Other than feasting your eyes on all our Jan adventures (in the Album above), it’s been a bit of a dry week on the newsworthiness scale, compared to last week. (Thankfully! We were all worn out after our trips to the Big Island and camping!) The wind is still gusting up to 50mph. I am amazed our tiny house hasn’t sailed off over the bay. Also – you can see my mom’s kayak tie-off skills in action in the picture above. She had seen someone tie their kayak down by sending the strap through the car (vs just to the roof rack) – I guess that person suspected that their roof rack itself wasn’t secure? Who knows. Anyway, she tied off the front end that way while I tied off in a somewhat more conventional way in the rear and followed her home to help unload and stow. Of course I had to snap this picture of her trying to get out – she’d unwittingly tied her door closed. 🙂 Thanks for playing along and smiling so nicely, mom! ha ha!
In other news, life with an NR rep (Naval Reactors) proves to be challenging. Dave frequently asks questions as he comes and goes – it seems it’s always at the door he’s got a query for me, usually early in the morning before I’ve had coffee, or as he’s coming home and I’m trying to make dinner. The other day at 6am he asked if the little side table by our door had moved a bit. Puzzled, I said I guess it must have moved while I was trying to pick up something the wind had blown down. Upon later reflection, I developed a new strategy for handling these surprise queries. I think I’ll just make stuff up. Like perhaps I should have said, “You know, I saw a parrot over there flipping through our guest book. I guess he must have bumped it when he landed up there since the winds were so strong.” I don’t get any relief from these queries because he’s home every night. No deployments any more, so I don’t have lengthy periods when I’m solely in charge. Alas, it’s wonderful to have him home and see him play with Sam.
Oh – Sam surprised us all the other day by finishing just about every sentence in his Thomas the Tank Engine book! It’s a high level book – not a board book – that Dave, Mom and I have been reading for about a year. We never guessed he’d pick up on all those long words and sentences, but I guess he had been listening after all! He did the same thing with his Noah’s Ark book yesterday, one we hadn’t read in several weeks. We were astounded. Nice going, Sam! Last night he said “too hot” about his food. He’s really starting to talk to us! WOW!
Check the ALBUM link above 🙂
We are having high winds here – gusts up to 50mph. Part of our fence has already blown down and our bougainvillea was uprooted. I expect to lose power at any time, but am busily uploading pictures hoping to beat the outage 🙂 We are all fine, and there is only periodic rain (coming down almost sideways). Hoping to get out to see the kite surfers soon!
We had such a great time camping with our friends and my mom last night! After playing on the beach, Sam enjoyed a nice long nap in his little tent and then celebrated with volcano cake (chocolate cake mom made from a family recipe – yum!) decorated with a mountain of chocolate frosting and red icing coming out like lava 🙂 We put sparkler candles on for extra fire! Sam loved it, and got some help blowing out the candles :0 Our friends Leo and Brendan came with their two girls and his parents (thanks for coming, Bridget, Greta, Jim and Mary!!!), and Nate, Laurie and Catie (our intrepid adventure buddies) camped out with us that night. Dave made a fantastic pasta dinner with grilled sausage and red peppers, bread, olive oil with garlic, wine…yum! Thank you Dave for treating us so well! (He had a good time testing out some new camping gear.) Laurie did a great job making s’mores by our fire (we were supplied with pallets by neighbor Marines) until the Game Warden came by and said no fires. We went to bed around 10:30pm (Sam had somehow managed to get to sleep about an hour earlier despite the 30 Marines next door enjoying their bonfire and Metallica). The adults, however, were just beginning their eventful night. The Marines stayed up late, despite two warnings by Alli to keep a lid on things. (They appreciated I was so polite and understanding of their need to have a good time. However, I reminded them that they’d had two strikes, watch out if they make this “old lady” come out for #3!). Around 3:30am some prowlers came through our site and rifled through a tent. Dave saw them and chased them off with a lantern. (Gramma and Alli were really wondering what was going on as Dave circled the tent with lights ablaze!) Poor Dave didn’t anticipate having a “duty” night last night but was a trooper about it all and I think will enjoy retelling this story at many future KampKrug outings, although it may take several years for it to be funny! 🙂 (Editorial comment: Dave rightfully does not think it’s as funny as I do because he was concerned for our safety, not knowing if it was just a drunk Marine or some other indigent with mental impairment. He is not especially fond of the part about me coming flying out of the tent to chase off the drunk Marines with the same tactics I use for dogs who charge Sam and me while out running, i.e. volume and surprise! (Strike 3!)
