Saturday, November 03, 2012

Day 2 and 3- Thankful for Hawaii and Grandma Di

Since I technically missed yesterday, I thought I would do 2 for 1. Our trip to Hawaii would not have been possible without Grandma Di, so I thought I would list both. Here is the story (for those interested. If not, just scroll down through the pics!):

Back in March when I was going through a rough time after my miscarriage, my mom offered to watch the kids so Jeff and I could get away. Of course we couldn't turn that down and she said she would stay for a week after Emily's baptism. So, all we had to do was pick where to go! After figuring out that I could do it less expensive than I originally thought, we decided to check out Hawaii for the first time and started planning our trip. 

About 3 days before the baptism, Harold had to go in for what was supposed to be a pretty quick, routine surgery to return a small cancer mass from his nose. Well, unfortunately, the mass turned out to be much bigger than expected and it ended up being a very invasive long procedure that left Harold in a lot of pain. Needless to say, it was most important for my mom to be with Harold and help him recover. She felt really torn, but I knew she needed to be with him. Jeff called his mom to ask if she would be able to take over the watching of our children, and she dropped everything, moved around appointments and my sister in law watched my niece so that Grandma Di could be here for us. It was one of the most generous, selfless gifts I have ever been given. The kids had a blast with Grandma Di, and I could relax knowing they were in great hands. I am so grateful for her kindness. (Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of her with the kids because our flight got delayed on the way home and I did not even get to say goodbye!)

So, now onto Hawaii. I will admit that I have always wondered if Hawaii was just overhyped. I am here to tell you that it is not. It was truly paradise for me. The weather was perfect, I could jump into water whenever I felt like it, and I loved sleeping with the windows open! I bought the book "The Big Island Revealed" and studied it for months, we rented a jeep and just explored wherever sounded interesting at the time. We weren't on any schedule and just had so much fun! It reminded me how much Jeff and I enjoy being together. Even being pregnant, we were still pretty active (I just avoided the camera a lot!). We saw a sunset almost every night and they were all from a different part of the island. The book was fantastic and led us on treasure hunts to find beautiful secluded places. We felt very relaxed and loved snorkeling at different beaches. I can't say enough wonderful things about our trip.

On our last day, we went to Oahu. I really enjoyed Pearl Harbor and the solemnity that you feel there. We decided to hike Diamondhead crater on a whim (thanks for the suggestion Amy!) and I am so glad we did. The Polynesian Cultural Center was incredible and I enjoyed my first real luau. Wow, so many memories. It is definitely a place I want to share with the kids. 

Wapio Valley. Very other worldly. Had to drive down a crazy 4wd road, but truly beautiful! Jeff loved the fine sand of the black sand beach. Wish we could have stayed here longer.

At the top of Mauna Kea. One of my favorite places. We watched a sunset into the clouds from one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Then stayed to watch the stars. Beautiful night.

Walking on the crater. What a crazy experience! 
This was one of my dream places. We drove pretty far out of the way to find this Champagne Pond. It is a volcanically heated crystal clear natural pool that is right next to the ocean. To hear the crashing waves while swimming in a warm pool was heavenly to me! The 4wd road to get there was crazy. Good thing we had our jeep!
We didn't get to actually see lava, but we went back at night to see this reflection in the crater that is currently active. Pretty amazing.
This was my favorite beach. Beautiful white sand and turquoise waters. We played here the last day on the big island, but the waves were pretty massive.
Pearl Harbor. We learned so much here about how to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for all of us. Love the rainbow in this picture.
View from Diamondhead Crater. I almost let my wimpiness talk me out of this hike. I was dressed in a skirt and it was noon, so it was hot. I am so glad I did the hike, because the view was amazing!! Totally worth it!
Jeff got pulled on stage at the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was a lot of fun and he was a great sport!
At my first luau! I was a little disappointed all week because we never got officially "lei'd" in Hawaii. On our last day we received these leis on our way to the luau. The food was so yummy and this is where Jeff learned in Hawaii they don't eat until they are full, they eat until they are tired. :-)
We had read about a beautiful snorkeling place, but it is a little tough to get too. You can take a tour, or you can try to go on your own with a kayak. We decided to try it on our own. The only trick was, we couldn't actually tie up the kayak to land, so Jeff tied it to his foot and swam around with it while we snorkeled! He said it wasn't too bad.

Totally worth it! The snorkeling was incredible! You could see about 20 feet down crystal clear.

The lanai off our bedroom where we hung out at night and before we left. So relaxing.
Our last sunset. Goodbye Hawaii. You were so good to us. We hope to be back again soon! :-)


Heather Somoza said...

Totally Jealous! funny that you wrote this 2 hours ago and since I have been laying in bed, unable to sleep about the last two hours this was a pleasant surprise! Beautiful pictures

Emily Foley said...

That is so amazing! It's gorgeous. I would love to go someday.

DanielLisaCaliDavidEmmaline said...

Awesome Vacation! Glad you found the time together as a couple that you needed!