Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hawaii! Day 1-2-3-4-5-6

Remember that time we went to Hawaii and then I never even blogged about it? 
Hmph. I might tell Freddy that if I don't blog it, it never happened, meaning that we need to go to Hawaii again. Maybe it's worth a shot. 
Okay, so I realize that this is the longest post you've ever seen blogged, on any blog, ever. But here's the thing, now it's January, and we went to Hawaii like three and a half months ago. I'm betting that if I try to break the days up, you'll only ever see what we did on day 1, and maybe day 2. So let's be smart here, people. I'll blog everything and you can break it up into days, if you need to. 
So! Here goes! 

Our 5th Wedding Anniversary Trip to Oahu, Hawaii (!!!):

Our flight to Oahu! (Which, we made it on like, three seconds before they closed the gate. Most. Stressful. Event. OF MY LIFE. Literally, the people behind us in line got told that they had to re-book their flight for tomorrow (and I felt a little awful because they were all decked out in Hawaiian prints galore. But mostly I was already sprinting to our gate.)
 So, at TSA they had to open our backpack to check everything in it. And it was obviously going to take forever, so Freddy told me to go ahead of him. I finally make it to the gate, just as they're about to close everything up, and I yell out that my husband is still on his way (!!!!!). So there we are, Nathan and I, absolutely panicking when they say that the doors have been closed and FREDDY IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN. I seriously thought that Nathan and I were going to Hawaii by ourselves. Ohmygosh. Stressful. Boy, was I so glad to see him working his way down the airplane aisle. WHEW! 
 So now that we have a chance to bring our blood pressure back from the heart attack range, now we were ready to get in the "we're actually on our way to Hawaii" mode, rather than "we're totally going to miss our flight to Hawaii" mode. Much better. And it's time to bust out all the snacks and toys for Nathan, because that was a long flight. Luckily Nathan slept for part of it, but still. Long flights are long flights.

Which is why we were so glad to get off the plane, get our rental car, and head out to the Marriott Vacation Club at Ko Olina. I was in heaven.

 It was picturesque Hawaii, in all its glory. The blue skies, the aqua, crystal-clear water, beautiful palm trees, and everything you could possibly want.

 So, we got there a couple hours before our room was ready, so we had a little time to walk around the hotel grounds and take plenty of pictures.

 I laid down on one of the lawn chairs and I swear if Nathan hadn't come with a snow cone, I would still be there today. The breeze, the sun, the mix of it all-- I loved it. I wish we had taken more time just to sleep in the shade like my five minute nap-- best nap of my life.
 So Day 1 ended with us checking in to our beautiful hotel room, and then trying to find a Walmart, Target, or somewhere we could buy food for the next couple days, since we didn't want to eat out for every single meal, all week long. But instead we got lost and drove up the majority of the western coast. Not exactly touristy Hawaii, but there was a gorgeous ocean view for every second of it, which may have been so distracting it was why we got lost in the first place.

Day Two was Sunday, Sept. 23rd., we were all set to go to church out in Oahu-- why wouldn't we? Oh, because we packed everyone's church everything-- skirt, ties, shirts, shoes, socks, pants. Oh, wait. I guess not. I totally forgot Freddy's church pants. My bad. (A little bit his bad, too). So his choices were swim trunks or jean shorts. Or pajamas, if we're really listing all the options here. Hm. So much for that plan.

Instead we went on a nice, scenic drive of the island-- starting with a stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation.

At Dole, anytime someone's taking a picture, they tell you, "Sayyy pineapple!!!" So a good majority of our pictures there have Nathan mid-"pineapple." Like this one:

Fresh pineapple ice cream? Yes, please! Delicious!
We also went through their pineapple maze, and found all the little boxes that we were supposed to look for, too. And we made it back about 45 seconds before the average time of completion. Yesssss.

After the Dole Plantation, we headed up along the shore line and stopped at the North Shore. Exxxxcept that they had like, huuuuuuuuge waves that day and the life guards kept warning people that if they didn't have "years and years and years of experience in water like this" then they "shouldn't get anywhere near the shore line."
So we thought we could walk a ways down to where some rocks were to take some pictures, where the water was just barely coming in, rather than where it was crashing with 30+ foot waves. 
Our footprints in the sand! :)
And we did, but then the life guard came over on his 4-wheeler to tell us that we needed to move, because even there wasn't safe, especially with a child. Sure enough, about ten seconds after we got passed the cone he was talking about, a huuuuge wave crashed in-- RIGHT where we were standing taking pictures. Whew! 
So the rest of that day was driving up and around the east side of the island, along the coast, and then heading back to our room. Speaking of which, here are some pictures from our room at the Ko Olina Beach Club Marriott. Ni-ice.  