Last night as mom joined us around the dinner table, we laughed recounting camping stories old and new, including how my mom’s dad (Bill) slept with an axe one night because a guy had escaped from a juvenile detention center nearby and mom’s mom was sitting up all night like a sentry. She spotted a bright light and thought it was the guy – she rousted Bill and he went out with the axe only to find it was the moon glinting off the car door handle!) I demo-ed my kung-foo kicks and tricky hand moves – Doug, you know what I’m talking about here from our younger days! Sam laughed and laughed at mommy! He got down from the table and did his own kung-foo moves, including sound effects, down the hall as we split a gut laughing at him! Sam really had a great time and we capped it all off with a paddle around the bay. I uploaded all the pictures from Jan, including some video, so check out the Album for updates.
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Mom treated Sam and me to a Big Island adventure! We just got back today after 4 days exploring Kilauea. Who could guess that lava could be so fascinating? We had a great time, got lots of exercise hiking all over (and working up a big appetite for buffet dinners at the Kilauea Military Camp!), and made sure we spent some time relaxing, too (I even read a magazine cover to cover!). Sam was such a great traveler – he settled right into his new cottage and was even a bit sad to leave it this morning. He had a playground to romp in just 50 yards from our door, lots of grassy hills to run up and down, and was content with 5 books and a few matchbox toys for entertainment when we were home. It was pretty chilly – exactly what I needed! I got more than I bargained for, though – I had to borrow a space heater from the staff for Sam’s room since even dressing him in layers topped by fleece didn’t keep him warm enough the first night! Single wall construction wasn’t meant for low 40’s weather! The star gazing was incredible up there – we had cool, clear nights and warm days. We saved much to look forward to on our next trip, hopefully with Dave. We highly recommend the KMC – great time, and pictures will be posted this weekend! (I still have a birthday camping trip expedition to mount on Saturday – only one day to turn this adventure around, make a lava cake, and pack up all the gear! whew!!!).
This picture was taken by my dear friend Angel on a recent hike up the Pillbox trail with the other Dirty Dozen team members, Sherry, Leo, and Diane. Thanks, Angel!
Mom, Sam and I are off on our Big Island adventure tomorrow! We fly into Hilo then go to the Kilauea Military Camp where we have a little cottage with jacuzzi, fireplace and kitchenette awaiting us 🙂 We have no idea what adventures we’ll get into while there – checking out the lava tubes, driving to Kona, going on hikes…We decided against driving up an unpaved road to the summit of Mauna Kea because it could easily be snowed in, and the air is quite thin. The rangers recommend no one under 16 go up to the summit (just under 14K ft) – not sure why, but that altitude apparently reduces blood oxygen levels roughly 40%. Since Sam has had a cough for over a week, we thought it wise not to head up. Another time when Dave can come and check out the observatories with us. Supposedly Mauna Kea offers the best star gazing in the world. So I won’t have my laptop for a week…I’m unplugging for a bit! Yeah! I’ll post pictures when we get back. Actually – it may take a few days. We’re going camping for Sam’s birthday as soon as we return – s’mores, cake, campfire – what could be better? We’ll be right on the water in Kaneohe Bay, camping with friends and their little girl. Poor Dave hasn’t had a day off in 3 weeks and I’m dragging him out camping. I promised to do all the grunt work…
One down side of warm weather year-round is the bugs thrive here. This morning I stopped just short of stepping on a 4-inch roach, legs up, doing his last twitch, just outside Sam’s room. UGH! The hall was dark because he (Sam) woke up a bit early (I guess the roach did, too). I saw the dark form in a suspicious elongated shape and decided (fortuitously) to turn the lights on. Other bugs thrive, too. Like germs. Poor mom got a big innoculation of germs when Sam coughed into her throat (well, he didn’t mean to – he was trying to give her a kiss). I can’t remember the last time mom was sick, but this time she got really sick. And Sam still isn’t over his cold. I am fine, thankfully, and so is Dave. I had a brief (4-day) bout, but that’s nothing compared to Sam’s two weeks. We’re