Hendo Maui Wowi

I’ve been to Maui only one other time, and that was on our honeymoon.  So we never really got to get out and experience the weather, the ocean, and the island itself.  I’ve been waiting for this week in April to arrive for…months.  I didn’t want Zach to miss out on Hawaii because I couldn’t get a full week off of work, so he set off Sunday night with the rest of the family.  I only missed two and a half days, but felt so lucky to get the three days off of work when I did to enjoy the island.

My parents let me stay the night before at their house so I wouldn’t have to leave my car at the airport.  My #1 Dad took me at 4:00 am the next morning to catch my flight.  He is such a champ.  My mom and I had stayed up until after midnight watching Smash and visiting…and then I had to get up at 3:30 am to get ready.  I was dead to the world, but not good ‘ole Gary!  He was as energetic as ever.  Thanks for the ride Dad!

I flew to LA, had a quick layover, and then flew from LA to Maui.  It was a 5 hour flight and I was banking on the fact that I would get to sleep on the plane.  With a glorious stroke of luck, I got three seats all to myself.  I grabbed a blanket from the flight attendant, stretched out across all three seats and was gone.  A special thanks to Kelly, for booking that specific seat.  I love you.

I arrived in Maui at 11:00 am, and was picked up at the airport by my sweet husband in a GIANT white van.  The fam had rented one to get the whole crew around for dinner dates and other activities.  He greeted me with a lei from the hotel and a giant hug.  I missed this guy.

The drive back to the hotel was around 20 minutes, and we spotted a Walmart off the side of the road.  We had a brilliant idea:  I am not a fan of pool food [nachos, cheeseburgers, fries] and am kind of a cheap skate in the fact that I didn’t want to pay $18 for said cheeseburger, so we decided to stop at Wally World and get some lunch supplies.

Honestly, the majority of the “supplies” were soda.  Yes, I know…but who wants to pay for a $6 Diet Coke, am I right??

Once we got back to the hotel and settled in (and stocked our mini fridge)…

…we ventured on down to the resort’s pool to join up with the rest of the family.

We relaxed, played a heated game of water volleyball, and had “Navy Seal Training”.  My father-in-law is a blast – he got everyone scuba gear and made a route through the resort’s pool.  Going down several water slides, swimming under a waterfall, swinging on the rope swing, going the opposite way up the Lazy River – by far the most difficult of the challenges.  If you could swim the entire route, you passed Navy Seal Training.  Zach and I passed with flying colors!

We listened to music poolside, read our books, and caught some rays.  I don’t even want to know how many Lava Flows Zach drank from his trusty plastic pineapple.

That night for dinner we walked up the beach to a restaurant called DUO at the Four Seasons Hotel.  It was my first meal of the trip, and by far my most favorite.  Hawaii really does have the best fish I have ever had.  In fact, I ate fish for dinner almost every single night – Mahi, Red Snapper, Opah…you get the idea.

The balcony on the hotel, where we would meet up for every dinner date.

The entire crew on our way to dinner.

My first morning I was up WAY too early.  5:00 am rolled around and I was up and ready to go.  I was obviously still on Utah time and Zach was dead to the world – he adjusts to sleeping anywhere, really.  So I got out of bed, put on my shoes, and went for a run on the beach.  I made a habit of it, and ran every morning before the sun was up along the shore.

It was heaven on earth, and just in time to see the beach at sunrise.  I couldn’t help but notice all my other fellow runners out there – all smiling away.  I only want to run in Hawaii now, where people smile when they run.  One morning I really wanted to join the ladies doing Yoga on the sand – but I’m not cool enough to do Yoga.  Nor am I in tune to the earth enough – there was a lady full on putting her head in a tropical tree because she was so into it.  Not smelling it, for a moment, but staying there with her head shoved in the branches.  It got weird.

Then we were off to the amazing hotel breakfast buffet.  You have never seen Zach as happy as when he has a plate full of bacon.  It is the only reason he was up before 10 am (that was the last call for breakfast).

After we grubbed, we were off to the pool for another day of exactly what we did the day before.

 We lounged and slept.

We explored the hotel property.

We took dips in the pool [at this point Zach’s skin required 24 hr. covereage and he was forced to purchase this rash guard].

Then we returned to our room to get ready for dinner at Joe’s.  I loved how every night the staff would remake your bed and leave you a little flower and a note.

