Sunday, March 17, 2013

Island Style- Hawaii Vacation

Posted by Heather at Sunday, March 17, 2013
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March 8th dawned bright and early as we started our trek out to the 50th state. We made it to San Francisco without a hitch and braced ourselves for a long layover (When we originally booked the flights, we had the choice of a 45 minute layover, or a three and a half hour layover. Not much of a choice, if you ask me). Our long layover turned into an even LONGER layover as we had to wait for 90 customers delayed from another plane.

Nevertheless, we made it to Honolulu around 9 PM (Hawaii time), greeted by our gracious hosts and tour guides (aka, Ted's brother Rob and his wife, Julie :-). Our luggage arrived with us (yay!) and we made our way to their home on the other side of the mountains, where we ate and promptly went to bed! While Ted and I may have been weary travelers, Lil' Miss had other plans for us as she was up well before five AM (Hawaii time). That darn time zone change!

The first day in Hawaii was a nice, relaxing day. We took a morning walk with Lilo (their dog), played at a nearby park, swam in the pool and enjoyed the company. Julie and I went to the grocery store for the week while Ted and Katy stayed home to play with the pets.

Sunday didn't quite go as planned but we had fun, nonetheless. We parked in Waikiki and did some shopping (can't go to Honolulu without going to the biggest tourist trap of all, right?). We then started walking to the Honolulu Zoo (just a few short blocks away), when it started to rain. Alot. One umbrella + four people + lots of rain = some soggy memories (Julie, you were right- I admit it, we needed that second umbrella!). So, instead of the zoo, we opted for the aquarium, which was mostly indoors (thank goodness!).

We met some of Rob and Julie's friends, who also have a three year old named Max, at the aquarium. Katy was excited to see all of the fish and sea life. She was pretty excited when she spotted a blue fish that looked just like "Dory" in the movie, Finding Nemo.

Monday was another chill day so we all made it out to the beach. While we were first getting there, we got to see a wedding photo shoot going on. Apparently, Lanikai beach is a pretty popular photo destination for weddings, TV shows and magazine shoots.

Rob and Ted got to do some snorkeling while Katy split her time between digging around in the sand and splashing in the water. Lil' Miss loves the sun, sand and surf!

After we got all cleaned up from the beach, we all went to a Hawaiian Luau at the Hale Koa Hotel. Of course Katy was wiped out from her afternoon on the beach, so she fell asleep on the way to the luau. This made her a little grumpy at the beginning of the luau but she still participated in some of the events (while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed sipping Mai Tais :-). 

For the pre-show entertainment, there was lei making, poi ball demonstrations, fresh coconut to try and a Hawaiian band playing. We eventually coaxed Katy into making a flower lei bracelet (that girl loves jewelry!) and she enjoyed watching the other children swing the poi balls around.

Soon it was dinner time! YUM! We feasted on Cucumber and Papaya, Seaweed Salad, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Fresh Pineapple, Kalua Pork, Mahimahi Fish, Soy Sauce Chicken, Teriyaki Beef, Fried Rice, Poi, Sweet Potato, Banana Fritter. No big surprise, but Katy the carnivore enjoyed the meats, mostly.

Our big surprise for the evening was that Katy actually wanted to participate in the Hula Dancing demonstration. When they called for volunteers, I asked Katy if she wanted to go as long as I went with her. So, she and I hurried down to the stage and Ted hurried to grab the camera to take pictures. Katy mostly watched, rather than participate, but I think she enjoyed it. However, when we asked her what she liked best about the evening, she replied, "Slapping," referring to the Samoan part of the dinner entertainment where the male dancers beat their bare chest in rhythm to the music. She was cracking up throughout the whole "slapping" section of the entertainment (don't worry, it was meant to be somewhat funny). She never ceases to surprise us!

Tuesday was our tour of the Dole Plantation. We road the Pineapple Express (no, not the movie), and got to see the vast pineapple fields. We even got to see some workers working the field and picking the fruit. After the train ride, we fed the koi fish at the pond, had some silly pictures taken and then of course, we feasted on the ever-famous Dole Whip ice cream- YUM!

Wednesday Ted and Julie went paddling while Rob, Katy and I stayed on the beach. Katy had a blast digging around in the sand and sticking her toes in the water.

Later Wednesday afternoon, we had grilled out with Max and his mother, Felicia. After we had fully bellies, we then went to the pool. The kids had ceaseless amounts of energy and had a great time playing together!

Ted and I got to go to Pearl Harbor by ourselves on Thursday while Katy enjoyed the day, by herself, with Aunt Julie and Uncle "Sushi" as she started calling Rob at the beginning of the trip. It was nice for Ted and I to experience the Pearl Harbor Memorial on our own and in all honesty, I don't think that Katy would have gotten much out of it at her age, right now.

Katy, on the other hand, had fun with her Aunt and Uncle. She got to help take Lilo for a walk, help Julie pick out her clothes for the day (a dress, of course, to match her own!) and go to Sea Life Park. She had a minor meltdown before they even got into the park, I'm told, but once she got inside, she had fun. She enjoyed watching the other children interact with the animals. She later told me that she saw dolphins, penguins, seals and turtles. 

We ended our beautiful Hawaiian vacation with a hearty breakfast from Boots and Kimo's. Fried rice for breakfast? Yes, please!

Eventually, though, Rob and Julie had to take us back to the airport to catch our flight home. We had so much fun soaking up the Hawaiian sun (it was really good for my hands!), and learning more about the island ways and seeing the local sites. Mahalo, Rob and Julie for being our gracious hosts, tour guides and getting to spend some quality time together for the week!


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