going to the doc tomorrow so we can take drugs on our trip next week. So today I decided to take mom and Sam on a field trip to Waimanalo to check out “keiki pony rides” – a sign I’d seen on our way back from a hike. Keiki means child. It was a great place – awesome views, sheep to check out, place to grill, and stuff for kids to play on. Perfect place for a kids’ party sometime. Afterwards we went down the road to visit some tide pools we’d frequented while living in Waimanalo. The water was a bit cool, but so calm. Sam could walk out about 20 yards and it only went up to his chest. He really enjoyed jumping around and splashing and threw quite a fit when I tried to leave. We had lunch at Keneke’s again – plate lunch of kalua pig, rice and mac salad. WOW is that good! I chomped. Thanks for lunch, mom! Glad you’re on the mend now 🙂 I’ve had the good fortune of doing some rudimentary web design for a couple start-ups here in town, one of which is an artisan bakery. How cool is that!? I got to meet the baker (who is also an OB/GYN), see their operation, and design their site. I was inspired to make some of my own bread – baguettes made with natural sourdough starter – and they turned out pretty well. I turned one loaf into croutons for a salad dinner (farmer’s market mystery salad – dill, spring onions and other assorted finds all turned into something (hopefully) edible). This experiment turned out surprisingly well 🙂 Whew!
Sammy and I really enjoyed our hike this morning. We went up the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge trail about an hour behind the Sierra Club. I’d hoped to join them but we got a late start since our little buddy had a rough night coughing all night. It was nice to know tons of people were on the trail, but we didn’t necessarily have to hike right with them. We got a little solitude and occasional company. The trail to the ridge was about 1000′ elev gain, shaded and beautiful. (No treacherous parts!) I loved the ironwood stands at the top. Sam hiked a good ways up and enjoyed hauling me down the trail after his PB&J. His new hiking boots worked great and he had a good time despite being pretty knocked out by his cold. Next time (when Dave can join us) we’ll continue on to the summit for great views of the windward side. I just enjoyed finding a hike that satisfies all of my requirements for a great hike: good climb, steep (so you get good bang for your buck and don’t have to be out all day), shaded, views, and far enough away to enjoy a latte on the way to the trailhead 🙂 We enjoyed a plate lunch at Keneke’s in Waimanalo on the way back – Gramma met us there for this amazing food! Sam loved his pineapple, banana and coconut shave ice. This is a great local place. Such good food and the owner is a Christian – the inside of the seating area is plastered with scripture verses. Sorta like going to church, right? It was Sunday, after all. (We skipped out due to the bad cough.)
In our second Swamp Romp training session, my friend Leo led a Pilates session for mom and me. She had a very “hands-on” assistant (Sam). The rest of our time had scheduling conflicts today but I hope to see many of them next week on a hike. Leo – did a great job. Despite all the distractions, she managed to get my abs a good workout. Mom really enjoyed learning what Pilates is all about. We look forward to future sessions!
Sam is still sick, but we are going forward with our trip to the Big Island (Mon-Thurs this coming week). He has no fever and is active, so he’ll enjoy the diversion even if he’s a little uncomfortable. Might as well have fun while you’re sick, right? If he sleeps ok tonight we’ll go on a hike tomorrow morning with the Sierra Club. I’m looking forward to checking out a new trail.
I was so happy to awake to the news that two missing boys were found in Mo. I cried and prayed yesterday morning thinking about how devastated the parents must be. I don’t think I could take it for an instant. When I heard the news this morning, I thanked God for hearing all the prayers over the past week and delivering up not just the most recent child but one who had been kidnapped four years ago. I’m not sure if Sam understands at all, but I did explain that God listens to us when we pray every night before bed. If I keep talking about it I’m sure he’ll catch on eventually.
Note to reader: If my posts ever prove boring, just read the comments instead. In fact, it would be great if you could get an RSS feed on the comments, not my posts! I am fortunate to have a cast of nutty readers who follow my blog daily AND comment frequently.
