We just got back from almost two weeks in Hawaii and we already want to go back. It was great hanging out with family, going to the beach, eating lots of wonderful food and playing tourist. We were there for Grandma’s birthday and started out the week going out to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate. The kids loved hanging out with Jordan and the three of them spent lots of time chasing the hundreds of lizards that thrive in Grandpa’s back yard. Dan got Jordan and Miles to play this new card game he got called Munchkin and ended up playing almost every night before bed time. There were trips to the beach, hiking, sightseeing, the Bishop Museum, the state Farm Fair and lots of shopping and eating. We spent one morning visiting the spot at Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery where Jeanine spread Mom’s ashes. It’s a beautiful spot with a great view that she would have loved and visiting it made us all miss her again. We spent our last day going over old pictures and then going to a fantastic buffet, full of foods that are hard to find at home. We can’t wait until our next visit. Scroll down for two albums full of more pictures.
Even though he has had an entry every year, this was the only year that Daniel was required to enter. For his project he wanted to see what soda would do to meat. He also tried lots of other liquids too, soaking the meat for 5 days and making regular observations of what happened. It turns out that soda in an airtight jar does not really dissolve meat, but vinegar turns it into jelly. In addition to three kinds of soda and the vinegar, he soaked the meat in lemonade, water and mineral water. In almost all cases when he opened the jar on the fifth day, it really stunk.
Elizabeth went for something way less smelly in trying different ways to blow up ballons. Baking soda, ice water, yeast, warm water, sugar, and heat were all used to try to blow up balloons with varying degrees of success. It seems that the quickest and most effecient way for Liz to get a balloon inflated is to ask Mom or Dad to do it.
At the science fair, there was an raffle and Daniel won a trip to an aviation museum, some miniature golf passes and a session at an inflatable jump house place.
The Hallers came up to visit on St. Patrick’s day weekend and brought their awesomely shiny bubbly new Airstream trailer with them. On St. Patrick’s Day Eve, while I was at work, Sandy and Elizabeth went to see the annual Dublin St. Patrick’s Day parade. Daniel had to stay home to put the final touches on his big fifth grade research paper on movies. That afternoon Wade, Jeanine, Luke and Olivia drove up in a gigantic van towing an even gigantic-er trailer. They spent most of the weekend with us and all of the kids had a great time playing with each other. On Sunday, we all hiked to the Dublin Library and spent a few hours eating and playing at the St. Patrick’s Day fair. There were rides for the kids but the lines were crazy long so we couldn’t ride anything. We were sad to see them go on Monday, and can’t wait to see them again.
Despite limited space in the house because of the kitchen remodel, and limited time, because they started so late, both Daniel and Elizabeth were able to have projects in for this year’s Frederiksen Elementary Science Fair. Elizabeth decided to see if carnations would turn different colors if put in colored food dye and jello, and Daniel explored how balloon rockets traveled along a different types of string. As always they had fun doing the experiments but were not all that excited about documenting them on the presentation boards. Sandy helped lots while I was either at work or painting the bathroom. (Since we changed the floor in the kitchen, and the same floor was in the bathroom, we decided to change that too, which resulted in a whole bathroom remodel.) Daniel and Elizabeth came home from this year’s science fair talking about what they would do for the next one.
We really packed in the Hawaii activities this weekend starting by going to a very crowded craft and food fair on Saturday with Grandma and Jordan. We saw tons of shirts and jewelry and other fashion items and tasted a thousand different types of food. We left with some trinkets, some li hing kettle corn, and some dead animals preserved in resin. Dan got an octopus and immediately named him Bobby Flay because he thought Bobby Flay might have made some good calimari with it if he had gotten the chance. Elizabeth got a gecko, which was appropriate since she’s been chasing lizards and geckos since we got here. Jordan got a hermit crab. We went to Sam Choy’s for lunch, and Miles joined us to watch Hawaii beat up on Tulane for dinner.
On Sunday we brought flowers to Punchbowl Cemetery where three of Sandy’s uncles are interred and where Jeanine had spread mom’s ashes. It is a very beautiful location.
After that we toured the grounds of Honolulu City Hall, Iolani Palace and the State Capitol. Then we went to the Arizona Memorial but were kept from actually going all the way to the site because high winds made it too hard for the boats to take us there. We still went through the museum and were able to look across Pearl Harbor to see the memorial and the battleship Missouri. Dan, Liz and I were impressed by this giant snail, but Jordan didn’t understand why since she sees them that size all the time.
We then drove out the new Aulani Disney Resort on the West side of Oahu. It was lacking in Disney-ness in lots of ways and while very pretty, it could have been a Hyatt or Marriott. Still Dan was impressed by the river pool and water playground and wants to stay there some day. This time we just ate at the hotel buffet which was very tasty but also very expensive. I still can’t get to sleep at 1:30 a.m. because I ate so much. Now I’ll have to tone down the eating for the rest of the vacation.
We tried deep fried everything almost at the Orange County Fair. Jeanine, Wade, Luke, Olivia, Tura, and joesandanliz all took the van to the fair where in addition to trying deep fried artichokes, butter, kool aid, corn dogs, cream cheese, bacon fries and potato skins, we also had popcorn, crepes, shrimp cocktail, a pickle and probably even more stuff that I forgot. We also looked at farm animals, took some turns trying to win prizes (Elizabeth got 5 stuffed animals, Daniel got 2), watched a motorhome demolition derby, rode ponies, looked at millions of exhibits and went down a big slide. The kids were so tired by the time we got home, but no where near as tired as the adults were. Lots of pictures are here.
We got up early to go to the Old Spanish Days Fiesta in downtown Santa Barbara and watch a parade that consisted mostly of horses and mules. Its is supposed to be one of the biggest equestrian parades there is, and we saw enough horses to last us several. After all of the clip-cloppiness of the morning, we went to Stearns Wharf to eat some sea food, and then learn about sea life at the Ty Warner Sea Center. Dan and Elizabeth got to touch sharks, sift bottom sand to find sea life, and pretend they were in a shark egg case. Another small aquarium but much nicer than the Morro Bay one and without sickly fish. After we left the wharf we headed downtown to check out the Fiesta but it was so crowded and lots of people were already pretty drunk and rowdy but the time we got there. So we stopped at a booth where the kids played with slot cars, bought some kettle corn, and wore out Elizabeths legs walking back to the hotel. But we were able to enjoy a surprise carousel ride in a park on the way back. After pizza for dinner, Dan and Joe explored some of the parks and nearby hotels why Sandy and Liz stayed in the room and did crafts and rested Liz’s broken legs. Click here for pictures of the day.
Dan did a science fair project for school, and we went to look at it during his school’s open house yesterday. The project combined learning with something he already likes doing….playing with hot wheels. He rolled a hot wheels car down a track several times. Each time the track was coated with something else. He wrapped the track in aluminum foil, sprayed it with water, covered it with sand paper and hand soap and hair spray. To get the project done took a long time because he was sooooo slow in writing it up. But it was a good job and everyone seems to like it.
P.S. The fastest car was the one that went on the hairspray covered track and the slowest was with the hand soap.
Today we went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. If you don’t know, it’s a exhibition put on by the people who make Make magazine. There are lots of geeky and artsy stuff. Some of it was kind of loud and there was a lot of walking, so Elizabeth got tired quickly. We didn’t stay long but got to see almost everything. There were working R2D2’s, artsy cars, robotic dragons, crazy mettally things, and lots of crafts. There was even a Lego exhibit that Dan liked a lot. After we left we went for lunch at the Fish Market.