One Week on Kauai

by fourteenergirl on October 13, 2014

in Traveling

After Mr. Man messed up his foot on the first-day hike, we thought a gentle bike ride a good idea. So we rented these beach cruisers with wide handle bars, three gears, and wobbly frames and coasted along a 5-mile path along the ocean.

steve biking kauai

This island is 100% our fav.

kauai beach

The water is cooler than it was in Oahu last year but that could have been simply because our skin had been slightly toasted the days before.

kauai palm trees

The feral chickens are everywhere!

feral kauai chickens

We took the advice of some hikers we met and snuck onto a resort, parked the car, and hiked down a fairly steep ravine to see sea turtles. The grass was as high as Steve!

looking for sea turtles

We saw several turtles playing in the surf and swimming but it was hard to get photos of them. We saw more colorful chickens.

feral chickens

Played and swam on more beaches – this is the Anini beach but old locals call it Wanini. The ‘W’ fell of the sign some decades ago and it got accidentally renamed.

wanini beach

This was by far my favorite. No crowds, great shade, and just lovely.

Then, we took a helicopter ride!

helicopter ride

Saw Jurassic falls and flew along the Napali coast.

jurassic falls


napali coast


Owen tries a cupcake

by fourteenergirl on October 12, 2014

in Just Stuff

After we returned from Kauai, we had a couple more days with Owen and his parents. One of those days we decided to go wine tasting where Owen learned to make a new sound. Something like a lip smack. We called his wine tasting face. He has become fascinated with food, which he can see and smell, but can’t yet eat. He doesn’t have teeth yet, although those are coming soon based on how much he liked his chilled green chewy.

So, we decided to see if he could handle a little bit of cupcake.

owen's first cupcake

He was pretty excited about this box of stuff.

Owen's first cupcake

Look at that cute face! He has a smile that just breaks me in half.

Owen's first cupcake

In the end, I think the texture of food still baffles him. He enjoyed squishing the cake into a ball and spreading it everywhere more than tasting it.

cupcakes for owen

I just can’t get enough of this little guy!

cupcakes for Owen

After cupcakes, we had to hose him off!

owen gets hosed off

Later, we went to the beach again.

Owen, Becca and Jeremy at the beach





Visiting Kauai Day 1

by fourteenergirl on October 2, 2014

in Traveling

We finally got around to taking a summer vacation.

kauai day 1

This year it’s Kauai and I can already tell this is my fav of the Hawaiian islands. It isn’t built up. It’s very natural.

Today is the first full day and we went on a 4-mile hike along the Na’apali coast.

hiking naapali coast

This is one lush island. There was a storm last night and some flash flooding. It was wonderful to hear thunder – I have missed it badly. We don’t get thunder or lightning in Santa Barbara.

naapali hiking

The trail was super slippery and muddy and we got completely filthy. It was totally worth it though to see views like this.

na'apali coast views


na'apali coast


na'apali coast

So the car is full of sand and everything is filthy and I’m running the first load of laundry already. Oh, and Steve’s foot got all smashed up. He’s on the couch cruising channels with ice on this:

steve's foot kauai



Owen and his Parents come for a visit

by fourteenergirl on October 1, 2014

in Just Stuff

I got the opportunity to spend a couple of days with someone very important to me.

owen's crib

I was so happy to remeet my grandson Owen I cannot say how much it meant to me. Look how big he is!

owen sleeping

He’s working hard on sitting up and his parents are taking AMAZING care of their little man.



The Inspector and Union Breaks

by fourteenergirl on September 25, 2014

in Uncategorized

We’ve dubbed Maxi the Inspector on our bathroom project. He’s an incredibly social cat and prefers to be right in the action at all times. So as we cut tiles and boards and paint, he’s right there with us the whole time.


maxi inspector

max the inspector

max on union break

He says you’re putting these in the wrong spots!

spacer disgust

Let me rearrange those for you!

max the inspector


It was Labor Day Weekend, so we Labored

by fourteenergirl on September 3, 2014

in Home, Just Stuff

We had a three day weekend last weekend and instead of doing fun stuff, we labored on the bathroom reno. Hey, it’s Labor Day weekend after all. We put in the pebble floor to much cursing on the part of Mr. Man who has decreed there will be no more pebble shower floors ever again. The puzzle pieces were too much and it was all so tricky to piece together. We covered that all up with towels to protect it while we continued working our way up the walls.

We started with this frame out of the shower stall.

shower stall frame

We set up for cutting tiles on the back deck.

cutting tiles

First measurements involved the right number of ‘full size’ tiles. which in our case are one-half lengths of the long tile we chose.

measuring tile

Once the marks are made, the tile slides into this thing that scores the tile.

score the tile

A bunch of swipes of the blade across the tile to grind through the outer veneer and you have a slice that you can then use to snap the tile along that line.

snap scored tile

Not too much pressure or else it shatters. This is tricky stuff folks!

clean break

You want a clean break along the score line, like this. It worked well for the longer tiles – the ones with some weight on either end of the pressure point. Shorter tiles, not so much.

lots of tiles

This is the inspector-cat on his third afternoon mandatory union break.

inspector cat

Since he’s the only inspection we have to pass, we’re not too worried. More coming soon.


An ‘Old’ Toilet Made New Again

by fourteenergirl on August 29, 2014

in Home, Just Stuff

I don’t know about you but I despise low flow toilets. They never flush completely. It always takes several flushes when one should do. I understand and honor the need to save water but the damn thing has to work after all.

Around here, you can’t buy a regular flow toilet. I threatened to drive to another state to buy one and bring it back, but we decided instead to take a whack at refinishing it. Luckily, my mom had some useful advice. I bought these scouring sticks online.

