29 April 2011

Pool-side Service is a Must

I am now a firm believer in pool-side service at resorts. Let me tell you why...

It's not that I actually ordered a drink, though I've heard that their pina coladas (virgin, of course) are tastier than at a restaurant. Maybe that's just because you are drinking your pina colada next to a pool! The reason I think pool-side service is a must have for resorts with crowded pools is because they become a second source of security.

It's not a good start to a story, but don't worry we had a good ending.

After all of the Allstate festivities of our Maui trip, we switched from living in a condo to the large resort next door. Scott and I had heard rumors that one of the hotels on our beach strip had a lazy river. I'm kind of vacation obsessed with lazy rivers. If I ever own acres of land in a warm climate, I plan to build a lazy river in my backyard. Anyway,  we walked all the way down the boardwalk to this hotel, only to find that it had a cavernous, non-lazy type of river pool. After the long walk back to our hotel, our feet were achy and we decided to lay by the pool and later take a quick dip.

We picked out some lawn chairs next to the pool with a volley ball net and put on sunscreen. After the loition had solidified with a chapter of reading and cellphone Sudoku, we decided to sit at the edge of the pool to get cool.  We were in the pool for no longer than five minutes when we returned to our chairs and found that my bag had been riffled through. I recognized it immediately, as I am generally paranoid about that sort of thing, and I had distinctly remembered placing Scott's cellphone on top of his shirt. Scott was skeptical. We'd only been gone for a few minutes after all. To prove it I dumped out my whole bag of beach goodies and found that not only had Scott's amazing cellphone been taken, but also my camera with all our Hawaii memories.

Do you see a pattern here? I feel like I'm either a glutton for punishment or there's a sign on my back that says "Steal Here." Scott and I have had a series of unfortunate theft since we've been married. The day after our wedding, we found my car in the hotel parking lot with a window broken and my temple bag gone. Our first year of marriage our apartment was broken into. We must have gotten soft approaching our three year anniversary.

Scott using his beloved phone to text pictures of Hawaii on Day 1

With my bag dumped out, and a burning passion for his cellphone (I've been meaning to post about how Scott adores his new phone... maybe next week.) Scott was convinced that we were indeed robbed. What to do? Tell security. It sounds like a lot of time has passed, but we're still at the five minute mark.

The security guard didn't believe us. "It's rather unusual for someone to rummage through your things to find valuables. Usually the thief will take your whole bag and be long gone. Maybe you should go check your room to see if you left your phone there." I don't know what to tell you, Safety Man. We were here using our phone three minutes ago, SAT by the pool, and then returned to a phone-less, camera-less bag. At a point of clueless desperation, the pool-side waiter came by. He'd seen some unusual teens lingering in our area, and didn't think they were the type to stay at the resort. Not only had he seen the kids near our lounge chairs, the waiter had pinned the scout of the group on the upper pool deck!

Security went to the upper deck. We thanked the waiter profusely, and I began dialing Scott's phone non-stop. Scott, then wandered around the pool area to see if he could hear the phone.

Safety Man returned with a sophomore, junior aged teen and took him inside the hotel. Still calling...

And then someone picked up! "I think this is someone's lost phone," and man answered. "It is! It's my husband's! Where are you?"

Fortunately for us, there were miracles at the pool that day! A couple, returning from a walk on the beach, saw a boy throw a cellphone into the bushes behind him. The couple found that odd, and walked over to the area to see what was going on. At the same time, another couple saw two other boys going through guests bags by the pool. Security was informed, two more boys were taken into the hotel, and the couples returned to us the found cellphone and camera!

We are LUCKY, and have now learned an important lesson - We aren't allowed to swim in crowded pools at the same time. I only hope that those teenagers have also learned a lesson. As my dad put it, I just want them to be successful in life, and obviously they are not successful as thieves.

27 April 2011

See Scott Surf

Before we even finalized our tickets for Maui, Scott and I both knew that we wanted this to be a relaxing vacation. We didn't want to do any excursions. We just wanted to lay out by the pool or enjoy the beach, because there is a very good chance we wont get to relax like that for a long while.

The Chandlers, at least Curtis, are not exactly the lounging-type. A vacation to them, is not quite a vacation, without a costly and memorable package of touristy fun. So while we were relaxing by the pool, Scott was tempted into taking surf lessons. He's never surfed before in his life!

