Monday, November 23, 2009


So, you may know that there are a couple of TV stars in our building. Husband and wife...seemingly very nice and normal people. We have passed casually on the elevator and at the swimming pool. Its usually the husband that I see. He is actually a friend to a friend here in the building. So, we always get the nod of recognition and sometimes a hello or how are you? I am not really star struck, because I don't watch the shows that he or his wife appear in, but I know that they are pretty famous people these days. He just won an Emmy for the role he plays on a popular TV show.

I have always wanted to see or meet a movie/TV star. Well, I am pleasantly surprised to see that they are just regular people...or these two are anyway. I just saw them washing mud off of their shoes yesterday at the outdoor shower.  This is proof positive that stars really are human...they don't just play them on TV.

Our not so "new", new condo

I guess most of you know that Jason and I moved within our building about two months ago. We moved up 9 flights and into a condo that had previous tenants. That was such a relief to me!  We were the first tenants to rent the downstairs unit.  I was totally stressed all of the time trying to make sure we took care of the brand new granite countertops, the travertine bathroom, the Wenge hardwood, and the stainless-steel Viking appliances. Then we had to move...I wasn't sure what I would think about being higher in the sky, but man I am so relaxed. It feels like a dream. Two bachelors had lived here prior which means that everything has been throughly broken in.

There are stains on the carpet (no more hardwood), the walls are scuffed, the appliances are broken in, and I left my OCD downstairs! WHOO HOO! Oh, did I mention that the dishwasher is broken and the garbage disposal was full of plastic, metal, and DVD wrappers? HAHA! Gotta love the single lives of those Air Force pilots.

So, no more obsessive cleaning or nightmares about scratching the hardwood floors for me!

Back it on up

Just a short rant here...Why does everyone in Honolulu feel the need to back into parking spots??? I do not get it! They hold up the whole line of traffic trying to manuever their giant SUV into a compact parking spot...which requires many wheel turns while pulling forward and going backwards to get in there. What's the deal people? I think its much easier to back out into an open aisle instead of between two lines with a car on either side.

But that doesn't stop these people. And they even do it parking garages! And these parking garages have GIANT signs that say: CAUTION: DO NOT BACK IN! Seriously people, find something better to do with your time and a new way to showcase your driving abilities. I guess we didn't get the memo or get invited into the "Back In to All Parking Spaces Club". Well, I would have declined the invitation had I gotten there!

Home for the Holidays????????

So, the debate continues...go home or stay here for Christmas. The tickets are so expensive right now that staying here seems appealing, but I know come Christmas Eve when I am missing the festivities of home (for the first time EVER in my 32 years), that I will be really sad and depressed. I have never been anywhere for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day other than Letcher County. So, we keep leaning towards home because that's obviously where we would like to be. But then there is the whole issue with getting through the airports around the holidays with a shred of sanity left. We are still on the fence, but we hope to be home for the holidays.

Fall has arrived...on the inside anyway...

I worked really hard on getting into the Fall spirit of things. Besides a few degrees cooler and some rain, you would never know that its fall here. But I guess the people that live here don't really understand what I am talking about. They probably haven't seen leaves changing colors and felt the crisp, cool mornings in KY.

Their color changes come in the form of flowers and everything is blooming, AGAIN! Its beautiful, but definitely a shock to my system. Regardless of all of this, I still have out my pumpkins, gourds, and fall colored leaves. And there is a candle burning that smells like Autumn Harvest...whatever that is. So, out there it may be "perma-summer", but inside our condo, its all Fall.


Since we were gone most of the month of October, time really seemed to fly. Halloween in Waikiki is apparently a big deal...for adults anyway. Jason and I didn't dress up and join the rest of the crowd, but we did see alot of ghouls and goblins making their way down the sidewalks. Unfortunately, due to the security of our building, there were no trick-or-treaters. But on a positive note, that means there were no tempting bags of chocolate in the house. So, it worked out well for all of us!

Christmas decorations come early here. I think that things started going up at the malls on November 1st. Well, I take that back, before I left for home, Macy's already had their decorations and ornaments out. Currently, there is a HUGE Santa in the mall parking lot. He is a jolly old soul!

Home Sweet Home

So, here I am again, a return to my blog after a long hiatus. I could say that I have been busy, but that would be a lie. I just haven't felt like blogging.

Things have been good though. Jason and I made a trip home. Three weeks for me and almost two for Jason. Part of his trip was in Washington D.C. for work. We had a great time at home though. We got to meet three new little girls...all born in the past year after we left. One of them, Emma, is the newest addition to the Ison family. She was born in February, barely a month after we arrived in Hawaii. She is a cutie! And then we met Madeline and Lexi. Both are absolute dolls, too.

Jason and I were thankful to find that home was still "home". We loved our short visits in Lexington, which mainly consisted of eating, visiting, and trips to and from the airport. And, being in Letcher County with our parents was fantastic as well. It was very relaxing and felt so normal.

It wasn't as hard to come back to Hawaii as I thought it would be, but whether I want it to be or not, this is my home for now. And it was nice to get back to my bed and my "stuff". I just wish my bed and "stuff" were located a wee bit closer to my old KY home.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I finally blogged again!

