Friday, January 30, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FENTONIO!!

This is the 3rd time I've tried writing this. I love you Fenton. I think about you all the time and hope you're happy. I hope you know that. We all (the fam) love and miss you. Move back to the mainland (Hawaii term), okay!! Have a wonderful day. Geof. and I are so glad we could see you last week. You crack us up.




















Tuesday, January 27, 2009

can I be done posting now?

Too many pics, I realize, but I really tried to only post those that told the most. Geof. and I always talk about the perfect vacation including lots of time riding bikes. Lucky for us, Chris and Taylor had bikes and were more than willing to let us ride them. Here's me in front of BYU Hawaii before we rode off to start a hike. Good thing I wore my brand new white shorts which were muddied up almost instantly on the slimy road. Dang it!
We were able to go to Pearl Harbor one day (the warmest day, I believe...maybe we should of opted for the beach and tried Pearl Harbor on the other days when it was too cool to even go swimming!). We watched a documentary of the attack and then took a ferry to the U.S.S. Arizona monument, one of the ships that was sunk. The ships were docked in shallow waters, however, so the monument was constructed right on top of the Arizona. Kind of weird/creepy..knowing around 1100 men and women were entombed below us.
Our friend Chris is from San Diego and was a surf instructor. A few of Chris's best friends from CA are living in Hawaii as well. They all surf, and were nice enough to take Geof. out. I sat on the beach, read a book, and got a little burnt. From time to time I'd try to pick out which one was Geof. since the waters were crowded. It wasn't hard; he was the only one with a bald head and pasty white skin. love you geof.!

What posers..


Our last few days were too cold for us to even WANT to go to the beach. We headed to Laie falls, a quick bike ride away (to the starting point, at least). The hike was 5 miles in and 5 miles out. There was only one sign at the beginning of the hike, other than that, we weren't too sure of where we were headed. There were pink ribbons tied to the bushes and trees and we continued to follow those even though the trail kept teeing off (not the right word?) in all directions. We didn't bring any food-just a water bottle (typical go and not prepare Geof. and Darla style), and hoped that we weren't hiking deeper and deeper into the mountains without a destination. The pink ribbons DID end up guiding us safely to the falls,(we could really use this story in a talk)which were nothing like the Hawaii waterfall pics I'd seen online.




And the water was icy!! No way were we skinny dipping as planned.





On the bike ride back we spotted these funny signs (not that they were hard to spot) leading up to a home. Someone told us Hawaii came in 51st in education (after Puerto Rico!). It was very apparent reading these signs that education is NOT a priority here. And why would it be? I'd be daydreaming all day too if I lived across the street from the beach. I wish I could remember exactly what those signs read. They scared us enough to get outta there, though.






Lovely tan line, I know. Beautiful, brisk day at the beach. Geof. was snuggling to keep warm.







Notice the protected sea turtles in the back. We took this one for my brother Chris who LOVES Hawaii and talks about those beloved sea turtles all the time. In fact, Chris should of been a vet. He loves animals.








Last day in Hawaii. We planned on finally snorkeling and Chris told us about a private beach. Beautiful trees on our way in.









We didn't snorkel that morning. The waters were too rough for me and of course, we were freezing. Wimps, I know!










My brother Fenton eventually decided he should probably come see us since we'd made quite the effort to come see him! (; He did find us a decent place to snorkel that afternoon. He also brought us to this funny spot where around 200 cats live (that could be an exaggeration..we Ericksons have a tendency to exaggerate). We only saw about 5 in the rocks, but Fenton assured us that there were a ton more.











Whitey Darla and tan little Fenton.












That night we got some tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center (known as the PCC by the locals). We got in real cheap and it was great! We snuck down to the 2nd row after intermission-good thing, because the show really got good after that. I was loving every minute of the music, drums, dancing..it was great. Thank you again, Pierces!













Some funny stunts. They were rolling around in the fire like it was nothing. I don't get it!














