Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oahu

We spent the past few days visiting friends in Oahu. They live on the north shore across the street from Pipelines Beach. The waves were really big! Cory did some body boarding and surfing. The waves were too big for me though! I watched from the beach.


We also went to Manoa Falls, which is where we got engaged! The hike is just under a mile and has a lot of awesome views. For anyone traveling to Oahu, I would definitely put this hike on your list of things to see. It is a little muddy, but not bad.




We spent part of our trip in Waikiki, which is where most of the action is. We lucked out and got a hotel room for only $75.00, and it was downtown within walking distance from all of the stores and the beach. I got to go to the brand new two-story Victoria's Secret. It was huge and filled with big screen tv's that played their fashion show.
 View of the city from our hotel.

We are back home now, and I'm glad to be back. I'm beginning to understand why everyone says that Kauai is the most beautiful island. So far, I think it is. The air even feels cleaner. Plus there is not any traffic, ever!

-Emilie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Big Island

Earlier in the week I went to the Big Island with my principal and a fellow teacher.  The purpose of the trip was to visit a certain unique school on the island.  This school places a large focus on agriculture and forestry.  They have a huge greenhouse, and a lot of land for growing various plants.  Below are a few pictures of some of the things I saw on our trip!

 This is where the students get their lunch.  They eat on picnic tables nearby.

 Hula practice area.

 This school is really in the rainforest of Hawaii!... The buildings are various offices, the actual classrooms are in a separate and new building. The beach is literally a 30 second walk away.

 The greenhouse.

 Peppers!
 I'm lucky a got a picture of this little guy... he was extremely quick! Aren't his colors awesome!

This is a whale bone!  It is hard to tell from the picture... but it is over 6 feet long and at least 2 feet thick!  Since the school is a Hawaiian focused school, and it washed up next to the school, they get to keep it.

-Emilie



Photoshoot

Yesterday Cory and I were in a wedding photoshoot! The photographer was from Alaska. It was a lot of fun! I got to wear a vintage dress for most of the shoot, it was really pretty. I also got to wear a modern looking dress for some beach pictures. The photographer even rented a horse to use in the shoot! That was the best part. I had a beautiful tropical bouquet as well. We are looking forward to seeing the pictures. Next week we are supposedly going to be in the newspaper for a special wedding section...we will see! We will post pictures once we get them.

-Emilie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Waimea Christmas Parade

Yesterday we went to the Waimea Christmas Parade to walk with the school. We didn't have a float but the school looked nice dressed in matching school shirts with the younger students carrying a school banner to lead the way. Santa and Sparky the fire dog came to visit our students while we were waiting to start, which was quite exciting for them.
 The lei po'o that we are wearing are the ones that the older students wore last night for the Christmas program.


It felt like half of the island came to watch the parade! There was a ton of spectators! We sang Christmas carols as we walked along the route (in Hawaiian). The parade itself wasn't as big as the Festival of Lights, but it was still good. All of the stores in town were decorated with Christmas lights. In the center of town there is a courtyard with a dozen palm trees all wound up with lights... Now Christmas break has begun!



-Emilie

Saturday, December 17, 2011

KANAKA Christmas Program

Last night was our school Christmas program!  The school spent the past several weeks getting ready for it.  All of the girls wore white muumuus and the boys wore dark pants and the school shirt.  Each student made themselves a lei to wear, the younger children had lei's for around their necks and the older students had a lei for the tops of their heads.  They turned out wonderfully!  They were made out of a dried leaf/pod type thing from a tree.  They were pretty time consuming to make, but since they are already dried the students can save them, unlike the fresh flower lei's which wilt quickly.

 An elementary student's lei.


The program began with a nativity play and bible readings in Hawaiian.  Next was a variety of Christmas hymns (also in Hawaiian).  Lastly, the students performed the hula.  That was my favorite part of the performance!  They are very talented.  There was also a pot-luck and afterwards each student and teacher was given a Christmas gift.  The teachers had all wrapped the gifts and hand made gigantic bows for each gift...it was quite a big task.  We got a duffel bag with the school logo in it :) 

 Dressed in our muumuus, waiting for the program to start!



-Emilie

Corys Hawaii Update!

It has been a few days since my last blog post, but its hard to get motivated. At work, a large part of what I do is blogging and promoting our new website. Real Estate has been great the past few weeks. Now with the retired couples flying over to thaw out from the cold weather, business has really been picking up. I spent all day yesterday on the North Shore with my clients who have been looking for ocean front property.

Ocean front properties are something that sounds great in theory, however you are paying the ultimate premium for the privilege of being on the ocean. I have not done a complete market comparison, however from my experience, to live in a "ocean front property", you will be paying in the area of 1 million dollars just for  .2 acres of land, then you can tack on the value of the building that sits on it. The small price tag a side, the salt from the ocean causes damage to the exterior and requires lots of upkeep.

Real estate that is only slightly off the ocean does not hold such a high price tag, and tends to be less maintenance. Another thing that must be held into account is the increase of traffic if your home is on the ocean, especially if you are in a particularly nice area. 