I'm baaaack! I decided to take a vacation from blogging. And what a vacation it was! We had such a great summer. Jane's friends obviously came and went and then Jason's parents and Aunt showed up!
We had a great time with all of our guests. And we were sad to see them all go...especially Jane. :-( It was so nice to have her here all summer. And once again, time flies. She left a month ago today! I can't believe it.
So, September starts our 9th month here in Hawaii. We really love the beauty of Oahu, but we just wish we were closer to home. But we are here for a reason and everything will work out just fine. Its just hard on us have to miss out on birthday parties, cook outs, game nights, etc. A friendly face and a hug would be nice, too.
I finally got off of the island...but only to go to another island (Maui). But let me tell you, that was better than nothing! And we loved Maui. It was beautiful and quite different from Oahu. The area we stayed in kind of reminded us of Hilton Head. And you can't go wrong with Hilton Head.
And, we are coming home in October! Woohoo! Can't wait! Jason has a meeting in Washington D.C. and we are planning our trip around that. I get to stay for about three weeks! Jason will be in town about a week and a half. We are definitely looking forward to it.
The downside of everything is that we are moving AGAIN. Yep, lightning did strike twice. They sold our condo and they are paying us off...we just received our Notice to Vacate. They gave us 45 days to find a new place...but being professional movers, we had pretty much already found a place before getting our notice. So, we are moving on up! We are signing a lease today for a condo on the 35th floor of our building. Thankfully its the same floor plan, so we know that our furniture will fit. We are pretty happy about it.
Jason and I have considered putting all of our stuff in storage and just living in furnished condos...that way when we have to move, we just have to pack a suitcase or two. Not a half bad idea.
We are still looking forward to Jason's promotion, which will take place in October. I think the pay raise actually kicks in on October 1 and then we plan the pinning on ceremony. Its been a long time coming and he is definitely deserving.
That's it for now...until next time ;-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Days

OK. So I am a slacker once again...but that's ok, right? No need to stress myself out over blogging.

We had a GREAT visit with Dad & Bon. We saw the sights, ate the food, and soaked up the sun! They left a week ago today...time flies! It seems like they were just here...and now they are settled back in at home. But we have more visitors coming in a week. Jane's friends are coming from home to spend 10 days with us! So, we have to get rested up for more fun. We are all very excited for their arrival.

Jane is working like crazy! They must really love her over at the restaurant, but who doesn't love her???

The 4th of July was fun...Jane had to work a double shift, so Jason and I went over to meet her on a break and have an early dinner. And then he and I made our way back to the condo for the fireworks. We could see them really well from our lanai. No fighting crowds for a piece of grass to sit on...we sat in our own chairs and enjoyed the show. It was nice...although the city has complained that the fire departments throughout Oahu reported over 70 incidences of fire emergencies related to the festivities. People get your explosives under control!

And now its another week...Jason and Jane are working...and I guess I am too...sweeping, cleaning toilets, and doing laundry. Fun for all!

Life is good. Can you believe we have lived in Hawaii for six months???

We need to start working on the next wave of visitors...any takers?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm a slacker... long time no blogging. Things here have been kind of busy. I will just give a brief update of things for now and then resume "true" blogging on another day.
I ended up having to quit my sailing class...I had some sinus issues and missed several days. It was too much for me to make-up, so I will try and take the class again in the Fall.
Jane arrived and has been here for a month already! Where does the time go??? Elizabeth and Alexandra have came and went...we had a great two weeks! Alexandra is so cute and she talks all of the time! It was fun to have them here.
Jane has a job as a hostess at a restaurant called Islands. She seems to like it and she is getting experience in the hospitality industry.
Dad & Bon are coming for a visit...this Tuesday! I can't believe it! We are very excited. And then later in July, two of Jane's friends are coming (Abbie & Lesley). And, last but not least, in August, Ronald, Susan, and Aunt Tammy are coming.
We are definitely enjoying the company and we really appreciate everyone taking their vacations here to visit.
Jason found out "officially" this week, that he is promotable to Major. We aren't sure when the promotion will take place, but it should be in the next couple of months! So, congrats to my sweet, smart husband. I'm very proud!
The flowers are in full bloom around here, hence my sinus/allergy issues. But everything is very pretty. There are lots of colors, shapes, and sizes of beautiful flowers.
Jason's birthday is on Saturday. So, we have plenty of reasons to celebrate these days.
I hope to put up pictures and blog more soon. Hugs to all ;-).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Small Sail for Brooke, One Giant Leap for Mankind

Well, I have been to two more sailing classes since I wrote the blog about wanting to quit. And, somehow, I have managed to keep my anxiety at bay. I prayed about it and talked myself into going "just one more time". I also have a great partner, Natali, and a fabulous teacher, Tracey.
They are both so nice and patient. Natali actually already knows how to sail, but she just wanted to take this as a refresher. So, I pretty much have two teachers.
I can't quit when I receive weekly emails from my teacher with the most encouraging words...EVER! See for yourself:
"Dear Brooke and Natali,
As I said today, I do look forward to Thursdays :) I see progress with both of you already and I know you're both going to keep progressing into great sailors. And just as importantly, you're both a lot of fun, which makes the sailing even more enjoyable. Every week we're on the water you'll make strides without even knowing it, then after 10 weeks you'll look back and see just how far you've come. Both of you have a lovely weekend. Tracey"

And then here is this one from today: "Dear Brooke, I cannot express how so very proud I am of you today. I pushed you very hard today and you came up smiling! Despite what you say you showed great skill and you made huge strides forward in your upwind sailing. By this week most students feel they are not getting it and do not feel confident, this is very normal, as we have such crazy standards for ourselves. However, I feel that you are getting it! You are better than you know and you have so much promise to become a good sailor. Your positive attitude, attention to details and willing demeanor not to mention awesome tacking skills will have your confidence up and ready for the next challenge as each week goes by. Remember keep one day at a time, and you always say you cannot do it, but you always do! Till-er Thursday. Tracey"

