Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hello, Summer!

A hui hou. Until we meet again, Hawaii! We had such a great time exploring the island of Oahu and the day we spent on the Big Island. We condensed our time spent into a short video that highlights our amazing time.

Kris Allen
Okay, okay, I admit it. I have a huge crush on American Idol winner of season 8, Kris Allen. He's so stinkin' cute and I feel like he doesn't get enough credit for the past albums he has released. They're good! Like really good. His past two albums, Letting You In and Horizons are some of my faves. I'm a fan.

Vtg Clt
I love shopping and supporting local artists and small shops. Vintage Charlotte makes that easy for me by bringing all of the cutest boutique, vintage, jewelry and art shops into one warehouse at my fingertips. It is seriously a day that I count down to. Lucky for me, they have it twice a year during the summer and winter. I went a little crazy this summer but found some great finds! I love them to pieces.

Jason Mraz
You guys know I've been a fan of Jason Mraz for 13 years now. In fact, I've given myself the title of NC's biggest Mraz fan. Anywho, with Mraz being in between albums, I figured it would be a while until I saw him live again. Leave it to Jason to do a surprise tour, just him and his guitar, in unique venues up and down the east coast. I got word that he was going on tour when we were in Hawaii and couldn't wait to get my hands on tickets closest to Charlotte. Lucky for me Augusta was only a 3 hour drive PLUS seats were general admission meaning if I got there early, I was guaranteed a front row seat.

All my girlfriends were busy so Jeremy, being the handsome and thoughtful husband he is, agreed to go with me. We got there super early admiring the outdoor venue where we would hear the sweet sounds of Jason Mraz later that night. While walking to check out the view, we accidentally walked into sound check. I about freaked out right then and there as no one stopped us as we grabbed a seat. We caught the last two songs and I about died of excitement.

I actually spoke too soon because after sound check, I noticed there was only one way out for him to go and that was past his fans who had made it for sound check. I had brought an art print inspired by one of his favorite artist that I had been trying to get signed for the past two years. Now was my only chance. So I balled up and was the first of fans to talk to him. He noticed the art print right away as I chatted about how big of fan I was, blah, blah blah. It was freaking surreal. Best day ever.

Me trying to keep my cool
Totally freaking out inside
My true emotions
That night we enjoyed some new songs that had us laughing. He also played some oldies that will always be near and dear to my heart. There was no opener and no crazy gimmicks. It was just Jason, his guitar, 2 hours of wonderful music and the beautiful backdrop of the Savannah river. A night I won't forget.

Father's Day
It was our first Father's Day without Jeremy's dad and there wasn't a moment that went by that we didn't think about him. We visited his memorial with the family and released balloons in his honor. Jeremy also made some delicious ribs in memory of him. We love and miss you every day, Millard!

We celebrated my dad with the grilling of fancy Omaha steaks and time spent with family.

A little throwback of my dad and I

Accidental Garden
With our successful garden last year, we were excited to start another one in 2016. That is until we missed our window. Yep. Totally missed it. We got as far as tilling the soil in preparation for buying tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers but it just never happened. Some weeds starting popping up but were were too lazy to pull them. A couple weeks later, those weeds started looking like they had thicker stalks so we were like...maybe we shouldn't pull them. Sure enough, familiar little yellow flowers started to sprout and before we knew it, we had 13 tomato stalks. 13!!! We counted earlier and have 18 tomatoes starting to form. Crazy talk.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Let Hawaii Happen: Kualoa Ranch

So if you know me, then you know I have an incredibly amazing, thoughtful and caring wife. In short, she is 100% awesome.

She surprised me with what turned out to be the most fun activity we did while in Hawaii - a 2 hour ATV ride through Kualoa Ranch!

This site first began as the residence of kings and their royal family. Later it was used as a bunker and an auxiliary Army airstrip during World War II. Blah, blah, blah… TODAY, it’s known for being an awesome location for movies and television!

Some of those movies and TV shows include:

  • Jurassic Park
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Godzilla
  • 50 First Dates
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • Magnum P.I.
  • Lost

World War II Bunker 

These used to be displayed as real boar heads back in the day to mark territory. A statue will do for now.

So for 2 solid hours, we were able to crank up some ATVs and ride throughout the ranch. Not only did we get to do donuts and ride through plenty of mud and water… we (meaning Asha) also almost tipped over taking a really sharp turn (highlight of the ride). There were plenty of stops along the way including the entrance sign for Jurassic Park and huge Godzilla footprints.

Do you see the kissing gorillas?

Imagine riding along in perfect weather, you look to your right and you see a beautiful mountain range with luscious, deep green valleys. Then you look to your left and you see amazing crystal clear ocean with a gorgeous horizon. This, my friends, was a perfect ride!

We also got to stand in line for Jurassic World's Gyrosphere whose platform still stood in place, minus the gyrospheres of course, which was all done in CGI.

From the movie, Jurassic World 
From the movie, Jurassic World

Along our ride we just couldn't get over the beauty. We came across a cattle crossing and even saw wild pigs scurry across our ATV path officially making it a "wild ride." (see what I did there?)

We could have rode all day but our 2 hours had to come to an end at some point. Our last stop was the perfect spot to end our ride - overlooking the beautiful Kaneohe Bay.

With our guide, Kona. Cool dude!

After a great day at Kuala Ranch, we took it easy with a sea-side dinner at Duke's that night. It was perfect.

And suddenly it was our last day in Hawaii. It's a good thing we have Apollo because that was really the only thing bribing us to come back home. We had a late flight so we spent the day eating breakfast at Eggs N' Things, strolling the beach, relaxing by the pool, grabbing ice cream and saying goodbye one more time to Diamond Head.

Fresh pineapple juice. Hawaii does it best!

So good!

Hawaii, you were beyond amazing. You gave us an adventure of a lifetime and couldn't imagine celebrating 5 years of marriage any better. We'll be back. A 10 year anniversary to Maui would be just as good!