Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I had what was left of the four bags of candy that I bought last week in a small white bowl waiting for Trick or Treaters to come. I go into a panic every year that we will get more Treaters than the normal dozen or less, and then I over buy candy. Supposedly, the town of Pittsfield observes Trick or Treating from 5-7 pm this year. In my opinion, it wasn't sufficiently dark enough to Trick or Treat until 6 pm. But as of 6 pm, we still had not had any costumed children stop by. I have my buckets with Jack o' Lantern faces cut out of them all lined up by the front door with candles inside them. I am having a hard time keeping the tea lights lighted in the wind tonight, but I am putting up a good effort. And Elleigh is dressed in her Hawaiian shirt and her candy corn dog collar. Austin isn't feeling too great, but he's still sporting a Halloween bandanna.

First Treater came at 6:35 pm. A little She-Devil who actually was much more interested in Elleigh than the candy. She obviously has great taste in dogs.

At 7 pm, up pulled a 4 wheeler hauling a wagon complete with orange lights, a lighted Jack o' Lantern head, and Halloween music playing. How cool is that?! A brother and sister vampire got out of the wagon and came to the door. My brother and I just use to walk the whole neighborhood by ourselves. I guess things have changed.

At 7:45 pm, three teenage girls came. Two of the girls were dressed as french maids with thigh high fishnet stockings and tiny little skirts that bared all. I would have had to cover Michael's eyes if he went to the door. One poor thing was shivering because she had so little clothes on. The third one had a slinky dress on too, but she wore clothes underneath her costume.

And since it is now almost 8 pm, it seems safe to assume that we got the least amount of Treaters this year that I can ever remember... 6. Well, that was anticlimactic. I guess it is safe to eat the white Reese's Peanut Butter Cups now. And the Ghost Dots.

paper lanterns & response cards

The box of paper lanterns arrived today via the postal carrier. The lanterns are bright and I like them, but the LED lights don't seem to be bright enough to actually make a nice enough glow inside the lanterns. Maybe I will try another kind of LED light to see if it works any better.

Also in the mail, the sample response card that I ordered came as well. It has cherry blossoms on it, so now I have to see how it matches with the cherry blossom invitations when those arrive from Paper Source.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just Sweep Already!!

We all are hoping that the Sox just sweep and get this World Series over with tonight. Staying up to see these games is just exhausting. Poor Elleigh tries so hard to keep her eyes open and watch every play, but sometimes sleep just gets the best of her. We try not to get too exuberant over the good plays so we don't jostle her awake. The Princess needs her beauty sleep.

laptop sleeve progress

I managed to get another inch and a half on the felted laptop sleeve project tonight. You can compare my progress to the beach knitting photo in my October 4th post. There were all kinds of sports to watch tonight on television: NASCAR, the Patriots, and I am still watching the Red Sox. Sports are perfect to knit while watching. I think I have about 10 more inches to go on the laptop sleeve before I will need to sew it up, make a strap and then felt the project. Maybe this is a project I will need to pack for this coming weekend trip to Grand View for the knitting retreat.

Go Sox!!

paper lanterns

I found some beautiful pink pagoda shaped paper lanterns on-line a few weeks ago. I was going to order some for wedding reception decorations, but when I went to order them last weekend they were out of stock. When I just checked tonight, they were available again, so a half dozen are on the way to the house. They make LED faux tea lights now, so I also ordered a pack of those to go inside of the paper lanterns. That way the whole reception hall won't burn down because we put open flame inside a paper lantern. I bet Lake Opechee Inn will appreciate that.

Wedding Invitations

I ordered our wedding invitation kit from Paper Source tonight. The invitations will match the guest book we already got from Paper Source. We are going to print our own invitations using the inkjet printer, and save a bunch of money by doing so. This kit has everything we need to make gorgeous invites: envelopes, ribbon, wrappers, and all the paper needed. We won't send these out until just after the new year, but I wanted to buy them sooner than later. I had a fear that the product would be so popular it would go out of stock, or so unpopular that it would be discontinued.

Things are moving on the wedding front now, and even Michael seems to be getting into it. I think he actually perused some of the tuxedo brochures Nancy got for us.

I'm up late again to watch the Sox. Go Red Sox!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wedding Planning

Lots of fun wedding stuff happened today!