How could I stop going?? Tracey is so great! If nothing else, I will do it to make her proud. I will keep praying for strength and motivation. And I hope I don't capsize us!!
Tracey also has tolerance for my accent. She has a British accent and she lived in Alabama for 10 she can totally get what I am saying and she doesn't ask me to repeat words that she thinks I say funny. She said that there is nothing I can say, that she hasn't heard. ;-) Hopefully she doesn't mind when I "cuss like a sailor". Kidding...maybe...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Let's see...what's new. Not a whole lot. Jason and I had a fairly quiet weekend. Friday we stayed in to eat dinner and watch Friday night TV...usually Dateline or 48 Hours. We missed the Friday night fireworks, again! They are supposed to be at 8 PM, but we have discovered its anywhere between 7:15 and 8:15. They only last a few minutes and we can't see them from anywhere in our condo. But we can see the reflection of the lights flashing on the water and other buildings. Maybe this Friday...
Saturday, we went to Waikiki to wander around. We realized that they were having Spam Jam. We have no clue why something so "big" wasn't more advertised. Hawaiians love Spam and they dedicate this entire festival to it. Music, booths, contests, etc. I felt like I was back home at Mountain Heritage.
We also walked on the beach that evening. We saw the lifeguards pulling up "Shark Sighted" warning signs. That didn't deter the swimmers. And then we made our way to one of the live Hawaii cameras, this one was at the Duke Kahanamoku statue. You can find these at . Anyway, we went there and called Jane...and then Katie & Beaver. It was about 5:30 our 11:30 PM in KY. But they all tuned in and saw Jason and I in a sea of tourists waving at the camera.
Our Sunday was spent at the Maritime Museum. We were thinking that this was a small little place, but looks can be surprising. It took us an hour to rush through the museum, because they were closing for the day. We definitely didn't allow enough time. We also made our first trip to the Diamond Head area. We didn't climb up, but we scoped everything out. Our eyes were caught by a poster that listed common birds for the area. Most birds around here aren't the tropical kind. There are doves and pigeons, mostly. We have seen cardinals and some sea birds, as well. But the poster listed one of the most common birds here as a Kentucky Cardinal. How funny! We didn't know that there was a specific cardinal for our state, because its also the state bird for about 3-4 other states. But here in Hawaii, they call it a Kentucky Cardinal.
So, once again we had a nice weekend.
And in case you are wondering, I went to sailing class last week and I plan on going again tomorrow. I may be getting through my anxiety enough to actually not dread going.
The more I write on the blog, I realize that its mainly a journal of what Jason and I do in our spare time...Maybe one day, I will write something a bit more meaningful and insightful. ;-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fore and then Feathers

So, Jason and I decided to start golfing. Jason already had a set of clubs and had taken a semester of golf in college. I, on the other hand, had never really played golf, but have a decent understanding of it...also, I grew up around golf, tagged along with all of my friends in college, and love watching golf on TV.
We decided after watching the Masters a few weeks ago, to purchase me a set of clubs and start knocking some balls around. Well, we did just that. We found a decent set for me and got all pumped up to start playing. So, last Sunday we went to lunch and then in search of a driving range. We knew that there was one on Hickam Air Force Base, but we drove around and scoped out some others. We did end up going to Hickam and thankfully, there was no one around to see me swinging...teehee.
We bought a couple of buckets of balls and Jason told me which club to use and then showed me how to swing properly.
Well, I did ok...I tried to channel the golfing side of my family...all of my Mom's side golfs religiously and I know my Dad used to golf as I figure I have a decent chance of doing alright.
Things were going good until about halfway through my bucket. No joke, I hit a bird! There are tons of doves around here. They aren't scared of people at all. We actually have to step around them on the sidewalk. Well, wouldn't you know that there would be one about 10 feet in front of me. I didn't see it, due to keeping my eyes on the ball, or I would have tried to scare it away. Jason had been calling my shots "worm burners", due to the fact that they were skimming the grass and this one was no exception.
Well, I hit the ball and when I looked up to follow it, all I saw were feathers! I started screaming and looking away. Jason immediately starting saying, "Its ok, its ok! It flew away". Well, I saw the bird prior to flight in a cloud of feathers, and it had totally just had its world rocked. I closed my eyes and didn't see it fly away, but Jason kept saying that it would be fine. I figure it flew off to die...And then I thought of the Fleetwood Mac song...Edge of Seventeen. "Just like the one winged dove, sings a song, sounds like she's singing. Ooo baby oooo oooo.
So, look out birds, I will be back again! Hopefully PETA won't be at the golf course anytime in the near future.

To Sail or Not to Sail

Ok, where do I start. Not a whole lot has been going on here. I had another sailing class on Thursday...and one tomorrow...I made it through with no bruises last time. I am still not convinced that I really want to sail. Its not very relaxing for me...yet. I am not sure if it ever gets relaxing. You have to constantly adjust the tiller and the sails and watch for puffs of wind. Then there is the whole process of shifting your weight...all of the time. I hate to stop going to lessons because I HATE quitting things. And to hear the instructors (Wet Hens) talk about the class, its the best thing since sliced bread and I will forever remember the great time I had learning to sail. That's another thing I would hate to miss out on...this fabulous life altering experience....but then there is the fact that every time I think about going, I feel panic. I wake up at night and my heart races when I think about it. I have no idea why...I am not scared of the water...well, I am scared of sharks and jellyfish, and we are sailing in the ocean. I was brought up on boats and lakes all of my life...but a boat with a motor is much more relaxing....also, food, drinks, and a radio are all key to being on the water.
This class is also set up to be a bit competitive. You get a partner and an instructor but at the end of the class, we have to race the boats and race tying knots. I am not super competitive with people I don't know...and I haven't really felt a bond with anyone there yet. Now, if I had some close friends or family here with me, then maybe I would be more apt to compete. Maybe my biggest fear is making a fool out of myself. So, maybe its a self-esteem issue. It takes a lot for me to feel confident and its hard to feel that around a bunch of strangers that don't know they need to really encourage you and reassure you that there is nothing to be scared we will see...I really don't want to quit, but I don't see the benefit in stressing myself out constantly over something that was supposed to be fun.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Some of you may know that a goal for me this year was to enter at least six 5K races. I have done them before...Race for the Cure, Midsummer Night's Run, etc. But I decided to vocalize this goal in hopes that I would be more motivated. Jason exercises every day...he probably runs more than a 5K plus sit-ups and push-ups, at least 5 days a week.
I had been trying to walk and get "warmed up" for my races the past few weeks and a new idea came to me...I decided that Jason and I were going to have our own races. I do love entering the charity races and getting the t-shirt and all, but I decided that on our own time, we could have races and still donate the money.
So, yesterday, we held our First Annual Easter Bunny Hop. Of course, Jason could have the ran the whole thing twice before I could have, but we did it together. We walked about 3.5 miles...all the way down the Ala Wai Canal and back to our condo.
We plan on doing theses "races" on special weekends...i.e. Derby, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. The routes will be mapped out prior and we will have a fun finish line back at the condo. I am sure everyone is asking why we don't just run the big races here...well, we can do our races whenever we feel like it...not 8AM and it can be on any day of the week, not just a Saturday. Plus, its fun making up our own. I think the next race will be "The Race to Magic Island". (Magic Island is a beautiful area with walking trails adjacent to Ala Moana Beach Park.)
So, for now we will be having our own fun....and still sending money to our favorite charities and churches.
If you plan on visiting on a holiday or special occasion, you may just have to participate in an Ison family race, so be sure to pack your tennis shoes!!
P.S. We didn't get any cute t-shirts for our race, but we decided that UK t-shirts would be our standard racing attire...;-)

Visitors are coming soon.