After another delicious fish dinner, we walked on over to the shops.

The next morning, Zach woke up with a really horrible ear ache.  But that didn’t stop him from doing his most favorite activity:  surfing.  He had been waiting for me to come so we could surf together.  So we woke up, ate another hefty breakfast (with two diet cokes)…

and we took the mondo van to a local surf spot up the coast from our hotel.  We rented some boards and let the guys test out the waters first.  Tony, Trav, Zach, and Kelly set out in the ocean.  They all caught some great rides!

That black and white spec standing on the board is Zach – killin the surf!

Next, it was my turn.  I had only been surfing once, and didn’t have much luck the last time – it was a red tide, in my defense.  Zach stayed out in the water with me and told me when to paddle, and when to wait.  After a few failed attempts, I rode a wave ALL THE WAY IN!  I’ve never seen my husband so proud.

Unfortunately, the only photo I got was Zach helping me put on the strap around my ankle.

By the time Zach and his brothers had done a few rounds of surfing, his ear ache got worse.  That’s when we dropped the fam off back at the hotel and went to Maui Urgent Care.

One word:  Sketchy.

This whole facility was super unorganized and…cluttered.  As you walked in the waiting room there were numerous antiques such as wagon wheels, millions of magazines, bronze statues, and a fish tank that stretched the length of one entire wall that hadn’t been cleaned…for a while.

Not to mention Wolfman was the doctor on duty.  It was a horrible ear infection.  Luckily, Zach got the prescription he needed to make the swelling in both of his ears go down – and was given one rule:  NO MORE WATER.  The pain was ever present though, and laying down by the pool helped him relax.  By the time dinner rolled around he was feeling a little better.  He was a trooper though, and made the best of an ear infection in paradise.  That night we ate at Tommy Bahama’s, Zach’s favorite meal of the trip.

Steak cures just about everything for Zach.

Saturday was our last full day – and we took full advantage.  More reading, more dips in the pool, lounging in the cabana…

And we just repeated ourselves basically all day.  Zach didn’t even wander from his regular lunch routine of a huge helping of Volcano Nachos…

I am pretty sure he ate them for every lunch on the trip (but I wasn’t there the first two days, so you never know…)

After lunch is the first time we spotted “Pat”…even though her “real” name is Mike.  But more on that later…

That night we went to Nick’s, our last dinner in Hawaii.  It was the perfect weather, and we ate while the sun set.  It was like a picture perfect Maui postcard.

The “Trip Awards” were also given out – Best Tan, Best Wave Surfer, Worst Injury, Most Lava Flows, and so on.

After dinner we made our way over the the outdoor mall – more importantly where the ice cream parlor was.  We ate our ice cream, shopped, and returned to the hotel for our last slumber at the Grand Wailea.  I must admit – some did not prefer the beds at the hotel, but I was IN love.  It felt like sleeping on a cloud, and Zach agreed.

Our flight didn’t leave until Sunday afternoon, so we spent as much time as we could soaking up the last bit of sun before we had to check out of our hotel.

Zach was still banned from the pool, so I kept him company the best way I could…while being in the water.  My favorite part about the pool?  How the staff would occasionally come around with trays of popsicles or frozen grape cups.

My least favorite thing about our pool?  Well…this particular afternoon, is where Pat came out in all her glory.  This is Pat…

That…is a woman.  A woman, who had a very beautiful female partner.  No, I have NOTHING against homosexual couples – some of my closest friends fall into this category.  But THIS is ridiculous.  A woman, with her shirt off, posing as a man…with bigger boobs than myself.  The visor, tacky manish sandals, and gold chain could not cover up those FEMALE tatas.  I couldn’t help it.  It was like driving past an accident on the freeway.  So, naturally…I took photos.  With the help of my sister-in-law, we took some seriously awesome shots incognito.

Yes, this is for real.

Later, we discovered her name was “Mike” and she has never played volley ball before.  Obviously.  No, this was not a nude pool – this was our hotel pool facility.  VERY family-friendly pool facility.  It was totally inappropriate, but it did entertain us our last afternoon poolside.

The trip, in a word, was phenomenal.  Good food, great weather, and the best people to share it with.  I feel very lucky to be a part of the Henderson family, they ALWAYS know how to have a good time.  Thank you Mark and Jeanene (and all others who scheduled and organized) for such an amazing trip.

