So I keep saying I'm going to post Hawaii and of course, I haven't gotten around to it. I'm now on a plane returning from the next adventure so I'll post them all at once. The next adventure being a trip back to Iowa to attend my Little Honey Bunch's nephews College Graduation. There weren't any Straka Family Vacation Curse incidents, unless you count the janky hotel we stayed at the first night. I had just assumed we had gotten reservations at the last place we stayed, which was fine. Unfortunately, it wasn't the case. My M-I-L was trying to get everyone in the same place but my S-I-L checked it out and then informed us that she moved hotels because they thought that one was janky. She did not give us a strong enough warning so we were stuck there for the first night. The parents said it was fine and that they were going to stay. They'll be there until this Saturday. We'll see.
It was Motel Hell. Ick. Like, this was the 'wall' to the hallway. You were basically on display for everyone walking by.
And this was our lovely shower. I was afraid it was going to cave in!
Anyway, starting with Hawaii. In case I hadn't mentioned it, I'm moving there. I fell in love with the weather, the ocean, the pace...everything. We just have to figure out how exactly we're going to afford that. There was a 900 square foot house on the ocean on a half acre for $10 mil.
We didn't do a whole lot. In fact the only things we scheduled were a Luau on Friday and got reservations for dinner on our actual 20th Anniversary. We had dinner at the Hummuhummunukunuku Something Something. I'll have to look it up when I have WiFi. We did the drive to Hana one day, lunched at the black sand beach, bought Hana Banana Bread and stopped at some waterfalls. We also drove to Lahaina one day and noodled around the shops. We walked on the beach for our exercise. We swam in the ocean and a giant sea turtle swam right up to us. We drank and ate fabulous stuff -- except I didn't find any spam. We basked in the glory that is Hawaii.
Like I said, I'm moving there. Or someplace affordable with the same weather. 82 year round.
I also posted 634 pictures to my Phanare Site. I started getting messages from a bunch of people about the nice pics and I wondered how they knew. After a little investigating, I realized Phanfare has been sending out emails to all my contacts whenever I upload any photos. SORRY! I feel like when back in the day, one would trap there guests into watching vacation slide shows. I disabled the notifications so you'll have to check here for whenever I post to Phanfare.
I also can't pick just a couple of pictures to post here so if you want to see any, you'll have to go to Phanfare and wade through 634 pictures (click here), which I actually whittled down from over 1,000. I'll go back and try to put captions so you'll know what you're looking at. On the black sand beach, for example, you can't tell unless I point it out, that there are black crabs wandering all over the rocks. There's also another one of a giant turtle swimming in the water. But it looks like a rock unless I point it out. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED Maui!
Iowa. So Iowa is a place I definitely do not want to move to. It's beautiful. It's green. It's flat. And everyone has a silo and a barn.
But I can't live in a place that has signs like this.
Or that only has four Democrats.
The other thing I noticed is that there are no homeless people or graffiti. But apparently, there are gangs. In Iowa. Gasp! Two of the public schools in Waterloo (where we went to the next hotel and where Mark and Lori work) went to mandatory uniforms to avoid gang conflict. What?!
The old parts of town are really pretty. It reminds me of Benicia or the old sections of Vallejo. Very pretty.
The local grocery store, Hy-Vee, makes so much sense. I mean they do things like put toasters by the bread and wine glasses by the wine. Genius!
But the reason for this mini vacation was for our nephew, Alex's graduation from college. I, and my Little Honey Bunch's sister, were delighted that my Little Honey Bunch came along on this trip. It was my third time visiting her and his first. I think he may have thought that 8 kids (yes, 8, ranging in age from 5 to 22) would make him crazy. That it would be too chaotic. It wasn't. He enjoyed the short visit with his sister and her family. I realized that I love visiting them because it feels like home. There were 8 of us growing up and being in that 'chaos' gives me the warm fuzzies.
After the ceremony, Alex treated us to some of his recordings where he performed songs from operas and Shakespeare in various languages including Russian, French and German. This was a rare pop song he performed with a visiting group. He's doing his part live for us. What talent!
You know how my Little Honey Bunch can never sit still? Well, today he decided he was going to put a coat of finish on the back deck. He had to move the deck furniture but he didn't want to put them inside the bedroom because they were pretty dirty. He wanted to hose them down. Of course, he couldn't simply traipse through the house with them. So he did this.
Yup, he MacGyver'd them off the deck. Ta-da!
While I was on the deck, I noticed Big Red was back. This is the 8th year he's been back! If you look at the video in full screen, you can probably see him.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a Jam Session in San Rafael. The drive was a little over an hour there and back. When I got home, I went to take off my shoes and very weirdly, there was a spider web on my laces. It had the look and feel of a Black Widow's Spider Web. I figured a spider had gotten into the car and was busy building on my shoe on the hour long drive. Since I didn't see it and I didn't have to freak out, I let it go. Although I was careful to check around each time I got into the car.
I didn't think about it again until Saturday when we headed up to Chico. I put something in the back seat and noticed....quite the web! See it?
I figured it couldn't possibly still be alive. What could it be eating? So I kept driving the car. Then today, I noticed another web on the front passenger side!
Good thing we have 3 other cars. Nice knowing you, Klaus (our VW)!
