Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Aloha Oe

Paradise continued:

We wanted to see the sunrise at least once. I was always up early enough with my early rising ways+jetlag, but KC was fighting a bad cold the whole time (though you’d never know with hardly a complaint uttered) and needed his sleep. We did make it to a nearby industrial beach to see it one morning. Even in that setting, it was unreal.444453457465475

Papaya with a squeeze of lime for breakfast.478

We felt like touring Pearl Harbor. It made more of an impact on me now than when I came as teenage, but I had the same feelings of unbelief that oil is still coming to the surface after all these decades.483492497501

We were crazy to go to Ala Moana Mall on a Saturday, but we found a decent plate lunch place at the park, and picked up few groceries. Not the biggest waste of time. 503

Went out for Indian in Waikiki for brother-in-law Tyler’s birthday. long wait, incredible food, fun crowd, lots of laughs.508513524

Camille and I had had a cake in the works the past couple days. Coconut cake with a lime cheesecake layer. We were stuffed, and it was late, but we had to try it anyway.535

Tyler’s little brother Nolan is also lucky enough to be living there. We were celebrating his birthday as well. Sweet kid.539540

The next morning was spent at the Swap Meet. I blew through my cash fast, but there is no better place to stretch your dollar on prizes for the kids. And that coconut was so delicious. 550558

One of my most favorite stops was the Valley of the Temples. I could’ve stayed at the Buddist Temple all day. Such a serene, incredible setting. The mist hovering in the mountains made it feel like a dream.573777782578580

Brunch at Haleiwa Joes in Haiku Gardens. It really doesn’t get better than eating with this view. 792796805810588

The beautiful Laie Temple.602605

That night we ate dinner with some of KC’s childhood friends that they still keep in touch with. It was so fun to see how people live there. Kids are so carefree with their bare feet and rosy cheeks.

Our flight didn’t leave until almost midnight on our last day, so we made the most it. Quick stop at The Dole Plantation to get a dole whip. And look at these amazing multi-colored trees. Everything just has a magic touch to it there.827828830

I totally forgot what time of year it was until I saw things like this. Just didn't feel right. 618

KC’s casually said he wanted to stop at Laie Point, where he’d play growing up. Well. there was nothing casual about it. Just a little turn off the highway and yet another incredible spot. It’s just weird to me that there was hardly any crowds anywhere. No one there but us and a couple others. 619626643

We stopped at Kualoa Ranch for a catamaran ride. But first had a delicious Kalua Pork lunch.837Chinaman’s Hat852654670675

Quick stop at KC’s old house. Loved hearing all the memories there.684

Malaekahana Beach. Loved this rustic spot. We had the place to ourselves. It was such lovely warm water. 689860862

FINally got some shave ice at Motsumoto’s. 703704

Enjoyed our last sunset at the lagoons. We absolutely loved spending time with the Ericksons. It was sad to say goodbye.889892893

That beautiful beach baby has quite the life.877730880

Said our goodbyes, and headed for Honolulu for our last couple hours. Loved walking Waikiki at night.708


The redeye flight home was sleepless and uncomfortable. But we made it. The Robinsons were wonderful to get the kids off to school, and pick us up. I couldn’t wait to go see my babies! They were so surprised when we picked them up. I missed kissing those little faces! We handed out the prizes and there was much excitement. They entertained us with a performance of “The Hukilau” Grandma and Grandpa taught them, and it was the perfect way to welcome us home. We looked through the pictures and told about our adventures. It felt good to be home.759

Looking at these pictures is making my heart ache to go back there. But you know what, it was the perfect length. If it was shorter, I’d want more time, if it was longer, Id start to worry about the kids. We left wanting just a little more, and isn't that what you want out of a vacation? I went when I was in high school, and although I had a lot of flashbacks and fond memories of that trip, it felt a lot different this time around. I had a better sense of the island and just how small it was, and I was with my wonderful husband who drove us around the island like a pro (he moved before driving age, so the roads aren’t that familiar to him), including terrible traffic every single day. I felt so recharged and refreshed, and left with no regrets. Reality hit quickly with a lot of snow and regular triplet shenanigans (I may have threatened to go back to Hawaii in weak moments) , but I’ve been in a little bit of post-vacation haze as memories of paradise come back to me. A trip I will never forget.