On the way home from work tonight, I beat the Halloween Howl crowd to Main Street in Concord and I went to Apollo Travel Services. I spoke with Carmen Martin, a travel consultant, and set Michael and I up with a wedding registry for our honeymoon trip. I remember when Allison and Jay were married, they registered for their honeymoon trip to Barbados and I thought it was a great idea. Michael and I are still thinking we might like to go to Costa Rica, but we still have plenty of time to decide on the exact destination and what resort we'd like to stay at.

I definitely need to start the process for getting my passport. I hear that the passports are not taking near as long as before, but I still need to leave enough time for processing.

Nancy brought me several tuxedo rental pamphlets from the Laconia area today, and Allison told me how she and Jay were happy when they used Mr. Tux in Concord for their wedding rentals. Michael still needs to decide on what attire he would like for himself and the groomsmen, but if rentals are involved, it might be easier to rent them in Laconia since it will be closer to Lake Opechee Inn.

And then for dinner tonight, Michael and I met with Rick and Carolyn Bowie, and Nancy and Dale at The Weathervane in Chichester. It was really nice to meet Rick, as he is going to be our wedding DJ. Both Michael and I are excited since he's got a great personality and seems like he will be able to get people moving on the dance floor. We look forward to our meeting with Rick in February when we will go through lists of music for the wedding.

And then after dinner, Michael and I went to Jared's (The Galleria) to look at wedding bands for Michael. He found a few things he liked, so we took model numbers and will stop in there again to see if he still likes the same styles, as well as check a few other stores.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Poll Results

My blog poll came to and end today on what color scheme I should go with for my blog. Pinks and browns were the favorite, by far. Almost as much of a landslide in the poll as game one of the world series this year. Pink and brown is also very fitting blog colors considering those are the wedding colors. Though, I can't quite find the exact shades of pink and brown to match the wedding, I did play with some colors tonight and this is the scheme I came up with. Do tell me if you absolutely hate it, or if it's difficult to read.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Wedding Dress

I purchased my wedding dress late in August, but tonight I finally sent in my measurements so the dress can be made custom to my body shape. I filled out the order form while I watched the Red Sox tromp the Rockies in game one of the World Series. I should receive the dress in 12-18 business days. So, by Thanksgiving I should have the dress in the house. 4 months and 1 week+ left to go to wedding day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pete's Blog

My friend, and co-worker, Pete shared with me his blog address tonight as we were winding down at work. I won't post his blog address here, unless he expressly gives me permission to do so, but I did want to share a few things from his blog that made me laugh and ponder tonight.

Pete is a member of a senior blog. I am feeling funny by the fact that I chat openly with a peer that is old enough to be a member of a blog for "people with experience." That's the nice, politically correct verbiage they have on the blog community. I had to sit and think a bit to realize that yes, he may be old enough to be on an "experienced" blog site. It made me wonder if he has an AARP card?! I was just talking with Pete about pop culture (music and TV) and now I find out he moonlights on a senior blog. Does this make me old too, or am I just really good at relating to older people?

Pete's blog is full of his regular whit and humor. And Pete likes to ask questions that make one have to ponder. This is my new favorite pondering question that I found on his blog: "If a man is alone in the woods and there is no woman around... and then expresses an opinion, is he still wrong?"

Of course the man is still wrong! And he is probably alone in the woods in the first place because he is lost and was too stubborn to stop and ask for directions.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nancy's dress

I met with Allison, Nancy and Jacinda at Borders on Saturday to do a little wedding planning. After Borders, Jacinda and Nancy tried on bridesmaid dresses for me at Cassie's on Main Street in Concord. Nancy found a long dress at Cassie's that she liked in the dark brown, but then when we were in Ever After, a shorter cocktail length Alfred Angelo dress took over as Nancy's favorite dress. And she looked so good in it too! So Nancy is going to order that dress in the same espresso brown as Kim's dress. I really think Nancy honestly could wear this dress again sometime. It is Nancy's style.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Missing Grandma

Grandma Johnson passed away 6/23/2007 and I was able to see her last breath. For me, seeing her last breath will be one of the best things I ever get to do in my life, if that makes sense. I was honored to be there.

I was able to pass the summer by convincing myself that it had just been a long time between visits to Vermont to see Gram. But now as the fall is setting in, I'm finding I really, really miss Grammy. And though I am excited for my brother's family as my brother renovates Gram place so they can move in, it is very sad to think that on my next visit I will find that Gram's house will have many major changes.