Monday, January 26, 2009

...and then

Day 2. We wake up in our scary L.A. hotel room after a surprisingly good night's sleep and head out early to the bus stop to catch the 7 am bus. We tried to be sly in capturing a pic of the moment. Notice the guy sleeping on the bench (I wish I could of gotten a pic of the action heroes he had stashed in the sleeping bag with him) and the nasty food and litter all over the sidewalk?? Once again, we really stood out with our snorkeling gear and rolling suitcases. Quite a sight for the morning commuters driving by.
We stood there for another 30 minutes..if not more, waiting for our bus, until Geof. checks the schedule again and realizes that on weekends they come every 30-45 minutes instead of the every 10-15 that we thought. As soon as he reads that a group of about 4 Mexicans show up to catch the bus to which it promptly arrives.

We didn't get on all three morning-midmorning flights to Honolulu. I was about to blow a fuse at this point. I was really hopeful that we'd make it on (even though they had assured us the day before that we wouldn't)!! There was another stand-by passenger there with her mother, who was in a wheelchair (it WAS real, folks) and her 7 yr. old daughter. They had stuck around all day the day before as well. I felt so sorry for them. They told us if they didn't make it on the next flight at 2 that they were gonna fly back to Saint George.
I don't think they made it on.
Geof. talked me into flying to San Fran instead of to Portland since we had babysitters and we made as well take advantage of our time with out kids. When we arrived in San Fran, I couldn't believe how different the atmosphere of the airport was as opposed to LA.; calm, fully staffed, people who actually had time to inform you, etc. We waited to get on the 4 pm flight there and sadly, weren't able to (they did, however get a good 20 standbys on this flight...unheard of in L.A.). My brother in law picked us up and brought us back to his house where my sister and nieces were waiting with a yummy, healthy meal and a comfy bed. My sister told me there was no way I was staying with them and then heading back to Portland and sent me to bed. I didn't get any pics of my sister or her kids. Sorry.

We got up early the next day and had a whole 5 seats to ourselves on the flight to Honolulu. Yea!! We really did just pick the wrong two days to travel!
This little bird was so happy to be living in Hawaii. At least I thought so.


A happy face, at last!
We sat around at the airport waiting for my brother to answer his phone and pick us up (he didn't think we were coming.., I guess). We learned from our good friend Chris (who came and got us when we gave up on my brother) that Oahu is a lot bigger than we'd expected (I honestly thought everything was with in 20 miles or so..duh) and although he had to drive an hour to do it, he was more than happy to do so.



We had to get out and have Chris take a shot of us. We were really in Hawaii and the beach was right there next to the freeway!!



Geof. and Chris (not pictured, however) swinging from vines.




Our wonderful BFF's the Pierces. These people are incredible!! I lOVE them! If there's one good thing about Geof. choosing to go into aviation, then it's us meeting the Pierces (Geof. was Chris's flight instructor). They are such good people. I love that not one moment there was spent with any awkward or uptight moments. They gave us a room to sleep in (they are over the RA's at the dorms at BYU Hawaii) a car to drive, food to eat. Thank you Pierces. And there adorable boys, J and Hugh were so sweet. It was wonderful from day one.





Taylor and me so excited that we finally made it!!






The visitors center at the Honolulu temple. I'll post again soon and finish up this Hawaii trip. We did love our visit!







Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hawaii

This is us arriving in Hawaii on Sunday afternoon. We had left Washington early Friday morning and were scheduled to arrive in Honolulu around 12:30 on Friday. It didn't go as well as planned. This is our story...

When we got to the airport in Portland, they told us the flights from San Fran to Honolulu were all overbooked and that it was VERY unlikely that we'd get on. So we made the ridiculous decision to go to LA thinking that we'd get a flight out of there. CRAZY!! You'd think we'd have remembered our trip to Mazatlan some 3 years ago and our horrendous experience at LAX--after arriving and making our way to the international terminal, they informed us that our connecting flight/airline had gone out of business a month or so previous. Had Orbitz informed us of that? Did they do anything to correct it? No...., but that's another story. To make THIS story shorter, we'll just say that LAX is totally understaffed and although there WAS room on most of the flights out of L.A., the gate agents had no time (or sympathy) to allow any standby passengers on the flight.
After 3 or 4 missed flights, we decided to get a hotel. We found one on priceline.com and thought we'd get a great deal since Geof.'s dad had been upgraded from a 2 star to a 31/2 star in Houston just the day before. We didn't find a 2 star in L.A. for what we bid on, so ignorantly, we gambled on what we could get with a 1 star. And a 1 star is exactly what we got. Scary!! Here we are pulling our roller bags around a seedy part of L.A. looking much out of place. Our room was just as scary as something out of a movie. You know, the places where drug deals are made? That's what it was like. Our pic of Geof. on the bed doesn't even give you the full effect. We couldn't believe our luck. No upgrade at all! (;

I forgot to mention that they didn't even have a shuttle to their hotel (even though we'd typed in LAX when searching for a hotel). We had to take the city bus. We're not opposed to riding the bus at all...but couldn't believe the time it took us to get to a hotel 3 miles away.