My sister sent me a message asking if I was back in one piece because of, you know, The Straka Family Vacation Curse. Then I went in search of a link somewhere in Nerd to put here, but I couldn't find one. Is it possible that I've never blogged about this? Who knows about the curse? OK, well for those of you who don't know about the curse, here's what I can remember.
It all started with my Little Honey Bunch and his first wife. They took a trip to India and the Taj Mahal was closed for repairs.
Then with his second wife (don't worry, I am the third and last), he went to Tahiti. The worst hurricane on record blew through there and they were stuck in their room for days with only bread and water.
Then, on our first camping trip to Eagle Lake, the Old Blue Truck broke down just five miles from the turn off. There were no cell phones at the time so we just pulled out our camp chairs, popped open a beer and waited for the Highway Patrol. A patrol car finally rolled through, called us a tow truck. Unfortunately, when we got to town, the mechanic/gas stations were closed. We tried to get a room but EVERYTHING was booked because of a Soccer Tournament. We slept in the cab of the pickup truck on a side street. In the morning, we went to a shop. It was the alternator. If my Little Honey Bunch had had a tool set in the truck, he could have taken it out and we could have kept going. This is why he ALWAYS carries tools now.
Then there was the time we were in Denver. We were sitting by the pool and noticed a really big black cloud heading towards us at a very fast rate. We didn't know what it was but just before it got to us, we jumped in the pool. It was a swarm of bees.
Then there was the time we were headed camping, the bikes on a rack on the back of the trailer. Someone pulls up on the freeway alongside of us and motions to the back of the trailer. We pull off to the emergency lane, check the bikes. Nic's had come loose and was dragged behind the trailer long enough for half the handle bars to be grinded down.
Then there was the time we were coming home from camping, went over bumpy train tracks and in the mirror, I noticed one of the motorcycles listing.
Let's see. There was the time the truck got flat tires after driving up to the Antelope Lookout. My Little Honey Bunch had to take the tires to town to get repaired.
Then there was the time someone shot out the side window of the truck and the first thing Nic said was, "Are our GameBoys OK?" My Little Honey Bunch had to take the truck to town to get a new window.
Then there was the time the truck wouldn't start and my Little Honey Bunch had to call a tow truck to take it to the mechanic in town. Turned out to be a loose screw that the dealer had overlooked during his service the previous week.
Remind me not to tell my Little Honey Bunch how much grief this truck has given him otherwise, you'll be seeing a new truck in the driveway. Currently, he can't get it smogged...long story. Diesel issues. But wait, there's more.
Before the truck, we had the Blazer. We borrowed Aunt Phyllis' canoe one year. It was on the top of the roof, right side up because we had stuff in it. After we unloaded the cargo, a thunderstorm ensued. We wondered whether to take the canoe down before it filled up with rain and crushed in the car, at the risk of being struck by lightening while taking down the pointy, shiny object. We risked the lightening.
There was the time when we had the Motorhome and I think Gma and Gpa noticed something wrong with the tires while we were driving. We pulled in to a shop and yup...they had to be replaced.
There was also the time we went to the desert and Natalie got an ear infection and we had to go to urgent care. Not so easy to find in the desert.
On a trip to Eagle Lake, Nat got a bladder infection. Had to take her to the hospital in town, get antibiotics. Left camp early.
Or was that the time she got the ear infection at Eagle Lake?
Um, let's see. Then there was the family trip to Europe. My Little Honey Bunch, Nic, Nat and I so excited to go to France, Italy and Germany! In First Class!! After checking in, the Asiana flight crashed on the runway, canceling and closing down the airport for 3 days. It was a real Planes, Trains and Automobile fiasco. There were several 'curses' in Europe. The Curse within the Curse! I did post those stories (click here).
There was Natalie's first ever trip to Disneyland. She went with her boyfriend, Brett. She got sick as a dog the whole first day. I told her it was the curse.
I feel like I'm forgetting some. I'll post if I remember.
That brings me to our trip last week to Hawaii. Had an uneventful flight out...First Class, Bloody Mary's...it was great! The week was fabulous! I'll post about that once I narrow down the 1,062 pictures I took to just a couple.
So, on our second day there, we're at the pool and I feel a sting on my face. No big deal. Little bug bite. But the next day when I woke up, there was a burbling gurgling looking inch long growth on my face. WHAT THE EFF? Did a spider lay eggs in my face? Then I decide it kind of looks like a cold sore so we go in search of Carmex. Note to everyone: Hawaii does not know what Carmex is. So I buy some Campho-phinique. I figure it's close enough. But then the next day, it looks like my spider nest is burned. Which, secretly, I think is a good thing. So I lay off the Campho-phinique and just leave it alone. Here's a progression of the Spider Nest in my face.
On the flight home, there ended up being an hour and a half delay to depart because of a stupid broken light bulb. My Little Honey Bunch said the nicest thing ever though. He said that being delayed with me at his side wasn't half bad. In fact, being through all those 'curses' with me made it all bearable. I guess so!! We just celebrated our 20th Anniversary!
My name is Rosy, Chacha, Meez, Mama, Mother...take your pick. I am the sort of stay at home mother of 4. Sort of because of my Zumba and my Rodan and Fields jobs.
This is my personal blog intended for my family and friends and for anyone out there who enjoys a good laugh, likes to try out new recipes, likes kittens and loves Zumba. Welcome!
DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for individuals who do not have the ability to comprehend basic English and misinterpret everything they read.