Gram almost made it to her 95th birthday, and in my lifetime, she didn't make a lot of changes to her place. I can probably count the few changes she made on one hand: kitchen wallpaper, a newer TV, repainted the downstairs bathroom a pretty blue, and bought a microwave. So it is going to be hard to see all of the new paint, see the old stove replaced with a modern (safe) one, see the upstairs bedrooms repainted modern colors and the 60's wallpaper gone, and to find that a dishwasher has finally been installed in the kitchen.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Top of the Town Take Over

I think that Joe Holiday's Top of the Town in Belmont saw the most action it has had in a long time last evening. Michael and I attended the 35th birthday party for Owen P. Shackdaddy, the alter ego of Glenn. The Top of the Town accepted us openly as we made conga lines, sprawled across the small dance floor changing partners randomly, and whooped it up making a ruckus. I would classify the folks who frequent the Top of the Town as "older" and they do like to get on the dance floor and move to the sounds of the synthesizer player. Many people seemed to actually know how to dance, meaning, I saw the jitterbug and some other formal dance steps. One "regular" who seemed happy to accept our younger crowd was an 86 year old who still had enough energy to take on both Alison and Nancy on the dance floor. The Dancing Hands synthesizer show was one of the few times our group took an intermission. Nancy thinks this is the location that our rehersal dinner should be held at. Interestingly enough, the staff said we should come back again soon rather than asking us to never come back.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kimi's ordering her dress

I spoke with Kimi on the phone last night and she has decided on her maid of honor dress and is planning to order herself an Alfred Angelo dress in espresso. It's another lovely, dark brown. Kimi did some research with her local bridal shop and was advised that this is the time to be ordering bridesmaid dresses for a March wedding, with only a smidgen of wiggle room. I am very happy about her dress as it is simple, yet elegant, and I think Kim will be comfortable in it. For those keeping track, that's two down for dresses on the bridal party!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shaelyn has her dress!

Shaelyn, my little junior bridesmaid, has her chocolate brown dress! Her mother, Karen, found it at JC Penney. Karen is going to add a little pink in the way of a new bow around the collar and/or something around the waist.

Despite the look on her face in the photo, Karen assures me that Shae is very excited about being in the wedding, and has even brought it up to complete strangers.

This is so exciting! I knew I would jump in with both feet (and drag Michael along) with the wedding planning when I got back from vacation, but Shaelyn getting her dress seems to have gotten the ball rolling for me. Hopefully for my friends and loved ones, it hasn't gotten the ball rolling on a bridezilla. But I do need to get moving according to the wedding counter, as there isn't a lot of time left. Not that I am counting or anything.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Red River Theatres

I drove by a new theater on Main Street in Concord tonight on my way to the Elegant Ewe for knitting guild. It is the Red River Theatres and they appeared to have had a big event going on tonight. When I got home, I found the website for this theater: Apparently tonight was the grand opening of this new theater specializing in independent films, or indie flicks as it states on the website. I will have to take a break some evening from wedding planning and find a friend to go with me to view something independent.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's Autumn

The leaves had barely started to change when I left to go to Hawaii, and on the return flight home, it was obvious that fall was here when we looked down and saw all of the color change. And then with the drop in temperature down to the 60's on Sunday, and having to break out the jeans and sweatshirts, I was left craving apples. I bought some grocery store apples on Monday night, but they just didn't fill the niche. So I took a detour on the way home from work tonight and bought apples from the orchard- and pumpkin ice cream. And I came home and made an apple pie from my Mom's recipe, with my faithful cooking assistants Elleigh and Austin. Austin is an apple connoisseur, so he was delighted that I bought a few different kinds of apples to put in the pie. I didn't do anything fancy with the crust, in fact, I didn't even make it from scratch. But the pie tasted wonderful anyway.

One Vacation Over, Next One in the Planning

It was back to work today; it was inevitable. My vacation had to come to an end eventually, or I wouldn't continue to get pay checks. But I can report that this was the best return from vacation I have ever had while working at Concord Hospital. Brandi did a super, excellent job covering for me and taking care of the emergencies. I don't think anyone has ever worked so hard for me in my absence. Brandi is the best!

