Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka 2007!!!

We've returned to NC for the evening after a productive trip to the D.C. metropolitan area after a brief interlude to the Betsey Johnson Regional Hospital emergency room; we thought Jess might have appendicitis. She didn't, and she is okay now after excessive poking and proding.

The main purpose of the trip was to find an apartment. We eventually decided upon The Tuscany. It is brand new and gorgeous, and we're very much looking forward to moving in. The link goes to our floor plan, which we think is perfect for us. We're excited about being able to have a dining room table, and the community has lots of perks, like free coffee.

Jess interviewed at Metropolitan ENT for a position as a research associate/medical assistant. She was offered the position part time at first with the possibility of going full time, and she will start after the first of the year.

Tomorrow we're heading down to Manning, SC to spend Christmas with Jess's family, and afterward to Columbia to check on the house and spend time with old friends. We're heading back up to DC on the 31st to get our keys!

We probably won't have Internet on the 25th, so early Mele Kalikimaka!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


But not really.

We've had lots to do last week, and minimal internet access in the meantime. Between cleaning the house, meeting up with friends for fun and festivities, Jeff's Hail and Farewell (he also spent unfortunate amounts of time at work finishing up everything), and making one last sunrise trip to Waimanalo, we stayed busy.

Jeff's last day of work on the Paul Hamilton was yesterday, and afterward we checked out of the hotel, shipped the car, picked up the cat from the kennel, and hung out at the airport. Despite anticipations of lengthy delays en route, we moved from Honolulu through Chicago to Raleigh with no difficulties, and have spent the day adjusting to the time change at Jess's parent's North Carolina house.

We head up to DC to look for apartments tomorrow.

- j&j

Saturday, December 08, 2007


We've temporarily relocated to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Waikiki until we fly back to the mainland on the 17th. The house is empty and we're doing a massive cleaning today. Zeke is staying in a kennel for 10 days and we miss him tremendously - he's flying on the same flights as us. If you mail us cookies, they're going to Jess's parents, and they will probably be stale by the time they arrive. Our Internet access is a bit limited these days, but we'll both try to check our emails daily.

--jess and jeff

Sunday, December 02, 2007


We have less than a week left in this house before we move. Not that we're leaving the island immediately, but rather that we'll be living out of a suitcase in a hotel for several days. It has been a race to accomplish all the remaining things that we want to see and take care of all the personal business associated with relocating thousands of miles. We managed to make it up to the North Shore yesterday to see the big waves; though not massive, still very impressive, and also difficult to capture with a camera. We got this shot, however, of Shark's Cove. To think that just over a month ago we were snorkeling there, and now it isn't recommended to go close to the water!
We don't have a forwarding address yet. If you have something you'd like to send, let us know and we'll let you know where to send it.

--jeff and jess

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We cooked our first Thanksgiving dinner this year! We had turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes with pears (Hawaiian sweet potatoes are about the same color as regular potatoes, so we were a little disappointed that they weren't orange, or better yet, purple), mashed cauliflower (we like our vegetables mashed, apparently), rolls, cranberry butter, green bean casserole, and apple and pumpkin pies. We had six people in our place; for those of you who've been here, you know that's a feat!

After dinner, everyone piled into the living room for some Guitar Hero III. We got a second controller - the picture at the right is Dan and Randy rocking out while Annie watches.

Hope everyone had a great turkey day!

jeff & jess

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Yesterday we went up to the North Shore to do something Jess has wanted to do practically since she got here - shark cage!!! We went out around 9:30am in a little boat with North Shore Shark Adventures with about eight other people, strangely enough, all locals. The water was rough, and it rained intermittently, but it was pretty fantastic. We were in a cage with masks and snorkels getting beaten around by the waves (hoping our arms and legs didn't go out through the bars) while about 15 Galapagos sharks (left - the photo is from another outfit that does shark adventures called Hawaii Shark Encounters (we took photos with an underwater 35mm; hopefully some of those came out okay)) swam all around us. Of course, the captain didn't tell us until after we had our turn in the cage that despite how enormous, scary and sharp-teethed they are, Galapagos sharks only eat fish (which is why they weren't snacking on the seagulls that were hanging out on the water's surface while they were up there). We were far enough out that there was no worry of the tiger sharks that like to occasionally feed on unlucky surfers.

