Last Morning in Waikiki

We left for Maui on Friday afternoon. Daddy had to go to work Friday morning, so we stayed near the hotel and did some laundry and packed up for our flight.

The pool, always a fan favorite.

Like everything else in Hawaii, the laundry room was open-air. The boys hung out with me for a while and then headed back to the room to watch Sponge Bob. (Seriously. Ten days in Hawaii, one kid’s channel, one program on it. Sheesh) After everything was packed up I sent them to the pool for one last splash.

The boys loved the pool. Matthew was able to touch almost everywhere, so he swam around and played with any kid (or adult!) he could find. He also enjoyed the hot tub. David couldn’t touch past the stairs. He was a frustrated swimmer. Unless I got in with him, he was stuck with playing on the stairs or in the hot tub. He really wanted a floaty, but I hadn’t brought one and couldn’t go buy one on Friday morning.

We headed to the airport in the afternoon, where Steven and I managed to lose track of each other. He had Matthew, the big suitcase, and his backpack. I had David, the little suit case, and my back pack. After a trip with David to the bathroom, I went to the wrong terminal. It took awhile to find the right terminal, by which point Steven had figured out we were in the wrong one and went looking for us. Eventually I used my good, cub scout leader training, and stayed put at the Hawaiin Air counter, where I knew Steven had to come. And he did. Steven was truly relieved. Matthew was a little freaked out. David had not realized we were lost.

By the time we reached Maui, we were relaxed and ready for the next part of our adventure!

August 24, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 4 (part 2) Manoa Falls

After a delayed start, we found our way to the Manoa Falls hike. It was billed as “easy for families” with “vicious mosquitoes.”


We went into the snack bar at the bottom of the hike for some bug repellent and were given a friendly warning from the owner to watch the time. The sun would set at 7:10 and it was around 6 pm. Also, it was a very muddy hike, so we should watch the kids. (People in Hawaii are incredibly friendly).

He was right, on both counts. We found some discarded walking sticks at the base of the hike, which the boys were certain they needed. We grabbed them and started up. We did need those sticks! “Muddy” was a bit of an understatement. There were whole sections were we slipped and slid our way up “stairs” cut out of the ground. Eventually, Steven had to hold on to David to minimize his falls.

Still, the hike up was nice. The trees and birds were very cool, but we did not snap any photos. We waited until the top of the hike.

Check out the mud on our shoes!

The hike down was better, because we knew what to expect. Steven and I traded off and I held David’s hand. We were just as glad to have those hiking sticks on the descent.

Fancy tree, with a walk-way through the middle.

Woo hoo! We made it!

Congratulations, Daddy! You got us down before sundown!

I didn’t know it until later, but Steven was very worried on the hike up. He had taken a look at the clock and knew it was going to be a stretch to make it up and down before sunset. He pushed us along at a good pace to make sure we were safely done before dark. It worked. We stopped back into the snack bar for a celebratory slushy and at 7:15 the sun was down and it was dark.

Leaves as big as your head!


Totally worth it, though. It was a more difficult hike than expected, because “families” is a pretty loose term in the world of guide books, but we have good hikers. The boys enjoyed the hike, and Steven finally got a chance to do something fun with us in Oahu.

August 23, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 4 (part 1) – Pali Highway Overlook

The boys were desperate for a pool/beach day, so I didn’t plan anything big. Plus, Daddy needed the car to take his turn driving the carpool to work. Win/win, as they say. We headed to the beach in the morning, and the pool in the mid day, but I didn’t take pictures. I was too busy making sure no one drowned.

Daddy came home early in the afternoon, so we decided to head out for a hike. We had read about a hike up to Manoa Falls, which was listed as “easy for families.” We set out with our handy directions and promptly got lost. (See? It’s not just me. Steven gets lost sometimes too.)

But – surprise! We found this really cool overlook off the Pali Highway. Totally unexpected! It was such a vastly different view of the island we couldn’t resist hanging out for a bit taking pictures. It was very windy, and I didn’t have our jackets, so we got a bit chilly.

Seriously free-range chickens in the parking lot.

It’s so pretty! It’s so windy!

From the mountains to the beach. What a view!

On the other side of the mountain range is the north shore, where we were the day before.

Diamond head in the distance.

Checking out the view.

I’m not sure where this path goes, but we hiked up for fun.

