Sunday, October 18, 2015

Maui 2015

 A few weeks ago our school was out for Fall Break.  We left town and went to Maui!  We weren't the only family in Almaden with the same idea-- we saw 7 other families on the same plane that we knew!  And a few more at the airport heading to other places as well.

We usually stay in Kaanapali, but since the place we usually stay was closed for renovations, we decided to try something new.  We stayed in Wailea at a resort called the Wailea Beach Villas.  The place was amazing!  I didn't take very many ipctures of it, but the pic of the kitchen above gives you a sense of how nice it was.

The beach was also beautiful (is there a beach in Hawaii that isn't gorgeous?)

Vinny and Ewan, being goofs

Our friends the Landines were staying at a place just a mile down the road from us.  The kids had a blast hanging with their friends most days on the beach.

Pete walking down to the water in flippers was much more entertaining live than in a still pic.  You will just have to trust me on that one.

We went to a Luau at the Grand Wailea, which was the resort right next to ours.  It was nice being able to walk back to our room after the show.

The Landine, Contini and Christensen kids, ready to snorkle!

We also did a snorkel trip to Molokini and Turtle Town.  The Landines came, along with the Christensen family, other friends of ours who were also there.

Joey wore the gopro and got a few fun shots underwater.

Including, of course, a selfie.

Pete and Vinny

For the first time, Christopher was finally big enough to go ziplining!  He was still too small for most of the companies, but we did fine one that he could do.

The boys have all done some ziplining while at camp.  I have even done it many years ago at some residency bonding thing.  While Pete was the only newbie, the extent and height of this course was nothing like any of us had done.  It was a blast!!



walking the bridge to another tree
Family picture time!

More realistic family time...





Vinny, who was just as big a spaz in the air as on the ground!




 After ziplining, which was located upcountry, we went to a pizze place that came recommended to us by so many people it was ridiculous.  FlatBread Pizza Company in Paia.  I highly receommend if you are ever there--it was delicious!

After pizza we went for shave ice,

 and gelato.

Overall, a fun day spent exploring a different part of the island.  Our trip was a fun combination of days spent doing activities, and days spent just hanging out at the beach alld ay.  The weather was perfect- not one day of rain (despite the dreary predictions I was obsessing over on Weather Underground)

 The resort we stayed at had a pool table that the kids enjoyed.

 The best thing though was the guys that would set you up with chairs and umbrellas every day!

We were even able to get good snorkeling in right on Wailea beach itself.

The picture above just made me laugh-- Erika (the Landines daughter) had Zach pulling her around the sand on the boogie board.

Pete and I even got a few workouts in.  We went to Crossfit Kihei, a small and friendly box that had some great workouts and nice people.

Does this picture even  need a caption?

And then, sadly, the week was over.  Countless family memories made and some much needed relaxation was had by all.  Already looking forward to our next trip.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Party on!

 Saturday was party day for Pete's big 50th birthday.  I planned a party in his mother's backyard.  I had tons of help from all of his sister's, which made it completely amazing!!

The tables were beautifully set (by Tina) -- the center piece was my favorite!

My husband does get a little crazy about leftovers...

The goody bags had small bags/boxes of sugar cereal (apparently my husband lived on the stuff as a kid--who knew?) and a Baskin-Robbins gift card.

I made the picture above for him.

The decorations were really creative and a lot of fun.

Again with the cereal...

The only hitch of the night was the brief rainstorm that hit mere minutes after I set the tables with the name cards, ruining them all. It seemed to only hit in Saratoga of course.  My sister-in-law Tina to the rescue--she re-printed them all for me in time for the party.

The caterer was too outstanding for words--unfortunately this was the only picture I got of them!  It was catered by Oak and Rye in Los Gatos.  They arrived with their own wood fired oven that they set up in the driveway.  All the cooking for the evening was done outside in the little kitchen area they set up.  More on the food later...

We had a full bar, complete with bartender-- I highly recommend hiring a bartender if you are having a party like this.

The birthday boy was quite surprised when he showed up.  While he knew he was having a party, he knew nothing of any of the details and was shocked.

A great picture with Pete, his mother and his 5 sisters.  Another picture was taken with me too, but I didn't like it.  Boo to that.

Pete with one of his childhood friends Scott.  Really I just loved the photo bomb by Tina in the back.  Lol

While it is hard to tell  because of the dark, but the lighting was beautiful for dinner.

I did not photograph dinner, but I should have.  The first course brought out was a delicious gem salad.  This was followed by a steak with succotash and chimichurri sauce.  The servers placed each course in the middle of the table, family style.  After the steak came the pizzas--yes, pizzas!  4 different kinds, all made in the wood fired oven.  I thought I was going to burst, but they were all too good not to try.

While I sweated for days, and had to down a couple of drinks prior to my 30 second welcome speech, Pete hopped up, unplanned and unscripted, and proceeded to give a tear jerker of a speech that talked about how each guest in attendance was special to him.  Bravo Pete!

It wouldn't be a Contini party without a game from Lisa.  The game for the night was "Are you smarter than a pediatrician?"

Cake time!  We also had a dessert made by the caterer-- strawberry and almond panna cotta.

How cute if that cake though?

The party ended with Pete hopping in the pool.  Not sure what possessed him to do so, but a lot of alcohol was involved!

Happy half century Pete!  Hope the 2 day hangover was worth it!!