Day 2 in L.A. No, we didn't get a flight to Honolulu that day either. More details to follow...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Sat. night. After trying to get on 6 flights to Honolulu in L.A. and 1 in San Francisco, we're now at my sister's house--who lives about 45 minutes west. We were stuck in the airport for a day and a half..oh, how I LOVE standby! We're hoping to get out tomorrow morning. Geof.'s quitting aviation and this is our last hurrah before he's done. We'll post pics when we get back..if we actually get there.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fortunately, it doesn't seem like January. That's a good thing.

Should I lighten my hair? I'm always going back and forth with it. aahh! My poor sister in law, Ellynn! She must think I'm never happy with her work. No way, Ellynn. I just get bored.
Cole and Daddy working on the Hulk puzzle that Santa brought. These two love puzzles.

What happens when I don't pay enough attention to Cole. He had gone up to the sister missionary's room and stolen their yarn and had tied himself in knots, as well as being tied up to various objects in the house. I was actually a little scared trying to get him out, "Cole, you could of choked to death!!"





videoHere's a funny little video Cole and I did last Sunday. Silly kid. We really need to invest in a video camera..wait, I just realized we DO have one, back in Richmond. Some day we'll get it. }: The kids are getting big fast. Geof. says June is our caboose. Are we done? Now is not the time to ask.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Georgie

My dad turns 66 today. Can you believe it?! He looks no older than 65, I say! (; Dad, have a wonderful day. Wish we could be there to celebrate with you. I wish I had more pics of you to share. Thank you for all you do. You're a wonderful man and we love you so much!
Love,
Darla and fam

Friday, January 9, 2009

A while back, for Labor Day in fact, we all went up to Seattle to stay at my cousin Brian's house for his daughter Makaela's baptism. My cousin Arah took some fun pics of us with her fantastic camera (and fantastic skills, might I add). I was going to put a Christmas card together with these pics, but didn't get to it..so here's some of 'em. When I have time, I'll post more. Thanks again, Arah!














Thursday, January 8, 2009

to you

To our independent 3 year old:
What a time we've had with you, Dayne! It's really no wonder that you came to us; we have so much to learn from you! In the last month you've climbed on the counter daily, looking for scissors (sometimes getting lucky enough to retrieve and use them). It doesn't matter how many times Daddy, Gma, or mom gets you down. You're persistent. If it's quiet, we know Dayne's doing something naughty. And 99% of the time, you are found with make-up, toothpaste, nail polish, you name it..doing your best to keep it hidden. When we find you, you yell at us, "Don't look at me doing this!" You won't be stopped, however hard we try. The other day, when Daddy was cleaning up a huge bathroom mess you made, and I was in the room more frustrated than ever with the huge mess you created, and trying to get you to help me clean it up, you started singing this, "You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer.." and on you went, in your own little tune. You were happy as ever, and completely oblivious to what Mom and Dad were feeling. At that moment, I knew you weren't trying to cause heartache, you were your own little being. Little Dayners. I can't change you, I can only love you. And I do. You're wonderful, smart, funny, beautiful..and EXTREMELY creative.
Just make sure you let us know your intentions in life.. (;
love,
Mom and Dad















Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009!

Rummikub, our favorite game where we actually speak very little to each other. Geof.'s sister Ellynn showed up today for our yummy Korean dinner (Geof.'s dad served his mission there) with her make-up done fantastically. I talked her into doing mine.


A new face for June. She was an absolute mess and everyone was laughing at her and she took advantage of all the attention to pull some silly faces.






The packaging from the preserved duck egg that Cole actually ate on a bet! We couldn't believe it. His 2 other cousins couldn't do it, and the smell of it made us all gag, but he chomped it down quite happily. When asked what it tasted like, he replied, "an egg".





Geof.s dad Ellery. The Korean chef.





























Cousin Hazel and Junie bathing. They look surprisingly similar.