It was definitely one of the most interesting things we've done out here, and a great way to enjoy Hawaii in the short time we have left. Afterward, we ate at Haleiwa Joe's, which is a place most people try to eat while they're here, and we'd never been to. It was okay, but there are definitely better places to eat out here.

--jeff and jess

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Jeff said this was another forbidden picture unless I said something about pollinating him... It really needed to be posted because he was such a cute little daisy.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Jeff and I hiked out to Kaena Point from the Waianae side last week. It's definitely a tougher hike than it is from the North Shore, but along the way, we saw lots of baby albatross in their nests! We were both really hoping to see a grown-up albatross, but they were probably out fishing. They can sleep while they're flying and drink ocean water, and sometimes they go five years without coming back to land.

Albatrosses are really interesting birds - I like this site because it tells you about a lot of the animals you see in Hawaii - albatrosses included!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jeff added a title

Yesterday we drove circle isle again. We stuffed our faces with yummy food all day - Anna Miller's for breakfast, Bubbies ice cream for a snack, Kahuku shrimp, etc. We did the walk (it's a walk as opposed to a hike since it's paved the entire way, but there was definitely a fun incline...) up to the Makapuu lighthouse that overlooks the windward side of the island. The breeze was fantastic. Later in the day, we found a beach in Laie (Jess still finds it amusing that a word with four letters can have three syllables) where we waded out to Goat Island (there's a Hawaiian name for the island, but we're too lazy to look it up) and had a beach *almost* to ourselves. Afterward, we had shrimp at Giovanni's - one of Jess's coworkers said it was the best on the island. It was good, but definitely garlicky - we both preferred the volcano shrimp at the truck we visited with Jeff's parents last year!

--jeff and jess

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


We are in the process of preparing to move, which unfortunately includes the prospect of selling the Wikao property. Despite the deep cleaning and de-cluttering that should make the house presentable, we have been discussing doing something to the kitchen to make it look nicer. The hazard with doing anything to the kitchen is primarily that we wouldn't be able to enjoy it in long enough to do anything significant; therefore we are soliciting for recommendations on how we can maximize our return on investment while minimizing our costs. If you have thoughts, please don't hesitate to send them our way.

Speaking of the kitchen, we've been cooking lots and having a ball doing it, so if you have a chance, send us your favorite recipes! We're trying to figure out what our favorites are. Among them is spaghetti squash lasagna (to the left).

-jess and jeff

Monday, September 24, 2007

Polo, and not the Marco type

We took in a polo match on the North Shore yesterday and took the new camera on a test drive. Neither of us had ever been to a polo match before; it was definitely interesting. Apparently it is an entirely different social experience more akin to going to the Kentucky Derby in places other than Hawaii, but here it was just as relaxed as everything else. That would include the announcer. He was so bad it was hilarious. He said the game was four chukkers long when it was actually five and compared the Chilean players to Mexican food. After the match between the Hawaii team and the Maui team, some people from Skydive Hawaii parachuted right onto the polo field. All in all in interesting but relaxed Sunday on the North Shore.

--jeff & jess

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Post Number 100!!!

Welcome to the One Hundredth Jess and Jeff... Blog post!

We got our new camera today. It's very similar to our old camera, but this one hasn't been through the wash (yet). We'll get out and start taking more pics, but it's currently charging. Wait for it...

This morning, after Jeff finished ship duty, we went down to Haunama Bay for some snorkeling. The current is changing, so we didn't feel like swimming past the break to get to where the mass of coral reef lies, although there is some along the way. The more interesting sea life lives further out though. None of the pics we ever take of the Bay turn out really well, sorry!