Hi mommy! Look at us!

We had been a little frustrated with our directions, but after wandering around this beautiful spot we decided it was serendipity. Or at least very good luck.

August 22, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 3, part 2 – Dole Plantation

After a morning in the surf at Waimea Bay, we headed to the Dole Plantation. It was conveniently located on our way home.*

Getting ready for a train ride around the plantation.

David was my fresh pineapple partner in crime. Here, we share a pineapple smoothie. Sooooo yummy! Matthew prefers dried pineapple. He was disappointed by my beverage choice.

Train rides are fun and informative!

Pineapples grow on bushes! Who knew?

I think they probably should have switched sides.

Couldn’t resist.

Look! A pineapple on a bush!

No, David. You can’t take it home to show Daddy.

Feeding the koi.

Matthew tried very hard to get the hang of the Hawaiin “hang ten” wave. Note – you do NOT put it up to your ear.

He’s happier than he looks. It was a very long day.

After our train tour, we decided to try our hand at the world’s largest (and possibly only) pineapple maze. We got through about 1/3 of it before we were too hot and tired to do any more. We hopped into the car and headed home, straight into rush hour traffic. The boys were real champs in the car, though. And we made it eventually. And then we celebrated with some pineapple. Yum.

* You know what’s great about driving around on an island? You can only get so lost. Hit the ocean, and you know you’ve gone too far! And yes, I got lost. Every. Single. Day.

August 21, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 3, part 1 – Waimea Bay Beach Park

On our third day, we headed north. It was an hour-long drive to Waimea Bay Beach park, up and over the mountain, but what a drive! Did you know there are pine trees in Oahu? Because I did not. The landscape is completely different as you go over the mountain, and then different again on the far side.

We heard Waimea beach was good for kids, and I can see why. There was a lot of shallow water. Unfortunately, it wasn’t shallow enough for us. The boys enjoyed “tummy surfing” as the edge of the water, but I couldn’t go in with both of them myself. Still, we spent a lovely morning splashing in the water, rolling in the sand, and watching a sting ray glide past.

Tummy surfing!

Right after taking this picture, David got pulled out by the tide. I spent the rest of “surfing time” standing behind him in the water to catch him. Good times.

If you look really carefully, in the upper right corner you can see a shadow under the water. It’s the sting ray. He (she?) kept out of the way of swimmers, but there must have been some tasty fish around because he (she?) spent awhile swimming back and forth out there.

Roll in sand, rinse in waves. Repeat.

Burying themselves in the sand.

Mommy, can we just live here forever?

We had a lot of fun, but the wind had picked up considerably. After half an hour of sand spraying into our faces, it was time to head on to something else.

August 20, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 2 (part 2) The Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo was something I decided to do to fill the day while Daddy was at work. Turns out it was one of our favorite things. We spent close to five hours there. The exhibits were close enough to make for a good walk, but not a long hike, and the animals were close enough we could really see them (except the elephants. Their enclosure gate was broken so they all sneaked back into their quiet space and hid. True story!)

Look! A Komodo dragon! How cool! Look, mom! Look!

A koi pond with a clear tube in the middle. You can juuuuuuust see the top of David’s head. They didn’t want to leave.

There was a mini petting zoo with goats. This one tried to eat some guy’s shorts.

After farm camp, both boys are very comfortable around goats.

Closest I have ever been to a giraffe.

Fascinating trees. We never did find out the name. There was a playground in the middle of the zoo where the boys played for at least half an hour.

Ring-tailed lemurs. They were very entertaining.

We got to see some of the turtles eating carrots and sweet potatoes. Those beaks are sharp!

Thanks for taking us to the zoo, Mom. Now quit taking our picture.

After the zoo, we walked to the southern end of Waikiki beach. There was a pier with some kids jumping into the water. The boys thought this looked like Lots Of Fun (me? not so much). There is a statue there of a surfer, which we also checked out.

Hang ten, dude!

August 19, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 2 (part 1)

On Tuesday, Steven headed off to work (the whole reason we got to go in the first place) so we were on our own. Again, we were up bright and early, but the zoo doesn’t open at 6 am (crazy, I know!) so we took a walk to Waikiki beach.

We found a little park, complete with koi pond, tucked back in the middle of some hotels and restaurants.

It is never too early for silly faces.

