Sunday, May 14, 2017

aloha adventures;

our church timeslot changed to 8:30 a.m.
as much as i dislike how early it is, i actually really like that there's so much more time to do stuff on sundays now.
after church and after chatting with friend today, it was only noon!
i was able to take a nap in the afternoon, relax, take my time to cook dinner and then still have time to relax now and blog before bed.
i feels so great and productive! it's been nice to have time to rest too especially after working an almost 60-hour work week. 
plus honestly, i'm used to waking up early most days anyway since we started going to an 8 a.m. fitness class on saturdays since the beginning of the year. 

april was definitely family month with my parents and older sister in town.
the month passed by so fast i can't even remember what happened the first two weeks of april before they came haha. 
(honestly, i probably just worked a ton haha)
my family flew into salt lake first and hung around here for a week before we all flew together to Hawaii for our aloha adventures :)
while they were here in utah, it was pretty chill and we mostly just went out to eat dinner after we were done working for the day. 
and sometimes we stayed in and cooked and then played games. 
games night was the most hilarious. we played codenames and my mother got totally hooked on it and kept wanting to play one more round one more round even though it was late and they still needed to drive back to park city after haha. 

one of my favorite parts of utah was getting to spend Easter together as a family.
my sisters and i cooked Easter dinner and we dyed/decorated eggs together as a family after.
it was really fun! plus i never get to spend Easter with my family haha.
a simple Easter lunch before dinner 
Easter family photo with the beautiful spring flowers 
Easter table set-up 
Easter dinner served 
Family photo post-dinner 
The Chen Sisters 
Only three of us worked on the post-dinner Easter activity haha

and then the highlight of our month was definitely our Hawaii trip!
the last time we went to Hawaii as a family was like 20 over years ago when sam was still a baby in my mother's stomach haha so this was long overdue. 
Hawaii was AMAZING.
even though parts of it did remind me of Malaysia, i just loved the chill atmosphere that made me totally relaxed immediately.
we had a packed itinerary and just spent all our time exploring while relaxing. 
we had good food and lots of moments of laughter.
it was also nice to meet up with my uncle, his wife and our cousin cause we seriously rarely see them. 

here are some of my favorites from the trip because i have WAYYY too many photos to post them all haha:
the view from our hotel balcony 
family <3 
LOBSTER! and peking duck
watching these two brothers interact hahahaha 
amazing poke and sushi! 
laughing at my parents - my dad is trying to take a photo of my mother and she's complaining about the wind blowing her hair out of place hahaha 
wakiki beach for a sunday family walk
ate lots of musubis haha
**lunch at seven brothers - SO GOOD!
we actually really enjoyed the PCC even though people said it's overrated and what not. 
**our ukelele teacher 
we had a short little ukelele lesson and it was super fun! that and the samoa show were actually my two favorite parts of the PCC. the tahiti show was pretty good too. 
my mother dying of laughter while my dad was happily dancing away hahahaha
as much as the dole plantation is kind of lame, i just had to go because i love pineapples so much hahaha.  
**we ate at this thai restaurant called opal thai in haleiwa where the owner basically just asked us a few questions and then cooked up this feast for us. it was so so so so good! we wiped the plates clean for sure. and opal was just so nice and friendly and engaging. it was an amazing experience! definitely one of my top recommendations!
Hawaii beaches are so pretty! we went to the north shore area and also **kailua beach and wow, the waters are soooo pretty! 
late night hot tubbing at our resort
**we went to the swap meet at the stadium and although it was super hot, it was so fun! kind of like flea market/pasar malam style. totally my style haha 
the ichiban special at **matsumoto shaved ice omgggg. the little mochi balls and the red bean made it perfect.  
i kept wanting to eat shrimp when i was there haha. **fumi's shrimp truck's spicy garlic shrimp was definitely one of my favorite meals too. 
we did a session at the laie temple and it's a small temple but really pretty. 
my parents seriously thought we were crazy for bringing these pool floats haha. we even had another watermelon one (not pictured) hahaha.
and this is why i love my parents haha. 
ACAI bowls all day everyday haha - **lanikai juice's acai bowl was our go to.
chen cousins <3. with the only boy of the chen clan haha.  
it was so awesome to just watch the waves crash. loved it! 
more chen sisters love <3 
and goodnight Hawaii. 

Hawaii was so so awesome and being there with family made it that much more fun and awesome.
we're already talking about which island we're going to visit next haha.
you really just can't beat family time. 
when you put the 5 Chens together, it's just nonstop madness and laughter cause we're on the same frequency of weird and i love it!
well, till next year!
Summer took some amazing family photos for us with the beautiful beach backdrop. i want to take family photos in Hawaii every year hahaha. 


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