Aloha Friday: Away From Kid-Time

As you read this, B and I will be enjoying time in Disney World to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  (This post has been scheduled, however.  Therefore, as I write this, our trip hasn’t begun yet.)  Meanwhile, my boys will be (hopefully) enjoying time with my parents.  Yes, we will be spending 5 days without our kids.  This will be the longest that we’ll both be away from them.  (The second longest was BlogHer last year.)  Part of us will surely be missing them being sweet, cute, and/or excited, but this time will be spent relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. 

The above words were written as we planned for a wonderful 10th anniversary trip in Disney without the kids.  Instead, Hurricane Irene hit.  Our original plan was to drive to my parents’ house on Sunday, stay until Tuesday and then fly out leaving my parents in charge of the kids.

Let me repeat part of that.  The original plan was to drive to my parents’ house on Sunday.  My parents’ house on Long Island.  My parents’ house on Long Island that Irene was bearing down on.  Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.

Then, we decided to wait for Monday to see whether we should cancel or go.   However, attempting to plan for two very different scenarios (stuck at home for a week or away from home for a week) was too stressful.  Plus, if we lost power, we might not be *able* to cancel in time.  We finally decided to cancel and focus on staying safe until Irene passed.

Thankfully, both Disney and Southwest Airlines were great about refunding our money (Disney) and giving us credit for another plane trip (Southwest).  Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to take a sans kid romantic vacation sometime soon.

My Aloha Friday question was going to be: What is the longest that you’ve been away from your kids?

Considering that our vacation was cancelled, though, I’ll ask: Have you ever had to change your vacation plans due to weather?

Actually, why not answer both?

Don’t forget to enter my Hot Wheels Nitro Speeders giveaway!

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #103

Aloha Friday: Mish Mash of Feelings

Thanks to a bunch of last minute planning, we’ll soon be heading to Disney World.  This time, without the kids.  This will be our first time to Disney World sans kids since our honeymoon.  (Of course, we didn’t have children then, so it was easy to go by ourselves.)  In the short time that we’ve come up with the idea for this trip and planned it, I’ve had a weird mixture of emotions.

I feel happy at getting to spend a week with my wife without little guys interrupting.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my boys.  It’s just that sometimes I want to spend time with my wife.  We get very few date nights and even fewer complete nights without kids.  Our only “vacation” without the kids was when we went to BlogHer last year.  That trip, while fun, was hardly a romantic getaway.  We’ve been married for 10 years and we deserve this time to ourselves.

While I’m feeling happy, though, I’m also feeling guilty.  After all, the kids love Disney.  Since we told them what we’re doing, they’ve alternated between begging to go and accepting it sadly.  If we announced tomorrow that it was all a cruel joke and they were coming with us, they’d be the happiest kids in the world.

Along with the guilt is fear.  Not just my fear of flying, but fear of the unknown.  We’ll be leaving the kids with my parents during the week.  My parents have never watched the kids for any length of time.  I’m sure they’ll do a good job, but my mind keeps conjuring up scenarios.  What if NHL has a panic attack?  What if JSL won’t eat anything?  What if the boys don’t behave?  Every less-than-perfect scenario is playing through my mind and it scares me.

Still, I know that we need this trip.  We need time away from the kids.  If we don’t get time off to work on us from time to time, the constant stress could negatively impact our marriage.  And a negatively impacted marriage is *NOT* going to raise our kids well.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you gone on trips without your kids?  If so, have you ever felt this mixture of emotions?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #97

A Guilty Getaway For Two

I’ve written before about feeling guilty, whether it is leaving for work, having a night out to myself or even just dedicating some time to me instead of putting everyone else in my family first.  Right now, I’m feeling a different sort of guilt.

You see, last month B and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.  For the past 8 years, though, we’ve only had one trip away from the kids: BlogHer 2010.  (Having the kids sleep at their grandparents for one night while we sleep at home less than a mile away and then get them first thing in the morning doesn’t count.)  Of course, BlogHer was fun, but it was very rushed and often B and I were going in different directions.  Not the kind of trip you go on to help rekindle those romantic sparks.

So we began to look into trips to take together.  Ten years seems like an appropriate length of time to have a Honeymoon Part 2 and we loved Honeymoon Part 1 so why not go to the same place: Disney World.

Now, I should note here that our plans are still very much up in the air.  We might wind up going to Disney.  We might wind up doing something else.  We might even scrap the whole “take a trip with just the two of us” idea entirely.  Still, the planning means that I’ve been thinking a lot about going to Disney World and leaving the kids behind (possibly in the care of my parents).

Here’s the guilty part.  Our kids love Disney World.  No, that doesn’t sound strong enough.  They ***LLLLOOOOVVVVEEEE*** Disney World.  JSL, on a nearly daily basis, asks when we’re going back there.  I can just imagine the screams of horror that will erupt when they find out that we’re headed to the home of Mickey Mouse without bringing them along.  There will be crying and screaming and guilt trips galore.

Part of me keeps saying “Why not bring the kids along?  They’ll love it!”  But, then I realize that we love Disney World too.  Why should their desire to see Disney World again trump our desire to have one “just the two of us” trip every ten years or so?  We’ve gone to Disney World every year for the past 3 years (once on a family trip and twice for Disney Social Media Moms).  The boys have gotten hooked, but we were hooked first.

There are things we’d love to do at Disney World that you just can’t do with little kids.  I’d love to go on the African Safari trek and some of the backstage tours.  I’d want to spend time lazily walking through the countries in Epcot while holding B’s hand without screams of “I’ve got to go potty” ringing in my ears.  I’d like to try some of the more upscale/romantic, less kid friendly restaurants.  I don’t want to spend every meal wondering whether JSL will eat anything other than Mac & Cheese or pizza today.  It will be wonderful to navigate through crowds without lugging a stroller and changes of kid clothes.

