Foster Botanical Garden

 

 

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Foster Botanical Garden is located in Honolulu and covers about 14 acres.  This place is absolutely beautiful!  There are tons of tropical plants and amazing trees.  It’s also a wonderful place for kids.  There is a huge open area for the kids to run and play, have picnics, take a stroll or just bask in the sunshine.

As you walk through the garden, you will see an orchid conservatory, a butterfly garden, herb garden, cannonball trees, sculptures and the corpse flower!

The corpse flower smells atrocious!!!  Most people claim it smells of rotting meat or decaying flesh!  The smell and color of the plant attract flesh-eating insects.  The plant also heats up, which I assume aids in its attractiveness.  The bugs think the flower is food, which leads to them flying off with the pollen.  Once the flower has bloomed, it collapses and starts all over.  They can take up to 7 years to bloom and are usually 8-10 feet tall.  Once the flower blooms it only remains open for 12-48 hours!  That may seem like such a short time frame, but I can assure you that that’s long enough!  It really does smell like a 90 day old mixture of roadkill, gross feet and stanky (not stinky, STANKY) butt!

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The corpse plant!

The cannonball trees are pretty cool too.  The fruit resembles, you guessed it, cannonballs!  The fruit takes up to a year to mature and the flowers are gorgeous.  The fruit is usually fed to chickens and pigs.  Not very many people eat the fruit due to its smell.  The fruit can weigh several pounds and can definitely been heard when it hits the ground.  Don’t stand directly under it!

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The things we take for granted

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There are so many things in life that we all take for granted.  The past few months have been exhausting for me due to my husband being deployed again.  I have felt, at times, that I’m failing… failing at being a good mom and wife, failing at housework, failing at keeping up a workout routine…. the list goes on and on.

Today I thought about all of it.  I thought about all the blunders that came with 2016 and believe me, there were quite a few!  After making a mental list of all the crap that happened, I started to wonder why I was focusing on all that stuff.  Why hold on to the bad and not acknowledge the good?  There’s so many things that I cherish and I’ve neglected to even give them a second thought.  So, here’s a few things that get me through the day!

  • Coffee-  Coffee is my elixir!  It keeps me slightly sane and gets me through a whole day of dealing with a teenager and toddler!
  • Nature and Hiking-  Living in Hawaii has its advantages!  It is absolutely beautiful here and the adventures are endless!  Just taking my little one out in the stroller for a walk through the neighborhood is relaxing and gorgeous.  The hikes we’ve been on really help with stress and worry too.
  • Playtime with the kiddos-  Playtime isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you’re so tired and have a million things left on your daily list.  But I will say that it’s worth every second.  The memories we make last a lifetime.  The bond you make with your children will be one of the most important things ever.
  • Small gestures and gifts from your kids-  I don’t care if it’s a rock!  One day you will look back on that moment and smile!  I have saved rocks, small flowers, little poems and clay pots.
  • My health-  My health may be a work in progress, but I still have it!  I don’t just sit around all day.  I move, go outside, have a garden, take walks, go on picnics… make use of your body!  Your family depends on you.  You may not feel important all the time, but you are.
  • Hearing “mommy” 60 million times a day-  I don’t care what anyone says.  Being a mom is tough at times.  Some days are so exhausting.  But at the end of the day, after hearing “mommy” ALL DAY LONG, I’m so thankful for my kids.  They make my world go round!
  • Husband’s boots in the floor and uniforms to wash-  I’m serious!  Every time he has deployed it hits me that I miss that.  It reminds me how lucky I am to have him, how proud I am of him, how hard-working he is and how empty it feels when he’s gone.
  • Friends-  I have a few close friends and a wonderful sister-in-law that I keep in constant contact with.  Whether it’s just a phone call to chit-chat or vent, they are always right there.  It’s nice to have friends that hold you up when you’re feeling knocked down.