-jess and jeff


I don't think we've mentioned yet that I received orders to my next command. I will finish my tour aboard USS PAUL HAMILTON in December, and will begin working at the Office of Naval Intelligence in January. In the meanwhile, we've got several busy months ahead as we look at all the things we need to accomplish and all the fun we need to have in Hawaii.

Monday, September 17, 2007


We adventured to a Waianae beach today called Ohiki-lolo, which is Hawaiian for either "prying your brains out" or "crazy sand crab." We saw some hermit crabs, but they seemed perfectly sane to us. The beach was completely deserted, as you can see from the pictures, and the water was super warm and calm because it was separated from the ocean by a barrier of volcano rock. So we had our nice little bathtub-temperature private beach for a few hours today; it was definitely worth the drive!

(We took these pictures with Jess's old camera, by the way - it still does a very nice job, but the batteries die quickly)

Speaking of, we took the Camry, and we're finally going to post a picture of it where we parked to "hike" down to the beach. It might look familiar to some of you.

--jess and jeff

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day was a while back, but we're slack and these are the most recent pictures we have. We were able to fix the camera electronically, but the LCD is out of commission, so we're doing a mandatory upgrade. Look for pictures from the new camera soon!

We had a really great Labor Day weekend. We started out with an impromptu visit to the Dole Plantation for the best pineapple juice imaginable. It's worth the trip just to spend a couple bucks for a glass of juice, but we also had some tourists take a (bad) picture of us in a pineapple thing before doing the pineapple maze without the map. We did it in about an hour; the ticket lady told us the quickest time on the maze was seven minutes. That was pretty hard to imagine.

Saturday we hiked to Kaena Point in the morning. We picked a gorgeous day to do it! We had decided to take advantage of the small surf on the North Shore while it lasts by snorkeling Shark's Cove afterward. Randy and Kris met us from Honolulu, and Jeff's old boss met us up there with some of Jeff's other coworkers. Afterward we had fantastic pizza at Pizza Bob's.

We've gotten a little more boring since then because we're starting to organize ourselves for another 6,000 mile move - decluttering, figuring out where we're going and how we're getting there, what to sell and what to keep, and all of that fun stuff. But we did get up to Haleiwa to have the famous Matsumoto shave ice. The verdict that it was fantastic, but the best North Shore treat is definitely the pineapple juice!

-jess and jeff

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jeff's a genius

For those of you who didn't hear, Jeff and I had a tragic load of laundry this weekend that included the camera, my cell phone, and my wallet, which happened to be purple so it dyed some of the clothes. But due to Jeff being the awesome genius that he is, my phone was saved and he's still working on the camera (which worked electronically, but there was water behind the lens so the view was messed up). I tested my phone by emailing myself the cute picture (left) I'd recently taken of Zeke. For those of you who were wondering how on earth he got a phone that was completely submerged in warm soapy water to work again, the answer is taking the battery out ASAP, taking the phone apart as much as you can and burying it in kitty litter (the crystal kind) to dry it out.


Monday, September 03, 2007

New old car!

In case you were wondering how on earth Jeff and I were managing to get him to work and me to school, we bought an old island beater last weekend. It's a light blue 1989 Toyota Camry with these fabulously ghetto rims that make it easy to spot amongst all the other old island-beater Toyotas on campus. The first day I tried to drive it into school, it didn't start. I imagine we probably could have gotten pretty annoyed by the fact that we'd just bought this vehicle and it didn't work, but I was able to bum a ride to campus with a neighbor, Jeff was able to pick me up, and after we replaced the battery, the car was just fine. Just a minor inconvenience. It doesn't have AC or a CD player or anything remotely fancy about it, but it goes, and at least now it doesn't smell strange.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Midweek Trip to Kauai

It's been over a week since we went to Kauai, and we really haven't had a chance to stop and write about what we've done. We flew into Lihue on Tuesday afternoon, checked into our quiet little country inn, and then went for a wander on the beach and dinner at a Mexican restaurant; I still think I was spoiled by the fantastic Mexican food in San Diego to the point that most anything else is sub-par, however Jessica had a fantastic chicken mole.

