July 21, 2011

Aloha! - Hello!

Aloha is a word with many meanings, including hello, goodbye, and love. It can be a noun and a verb. In talking about the Hawaiian islands, many people mention the aloha spirit, meaning people just seem to do things with kindness for others. For us moving here, from so far away, it helps that many people here do live out that aloha and are more than willing to befriend people from the mainland. Maybe it's the weather, or the vistas, but whatever it is, it's nice that people are... well, nice.

It's been about a month and a half since we've moved to Hawai'i. We've been settling into our new place and exploring our neighborhood quite a bit. There are plenty of adventures we'd like to share, but first we wanted to start with how we got here. You can read below about our road trip from Michigan to Hawai'i. And soon, we'll start adding our Hawaiian adventures to the top, like a regular blog.

Look for weekly (hopefully more frequently, but I'd like a realistic goal!) updates with your Hawaiian word of the week. We hope this is a good tool for you to keep up with the Perrys, and we'd love the comments to know how you are doing as well!

July 15, 2011

A Journey of 5,000 Miles Begins with...

A lot of stuff!

You have no idea how much stuff you own until you move. And then you still have too much, even after selling and giving so much away! I'm so thankful for Kyle's awesome packing skills since we were able to take everything that I really wanted, and then so much more. Here is a close up of the cube:

You wouldn't believe that there's 4 bookshelves, a china hutch, a dresser and a crib hidden in there!
We got an extra one "just in case."
All of that + we needed a few things to live off of before we can unload the cube...
4 large suitcases
2 rolling suitcases
2 car seats
4 backpacks
computer bag
diaper bag
snack bag
"super fun" bag (with the DVD player and $1 toys I'd been collecting)
double stroller and umbrella stroller

and lots of diapers. At least those disappeared along the way ;)

Somehow everything fit in our trusty Rendezvous, so we're ready to head out to our first stop: Saugatuck!

July 14, 2011

July 1 - Flushing to Saugatuck - 143mi

After moving all that stuff ourselves, we were excited to rest. But, instead, we started our road trip from Michigan to Hawaii the next day! Thankfully, our kids do well in the car. And the daily surprises to unwrap didn't hurt either :)

Luke is excited about watching his car movie

RaeRae doesn't seem as excited about Lilo and Stitch though

Our first stop was Zing Eat/Drink! A fabulous restaurant in Douglas owned by my cousin. They just opened up and were gearing up for the summer season. Highly recommended! Everything tasted great, but nothing was ordinary!

We loved seeing my cousins and the great food, but the kids' highlight was the frog we found outside.

It was a nice stop, but we still had more driving on our first day. Now off to Indiana!

July 1 - Saugatuck to Rensselaer - 147mi

Our first stop outside of Michigan was to see Kyle's maternal grandmother.
RaeRae is excited to see Great Grandma Steffen!

Looking through photo albums with Great Grandma

We decided to stay the night with Great Grandma so we could have breakfast with her before heading out. There is a common area with a few couches and chairs and a bathroom that becomes "private" when you pull out an accordion wall. So we made it our own for the night. Kids got to help go get the linens for our "room."

We improvised a crib for RaeRae...

and Luke crashed on one davenport while we slept on another.

We were all exhausted, but thankful to finally be on the road. Until tomorrow!

July 13, 2011

July 2 - Rensselaer to St. Louis - 283mi

Technically, we stayed in Francesville with Kyle's grandma, so we actually headed to Rensselaer this morning. Kyle's great-grandpa owned this business and it is still in the family! We stopped by to say hello to his cousin working the store that day, as well as run to the cafe next door for some non-retirement home coffee.
All of our days planned on us stopping for meals and letting the kids run around a bit before getting back in the car. The 100+ heat was not helping today. We couldn't find an indoor McPlayplace, so we ate lunch and brought our DQ ice cream bars to a nice park by a lake. Needless to say, that was a sticky, sweaty mess. And you just have to imagine it without pictures :)

Despite driving some pretty remote Google map suggested gravel roads, we arrived ahead of schedule in St. Louis. Pretty sure this is the most amazing picture ever since I caught this on my phone while we were driving.
Although his wife and kids were out of town, our good friend Hale gave us a nice tour of the city, including the Gateway Arch! Being 4th of July weekend, they were having a festival, so it was a bit busy, but made up for it by getting a bonus air show while we walked around town.
Perhaps we should've let the kids run around more in the sweltering heat if they had enough energy for a wrestling match. It wouldn't be that bad if it weren't in public. In the waiting room for the elevator to the top of the arch. Which is a pretty small, quiet space. At least RaeRae looks like she's having fun!
Ready to ride up to the top!
Luke literally shaking with excitement.
 RaeRae the daredevil is not impressed.
 Crowds listening to music and watching the air show on the lawn below.
The Mississippi was flooded, and you could see how high the water was really well from up top...
RaeRae loved being up high and didn't want to get down from the window...
 while Luke needed a little bit of encouragement to see the heights.
 Everyone gets to pose with Papa...
We had a nice meal out on the town before putting the kids to bed. Thankfully, Hale let us stay, so not only did we enjoy his company, but also his a/c and laundry services! Thanks Wills family!

July 12, 2011

July 3 - St. Louis to Oklahoma City - 499mi

Since we had a lot of driving to do today, we made sure to find a McPlayplace along the way.
 The kids busy entertaining themselves...
 Me busy finding a place to stay for the night. This trip would have been so much harder without our smartphones! We had some AAA books and a huge triptik, but the internet makes everything so much easier!
 My turn to drive always meant two things: traffic and bad weather. This time, it was raining so heavily, I had to pull over and watch the hail bounce off the car.
 We heard the weather advisories for this storm after getting through it. Whoops.
 Despite that slow down, we still made it to Tulsa for some good BBQ for dinner!

 To cover more miles, we drove again after dinner - RaeRae's comfy set up:
 Luke playing hide and seek:
Our leg from Tulsa to Oklahoma City was uneventful, but it was a long day, so we just hit the sack!

July 11, 2011

July 4 - Oklahoma City to Albuquerque - 543mi

Unfortunately we had to do back-to-back long driving days. So glad we had a restful hotel - thanks priceline!  The kids enjoyed some TV time in the king bed before heading out on the road again.
 We had a lot of ground to cover, but the timezone change helped. So did the 75mph speed limit. Plus, the kids were really quiet and/or sleeping, so we didn't have to make extra stops. Usually asleep in the passenger's seat, I managed to drive from OKC to Amarillo. Here's proof:
 The present of the day: book for RaeRae
 Sudsy Percy for Lucas. The only bummer is that now he keeps asking for his tracks to go with it. The tracks are in the cube and not coming out until we have a place of our own. Whoops.
Where to stop in Amarillo? After seeing 125 billboards for it, we had to try The Big Texan Steakhouse!
Big cow!
Big boot!
Big chair!
And of course, big steaks! (Which we didn't try, since it was lunch)
Cowboy Luke
Cowgirl Rebecca
Strolling guitarist... or that guy from Lost??
On road trips, we always try to beat each other into the next state, but somehow on this trip, neither of us noticed the state borders. Except Kyle made it to New Mexico before me. I may have been sleeping after my big morning of driving.
 Our stop in Albuquerque was even more special because Sheri, one of my best friends, was there visiting her parents. It was great to see the Browns, have a delicious BBQ and watch the 4th of July fireworks.
They graciously opened their home to us, the only problem being we didn't bring a pack-n-play. RaeRae didn't seem to mind the bed we fashioned for her. Bed + wall + storage chest = crib
Pretty sure looking back, the kids will laugh at us for all the makeshift beds we came up with on this trip!