The last one….I’m breathing!  I’m still here!  I’m lucky to get to spend another day with my family and live this beautiful chaotic life!  My husband always says, “It’s not that serious.”  For the longest time I’ve battled being stressed and full of worry. I worry about everything.  I stress over the smallest blunders.  I have, however, gotten better about letting things go.  I’ve tried really hard to think things through and demand a less stressful life.  Sometimes all it takes is putting your foot down and not allowing events or people to pull you down.  So, remember this one small piece of advice.  If something is bothering you, ask yourself if it will matter in 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years.  If the answer is no, then let it go.

New to the military life?

img_0090I see posts and discussions online all the time about expectations of military life.  Preparing for this lifestyle is slightly impossible, but I’ve put together a little list to get you started!

So, you’ve met the man of your dreams and fell in love!  Congratulations!  Now begins the rollercoaster.  You will spend tons of time apart due to work, training and deployments.  Holidays come and go and customs forms can be filled out blindfolded.

Buy new furniture.  Stick all of it in a moving truck and drive that truck like you stole it!  Go over every speed bump you can find and take turns as sharp as possible!  Bang that furniture up real good.  Now, rent a house that doesn’t have room for all that lovely banged up furniture.  Oh, and don’t forget all the lovely colorful stickers that you will be finding for the next 20 years!

Cry, laugh and drink!  Meet the best people ever, become great friends and then you will all move in opposite directions.  Just learn to embrace the adventure.

Hurry up and wait!  You will figure this one out sooner than later.

9-5?  What the hell is that?!?  Seriously.

New address?  Having trouble changing all the bills and stuff over to the new address?  Try remembering all of them for the past 6 years to fill out a form!

Learn to sleep with your phone and computer.  Wait… did I say sleep?  Deployments suck.  And you will learn to have cereal for dinner!

If you plan on going to the commissary on the 1st or 15th, make sure to use your husband’s combat gear!  It can get rowdy in there!

Wait for your husband to receive PCS orders and then spend a couple of weeks losing your sanity and running around like a crazy lady.  He gets a stack of papers and you get a 101 list of things that have to be done in two weeks.  Congrats!

Go ahead and ask your husband what time he’s getting off work.  Make plans.  Then wait 3-4 hours after said time and ask yourself if it’s too late for coffee or too early for a drink!

Join the FRG, sit back with a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show!   It gets that good!

Not handy around the house?  No problem.  You will learn that kicking or hitting something with a hammer while cussing works wonders.

Lastly, remember to just go with it!  Enjoy your life.  You’re married to your best friend and love of your life.  Learn to laugh and laugh often!

 

 

 

Spitting Cave

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Spitting Cave is located at Portlock Point in Honolulu at the end of Lumahai Street.  Look for the narrow path that’s near marker 119A.   It gets steep, so be careful.  This is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset or just spend time looking out over the ocean.

The highest part of the jump is right at 65 feet, I believe.  Yes, people jump from this spot!  I don’t think I ever will though.  There have been quite a few drownings here.  The water pounds this cave!  Be safe and pay attention!

Maunawili Falls

 

 

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A wonderful view of the Ko’olau range

 

 

The trailhead is located in a residential area off Maunawili Road.  Be respectful and park away from the trailhead and driveways.  Try not to be loud and please do not leave trash.

Maunawili Falls trail is about a 3 mile hike and usually muddy.  A good walking stick will help in the rough spots.  Weekends are usually packed with hiking traffic.  Following the trail, you will have to cross a shallow stream and climb uphill.  There will be stairs that seem to go on forever, but I promise they don’t!  When crossing in the streams, just walk in the water.  The rocks can be real slippery and the cool water will feel awesome!

 

The last set of stairs you will come to go straight down.  You can hear the water on the way down.  The waterfall is absolutely beautiful!  There is a decent size pool at the bottom and 3 jumping spots.  Like I said, weekends will be crowded.  It’s a gorgeous hike though and definitely worth it!

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A crowded weekend day at Maunawili!