Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ta Taki: Waterfallin' with Grandma Buttons

Grandma Buttons came to visit us for about a month, there at the end of June.  We had sooo much fun with her! She even got to hunker down for Typhoon Neoguri.  The following few posts will highlight some of the fun stuff we did with her this summer... ready? annnnnd... GO!

There's this waterfall we like to go to... Ta Taki.  I keep wanting to say "Ta Taki Falls," but really the "ta" means "waterfall," so I feel very redundant saying it... 

You hike through the river to get there, and it's soooo much fun! And nice and cool  The water is lovely, the jungle on either side is shady... ahhh... perfect for an Okinawan summer!

There are a couple of ropes to help you cross the river here and there.  Fun stuff.

AND when you take Grandma with you, you have an extra picture-taker, so you can get a family shot! Woohoo!

Nuala gettin' swept away...

And the prize at the end.  The falls.  The kids loved having Grandma Buttons visit. LOVED it!

Maeve BEFORE going behind the falls...

Maeve AFTER going behind the falls... not a fan.

AND, if there is another little family there, sometimes THEY will take a picture for you! Of everyone!

Bran and Nuala liked snorkeling down these little rapids.  They were just the right size for them. Too small for adults!

Nuala liked trying to swing on this vine. It totally snapped.

Maeve and her stick!

It was a good stick, it was.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Granny and the Aunties! Our girls' trip to Nashville...

Waaay back in June, I -- yes, just I! -- flew all the way back to the States, by MYSELF, to hang out with my mom and sisters! It was soooo fun! We decided to go to Nashville, because we'd never been there. Or most of us hadn't.  First, though, I had some Mom and Dad time in Boerne.

We went to their favorite fruit stand up near Fredericksburg.

The one where Mom always talks to the owner (George) in German.  We got the "not pretty, taste great" box, and they lived up to their label!

Also we went to HEB, of course. Only the greatest grocery store ever.

Then we drove up to Austin, jumped in Aislinn's gigantic van, and headed off with her and Niall to Nashville! We liked these trucks. Very cute.

We stopped in Memphis, and went to Graceland!!! I love Elvis. Young Elvis.  We were kinda in a hurry, and the tickets were pricey, but I'm so glad we got to go there!

Hehehe... the tour was one of those where you wear headphones and just listen by yourself as you walked through his house.  When we got to this picture, of Priscilla and Lisa Marie, Mom announced, super loudly because she had her earphones on, "Oh, here's his wife and daughter!" As if I (and the many people around us treated to her proclamation) didn't know, Mom. But thanks... ;)  

Checking out all his gold records.

One of his personal planes.

The best row of trashcans ever.

Nashville! We picked up Erin and Deirdre, and Tara and Finn that night.  Only many hours late... but at least they had each other! Erin flew in from Colorado, and Tara from Maryland.  The next morning, it was time to PAR-TAY!!!

The three little tagalongs.  I was the only childless one there.  According to Niall, I was classified as Granny's "baby," so that made things nice and neat.  As in, "Granny, you get to sleep with your BIG baby in that bed..." when she teased him about sleeping with her at night instead of his mom.  He loves Granny, of course, but wanted to stay with mom. I was the consolation prize. Granny's "big baby."

We went to Andrew Jackson's home, the Hermitage, and really, really loved it!  

Admiring one of the many magnolia trees...

Niall, looking dashing.

Magnolia blossoms... it's almost embarrassing how many pictures we collectively had of these flowers and changing arrangements of people around them.  

Finn escaping. 

Niall being eaten by a tree.

The backside of the house.  See? We know how to have a good time...

Tara defies authority and so did NOT watch her head.  

Cousins chillin'...

I loved the break we had on this bench! Fun times.  Good conversation. Lots of laughing. I love my sisters! And my mom. 

Look at that rack! Not mine. Not Erin's (Though both are lovely). His.

Mom was pleased to see that the mint she was sucking on had revealed a little face.

We went to the Grand Ole' Opry! With 3 little kids! 

Who did pretty darn well, overall...

It was really enjoyable. I can't remember now who was there, off the top of my head, but some really fun older acts, and some newer stuff, too. We were not big fans of Montgomery Gentry. At least not the Montgomery half.  He just tried too hard, and was kinda a jerk.  Oh, wow! I just found out (via Wikipedia, where I double checking that I had the dudes pegged right) that Montgomery is brothers with John Michael Montgomery! Who I DO like! Huh. 

In one of our hotel rooms. Aislinn (wearing the dress, in the front) was pregnant at this time.  She had her little guy (number 8!)... ohhhh.... at the beginning of September. Shoot! Bad aunt, bad aunt... September 4th!! 

Tara with The King.  At the Country Music Hall of Fame, which was also fun.  We like country music.  

"Trembling Lips..."

HaHA! We got to record our own song! We were terrible!!!

Terrible, I say!

But we had fun. And looked gooooood....

The hole in a guitar is called the "sound hole."  I was expecting (not that I've ever thought about nor really had expectations concerning the name of that part of a guitar) something a little less matter-of-fact.

Willie! Z's favorite! I got him Willie braids.  They're awesome. Shoot, I don't have a picture of him wearing them.  Just imagine Z with 2 braids and a bandana.  Hilarious, I know!

And George. He is awesome.

And George and ERIN! She is awesome, too.

And ELVIS and Erin and TARA! 

We also shopped. And ate. Lots.  Finners was a tad tired here. So was T.

Tooling around Nashville... this was the original Grand Ole Opry house.

Look who we ran into?! Crazy!

Nashville was quite fun. 

Even when we spent 2 hours locked out of the van.  We didn't know it would take that dang long... sigh. BUT, we had some big guitars outside of the Grand ol' Opry to keep up entertained. And of course 3 little rascals. Great entertainment.

Sooooo cute. Deirdre and Finn.  

Tara and Finn, Aislinn (and Tadhg, but he was still safely inside), Erin and Deirdre, me and Niall, and Mom... Good times.

We are so cool.

And then we went our separate ways. Here's Mom and some of her lovely flowers the Sunday before I flew home.

And Zoe. Our Belgian cat.  She's such a moody thing.  And then I headed back to Okinawa, for a summerful of beaches and snorkeling! And Grandma Buttons was there! More on that... later!