I'm so excited about how great my vacation coverage was that I can't wait to plan my next vacation. (Poor Brandi may have done too good of a job!) I purchased a travel book on Costa Rica at Borders on Sunday and Michael and I are thinking about making a visit to Central America for our honeymoon. I know two people (Alyssa and Deb) who have gone to Costa Rica previously and they are both saying they had a good time there. And the flight is only 6 hours, so it is half what it took to get to Hawaii.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

We're Home!

We survived the flight home and Michael's Dad (Grandpa Abberton) was waiting in Manchester to pick us up. We arrived just before noon, having advanced ahead 6 hours with the time zones, and not having been to sleep Friday night. The house was in one piece and, thankfully, Grandpa Abberton mowed the lawn.
We headed out to pick up the four legged children almost immediately, because we really missed them. Miss Elleigh May apparently was exhausted from her stay at pet sitter Susan's house. The little doggy gang staying with Susan had visited the new dog park in Concord frequently. And Susan said Elleigh was a sweet girl. Here's a photograph of Elleigh in her new Hawaiian shirt and the Hawaiian print collar/bandanna that we got for her in Hawaii. You can see she will probably have a permanent scar on her nose from her pre-vacation digger. And she can barely keep her eyes open in this photo. Elleigh has been extra snugly since we have had her home. She also has been trying to catch up on her sleep, passing out any time she can.

Austin didn't seem too overly excited to see us, as he really loves hanging out at "the farm" with his Grandpa Abberton. But he did enjoy the pineapple flavored dog biscuits we brought home for him.

Michael and I were exhausted too. Once we got the kids home, we watched an hour of The Office off the DVR. By 7 pm, we were in bed and slept the whole night through until 8 am this morning. Hopefully, that will be all we need to "catch up" on sleep. Michael has to return to work tomorrow, but I do have one more day to recuperate before heading back to work.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Day Seven- Waikiki Beach

We spent our last full day in Hawaii sitting out at Waikiki beach. We went to a different part of the beach this time. The water gets deep pretty quickly, but the bottom of the ocean was much sandier. It wasn't until I got out in the water up to about my neck that I started to see bits of rock again. The waves were pretty big, but they only seemed to break much further out than we were or right on the shore. Definitely not a beach you'd have children playing at near the edge. This was the part of the beach that the surfers were hanging out. We couldn't quite talk ourselves into renting a surf board to try it out, but I did rent a beach umbrella so we wouldn't blister in the sun. When we weren't in the water, Michael read under the umbrella while I knitted, people watched and took a brief nap. When we had enough of the sandy beach, we returned to the hotel deck area and used the pool and jacuzzi.

Our last dinner in Hawaii was at The Big Kahuna, which is a Hawaiian burger/sandwich place. Our waitress ended up being from Maine, which is one of the few people we have run into here in Hawaii that knows that New Hampshire is still in the United States. Our waitress allowed gave us the update on the Red Sox game last night, but more importantly she let us know the Yankees lost.

On the walk home, we found a cafe selling bubble tea. I am really surprised we haven't seen more bubble tea since I believe it to be a Japanese drink and there are a lot of Japanese tourists. Oh, and we saw our first doggy boutique as well. Michael bought Elleigh a little collar/bandanna in a pink Hawaiian print.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Update on the felted laptop bag

I completely was out of my gourd thinking the bag would be done before going to Hawaii. Significant work has been done on the bag in Hawaii; it has been to Waikiki beach. However, my original thought upon seeing the washing machine down the hallway in the hotel was that I might actually finish the bag and then get it felted and dried in time to use it to carry my laptop home. Since we depart tomorrow, that's not going to happen. Considering that today is going to be a majority beach day, I could come close to finishing it, but it won't get felted while in Hawaii. And hopefully it doesn't bring home too much white sand either.

Day Six- Snorkeling & Shopping

We awoke to more liquid sunshine and a double rainbow. We had our earliest morning start so far when we headed off to Hanauma Bay by 8:00 am. Formed by volcanoes, Hanauma Bay is a beautiful destination for snorkeling. Actually, all of Hawaii is formed by volcanoes, but it is much easier to see the old shape of the volcano in Hanauma Bay. We rented gear and snorkeled in the bay, all the while looking at tropical fish and coral reef. You can see in the picture above and to the right that there are some sandy bottom areas and then big pieces of reef to swim over and look down on. We didn't see any sea turtles, as we were told they skedaddled very early to avoid the crowds, but we saw quite a few varieties of fish. It was well worth the $5 admission fee and the rental of the equipment. We headed out by noon, just as it seemed the big crowds were coming in.

