Fran joined us on Tuesday. His flight arrived early in the afternoon, and as we'd discovered before, if we don't get the kids out and doing something in the morning we're pretty much doomed to much whining and fighting. So we did the Judd Trail hike again, and stopped at Jackass Ginger, where this time the kids were a little bit braver, including BittyPrincess:
We stopped for a bit of vine swinging action (the kids have been trying to find a suitable setup since we got here):
Afterwards, we went to Kanaikapupu, Kamehameha III's summer house. Or the remains of it anyway:
We searched for wild-growing cinnamon nearby and didn't find anything we could bring home; it's there, we're sure, we just couldn't identify it.
Fran got in and we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in the pool and catching up.
The next day, we walked around Ala Moana shopping center, had bento boxes from Shirokiya for lunch, and briefly met up with a friend. Fran also got a haircut, but we neglected to take before/after photos, so people who know us will just have to spot it in upcoming photos.
In the evening, we decided it was time to do something with the beans. In the absence of an actual coffee-roaster, we ghettoized one (weird, the spellcheck recognized "ghettoized" as a word):
We discovered that the beans had an additional layer that needed to come away, and then coffee beans magically appeared:
We were roasting them to drink the next day (because who wants to listen to the popcorn popper for 15 minutes at 6am?), so to be continued...
The family gets up and about at dramatically different times in the morning (ranging from my dad's 3:45 to my mom's 8:30), so we decided not to roast coffee right away. Instead, we piled into the car and drove around the island for sightseeing. It was a beautiful day. We made several stops for various kid playing and peeing reasons, including one at Kualoa Park (next to Chinaman's Hat) again, where the kids tried to figure out how to climb palm trees (unsuccessful but entertaining):
Boyness found a pet coconut to take home (well, to take back to Tutu and Papa's house and try to get someone to help him open):
We made additional stops for lunch at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck (yum), and for play at a couple of different beaches including this one:
We got back around 5pm, luckily driving opposite the evening rush hour.
And now, let the coffee adventures continue! We ground and brewed our beans, which resulted in a lovely smooth medium-roast coffee experience, particularly after the addition of a little fresh-whipped cream:
And then we proceeded to spend the last bits of daytime babysitting our ghettoized coffee popcorn thingy while the kids swam in the pool, finally producing three batches of beans in medium, medium-dark, and dark roasts:
That wasn't the most attractive photo of the beans, but it was one where it was clear we'd intentionally scaled the darkness of the beans.
And an FYI for anyone who might read or google to the blog considering this particular experiment, the popcorn popper method as outlined on the internet has some problems. The first is that after the first minute or so the beans are light enough to fly out the front of the popper when you use the normal plastic vent; this is why we put an old pizza grate over the popper. The second is that the stated roasting/popping time for dark roast was 6 minutes, and we had to go WAY past that to get our beans suitably dark (no, we didn't burn them). 6 minutes would have resulted in an extremely light roast, which I'm sure some people would like, but none of us were those people. I think our dark roast took closer to 20 min.
Thanksgiving Letter to the Family
5 hours ago