And I was Not about to wake up Nathan, just so that I could get a perfect shot of our bedroom. That kid was exhausted!
The next morning we enjoyed the sunrise and ate breakfast on our balcony. Talk about a gorgeous view!

We got ready and headed to the beach for the day. :)

After some water fun, we decided it was time to build a sand castle. Pretty sure Freddy was more invested in the construction of that thing than either Nathan or I was. He was committed.
And after that we buried F in the sand-- complete with some bulging biceps and a six pack. Lookin' good, Freddy! ;)
After our fun in the ocean, we went back up to the hotel and tried out each of their, eh, like five pools. 
We had fun!
And Freddy got a nice little massage from these crazy waterfalls. You'd be surprised how strong that water is!

Later that evening we headed over to Diamond Head to go for a bit of hiking fun.

We were so proud of Nathan! He walked up the entire trail by himself, and about 50% of the way back down, too (and then Freddy took over for him.) All in all, it was a little more than a mile by himself! Impressive!
The view from the top!

That night we were switching hotels, from the Ko Olina Beach Club, to the Marriott Waikiki Beach-- just to get a sense of the Waikiki feel. (It was nice, sure, but Freddy and I both agree we'd definitely stay the entire time at Ko Olina next time-- a wayyy more relaxing atmosphere.)
The sunset from our Waikiki Beach hotel. :)
Early next morning we headed to BYU-Hawaii (mainly because Freddy needed to do some homework and the internet in the hotel lobby was a little too choppy to get anything done). Nathan and I watched the aquarium in the lobby of the library for a little bit while Freddy worked (it was actually just a TV with a recording of an aquarium, but I'm not sure that Nathan could tell.) :)

After that we went over to the Laie Hawaii Temple-- gorgeous, of course!
Freddy's really good at positioning the camera and then using the self timer to get some amazing pictures. This wasn't one of them. 
That'll work! To be fair, our camera was balanced in the bushes. Impressive.
Freddy and Nathan on the temple grounds. 

And of course, once we were done we headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Ah-maz-ing! We loved it!

We took the boat ride to the other side of the island, and our tour guide-- in the bottom left of this picture below-- was seriously the funniest guy we met in all of Hawaii. We spent the entire ride laughing so hard that it hurt. Awesome. :)
Nathan really struggled with the hand symbol for hang ten. You see, it's a lot like the Spiderman sign, so he'd usually have to start with that (start with what you know!) and then consciously look at his hand and concentrate really hard to get his pointer finger to go down.  Any pictures that we have of him actually doing it, we know the effort that he put into it!
Nathan fishing in Tahiti!
Got ourselves some tattoos in Fiji! (I so had to talk Freddy into it. They were awesome.)

Oops. Out of order. Eh.
And after a fun time running around seeing all sorts of presentations and demonstrations about each of the islands, we went to our delicious luau! We even got to go up on the stage because we were celebrating our anniversary! (Except, everyone else was like, 50 YEARS! 40 years! 35 YEARS! 62 YEARS! 45 years! And then we were like FIVE YEARS!!!! Although we did beat out the honeymooners and the 1 year couple.)
And after dinner we headed over to watch their HA! Breath of Life fire and dance show-- which we debated and debated over going, but boy were we SO GLAD we went! It was awesome!!! It was maybe even my favorite part of the night. And we got to take pictures with the main characters-- sweet!
After a long day out, we headed back to our hotel for some much needed sleep. :) 
But the next day was our last full day on the island, so we headed out to Aloha Stadium to do a little shopping (and plenty of walking!). After some great deals, probably more than Freddy planned on, we went over to see the Pearl Harbor monument. We had a serious talk with Nathan about how to behave while we were there, and I have to say, my two year old was better behaved than many tourists that were on our same boat.

It was a breath taking experience-- seeing all the names carved on that wall. Name after name, soldier after soldier. 

After finishing our tour at Pearl Harbor, we stopped at the Aloha Tower to get some pictures overlooking Waikiki.
And finally, before calling it a night, we walked along Waikiki Beach and played in the water a bit. (The playing the water was more so Nathan, and more so because of a losing battle trying to get as close to the shore line, and then run back before the wave came in.) But we had fun!

And Nathan found(/and loved!) this huge pit! It doesn't look as deep as it was, because of the lighting on the sand-- but look at the people sitting near their surfboards up above him-- it was DEEP!

Hello, soaking wet Nathan. Your own fault, kid. Your. Own. Fault. (But he totally had a blast doing it.)

Ahhhhh... beautiful Hawaii, just blogging about you makes me wish we were back there. It was such a wonderful way to celebrate our 5th anniversary! I look forward to our next trip out there!