Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lucas' Birthday Weekend

A quarter century... Damn I'm getting old. It was my birthday weekend and Mahina had decided to plan out the day and take us up to El Matador beach. The beach has great rock formations much like the ones Cabo San Lucas is famous for, but on a smaller scale. Along the way to El Matador we stopped off at Malibu Seafood restaurant on PCH to grab some lunch.

Malibu Seafood was pretty crowded as the weekend lunch crowd had hit. After waiting in line for a couple of minutes Mahina ordered the friend shrimp with a bowl of clam chowder soup and I had the Ahi Tuna burger. The restaurant was a great stop on the way up the coast, with picnic tables scattered around the outside of the building with great views of the Pacific across the street.

After a great lunch it was time to head down to the beach, though it had been an overcast morning most of the marine layer had burned off by the time we were finished with lunch it turned into a slightly overcast but warm Saturday on the coast. As we made our way down the path to the beach we got a great view of the rock formations from above. Down on the beach we were surprised by how many other people were down there, from above it looked like the beach had been empty. Walking across the beach we found a small corner of sand to spread our blanket out and enjoy the day. It was a little too cold and overcast for any sort of swimming or tanning, but with a nice book for Mahina and my new Men's Journal subscription courtesy of Mahina's parents we had a great time just reading on the beach.

After a couple of hours my now old and distressed body had been abused enough by the sand and needed to move on to greener pastures. What we had failed to consider on the way down to the beach was the hike back up to the car. Somehow the stairs and trails always seem a lot steeper on your way back up. Back in Santa Monica we did some window shopping at the Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships before heading back home to get ready for dinner. While nothing came from our trips to the dealers on this day, Mahina managed to find the next car she would be most comfortable in.

For dinner we headed to the Typhoon restaurant at Santa Monica airport. There are two different restaurants in the same building - one an Asian fusion and the other a Latin American fusion. Originally we had planned on the Asian fusion location for dinner but ended up climbing up one to many sets of stairs, however the menu at the Latin American Typhoon turned out to be great and we enjoyed a tuna ceviche, taquitos and Chilean pot pie for dinner.

Besides a great day - one other good thing came of this day, I can now rent a car without penalty! The excitement continues...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Raging Waters

Who doesn't love hanging out in the water when it's a hot summer day?  Kilohana and Nani from my hula halau had the awesome idea of cooling off by going the the local water park in San Dimas, CA.  We started off the day bright and early and caravaned over to Raging Waters just moments after the park opened at 10am. Kilohana had the ingenious idea of getting a cabana for the day so we could rest and keep all of our stuff in privacy. Our group consisted of Nani, Christian (her husband), Makana (her sister), Melissa, Brenda (her friend), Kilohana, Luke (her son), Lucas and I.

The whole day consisted of lots of rides and an awesome hour in the lazy river.  Christian, Nani's husband, and Lucas bonded in the lazy river by stealing the little kids' life vests and using them to sit on so they could coast throughout the river.  Don't worry the lifeguards loved their inventions and the idea soon took over the river and our group.  My favorite ride had to be the race; its a ride where every person gets their own mat and gets to race other people down the slide. I won, naturally.  Hahaha.  The final and most terrifying ride had to the the one that seemed to be like a mile up in the air.  Walking up all the steps wasn't the problem, it was the fact that when you get that high, you can really feel the structure shake. Needless to say, Melissa and I were very happy to get off that ride so we could get down from that structure.

We ended the day by grabbing dinner together at El Torito. It was a great day with great friends.  We hope to do it again next summer!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

The long weekend was a much welcomed retreat even with the heat wave that blasted Southern California. Our plans were to head down to San Juan Capistrano to watch Bailey play some soccer and spend the day with the family.

Stepping out of the car though we were greeted by the heat wave that had enveloped us. I knew we were headed for trouble at the soccer game when Mahina got really quiet walking from the car to the hotel room the girls were staying at. Sure enough as we got to the soccer game the heat-induced grumbling began. Scrambling to cool her down I was eternally grateful for the shaved ice truck that had parked itself at the soccer tournament eagerly gouging everyone who was dying of heat.

Bailey had a great game and her team pulled it out despite a rough and tough team from Arizona that was ready to scrap their way to a win. At the end of the day though it was the shaved ice that was the real hero; keeping Mahina cool with a clutch performance made the shaved ice truck the day's MVP.