Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu

I like to expose Crumpet to new cultural experiences every once in a while, so we decided to check out the Contemporary Art Museum in Honolulu. Contemporary art is not usually my thing, but this museum had a few things going for it when I was choosing a location for our field trip. First, I'll be honest, was the awesome review of the flourless chocolate cake in their cafe! Second, they have beautiful gardens, and third, the museum is free to the military. So off we went to explore, and I am so glad we did.
Photography was not allowed in the galleries, which is unfortunate. Some of the art was just weird, but some was really neat, and I found one exhibit truly beautiful. Crumpet enjoyed a lot of the art because it was so odd, and it certainly gave us something to talk about!
The gardens were lovely, and there were many pieces of art incorporated into the landscape. The black and white painting below, and the reflecting pool in front of it, were my favorite.

There were nice stone trails through the gardens, and we saw a few pretty birds.

Some of the art was useful:
Some of the plants were weirder than the art - I LOVE Hawaii plants...

This is an old tennis court that has been painted...
Bird and cat resting:
The chocolate cake was absolutely worth the drive, even if we hadn't enjoyed the museum so much! There were multiple layers, filled with delicious cream. Crumpet inhaled most of it within seconds. The boy likes his chocolate! We also shared a lemonade, which was quite good. This is one of those places where a slice of cake and a glass of lemonade cost $10, but every once in a while, it's fun to splurge. And this cake was so worth it...
I hope to go to the Contemporary Museum again when they change exhibits. For more field trip posts, visit Live the Adventure!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Field Trip Friday - USS Missouri

Several months ago, we visited the USS Missouri, or as Crumpet says "The Mississary". This is an old World War II ship which is now a museum here in Pearl Harbor. We can see it every day from Crumpet's bedroom window.
The USS Missouri was commissioned in 1944 and it was used in battles in World War II. It was on this ship that the Japanese signed the official instrument of surrender, thereby ending the war. The ship was used again in the Korean War before it was decommissioned. The Missouri was reactivated in 1984 and used once again during Operation Desert Storm in the 90's, before being retired once and for all. In 1998, it became a museum.
Crumpet's dad has done some volunteer work refinishing the decks of this ship, and he was given a few pieces of the old decking as a souvenir, which is pretty neat.

Big guns:

Crumpet signaling other ships using the lamp:

Below deck:
In the mail room, stamping packages for sailors:
Typing up important messages, on a typewriter... Remember those?
My husband told me what this was, and I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten, exactly. I think it has to do with deflecting incoming missiles, but don't quote me.
View of the USS Arizona Memorial from the top of the ship:
View of Ford Island, where we live:
Crumpet enjoyed sitting here and 'shooting' the guns. He spent a lot of time shooting guns on this ship:
I'm thinking about taking Crumpet back to visit this ship while Daddy is deployed. He wasn't very interested in things like the kitchen and dining areas, or the sleeping areas. There are no guns in those areas, so who cares about that boring old stuff?? Now, I'd like to have him look around again, so he has a better feel of where Dad is living right now. If we go back, I'll add more pictures to the blog.
For more field trip posts, visit Live the Adventure.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog on Hold?

I know it's been a while since I posted here. I'm not sure what to do with this blog while my husband is deployed. Crumpet and are trying not to go on any big excursions that hubby would be sad to miss. We are definitely keeping busy, but we're mostly doing kid things instead of touristy things... I could post weekly pictures of what we're doing, but I feel like I post pictures in a million places. I have family members with varying internet access and capabilities, so I update our own website, facebook, and my homeschool blog. Posting pics here too feels like overkill! So for now, I may not update much, but I will be back when hubby gets home and we start traveling again. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Paradise Cove Luau

This weekend, Matt and I went to a luau at Paradise Cove to celebrate our anniversary and his birthday early (he'll be deployed on the actual days). It was our first date night in about 6 months, and it was a really nice time out. Matt went all out and bought the deluxe package, so everything was included: we got beautiful leis on arrival, free drinks throughout, and table service at dinner (everyone else has to walk to the buffet, poor slobs!).

On the way, we saw this complete rainbow:
Enjoying before dinner drinks:

I got a sea turtle "tattoo":
There are many shows before dinner. There are demonstrations of how to open a coconut, canoe rides, and the Shower of Flowers. A man scaled this palm tree in seconds and scattered beautiful flowers down upon us:

Sunset was gorgeous:

Then there was a ceremony celebrating the pig they roasted underground all day for the meal, and they raised the pig. It was paraded around for all to see (uggh).
Dinner was pretty good, and it was a great opportunity to try some local dishes which I didn't want to pay for in case they were awful, but I did want to taste... For instance, there were tiny samples of 'lomi lomi' which is a fish based chopped salad (not bad); poi, which is a ground up root (not good); and haupia, which is a coconut custard sort of thing (pretty good).
Then the show began, and it was very entertaining. The dancers dressed in costume and performed dances traditional to many Pacific islands. The costumes were fantastic:

This is the "sitting hula" which was 'invented' in the 60's. Really, she sat in a chair and did the hula...

The fire eater was phenomenal:

I'm not usually a fan of things like this - they feel like such a tourist trap, and you know there are no Hawaiians who go to luaus. But it was really nice to be out with Matt, it was a beautiful night, and they do put on a good show! You just have to accept it for what it is, sort of like Vegas!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Waikiki Aquarium

Crumpet's dad was sick over the weekend, so we left him to sleep and headed off to the Waikiki Aquarium. The aquarium is right on the beach in a very pretty spot. It's teeny tiny but very well done. They focus on coral and sea creatures that are found in this area. The different types of coral and fish were incredibly beautiful. And often very weird!

Crumpet was extremely enthusiastic about this trip. When I told him where we were going, he announced "Oh, I've ALWAYS wanted to go there!" He ran from exhibit to exhibit, telling me all about what we were looking at. I was amazed by how many of the critters he could identify! In the picture below, he's listening to the audio tour to see what else he could teach me.
This tank was full of clown fish and gorgeous anemones:
Here's Crumpet with a giant clam shell:
This looks like Crumpet is standing in front of a painting, but it's really a beautiful outdoor tank:
This is hard to see, but the tank below is filled with large clams. I don't think I've ever seen a live clam in the sea. They come in an amazing array of colors:
The aquarium also has 2 rescued Hawaiian monk seals. These are very rare seals - only about 1400 left in the world. One of my major goals/dreams while living here is to find one basking on a beach...
Sleepy, cozy monk seal:

I wouldn't really recommend this aquarium to anyone coming to Oahu for a short visit, because there are much more exciting things to see, but it was a really nice way to spend an afternoon with Crumpet. For more field trip posts, visit Live the Adventure.