Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Hawaii and Christmas Cookies!

Good Morning Everyone!

Thank you for the comments yesterday from Olivia, Carol and Kaylana.  It's nice to know people are really reading the blog, otherwise it gets boring just talking to myself. I do enough of that already!  You all have such interesting lives.  Olivia in beautiful Bavaria!  I'll bet Christmas is amazing there.  Kaylana in Latvia.  May I ask what you do that you live in such exotic places all the time?  And Carol, I'm so happy to hear about the little one being so much better and will be able to celebrate Christmas with you and the family.

It's been a busy couple of days around the Queen house, preparing for 2 adults kids and their spouses and 2 grandkids too!  No big deal-the cookies turned out terrible!  It was my first time with a new sugar cookie recipe. I mixed the dough last night and refrigerated it overnight just like the recipe called for.  They were supposed to bake 5-6 minutes and when I checked the first batch after 4 minutes it was already burned.  I still have to ice the remaining ones, but I'm not optimistic.  It's okay, I can always throw them out and run to the store.  In years past I baked about 20 different kinds of cookies every year.  Now that we're alone, Dennis and I do NOT need all those cookies so I hardly ever bake anymore.  I did want to give the grandbabies their own sugar angels from Grandma though.  Oh well.

Last night Dennis surprised me with my Christmas gift early.  I thought our gifts to each other was the trip to Hawaii, however he presented me with an ipad last night.  I charged it overnight and just tried to set it up.  I'm so horrible with techy things, I can't even turn the thing on.  Thank goodness our son is a systems analyst and great at all things computer.  Hopefully he can get it all going for me this weekend.  Now....I have no gift for Dennis.  Can you believe he said my gift to him is just loving him for all these years?  How did I get such a WONDERFUL man?  I am truly blessed.  He said the ipad will be easier to keep track of all my knitting patterns and blogs.  He has one for work and loves it.  I think lugging around the laptop for vacation made him decide to get something smaller for me.

Okay, with no further ado, more pictures of Maui!  Of course we need to begin with yet another sunset because I do love the sunsets.

 Here we are at what is called the "whale nursey" of Maui.  It's just off Maalea Harbor and usually there are many whales and babies, but this year we didn't see any.  It was still beautiful but we missed the whales.  Taking pictures of yourself is always an adventure.  Arms out, head up, (or down).
 No whales, but beautiful nonetheless.
 This sign is at the pull-off.  I'm sorrry it isn't easier to read.
 Another of us at the Banyan Tree in Lahaina.  The tree takes up the entire city block and is amazing.  I know there are a lot of pictures of us, but normally we take lots and lots of the scenery and none of us.  We decided before we left that we would take more of the two of us.  Our son in Japan has requested pictures of family this year because he misses all of us, so we decided to try to provide some from the trip for him.

This is the view from upcountry.  We were on our way to the Ulupalakua Ranch and winery.  The previous picture was taken just around that curve at the top left of the picture.  The condo we stayed at is one at the very right of the buildings in the middle of the picture.

This is the view from upcountry, of the island Molokini.  Lots of snorkeling and turtle watching out there.  The building you see is the Maui Prince.  This is the last hotel on the southern coast of Maui and the first place we ever stayed on Maui about 11 years or so ago.  It's very quiet and every room has a partial ocean view.  Very exclusive.  Very golf resorty.  We could never afford to go there now.  It's been sold and the new owners charge almost FOUR times what we paid for our room.  Isn't the ocean beautiful?  You can just make out the cinder cone on the left.

 The next two pictures are the Tedeshi Winery on the Ulupalakua Ranch.  It's the only winery in Maui.  Although we really aren't drinkers, they make a pineapple wine that you can't get anywhere else. Isn't it pretty decorated for Christmas?

 This is a picture of the black lava flow from the 1700's.  The road ends just past this.  Well, it doesn't actually end,  but there is a section so rough that it makes your rental contract invalid if you drive on it.  Who can afford to pay for the car if it's damaged?  We never go past this point.  If you could continue, you would be on the road to Hana.
 The cinder cone by the Maui Prince Hotel with the black lava beyond it, then the ocean.

  That's it for today.  A few more tomorrow morning for you and we'll be all done!  Tomorrow I need to bake pies and prepare the celery, onions etc. for the stuffing.  I try to do as much as I can before the kids arrive so I can spend time with them, not cooking.  Then I'm going to make my homemade noodles and chicken for dinner tomorrow night.  It's my son's favorite dish and I always make it for him when he comes home.  I do love to cook for my kids!

Hope your preparations are all going well also and you remember to make time to think about the reason we celebrate!



1 comment:

  1. Ahh... so nice and so interesting! Thanks for sharing them.
    My husband is a French teacher. We moved to Casablanca shortly after being married. (Nothing like a tumultuous first year! New marriage, third world country, brand new school that was really a construction zone! And banks that don't transfer money or do their job... Not a very peaceful environment, I'd say of those two years there.)
    Seven years now in Latvia. We wanted something with more seasons and a more reliable working environment. We found it here. However the culture is completely opposite of Casa. Here they are closed, hard to connect with - a reflection of the climate, many say.
    While we miss Casa, our heart is where our home is and now it happens to be in Eastern Europe.
    Hugs and Blessings!
    Oh, I should add that the marriage part was the easy part. Life outside the home was the challenge.