We're back from our Island vacation, the one Brian asked for and got from Santa. He graciously didn't go alone and shared his gift with the rest of us :-).
Not that I'm bragging (okay, maybe just a bit), but this was the view from our hotel window:
That was easy to wake up to.
First full day there we went to the Dole pineapple plantation, where we made it through their maze, with only some cheating:
But, of course we spent most of the time at the beaches:
I get such a kick out of the expressions on our boys' faces at the beach, even once they've worn themselves down:
Day two we went to the Punchbowl National Cemetery. Alan said he knew a "skinny blond guy" who died in World War II and he looked at a couple markers to see if he could find this guy's name. Some may consider this evidence of reincarnation, something Alan already likes the idea of, but he was also sure this man was sent off to war in WW2 by Abraham Lincoln :-).
Day three... was it 3? It's easy to lose track there, anyway, we went to the Waimea Falls Park. The trees there are amazing:
And we had a great time playing at the base of the falls:
Best of all that day, Brian finally lost his first tooth!
He had been babying it for about a month, and I was probably as excited as he was to see it finally come out. I love the fact that the memory was added to this trip.
Then... Ah, yeah, we (minus one tooth) went to the water park:
It was perfect as almost no one was there but us. That steep white slide behind Rob's head there... if one can be violated by fast moving water, that slide can do it. It nearly removed my suit.
Then, we had a Luau, of course. Here we are waiting for it to start.
We look a bit subdued there but that's one of my favorite pictures of Brian and me together taken on this trip. But, okay, here's one of us all:
Alan got a little goofy with his shell lei and palm crown:
We got there early so we could be right up front:
The boys absolutely loved it. The last day (and I know I'm missing days of just beach and pool here but they all blissfully melted together), we drove around Oahu. I had the best banana I've ever had off a roadside fruit stand, and we stopped at a couple sights, one being Hunauma bay:
I remember being under amazement at all the colorful reef life that would swim beside you there as a child their age. When I was a kid you could feed the fish there and they'd come up to you in great swarms of bright yellow, blue, green. Now you can't feed them, but it was still a great experience, and fun to share it with them. Children have a great way of making you see things in both new and old ways. As you can see from that picture, one kid was a bit more suspicious of possible eels and sharks than the other. With minimal protest, though, we got way out there, and ended up seeing a huge sea turtle.
Then our trip was done. We spent our last hour on the beach there, goofing off and waiting for our boarding time:
We took a red eye home, during which the boys slept the whole way, lucky kids. I spent the flight trying to keep Alan's feet off the stranger sitting next to us and thinking about the crafty politicians, religious forces, and tough decisions we were returning to. But I'm glad to say my family had a wonderful time and I'm home with rest and added clarity under my belt.
Boy, I hope Ca keeps legal at least our marriages already performed; we do love the ocean.