We started with a visit to Pearl Harbor. The day was sunny but as we arrived, the clouds opened up and we got some beautiful warm rains. But because of that we weren't able to land on the USS Arizona Memorial but we did get to take a nice (read very wet) boat ride out to it. I have to say, it is kind of hard to explain to a 6 and 9 year old to be quiet and reverent when they feel like they are on a Water Park ride. But we toured some museums and watched a film that better explained the history of the place. It was very moving and a place that I have always wanted to visit.
We also spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center where the kids got to learn all about the culture of the islands. They did hula dancing, spear tossing, fire stick throwing (without fire of course), Hawaiian bowling, fishing, but most of all, I think they liked the tattoos ;)
And we even did an 8 mile round trip hike to Laie Falls!! The kids did amazing, I was worried they wouldn't make it but I should have been worried about me :) My calves still feel that climb, but it was so worth it for the amazing views and gorgeous waterfall at the end. We got to enjoy all kinds of terrain including some squelching mud that made for some good times for the kids. They really did amazing, and I was super impressed with their mad hiking skills!!
And of course, after all that activity, you need lots of yummy food. The kids got to try all kinds of fresh mango's, pineapple, and coconut from the local stands. And we found an awesome place for shaved ice that we made a few stops at. So good on a hot day!!! These two were a huge fan of the coconut milk, and with 2 straws, they didn't even have to take turns ;) And our place had a grill, so we had a lot of BBQ throughout the week thanks to my sweethearts made grilling skills ;)
And we were also treated to some beautiful sunrises that, thanks to the 4 hour time change, were easy to wake up for. We were so fortunate to find a little home to rent that was right on the beach so every morning we could enjoy stunning scenes like this. This particular morning was Easter morning and I can't image a better way to wake up on such a special day.
And the other great thing about being right on the beach, the kids could always be in the water!!! They were down at the beach every second they could get. In fact, this was when we first got there and they didn't even get swimsuits on. I told them they could wade, which promptly turned into full on soaking in their shorts and t-shirts. Should have seen that one coming ;)
The kids all learned to snorkel and really enjoyed it. But mostly they just loved played in the waves!!! They chased them in and out of the water. They boogie boarded on them, and jumped them, and tubed on them, and overall just turned into little fishes ;) We visited several beaches and I think we brought a pound of sand home from each. And I couldn't be happier playing in the water with them or watching them from the beach, just perfect!!!
All in all, it was our families trip of a lifetime and it was absolutely amazing!!! I am so grateful that we could all spend this week together and that my parents were able to come with us as well. It was just the best to be all together in such an amazing place sharing an unforgettable week!!