Friday, July 26, 2013

2013 Recap: Travel, Fun, Food, Family.

Wow... this year has flown by! I'm just going to give a recap so I don't forget what we've done. (And even though my title was 2013, I'm going to have to throw this back to the end of 2012...)

December 2012: I meant to do an entire post on our Christmas vacation, but... it's the end of July already! Haha. Aaron and I took Hawaiian Airlines' nonstop flight to NYC and spent half the day there. We rolled our luggage around the city as we walked through the big B&H Photo store and ate lunch at one of our favorite burger places, Shake Shack. We then took a bus to Baltimore, where my parents came to pick us up. We spent a week with my 7 week old nephew Jonah, and the rest of my family. We had a beautiful white Christmas and had tons of yummy food, just picture perfect for us Hawaiians. I was so glad that we could all spend time together :)



January 2013: My mom came to visit us, not only is it fun to have her around, but it gives me a chance to plan all sorts of activities. We went to Sea Life Park and enjoyed the dolphin show and the other sea animals there. We also went on a whale watching boat ride and saw humpback whales jump out of the water! They're so huge that it felt like they were jumping in slow motion. We also hiked Diamond Head again. We decided to take a weekend trip to Maui. We drove the road to Hana and saw the beautiful waterfalls, trees, and coastline - including a really cool black sand beach. We also watched the sunrise at Haleakala again, which is so beautiful, and it's always fun to be above the clouds :)
 February 2013: Aaron went on tour with his band The Vibrant Sound, opening for Lindsey Stirling. They drove around the country in a big old fancy tour bus playing to sold out shows. I made a pan of chocolate covered strawberries and ate them all myself ;) I also went to Phoenix and visited with my good friend Erika. We went shopping at the amazing Last Chance (where all the overstock/returned designer Nordstrom stuff goes). I got a pair of Jimmy Choo pumps for less than $100! And we got some cupcakes at Sprinkles and Five Guys Burgers and spent some time at the pool. It's always fun to get some girl time in.
I had never dyed my hair before and was looking for a change, so I decided to try the ombre hair style. That way if I didn't really like it or got tired of it I could just get a haircut and it'd be gone, and I wouldn't have to worry about it growing out weird or having to keep up dying it every few weeks. It's been fun for that past few months.
March 2013: Aaron came home from tour and we spent some time together, then he left again, taking advantage of a pretty cool opportunity. As I blogged about a few months ago, my beautiful niece Anna was born on St. Patrick's day. It was so cool to see my brother become a Dad. I hopped on a plane and saw them all in Maryland for a few days :)

April 2013: My little sister came to visit! We painted nails, went to the beach, and ate coconut shrimp! Then we met up with my brother-in-law on Maui. We went to Iao Valley, more beaches, and had a yummy dinner at Roys. Love seeing them.
May 2013: Aaron took me to Japan for my birthday! Within 24 hours of landing from Vegas on a business trip I was on, no less. We were able to stay with some friends outside of Tokyo. We went to what felt like the equivalent of Central Park, called Shinjuku Gyoen, and went shopping in the famous Shibuya. Then we went to Disneyland in Tokyo and DisneySea for the next two days. The majority of everything was in English, and it was super fun! We flew back to Hawaii on my actual birthday and went back in time, so I actually had 2 birthdays this year, 1 in Japan and 1in Hawaii! And to top it off, Aaron got me a fancy underwater housing for my iPhone, so I can take pictures/videos underwater! (I'll make a separate post with those pictures - they're really fun).
June 2013: My parents came to visit and got a place on Kauai for a week. We took a catamaran ride along the gorgeous Na Pali coast. The mountains there are breathtaking. We checked out the fern grotto, queen's bath, and surfed Hanalei bay. We saw 6 waterfalls flowing down the mountains that surround Hanalei - Kauai really is the garden isle. I love it there so much. Aaron's Dad also featured some of his beautiful hand carved Hawaiian woodwork art pieces in a local art show - there is no question where Aaron got his talent from.
July 2013: Mom, Aaron, and I went to Sydney, Australia during the long 4th of July weekend. We actually saw an opera at the famous opera house! The bay is huge, and we loved viewing the opera house from the Harbor bridge and the ferrys you can take across the bay. We got up close and personal with Koalas at the zoo (and saw a bunch of other animals - including kangaroos), checked out some of the famous beaches in Sydney, and had some delicious meat pies.  It was my first time to Australia and I really, really enjoyed it!
We also visited Aaron's brother on the Big Island (and our car rental got a free upgrade to a mustang convertible - which was pretty fun). We enjoyed spending time with our niece Lila, she's about 10 months old and so cute! We also took a trip up to Mauna Kea to stargaze. It's one of the best places in the world to stargaze since it's very high up and near the equator. It actually snows up there! They had telescopes set up so you could see craters on the moon, and get this - one of their telescopes turned what seemed to be a normal star into Saturn! You could see the rings and everything! And one of the workers had this laser that was strong enough to reach the stars! She pointed out a whole bunch of constellations. You can actually see 80 of the 88 constellations in the world at Mauna Kea. It was really cool.
Man, oh man, our life is crazy... right?! We did way more than that, and I have a ton more pictures (plus all of Aaron's), but in the interest of time, these are the highlights. Perhaps I'll do some flashback detailed posts in the future... Anyway, we feel very blessed and we're loving every minute of this year so far :)