Menehune Chocolate Factory Tour

For our 'Furlough Friday' activity through MOMS Club, we went to the Menehune chocolate factory for a tour. I had never heard of this place before someone set up the tour, but it was pretty great. The kids got a little talk about how chocolate is made and where macadamia nuts come from, etc. Then each kid got dressed up in an apron and hair cover and went to work making their own chocolate covered macademia nuts. Then, they had all the free samples you could eat. It was kind of like torture for me since I gave up chocolate for Lent, but they did have a few non-chocolate things I could sample! I would highly recommend the tour, it is worth it just for the samples! They put the kids' candies they made in the freezer and then before we left, each child got their candies back all boxed and shrink-wrapped. Pretty awesome!

Showing the 10lb chocolate bricks that they get in to make the candies with...
Getting ready to make their own box of candies...

A whole room full of kids in aprons and hair nets is pretty cute!
Chef Adam and Chef Cole
Now we're on to the sampling part. It turns out, if you let my kids eat as much chocolate as they want, eventually they stop eating it on their own before they get sick. I was actually surprised...
The rows of sample bins...
The finished masterpieces.
So if you happen to be on Oahu, take the tour!

Family visit fun

My sister Connie and her husband Steve came to thaw out in February from frozen North Dakota. So we had a good time being tourists around the island for a few days. We only seem to make it out to do these things when people come to visit. We headed out to the west side of the island for a nice sunset.
At Dole plantation to see the pineapples...
Visited the beach on the North Shore.
Cole decided to make some snow angels (the poor deprived kids - they can't make snow angels)
And Adam caught a pretty good wave on the bodyboard
Adam had his birthday while they were visiting too. My baby is 6!
We took a hike up to Makapuu lighthouse to see the sights on the windward side of the island and do some whalewatching. I actually saw some whales this time, but they were far out and so hard to get a picture of.
So we'll have to see who we can get to come out and visit us next.


Likeke Falls hike

We did a hike up to Likeke falls in February. We hadn't tried the trail before and it took a little hunting around before we found the trailhead. Once we were on the trail it was a nice, easy to navigate trail. The vegetation along the trail was beautiful, lots of wild ginger and heliconia. Here is us early on in the hike.
The trail was nice and even and not muddy at all. So it was a very pleasant hike. I think the falls were about 0.75 mi into the hike. We checked out the falls and then continued on the trail for a ways to see what was ahead. There were more gorgeous plants, plus some stands of bamboo if I remember correctly. We turned around so the kids wouldn't get too tired on the way back out. We probably hiked a little over 2 miles in total.
Here is a picture of the falls, not large but very pretty.
Adam enjoying himself on the hike.
Dan and Cole
Some of the ginger that grows wild all along the trail.
We'll have to try to check out some more new trails again sometime. Oahu has so many different trails I'm sure we could live here for a long time and not try them all. Just have to get the mileage up of what the kids are willing to do now.


Winter in Hawaii

We've been enjoying winter here, Hawaii style. Cole and I were out trimming the palms in the yard and Cole started playing with one of the big fronds. I told him he looked like a peacock, so he started posing for me. Here is my little peacock...
With MOMS Club we went to Moanalua Gardens. It is a nice little park, very quiet and secluded and they also had a very nice koi pond. I think the group of us fed the fish at least 10lbs of koi food that a couple of the moms had brought. The fish actually stopped begging for food the kids fed them so much.
Also in Moanalua gardens is the 'Hitachi Tree'. This tree is the actual one used in the Hitachi ads (http://www.hitachi.com/hitachitree/en/). Apparently they pay royalties to the owner of the tree for use in the ads. Tour buses come full of tourists from Japan and they all get their pictures taken with it. It is a lovely tree, but I'm not sure what the big deal is all about.
Some days here can be a little chilly here (I can hear you laughing!). When I say chilly, I mean that you might not want to put on your swimsuit and stand in the breeze while you're wet. You're probably ok if you're not just coming out of the water :) It was warm enough this day to break out the slip n slide. Maybe the pictures can thaw you out just looking at them...
Adam's been taking tennis lessons for a couple of sessions now, but he still hasn't made it out of the beginner class. His coach said that his swing is now good enough but he has to get a little more focus. He's the one who is usually looking at the birds flying by rather than the coach. He is just not my little athlete. That's ok, I certainly was no athlete when i was a kid either - at least not in the 'organized sports' capacity. Cole will start the same beginner class next session, so we'll see how they do together. Maybe a little brotherly competition will give Adam some motivation to pay attention. :)
Well I have a bunch of good photos still to post, I'll try to get busy and post more. For now, I think I need to get some shut-eye. Night all!