Well, another week has come and gone. Its one month from today that Jane will be coming for the whole summer! And then two days later, Elizabeth and Alexandra are coming down. We are super excited to have visitors. As much fun as we are having here, its still hard to be so far away from everyone.
Last week was fun...Thursday was my first sailing class. The Hickam Harbor Wet Hens meet every Thursday at 9AM for 9 weeks. We had a short swim test and then learned how to recover from a capsize. The swim test was fine, but let's just say that I am still recovering from my capsize! We had to learn to right the boat and then climb our way back in...I am covered in bruises. I actually look like I was in a car wreck. My arms and shins are bright purple!
Its been a challenge to find shirts to wear ever since that keep my arms hidden.
The class was super fun and challenging. I almost gave up trying to pull myself in the boat, but with teamwork, I made it on in! I can't figure out why they make us climb the highest part of the boat...It would have been much easier to climb up the back side. I have sailing manuals to read and homework to complete by this I have to practice tying knots. But at the end of all of this, I will be a certified beginning sailor!
Jason didn't have to work on Good Friday or the Monday after Easter (today). So, he has had a nice little break.
Friday we went to all of our favorite spots in Waikiki and had a great time. We actually decided to stop in the Ruth's Chris Steak House and have an appetizer. It proved to be a good move! The bartender asked where we were from and guess what...he's from KY too. He is actually from Lexington. He has lived in Hawaii for the past 10 years or so. He majored in Hospitality Management and came here to find a job. He was very nice and we had lots to talk about. There was discussion about Keeneland, UK basketball, and missing the changing of the seasons. We plan to go visit with him again soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


This week has been rather uneventful...The weather has been so-so. Rain, wind, and a little its nice out and I am inside doing laundry.
Jason is "supposed" to get finished at 3PM on every Thursday, but he has yet to make it home before the normal 5:30 timeframe. Maybe it will work out today.
But, on a good note, Jason doesn't have to work on Good Friday and we are waiting to hear if he has to work the Monday after Easter...a potential 4-day weekend?!!?
I just signed up for a beginning sailing class. Its given by a group of military wives who volunteer to teach other military wives. They call themselves the Hickam Harbor Wet Hens.
Its a 9 week course that meets once a week for three hours. We start next Thursday. I am excited! And I think Jason is happy that I am getting out and meeting people.
So, be on the lookout for my updates about the class...I hope I don't make an idiot out of myself!! Thankfully, its a beginner's course.

Our Weekend

Well, our weekend was lots of fun. Jason didn't have to work on Friday, so he surprised me with an Atlantis Submarine tour. We went under and visited several different artificial Japanese designed, one Univ. of Hawaii designed, and then some sunken airplanes and ships. The fish were awesome...there were tons of little tropical fish and we also saw green sea turtles (endangered) and spotted eagle rays. Thankfully, no sharks or jellyfish...
On Saturday, we booked a whale watching tour. We knew there was a chance that we wouldn't see any because right now is the end of the season. And, we didn't...bummer. But it was neat to go out on the water and ride around...the waves were huge and choppy...there were several people who suffered sea sickness, but Jason and I made it through.
On the whale tour, we got to see a new perspective of Diamond truly is a picturesque sight. I have pictures, hopefully I will upload them soon.
Sunday brings us to "Double-Movie Day"! Jason and I love going to the movies and watching one feature, walking out, buying tickets for and watching another movie. This particular day, we started with "I Love You, Man" and followed it with "Duplicity". Both were good.
We went to Wahoo's and had some yummy food in between. Nice day and a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We're Even...

Well, this week finds us in a state of turmoil. We found out that a friend has passed. So sad and much too soon.
But as we all know, spring is upon us, which can be turmoil in itself. The only sign of it here is the lack of rain and chilly breezes, but I am sure we have a ways to go.

Jason and I have discussed numerous times about feeling guilty here...we are enjoying this beautiful place and all of these good times, yet we have no family or friends to share them with. We so want everyone to see and feel what we do. I guess its one of those times that people refer to as "bittersweet".

And one of the many times that I send out photos...oh I hope you aren't getting sick of them!

While we are watching the tides roll in, rainbows appearing out of thin air, and seeing the brilliant colors of the Pacific Ocean, most of you (in KY) are seeing the grass turn green again, flowers starting to bloom, and smelling that special fragrance in the air...not to mention the thrill of the horse races about to begin.
So, I guess we can call it "even". Hawaii is apparently "nearly" the same for all seasons. Its been green the whole time we have been here; there have been hibiscus and a few plumeria blooming since we arrived. By the number of people that are in the ocean, you would think that its HOT out there.

We can only imagine that feeling of warmth on your skin from the Spring sun all the while there is still a chill in the air...oh a KY spring. Some things are hard to let go of....But before nostalgia takes over and ruins this beautiful day, I must say that you can only imagine wearing flip flops and t-shirts in January, February, and March...need I bring up the ice storm?
We're even...That's what I would say...Nonetheless, we miss you all and we miss KY, but Hawaii will do for now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is here!