It must not have taken too much temptation, though, because Scott ate it up! He loved the surfboard push-ups and the idea that his high school email address "calsurfrider", would actually become a reality. He could NOT stop smiling during the dry run, and any time he got up on the board would throw up a Hang Ten/Call Me sign, and then promptly fall backwards.

Don't worry, Chandlers, I've already made the Christmas video for this momentous occasion!
And yes it is to a Beach Boys song (click on the pic below if you'd like to watch giddy Scott surf).

25 April 2011

I Still Got It!

One day while in Maui we decided we would take a trip to Front Street (like Lincoln Street in Sitka) to do a little shopping. Scott and I had not expected to need any clothes other than swim suits, shorts, and t-shirts while in Hawaii. But as it turned out, if I wanted fish from a nice restaurant we had to find ourselves some FANCY clothes. So Scott shopped for light weight dress pants and I searched around for a skirt.

In the mean time, we enjoyed Front Street. We found some cute t-shirts, went to visit the largest tree on the island which takes up it's own block, and walked enough to feel justified in eating a fantastic burger.

I was in charge of navigating and we had been given a map with locations of the restaurants and shops on Front Street. We were told NOT to go to Cheeseburger in Paradise, located on Front Street, because one shop owner said they are mostly charging you for the view. We decided to eat at Cool Cats Cafe, which was excellent, but hard to find!

The map said it was on a street just off of front street, so we walked Martie (and her boot) up and down that street looking for Cool Cats Cafe. We were starving!

Halfway to where we expected Cool Cats to be, a car drove by and I heard them whistle at us. I knew I hadn't dolled up for the occassion, so I told Scott that his hair growing must be paying off and girls were whistling at him from the car. Scott then confirmed that the car was full of young men, so the whistle must have been for me. How flattering! I still got it! Even in my frumpiness (see above picture, sitting next to tree).

Cool Cats was not where the map depicted, so we headed back to Front Street. (We eventually found it on a the second floor of a Front Street store, which apparently, when placed on a map makes it a street away.) Walking back at the exact same intersection as before, a car drove past and I heard a whistle! Now I knew it was too good to be true! I started looking around for a sign that said, "Whistle at the tourists." Seeing, none I asked Curtis if he had whistled that time on behalf of the car.

"No, but I think they might have," Curtis said, pointing across the street at a pineapple stand. Uh, yeah! I look across the street and there's a cage of talking, whistling parrots!

At least the birds know that I'm "working it" on Front Street.

22 April 2011

A Cross Between Oahu and Kauai

This last trip to Hawaii was my fourth ever, though it was my first visit to Maui. I've heard a lot of rumors about Maui over the years, including that Maui was the best island in Hawaii to visit until everyone found out about it. Everyone described Maui has having so many different areas, like volcanoes, good beaches and waves, and great flora. I wasn't sure what to expect, really, except that The Weather Channel said that we would have great weather and very little rain.

We arrived in Kahului on Sunday and picked up a car to drive out to the west side of the island. Kahului is like the WalMart part of the island. Since the airport and cruise ships come into Kahului, there are many fast food restaurants, shopping centers, and cheap hotels in the area. In order to get to the touristy part of Maui (the west side) you have to drive around the island's coast. The easiest way to do that is to drive from north to south and then up the coast to Kaanapali.

When you arrive on the west side of Maui you will find condos and 10 story hotels with views like ours below.

The standard paradise - pools, cabanas, breezy lanais, waves. The best waves on the island are supposidly at the North West tip, by The Ritz, or by Kahului where we heard the Jaws competitions are held when the waves are just right. Speaking of which, we definitely watched this episode of Fantasy Factory while on Maui and thought it appropriately timed.

In Maui we were privileged to eat some amazing food. I was craving fish all during March in preparation for this trip! I highly recommend Duke's Beach House or Leilani's (same company, we first tried Duke's in Kauai and it is now a favorite). The dessert, Hula Pie, comes out on it's own special plate and is literally a quarter of a large, mountainous pie! We also ate at Cool Cats Cafe and really enjoyed it!

Kauai may still be my favorite island (since I'm not a fan of Oahu or the parts of Maui that remind me of Oahu), but Maui was an excellent trip idea for this time of year. We arrived at the end of the humpback whale season in Maui, and there were still plenty of things to see and do. Most of the time though, we just lounged and enjoyed our time in paradise.