Pumie Scouring Stick

The darned thing worked like a dream!

Sometimes, as they say, the old ways are the best ways. Good old-fashioned elbow grease and a pumice stick has this toilet looking brand new again.

old toilet made new

See? I care about saving water. I saved all the water from the scrubbing and used it on my bushes.

This coming weekend is a long holiday weekend so we’ll be putting this back yard to a new messy test as we tile the bathroom.

backyard mess

Wish us luck!


{ 1 comment }

Rest Day on Avalon

by fourteenergirl on August 28, 2014

in Traveling

Our rest day after the long bike ride started out here – yep, that’s a candy store folks.

candy store avalon

They also happen to be just a few doors down from our hotel and they had coffee, chai tea, and pastries. After the ride the day before, we were looking for calories and anyone who knows Steve knows his love for sugar.

After that, a half-hour walk to the botanic gardens and at the back of the gardens is a big memorial for Mr. Wrigley who saved the island from ruin multiple times and donated most of it to the Conservancy that now operates it.

wrigley memorial

It was pretty as memorials go.

wrigley memorial

Later, people watching and walking along the shore looking at the boats.

avalon shore

More golf carts …

golf carts avalon

More ocean views

avalon catalina

Then, the Avalon Theater which is in the historic Casino (not-for-gambling-but-for-gathering). This theater was old style gorgeous and had no speakers. It was built such that sound carries so well speakers are not necessary. Amazing sound in this place.

avalon theater

They even had someone playing an organ!


Don’t Think of the Miles Honey, Look Views!

by fourteenergirl on August 27, 2014

in Traveling

So, don’t get me wrong. I know better than to believe my guy when he says this walk or that hike or this bike ride will be no big deal. He waves his hands around and shows me how the hill will go like this – not super high, just gentle rolling hills. He pulls out maps and shows me the distance is so short. It will be like a walk in the park on Sunday.

I learned YEARS ago not to believe him.

His intentions are perfectly good. I don’t fault him on it, and to be sure I have willingly committed myself to these torturous adventures in endurance for over 20 years not. I’m 100% culpable but I have to say this one was a surprise to both of us.

The bike ride from Avalon over to Two Harbors was supposed to be 7 miles with some ‘good hills’. Turns out it was over 18 miles one way and the elevation gain was thousands of feet. This was like doing a fourteener at sea level folks. With a bike. In the heat.

Good thing I love him.

A photo from the top.

view from the top of Catalina

The view in the morning was incredible. The structure you can just see the edge of was built by the Boy Scouts. The sign on the structure read: Leave no trace. But if you do, make it awesome! I have to say this resting place was very awesome.

Next on the path.

watch for foxes

We saw no foxes, but looked hard for them everywhere. They’re smarter than we are though. Probably hunkered down in a nice cool den with plenty of clean fresh water and snacks. Maybe a ceiling fan to ruffle the air while they nap. Brilliant!

We did, however see this guy.

catalina buffalo

Can’t see him? A closer zoom:


Want more? Here you go:


Yep, that’s a big hairy buffalo. On an island. According to the stories, a small herd of buffalo were brought to the island for the movie Zane Grey’s The Vanishing American. Except they never used the buffalo in the film. They did, however, abandon them here and the herd grew quite large. The word in Catalina is that they’re distributing birth control to the buffalo now to keep them from having too many babies.

A little further along we get to the Airport in the Sky where a big map and a friendly gentleman convinced us (as if we had much doubt at this point) that going all the way to Two Harbors could be a mistake. So it, was:

  1. Turn around
  2. Take a different loop that was a little less awful

We chose option 2 and carried on. A little further we pull over to see this beautiful view …

little harbor catalina

35+ miles later we pulled into Avalon, hot, super dirty, smelly and tired but hey we did it. More sights tomorrow from around town – our rest day.

… and for Steve to take pictures of an eagle flying over head checking us out.

steve on catalina

{ 1 comment }

Birthday Weekend – Avalon on Catalina Island

by fourteenergirl on August 25, 2014

in Traveling

Woohoo! We left the bathroom work and toilet scrubbing behind for a weekend on Catalina Island. If you’ve never been, you gotta go. It’s amazing. We headed out on the Catalina Express from San Pedro.

Backstory: my guy planned this getaway and had to reschedule because of work duties. I specifically did not ask where we were going not because I like surprises (I actually hate them) but because I like good surprises. This one was a great one too. I did almost ZERO research when he told me where we were going and he only told me so I’d know what to pack.

On the way out of the port was a lovely lighthouse and a photo for all you lighthouse-lovers (you know who you are).

san pedro lighthouse

I’m thinking this photo will be perfect for the new bathroom, but there are SO many to choose from. A short boat ride and we arrive at Avalon, Catalina Island.

avalon harbor catalina island

Yep, the water is that blue and no I did not modify this picture except to size it down. It’s an amazing place and just an hour outside of LA.

Some of the fun features of Catalina:

  • Most of it is privately owned by a Conservancy awarded by Wrigley (the gum guy)
  • Almost NO cars – all golf carts, scooters, and bikes

Not sure why, but some of the golf cart folks need student driver status.

student-driver golf cart

There is a lovely casino and it has nothing to do with gambling. Apparently the word ‘casino’ is Italian for gathering place and this one has one of the first theaters with NO SPEAKERS. The sound is so amazing in there you can hear everything said across the theater and no speakers are necessary.

catalina casino

We watched the boats come in and settle before dusk. “I want that mooring ball, honey! Take me there.”

mooring ball catalina

That was day one – drive, ride on a boat, run all around town, watch and get to bed early. Wait until you hear what day two brought.

{ 1 comment }