Well, time seems to be flying. I guess that's Spring for always went so much faster than any other time of the year for me.
I can't believe that its mid March! That means we will have visitors very soon. Alexandra and Elizabeth are coming on May 15 and Jane is coming soon thereafter. We are so excited!
The weather here has been a little weird. Some days are beautiful and hot, but almost all days there is a shower or storm.
Today is no exception. Its gray outside...everywhere! Apparently there is a weather mass moving over...its causing snow and freezing rain on the Big Island. That still cracks me up to see.
It doesn't seem possible.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The West Side Story

We are finally settled in again. We had to be a bit more creative with storage here at the new place, but everything is all put away.
We found storage trunks and some other items at the new Target on Sunday. We started out going to the Target (Salt Lake) closest to us and when we arrived there, the parking lot was full! There were police and security directing traffic. So, we just passed that one up and ended up on the West side of the island at that new Target (Kapolei). There parking area is much bigger...its connected to a larger shopping center. It was nice and refreshing to be in a Target.
We did a little sight-seeing on the West side. The highlight was Ko'olina. Its a huge resort area with a Marriott hotel and timeshares. It was beautiful!
After leaving the resort area, we drove towards Waianae. We loved the drive for the most part...the highway follows the coast. What we didn't enjoy was seeing all of the homeless camps on the beach. They were everywhere. In some places you couldn't see the water because there were so many tents. It really made us feel for those people. Very sad.
Things have been quiet this week and we don't really have plans for the weekend. So, we may get to relax a bit.
There probably won't be any swimming in the ocean this weekend though...the jellyfish are here. They come about 10 days after every full moon. We will steer clear of that!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Weekend

Our weekend was definitely fun-filled. Friday night was quiet...we were so tired from moving and unpacking. We went to dinner and came home to chill on the couch.
Saturday, it was raining, but we got had quite a few "bright spots".
Alexandra's birthday party was on Saturday and we tuned in via Playstation Eye. Its like a webcam, but it works with the Playstation 3 and the TV. We loved being able to "attend" the party. We got to see my parents and Jane, Elizabeth's parents, and many other friends. Not to mention, Matt, Elizabeth, and the guest of honor...Alexandra! She was so cute!!! She was happy to see us...she showed us all of her presents when she opened them by holding them up to the TV. How sweet.
After our virtual visit with them, we tuned into see Jason's brothers and parents! So, it was a great day for seeing all of our family. The only things missing were real hugs and kisses.
When we were finished with that, we decided to venture out in the rain.
I carried an umbrella and Jason had a poncho. We made the trek to Waikiki and went to one of our favorite bars, RumFire. They have a great happy hour with live music from 5-7 PM. We slowly made our way back to the condo and had a good night's rest.
Sunday was spent lounging around for the most part. We went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Its really close by...After 22 years, they are actually closing Hard Rock Honolulu in the fall and opening a new location in Waikiki. Then it will be Hard Rock Waikiki.
Our waitor asked where we were from...we said KY...he said well you "sound like home". He is from Lewisburg, WV. He is a young guy....moved here right out of high school, six years ago.
Nice too.
After that, we came home and watched a Netflix. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Cute movie.
So, things here are going well and we are all settled in-again.
We really miss everyone are all welcome to visit anytime! Just let us know.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another new home...

Well, alot of you already know that Jason and I had to move, due to the condo owner's financial situation. What a hassle! Thank goodness its over. Let's hope that this place is a little more permanent.
Our new location has a great view, we can actually see our old building about two blocks West.
We are right beside the Ala Wai canal and a bit closer to Waikiki. So, not bad.
This place is brand new on the inside...and we are the first to live in this unit.
Jason and I were a bit stressed about the move, but its all becoming a faint memory.
The weather has been a bit crappy, but things are looking better out there right now. The sun is shining bright and the air is clear.
I guess spring is on the way!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Email about our move

Hey All,
Jason and I just wanted to let everyone know that we will, once again, have a new address.
Due to financial circumstances for the owner of our condo, we are being asked to vacate the premises.
She is having some major money issues from making a very bad investment decision (Can you say Bernard Madoff?)She has essentially lost all of her money and must liquidate all assets.
She technically can't force us out because we did sign a one year lease. But we decided to take the highroad and leave before the bank comes knocking.
We have known about this since our third week here and we were hoping the whole thing was a bad dream. Obviously its not a dream, but more like a nightmare. The owner is going to pay our moving expenses and release us, free and clear, from our lease.
We have already found a new place to live and the movers are coming on Thursday.
Once again, we have rented a two bedroom/two bathroom condo with a great view. Its about two blocks closer to Waikikiand we are excited about it.
So, please keep us in your prayers as we once again try to get settled here on our new island home. Its been stressful and frustrating, but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We can't win the lottery or get struck by lightning, but we did pick the one condo in Honolulu that we shouldn't have...what are odds?
Our new address is 1551 Ala Wai Boulevard Unit 2601 Honolulu, HI 96815. Phone numbers remain the do email addresses.
We are hesitant to send pictures out, but we probably will...:):) There is no way that lightning will strike twice... Love to all...we miss everyone. Brooke & Jason

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Concert!

Well, last night was the concert. We had a great time. We rode the Waikiki shopping trolley down about half way to the venue and then we got out walked around, ate a snack and then made our way to the Waikiki Shell. We had to stand in line to get in, but it moved pretty quickly. There were parrotheads and fins everywhere! Our tickets actually turned out to be really good. The place wasn't huge, so all seats were pretty good...even the lawn.
Jimmy did a great job. He said that it was his 30th year playing in Honolulu and that he wasn't going anywhere...he plans for the same time and same place next year. We may have to go again.
He had actually played a concert on Maui, Feb. 24th. There were people in line with us who had been to the Maui concert and came to this one as well...obviously big fans!
We got to hear some not so familiar songs and then of course, all of the classics. Margaritaville, Son of a Sailor, Fins, Changes in Latitude, etc.
One of the backup singers actually took over and sang a song...and there were some local musicians playing as well. Jake Shimabukuro,( ) , playing ukelele & Henry Kapono ( ), who sang and played guitar. They are very well known here and all over the world. They were awesome! During intermission, Jake played "As My Guitar Gently Weeps" (on the ukelele) with accompaniment by the Coral Reefer Band's steel drummer. Very good! And then one of the last songs played was a song called "Duke's on Sunday". Duke's is a local restaurant/bar on Waikiki Beach. Jimmy sang back-up for Henry on this song.
Standing in line for the bathrooms, I made a new friend. A girl standing next to me started talking about how long the lines were and we chatted a bit. She asked where I was from and I said KY. I think she must have known it was somewhere around there because she is from KY too and recognized the accent. She is from Western KY, but lives here now. Her husband is from here and is now deployed to Kuwait. We exchanged numbers and hopefully I will get to see her again.
After the concert, Jason and I made the long, long walk home. We felt too cheap to spring for a taxi...:-) I thought my feet were going to fall off and then it started raining. My pedometer tracked over 16,000 steps for our day! Needless to say, we are both dragging today.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another centipede!

