorial Park has a hidden Japanese Temple called Byodo-In Temple. It’s a great site to see, very mystical. This location has been featured in famous TV shows such as Magnum P.I., as well as a quick scene in the movie Pearl Harbor. It really is a quite a beautiful place, with peacock walking around and the ponds are filled with carp. The entry fee is very inexpensive, between $2-$3 per person, depending whether you are a child or an adult.

My only caution would be to wear long pants. There are some areas of the grounds that have lots of mosquitoes.

4. On your circle island tour of O’ahu, make sure to stop at Turtle Beach to catch the sea turtles sun bathing. It’s fun to see, especially when there’s more than one of them. Often times, when you are at the beach, if you are watching carefully from shore, you can see them come up for air out in the water.

Just be aware though, that the sea turtles are a protected species. It is against the law to even touch them. Most times there are volunteers at the beach that put markers around the turtles, so that people keep their distance.

5.   Visit the Mighty Mo!! Your kids, as well as yourself will love exploring this battleship from WW II. The Mighty Mo isn’t just any battleship. It is the site where WW II ended. There are tour guides that will take you to different parts of the ship, explaining the history behind it all. It is magnificent to see and hear the stories.

Check out the guns on this ship. Awesome!

There are more places to show . . . stay tuned.

 

Cheap and Fun Things to Do in Hawaii Series (Part I)

After living in Hawaii for many years, I’ve been asked by friends who come to visit, where should I go? What do you recommend doing while in Hawaii?

I’ve made a list. When you live in Hawaii, money is tight (it’s the price we pay for paradise). So the list I’ve come up with are things I’ve done with my kids that were cheap, free and fun. You should however know though that this list is specifically for the island of O’ahu.

1. Boogie boarding at the beach. There are a few that are beginner friendly, with Wakiki Beach being one of them. There are others on the North Shore as well — Castles is my favorite.

2. Spending the day at the Honolulu Zoo.

3. Hiking the many trails we have here on O’ahu: Diamond Head, Manoa Falls, Laie Falls. There are a so many more to choose from. Just be sure to go when the weather is good. Rainy weather equals flash flooding, and since many of these trails are in the mountains, there’s always that danger. When the weather is great, take a camera because the sights are breathtaking!

4.   Shave-ice in Haleiwa. The famous spot is Matsumoto’s, but there is usually a long line. Their neighbor Aoki’s has great shave-ice as well. If you’re adventurous, ask them to add AZUKI BEANS and ICE-CREAM to the bottom,  and top it off with SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK & WHIPPED CREAM. Ummmmm . . . I think I need to get one of these after lunch today.

5.   Visit the AZ Memorial and the Mighty Mo. Many great history lessons learned and new found appreciations realized for those who serve our country.

I can’t pick a favorite from this short list. They are all fun and neat things to do, during your visit here in the Aloha State. Stay tuned next Tuesday for my next 5 Cheap and Fun Things to do in Hawaii.

CONTEST GIVEAWAY!! —-WINNER ANNOUNCED!

Sorry for the delay! I was out and about last night and just forgot about announcing the winner. I was a little worried maybe that the picture would be too hard to guess. If you’re still wondering what is on the end of that fishing line it is an

EEL.

The eel wrapped itself around the fishing line as we were pulling it out. We did have someone who guessed correctly!

CONGRATULATIONS IWA!! YOU GUESSED RIGHT. YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE $25 GIFT CARD FROM AMAZON.COM.

Please email me at malie@thebusycoconut.com to redeem your prize.

Thank you everyone for playing!!

It seems like we had fun last time we played this game. So I thought we’d play again.

Here’s a little background to the picture. We went fishing with my dad when he visited us a while ago. We pulled up some interesting things from the ocean. This was one of them. The game is pretty simple. Here are the rules:

1. Leave your guess in the comments section below. No one will be able to see your answer. Only one guess per person.

2. If more than one person guesses correctly, they will be automatically put into the drawing for the prize.

3. Contest will end on Saturday, March 10th, 2012 at 5pm (Hawaii Standard Time). The winner will be announced later that evening.

In case you’re wondering the prize will be a $25 gift card for Amazon.com.

GOOD LUCK!!

After a Storm

The beaches in Hawaii are beautiful and fun to swim at. After a storm, they do tend to look a little different. When it does rain, we are always mindful of not swimming right away because the water turns brown from the runoff coming down from the mountains. When we went to the beach last week, we forgot about the sticks that usually wash up on shore.

It is kind of a sight because you can see it all along the shore. These tourists are probably wondering why it doesn’t look like the brochures.

The sticks on the shore just gave my coconuts something else to do besides swimming. Can we say “FORT CITY”?!

I mean really, what kid wouldn’t love an endless supply of sticks.

My kid got to diggin’ and built himself a roof over his head. Guess which kid would be the last man standing on Survivor.

Even my oldest couldn’t resist the sticks.

So if you’re ever visiting the islands for the first time, and it’s storming, don’t be surprised by the debris on the shore. Remember “If Life Hands You Sticks, Build a Fort.”