Sammy and I got our new hiking boots from Campmor yesterday! It was time to get Sammy bigger hiking shoes and I need a pair of light hikers so I could stop wearing old beat-up sneakers. When Sammy opened his box from Merrell, I almost cried (my hiking buddies will understand this!). My Columbia hikers feel good, and Sammy’s fit fine even if they’re a bit big. They don’t make actual hiking shoes for toddlers, but these will work out great and he can grow into them. (They’re a size 10! His shoe size is actually an 8/9 so I guess we’re not too far off.) As soon as he put them on, he went down the hallway to the mirror and started modeling –
Sam, Laurie and I went on a hike today and braved the windy, wet weather. We enjoyed a quick trot up our local “pillbox” trail and Sammy did a good job hiking along the ridge, even when it got really wet. Thanks, Laurie, for spotting him with me as we climbed up that steep bit! We ran into a lady and two 6 yr old girls along the way. The girls were funny – they told us they were already on their third snack stop just 30 min into the hike! We compared notes on the trail and when the mom wondered about getting back down when it was slicker (she saw I had trekking poles) I suggested a good butt slide 🙂 We made it down on our feet, but it was a bit slippery!
Among other really compelling topics, I mentioned one day I’d love to be able to spit a good loogie. Laurie’s face was so funny when she said, “OK, that’s not on MY life list!” So of course I asked what was…”Be on The Price is Right!” She is too funny. That’s only because she’s accomplished so many other things – wife, mother, two bachelor’s degrees. So what’s left for her to do? I know you’re impressed with my aspirations now. But having the skill to form a really tight spit wad that travels far and doesn’t get you messy while running and spitting into 30knot headwinds is really something. I would like to be able to do that, and certainly need to be able to show Sam how…
Just like a hobbit, Sammy fully embraces the idea of first snack and second snack. By the time we got back to the truck, he’d spied another Sweet and Salty Nut trail bar in my pack and I decided to let him have it since he was a trooper about hiking even with a little cold. Hey – whatever keeps it all fun! Plus, there was some golf to watch (we parked next to the 18th hole of a local country club). We soon heard lots of hooting and laughing from the dense hillside. I figured it’d be fun to hang out and see who emerged…it was the mom and two girls! Their little pink pants had tell-tale signs of their glissade down the last stretch of eroded trail. We enjoyed a good laugh about how it’s cool to be dirty 🙂
Sam got to have snack with Nana and PopPop sitting right on the dining table, watching him! They did some counting, watched Sammy climb all over the furniture, and even his new potty. It was so great to see and hear them, and for them to see Sammy, the house, blue sky… So if you want to see us, just sign into your Yahoo Messenger or Windows Live Messenger, add us to your contact list to see when we’re online (our Yahoo id is kampkrug and for Windows Live Messenger it’s firstname.lastname@example.org). A good time to look for us is between 3pm-4pm our time weekdays (5 hrs behind EST) and any time on the weekends. See you soon!
Matt – we’re raising a wee bottle of aromatic herbal spirits to you tonight as you spend your last night at home before heading off to boot camp! I love the slogan on the box – [Underberg] cannot be explained, it must be experienced. (That’s how I’d like to be remembered!) Best wishes on your next adventure!
This may be a completely disjointed, random post but here’s what’s on my mind. Our former neighbor, Matt, who lives in a nice house in WA with a wonderful wife and a great (mostly) job is heading off to boot camp for the Army on Tuesday. He decided to join the Reserves.
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This hike is also commonly referred to as the “Pillbox” or “Keolu hills” hike. Na Ala Hele provides a complete trail description. We wanted to check out the entire length of the trail with our friends Nate, Laurie and daughter Cate, so we hiked past the second pillbox and came down at the far end of Lanikai. Total hike probably 3+ miles, ~700â€™ total elevation gain. It was a great hike until the final descent which was steep, muddy, loose footing, narrow with lots of thorny overgrowth, a few cacti and a centipede lurking in the weeds. Needless to say I wasnâ€™t a big fan of that part with Sam on my back. The rest of the hike was really great and one even Sam could do much of (along the ridge). I’ll likely do an out-and-back next time which should give me the 4mi/1000′ elev I’m looking for in a nearby, beautiful hike 🙂 Sam and I miss our Green Mt hikes in WA! But maybe this can be a good substitute.