I am sure you all will get a kick out of this...
We were walking home from dinner on Friday night and I saw something on the sidewalk out of the corner of my eye...It was dark and I thought it was a stick...but I also thought it was moving.
Jason was a few steps in front of me and I saw him take a hop. He turned towards me and I knew what he was looking for...he said don't even turn around. Of course, I did.
And there it was...another GIANT centipede.
He hopped because what I thought was a moving stick, had crawled against his foot....he had on flip flops...and he shook his foot to remove it!
So, now I am having flashbacks! YUCK!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Margaritaville here we come!!

We have Jimmy Buffett tickets! The concert was originally sold out, but we went back on last week and there were some tickets available. So, we got them! Neither of us have ever been to a Buffett concert, but we are very excited. Its at the Waikiki Shell. An outdoor venue. I don't think its a huge place, so we are probably in for a treat! Our anniversary is February 24th and the concert is the 28th, so that's our gift to ourselves. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Its a small world, after all.

Well, another month has come and gone! We have been here almost two months now. Time is such a funny thing. Somedays is flies and then somedays it goes so slow. We have been making the most of our time here.
Jason had a chance meeting with another Kentuckian. This one actually hit closer to home. He had a meeting at work with the Equal Opportunity Program Manager. The guy (LTC Darren "Stacy" Holbrook) mentioned that he was from KY. So, after the meeting was over, Jason asked where exactly in KY he came from...and you will never guess... Whitesburg! Yes, I know. Jason said he couldn't believe it. He went to Whitesburg High and then graduated from Morehead (Jason, too). He also knew some of Jason's friends and Army buddies from the Morehead days. i.e. Tim Blair and Todd McClean.
Its a small world...even this far from home.
We had a nice relaxing day at the beach on Sunday. We rented umbrellas and chairs from a beach vendor. Not a bad deal actually. They set everything up, including a bucket of ice for your drinks. It was just $20.00 for a half day. We ate a simple lunch from a snack bar and just laid around. The water is still a bit too chilly for me...but Jason went in for a dip.
We have really enjoyed the convenience of walking everywhere. In all of our walking, we have found a nice little beachfront bar/restaurant called RumFire. Its in the Sheraton Waikiki. Somewhat upscale dining, but they have Happy Hour every single day from 5-7. This includes great drink specials, pupu specials, and live music. The best part of the whole thing is the view!!! The bar has floor to ceiling windows on three sides. So, when you look out, you feel as if you are actually on the water. Its a perfect spot to watch the surfers at Waikiki and the sunset. We just love it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our President's Day was spent at the grocery and then down to Waikiki for snacks at the Yard House & a walk on the beach back to Hale Koa. The beach walk was spent looking for sea glass. We found quite a bit and Jason says he waiting for me to make something fabulous out of it. It is definitely pretty...classic colors of beer bottle brown, clear, and light green. We had fun looking for something other than shells. We stayed on the beach and watched the relaxing. We can't wait for all of you to visit and share some of these experiences with us...;-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Honolulu Screamer & Bob McCowan

On Sunday, we booked a trip with the Honolulu Screamer!!! a roller coaster on the ocean. We were totally soaked by the time it was over. I would highly recommend this anyone visiting in the future.
The highlight for two UK fans was a chance meeting with a former UK Alum. We were strolling along the marina at Kewalo Basin and stopped at a charter fishing booth. We happened to notice several UK stickers among the Polaroids of fishermen with their catch. We were looking around when the Captain stepped off of his boat. He asked if we needed anything and we said that we noticed the UK stickers. He said he graduated from UK in 1973.
So after his introduction, he told us that he used to play basketball for Adolph Rupp. His name is Bob McCowan. He said that he was a starting point guard for UK.
We were totally amazed to have run into him...and then just like any nice fellow, he told us we were welcome on his boat for a visit and conversation anytime. He was happy to see two more UK Alum and offered to introduce us to all of his friends.
We told him we would love to stop back by for a visit. We really enjoyed meeting him and seeing his big BLUE boat.So, hopefully a future blog will be about our trip back down to the Blue Nun Sport Fishing boat to hang with Captain Bob on his sea vessel, the Blue Nun Too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, Jason and I had a great Valentine's Day here in Honolulu. He didn't work Friday and he also has Monday off thanks to President's its doubly great!

Friday night we spent rambling around the Waikiki area. We visited a few restaurants and window shopped. And then on Saturday, Valentine's Day, Jason surprised me with a dinner cruise aboard the Ali'i Kai. We had lots of fun!! We got a new perspective of Honolulu from the water. There were Hula dancers and all!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Home Sweet Hawaii

Ok, so Jason got home from Kansas City a week ago. We were both glad that he was back. I spent my week cleaning, going to the dentist, and I made a trip to the movies.

But everything went well with was really cold. His face was chapped from jogging in the cold air...bless his heart.

We are in the process of buying a car. We found a slightly used Jeep Liberty on Craigs List. After researching it, we think its a really good deal.

If you have noticed, I have a lot of posts on the blog that seem "old". Yes, I wrote them but didn't publish them right away. I was trying to find a good blog site to hopefully this one works out.

We finally bought snorkel sets this week. But we have yet to go out and use them. I have only been in the ocean up to my thighs...its a little chilly right now. And we have been here a month and I still don't have a tan. A little disappointing, I know.

