So we've been back from Hawaii two weeks now, but it's been so busy I haven't had a chance to post. We stayed in a beach house on the north shore of Oahu just west of Haleiwa near the Dillingham Air Field with our close friends. It was so much fun!
First of all, I have to reccommend VRBO.com for a great alternative to hotels, especially when travelling with children. Having a house kept the kids entertained and the kitchen was wonderful. I can't imagine buying all those drinks in a resturant! Most of the pictures posted here are from the backyard of the house we stayed in, simply amazing:
The view during the day, with rainbows happening almost every afternoon
We started our outings with a visit to the USS Arizona memorial. I had never been and had bumped it off the calendar on previous trips. I'm so glad I made it this time. While on shore the buzz is the usual, with kids running around and parents yakking away. But as the boat gets closer to the memorial a hush falls over the crowd
Long story short I was moved to tears while there. My grandfather died when his boat was sunk off the coast of iceland by a German U-boat. Different theatre, different part of the war, but I felt this was the closest I would ever get to his grave. I felt like it was an opportunity to express my gratitude to him and all the others who had fallen defending our country.
His name was Victor, and my daughter Tori (Victoria) was named after him, I hope he can see his great grandchildren, wherever he is, and know his sacrifice had meaning.
While we were there one of my favorite pics was taken of DW and Lia - this one is already up at the office
We saw sea turtles, whales, skydivers and so much more, all from the backyard of the house:
At one point I'm sitting in the jacuzzi and could see all of the above - at the same time! Amazing.
The kids had such an great time, and all played so well together, even when the weather kept us inside:
Anyone up for ring around the rosies?
We bought some ukuleles while we were there, what they lacked in ability they made up for with enthusiasm!
Lia playing slide ukulele
Our friend's son getting into it!
Hanuama Bay was great as always,
but the snorkeling off our back porch was almost as good ( I got to swim with the sea turtles over the reef - nuff said) that we only made the drive once. We got a great family photo, though:
The Waikiki aquarium is small but really amazing, the kids spent the whole time with their mouths agape:
In Haleiwa there is a place called Matsimoto's shaved ice. You gotta go. The first time was a near disaster as we tried to share one and Lia REALLY didn't want to after the first bite. From then on everyone got there own. Get it with ice cream at the bottom, it's so good! We went three times and got t-shirts, too.
Believe it or not they finished those giants - those are the small sizes!
One of my favorite's of Lia, I think she knows she's cute:
Quick digression into P90X land. I did an excercise program by that name and I'm pretty happy with the results so far. Here is day 60:
And I can cook!
The jacuzzi at the place:
As a final note, anyone who knows about Down Syndrome knows you are very lucky to have a person in your life like Tori. Tori and Thomas have really taught us so much about what's important and what love truly is. We love this shot:
I've left out a hundred other pics I love because this is already waaay too long of a post, but thanks for your patience trudging through this, it was truly a trip to remember!