Merry Christmas from Vancouver BC!
Robert and I have just returned from a dream vacation in Oahu, Hawaii.
We had wanted to go two years ago in order to celebrate our 30th anniversary, but due to financial constraints it didn't work out, so we celebrated our 32nd anniversary instead.
Hawaii in December is all anyone has ever said it was; humid, hot, balmy, with warm ocean water and soft sand, delicious food, lovely hula dancers...
We stayed at the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel, one block from the Kuhio and Waikiki beaches, from Dec 3 -13. The photo above shows Robert and I wearing our new Hawaiian print shirts and kukui nut leis and flower leis at our first luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I especially loved the poi buns and the kalua pork! Here is a recipe for the pork. (which I haven't yet tried)
Robert rented a beach chair a few times and soaked up the sun's rays, while I sat in the shade and tried to read. I was distracted by the beach sights and did little reading. I also loved to browse in the air conditioned gift shops in the hotels along Kalakaua Avenue, the main street in Waikiki.
I love all things Hawaiian.
We took three tours, arranged through our helpful hotel concierge.
We took the grand island circle tour on Dec 5, the Polynesian Cultural center tour on Dec 8, and the Pearl Harbour tour on Dec 10.
It was like being in paradise. Now we know how the wealthy feel, traveling here each winter.
If it was closer, I'd try it too. The 6 hour jet ride didn't really agree with me; too many coughing people and crying babies. I also loved the flora and fauna in Oahu.
Here is Diamond Head in the background in Waikiki. It was like a dream to be here.
We totally unwound and relaxed. We loved Oahu!
Kelsie our little Jack Russell Terrier enjoyed a doggie stay-cation at a kennel for 11 days while we were gone. She is doing well for her great age of 13 1/2.
Matthew, Robert, my Mom Susie and my Dad Jack at our Thanksgiving feast.
My Dad is now totally blind from glaucoma. It was quite an adjustment for him, but he has a good sense of humour and cracks jokes a lot, and has become very talkative at the age of 85. His hearing is fantastic, and his memory is phenomenal.
My Mom is his main caregiver, but now allows us to do the grocery shopping, while Leona my sister often cooks meals for them both, and visits them every Saturday.
Matthew and his Grandma. He stayed with us until March of this year, after being with my sister Marlene and her husband last year for 6 months. He returned to his job at Dussa's in Granville Island, and is living downtown in walking distance of GI, sharing an apartment with a roommate.
Robert was discovered online last Dec 2013 by a recruiter, and employed through Fusionware in a contracted basis as a project manager at Coast Capital Trust in Surrey BC. After 9 months he was hired full time as they really liked him and his work. So thankfully after many years of financial ups and downs and a rough time since 2008, Robert has a regular paycheque.
We had a new back sliding door installed in September, which is just wonderful. It has blinds inside the tempered glass doors which operate on magnets. It has such a good seal compared to the old door, and now the heat stays inside the kitchen on a cold winter day!
The other home improvement we made was in Matthew's old bedroom, which became my office and sewing room in April. I painted it a pale pink, and it makes such a difference for my mood. I write and sew in the room, and I feel inspired. I've written 16 genealogy articles for our local newspaper, the Renfrew Collingwood newspaper. If you click on the link, and search for "Family Tree Tips" you can read them all online. I still love to hunt for genealogy clues, and hope to accomplish more in 2015.
We wish all of you a lovely peaceful Christmas, filled with God's blessings.
May you have a happy New Year in 2015 as we keep looking up.
Love from Robert and Loretta