Maybe this weekend we will get a chance to go to the beach again.

The Pro Bowl is here this weekend...We don't have any intentions of going, but its all over the TV and radio. So, I am sure its a good time.

Have a good evening!

The State of the State

Well Jason is off to Kansas City. Three weeks here and he has to go back to the mainland. Its supposed to be super cold there! He isn't really looking forward to it and neither am I. I would prefer to not be alone and he doesn't feel like flying all day again. But, the job is the boss.

On another note, the Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, gave her State of the State address.

The main topics were about energy consumption and the Ceded Lands. She says that Hawaii is the nation's most oil dependent state...220,000 barrels per year with a cost of 700 Billion dollars. WOW! Could not believe it! But there are tons of cars, trucks, and planes here. Not to mention tiki torches...not just any tiki torches...these are connected to gas lines at nearly every restaurant and bar in view. They just flip a switch and they run much like a gas fireplace. No citronella. The positive here is that there are already windmills, solar, and geothermal power sources in the works. There is a huge wind farm and alot of the houses have two or three solar panels on the roof...and they are investing the geothermal sources. She also talked about Hawaii's food imports. 85% of the food consumed here is imported. She stressed the importance of consuming locally grown food money and sustain local farmers. Then there was the highway modernization plan...there is a huge traffic problem on Oahu. This is a six year plan to update the highways and do more planning. Its a mess at rush hour. It was interesting to see a new state government at work and we find ourselves intrigued at to what is to come. I think the State of the State pertains mostly to Oahu...Honolulu...the most inhabited Hawaiian island. Until we meet again...


The military is everywhere here...not that I mind. I think some people do...but what are ya gonna do?

There is Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, and Tripler...all Army. Then we have the Kaneohe Marine Corp Base, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Airforce Base, and the Coast Guard is here too.

The military is the largest employer in Hawaii, so I guess its not necessarily a bad thing. And then you have to think of all the civilians that work on base too. Pretty widescale.

Did I mention that we feel really safe here?

We do most of our shopping at the Naval Exchange. Its awesome! Cheaper than local grocery stores and tax free. We can't beat it!

So, this is kind of funny...On the TV guide channel there is always some background music playing as the channel listings scroll up...our favorite by far is a Hawaiian version of Country Roads. Jason and I sing the original because we can't really understand the lyrics, but we keep trying...I will google and see if I can find and post the lyrics.

We have been watching all of the people out in the ocean trying to surf. There aren't huge waves on this side of the island right now, but they sit out there all day and wait. Its fun to watch.

Fireworks anyone?

Ok, so we have made our way several times down to the Waikiki area. Mainly because Hale Koa(the military resort) is there. We can't believe the people and shops! All of those fancy stores in the mall have stores at Waikiki...2 miles away! Coach, Verace, Armani, etc. There are so many people there! Just out of curiosity, who has been to Gatlinburg in July? Swarms of people...walking, shopping, eating! Hello, this is a ramped up Gatlinburg. Its beautiful and fancy, but super January. I wonder what the summer will bring.

So, one thing that throws us for a loop is the use and love of fireworks. All of the time! Every Friday night, as a matter of fact. Apparently the Chinese here consider it a cultural thing and they shoot off fireworks all of the time. That's another issue in the news, laws affecting the personal use of fireworks. Chinese influence is big...considering there is a Chinatown here...and they are none too happy with the possibility of not being able to shoot off their fireworks. Of course the laws are only being discussed for the safety and protection of the people.

This leads me to the Wal-Mart ad in the newspaper...Get all of your supplies for Chinese New Year at Wal-Mart. Not used to that, but we are adjusting...but it does explain some things. Aren't most things at Wal-Mart made in China? Teehee...

Fun, Fun, Fun

Well, we finally made to Ala Moana center. Its huge! Apparently its the largest open air mall in the world. Yes, when you are inside the mall, you are still outside! You can see the sky and potentially get rained on. Each store has its own set of, if it rains, they are protected. This mall has super high-end stores. I don't feel worthy of window shopping at some of them. Versace, Ferragamo, Betsey Johnson, Gucci, Coach, Chanel, Armani, etc. I stick to what I know...Macy's, Nordstrom, and Sears...heheh! No, I haven't actually shopped much...just wondered around. The Sears has a whole Hawaiian attire would be equivalent to all of the UK clothes sections in stores back home. Its awesome!

We also made it to the movies. Consolidated Theaters...entertaining Hawaii since 1917. There is a 16 cinema in walking distance from our condo. The cool part is that they sell toasted nuts and fresh fruit in addition to all of the normal movie snacks. When was the last time you went to the movies and ordered warm cinnamon sugar macadamia nuts or a chocolate dipped frozed banana?? OH YUM! Of course, they do have just plain old apples and oranges, but I had to splurge a little on the chocolate banana.

Not far from the movies is a Dave & Busters. For those of you who don't know, its an adult version of Chuck E Cheese.This place is huge...three stories! Hawaii has no legalized gambling, so this is the closest you can get...playing ski ball for a stuffed animal. Did I mention that Hawaiians love to gamble? They consider Las Vegas the 9th Island. We see and hear about this constantly on TV. Its the top travel destination for Hawaiians...Especially a place called The California Hotel. Who knew?

Very Interesting

One thing I have wanted to mention, but have hesitated to, is the number of homeless people here. But I will give them credit, if I were going to be homeless, why not do it paradise...right?The public parks are full of homeless camps and you can spot tents and make-shift shelters along the roads and under the bridges and overpasses. Its frequently discussed on the news...its a big issue. They are constantly making and changing laws that affect the enacting curfews on the parks at night in hopes that they won't camp there...and they have been trying to open more shelters. Its sad but its a fact...

We have been learning about the surf warnings and jellyfish warnings for our area beaches. Apparently jellyfish show up every month without fail, 10-12 days after the full moon. I think they come out for romance. So, the lifeguards automatically post warning signs as soon as the first one is spotted. Great...something else to be scared of...I think I may find a full body chain maille suit. That would protect me from sharks and jellyfish!!

