Monday, December 9, 2013


The kids have wanted to go to Hawaii for a while. Delon and I have both been there, but honestly, who wouldn't want to go back? So after Thanksgiving, we took off for Oahu with the fam. Perfect time to escape the freezing cold...

The kids were glad to be there finally, after a very long flight.
This is from our hotel balcony.

 Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon. The kids were here to do a lot of paddleboarding. It was right next to where we stayed.

The sunset our first evening there...

 With the time difference, we were up bright and early ready to go for the day. It was fun being in Hawaii for Christmas. There were beautiful REAL Christmas trees everywhere, and there was Christmas music playing all throughout the hotel :)

 Testing the waters...Waikiki Beach

 The boys paddle boarding. This ended up being one of the things Haydn and I enjoyed the most.

 Soaking up the sun.

 Haydn coming out the end of one of the 5 water slides at the pool.

Later on that day, we decided to make our way around the island and hike Diamond Head Crater.

 You can tell very few of the kids were still in a good mood after a long, hot ,and may I add, very uphill hike. But they still enjoyed it once we took in the view at the top.

 Carrying everyones empty shaved ice cups...guess that makes me the mom.


 It was so beautiful up here...

Enjoying more time at the beach.

 Good Morning

 You can't really tell in this pic, but there were so many people out surfing every morning early.

I believe this is the Chinamen's Hat. This was at Kualoa Regional Park.

 It is so lush and green here....

As we made our way around the island, we stopped several places. But one of our favorite beaches was Kokololio Beach in Laie.  It was pretty secluded. This was the same beach I hung out on when I stayed on Oahu over 20 years ago. My kids loved it one was around.


 I couldn't get the kids out of the water.

We stopped at the Laie Temple and went through the Visitor's Center with the kids. Didn't think we'd stay long, but we ended up watching the presentations and videos on family and life after death. What a wonderful blessing knowing that we can be together matter what. 

 Christmas display in visitors center.

One of the employees at the hotel suggested stopping at Giovanni's for lunch. He said it was a run down food truck/van, but had the best shrimp ever. It was definitely good food and very welcome after the long day we'd had.

This place was packed for lunch. 

Next stop Turtle Bay...we actually have friends from Cache Valley that live here in Turtle Bay. He's here for work putting up zip lines.

Snorkling...there was a lot of this done on the trip. Mainly by the boys. 

Jake LOVED it here...

Pearl Harbor...I had been here before, but this time the significance was much greater. Grateful for those who serve our country.

 Haydn discussing what he knew about the wreckage.

 Dole Plantation, Pineapple Maze

 The boys beat us through...but they cheated.

 Waiting for the Pineapple Express..tired and thirsty. Little do they know the treats that await them when we're through.

 Poor Jake had a little heat stroke...wasn't feeling too great.

 Delon and his mini-me

Pineapple fields

 Dole Pineapple ice cream...BEST.EVER.


 A quick stop at Kaiaka Recreation Park

 A little exploring...the kids loved to stand on the rocks and wait for the ocean spray as the waves hit. The waves were huge. The North Shore was packed with surfers from everywhere. There was actually a surfing competition in Haleiwa while were there. This time of year the waves are "epic".


Our first turtle sighting on Waialua Beach!! They were everywhere...the kids got to see a very large turtle who decided to take a nap on the beach. He was huge...and cute too :)

 What about this wouldn't make a mother proud?

 Lunch with the fam at Buzz' meal I had the whole trip. Great food and even better calamari.

Venturing down to Lanakai, a private beach. The tide was too high to stay, but it was amazing. The homes in this community were amazing. 

 We stopped at this great lookout, Makapuu point. We had just missed a pod of gray whales...

Look at the color of that water.

 We spent most of the next day just relaxing on the beach in the morning and doing some more paddle boarding. Haydn went out on the ocean, I stayed in the Lagoon so I could watch the younger kids.

 Haydn was a natural.

 Emilee's turn.

 Haydn tried to hitch a ride

 Spent the night catching the luau and show at the Polynesian Cultural Center

 Dinner was so good.

 Enjoying the entertainment

Waiting for the show to start...crazy kids!

After our trip to the PCC, I took the kids down to the pool for a late night swim, while Delon and Haydn relaxed in the room watching a movie. While sitting in the hot tub with Jake, this little girl and boy started talking to him and wanted to play. Their mother came over and started to talk. The longer we talked, the more it became interesting. They were also from Utah, 45 min away from us. It was the strangest thing when she asked what my husband did. I told her,"Pallets." To which she replied, "Oh really? Honey, didn't you know someone from Cache Valley who sells pallets?" Then he said," Yeah, why?" "Her husband sells pallets there." Then he says,"What's your last name?" "Mortimer." "Yeah, Delon?!" ....What?! That's so crazy that I came to Hawaii and met someone Delon has known forever through work. Our younger kids got along really well and they asked if we wanted to have dinner with them that next night before we went home. Of course we did, and it was great to hang out with them. It sure is a small world!

 Crazy kids...this restaurant and grill was right on the beach. Perfect!

Jake's new admirer. She wouldn't leave his side.

Grateful for these little trips that create memories, allow us to see this beautiful earth and  help us to remember what's most important.


A Dreamy Girl said...

How amazing ! And how happy the kids look with this post you just added a new place I want to visit.

JW (just wondering) said...

Amy, memories forever!! ALOHA!! You have been very blessed to see Hawaii several times. I hope the kids remember as much as you have. And yes, the Pearl Harbor is very humbling.