Monday, September 26, 2011

Trumpet Fish

As we were snorkeling on Sunday afternoon we came across a whole school of Trumpet Fish. They are so unique!  They were all swimming near the top of the water, and from a distance it looked slightly eerie, but very cool.

 I'm not exactly sure how long these fish were, but later we saw one that was by itself that was probably about 3 feet.

These fish are more like the ones that we typically see.  They are so brightly colored and fun to watch!


Glass Beach

On Saturday I went to Glass Beach in Hanapepe.  I had not heard of it until a coworker told me about it.  This beach is unmarked and does not appear to be advertised much.  Unfortunately, Cory had to work so I went by myself.  I had to drive down a mostly deserted road in an "industrial" section of the town.  The pavement ended and it turned into a one-lane dirt road.  I walked down to the water and was amazed at the sight, there was beach glass EVERYWHERE!  It seemed as if there was more glass than sand, and that the sand itself was made out of glass.  It was quite pretty!  Plus, I was the only person there which was also nice and relaxing.
It is too rocky to swim here, but it would be a nice spot for a picnic and a nice spot to collect beach glass of course!  Cory and I plan to make something out of our collection at some point.  We are not sure what we want to make quite yet, possibly a table top though.

 Here is part of our collection.  We have lots of clear, brown and green glass and a few blue, purple, and red!  We also have pieces of pottery or old dishes which is kind of neat because you can still see the designs on them. 
Here is an up-close look at the sand, it is hard to tell here but it is almost completely composed of tiny pieces of glass. Luckily, they are smooth and rounded from being in the ocean so it does not hurt to step on it!


Friday, September 23, 2011

The School Bus

On my afternoon bus ride home I get the pleasure of being surrounded by middle and high school students that go to to one of the regular public schools in the area.  I wondered why they ride the city bus instead of the school bus.  Turns out, it costs the students $2.00 per trip on the school bus and only $1.00 per trip on the city bus. I was surprised that the school bus wasn't free for the students!  Luckily for the students at the school I work at, bus transportation is free.


Kukiolono Golf Course & McBryde Botanical Gardens

Last weekend we decided to stay closer to home and see what was in our area. Our first discovery was Kukiolono golf course, only a few minutes from our house! It has a beautiful long entrance way and the range overlooks the ocean in the distance. You would think it would be expensive to golf in Kauai right? Not here! Only $9.00! We did not end up playing but we got a bucket of balls and headed out to the range. It was worth the $3.00 we spent.

Next we went to the McBryde Botanical Gardens for "ohana day" which meant we got a free tour! A group of us were driven out in a bus a half mile into the gated property where we were dropped off and told to meet at the front in one hour to be driven back. During the hour we were free to explore the gardens. It was absolutely beautiful! It is defiantly something I could see doing again! It is always wonderful enjoying the outdoors here.

-Cory and Emilie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A quick thank you...

We would just like to take a time out to thank everyone who has been so supportive to us. The countless boxes we have received full of little things we have forgotten, or books for Emilie's school, and the birthday cards make us feel like we never left. We truly enjoy everything that we get and are always excited to open something new. Even the plastic bags that you all use like bubble wrap! Out here, plastic bags have been outlawed. No stores are permitted to provide plastic bags on the island, so don't be stingy with those bags, keep em' coming! :-). Even e-mails are appreciated, it is good to know who is reading about our journey and that we haven't been forgotten out here in the middle of the ocean!

-Cory and Emilie

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kealia Beach and 'Opaeka'a Falls

We discovered another awesome area of Kauai, the city of Kapa'a.  It is not too far past Lihue, which seems to be the main city of the island that people go to from both ends.  It kind of reminded me of Ann Arbor because there are lots of random stores filled with unique artwork and things that you wouldn't be able to find just anywhere.  There are also lots of restaurants and of course they had a fruit-stand with fresh coconut, mango, papaya, and more.

Here is a picture of my favorite building...

We found the Kapa'a police station and we had to take a picture... it is so tiny!

After we did our shopping and stopped laughing at the police station,  we went to the beach!

The beach was a lot of fun. The waves were about  7 feet high and very consistent.  It was mostly just sand on the bottom, so it was nice to catch waves on our body board and not have to worry about slamming into a reef or rocks. We spent most of the day at the beach. Another great thing about this beach and Kapa'a is that you can rent two bikes for $10 and ride down a paved path overlooking the ocean. We did not do this but we did walk part of the path.  Here are a few pictures of what we saw.

Some kind of shelter, or foundation of an old building...

and some great ocean views...

Eventually we packed up and decided to make our way back towards home. On our way I saw a sign "Opaeka'a Falls 2 miles" so I decided to turn and see if we could find the waterfall.  We did and it was very easy to find. you could see it right off the road. Well worth a trip to see, especially if you happen to be in the area.

We decided to see if we could find a trail that would lead to the bottom, or to a even better view point. we did not find any such trail, however it did look like there was a old trail by the lookout that you could take. It looks a little steep and we did not have the proper footwear for that hike so we drove further up hill and around the falls into a very nice neighborhood and found a hiking trail that started between a line of houses and a field. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name. Although there was no waterfall at the end, we did see some great views!

The beginning of the trail... It looks like someones yard, but it's actually a trail. It gets much more trail like as we get into the forest that you can see in the background.

The trail was fairly easy, however it was uphill most the way... we found a nice bridge that crosses a river.
 On some parts of the trail, it was so dark from the thick trees, we could not even take good pictures.. as you can see the trees start to form a tunnel.

 Random picture of a cool tree...
 The awesome view!