Pre Paradise

Why am I such a child?!  I seriously have been dreading this weekend for a while, even though it has a happy ending.  Every time my husband leaves to go out of town without me, I cry.  Truth be told, as he was packing Sunday I started singing Celine, “Allllllll by myslef….don’t wanna be….ALL BY MYSELLLLLF!”  Zach left Sunday morning to go to Hawaii with his family.  Yes, I am going too…but not for a few days.  So that means almost three days all by myself [are you singing it in your head yet?] at home.  I think what makes it even worse is that I will be stuck here, working extra hours and he will be in paradise not missing me AT ALL.

Luckily, this weekend we spent tons of time together.  Friday all I could think about was sweet potatoes.  Something you might not know about my Mom’s family is that they are all obsessed with Texas Roadhouse.  Seriously, all birthdays and major events were celebrated at Texas Roadhouse for the last 3 or 4 years.  Poor Zach, being an Outback Steakhouse fan, needed a break from Texas Roadhouse for the last few months.  A well deserved break, might I add.  I was nervous he would boycott my request for Texas Roadhouse on Friday, but turns out our 6+ months of being Roadhouse free made him agree to this rare request.  I got my sweet potato…and it was divine.

After some grub [and some line dancing] we went to see The Lucky One – you know, with Zac Effron.  I will admit, the show was good…but I did break out in laughter in a serious scene.  I couldn’t help it, that one line, “You should be kissed, every hour of every day…” I laughed OUT LOUD.  I got some serious crusty looks, and as soon as the credits started rolling we bolted so nobody could see the face of the girl who snickered in the midst of the most romantic part of the movie.

Saturday we had planned to go on a long run.  I mapped out my route and was excited to try a different area of our neighborhood.

Turns out we waited a little too long to set out and it was H O T.  So hot, in fact, that I got my first sun burn of the season.  I also failed to realize that the opposite side of Legacy Parkway Trail actually morphs into Legacy Nature Preserve.  Our nice, smooth run turned into a rock and mud fest.  Zach physically couldn’t bike his way through it, so he had to get off and walk his bike through the muddy areas.  It was a full on nature hike – and we’ll remember never to take that route again.

We showered up and then went out to lunch – first time eating outside this year, and it was heavenly.

Zach needed some beach shoes, so we set off on a few errands [with a Jamba stop somewhere in the middle] and then picked up dinner at the grocery store on our way home.  When Zach leaves to go out of town, we usually stay in and cook dinner together the night before if it is a weekend.  We cooked pizza and watched a rented movie.

Sunday morning came and his parents came to pick him up to head to the airport.  I don’t leave until after work on Tuesday, and it’s a good thing I have a major deadline at work to keep me busy.  Also, my parents invited me to Sunday dinner last minute [they had been up at Bear Lake all weekend] so I wasn’t completely alone all Sunday.  Yes, that’s Blake with a MIXING bowl full of fettucini and and a whole loaf of sour dough bread to himself.  This kid is a beast.

Can’t wait to meet up with my family in Maui, I have been looking forward to vacation for nearly 6 months!  Bring on the beach, I am READY!!!

Zach sent me this picture last night when he arrived…what a little butt face.

Jazzy Finale

Zach and I attended our last Jazz game for this season on Monday night.  I find it very unfortunate that Lamar is no longer playing for the Mavericks, because I was hoping to spy him and his wifey in the stands cheering for him!  I am a die hard Khloe and Lamar fan, don’t judge.

We had our last pre-halftime meal – Zach a pulled pork sandwhich and myself…a Diet Coke.  The only thing I will NOT miss about the Jazz games will be the food.

We spotted a few friends, visited with my dad and a few neighbors who were there, and even spotted a local celeb…

Pres. Uchtdorf himself, Mr. Front Row Joe!

We are so grateful to Mark and Jeanene for sharing these with us for a Christmas gift…it truly was the gift that kept on giving [Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation] and have loved all the date nights spent cheering on our team!  We love you guys!