20 April 2011

Sunset in Maui

Taken from our condo in Kaanapali

We have returned from paradise! Curtis, Martie, Scott, and I were in Maui the last 10 days, and we are back with tans! The weather was lovely! Eighty degrees plus most days, with cool breezy lanais and barely a sprinkle of rain the whole week. I discovered that the only way for me to get any color without burning is to use 50 SPF. It sounds insane, or for infants, I know! But it works on my fair skin, and with only one application per outing. Granted, I don't have a full-fledged Portuguese tan becuase I lack my mother's olive skin. But I didn't get burned, and that is an accomplishment!

I have plenty of Hawaii stories to blog and spur jealous comments. As I am catching up on homework, med school moving plans, and possible internship (yes?), I will be posting these funny stories throughout the coming week! (I'm also not-so-secretly prolonging these stories as I have felt a lack of good blogging stories/pictures lately and Hawaii totally makes up for that!) Something to look forward to!

13 April 2011

Must Read Book

I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and now I want everyone to read it. I passed it on to my mother-in-law, I might see if Scott will attempt a read, and then I'm sending it to my mother! The book is a fictional tale of post-WWII Guernsey island, between England and France. The book is made up of a series of letters, which some may find difficult to follow but I adored! It was like a peak into someone else's life. Don't you think that the art of letter writing has been lost a little in this technology era? Who doesn't like to get something from the post office? Anyway, it was a quick read and I literally laughed out loud several times in this book. Scott would come over and ask me what was so funny. He couldn't comprehend that I was laughing while reading. It was hard to explain to Scott the author's wit and the charming characters without just reading the whole book to him up to the point where I was laughing.

The original recommendation for this book came from my good friend, Jandee. I've read several books based on her recommendation and have never been steered wrong. But then Jandee and I do have similar taste in books.

Jandee reviews the book on her blog, here. I'm glad that I loved the book so that Jandee and I can still be friends! :)

11 April 2011

Niece Brag

The other day I was dancing, Ricks Hall style, around our empty house to this song (they don't sound nearly as great live, at least on YouTube), when my sister-in-law Annie gave me a call to let me know that she had sent pictures of the girls in an email. I sure love my nieces in Burbank! And Annie is one of the best amateur photographers I know. Just wanted to brag at how adorable these girlies are!

St. Pattrick's Day is a big deal in that Cavanaugh house thanks to my brother, Matt!

Recently, long-haired Mackenzie (far left in St Patty's photo) said to her mom over breakfast, "Mom I want to cut my hair right here like Rapunzel."  (From Tangled) The girl knows what she wants!

I had just seen that cute movie the day before, luckily! Anyway, all the girls went to Annie's hair dresser and... VOILA!

I think it fits Mackenzie SO well! That hairstyle is so her right now! Spunky, fun, witty Princess Mackenzie!

07 April 2011

April General Conference

This was by far my favorite talk of the 181st General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

President Uchtdorf cracks me up! I don't expect an aviation connection in every talk, but I love how he can laugh at himself!

05 April 2011

Cooking for Two

Yesterday my sister-in-law Amy came to my bedroom as I studied Business Data Analytics to deliver this goodie!

I pre-ordered America's Test Kitchen's Cooking for Two 2011 awhile back when Martie gave me an Amazon gift card for my birthday last year. She knew I had a long outstanding wish list and helped me cross a few things off, including this lovely cookbook.

There may not be words to express how excited I am about this book. First of all, I HEART everything America's Test Kitchen. I fell in love with the show while watching on local programming one day in Utah. Then my favorite food blogger, Annie's Eats, showcases recipes from Cooks Illustrated (part of ATK) all the time! It's so fascinating to me, the science behind all the cooking! They are masters at sleuthing the best possible way to prepare meals, get the most vibrant flavors, and then describing the process in layman's terms.

When Amy delivered the book, I promptly dropped my statistics book (which is an effort as I love me some statistics, not to mention refraining from procrastinating) and started browsing the pages. I then regurgitated (probably not the best word choice for a cookbook review) everything I had read to Martie. Because, like me, she needs to start shopping and cooking for two rather than a large family. We both love great food and are not fans of leftovers!

The beginning of the book gives a smart shoppers guide, which includes a list of ingredients and what other recipes in the book they can be used in. This resources will help me overcome one of the most difficult things about cooking for two, which is shopping for two! Everything comes in bunches larger than my meals require. I end up wasting fresh veggies or cans because recipes for two only require part.