 On our way back down the mountain we saw some strange moss growing, it looked like it would glow in the dark!

Another fun Saturday in Kauai completed.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Best Teaching Practices

It has been kind of a rough week at school for various reasons, but we got a break from the regular routine today for a professional development workshop. Three "school improvement specialists" came to our school and we discussed how curriculum, instruction, environment, and culture relate to the mission and vision for the school. I will spare you the details but there was one thing that brightened me up after this rough week. During lunch one of the specialists complimented me on how well I communicate and how I seem to have a strong understanding of "best teaching practices". She said most teachers don't seem to start out with the knowledge that I already have. Then she asked how I learned so much about teaching. I told her about how EMU is a great school for teachers! As you can imagine, these were wonderful words of encouragement to hear!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kino Road = Body Road

I learned something interesting about the name of the road we live on, and actually all of the roads in Kalaheo.  They are all (or at least mostly) named after body parts.  Personally, I think that is kind of a strange theme to use when deciding road names.  Kino means "body" in Hawaiian which is off of Puuwai road which means "heart"... here are a few other names of the roads in our area...

Kikala = hip
Papalina = cheek
Maka = eye
Alelo = tongue
Iwi = bone

Interesting right?  How would you like to live on tongue road?  Or bone road?  To me, the road names sound nicer in Hawaiian than in English!


Monday, September 12, 2011

School Newspaper Project

For those who are interested in how thing are going at school, I thought I would share an update about what we are doing in my classroom.   My class is currently working on writing a class newspaper that we plan to share with the school.  We just got started at the end of last week, so we have a long ways to go before we will share it with the school, but we are off to a great start.  My students really seem to be enjoying the project.  I'm pretty sure it is because they are able to write about what interests them, and because they have more of a purpose for writing since it will be shared with the school.  I'm really hoping the project turns out well, it is kind of a big undertaking for them but I think they can do it.  I'm being careful to differentiate my lessons so it is grade-appropriate for all of my students. 

I am already beginning my 7th week of school! Time is flying by, and in only two weeks the first quarter ends and I will be doing my first round of report-cards.  I also will be enjoying a week off for "fall break" at that point as well!


Kamaaina Discount

We are official residents of Hawaii! Cory got his new drivers license about a month ago now but I just finally had time to get mine. In Hawaii it is required for everyone to take a written test before getting a new license.  Of course he passed and they actually print out the license right away and he was able to take it home with him that day. I decided that I would rather not take a test so I got a state id card instead.  It was still quite a process, they needed every possible type of official identification and a letter from my school saying that I am working for them for at  least a year.  I even had to get my fingerprints taken!  I couldn't get it the same day either and they do not mail them.  I was told to come back in 24 hours to pick it up. 

Now that we have our Hawaii id's we may be able to get something called a"kamaaina discount" at certain places.  Which is basically a discount for residents.  Some websites say you need a different type of resident card, but I know of at least a few places where the license or state id is plenty.  One of thing things I am looking forward to doing is a tour of the botanical gardens which normally costs around $20 and will now be free for us (if we go on a Sunday). I have also heard that some restaurants offer 15%-20% off, which would be nice!


Day at Poipu Beach

Over the weekend we went snorkeling again, the waves were bigger so the water wasn't quite as clear as some of the other times we went out.  However, we still saw plenty of gigantic fish and for the first time, we saw an eel!  It moved extremely quickly.  I saw it slithering between the rocks on the ocean floor.  Unfortunately, it was so quick that we weren't able to take a picture of it.  It was several feet long and had black and white spots on it.

After snorkeling we relaxed for a little bit at a nearby resort with a hot tub!  It is one of my new favorite places to go to! 

 This is the pool.  It had decently warm water but after being in the hot tub it was too cold for me to get in!

 I couldn't resist taking a picture of this beautiful flower!

 This is a Stephanotis flower, they are very common here.  It was one of the flowers I chose for my wedding bouquet without knowing it is actually a traditional wedding flower. The nickname for this flower is the "Bridal Veil."

- Emilie

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Kauai Bus

We decided to return the van to the school on Friday, so we are now relying completely on public transporation. It should work out fine as long as we plan ahead. It only costs $25 for a unlimited monthly bus pass. That is much cheaper then the cost of gas for the big van we were using. Gas is over $4.50 a gallon! The bus comes every hour on weekdays and every two hours on weekends so we shouldn't have too much a problem getting around. Two of the other teachers at my school also take the bus to work, they have cars but they ride the bus to save money. The only problem I have with the bus is that it is freezing cold because of the air condition! We are thinking we might buy one car in a month or so though because Cory is getting his real estate license and he can't really show people houses by bus. The cool thing about real estate out here is that EVERY house is expensive so as long as he sells one house he will make a ton in commission. He decided to get into real estate because our friend is a broker and gave him the idea. Another bonus about real estate is you really make your own schedule which will be nice!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baby Dinosaur

This was outside on our front porch...
Okay, so it isn't exactly a dinosaur!  I'm going to show this picture to my class because we were just talking about how some animals use camouflage for protection, and I'd say this creature blends in with the leaf quite well.

When we talked about camouflage in class I showed my students some pictures I had found on the internet... there are quite a few fish and other ocean critters that blend into their surrounding extremely well.  It made me wonder what kind of animals I could be seeing when we go snorkeling that I don't even realize are there!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Professional Wedding Pictures

Our professional wedding pictures are finally ready!  Here are a few... if anyone would like to see the rest of them we can e-mail you the link and password.  Our e-mail address is

 Again, we would like to thank our parents for helping to make our wedding day so special.  It was perfect!

- Mr. and Mrs. Beadle :)