Archive for August 2013

2013 Vacation – Part 4

Most of the kids wanted to go souvenir shopping and there is no better place for that than the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. Anne also wanted to go to the art museum. Grandma and Grandpa and Nancy wanted no part of the swap meet so we decided to divide and conquer. I would take the kids to the swap meet and art museum while the other grownups went on their own trip and we would meet up in Honolulu later in the day for people watching and to watch the sunset on Waikiki beach.

Laie Temple

Laie Temple

Grandma and Grandpa and Nancy ended up driving back to Laie to enjoy the grounds of the Laie temple and visit Grandpa’s old stomping grounds at BYU Hawaii. They also visited the macadamia nut farm on the way to Kaneohe and stopped at the Pali Lookout. The kids like the Pali lookout because, in addition to the spectacular view, the wind blows nonstop. Diana enjoyed having the wind blow her hair around.

Nancy and Diana

Nancy and Diana

Diana at the Pali Lookout

Diana at the Pali Lookout

What a view!

What a view!

In the meantime, I enjoyed checking out the people and vendors at the swap meet with Emily, Anne, Sam, and Caroline. They had every imaginable form of souvenir, tchotchke, and dongxi imaginable. I immediately bought a hat to protect my scalp which was sore from the previous day at the beach and pineapple maze. The kids all got various souvenirs and we even got Nancy some genuine fake pearls.

Shave ice at the swap meet

Shave ice at the swap meet

After some shave ice and some people watching we were ready to head out to the art museum. I’ve always like going through art museums. Annie loves visiting art museums. We each approach it with very different styles. I motor through the museum and look at every single exhibit but only spend a few seconds on each painting. Anne takes her time and thoughtfully considers each painting or sculpture. I’ve usually powered through the whole museum before Anne is even finished with the Impressionist section. The rest of the family is even faster than me. They’re usually good for about one or two exhibits and after that they’re perfectly happy to skip the rest of the museum and find a nice bench to wait for me and Anne.

At the art museum

At the art museum

This trip to the Honolulu Museum of Art was no exception. Emily, Sam, and Caroline were finished after about a half hour. I was done after an hour and a half but Anne hadn’t even made it out of the first wing yet. We decided to go eat lunch at a fast food place down the street while Anne continued her crawl through the museum.

Art lovers

Art lovers

After lunch we called Anne on her cell phone and told her to meet us out in front of the Museum or she would get left behind. Luckily for Anne, we brought her some lunch from the fast food place although I think she would have gladly skipped lunch entirely to be able to hang out in the museum for the rest of the day. We then met up with Grandma and Grandpa and Nancy for a trip through Iolani Palace.

King Kamehameha

King Kamehameha

Everyone really enjoyed the palace tour. It was fascinating to learn more about the history of the Hawaiian monarchy and view the beautiful grounds of the palace along with the wonderfully restored interior. We took our time through the self-guided audio tour and once everyone was finished we packed into the cars and headed towards Waikiki for some dinner and people watching.

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace

Enjoying the palace tour

Enjoying the palace tour

Waikiki is not any place I would choose to stay when in Hawaii but it was fun to go and check out the crowds of people on the beach and the crowds of people along the sidewalks. Some of the kids and I went strolling to check out the collection of hobos and street performers that both work the crowds along the street. Grandma and Nancy and Grandpa took up space on some prime benches and watched the sunset. The sunset along Waikiki wasn’t any more spectacular than the one we saw out of our hotel room every night but it sure was fun to check out all the crowds and beachgoers enjoying the evening the same as we were.

People watching on Waikiki

People watching on Waikiki

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for going with us on such a fun trip. The kids were all pretty good. Nobody whined (much) or argued (much). Everyone got to do the top thing on their list and everyone had a good time. It was the best vacation ever!

Enjoying the sunset

Enjoying the sunset

2013 Vacation – Part 3

We spent a day on the North Shore but of course we had to stop at the Dole Plantation. No matter how many times you’ve been there you can never seem to get enough of the pineapple ice cream.

The pineapple sherbet never gets old

The pineapple sherbet never gets old

Grandma and Grandpa and Nancy sat in the shade and enjoyed people watching while the rest of the kids decided to go through the pineapple maze. I’ve done the maze before and wasn’t super thrilled about going through it but the kids seemed interested so off I went. It was actually quite crowded in the maze and several times we ran into a logjam of people waiting to get through a narrow section.

