Friday, July 27, 2007

Aloha from Hawaii

I've been in Hawaii for about 10 days, so I figured I should probably do a little update post. Unfortunately, my digital camera crapped out, so there won't be a lot of pictures to share at the moment. Luckily, my coworker, Jessica, is shutter-happy, so I will get all of her pics before I leave. The workdays are long and hot. The tradewinds haven't been blowing as much as normal, possibly due to Tropical Depression Cosme that passed by the islands a few days ago. It doesn't help that we spend most of our days hunched over a monitoring well in black asphalt in the beating sun. I really can't complain too much considering we are surrounded by palm trees, gorgeous flowering bushes, and amazing birds all day. The giant cockroaches and ants nests that we find in the well vaults were alarming at first, but now they are all in an average work day.

For several reasons, we can't work on the Base on the weekends, so we have packed them full of activities on the north shore of Oahu. Last weekend, Jessica, John (another coworeker), and I snorkeled, chilled on the beach, ate a ton of shave ice, sipped mai tais, and watched two amazing sunsets all in one weekend. Did I mention the enormous sea turtles? There's a beach on the north shore called Turtle Beach (how appropriate) where huge sea turtles come up onto the beach to bask in the sun. I was walking out of the water and accidentally tripped over a turtle that I thought was a huge rock. I think we have a picture of the giant bruise I'm sporting from that incident. I was actually more worried about the turtle at the time, but the ranger who was present on the beach assured me that he didn't feel a thing. One interesting fact about Turtle Beach, from the book Oahu Revealed: "Turtle Beach is a modern name. It sure beats th ancient Hawaiian name for this beach, which was Kukae'ohiki meaning excrement of the ghost crabs." I didn't see any ghost crabs. Nor did I see any of their excrement. I'm thankful for this small favor.

I was able to get one cool photo before my camera died. This was taken on our way "home" to our hotel from the Base last week:

At least we had something nice to look at during our hour-long commute!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Has anyone seen the Cabana Boy?

Shannon's parents have been visiting this past week, and while they were here, we were able to finish a bunch of house projects. Mom spent two days sewing some awesome cabana curtains for the back patio, and dad spent his time hanging ceiling fans and tinkering with random electrical projects around the house. The cabana curtains have been a long time in the making. We bought the fabric on a trip to Minneapolis in April for about 1/5 the cost of buying the curtains pre-made. This may not seem all that impressive to many of you, but when you are trying to have a relaxing BBQ on a west-facing patio in Texas on a 90-degree evening, you will understand how much these curtains come in handy.
Here are some before and after shots:

Inspiration for the patio - Crate & Barrel and some fabulous resort in Hawaii:

I also had a chance to paint some old faded Adirondack chairs that came with our house:

Inspiration for the chairs - L.L. Bean Vintage Adirondack: