Remember when...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Remember when we posted blogs? Remember when we promised a blog post from Hawaii? Remember when we were looking forward to vacation, not remembering it? Remember two months ago when the blog never showed up? Well, I have some promises to keep, even if they are overdue...

I would just like to clarify that I wrote this blog on October 12th, just after we returned from Hawaii. Unfortunately, given the extremely convenient usability of Blogger I only had to upload the photos and post, piece of cake, right? (Please note the sarcasm of the usability issue.) So, after several agonizing uploading hours and without further adieu, I give you... Hawaii...

[Okay, blog update. Despite my efforts the photos would not load correctly. You'll have to read on without, but you can check out the gallery of photos here]

After Noah's first plane ride, a straight shot six hour flight from Salt Lake City to Honolulu (which he did great on, by the way), we settled into the Hotel where Pam and Gary had already been for a couple of days. Pam was in Hawaii for a dental convention so we got to tag along and play while she enjoyed the interiors of conference rooms for the first few days. After claiming our bed and getting situated we headed down for an obligatory trip down one of Hawaii's most crowded beaches at Waikiki. We watched a beautiful sunset and then headed back for some much needed sleep.

Day two was marked by an amazing tour all the way around O'ahu with tour guide Gary while Pam was stuck with more of those conference rooms and dental speak. The tour was capped with sights of North shore, the Dole plantation, Pali Highway and the Nu'uanu Pali lookout where King Kamehameha I staged one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history as he conquered the island of O'ahu.

That was all in the afternoon however. The morning was all about Pearl Harbor. We took tours of the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri (site of the end of WWII) and Shelli even snagged a tour of the USS Bowfin Submarine. See the story goes, that while us law abiding citizens (Gary, Noah and myself) toured the small museum of WWII torpedos and weaponry Shelli snuck a free tour of the USS Bowfin while nobody was looking. Apparently she completed the tour unabated; however when Noah and I chased after her we were quickly halted and sent packing the other way be the security forces.

The tours of the USS Arizona and USS Missouri were incredible. It is amazing to be out there and see the places where all these stories took place. The heroism and strength of all those involved takes ones breathe away. The oil still bubbles out from the USS Arizona all these years later.

Day three we traveled again. We island hopped our way over to Maui where Shelli's grandparents have a time share they were more than generous enough to let us stay in. We were only a short walk away from the beach and it was such a great location. WE settled in and took off to the store to grab some grub for the week. THis turned out to be a little bit more of an adventure than we anticipated. We knew things would be more expensive in Hawaii, just not that expensive. I fail to understand how people can afford to live there, whew! $8 for a package of cheese. $6 for milk. ouch. Fortunately, after offering up our second and third born children we were able to discover that a short distance away in Kahului there is a Costco and Walmart which make things a little more affordable.

Our condo was in a little town called Kihei on the west side of the island. Day four we drove south and toured the west side beaches wn snorkeled around the reefs. We had a great time swimmin' with the fishes and kickin' bakc with the sea turtles. Its incredible what you can see out there on a clear day. After snorkeling to our heart's content we called it a day and headed back for some sleep. Mind you we still hadn't quite adjusted to the time change so it was only like 6pm when we'd all go to bed, but we also were up and rolling at like 5am.

Day five we decided to brave the road to Hana, a 68 mile "3 hour" drive along the north coast of Maui. We started out early in the morning making all our fun little stops along the way. We hiked up to Twin Falls where some gentlemen selling bowls and hats made form leaves fo some local plants made Shelli adn Pam a flower and Noah a little fishy. We proceeded along the road to Hana stopping occasionally to check out the sites including waterfalls, overlooks, the black sand beaches and lava tunnels at Waianapanapa State Park, and Hamoa beach for some body surfing before turning back and heading home. All in all our 3 hour drive took about 9 hours start to finish. But in defense of the inaccurate information I am pretty sure Gary got us home in like two hours. Nice driving. We went out fro a bite to eat at Moose McGillycuddy's and called it a night.

Though exhausting the road to Hana was a blast. The beaches were beautiful, the body surfing at Hamoa was a blast and the views were incredible. Probably won't be jumping on the bandwagon for round two anytime soon though.

The next morning we went out and rented a paddle board form one of the local shops. Just so you are in the loop this is a slightly larger surfboard you stand on with a paddle and paddle around the water near the beaches. We spent the day doing some paddle boarding and hanging out at the beaches. The paddle board was a blast you can just sit back and enjoy a calm relaxing paddle through the waters as you look below and survey the marine life, or your can paddle right into a wave and ride it in.

Shelli went the entire trip up to this point without a migraine, so thank God for that! It was wonderful to have soem time away with no headaches. Unfortunately that abruptly came to an end that night which led to a not-so-memorable seventh day. Day seven we went out in the morning and did some more paddle boarding before we had to return the board. Shelli and I both had a chance to paddle around with a sea turtle. It was amazing. He just hung around on the surface of the water swimming his was around the board as popped his head in and out of the water. After that we sent Pam and Gary out for some fun on the town while I stayed behind with Noah and took care of Mommy. By the afternoon Shelli had decided that she wasn't going to take any more from the headache and we headed out Lahaina just North of where we were staying. Lahaina is a beautiful little whaling town. Much more touristy than where we were staying, but a lot of fun. We walked around the old Banyan Tree and grabbed some dinner from a little Mexican restaurant. We hopped up to Ka'anapali and caught the sunset before heading back. We shot some photos of lil' Noah on the beach at sunset. What an absolutely unforgettable sunset, it was indescribable.

Day Eight we drove up to Haleakala, one of the volcano craters of Maui, and took a stroll around. Its a surreal place being 10,000 ft above sea level on an island. The views were a little masked by the cloud cover but it was still amazing to see. With all the lava rock and little vegetation you felt like you were on another planet. From there we kicked back a little and got the last little bit out of the snorkels and boogie boarding that we could. We toured a few more beaches and ended up landing at Big Beach for the day. Big Beach, along with being the largest undeveloped white sand beach on Maui, is the sight of several neck injuries which we quickly discovered that day. We bolted out to have soem fun on the boogie boards and in one commanding crash of a wave both Gary and I lost our glasses. I managed to locate mine a short while later buried in the sands and the bottom of the crashing waves, and then continued to look for Gary's (A little nicer and more expensive than mine) before I could find anything I was mauled by another ave which ended up popping then lenses out of my glasses that were in my hand. I conceded to return to the shore to discard the glasses and return to the search. eventually we spotted Gary's glasses, deciding it was either a stingray or his glasses. Thankfully (on several levels) it was his glasses. I spent some more time being pummeled by waves (Shelli tried too, but was immediately smashed by a couple waves too.) before tiring out and we packed up and headed home for the day.

After packing up a few things and getting some sleep we woke up ready for our last day, simply hoping that it wasn't really true. After spending the morning working through all the possible logistics of how not to come home and move to Hawaii, we resigned ourselves to having to coem home and darted out for some last minute snorkeling, turned in all our gear, got a delicious final bite to eat at the Five Palms, packed up, grabbed the final souvenirs and caught our flight back to Honolulu at 10pm. In Honolulu we had a short layover where we snagged a quick bite to eat with Shelli's Great Aunt and Uncle barely caught our next flight, switched planes in Portland and landed in SLC at 1pm on Sunday.

All in all, it was a much needed and wonderful vacation. Just need to figure out when we are going again now.

Thanks for waiting...