Then there are the recipes! Each recipe is prefaced with a short explanation for the specific ingredients or spices added to scientifically improve the dish. It also explains the chosen method for cooking and alternatives. Categories for recipes include Everyday Main Dishes, One Dish Suppers, Pasta for Dinner, Vegetarian Suppers, Dinner Off the Grill, On the Lighter Side, One Big Roast - Three Great Meals, Slow Cooker Favorites, Side Dishes, and Desserts. Yeah! I know! Kind of awesome! The book also squelches cooking myths and suggests the best cooking tools and ingredient brands. The only downside to this book is that not every recipe has a picture. That's half the fun of owning a cookbook, not to mention the main reason I watch the Food Network!

Let me just give you a taste of this fantastic reading:

Under the category "On the Lighter Side" is a recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo!

"Traditional fettuccine alfredo is made with aged Parmesan, butter, heavy cream, and fresh egg fettuccine. Boasting almost 600 calories and over 40 grams of fat per serving, this dish is something we indulge in only once, maybe twice a year."

Not so true for me (Katie)! I LOVE this stuff... moving on...

"With such a nice combination of ingredients, we wondered if it was time to apply a lighter touch to this Italian classic. Given its simplicity and the fact that it relies on just a handful of ingredients -- making it an ideal weeknight pasta supper for two -- we decided to give it a try."

They then describe how they tested reducing the amount of cream and how to thicken it. After producing a silky sauce with cornstarch instead of a roux (which didn't cook off the flour in such a short cooking time), they tested using milk, evaporated milk, or half and half instead to reduce fat content. Then after testing the cheese, butter, serving dishes, and seasonings the recipe (440 cal per serving, 12 g fat) is recorded.

Recipes I can't wait to try:
Easiest-Ever Pulled Pork
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Thai Chicken with Basil
Strip Steak with Corn and Black Bean Salad
Fettuccine Alfredo
Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken and Vegetables
Oven-Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce
Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken and Potatoes
Roasted Beet Salad with Blood Orange and Almonds
Summer Berry Snack Cakes
Peach Brown Betty
Easy Lemon Souffle
Chocolate Pots de Creme

The list is long, and there's a good chance I wont get going on these until summer with all of our preparation plans for med school. But don't worry! You'll be updated.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my Dad, who shares my love of food! I'll make sure to take good dessert notes and make my favorite the next time you and I are in the same city!

01 April 2011

Quest for Long Hair

Though many of you may be in the know (and most of you that are have expressed your dissappointment) at my intent to grow out my hair just a tad, this post is actually not about me and my lovely locks.

I can truthfully say that as long as I have known Scott he has wanted long boy hair. I say boy hair, because Scott doesn't want Fabio hair, he wants Justin Bieber hair (before the recent cut). Scott's source of inspiration - his brother Steve!

When Scott and I were first dating, his family went on a trip to Hawaii. When Scott arrived he saw Steve with Samson-like locks that provided Steve with super-human powers, like body surfing skills and hair flicking skills. At the time, Scott was attending BYU and had no chance to grow his locks of love longer than the tops of his ears.

Since then Scott has fantasized about the day when he'll put on a beanie or a bike helmet and the curls of his hair do will curl up around the hat! Every time we watch an NBA basketball game he has to comment about how he wishes his hair was like Steve Nash (which I think would be NASTY!), swishing to and fro as he runs up the basketball court. And every time we watch the Kartchner boys, Scott mentions how Jackson has the best hair!

A few months ago Scott's Dad announced that Allstate would be sending him to Hawaii in April. Scott and I, knowing that medical school will give us very few chances to go to Hawaii again in the near future, decided that we are going to tag along! We are STOKED! Scott, maybe more than me, because he's decided that this is his real chance to sport the super-human curls and out-do (pun intended) his brother Steve.

So the hair growing began...

And sometimes I catch Scott using his free time to look at sites like CoolHair.com, or google "long hair" and then "medium hair" because Fabio turned up in the first search.

These two head shots were his most recent favorites:

I periodically insist that all men who have long hair keep it looking clean by visiting the barber to trim it up. Scott periodically insists that these sorts of things are not blog worthy. In any case, I'm not sure if Scott will ever be able to have the look he wants, but he's sure trying hard to be close to it by the time we leave for Hawaii in two weeks!