Our primary focus of the trip was to get to the fabled tunnel hike to the North Shore, which is a mile long hike through a tunnel that was constructed in the 1920s to divert water to grow sugar. We made it through about half a mile of mud and muck before getting we made it the stream pictured to the upper left. The trail was supposed to continue after you crossed the stream and moved shortly upstream a little, but we were unsuccessful in finding the continuation of the trail and so continued hiking up the stream for well over an hour before heading back down and calling the hike. We spent the remainder of the day on the Kauai North Shore at the beach.
Day three was spent exploring the Waimea Canyon and other West Side locals. This place is astounding, and really gives an impression of how big and fantastic Hawaii is. We stopped at multiple scenic overlooks, but after our long stream hike the day before avoided any of the trails, regardless of difficulty. Our final stop before returning to Lihue was Shipwreck beach, which is a deceiving name, because there definitely isn't a shipwreck on the beach that we saw. We did get this cute shot of Jessica (all the pictures of me were squinty and bad and showed my crazy sunburn (which looked as if Jess had punched me in the eye)). We flew back to Oahu that evening; it's really nice to be back after even such a short trip. I think we could imagine living on Kauai, despite all the chickens, based on how nice and easy the lifestyle is. The one thing we missed out on during our trip was Ziplining, which we'll need to go back for.

As always, additional photos are posted to Photobucket.

-Jeff and Jess

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Deployment 2007

So, I'm back from deployment. I've listed the majority of the places we stopped, but haven't really listed what we accomplished along the way. We left, of course, the first time, in January, with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, but come back home after only a couple of days. JCSCSG continued to the Arabian Gulf where they conducted operations for several months. My ship, USS PAUL HAMILTON, joined the Ronald Reagan CSG for about three months conducting operations in the Western Pacific, where we made the multiple stops, including Hong Kong, Mokpo, Wakayama, et al, as well as participating the Exercise Foal Eagle 2007 with the ROK Navy. Eventually, the RRCSG finished her deployment and returned to the mainland, while we joined up with the Kitty Hawk CSG, which is based out of Yokosuka, Japan. We conducted our operations and sailed south off the coast of Australia, where we joined up with the USS ESSEX and conducted Exercise Talisman Saber 2007. We also made our stops in Australia (Townsville and Mackay) and the Vanuatu. Finally, we followed the Kitty Hawk north toward Guam and met up with the Nimitz CSG and the JCSCSG returned from operations and we conducted Exercise Valiant Shield 2007. Upon completion of Valiant Shield (picture top left), we started our way home and arrived pierside in Pearl Harbor last Monday.

Jess and I will post about Kauai shortly.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Return of the Jeffrey

Just wanted to let everyone know Jeff got home safely. We're off to Kauai tomorrow and will post pics sometime after things get settled down a bit.

--jess & jeff

Sunday, August 12, 2007


All finished with the second half of anatomy and physiology! Summer's been as productive it possibly could have been without Jeff here; I am coming out of three months of classes with two As, applications finished up, and some really good friends who live closer to the house.

My friend from class, AJ (the one on the left in red) and I got all gussied up after the final to meet Kris and her boyfriend Randy (he took the picture) for some dancing in Waikiki. We had so much fun! And by the way AJ is my height - I was wearing 4" heels and she was wearing 3". And Kris was wearing flats.

AJ and I tried to do a beach day today but were thwarted by rain. We went to the beach near Hickam Air Force Base, which is a Hawaii beach that's interesting in a different way - for those of you who've flown out here, you know that planes land at the airport on a runway that juts out into the ocean, so when you're in the plane, it almost looks like you're going to land in the water. Well, the runway for the airport is walking distance from the beach at Hickam, so from the beach, it almost looks like the planes are going to fly right into you! There were lots of boats and ships out right beyond where all the children were swimming and building sand castles. It's not my favorite beach, but it was close and different from anywhere else I've gone. For the record, my favorite is still Makupu.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Finals 2