NYC Bachelorette Weekend

My friends left Thursday night to head out to New York and I decided rather last minute to meet them out there.  I wasn’t going to miss one of my best friend’s bachelorette party in New York City!  I left Friday after work on the Red Eye.  I had never flown a midnight flight on my own before, and was nervous I wouldn’t be able to sleep.  Luckily, I was only awake a total of 20 minutes the entire flight.  I guess learning to sleep with my head down on my arms folded in my high school biology class really did pay off.

My ride to the airport

I arrived in New York around 6:00 in the morning.  The group of girls we were traveling with had rented an apartment north of Central Park [which is a fancy term for Harlem, by the way] and I took a cab straight there.  I was still pretty exhausted even though I slept great on the plane.  All the girls were dead asleep from their late night – so I climbed in the bed between Whitney and Kristina [the bachelorette] and zonked out for a couple of extra hours.  Turns out I had missed a pretty exciting time already – the first night had already involved a flooded dishwasher, burning a pizza in the oven, crazy hippies, and lots of dancing.

When everyone was up and going, we decided to head over to SOHO to go shopping.  It was Whitney’s first time in New York, and I was totally feeding off her excitement.

Riding the subway

Since it was a saturday, the crowds were intense and we were going, going, going.  We didn’t even realize we had skipped lunch until 4:00 pm!  So we compensated by hitting up a street cart and splitting a soft pretzel.  Then we had to head back to get ready for our dinner reservation at Room Service.  Zach and I had been there before with our friends, Morgan and Britton.

Most of us [missing Amy, Heiti, and Makell]

Room Service

It was beautiful and delicious – Thai food is always a great choice in my opinion.  After we stuffed ourselves, and my friends drank their sake – there was a strange moment where we all ended up on the bar?  Don’t ask, I was just along for the ride.  Whit, Britt, and I did make a pit stop at Pinkberry before everyone was ready to head out.  They have a new flavor – salted caramel!  Then we were off to try and get into the Boom Boom Room – unfortunately we had no luck because it was just as exclusive as it was rumored to be, and we moved on down the street to Kiss & Fly.  This is where we finally met up with my long lost love – Alison.  After she got off work she met up with us and we were all together for a while – which was nice because since she has moved to New York I only see her a couple times a year, if I am lucky enough to catch her while Zach and I are visiting her new home.  And yes, she has pink hair and jewels on her face.  NBD.  Friends since the second grade.

After a very late night of activities that would only be appropriate at a Bachelorette function, and sippin’ on my drink of choice Diet Coke all night, we hopped on the subway to return to the apartment.  Alison let me walk a mile in her shoes, literally.  Her giant tranny-looking platform heels.  She wore my flats and I tried to stay upright on the express train home.

Then we had to transfer and part ways with Alison to head up to our hood in Harlem.  Finally, I dozed off in another Katie sandwich between Whitney and Kristina.  Staying up past 5:00 am did a number on this old married hag, and I was out for the count and slept like a champ – even with three of us crammed into a Queen.

The next morning the whole group of us moved on over to Times Square – some to shop more, some to try and score killer Broadway show tickets at TKTS, and some just to observe the chaos that is Times Square.  We all ate lunch at a delicatessen – and yes, I did polish off my meal with a Black & White cookie.

Britt and her brisket sandwich!

Then I had to make the long and lonely subway ride back to the apartment to pack my bags to fly home.  I wish I could have stayed the extra day in the city with my friends, but this old lady had to get back to the daily work grind.

So I took a car to JFK, with a sweet Turkish man who told me all about Turkey’s underground city that Constantine built.  It was very educational.  He also ate some very pungent soup.  Don’t eat pungent soup and drive people – we almost had a near death experience.

This month I will fly a total of 5 flights completely by myself!!  Lame to fly solo, but great to meet up with some of my favorite people each time.  I don’t know why, but some sweet TSA worker must have taken pity on me, because he got me priority through security.  I didn’t even have to take my shoes off!  It was like a security miracle – because usually I am the one selected for random screening because they think I look sketchy I guess…or am hiding something in my sock bun.  Lesson learned, LAX AIRPORT – I AM NEVER WEARING A SOCK BUN AGAIN, OK???  You won.  I actually timed it and it took a total of 8 MINUTES for me to get my stinky soup-smelling self through security.  It also made me appreciate my husband even more, if that’s humanly possible.  He is a travel master – and I finally got to see how much travel organization New York takes when you are by your lonesome – organizing transport to and from the airport, checking in with flights, dinner reservations, navigating the Subway (I knew he would have been so proud of my subway skillz having to find my way through the maze that is the NY subway system with 9 other girls and myself – we didn’t get on the wrong train once!  Can I get an ‘amen’?  He taught me well.)