Business has been great and I have created many new clients from first time home buyers to retirees who have created their wealth from real estate. It has been great meeting all these people and hearing their stories.

Our Hawaii Real Estate website is nearly finished! I keep thinking that the end is right around the corner, however the website has so much depth to it. The developers have been doing a great job getting this project exactly how we want it.

Until next time.

-Cory

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sea Creatures

Recently one of my coworkers brought a sea urchin to school.  She broke open the shell and told me to try the meat inside... completely raw!  I trusted her and took a bite of the yellowish meat.  I really can't remember the taste because I just couldn't believe that I was actually eating the creature.  They are found on the rocks by the ocean.  Many of my students talk about collecting them and eating them with their families.  Here is what it looks like!

- Emilie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big Island Day Trip

Next Wednesday I will get to go to the Big Island for the day!  My principal invited me to go with her and one of the other teachers.  We will be visiting a school while we are there.  I don’t really know any of the details exactly, but I’m excited to go and see one of the other islands!  

-Emilie

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hula at Polihale

Yesterday instead of having a regular hula practice we went to Polihale.   I had to drive with someone else because you needed four-wheel drive to get to the part of the beach that we went to.  Polihale is an incredibly huge beach!  I finally got to experience driving on sand (well riding on it anyways)!  
While we were there, the dancers who will be competing in Merrie Monarch were videotaped by a professional videographer.  It was awesome seeing them dance on the beach!  We also took some group pictures. 
Afterwards we went into the ocean in our practice outfits (white pa’u skirt and black tube top) for a blessing.   The ocean was wonderfully calm and it was just before sunset.  We stood in a circle in knee-deep water and listened to a prayer that was spoken in Hawaiian, and then sung a hymn in Hawaiian (I knew it too)!  Next we all had to dip ourselves underwater for a moment (we were fully clothed in our practice outfits).  It is hard to describe, but it seemed to unify the group and was a special experience.

-  Emilie


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Aloha Friday

Every Friday night at the mall there is some kind of free performance in the food court (outdoors). How can you beat free live entertainment? Last night we got to see a hula performance and a Tahitian dance performance. Sometimes local bands perform or other dance groups. Once they had an ice sculpture carving competition! That was quite a surprise considering it was 80 degrees outside!

-Emilie

Work Christmas Party

Tonight we went to Merriman's restaurant for my work Christmas party! It was nice to have an occasion to get dressed up. This was my first time wearing heels since our wedding! Since then it has been flip flops and the very occasional running shoe. The dinner was delicious! Thankfully we didn't have to pay because it was extremely expensive. It is certainly a restaurant for special occasions. I had a really good salad with red and green tomatoes, papaya, beets, and feta cheese. We had a very nice time!

-Emilie

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Gifts

Two of my students brought me gifts for Christmas this week. It was so thoughtful of them to think of me after school was over... and after working hard all day!  One of them brought a small wrapped package tied with a bow, inside was a picture of a Christmas tree and presents that was drawn on a piece of cardboard.  She had clearly taken her time drawing the picture.  The other gift was wrapped in Scooby Doo wrapping paper and taped together with duct tape.  Inside was a Hello Kitty toy.  Isn't that so sweet that all by themselves they wanted to do something nice for me.

I'm also accumulating a very large collection of pictures and letters that I have been given throughout the year!

-Emilie

Whale Watching

Cory's grandparents sent us this link with good information about whales.  I thought some of you may be interested in reading it!

http://www.napali.com/na_pali_coast/hawaii_whale_watching/whale_behavior.html

-Emilie

Dolphins

As of today, we have been married for 5 months!  Time is flying by… especially because there it still feels like summer here!  Well in the daytime anyways.  It has been getting very chilly at night!  I’m now wearing long-sleeves and a coat each morning on my walk to the bus in the morning before the sun is up.  I miss my heated blanket for my bed at night!  I really don’t need it, but I always loved it.  Even though the nights are getting colder, it still gets hot during the day. 
Last Saturday we spent the whole day at the beach.  We saw a school of dolphins from the shore!  It was pretty exciting to see.  I wish we could have seen them up close.  We are hoping to start seeing whales soon because in the winter months whales migrate here. There are quite a few cliffs that would be a great spot for having a picnic and watching for whales.  I think we would just have to be patient.
-           Emilie  

Festival of Lights

Last Friday we went to an awesome Christmas parade (in t-shirts of course)!  It was called The Festival of Lights.  It started right after sunset.  As the sun was setting hundreds of green parrots covered the sky! I had never seen them before, but I was told that it happens at sunset because they are flying back to their homes.  We were watching the parade from a large courtyard in front of one of the county buildings in Lihue.  The whole area was covered in a wonderful display of lights, which were all turned on at the same time when the parade began.
This was inside the county building.

 As the name of the parade implies, each float was covered with lights.  Two of the local high school bands also marched in the parade.  One of which just recently got back from the Macy’s parade in New York City! 
My ride to school!

Next Saturday I will be in a different Christmas parade with my school.  I think we are just walking in it, but I have been told that it a big parade and it should be fun.  The students are getting excited for it!  


- Emilie