We have also been able to start understanding the peaceful protests that take place here. Native Hawaiians aren't thrilled with being a state and they are very protective of the ceded lands. There are organized protests at the Iolani Palace and at some of the parks nearly every weekend. Its a little unnerving in my mind...a peaceful protest is a protest nonetheless. I feel awkward when I see the Hawaiian flag flying upside down and hear the chants and see the signs. I have been trying to read more about I will fill you in...or you can research it as well.


Out & About

Well, we finally made a trip halfway around the island. It was absolutely beautiful! We are still in shock a bit that such a large city is sitting right on the coast, but as we traveled around the island, it was more residental and less busy.There were so many places to stop and stare. Overlooks and beaches. Beautiful! Getting closer to the North Shore, there were huge mountains and plantation areas. We stopped and had lunch from a shrimp truck. We were thinking fresh caught shrimp, yum!! But they are farm raised...right there next to the coast....big shrimp farms. But they were good nonetheless. We got to see some big pipeline waves...but huge water. We couldn't believe our eyes. Waves crashing one after another, big waves. The bigger the waves, the more the spectators cheered. It was great! There was also a lifeguard with a megaphone telling us to stay back from the shore for our own safety. He said that the water was unpredictable and dangerous...Coming home from our trip, we came through the center of the island on one of the freeways. We passed the turn off for Dole and there were lots of agricultural areas. I was a bit surprised that the freeway was so big! 6 lanes in one direction...what??? I surely wasn't expecting that. Hopefully soon we will get to finish our trip around the island and see the rest of the sights here...but why the rush...we're gonna be here a while.:)

Aloha and Mahalo

Aloha! Did you know that Aloha means "hello" and "goodbye"? Just depends on the context you are using it in. Also, Mahalo, means "thank you". We are slowly but surely learning all of these little things. Like the written Hawaiian alphabet uses only 13 letters...5 vowels and 7 consonants and let's not forget the ( ' ). Native Hawaiians speak Pidgin...we haven't heard much of this, but there are heavy accents around here. Jason and I have had lots of fun learning to properly pronounce street names...we still aren't sure we say things right until we hear someone else say it. How would you pronounce Nuuanu? Well, it goes like this...Nu-oo-ah-nu. Let's try another...Piikoi. Pee-ee-koi Make sure you say the center syllable really fast.

But, you won't believe how many people ask where we are from. They catch a heavy Southern drawl. Some think Alabama and others think North Carolina...but they always give the nod of understanding when we say Kentucky.We have been spending some time getting familiar with our area. We have found several restaurants we really enjoy. Ryan', not the chain restaurant...Wahoo's Fish Tacos...Islands Bar & Grill. We have a pretty good idea of when Happy Hours are at each of these. It makes for much cheaper dining. The "Pupus" are usually half price and there are some drink specials at each, as well. Like I have said earlier, there is a HUGE Asian influence here. So, the appetizers are called pupu and almost every menu has spring rolls, lettuce cups, potstickers, and sushi on it. But there are the old faithful appetizers...onion rings, wings, sliders, and nachos. Something for everyone! We have had some really interesting and delicious food since arriving.

Jason's work is going well. He has a short commute to his office on Ft. Shafter. I think its about 7 miles, but it takes around 30 minutes for him to get there from here during rush hour. Sometimes its a little longer in the evenings. He is still learning his way through his new job, but he is enjoying it. Hope all is well...

So much to see

Well, here I sit again. There are so many things to tell you about I am not sure where to start. Jason and I got all of our things neatly placed into our condo. We were very worried about havingenough room for our furniture, but it is all in with room to spare. We love our condo. Its very convenient to just everything. Shopping, restaurants, movies, the beach...we surelucked out!

We are still learning our way around and we haven't gotten to see alot yet, but hopefully we will venture outsoon. Moving is such a hassle! Especially to a new state...there are so many things to do...change our address, registerthe car, find the grocery stores and gas!

I know most of you are in the midst of winter, but we are here too. The news keeps talking about winter storms. In translation, high winds, cooler temps, and rain! YUCK! Kind of reminds me of spring in Kentucky.

It gets dark about 7 around here and the sun rises somewhere between 6-7AM. But we will eventually get longer days...can't wait for that!

We saw a whale out the front window of our condo the other day. We couldn't believe it! We could see sprays of water coming out of its blow hole and big tail flaps. We confirmed this with our binoculars. Its whale season here...they come to the islands to calve from January to March. I think the other islands get more whale action and other parts of Oahu see more than here where we are.

From the window we can also see the Honolulu shares runways with Hickam Airforce Base. So, we are constantly seeing a mix of commercial airliners and military aircraft taking off. I LOVE watching the military jets take off! They are almost always in pairs and I am totally amazed at their speed and sound. WOW! We see lots of ships and submarines as well. There are cargo/container ships, military ships, military and tourist submarines...and let's not forget all of the personal watercraft...sailboats, speedboats, and canoes.Sometimes I look out and all I can think of is the game of "Battleship". We also love to watch the longboat rowing teams. Its so cool to see them glide through the water...they are out past the surf where its calm.


In the beginning...

So, here we find ourselves in Honolulu, Hawaii. Its definitely a long way from home...and the culture is much different, as well.We arrived safe and sound to this bustling metropolis on the beach, January 2. Jason's boss and his wife (Fred & Donna) met us at the airport with smiles and leis. We got a true Hawaiian welcome. They continued their hospitality throughout our first weekend here.We were treated to a guided tour around base, lunch, and a home-cooked meal at their house. It was a great way to get introduced to our new home.We spent our first few nights on Tripler. The accomodations were a little sub-par and I won't even rehash the experience with the centipede. But we quickly found a beautiful condo overlooking the Ala Moana/Ward area of Honolulu, not to mention panoramic views of the Pacific coast. We can see the airport, several harbors, and as far as the eye can see over the ocean. We learned quickly that there is a huge Asian influence here. Its only polite to take your shoes off at someone's front door and we never go out without seeing a noodle house or sushi restaurant. We are still getting adjusted to our new surroundings, but so far so good.