Michael had to run back out to his job site this afternoon, so that left ample time for a trip to Hilo Hattie's on the free trolley for me. Though we were out of the sun by noon, I still had too much for the day, so spending the afternoon in the sun was not an option. But Hilo Hattie's was waiting for me. I enjoyed the trolley ride out, as I got to look at the city and Waikiki beach more on the trolley ride. I was able to find myself a Hawaiian sundress and pick up all of the souvenirs that I needed at Hilo Hattie's. Plus, I found pineapple flavored dog bones for Austin and a light blue Hawaiian shirt for Elleigh May. (Blog to follow with Elleigh dressed up.)

We tried a completely new (to us) dinning experience tonight by going to Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese Charcoal BBQ. This is apparently a chain restaurant in Japan, but now a few cities in the United States have one- two of which are in Honolulu. Basically, we ordered our food raw and it was brought out for us cook ourselves over a built in grill in the middle of the table. Very fun! We ordered a complete dinner series so we wouldn't have to figure out the ordering ourselves. We had beef tongue, several kinds of steak, shrimp and scallops to grill over the charcoal. And for dessert, I had green tea ice cream and Michael had red bean ice cream, and Michael toasted little pancakes over the grill to warm it for the ice cream.

We checked out the International Market on the walk back to the hotel. It was a large, open air market, but basically all that was being sold was the same touristy stuff that is in the regular stores along the ocean boulevard. I did find a locally sewn Hawaiian print shoulder bag, a T-shirt/nightgown for myself, and a jade plumeria bracelet.

And we stopped off at Honolulu Cookie Company. They are shortbread specialists. We sampled the cookie flavors and decided that Lilikoi Mango was our favorite, and the store clerk had to explain to me that a lilikoi was a type of passion fruit.

Day Five- History in Pearl Harbor

I will affectionately call Tuesday in Hawaii Michael's Day. We toured the World War II historical sites at Pearl Harbor.

We checked in first at the USS Arizona Memorial to get our place in line. It's free, but there were so many people there to see the memorial that we had a 3 hour wait.

While waiting for our 1:00 pm tour, we saw the neighboring USS Bowfish submarine. We were able to tour the sub, walk (crawl) through it, and I know that I could never have been paid enough to work on a submarine. The quarters are just too cramped for me. And definitely not enough yarn storage capability. Those men were lucky if they had enough room to store a spare pair of underwear. I've included a photo of Michael playing on a deck gun.

I found the USS Arizona Memorial to be less than I expected. I was envisioning something solemn and emotional. And my anticipation was heightened because you had to wait so long to see the memorial. Instead, and I assume because there are so many people, it felt like cattle being herded through mourning. And the day that we went, the water was so cloudy that you couldn't see anything of the Arizona wreckage in the water at all, just the one turret base that was sticking out of the water slightly. Really, all there was to see was the hall with all of the names of the 1177 men that died on the Arizona in an instant when the Japanese bomb hit the ship. It seemed a bit too concise to just boat out to the memorial, get off, look down in muddy water, and then wander past a wall of names. I am thinking there might be something even more memorializing than that. I will have to think on it and then send in my ideas to the government. And I found that all of the possible photo opportunities I could find had already been taken.

Michael and I took a bus over to Ford Island for the remainder of the afternoon. On Ford Island, we first visited the new Pacific Aviation Museum. It is a restored hanger right on the site of the old Ford Island naval air station that was also bombed on December 7th, 1941 during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Inside the hanger, there were several planes restored and on display. There was also a great snack bar set up to look like an old officer's club. Michael and I shared a plate of guava BBQ ribs and garlic french fries. Michael bought a hat and T-shirt in the museum store. The museum hopes to raise enough money to restore the lookout post that is on the old airfield as well. It is very run down as-is and it seems like an important piece of history to save.

We gained access to the USS Missouri (Mighty Mo) battleship via Ford Island as well. What a huge ship! Much more spacious than the USS Bowfish, but I was disappointed at the expense that seemed to have been put into catering to the more senior officers. Seems like a waste of money when they could have been sharing the same facilities as the rest of the men. (Maybe this attitude is why I would never work out in the military.) But anyway, the ship is now retired, but everything looks like it still works. And they got the ship back up and running even after it was hit by a Kamikaze in the war. Maybe people would pay to take cruises on the ship, turn it into a cruise line for military buffs? Would have to do something with that green everywhere, but paint is cheap. The historical event probably most famous on the Mighty Mo was the signing of the surrender documents by the Japanese at the end of World War II.