Overall, the trip was a short and sweet blur of activity.  I am so very happy for my sweet friend Kristina who is getting married in June and feel so lucky to have been able to make this trip with her and all the other girls that attended.  A very fun group of sistas, might I add!  So excited for you Chica Bonita!  You are going to be a gorgeous bride!

Our Office

It only took us two years to finally complete our office.  The shade arrived yesterday and I acquired Zach’s time and help to get it installed.  He was motived because it was the LAST thing we had to do in order to call it good and post it to our home decor blog.

The space looks a lot better in the daylight…but I am usually running too late to snap some pics on my way to work in the morning.

And just in time too…because Zach is having a [his words] Halo Party with his friends tonight.  By night our office turns into Game Central because that is where the TV and PS3/Xbox is located.  What am I going to be doing while Zach games the night away…?

FLYING TO NYC TO SEE MY FRIENDS!

It was a last minute thing, but my friend Kristina is having her bachelorette party/trip in New York this weekend…but since I couldn’t miss work I am leaving on the Red Eye tonight and staying there for a WHOPPING two days!  I didn’t think I could go because it seemed like such a waste of time and money for two flights in two days…but I don’t care!  I would be happy to stay TWO HOURS in NYC with my friends!  Tons of pictures to come!

Bunny Overload – Easter 2012

I am so thankful the weekend came quickly! I was anxious to spend some quality time with Zach.

Friday night we had planned to go to sushi and a movie…but my boss is currently in China and last minute gave his killer Jazz tickets to Zach and I. The change of plans didn’t bother us one bit! We hit up Tsunami for some grub and then rushed off to ESA!

Zach got his popcorn, the Jazz won, and we got some victory ice cream after at Coldstone! I call that a win – win!

Saturday was crazy. Zach had been asked by a friend in our neighborhood if he would bring his Bunny costume to our local clubhouse and dress up for the kiddies. Naturally, Zach is an amazing sport and agreed!

Please ignore my no-make up mug, I had planned to work out while Zach worked his “gig” but was too entertained by the interactions of the neighborhood minis.

The Butlers even brought their ducklings and they were a huge hit…with the kids. Me, not so much! One little guy hated me and tried to escape! I think he had Tourettes or something!

Then I took EB home (who was sweating to death in his costume) to shower up. It was pretty hilarious watching people’s faces when they saw a giant bunny in our auto.

Zach met up with his friends for some lunch and a movie, while I cleaned the house. It was long over due and felt so good to do some deep spring cleaning.

After shopping for some Easter treats (never go to the grocery store the Saturday before Easter, that was a rookie move on my part) getting my hair did, and getting all my errands checked off my list, I begged Zach to rent a movie and stay in. We compromised and ate dinner at Applebee’s [barf] and rented a movie to watch at home.

Sunday we attended our ward for Easter services and the meetings were extremely uplifting! After church we drove up to Ogden for the Hendo festivities. We had a delicious breakfast feast. Cinnamon rolls, pancakes, “pie eggs”, French toast casserole, fresh fruit…you get the idea!  Even the Easter Bunny showed up to help make “pie eggs” with Mark.  Too bad I didn’t get a photo.

[Lori’s festive Easter treats]

After we gorged ourselves, the eggs were stashed away and the kiddies got to hunt in the backyard for them! 16 eggs x 20 attending grandchildren = 320 eggs!  It is quite a spectacle – I usually just hang out with the babes that can’t quite hunt yet.

Then the Easter Bunny made his second appearance – taking photos with the grandkids, helping find eggs, even playing some golf…because it was Masters Weekend after all!

[sassy tail grab]

After the Hendersons, we set off down south to the Ville for my family Easter gathering.  Dinner was already over, but we did get to watch Cam open his Easter surprise.  My parents even got Zach and I eggs!  Well, to be fair…Zach was given a camo egg and my mom gave me a bean shaped egg?  Purple bean or egg…I’ll take it!

Easter weekend was a success, especially because we got to celebrate and remember our elder brother, Jesus Christ! Thanks to all that made this holiday another one for the books!