I know I've disappeared off the face of the blog the past few weeks and not put up a picture of me with very short hair, but I've been really busy! So the picture to the left is the only picture that's been taken of me since I cut my hair, unless you include pictures I snapped of myself to send to Jeff, and it's already grown out quite a bit (which is perfect argument not to have short hair in Hawaii - it grows ridiculously fast, just like everything that is in the ground). I know I look tremendously nerdy. "Free" time's pretty much been getting things together for Jeff's return, fall semester, and graduate school applications - it's been nice not working because I am able to accomplish what I need to without exhausting myself. I'm signed up for microbiology and biochemistry in the fall (I will get a week off between the end of summer classes and the beginning of fall classes) and will finish just in time for Jeff, Zeke and me to pack up and move again! We do have a date of return for Jeff; it is very soon, and we're both looking forward to it!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jeff Spotting - Port Vila, Vanuatu

Paul Hamilton anchored in Port Vila, Vanuatu (most visibly known recently for Survivor 9) for liberty. Compared to all the other ports we stopped at, this one had an island style about it (go figure that it’s a group of islands), so was reminiscent of Hawaii, which only augmented my desire to return home all the sooner. We took an opportunity to enjoy the warm island air and explore the outdoor markets the first day, then headed to Eaton Beach the second day for a bit of relaxation and hiking. The beach was just off a little freshwater creek that provided really cold currents to the otherwise incredibly pleasant water, and although it was low tide, there was still some good free diving to see up close some of the most brilliantly blue fish I’ve ever seen (I’ve tried to find a picture online as I didn’t have an underwater camera, and I think they were either Blue Devil Damsels or Fiji Devil Damsels).


Thursday, July 12, 2007


Second session of anatomy and physiology is going well; I figured people would probably enjoy the pictures of the model as opposed to the ones my lab partner took of me in full mad-scientist regalia dissecting things.

But speaking of heart, I did something that made mine feel good; I donated my hair to Locks of Love! I've been waiting months for a stylist to tell me it's long enough, so I was super excited. So just in time for Jeff to get back (well, pretty soon, anyway), my hair is too short to get tangly and dries in about ten minutes, which is great in Hawaii. No decent picture yet; you'll see soon enough!


Friday, July 06, 2007

Jeff Spotting - Catch Up

Contrary to popular belief, I did not fall of the edge of the map (it's not so much a map as a chart, in Navy terminology). We did, however, travel to the underside of the world, where it is now winter.

I had to look back to see which was the last port that I wrote about pulling into since I haven't written in awhile. Busan...

Since then, we stopped in Yokosuka Japan (home of the US Seventh Fleet), Nagoya Japan (where we visited an awesome Toyota factory and I got a picture of a water fountain and giant antenna), and Townsville Australia (the culprit of the pictures with wombats and snakes via the Billabong Animal Sanctuary). I also ate this ridiculous hamburger...

We also conducted the fabled crossing the line ceremony (the Wikipedia entry is poorly written, but it was the best I could find online), as we passed over the equator, in which King Neptune (or Poseidon for those who prefer the Greek nomenclature – the US Navy prefers the Roman variety: Neptunus Rex, Ruler of the Raging Main) and Davy Jones visit the ship to evaluate the seaworthiness of all the slimy pollywogs to become honorable shellbacks. The ceremony has become rather tame in recent years, but it is still an enjoyable experience. I did my first in 2005 aboard the USS PEARL HARBOR.
Additionally, we’ve been participating in a joint US-Australian military exercise called Talisman Saber. I know I haven’t mentioned much (or at all) about the missions we’re conducting out here yet, but I’ll get to that once I am able.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fourth of July, Hawaiian style!

Fourth of July was pretty great. Kris's friend Neeli flew in from Atlanta, and the three of us hung out at Kahala Beach (for those of you who haven't heard of Kahala, it's the the neighborhood where ridiculously wealthy people live, and there is this exclusive fancy hotel where the rich and famous stay, fun fun fun). The water was clear and gorgeous; unfortunately I forgot the camera, but pictures were taken and should be emailed later.

