Yes, Christmas was in Hawaii, and it was a great decision and trip! It was a little weird on Christmas morning when we only had stockings to open and then a trip next door to the Ward's hut to see what they wanted to do that day. Everything was closed, except the restaurant that we loved down the street, so of course we visited that establishment; otherwise, it was a relaxing day...a little rain...a little fun around the house. There's just too much to tell. The plane ride went smoothly except for one glitch which hopefully wasn't discovered until after we got off the plane and no pictures were taken. Once the small tv in front of each seat finished its feature of how to save your life in an airplane, showing us how to float on our seats, breath the oxygen out of the released masks, and put on the vest that lies between the seats neatly packaged and ready for use, we were ready for take off. Because the plane was packed and there were seven of us, we weren't able to sit together. Kindsay and Garon say by the window and Greg sat a row in front of them in the middle aisle. I sat with Ty three rows back and Bek and Brit...well they never left each other's side. So Greg was the supervising adult for our Miss Kindsay. Is it possible to cause trouble three minutes into the plane ride, before even leaving the ground? You betcha! Once the Angelina Jolie wannabe woman completed her instruction of safety, Greg turned to check on Kindsay and Garon only to find Kindsay fully strapped into the yellow safety vest on the verge of pulling the tabs to inflate the dang thing. Crisis averted as Greg yanked the vest away, avoiding the near strangulation of one very resourceful child. The madness of arrival is never worth mentioning...so I won't. The houses were beautiful, yard was immaculate, and the location was in-cred-i-ble...as my friend and fellow Hawaiian traveler Matt said, "You nailed it on the house." (the house was my job to find). See pictures (and grab a Kleenex)...The laundry facility on the side of the house, out front, was packed full of boogie boards, chairs, snorkel gear, and even a kayak. We grabbed everything we could, except the kayak because we were going to just rent some down at the beach. That was such a money saver! Off we went...doing it all, while Kindsay sat bundled up under a towel in a ball on a chair or in the sand. She really didn't care that we left the house everyday, but she wasn't going to be coerced into doing anything. The only thing she loved was kayak-day. She insisted she ride each time Greg took it out...front and center, rowing opposite of Greg so it took them twice as long to get anywhere, but smiling wide all the while. The next day, Greg and I sat at the private house beach watching Garon roll in with the waves and roll out with the waves...he just loved the water and was becoming one with it when bursting through the bushes down the path comes Kindsay and the kayak from the hut out front. There is no way that child will ever be able to convince us that she can't do anything. Greg warned and warned that the waves would not permit a kayak...but Kindsay wasn't going hear any of it, pushed the kayak into the water, and fell back as the kayak slammed into her legs by the waves. Greg and I videotaped and failed to go to her rescue...it was just too funny. Garon was beside himself trying to save the kayak and Kindsay, screaming at us to be parents...pflt...I say. Kindsay's attempt at kayaking was too funny to jump up and change scenery. But Kindsay loves anything wild and the tropical yard was full of life. Geckos, frogs, roosters (I kill em if I see em), and peacock filled the yard. I went out one morning, leaving Greg and Kindsay. Greg woke to find Kindsay sitting in the tv room, casually enjoying a show, with a ginormous tupperware bowl and an even bigger frog inside, rrriiiiiibbbbiiiiiit. "Oh oh, I'm taking this home." Greg and I placed bets at whether or not we'd be stopped at security because officers find an animal only found in Oahu in our suitcases and we'd be arrested and never allowed back. Only my family could cause a plague after a Christmas holiday. Here's a video of the house.
The boys had a blast too...Garon enjoyed the shark tank, see following video, and Ty found himself lost in the largest maze at the Dole Plantation. Bek and Brit giggled the entire trip about...well, nothing as usual, which means they speak their own language and we'll never understand them, but oh well...we had Hawaiian shaved ice everyday...Ty hated the stuff. After the third day straight eating it he exclaimed, "I hate shave ice! I don't want any shave ice! Why do you keep saying, 'come on, let's get shave ice?' I don't want to hear anymore about shave ice, capush?" Capeesh, Ty...and too bad! The shave ice was soooooo good...as we ate our treat, Matt and I would get back in line for the next flavor. Aimee even found a few she liked..and I must say I was quite hydrated by trip's end. The shark tank was cool, though I preferred seeing it from the boat.
Garon was a brave boy who got in, with Bek, Brit, Emma, Aimee, and Matt--and me for about two minutes. I got wet up to my neck. Me no like wet. And, my friends, that was only one of two times I touched the water the entire vacation. What do you expect? I don't swim in my own pool! Obama too enjoyed his stay while we were there and we have pictures from his entourage, which caboosed with an ambulance...that man is prepared I tell ya. Bottom line--we did it all...snorkel (well, I didn't), kayak (that either), Pearl Harbor (I watched from the bag check-in), Banzai Pipeline visit (no water required...cool), Polynesian Culture Center (Disneyland in the tropics...minus rides and mice), temple visit (closed), shark tank (the guilt got me in, the cold got me right back out), and plenty of R & R on the private beach. Greg had the burger of his dreams, twice...see picture. And we all got lei'd at one point...mind the spelling please.
This doesn't mean we're done with our adventures...and Kindsay, she didn't do too badly, whew! While she looked like Mother Theresa most days with the towel draped over her head wearing her mumu, she was pretty content. Garon's birthday was fun spending it at the PCC, and his cake from a famous bakery on the North Shore was divine. We went to the luau at the end of the day. The PCC was huge, and it was packed! 3000 plus visitors. Kindsay, before we got in the door, was already falling over with fatigue and disinterest. I walked her up to the rental booth, asked the lady how much for a wheelchair...turned to Kindsay, 'you want a wheelchair' only to receive an excited nod...put her in the chair..and voila! a fun day for all. Emma was a dear to push her most of the day, and Kindsay was pretty content in the chair, until it got to the luau. We sat at a long table where the 12 of us fit next to a buffet. The table was lined with pitchers of lemonade, punch, and water. The luau hostess asked those of us in love to come up and dance so Greg and I went up along with Matt and Aimee and danced to their little hula song. I gave Kindsay her night night pills, and perhaps a little soon. If she doesn't take them she gets W i L d...but if she does, she gets loopy. We sat at the buffet chatting, eating, chatting some more, and turn to see Kindsay with a pitcher of punch going down her face with her eyes half open. She said in a drunken stupor, "skip the glass, I'm gonna drink this stuff straight from the bottle!" Needless to say, we let her finish the punch. The show afterward was awesome, and the shopping was satisfying...Overall, it was a dream having all four of my kids at my side, along with a niece and dear family friends...and the 80 degree weather wasn't bad neither.
Rebekah's favorite part: all of it! especially L & L down the street!
Garon's favorite part: the shark tank, being so close to the beach
Ty's favorite part: the Dole maze and being at the house so close to the beach..and the plane!
Kindsay's favorite part: kayaking
Kindasy summed Hawaii up like this: all the facts and fun she had in Hawaii in one big long sentence, then a blurb about Hawaiians..."they are really nice, super nice, they might take you and kill you and murder you, but they are nice." Take a chance...it was fun!