Ready to run the maze

Ready to run the maze

The maze turned out to be pretty fun although by the end of it I was tired of right angle turns and was happy just to be able to walk in a straight line for more than 3 feet at a time. We didn’t finish in record time but we did go all the way through without cheating and cutting through the hedges.

Lost in the maze

Lost in the maze

Fun at the beach

Fun at the beach

After the maze we headed over to the beach in Laie. I like the beach in Laie better than the other beaches on the north shore. It isn’t nearly as crowded and the Laie locals are friendly and fun and don’t seem to mind a big family of tourists on the beach.

This teenager didn't want to get in the water

This teenager didn’t want to get in the water

We enjoyed playing in the waves and body surfing and even playing games with some of the local kids that showed up at the beach after school got out. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t last too long in the water and waves, although they lasted longer than I thought they would. Anne didn’t feel like going in the water at all so she stayed on the shore and enjoyed the sea breezes blowing through her hair. We paused only long enough to eat our lunch on the picnic tables and then headed straight back to the water.

Diana at the beach

Diana at the beach

The only downside to the beach is trying to get all the sand out afterwards and the long/wet drive back to the hotel. The other downside is that after a day in the maze and at the beach, I got a sunburn on the top of my head. I’ve never had to worry about the top of my head before. I’ve always had plenty of thick hair up there. Nancy’s been telling me I’m thinning up on top but I haven’t believed her. There couldn’t be any truth to that. Could there?

Enjoying the beach

Enjoying the beach

2013 Vacation – Part 2

One of the days we decided to hike to Manoa Falls. We read about the hike online and decided it would be good to get out into nature a bit. Manoa Falls is also next door to the University of Hawaii Arboretum so Grandma and Grandpa decided they would meet us at the arboretum after our hike.

Ready for the hike to Manoa Falls

Ready for the hike to Manoa Falls

At the Manoa Falls trailhead

At the Manoa Falls trailhead

It was a beautiful hike to the falls and the kids had fun at first but one thing we didn’t anticipate was how muddy and wet the trail would be as we neared the falls. We’re glad we all had decent walking shoes on because some people were trying to navigate the muddy trail in flip-flops. We managed to make it up to the falls and back with only one slip and fall in the mud.

On the trail

On the trail

manoa4

manoa5

I’m not sure what I was expecting the falls to be but after trudging through the mud I thought that the falls, while beautiful, were a tad underwhelming. Still, the hike was fun and it was cool to see the beautiful jungle landscape.

Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls

After the falls we walked up the road to the arboretum and met Grandma and Grandpa. We had to sit on a bench and wash all the mud off our shoes but it wasn’t too bad and eventually we got cleaned up enough to enjoy walking around the grounds of the arboretum. The arboretum turned out to be the highlight of trip for most of the grownups. The kids weren’t super interested in the landscaping and all the native plants.

At the arboretum

At the arboretum

We had fun walking around and playing with all the different settings on our new camera taking pictures of the amazing flowers and the cool scenery.

Enjoying the beautiful landscaping

Enjoying the beautiful landscaping

I would definitely recommend a trip to the arboretum for anyone on the island of Oahu. Take your camera and your mosquito repellent and enjoy the beautiful grounds.

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arbor4

arbor5

The flowers and views were spectacular

The flowers and views were spectacular

2013 Vacation – Part 1

In August we were fortunate to be able to take a nice vacation to Hawaii with Grandma Connie and Grandpa Kent. This is probably the last time we’ll be able to take a big family vacation together as next year Emily will be off to college.

We’ve been to Oahu before but there is always so much to do that we haven’t seemed to tire of that island yet. We had a wonderful view of the sunset from the beach outside our hotel.

The view from the beach

The view from the beach

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

Wouldn't it be nice if...

Wouldn’t it be nice…

We made a list of 10 possible activities and then had each person vote on what they wanted to do. Each day we did one or two activities on the list. By the end of the trip we had done every single activity. One day we made a trip to the Pacific Aviation Museum. It was interesting seeing all the cool planes and aviation history of the islands although it seemed like the ladies lost interest in planes and helicopters much more quickly than the men did.

Checking out the aircraft

Checking out the aircraft

Waiting for everyone else to finish checking out the aircraft...

Waiting for everyone else to finish checking out the aircraft…