Afterward, we went to Island Burger for Lava Flows and (of course) island burgers and watched fireworks from the parking deck at Ala Moana. That wasn't planned well; we were unable to get out of the parking deck afterward because construction clogged traffic up so badly. So we ended up getting dessert; Neeli was practically falling asleep in her ice cream!

And now for another picture of Zeke falling asleep in a very unnatural looking position - I'm going to have to teach him to do his kitty yoga when he's not quite so tired!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

One more week...

No exciting Hawaiian adventures this weekend - I have finals this week. Since it's an accelerated class, I'll have exams Monday, Thursday and Friday, and in the midst of all of that, we are learning new material as if it is a normal week! So Kris and I met up for fondue and Ocean's Thirteen last night, which doesn't really make interesting pictures. We made a Jamaican hot pot - it was pretty fantastic. The very helpful fruit guy at the Foodland a) found out for us what "garam masala" was and b) gave us sample slices of delicious tropical fruits - what a pleasant trip to the grocery store (I think he thought we were secret shoppers)! Kris ended up crashing on the sofa, and she'd brought some of her famous banana bread, so we had delicious breakfast before she hopped back into her rumbly blue Jeep for the drive back to the other side of the island.

The second half of class starts on the 2nd of July, so next weekend is my weekend of freedom in between; Kris is headed to Iowa for a wedding, but I am planning to spend a good chunk of it lounging up on the North Shore with some *pleasure* reading.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Three Carolinians went on a 9.3 mile hike...

...and somehow managed to turn it into 12.5 or so!!! Instead of hiking from the Pali Lookout, which is near Kailua, to Waimanalo (which is where Jeff and I got married, if you don't remember - see the second shot on the left), we managed to hike from Pali Lookout to Waimanalo BACK to Kailua and ended up at probably the most gorgeous, fancy country club I have ever seen, Luana Hills Golf and Country Club. We took one wrong turn on the trail that made the difference between coming out safely at Annie's car and coming out stinky and covered in mud amongst a bunch of people planning a wedding, and hiking up to the clubhouse to call a cab! So after we got back to Annie's house to get a third car, we had to pick hers up in Waimanalo and mine at the Pali Lookout. On the way back, we ran into a couple who had lost their car keys on the trail and were locked out of their truck, so Annie gave them a ride back to Kaneohe while Kristin and I collected the Lancer. Afterward we were so exhausted! In fact, I think I am going to post pictures and go to bed - the pictures are in chronological order left to right, and the last one is the golf course (I am tempted to take up golf just to golf there; it was GORGEOUS).


Monday, June 11, 2007

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

...of three women and a dog taking a tiny motorboat from Kaneohe Marine Corps base for a three-hour tour of Gilligan's Island and a gloriously warm, clear sand bar perfect for a dip! Our boat wasn't the Minnow, by the way, it was El Presidente! And we made it back to the marina just before the tiny ship would have been tossed around in wind and pouring rain (isn't it crazy how the clouds were thick everywhere except right over the island???).
(The island is known as Coconut Island here, by the way.)

It definitely made for a fantastic Hawaii Sunday and some great pictures. We decided Old Pali should be a Saturday hike, since it is very, very long and we might want Sunday to recover from it!


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Wombat and python

I figured I'd give Jeff a couple days to post these ridiculously cute photos, but I definitely wanted to share with everyone who reads the blog!


Monday, June 04, 2007

Koko Head

This was probably one of the toughest hikes I have ever done, but I am proud to say Kris and I conquered the master of all stairmasters! The picture doesn't do it justice; just imagine a stairway made of old rotting railroad tie that goes a mile up to the top of a mountain, no winding, no gradual inclines, no meandering. Oh, and did I mention the part where the ground under the railroad tie goes from directly under the railroad tie to 20 feet under the railroad tie? This definitely isn't a good hike for squeamish people, but the views of Hanauma Bay, Waikiki, and whatever island is off the coast (Molokai?) are worth it.

Afterward, we swam and snoozed at Makapu, which became one of my favorite beaches on the island today; the water is warm and clear, and the surroundings are perfection. But I didn't post a picture because I didn't think I could come close to doing it justice.