I tried very hard to keep my opinions to myself so as not to wreck Michael's nostalgic jaunt through the military stuff. My favorite was the new Pacific Aviation Museum, probably seconded by the Mighty Mo.

Michael and I were able to spend some time in the early evening in the hotel pool and hot tub before going back to the kitchenette to cook up the super sweet corn, long eggplant, and try to eat down the contents of the fridge.

Our review on the super sweet corn is that it was sweet, but also a little starchier. We assume it is more consistently sweet year round than New Hampshire corn, but still not quite ready to say it beat the sweetness of that one good batch of corn per summer that you buy in NH at the farm stand that is so sweet and wonderful.

Day Four- Polynesian Hawaii

Michael and I traveled the scenic roads once again to go up to the north shore of Hawaii on Monday. We were going to the Polynesian Cultural Center ultimately, but thought we would first drive up past the center and try to locate one of the beaches that the TV show LOST was filmed on.

This was probably the worst of our days weather wise. There has been a lot of "liquid sunshine" as the locals call it when it is lightly raining out but it is still sunny. On Monday, there were more clouds than I had seen since arriving, but they were in patches.
Michael and I did find the Famous Kahuka Shrimp Truck, as recommended by one of the guys at Mike's work site, so that we could try some Hawaiian native shrimp. We shared a plate of the coconut style shrimp for lunch as it lightly sprinkled.

We drove as far north as the famous surfing beach Haleiwa, where we stopped to watch a bunch of surfers catch some waves.

We never were able to find the LOST beach. I will spare you all of they puns and elementary humor that this concept brings to my mind.

We drove by several farmstands, finally stopping at one to buy a fried banana, "super sweet corn", and some prickly red fruit.

We stopped on the side of the road by Waimea Bay Park Beach so I could snap a photo of another scenic beach.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon and the evening at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The center was opened by the Mormans and they bring in students from all of the cultures that they exhibit at the center. The students teach and perform at the center and also appear to get free, or at the very least subsidized, education from the Brigham Young University- Hawaii campus. The center celebrates not only Hawaiian culture, but also other Polynesian cultures including Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Samoa. They have an IMAX movie about saving the coral reefs. I really enjoyed the moai stone statues in the Rapa Nui cultural village. Here's my attempt at trying to be artistic with the faux Easter Island stones. We ate at the Hawaiian buffet before staying to watch the evening show of Polynesian dance. This show included more Samoan fire knife dancing.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Day Three- Hawai'i

We slathered ourselves with SPF 50 sunscreen and headed out to Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world. I thought I was doing well getting my pool into the 80's a few times this summer, but the ocean water was so warm that we could have stayed in it all day. The part of the beach we chose to hang out on had some coral on the bottom, so we had to watch where we put our feet if we went too far out. It also seems to be the part of Waikiki beach that was very popular with boogie boards, but we did not rent them ourselves.

We spent the evening on the leeward side of the island at Paradise Cove, ironically, very near to Mike's job site. We got a bus ride out to the cove to go to a Lu'au & Hawaiian revue show. We were each greeted with a Mai Tai and an orchid lei. We tried our hand at O'o'ihe (spear throwing) which only proved that Michael and I would starve if we had to rely on spearing our own food. I made a braided wrist corsage out of plumeria and orchid flowers. Plumeria is very fragrant, so I smelled oh so pretty the whole evening. After the Imu Ceremony (unearthing the pig from the roasting pit) we had a feast. Not only were we supplied in continuous Mai Tai's and Blue Hawaii drinks, but we had traditional Poi (starch pudding made from taro plants- yuck!), more Lomi Lomi Salmon (Salmon salsa), Mahi Mahi with a macadamia nut cream sauce, and Haupia (which was a square of coconut gelatin, unlike McD's pie) and of course the roasted pig. We sat across from a snuggly honeymoon couple from San Francisco so that helped to keep the evening romantic.

Following the meal, we watched a Hawaiian show that included Hula dancing, buff men in loin clothes, and a Samoan fire knife dancer. The last was the most impressive!

My favorite of the day was seeing the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It was gorgeous to start, and just when I thought it was over, it got better. You can imagine how many photos I snapped. I will leave this entry with the sunset photo below.