In short, as much as it is fun doing this:


I want to have a bit of time to do this:

Photo1850FourBySix Photo1872FourBySix

Just please don’t tell NHL and JSL yet.  I’m still steeling myself for their response.

A Change in Plans Leads to Great Sushi at Mr. Fuji

Friday was our 10th wedding anniversary.  Our plans were initially that we would drop the kids off at B’s parents house and then we would go out to dinner at a local Thai restaurant that we’ve been to before.  If we had time, we were toying with a movie or something else.

Unfortunately, fate (in the form of old corroded plumbing) intervened.  The plumbing job took so long that, by the time we left the house, we were pushing against the kids’ bedtime.  And they had anniversary cake for us waiting.  We went to B’s parents’ house and had dessert first.

We couldn’t stay in our house thanks to fumes from some chemicals used during the sink cleanup.  So while the kids were sleeping in strange beds (in B’s parents’ house), they wanted some degree of normalcy.  Meaning, have Daddy stay in their room until they were asleep.  Unfortunately, that took until 9:30pm.

The restaurant we wanted to go to was closed as were many others.  B recalled a new Japanese restaurant that she had heard good things about: Mr. Fuji.  We checked their website and found out that they were open.  Score!

With the kids safely in bed, and the clock pushing 10pm, we made our way to Mr. Fuji for dinner.  Given the time and our appetites, we decided to skip a big main course and instead have a dinner comprised of 2 appetizers and 3 sushi rolls.

The first to come out was the Age Tofu.  This tofu might be deep fried, but it was not greasy.  Instead, it had a nice crunch to it and the sauce was delicious.


Up next was the vegetable tempura.  I’d say this was our least favorite dish, but that would give the impression that it wasn’t tasty.  It was very tasty.  The vegetables were big and nicely fried.  The only “problem” was that the rest of the food was so exceptional that the tasty vegetable tempura wound up in the back of the pack.


Up next was our sushi.  See if you can identify the rolls.  (Click on the photo below to see a larger version.)


Let’s begin with the ordinary.  A Philadelphia roll.  For the non-sushi aficionados, that’s smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber rolled up in rice.  Yes, it’s a Japanese version of bagel-lox-and-cream-cheese and it is tasty!


Up next, is a favorite of mine that I’ve seen in a few places.  The sweet potato roll.  This isn’t just sweet potatoes rolled in rice, though.  It is first fried tempura-style and *then* rolled in rice.  This adds a crunchy texture to the soft rice and sweet vegetable filling.


The big win of the evening, though, and the roll that will become a *must order* every time we go back to Mr Fuji, though, was the Peanut Avocado roll.  I’m going to let the pictures describe the roll first.  (As always, click to enlarge.)

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Yes, that’s peanuts in a sushi roll.  And not just any kind of peanuts, but honey roasted peanuts.  Delicious!  I could have eaten five more of these roll.  Ok, maybe not.  My stomach would have gotten full before they were done, but my taste buds would have kept screaming for more.

As I said before, we ate dessert before this meal, so we opted not to get any more dessert.  Still, the tempura cheesecake sounded good and the looked good when it was brought to the table next to us.  That will be a major temptation the next time we go there.

The staff was wonderful and the service was prompt.  In fact, when they heard it was our anniversary (and about our plumbing woes), they insisted that we couldn’t leave without some kind of dessert and presented us with a small plate of watermelon.  B was too full to eat any, so I ate the entire thing.  I just wish I thought to get a photo of it before I tore into it, though.  The four long watermelon triangles were arranged upright in a square.  It almost looked like some kind of watermelon flower.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to drool a bit while I think about the peanut-avocado sushi.  YUM!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t compensated for this review in any way.  We just found a nice restaurant and I wanted to blog about their great food.

Aloha Friday: Anniversary Date Night

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary.  Ten years ago today I got married to the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the world.  As B mentions in her post today, we didn’t eat much at our wedding.

During the first part of the reception, we were locked in a room together (a custom which we didn’t want to do but was forced upon us by an overzealous cantor).  According to the tradition, a couple is supposed to consummate the marriage right then and there.  Unfortunately, it was hot out and the room had no A/C.  Plus, being in our temple locked in a room we didn’t want to be in didn’t help the mood.  (Of course, even if we were in the mood, there was no way I’d have been able to get B out of her wedding dress in the period of time we were given.)  Luckily, we were given food to eat.  Not so luckily, it was hot appetizers.  Yes, hot appetizers in a very hot room while we were wearing a very hot wedding dress and tuxedo.

After our wedding lock-down, we munched on some leftover appetizers but mainly had to greet people.  Then came the wedding dinner.  We managed a few bites of food but most of our time was spent walking around and talking.  No real time to enjoy the meal.

We only really got to eat after the wedding was over.  We went back to B’s parents’ house for a bit and ate and actual meal consisting of our wedding leftovers.

This year, to celebrate our anniversary, I would love to drop the kids off at B’s parents and escape with B to a romantic weekend getaway.  Unfortunately, reality has only given us the night.  So we will be going to a local Thai restaurant tonight sans kids.  Imagine, a whole meal where we don’t have to hear whining about what food the restaurant has, when it is coming out, how much they should eat or whether they need help with a potty run.  A dinner together where the conversation can be adult (as in grown-up, not as in X-rated) in nature.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: When you go out on date nights, what do you do?  How often do you get to date your spouse?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #93

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