There are some very high-end shops in Waikiki. We stopped by the Ferrari dealership to say “hi” to Francesco Bernoulli, from “Cars 2.”

Checking out the soft sandy.

David thinks deep thoughts gazing out into the Pacific.

Diamond Head crater.

Throwing sand into the ocean, our favorite!

The beach was lovely, but it was about a 20 min. walk so we couldn’t just pop over whenever we wanted. The boys were excited to see the zoo, but they made me promise we would have a “beach day” soon.

August 18, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day 1 part II, USS Missouri

After lunch, we headed over to the USS Missouri. As a battle ship, it has a lot of guns. The boys were fascinated. We took a guided tour of the deck and learned the history of the “Mighty Mo.” The boys were not fascinated by this, but Steven and I enjoyed it. Then we wandered around below deck and checked out the living quarters.

USS Missouri, here we come!

Checking out some guns.

A view across the harbor, still an active military base.

The peace treaty with Japan was signed on the Missouri.


David took our picture.

Checking out the fancy couches in the officer’s rec. room. Comfy!

Checking out the bunk beds for the enlisted sailors.

Not so comfy.

On the top deck.

Not too tired of walking around to be goofy.

David kept a look-out for enemy subs (we learned later that the boys were a little confused by the video of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We had to explain that it happened a LONG time ago and was not going to happen TODAY.

“I’m the king of the world!”

Another view of the Arizona memorial, this time from the top deck of the Missouri.

It’s almost scary how much the child likes to pretend to shoot things.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

When we got back to our hotel we took a dip in the pool to relax and then headed out for dinner. I don’t remember exactly, but I”m pretty sure all four of us were asleep by 8:30 pm.

August 17, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Hawaii Day #1 – Pearl Harbor (Part I)

We headed to Hawaii the Sunday after Danielle’s wedding. We got there in the evening and managed to have dinner before dropping, utterly exhausted, into bed. We had early morning plans for a tour at Pearl Harbor the next day. Initially, I was concerned about getting out that early. I shouldn’t have been. David woke up at 4:30 am, and Matthew and I weren’t far behind. We had plenty of time to get ready (which meant plenty of time for me to drink a big cup of Kona coffee – Oh. My. Gravy!).

We spent most of the day at Pearl Harbor. It was a beautiful day.

Every day looked just like this.

We took a tour of the Arizona memorial, which was beautiful and very moving for the adults, but kind of a snooze fest for the boys. We toured around the exhibits, taking turns with the audio guide, and soaked up the history and beauty and sadness and valor of the place.

We’ve already been up for four hours. Let’s get this party started!

Parts of the Arizona are now a reef for some very pretty fish.

This is the second gun turret from the Arizona. The first one was blown apart during the explosion that sank the ship.

Getting ready to board the boat back to shore.

Woo hoo! A speed boat ride!

Matthew took this shot of the memorial and the wake from the boat.

There are lots of birds in Hawaii. David chased all of them.

Future code breaker.

My grandfather was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th, 1941. I was really grateful to get the chance to stand someplace he had been and remember a part of his life he shared with us. It is hard to imagine how awful that day must have been, especially in the beautiful sunshine, but now I have a glimpse of what he saw and what he did and how it must have changed him.

August 16, 2012. family, trips. Leave a comment.

Danielle Gets Hitched

On July 21, our long-time sitter Danielle got married. She invited Matthew and David to be ring bearers. When she asked them last summer Matthew said, “No, thank you.” We found out later he thought he had to buy her the ring. Actually, he thought that up until the day of the wedding. He suggested that we should just buy her a ring, just in case.

They didn’t event have to carry the rings (because Danielle is no fool). She made special banners for the boys to carry instead.

David was very  nervous walking down the aisle with everyone looking.

Danielle looked lovely (Matthew told her she was “adorable.”)

It was exciting to help Danielle and Gene celebrate their special day.

After the wedding, we headed to the reception for some lunch and cake and dancing. Oh, how I wish we had brought the camera! Matthew went out on the dance floor and did a full minute of break dancing, Matthew-style. It. Was. Awesome.

We are a little bit sad to be losing one of our favorite baby sitters, not to mention our dog sitter, but we are so happy for Danielle and Gene. They certainly started off married life right!

August 9, 2012. family, special occasions. Leave a comment.

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